Tuvalu postage stamps are popular
The post office in the Government Offices sells attractive Tuvalu stamps, although Tuvalu's mail service is chaotic. For example, only the newest definitive stamp series is good for postage and older stamps are not valid (symptomatic of an ongoing turf war between the postal authorities and the Philatelic Bureau). Local acquaintances may ask you to carry letters to Fiji to mail for them.
The Philatelic Bureau, a few doors southwest of the National Library, offers a vast selection of Tuvalu stamps produced since independence. This is about the only place to buy postcards.
Several internet cafes charging around A$3 an hour are on Vaiaku Road a bit northeast of the National Library.
Normal telephone, fax, and telex facilities are provided by satellite from the Telecom Center (daily 0800-midnight). There's a three-minute minimum of long-distance calls placed through an operator. Calls made using local telephone cards are not subject to the minimum charges and work out 10 percent cheaper. These cards cannot be used on islands other than Funafuti and they're often sold out anyway. Collect calls are not possible. Faxes can be sent for a flat fee plus the regular telephone charge.
If you have access to a direct-dial telephone or are using a telephone card, you'll need to know that the international access code is 00. For direct-dial calls to the other atolls, the access code is 05 (except for Nuilakita, which uses the Funafuti line and requires no access code). For the local operator dial 010, for the international operator 012. Tuvalu's telephone code is 688. Try again if you don't get through the first time, as the operators go off duty at midnight.
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