PHOTOS: October Holiday crowds break records (and a glass bridge)

By Ella Wong, October 9, 2015

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China’s annual October tradition of packing onto trains, planes and buses continued this year with an estimated 750 million people traveling for the week-long National Holiday.

532 million domestic trips were made during Golden Week, an increase of 10 percent from last year, and 220 million trips were made overseas.

The first day of the holiday saw 12.5 million train journeys taken – a year-on-year rise of 7 percent and a record number of train trips in a single day.

Meanwhile, consumption was also on the rise, with UnionPay reporting daily card transactions of RMB90 billion, up 18 percent from last year.

Records weren’t the only thing being smashed over the holiday – a glass-bottomed bridge suspended over 1,000 meters (3,500 ft) above the valley in Yuntaishan cracked after a tourist dropped a steel water bottle, causing tourists to flee in panic. The local management bureau temporarily closed the walkway, but insist that it’s safe because only one of three panels was shattered.

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Nearly 8 million people traveled to Beijing from October 1 to October 4.

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The Forbidden City limited visitor numbers to 80,000.

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Tiananmen Square was the second most visited spot in the country.

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The most crowded tourist destination was Hangzhou’s West Lake.

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Police in Chendgu struggled to control the hoards who flocked to see the pandas at the city's breeding center, and posted a photo on Weibo with the caption, “Is this a giant panda base or a human base?”

october holiday crowds chengdu

On the last day of the holiday, as over 125,000 cars returned to the capital, a massive traffic jam clogged the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau expressway.

October holiday Beijing traffic jam

A new checkpoint in the town of Liulihe, some 35 miles southwest of Beijing, was the cause of the bottleneck, which forced cars in 25 lanes to converge into just a few.

Tourism officials are reportedly considering revising the public holiday system to allow for a more flexible schedule with additional local holidays in different parts of the country.

 

[Photos via CCTV, CNN, Huffington Post, SCMP]


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