Tourpocalyse photos during China’s National Day holidays never get old

Alia | October 3rd, 2013 - 8:58 pm

There is no better time than China’s annual “golden week” National Day holidays to get a feel of how many people China really has – so many that to use the term “tourist apocalypse” isn’t an exaggeration. Even the US federal government has been shut down so that pouring Chinese tourists won’t flood its national parks. 

In almost every tourism destination, it’s “people mountain people sea,” as the Chinese would describe it. An extreme example is the famous Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan province. On Wednesday, a lack of buses and long traffic jams to and from the mountain left thousands of tourists stranded for some 11 hours. Some of those who didn’t get a chance to see anything other than other people even mobbed the ticket office for a refund. Armed police were dispatched to keep order.

One guy who made it back successfully described his time at Jiuzhagou as “11 hours of chaos, anger, desperation and starvation,” which sounds more like Lost than vacation. 





Other places, while better than Jiuzhaigou, can also be said to be hell-like.

Beijing, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It’s reported that some 110,000 people went to see the flag-raising ceremony on the National Day (Oct.1) and left some 5 tons of trash.






Mogao Caves in the western province of Gansu had so many visitors that the carbon level in several of its caves reached dangerous level for those thousand-year-old painting within. Some caves may have to close as a result. 


Hangzhou, West Lake 




The ancient town of Fenghuang


 The Yellow Mountain 


Gulangyu Island


Zhouzhuang, a town in Jiangsu province


Shanghai, The Bund




Beijing, the Great Wall (of people)



Even more amazing is the fact that most of these tourists got to their destinations through epic traffic jams like the below one in Guangdong. Lesson of the day? Stay at home during public holidays in China! 



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11 Responses to “Tourpocalyse photos during China’s National Day holidays never get old”

  1. [...] 如同去年在四川著名旅游景点九寨沟的情景一样 ,大量的人为污染,再加上令人窒息的人群,内地旅游环境的日渐恶劣可能促使更多的游客在今年的黄金周选择出境游。尽管尚无官方数据,但黄金周出境旅游的人数涨幅超出了整体旅游人数涨幅, 这完全符合国际旅游将在2014年增长18%的预测。 [...]

  2. [...] at many of China’s holidaying spots, coupled with suffocating crowds such as those at Sichuan’s famous Jiuzhaigou Valley last year, were expected to drive more tourists to leave the Mainland during this year’s Golden [...]

  3. [...] Tourpocalypse during China’s™ Golden Week [...]

  4. [...] – Tourpocalyse photos during China’s National Day holidays never get old – fastlandets «Golden Week» var i begynnelsen av oktober, og en uke fri førte [...]

  5. AlanR says:

    Come to Manchester. There are a few of us left who speak English but we are becoming the silent few.

  6. [...] there. You won’t get to see anything except crowds!” went the refrain.  Look at enough photo series like this, and you can see what they [...]

  7. [...] time.  and with tourism growing so rapidly throughout the country (as evidenced, more recently, by the deluge of tourists that swamped the country during the most recent ‘Golden Week’ hol…), there is a great deal of competition and urgency to put one’s town or village or city on [...]

  8. [...] Tourpocalyse photos during China's National Day holidays never … [...]

  9. [...] see a post from Offbeat China containing many pictures of what they’ve dubbed “tourpocalypse.” For more on Golden Week and tourism, see prior CDT [...]

  10. Ed Sander says:

    I think that should be ‘people mountain people SEA’ (ren shan ren hai).

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