Monday, 6 October 2008

Crowds on holiday

We all agree that holiday time is NOT the time to go touring in China. It is at this time that the Chinese people choose to TRAVEL, SHOP and TOUR.

All trains, buses and the roads are very busy. In the cities around shops there are always huge crowds as many retail outlets offers special discount for holidays. The crowds are quite a shock for those of us that come from countries with less vlume of population.
We did do some touring on our holiday week. Golden Week. The holiday around National Day. But we are glad we did not go far. Other foreign teachers here went to Beijing and reported on the crowds that made visiting very difficult - although one story is fascinating. One couple who live in the apartment beside mine were riding bicycles around Beijing and came across one of the other foreign teachers who lives on the fourth floor above them. How amazing that they should accidentally meet up in that crowded city.

We went to Hangzhou, into the city of Shaoxing, and two of the local scenic spots. Lu Xun Walk, where the life of the famous write Lu Xun is celebrated. And we also went to East Lake, which is written up in the tour guides as "on a par" with the West Lake of Hangzhou. Hardly.

Mind you with the crowds, it did dull the tourist senses. So many people. The highlight of the visit to East Lake was the Chinese opera being performed in a pavilion at the far end of the lake. We had commented that there was very little "Chinese culture" in the celebration of the 59 years since the People's Republic of China was formed.
One of the foreign teachers went to Shanghai and queued for 4 and a half hours to get into the Jinmao Tower. Oh, the pain!
Sadly our touring time is always during holidays.

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