The rural mountainous district of Pingxi in New Taipei may be best known for its sky lanterns that deliver people’s wishes to the heavens, but it has also preserved a unique mailbox that attracts its own share of visitors.
The green cylinder-shaped mailbox stands upright outside the Pingxi Post Office, and, like the old mining town itself, represents a throwback in time. It is recognized as Taiwan’s oldest mailbox, and the only one of its kind left in the country.
Many visitors to Pingxi take photographs with the unusual postal relic or send postcards of it to their friends, making it one of the town’s main points of interest.
The unique usual mailbox was actually quite common on the streets of Taiwan in the 1960s, but Chunghwa Post later replaced it with more modern mailbox designs to save space in crowded urban environments.
The one in Pingxi was preserved, however, due to the town’s remote location, and it stands out as a piece of nostalgia for visitors from around the country.
Pingxi Post Office manager Chang Ju-nan (???), said the 60-year-old mailbox has long served local residents, from the time when Pingxi was a thriving mining town in the early 20th century until today, and remains part of the local community’s daily life.
More recently, flocks of Chinese tourists helped turn the post office and its mailbox into a tourist destination on its own, buying up large quantities of commemorative stamps and postcards in the process.
Even as the number of Chinese visitors has slid in the past few months, Chang said there are still many visitors to Pingxi who make sure to get a look at the mailbox as they take in the historical town.
Source: Focus Taiwan