There are some advantages as well as disadvantages travelling in China during the Chinese Lunar New Year period . On the plus side, it is a perfect time of the year to “rub shoulders” with the Chinese people (the Chinese tend to be open and friendly, but they are even more so during the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays; and all of people could enjoy a week’s paid vacation) – and you would catch opportunities to “rub shoulders” with the Chinese people. You will be given the many cultural activities and featured delicious food show taken place during this period.
On the less positive side, it must be said that there are large crowds in transit everywhere in China at this time of year, not just at all of the major transportation hubs such as airports, railway stations and bus terminals, but also certain hot flights has been booked, trains in general are likely to be booked, and even regional and municipal buses can overcrowded. And of course shopping malls can be teeming with life, while the plazas and block sidewalks will be filled up by public gatherings and processions can fill up .
In addition, many hotels are booked far in advance (the lower the rental price the quicker they fill up, naturally, which would suggest that the best strategy for foreign visitors is to make reservations as early as possible), restaurants can be jam-packed, and with such large throngs of people, all vying for the same limited resources, prices are naturally on the increase.
Still, the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, with their multitudes of Chinese people “in flux”, is no need to be viewed as a strictly negative thing – in fact, some visitors find the bustling crowds of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday period to be a large part of the attraction of travelling in China at this time of year.
The following collection of helpful tips are conceived with the foreign tourists in mind. Observing these information will help you to avoid the most congested travel modes and destinations, and they can help you to take it all in your stride, as it were.
Chinese Lunar New Year Travel Tips For Foreign Tourists
* Please avoid traveling by rail if possible, since this is the preferred mode of transportation of the Chinese people, because it is cheap and efficient (both excellent reasons for traveling by rail at any other time of the year in China except New Year!) and partly because it is a social event in itself. Nearly all of the Chinese people are on holiday – and many of them on the move – the likelihood of finding space on a train is minimal, and even if space is available, it can be a daunting experience for foreigners to be so tightly confined alongside so many people who do not speak their language.
* Where feasible, Please avoid the beaten path, i.e., stay away from the largest cities with the most popular tourist destinations, though, who would wish to avoid Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing or Guilin while visiting China?! If you insist to visit some hot cities, then heed especially the next two tips…
* Please arrange as much of your itinerary as possible beforehand, as this will save you from having to constantly juggle so many in your travel options that it spoils the fun of traveling. You should especially book as many of your flight tickets and your hotel rooms as possible to avoid the limited resources. If you wanna enjoy a loose,carefree , unplanned journey through China, the season of summer is the best period, as the competition for accommodation and transportation is much less acute.
* Please try to exercise patience and maintain a cheerful spirit in adversity, for some level of snags at this time of year are almost unavoidable. Showing flexibility and maintaining a cheerful spirit will increase your chances of securing a satisfactory alternative arrangement, and it will of course make it easier on yourself. If you find yourself getting stressed over too many petty incidents, or over having too many people around you, try relaxing through a Chinese way by visiting a sauna, where you can also get a relaxing massage, or attend a Tai Chi lesson or two; both are guaranteed to relieve stress!
* Bring along warm clothing, and, depending on where you intend to travel (some areas in China are mild by day even if frigid by night, while a few are outright South Sea Island warm). You may find that “layered” clothing (sweaters, jackets with removable linings, windbreakers, etc.) is the best solution, as this allows you to adjust your clothing with convenience, to match the frequent changes in the daily weather.