This past week in China has been “Golden Week”. It’s a yearly national holiday from 1st – 7th October and was originally intended to help promote domestic travel within China. As workers here tend to have very little time off, this time of year is a great chance for them to travel to different places with friends and family. It’s also a good opportunity to stay put and enjoy a much more peaceful city than normal!
During this week, every year, flight prices rocket, train tickets sell out in the time it takes to blink and roads jam. Speaking from personal experience, you should forget travelling to any well-known tourist site as you can bet your money a vast majority of the population will be there too. See the crowds in the pictures from Jinli (one of Chengdu’s “old towns”) from Golden Week 2012! That being said, if you know of a place that isn’t so popular you should definitely take the time to explore.
This year, we decided to stay in Chengdu. Having just purchased a couple of new bicycles, Harry and I decided to go on a bike ride. The roads were clear, the weather was fantastic and, for once, the city felt peaceful!
One of the charms of city living is the hustle and bustle, but everyone needs a break from that every now and then. We had no real plan of where to go but I found that aimlessly cycling around, taking in how beautiful this city actually is, really made my “I love China” buzz come back.
Bikes are pretty cheap here so even if you only come for a holiday it’s definitely worth looking at picking one up for a different (and healthier!) way of exploring the city.
Have you cycled in Chengdu, or any other city? What’s your favourite part of exploring the city in this way?