This Wooden Shack in the Middle of a Desert Is the World’s Most Remote Post Office

Deep in the Tengger Desert of Inner Mongolia, surrounded by sand dunes as far as the eye can see, lies the world’s loneliest post office, a surprisingly bustling outpost of human connection.

Measuring only 15 square meters, the wooden post office of Tengger Desert is not much to look at, but that’s ok, it doesn’t get too many visitors anyway. Besides, after being abandoned for over 35 years, it actually doesn’t look half bad. Thanks to the efforts of a few intrepid individuals who learned about the existence of an old abandoned desert post office by mistake, it has been given a new lease on life, and thanks to the magic of the internet, it has actually become quite a busy operation.

Despite rarely receiving any visitors, over 20,000 letters and postcards were sent from the Desert Post Office in the month of December 2021 alone. And it was all thanks to the efforts of Ms. Zhang, one of the people involved in the revitalization of the post office. After pouring her heart and soul into the project, she was faced with the heart reality of seeing her work ignored due to its remote location.

Positioned about 10 kilometers from the nearest road, the Desert Post Office of inner Mongolia doesn’t see too much human traffic. But in the age of the internet, that’s not an insurmountable hurdle. Ms. Zhang and her friend, Luo Meng came up with the idea of a ghostwriting business for people who wanted to send letters and postcards from the world’s loneliest post office, without actually visiting the place.

Zhang’s idea turned out to be a big hit, especially during the pandemic, with people unable to travel to see their loved ones. Now, she and her colleagues at the post office can hardly keep up with the online requests from people asking for cards to be shipped both around China and to countries like Singapore or Australia.

Bringing this remote post office back to life was somewhat of an adventure. First, Ms. Zhang and her friend, Luo Meng, had to convince a few other people to help them rebuild it. At first, they planned to build a wooden structure and transport it into the desert, but that proved too difficult to pull off, so they ended up transporting the building materials there and building the shack on the spot, which took 20 days to complete.

After building the structure, they filed an application with China Post, and after review, the wooden shack became one of over 700 post offices in China. Every day, letters and postcards are written here, adorned with the post’s special desert-themed stamp, transported 10 km to the nearest road, from where they are picked up by a post truck and then sent all over the world.

Just in case you ever find yourself roaming through the massive Tengger Desert (43,000 square meters), and want to visit the world’s most remote post office, you can find it at 38.413°N north latitude and 105.225°E east longitude.