Sunday, October 6, 2013

'Celebrating' The National Holidays In China

So, a little introduction, The Golden Week (黄金周) in the mainland of the People's Republic of China is the name given to a semi-annual 7-day national holiday, implemented in 2000.
  • The "Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week" begins in January or February.
  • The "National Day Golden Week" begins around October 1st.
Top left: Forbidden city, Beijing; Top Right: The Great Wall  queue of China
Bottom left: Pudong, Shanghai; Bottom right: Guangdong highway

Fun facts and figures: In 2012, the PRC government announced that national highways would be toll free for Golden Week, and as a result 86 million people traveled by road (13% increase compared to the previous year). The same year, the Forbidden City in Beijing had a new record of 182,000 visitors within one day on October 2.

This National Holiday, I had to unfortunately travel to Shenzhen. Even though the 'crowd' at Shenzhen was bearable, things got a little out of hand reaching Beijing- in the subway, as it was a Saturday and i'm guessing people had already started coming back to the capital. 
Not only this, but the weather was extremely dull through-out and smog was everywhere. Even during take-off I could clearly distinguish smog and it was quite an unpleasant thing to notice.

Some claimed the holiday does more harm than good to both the health of the tourists and the development of the economy, and advised the widespread introduction of paid vacations instead of the current system of long, nationwide holidays.

[Images via: Southern Metro Daily, Weibo]
[Sources: Shanghaiist, Wikipedia]

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