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Posts: 209

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Q: October holiday - any places in China that won't be too crowded?

Hey guys,

 

During the October holiday (national day), I was thinking of going somewhere within China, but as this is my first time here, I don't know if it's super wise or not. Some people have told me not to travel during that period because it would be horribly crazy. Is that true?

 

Anyways, if I go somewhere a little more remote in China, would it still be as insane? Like Xinjiang or Yunnan or something. Would anyone have any recommendations for me? I'll be traveling with a friend with a friend who's quite decent in Chinese, so we could probably get by with communication.

Thanks!

7 years 34 weeks ago in  Transport & Travel - China

 
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Posts: 3046

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Those that have told you not to travel during that period of time have given you good advise, and yes, it is true.

The October 1 holiday is probably the second most active holiday in China, surpassed only by New Lunar Year.  It is at least one week of, some get a few more days.  And please, do not think because a location is remote, it will be with no huge crowds.  On any beach or water park in China you will find so many persons that you will hardly be able to see the sand under your feet.  Airports, train and bus stations will also be crowded, and in many cases Police will not allow you inside until one or two hours before your schedule departure.  And since bus and train tickets can not be bought until 10 days prior, be prepared for long lines just to buy the darn ticket.  I have done it, and I must say I did not have fun, because I am not at ease with huge crowds around me.  

 

But if you decide to go, do make reservations at hotels or whatever in advance, do request written confirmation, be aware of transportation ticket forgeries, and watch out for pickpockets, those days are their Xmas time.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Any city outside of Urumqi in Xinjiang wont be busy. Yunnan in some places will be busy as places like Dali get packed in holiday season. Also look at a trip to a neighboring countries like Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Vietnam

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Xinjiang is typically pretty quiet, but I took a trip a few weeks ago to one of the region's major attractions (Jiao-he). Our guide said that the site saw ten-thousand people on the May Day public holiday. The day we went, there were a small handful of people.

 

So, unfortunately, I'm not sure you can even count on Xinjiang to be uncrowded (at the attractions, anyway) during peak travel times. Sorry.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1154

Shifu

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1.4 billion people cmon lmao when you find  a place that is not crowded let me know

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Go across the Ningxia desert by camel.

 

HK, Taiwan, Macau.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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Tourist areas in China, anytime anywhere are crowded...i haven't seen how it looks like during October holiday in China. As I am from Nepal, I make a date with my friends (from anywhere but mostly Germany as I was there for long) and I go back to Nepal and just enjoy trek. I usually avoid the big festival seasons in China and in doing so, last spring festival I went to Germany for a month. 

Though, this year I am thinking to go for trek somewhere in China (Khunming or Sichuan). Tibet is also on my radar and looking for like minded people to travel. 

So, anyone interested to go to Nepal or  Trek inside China, people are welcome. I don't like big cities. BTW, I live in Guiyang and if someone is visiting around anytime, feel free to contact.  hahaha..it is not a promo...I surely don't like to travel to Beijing as I have been there many times (damn it, i was there two weeks ago and I have to be there again this week).

Earlier my colleague from USA told me Vietnam is good to travel. About Mongolia, I will tell you folks once I return from there in June/July.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
Posts: 650

Governor

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South China Sea shoal

Some  nice islands and not on most  Chinese holiday hot spots.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
Posts: 277

Governor

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On national Day last year, the city I was in (Yixing) became more crowded, because it is a tourist destination. All of the streets were a giant parking lot, and you couldn't even walk down the sidewalk because of the throngs. That was a good time to get out... but where to go? I went to Suzhou, and we were going to visit the Humble Administrator's Garden but the line was a tad bit long.

 

If you browse some destinations on wikitravel, it might say when good times of the year to visit are. Remember that expatriates are less than 1% of Chinese Tourists so it is definitely possible to "go against the flow".  I think some good criteria are: 1. Nearby, and 2. Not one of the most famous places in China. To find places, you might want to follow the train lines.

 

One thing you can do more easily than Chinese is ask for an extra day off before or after the holiday, to help you travel. Since the biggest impediment to traveling on holidays is often purchasing the tickets and hotels for the day itself, if you can get in a day ahead of time it means you can miss the crowd.

 

I'd highly recommend Dali, Yunnan. It is pretty remote - you have to take a long train ride or fly to Kunming then take a 4 hour bus ride or 6 hour train ride. It is also not as popular among Chinese anymore because (relatively) nearby Lijiang and Shangri-La have become more popular. Skip Xiaguan entirely and spend your time in the Old town. You can get cheap tours of the lake, hike in the Cangshan mountains, and pig out on tasty western-style food.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1318

Shifu

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I've done both the touristy stop during the holiday, as well as going to a small city and hiking into some nearby mountains to camp.  Expect nothing be a sea of people and a constant headache when traveling.  So it just depends on your tolerance for that kind of thing.  I would suggest either getting out of the country or just staying home.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I cant say where is the best place to go. But I will say that I went to Yangshuo during that holiday couple years ago.... i wish i had chosen elsewhere. Overcrowded, prices doubled.

 

I would think that going to somewhere off the beaten path, any touristy area is just shite during the holidays

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Thinking more about Xinjiang...

 

Maybe you could hire a guide to take you into the desert, camping for a few days? That would be awesome, and you'd definitely escape the crowds. Or go to Kashgar. The Urumqi Chinese seem a little scared of Kashgar, I don't think it would be high on most Han holiday lists!

 

 

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7 years 33 weeks ago
 
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