Telephone communication within China is good and getting better as the national system upgrades to fiber optic cable. Travelers can communicate easily with home or office via telephone, fax, telex, and Internet (where available). Hotels usually offer free local calls, although travelers should check as some do have a small charge, even if there is no answer. Public phones are available in many shops, restaurants, and on the street. International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone service is available from almost any telephone in the major cities, or from hotels and phone centers in secondary cities. (Be sure to give incoming callers your room number, since it is sometimes hard for receptionists to remember foreign name spellings).
The postal service is one of the most efficient systems in China. Local rates are inexpensive and international rates are reasonable. Tourist hotels usually have their own post offices and shipping services, but hotel front desks provide the most convenient places for travelers to drop mail. All major international courier services have offices in major Chinese cities, and travelers can arrange with their hotel for pickup. Internet connections are currently available in some hotels, and many more are installing them to accommodate business travelers.