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BFC_Peter

China Address Format

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BFC_Peter

Is there a recommended format for the address to use on a letter sent to China?

Ideally, I would get someone to write the address in Chinese alongside my English but that is not always possible so does anyone have any tips on how I should write the address.

I'm thinking particularly of the order of the various address elements, the combination of English and pinyin, and titles to use but would appreciate any comments that would help to ensure my mail reaches its destination quickly and safely.

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Quest

I just write:

To: the People's Republic of China

(then write all in Chinese)

Example:

To: China (PRC)

中国广东省广州市

越秀区越秀南路188号

李先生收

I dont think English + Pinyin would work... it might but it'd be risky.

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roddy

Most important is probably the 6 figure zip-code - once you've got that right it should get pretty darned close, and in many cases there will only be one or two places within that zip code that get international mail. If you can get the zip-code and the name of the actual person / business in Chinese you should be fine.

Roddy

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skylee
I'm thinking particularly of the order of the various address elements, the combination of English and pinyin,

The order is the reverse of English (i.e. from the largest unit to the smallest unit). For example, in English you would write -

Prof. Lawrence J. Lau

Vice-Chancellor

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Shatin, New Territories

HONG KONG SAR

In Chinese, it is -

香港新界沙田

香港中文大學

校長劉遵義教授

Probably it wouldn't work well if you send a letter using an English/Pinyin address to smaller cities/places in China. I am not sure about the importance of the zip code, as there is none in Hong Kong.

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gougou

I read that mail sent from outside China may be addressed using English. I suppose they'll have somebody transcribing the addresses before sending them on to rural postal offices.

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liuzhou

I have lived in some fairly small towns in China and have never had any problem receiving mail addressed in English / pinyin. I have noticed, however, that mail addressed in Chinese is slightly quicker.

As Roddy mentioned the post code / zipcode is the most important. In one town I lived in, I received all foreign mail, no matter who it was addressed to.

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djwebb2004

I would be happier having mail in English and pinyin in bigger cities. In Kunming, or at least my neighbourhood (=小区), letters seem to arrive no problem addressed in English - letters go to the local post office and they know my area pretty well. Parcels - that is a different department. They go to the central office in Kunming first, or may even go throough customs etc - they do NOT go to the local post office, and if not addressed in Chinese, they are sent straight back. They shouldn't be. Theoretically post addressed in English should arrive - but if there is anything valuable in the parcel, be prepared to forget it if thee address is not in Chinese. I have prepared a bilingual address label in PDF which I send to anyone sending me a parcel. Make sure to put your mobile phone number on the PDF address label too - don't give them any excuse not to deliver your mail! I had a parcel ping three times between China and Ireland and I ended up paying the postage twice as the package was so beateen up.

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Koneko

If sending letters to Taiwan from overseas, you should write "Taiwan" instead of "Republic of China, ROC" to avoid delays! Most Taiwanese addresses end with "... Taiwan, ROC.":wink:

K.

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onebir
Parcels - that is a different department. They go to the central office in Kunming first, or may even go throough customs etc - they do NOT go to the local post office, and if not addressed in Chinese, they are sent straight back.

Does that mean it's impossible to order from Amazon etc in Kunming???

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Koneko

No, I don't think that should be any problem. :wink:

K.

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889

If you're mailing a letter within China, the post office staff will usually refuse to take it unless you've got the postal code on there.

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Fun123

Don't worry about address in pure English. Someone in the post office will translate the address into Chinese before the letter is passed to the mailman. I'm in China and have received many letters with only English address. They arrived correctly, although some took a long time - about 1 month (sent from the US).

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djwebb2004

On the contrary, unless you choose Amazon purchases to be courier'd instead of going through the normal post, you can forget about receiving them in Kunming UNLESS you have them delivered to your university or Robert's school or some other place that receives a lot of international post. If you get them sent to a Chinese style flat you can just forget you ever ordered them...

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djwebb2004

As I said Fun 123, I have received many letters addressed only in English, but lost several parcels, which go to another department in Kunming.

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Lu
If sending letters to Taiwan from overseas, you should write "Taiwan" instead of "Republic of China, ROC" to avoid delays!
I wonder on what side that problem is... I imagine it's quite possible for a foreign post office to not really know the difference between PRC and ROC, and send the letter straight to the PRC because they see 'China'.

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Koneko

That's right. I don't understand why can't they just call themselves - Taiwan instead of "Republic of China".

Obviously, "Republic of Taiwan" is a better choice and it's less tenebrous!? :mrgreen:

K.

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Ncao
That's right. I don't understand why can't they just call themselves - Taiwan instead of "Republic of China".

Obviously, "Republic of Taiwan" is a better choice and it's less tenebrous!?

I totally agree. Many Taiwanese don't consider themselves Chinese anyways,so why not drop ROC for ROT.

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