Establishing postal services for the army stations, armed police, road maintenance crews and herdsmen between Golmud City and Tanggulashan Town in northwest China's Qinghai Province was a priority for the local government for a long time. Finally in 2009, a self-run mail route was established between the two areas, providing convenient postal communications and a supply line for the railways and roads into the Tibet Autonomous Region.
There are 24 mail interface points along the line, with a weekly round journey of approximately 900 kilometers. Since the establishment of the postal route, the mail carriers have transported more than 200,000 pieces of mail.
However, the postal delivery has not been without its share of problems. One day in August 2010, the postal car ran into some roadwork and was forced to use the service road. Unfortunately, a combination of heavy rain and a steadily rising river soon resulted in the car getting stuck in the mud. Matters were made worse by an avalanche of rocks, silt and melted snow from the mountains.
Despite pressing on the accelerator, the mail carrier could not free the car and the situation was fast becoming very dangerous. Desperate, the mail carrier found a waterproof bag in the car, and stuffed all the mail in it.
Fortunately, just as his situation was getting more and more dangerous, a truck passing by managed to tow the postal car and free it. By the time the mail carrier arrived at his destination, it was already one thirty in the morning.
This story illustrates the commitment of the area's postal workers towards delivering the mail. In the winter of 2010, the road to Tuotuohe army station was blocked by heavy snow. One of the mail carriers, aware of how anxiously the officers and soldiers on the plateau look forward to mail from home, braved the piercing wind and snow to make the 20 kilometer journey on foot to deliver the letters.
The postal workers also help officers and soldiers to send money and mail, develop pictures and purchase medicine and books. They also help farmers and herdsmen buy fresh vegetables.
In order to show their appreciation, the officers and soldiers have sent the post office of Golmud City many letters, saying: "What you deliver to us is not just a blessing but also confidence and encouragement. Thank you."