Ah, Golden Week, the week-long holiday devoted to commemorating the Chinese National Day as well as a tourism boom. Already known for its hellscape of queues, traffic jams and scrums of people, apparently this year, it's going to be busier than usual.
From next Monday, an estimated 800 million – more than half of the country’s population – will hit the road for vacations at home and abroad, reported The Beijing News citing a detailed report by Baidu Maps, Ctrip and other Chinese tour agencies. The number is a whopping 100 million more than last year, which saw some 700 million people bringing major tourist sites to a halt just two days into Golden Week.
In terms of domestic travel, the cities of Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Qingdao, Hangzhou and Xiamen are forecast to be among the top favourites, with landmarks of the Palace Museum, West Lake and The Bund expected to draw the heaviest foot traffic.
For overseas travel, Japan and Thailand continue to lead among other top destinations, which are then followed by Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and the US in the top ten, according to Baidu Maps and Ctrip.
With gridlocked traffic throughout the cities, it shouldn’t come as a surprise the report reveals that the urban dwellers in Shanghai, as well as Beijing and Guangzhou are most likely to flee the city during the break. And with highways lifting tolls from Oct 1 to 7, peak travel time will kick in from midnight on the first day, and the travel rush is expected to hit major motorways at 10am every day from Oct 1 to 4.
By Joey Liao