Congested, overflowing, dirty and just not all that much fun – that’s what the front page of today’s Sanxiang City News (三湘都市报) from Hunan (湖南) province thought of this year’s Golden Week holiday that finished yesterday. A host of front pages today carry the similar refrain of a Chinese holiday turned sour by endless crowds, record numbers of travellers, gridlocked traffic, and mountains of trash left behind.
The Sanxiang City News describes how all the scenic spots in Hunan province were chock full of people the whole holiday, with attendance rates at various spots up 20-40% compared to last year. Yet poor Dadong Mountain district (大东山) in Xiangtan (湘潭市) received almost 30,000 visitors on the third day of the holiday, which is a year-on-year increase of 2,341%. Everywhere in Hunan during the holiday, Sanxiang City News complains, you could see cars with number plates from other provinces, and on the road leading out of the provincial capital Changsha (长沙) there was a traffic jam of five kilometres. In another article, the newspaper described the more than 20 tons of rubbish that had to cleaned up every single day in the holiday at Martyr’s Square in Changsha.
These sentiments about crowds, traffic jams and trash have been repeated in newspapers from across China today:
All this just goes to show that if you’re looking to have a ‘relaxed time’ you should under no circumstances travel in Chinese public holidays.