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Spring Festival rush: Share your perspective [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-1-20 13:52:00 |Display all floors
The Spring Festival travel rush, known as the chunyun, is expected to begin in China on Jan 21 and will last till March 1. Please join us and share your stories and views about Chunyun.


Faisal Kidwai
Until recently, traveling during the Spring Festival was not an easy task. Standing in long lines to get the train ticket, the overcrowded trains and the journey that took days to complete were something every traveler had to bear. But not anymore. Now travelers can buy tickets online from the comfort of their home, enjoy the smooth journey on high-speed trains and reach their destination in hours instead of days.

Although navigating the Chinese New Year rush remains a challenge, the path has become less bumpy, less stressful and less time-consuming thanks to the bullet trains. So happy holidays, happy traveling.

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Post time 2019-1-20 13:52:41 |Display all floors
Anne Marie Ruisi

The Spring Festival travel rush remains an amazing phenomenon, even after six years in China. Every year in Beijing, it's like someone opens a door and airports, trains and buses are jam-packed and it seems that half the city's population disappears. One of the biggest changes I've noticed is that in years past, it was almost impossible to get a taxi, as many of the drivers went home for the holiday. Now, with Didi and other ride-sharing services, getting a ride is much easier as there are more options.

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Post time 2019-1-20 13:52:51 |Display all floors
Bruce Connolly

In 1993 when working in Guangzhou I hoped to discover more of this country during the Spring Festival holiday. However, I was told by my colleagues that would be very difficult. Only one railway at that time went north from Guangzhou and every train would be full with migrant workers “going home”! Also, trying to purchase a train ticket would probably be impossible. Tickets had to be purchased at the railway station and every day thousands of hopeful travelers would crowd into the booking offices - English then was not spoken!

During the later 1990s I watched rail travel improving. In Beijing the main stations had special ticket offices for foreigners, which were then a big help. Also, by 1999 computerized ticketing was starting. Speeds were increasing with intercity trains, for example, travelling nonstop from Beijing to Xi'an or Shanghai and comfort was greatly improving, but overnight journeys were the norm.

Major developments came in 2007 with high-speed CRH trains running between Beijing and Tianjin at 300 km/h. This was a catalyst for massive changes. Such trains had a level of comfort previously unknown on China's railways with every passenger having a comfortable seat, for example. A modern ticketing system allowed ease of purchase - indeed in recent years passengers are buying tickets online, even with smartphones. Indeed I can check timetables, prices and availability of tickets which for travel planning is excellent.

Today China has the world's largest high-speed network with the vast majority of tickets now bought online. This has greatly improved the situation for travelers trying to return to their hometowns during the Spring Festival. However, not all services are by high-speed, now running up to 350 km/h. Many older “green train” still run offering slower but cheaper services, and they also can be booked on-line.

China's railways have certainly improved greatly since my first journey in 1987 and I have been very fortunate to have experienced the transformation first hand, as a keen train traveler.

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Post time 2019-1-20 13:52:55 |Display all floors

Due to the rapid development of high-speed rail network, green slow trains have mostly been phased out from Spring Festival rush. But I still have the memory about the green train. I have taken these trains on my numerous trips from Tianjin to Jilin and back. They have many stops and have to give way to faster trains. I always book the bunk otherwise I will die on such a long journey. Eight or nine hours to be exact. No, I don't use the toilet unless absolutely necessary. The scenery outside is always refreshing especially when passing through rice fields. I would end up daydreaming about life in the countryside.

I once took a train that uses coals to fire their water heaters. It's was nostalgic thinking that they still use this mode of cooking water. Going to miss these trains and the fun of watching people eating instant noodles as though it was the best meals available in the train.

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Post time 2019-1-20 13:53:10 |Display all floors
Jocelyn Eikenburg

Traditionally, the Spring Festival migration used to follow one major pattern – people would travel back to their hometowns for a holiday family reunion. But I've observed how an increasing number of individuals in China choose to travel in other directions for the holiday. For example, it's becoming more common for young people in urban areas – who are usually only children – to have their parents travel from their hometowns to spend Spring Festival with them in the big city, which some have called the “reverse Spring Festival rush”. Other families, who have apartments near the warm, tropical shores of Hainan, reunite there for a respite from the winter weather and a chance to enjoy the beaches. Some of my friends have even joined in the trend of traveling abroad for Spring Festival, to get away and experience different countries and cultures.

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Post time 2019-1-20 18:42:17 |Display all floors
This post was edited by parcher at 2019-1-20 18:43

i am currently in dalian on my long overdue break.....
i am using Fast trains And flying to get around. Flying is much cheaper though..  
tmrow to harbin, then back home next thursday
if you want something in life get off your backside, and do it yourself!! don't rely on others to do it for you

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Post time 2019-1-20 18:56:43 |Display all floors
parcher Post time: 2019-1-20 18:42
i am currently in dalian on my long overdue break.....
i am using Fast trains And flying to get arou ...

It s good to travel

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