AS you may know, last week was Golden Week in China. Owing to a clash of the moon and October 1, the country got the week off for Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day combined. Some residents chose to take advantage of this situation by getting out and seeing some of the sights that make Chinese people so proud ...
|Here's one of them. This is what I like to call "The Great|
Wall of China". I'm fudging a bit here, for this is the rest
of my family on the wall at a place called Mutianyu,
taken in 2008.
|However, this is Mutianyu last Tuesday,|
October 2. We were there again owing to
a visit by friends from Australia. See how
it's a bit more crowded?
And this isn't even the closest part of the Wall to Beijing.
This is ...
|Here was the scene, also last Tuesday, at|
beautiful Badaling - a place for the proud
hearted, if not the faint hearted.
Let's check in on another popular location in the middle of Beijing - the Forbidden City - made famous as the set for the film The Last Emperor.
|Here it is, on my last visit, in May, 2011.|
|And here it is the time before that. On an average day, the|
emperors' old palace receives a whopping 40,000 visitors.
But last Tuesday ...
|... there were 182,000 of them. It was the highest attendance|
for a single day at the palace in history.
|Officials reported something of a back-up at the turnstiles.|
|But across the road in Tiananmen Square, at least there|
were no turnstiles to negotiate.
If there's one thing the Chinese love more than walls, palaces and squares, it's statistics. Here are a few:
After the government generously waived the fees for toll roads for the week, 85 million people took to the highways on October 1 - a 13 per cent increase on last year.
Over the first four days of the holiday, 18.2 million people visited 119 tourist sites in China. On day five the government moved to ease gridlock by allowing cars with fewer than seven seats to pass through toll booths without stopping.
Over the week, an estimated 740 million road trips were made. Railways carried 60.9 million passengers. By the end, those 119 sites were drew 34 million people, up 20 per cent on last year. Rather than applause, the decision to waive the tolls on roads drew widespread criticism, as many social media devotees said the money wasted on gridlock could have been spent on schools and hospitals.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Phursday Photo Phun ...
If you went to the Forbidden City, hopefully you obeyed this ...
But there were no such hot tips on how to behave at the Great Wall ...
Perhaps instructions like these, seen at a children's ride at Beijing's Chaoyang Park, are more to your liking ...
|It's not just a ride - it's a searching mental test.|
Later on, we found our favourite cafe was closed for the week ...
... so we thought about pizza instead, though I wasn't sure I should take my wife.
Finally, it was time to end a big Golden Week with a massage. Some of you might remember this place ...
|It's a carefully thought up name for what is, cutting the|
nonsense, a house of ill repute.
But just around the corner, there's this ...
|If you consider what was on offer in the saloons of the wild|
west, this name is probably closer to the mark.
Thanks for reading, readers! More next Monday in the next instalment of The Tiger Father And Family Do America!