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China Tour Planning: Dates to Avoid   

When planning a trip to China, you should consider that there are over 1.39 billion people living in the country. During national holidays and events, such as the Chinese New Year and National Day week, there are many people who either leave their home to travel or return to their family. This can lead to overcrowding in train stations and airports, as well as major tourist attractions, causing unfairly increased prices. Follow our expert guide for more information on the specific dates and places to avoid throughout the year to make sure your China trip is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

National Day (October 1-7)

Summary: Definitely Avoid

Public Transportation: Overcrowded

Tourism Sites: Overcrowded

Price of Travel: Highly increased prices for lodging and flights

Make sure to avoid this 7-day national Chinese holiday if possible! Countless Chinese families choose this time to travel around the country, leading to overcrowding in nearly all tourist attractions and public transportation stations. In addition, the more convenient high-speed train tickets to the major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are easily sold out. For the hotels and tickets still available, prices are highly increased to reflect this very crowded time.

If you happen to be travelling during National Day week, we still have some tips that could help you. The peak times for Chinese travel groups is usually in the early morning. By avoiding this time and the travel groups, you can save up to an hour of waiting time at most restaurants and tourist attractions. Quieter areas of west China, such as the Guizhou and Xinjiang provinces, are still reasonable in terms of crowding and prices and you may want to consider touring those areas rather than the larger cities. To avoid price increases, finalize all hotel bookings and flight tickets long before the price increases take place.

Chinese New Year

Summary: Possibly Avoid

Public Transportation: Overcrowded

Tourism Sites: Low Capacity

Price of Travel: Lower

During the Chinese New Year, all forms of transportations are heavily overcrowded as people rush to buy tickets and travel home to spend the celebrations with their families. This rush period usually occurs two weeks before the festival date, and roughly three weeks after for a total period of about 40 days.

Although the crowded transportation is a reason to avoid these dates, it is also the best time for travelers to experience the traditional festivities and celebrations that only happen during the Chinese New Year. Throughout many cities, there are unique fairs and performances that celebrate the traditional culture of the residents and the nation.

If you need to travel between cities during your trip, the best time to do so is during the 4 or 5 days after the festival begins. From January 24 – 30, 2020, the majority of Chinese families will stay at home to celebrate with family, leaving travelers with less crowded situations as well as cheaper and more available tickets, especially by plane.

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