From picking out souvenirs, collecting coins or sending mail from each city visited—every traveller comes with their set of own quirks. For many, the very act of painstakingly choosing a postcard, slipping into a local letterbox and sending it home is sacrosanct. If you fall in that category, you’ll enjoy this list of some of the most unusual post offices in the world–the highest, lowest and remotest, all standing to make sure your letter is sent from their city, with love.
Floating Post Office, Kashmir
On the waters of Srinagar’s Dal Lake floats a boat. Inside it, sit a few postmen, and with them, a box of stamps. This is no ordinary shikara, turned into a houseboat for tourists, and nor is it part of the jostling floating market. It is India’s only floating post office.
Established in 2011, the post office acts as a regular post office with banking services and an in-house philately museum, only bobbing along to the water. In addition, your mail gets stamped with a special Kashmiri seal depicting a shikara and a boatman, especially for this wooden post office with the pin code: 190001.
Inside The Eiffel TowerSeal your first visit to the Eiffel Tower with a stamp. The iron landmark that Paris is most recognisably linked with has a little post office in its southern wing, allowing tourists and visitors to pop in, and post their mail.
If you’re lucky, your postage may get a special stamp declaring that it has been sent from the Eiffel Tower, but it is no guarantee.
On Top of Mount Everest
The endeavour to send a letter from the world’s highest post office is certainly a commitment. It takes reaching Tingri Country in Tibet, battling altitude sickness, lugging oxygen cylinders and trudging up a height of 5300m above ground level. This tin-shed mailing box, just established in 2008, is located in the Everest Base Camp, and acts as a resting point for hungry travellers, along with its duties of sending mail to all parts of the world.
Under The Sea, Vanuatu
What does one do after successfully completing their first scuba dive? At Vanuatu, a Pacific island nation located off Oceania and Australia, brag about the achievement in a postcard home, of course. The first underwater post office on Hideaway Island, this one allows anyone willing to swim among the fishes post mail on specially designed waterproof postcards.
For a post box located 9feet below ground level, it attracts a lot of visitors, especially tourists.
Incidentally, the country is driven to make posting mail an adventure activity. It also home to a volcano post, set on top of Mt Yasur, an active volcano which is known to erupt more than 10 times an hour.
Should you ever find yourself on the most isolated continent of the earth, there’s way to send mail even there. Antarctica’s Port Lockroy, established by the British, comes as one of the most unusual locations on this list. Situated on an island with penguins outnumber humans, Port Lockroy is a post office and a museum for visitors as well. A letter sent from here costs $1 US, and could take about two weeks or a year, depending on which season you post it. Read more about this fascinating place via an account by the Port’s Base Leader here.
Fun fact: India was the first one to build a post office in Antartica, at its scientific base, Dakshin Gangotri, which shut down in 1990.
Hoolehua Post Office
For whom the concept of sending letters and postcards may seem a bit dated (pardon the irony), there exists a post office in the U.S. that sends coconuts instead. Hoolehua Post Office in Molokai, Hawaii has a post-a-nut service, which lets visitors pick out a coconut, decorate it with markers and stickers and mail it back home.
The cost of the mail depends on how heavy said coconut is and can cost between $15-$20. These can be sent only within the country, but make for the most unusual, and some may say, practical gifts.