Li Guanyi, a 29-year-old Shanghai resident, was hit and killed by a motorcycle while crossing the road in the Taiwanese city of Hualien (花莲) at 10pm on Tuesday. Li was attempting to cross the road to reach his hotel when the accident occurred. Despite efforts at resuscitation, Li was declared midnight before reaching a hospital. The apparent cause of death was initially determined to be intracranial bleeding, though investigations are still ongoing.
The motorcyclist explained that Li was difficult to notice, due to his wearing dark clothes during a heavy rain and dim lighting.
Though it might qualify as a #firstworldproblem, we really can’t imagine fewer things worse than dying while on vacation, while doing something so routine as crossing the road. Traveling around certain parts of the world, especially in Asian cities like Shanghai or Hanoi, crossing the street can be a survivalist adventure not too far removed from trying to dodge wildebeest during a stampede.
Li, who was traveling as an independent tourist rather than as part of a tour group, was only on his second day of vacation when the accident occurred.
Which is unfortunate, since his death should reaffirm for most Chinese people the fact that tour group travel is still the way to go when it comes to traveling abroad. Some old Chinese proverb has it that a thousand buckets of misfortune are dumped on your head if you don’t travel in a pack (probably).
Then again, Shanghai Daily reports that group travel can also land you in trouble of the worst kind:
In October last year, a landslide hit eastern Taiwan’s Suhua Highway and claimed the lives of 20 mainland tourists.
In April, a train overturned in Taiwan’s Ali Mountain area, killing five tourists from the mainland and injuring more than 100 others. And in January last year, a woman on a group tour from the mainland was killed by falling rocks at a scenic spot in Hualien.
Li is the first independent tourist from the mainland to die in Taiwan since individual tourist visits began last June.
If you’re on vacation right now (or will be soon), remember to look both ways repeatedly and cross together with a local if you can!