34 million visitors and other China Golden Week records

34 million visitors and other China Golden Week records

When China's population goes on extended vacation, statisticians have a field day
China Golden Week
A good test of the strength of the Great Wall of China.

China Golden Week is when 1.3 billion people are given eight days off from work -- at the same time.

And what happens?

Monster gridlock, tourist overload and a continuous "ka-ching" of cash registers resounding across the country.

This year, Golden Week coincided with the Mid-Autumn Festival and an usually large amount of people decided to travel.

Here are some incredible stats that came out of China Golden Week, between September 30 and October 7.

Day 1: The government decides that highways will go toll-free for Golden Week. Very generous.

But the result is vehicular paralysis as 86 million people take to the roads, a 13 percent increase on last year.

Drivers are seen walking their dogs and playing tennis as they wait for the traffic to move.

See incredible images of China's gridlock here.

China Golden WeekCrowds flood Tiananmen Square for China Golden Week.

October 2: The Forbidden City in Beijing has its highest attendance day ever -- 182,000 visitors go to the historical imperial palace.

On the same day, 2,000 tourists were stranded at a cable car station on Huashan Mountain in Shaanxi province, according to Xinhua.  

Visitors who decided to climb up the mountain by foot "managed to crawl up approximately one step each minute," said the Shanghaiist. The human gridlock is blamed for two tourists getting stabbed.

October 3: The number of travelers to 119 destinations in China in the first four days total 18.2 million people, an increase of 23 percent at the halfway point compared to the same time of last year's Golden Week. 

China Golden WeekThere's no need to walk as crowds push you along at the Forbidden City.

October 4: The Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen in Nanjing is visited by 215,000 people. This is 10 times the number of visitors on a regular busy day at the site.   

The government decides to take measures to ease gridlock across China. Vehicles with fewer than seven seats can pass through toll gates without stopping.

October 5, 6: Several camels reportedly die from exhaustion at Mingsha Shan, Dunhuang. The desert tourist destination has 1,000 camels for carrying tourists around the sandy dunes. Each camel can take 7 passengers per day.

But the camels couldn't keep up with the average of 8,000 visitors per day during Golden Week, according to Wenweipo. Some were worked till exhaustion and dropped dead.

October 7: The final calculation of total visitors to 119 scenic areas in China came to 34 million, that's a 20 percent increase from last year. 

Revenue from tourism totals RMB 1.77 billion. 

Between September 29 to October 6, domestic airlines transported 7.6 million people, railways carried 60.9 million passengers.

After traveling around the world on a fistful of dollars, Zoe returns to Hong Kong, where she grew up, to discover and write about all the inspiring stuff that happens here on a daily basis.

Read more about Zoe Li