Travelling in China during May Day National Holidays
Oh My Goodness, I made my first (and only) major travel mistake in China in 2011. I had been in Beijing for four months and as May 1st was a public holiday I hired a driver and with a friend started out early to visit Shidu Nature Park. What I didn’t know was that ‘every single person’ in Beijing was also on the same road.
It usually takes about 2.5 hours to reach Shidu but after five and a half hours we were still driving in what was like a car park and our driver told us that based on the traffic, we still had over an hour to go before we reached the park. I asked him to turn around and go back to Beijing…one lane of traffic had turned into about four and many of the other drivers had the same idea…just look at the grief on the passengers face..like us, she was ‘over it’…
We intended to go straight to Beijing but our driver said we drive straight past Shangfang Mountain so we could stop there for a break. We agreed!!
Mount Shangfang is the largest national forest park in Northern China and ‘heavenly ladders’ lead up to the peak where, along the way you can see relics of temples in the mountains. The park covers an area of 3.293 million square metres and is an offshoot of the Yan Mountains which is a major mountain range in China.
However I must say it was now mid afternoon so we decided to take the cable car to the top (and I was feeling a bit tired to even consider walking up the thousands of steps). But Oh My Goodness, the cable car was so (so) high off the ground.
But the views from the cable car were worth the terrifying ride.
So I learnt a valuable lesson in my first year of living in China; NEVER travel on a Chinese public holiday!!