Dear fellow travellers,
this one is a tiny and short advice post for you. There are certain times every year, during which you shouldn’t travel in China. You can do so, but then you must be insane or really like people.
So here we go : When not to travel to China!
First would be the so-called GOLDEN WEEK, which starts at the 1st of October and goes for the whole week.
During this time China has free, it is a public holiday, which means this is the time when the whole freaking country travels.
Do you know how many people there are in China, it’s like a mass migrations. Many train and bus tickets are booked a month in advance, the sights are so crowded that you can’t even move. I dare you, google “Golden Week” and any tourist attraction.
In Shanghai last year they had to close the whole area around the Bund, there where no more Metros or Buses going there, because there where so many people, it actually became dangerous. Stampedes are not so uncommon in China.
During New Years (not chinese, but ours) they used to have fireworks in Shanghai, until a couple of years ago actually people died, because of a mass panic.
You get my point.
During this time you won’t be able to pull through with your travel plans and will get stuck somewhere and it just gets insanly crowded.
The second time is Chinese New Year.
For 2018 it’s from February the 16th and 2019 it’s the 5th of Febraury. It lasts 7 Days. During this time the major cities will actually be empty, because most people go home to visit their families.
Chinese New Year is more of a family holiday.
While the temples will be crowded and there will be events and shows in the parks the rest of the city will be not crowded at all. Which is great, but also means that many, many stores will be closed around this time and sometimes even major attractions.
The actual problem is the week before and after chinese new year, because it is literally a second mass migration.
This is how I got stuck in Qingdao for 5 days and why I had to take a sleeper bus to Hainan instead of the train and had to get that bus ticket in advance while fighting myself through an insane crowd of people and standing in line for over 1 hour.
Most Westerners can’t really imagine the amount of people living in China, but yes there are people who actually are being paid to get people into trains and buses with pushing and whatsoever. Crossing a traffic light is like a stream of black-haired heads passing by you. A city of 1 Million is considered a small city.
Do never underestimate the number of people living in China.
So do yourself a favor and do not travel during these times.
But you should visit China, you might hate it you might love it, it will definitely give you many different point of views and leave you speechless one way or the other 😉