Unique post offices in Malaysia and around the world

Malaysia’s highest post box is located just before the Mount Kinabalu summit in Sabah. — Filepic

Have you ever wanted to send a postcard from an unusual location? This list takes you through some of the most unusual post offices and boxes in Malaysia, and around the world.

Underwater Post Office (Mataking Island, Sabah)

The first Underwater Post Office in Malaysia is located in the east coast of Sabah, near Mataking Island. In 2006, Reef Dive Resort, sunk an old cargo ship near the island as part of its reef conservation programme. The ship was meant to create an artificial reef, which in turn would help to increase the population of fish and other sea creatures in the area. A mail box was placed on the ship, and divers can drop their postcard – which they can buy at the gift shop and comes complete with a plastic waterproof postal bag – in this box. The mail... diver comes twice a week to pick up any mail.

Cave Post Box (Sarawak)

This post box in Sarawak is uniquely placed inside a cave! Located inside the Deer Cave in Gunung Mulu National Park, this is the first post box to be installed inside a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage cave and it has received recognition from Malaysia Book of Records for this fact! Famous for its profile of Abraham Lincoln, the image of the Deer Cave entrance has become the signature cachet of the park!

Mount Kinabalu Post Box (Sabah)

In 2015, Pos Malaysia placed a post box close to the Mount Kinabalu summit in Sabah. Located at the 3,289m mark at Pendant Hut, it is Malaysia’s highest post box – as certified by Malaysia Book Of Records – and the only one so far on a mountain in the country.

Mountain climbers can get special postcards and stamps from Pendant Hut, which is a training centre and accommodation operated by Mountain TORQ. Those who brought their own postcards or letters can get their mail stamped with the special Mount Kinabalu postmark from the office.

Penguin Post Office (Port Lockroy, Antarctica)

There is something very remarkable about sending postcards or letters from the most southerly post office in the world. Established as a British base in World War II, this unique post office located in the heart of Antarctic Peninsula at Port Lockroy is the continent’s most popular tourist destination. In the peak summer period, Port Lockroy would receive an average of two ship visits a day to see the colony of gentoo penguins busying about to find their mates, build their nests and raise their young.

The base, which is about 1,100km south of Argentina and Chile, was renovated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust in 1996 and is now a museum and post office, with a small gift shop. All purchases help fund the research work being conducted in the area.

Underwater Post Office (Mele Bay, Vanuatu)

The idea for this post office was conceived by Vanuatu’s postmaster and a resort owner over a few drinks. By May 2003, the world’s supposedly first underwater post office came to life. The mailbox is situated beneath the surface of Mele Bay and vacationers are able to reach it by diving or snorkelling. Special waterproof postcards have also been fashioned by the postal staff in the Underwater Post Office.

These cards are made out of waterproof plastic and are embossed with a special stamp using their embossed-cancellation device which ensures an inkless mark that prevents smearing on each postcard.

Post-a-Nut Post Office (Hawaii, US)

If you are tired of sending a postcard to your friend, why not post a coconut? Located in the small town of Ho’olehua on the island of Molokai, travellers have the opportunity to post a real Hawaiian coconut to anywhere in the world. This programme was invented in 1991 by Margaret Keahi-Leary as “a way for residents and visitors to send an unusual, authentic bit of Molokai to their friends”, according to a US Postal Service blog post. Each year, around 3,000 coconuts are mailed out from this post office with its colourful decorations adorning the shells. People who are keen to “post-a-nut” need only to pay for the postage fee as coconuts and decorating materials are provided for free.

Floating Post Office (Kashmir, India)

India is home not only to the most number of post offices in the world but also to a floating government centre on a lake. With such a widespread postal system, it should not be shocking to find a floating post office situated upon Dal Lake in Srinagar but many people have yet to hear of this peculiar spot.

Prior to 2011, this houseboat was known as “Nehru Park Post Office” which has since changed to the “Floating Post Office, Dal Lake” after the chief postmaster, John Samuel, repurposed and renamed it. It houses two rooms which are the office and a small museum dedicated to the history of the state’s postal department.

They even have their own stamp design of a boatman rowing a shikara!

Mount Everest Base Camp (Tibet/Nepal)

When Covid-19 is no longer a worrying issue, adventurous travellers may want to visit this “top” spot. Situated on the top of Everest Base Camp (EBC), this is supposedly the highest post office in the world, reaching at 5,300m above sea level. This would be a hefty but rewarding feat as travellers would need to battle altitude sickness while carrying oxygen cylinders in order to reach EBC.

Travellers might want to share their feelings of accomplishment when they reach the peak hence this post office was created. However, as the climate may be challenging at EBC, the post office is only open to keen hikers from the end of April to August. Mountain climbers can now send postcards to their friends and family from the “Roof of the World”, also known as Qomolangma by the Tibetian, Sagarmatha by the Nepalis or Everest by the rest of the world.

World War II Post Office (Gdańsk, Poland)

This post office celebrates the heroic, but painful story of the resistance to the German invasion in September 1939 during World War II. Outside the post office is a monument that pays tribute to the fallen Polish post office workers who refused to give in to the Nazi invasion of their country.

Monument to the Defenders of the Polish Post Office is a stirring and beautiful monument to an often forgotten engagement in one of the most significant events in the history of the world.

Reconstructed between 1949 and 1951, it is still a functioning post office which also houses a small museum dedicated to the events of the invasion and an exhibition of local postal history from the 18th century to the outbreak of the war.

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