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Stamp Expo: 'Golden' mailbox becomes tourist attraction
【Culture】2016-08-27  12:37:37
Taipei, Aug. 27 (CNA) A "golden" mailbox in front of the Jinguashi post office of New Taipei City has become an attraction to many visitors, including foreign tourists who flock to Taiwan's northeastern coastal area to see the scenic area, according to post office officials.

The Jingquashi post office is located inside New Taipei City's Gold Museum, which exhibits relics from Taiwan's prosperous gold mining past when many workers dug for gold for a living in the mountainous area.

The mailbox has an additional gold bar-like part on the top, although it is not gold-plated. It is placed above a gold-mining cart to show the hilly area's memorable past.

Lin Chun-ya (林純雅), head of the museum's promotion division, said that more and more foreign tourists, including backpackers from Europe, like to stop in front the golden mailbox. South Korean visitors have become frequent visitors as well, Lin added.

Lin said that the existence of the golden mailbox aims to boost the visibility of the Jinguashi post office by taking advantage of tourism resources in the popular hilly area in New Taipei. She said that the golden mailbox has become a unique attraction of the post office and even of the museum.

A Hong Kong visitor surnamed Chan was one of the foreign visitors attracted by the golden mailbox on a recent day. He was busy taking selfies with the mailbox and checking-in on his Facebook page.

Many foreign visitors were even willing to spend more by taking taxis to tour Jinguashi and its neighboring town Jiufen, which meant some taxi drivers served as tour guides to lead the visitors to the Gold Museum, Lin said. It was no surprise that the golden mailbox is on these tourists' list of top places to visit, Lin added.

To better serve an increasing number of visitors during the current summer vacation, the Jinguashi post office remains open on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors are able to buy postcards and stamps there starting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and the post office can mail the purchased postcards for visitors.

Through postcard mailings, visitors are expected to have a better memory about their trip to Jinguashi, Lin said.

Although the Jinguashi post office is located in New Taipei City, it is supervised by the Keelung post office under the current postal services system in the country.

The Keelung Post Office said that after the Gold Museum opened in 2004, the post office launched two sets of special stamp collections to feature the museum and the mountainous scene as part of its efforts to lift the tourism industry in the hilly area.

In 2005, the Jinguashi post office started to use a postmark featuring the unique mountainous scene in the area, and along with the issuance of a special gold stamp, the efforts had sparked a wave of stamp collecting in Taiwan.

To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Chunghwa Post, the Jinguashi post office has been doling out postcards for free to visitors, helping them collect memorabilia of their visits to the scenic attraction in northern Taiwan.

(By Huang Hsu-sheng and Frances Huang)
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Note: Taiwan will host the 2016 World Stamp Championship Exhibition in Taipei Oct. 21-26 (event website)
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