The Chinese Post Office is generally reliable. However, it is not unusual for letters and packages to take several weeks to arrive. A large parcel should cost no more than 300 RMB to send. The post offices is also the place to pay bills.
The fastest and most inexpensive means of getting letters or parcels abroad is to use the EMS service, a courier service. It is available at all post offices. It is quite inexpensive and guarantees delivery within 3 days.
The headquarters of the Beijing General Post Office is located on the east side of Tiananmen Square. It provides more comprehensive services than do post offices in Western cities, handling mail, telegrams, long-distance telephone calls, and the distribution of newspapers and magazines. There are also more than 350 branch offices and stations in the city and the suburbs.
Jianguomen Post Office is another important site. It is a branch of Beijing International Post Office and adjacent to Central Business District (CBD). Jianguomen Post Office is the only "custom-guarded post office" in Beijing, working jointly with the Custom to build the fast portal of international imported and exported cargo.
Address: Jianguomenwai Dajie, Yabao Lu (300m north of the Jianguomen overpass)
Open Times: Daily 8:00-18:30
Tel: 6512 8114
Letters posted within the city - 0.6 RMB
Letters posted within the country - 0.8 RMB
International airmail (depending on different regions and weights) - at least 5.4 RMB. Letters posted to Hong Kong or Taiwan - 2.5 RMB
Mainland Chinese address formatting does not appear to be standard as there are several different formats listed.
If you write the recipient (delivery) address in Western characters, leave extra margin so Chinese postal workers can write delivery information in Chinese.
Most addresses should include both city/town/village and province. For a few large cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjian, Chongking) the city is also the province.
When mailing from Western nations, you may write the address in Chinese but should also include the address in the native language.
Note that in China the family name is normally written before the given name ("Smith, John", not "John Smith".)
The Chinese postal service prefers the 6-digit postcode (postal code) before the province name. For example,
MR. ZHIMIN LI (family + first name )
63 RENMIN LU, QINGDAO SHI (house number + street name, city)
266033 SHANDONG (postcode + province)
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