Catching a bus, a train, a plane, or any means of public transportation in an attempt to go on holiday during Golden Week has always been… an experience. A genuine, life-changing, experience, one like no other, that transforms the way one sees crowds, transportation, and China itself.
And this year’s travel extravaganza has been no different. Sweaty masses stuck together at airports, tourists seeking to find a speck of enjoyment among thousands upon thousands of their peers. Dozens of babies crying in your immediate proximity. The smell of tea leaf eggs. Trash, everywhere.
If you think it’s getting worse every year, you are not mistaken. According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, about 114 million tourists spent a total of 94 billion yuan this Monday alone. These figures show a 9.9 percent and a 10.9 percent rise respectively from data last year. This might be because this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival falls during Golden Week, extending the already hellish holiday by an extra day.
Here are some more numbers about this year’s holiday:
– More than 15 million train trips were made only on Sunday. This is officially a new record.
– China Southern Airlines, based in Guangzhou, has added 160 extra flights, with 14,000 flights expected during the holiday.
– Around a thousand passengers missed their flights due to traffic jams on the airport expressway leading to Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport on Sunday.
– Tourism income is expected to rise by 13.5 percent to 478 billion yuan during this one merry week.
And now let’s see some pictures.
This is Huangguoshu Waterfall in Anshun city, Guizhou province:
And this is the city of Dandong by the North Korean border:
Here are travelers trying to catch their plane at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai:
And here are some tourists going for a relaxing hike in Chengdu:
Henan’s famous Shaolin Temple where parking lot space has not been able to keep up with demand.
The line for the ladies’ room at Hangzhou’s West Lake:
Waiting to see the flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square:
And finally, see what the fine meme lords at the Nanfang Daily made regarding the insane Golden Week crowds:
So happy holidays to everyone! Look out for yourselves and your car.
By Máté Mohos
[Images via Shine / China News / NetEase / That’s]
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