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China has seven public holidays, they are the Spring Festival, New Year’s Day, the Qingming Festival, May Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day. During these public holidays, main scenic spots and tourist cities are packed with crowds. The transport system faces significantly increased traffic loads. Chinese New Year has the biggest impact on traffic loads.
There are also a number of other periods that cause travel rushes, such as the summer holiday in July and August, the beginning and end of university semesters, when there is also a rush for tickets.
Passengers at main cities’ airport always are doubled or even tripled during the holidays, especially during the National Day Week and Spring Festival. According to the latest data of Civil Aviation Administration of China, during the Spring Festival Holiday from February 4th to 10th, 2019, Chinese carriers performed 111,000 flights, transported 12.58 million passengers.
China’s busiest airports include Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport, Urumqi Airport, Chongqing Jiangbei Airport, Sanya Airport, Lijiang Airport and Harbin Airport.
Trains are the most popular means of transportation for Chinese travelers because of its extensive rail network and rapid development of high-speed rail. And this means of transportation has become more and more popular among western travelers.
During the Spring Festival, National Holiday week and the summer holiday, with tourists going for vacation and students leaving and returning schools, main train stations, such as Beijing South, Beijing West, Shanghai Hongqiao, Zhengzhou East, Hangzhou East, Xi’an North, Guangzhou South and Shenzhen North, etc. become extremely crowded.
During the holidays, Beijing, Zhangjiajie, Lijiang, Xiamen, Guilin and Chengdu are the most popular tourist destinations. Tourist attractions in these cities are always overcrowded during holiday times. You will find long queues everywhere at main attractions. It may take several hours to line up to visit a scenic spot.
During Chinese holidays, train tickets are sold out very fast. Tickets for popular rail routes may be sold out the second tickets are released. It is much harder to obtain train tickets than usual. Flight is an alternate option for travel, but you may find the price go up a lot even book weeks ahead.
During the Spring Festival, Qingming Festival, May Day Holiday, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Holiday, passenger cars with seven seats or less get a free pass on highways, which resulting massive traffic pressure on toll roads. It takes much more time to travel from one scenic spots to another by coach or tourist bus.
Due to the substantial volume of passengers and the difficulty of booking tickets during these public holidays, passengers are highly advised to make a booking 30 days in advance.
Find out more about How to Book Train Tickets in China.
China Highlights focuses on obtaining tickets for you at your request, with 100% effort put into the task. You are advised to give us two options: whether you are willing to take other seat classes available on the same train and/or whether you are willing to take the same class of tickets on other available trains. You should also write down your special requirements when booking on our web pages, so we can understand your needs better and be more flexible when booking your tickets. For example, we may be able to book D trains for passengers to a destination if a G train service is not available.
Chinese high-Speed trains have covered an increasing extensive rail network. They have been more and more popular because of their fast speed, punctuality, comfort and cleanness. High-speed trains are a good choice for travel during Chinese travel rushes. In addtion to better facilities, high-speed trains provide more friendly passenger service than non-bullet trains. In fact, high-speed trains have become the major transportation choice for the Spring Festival Travel Rush in 2019.
|Chinese Holidays||Dates in 2019|
|New Year’s Day||December 30th – January 1st (3 days)|
|Spring Festival||February 4th - 10th|
|Tomb-Sweeping Festival||April 5th - 7th (3 days)|
|May Day Holiday||May 1st - 3rd (3 days)|
|Dragon Boat Festival||June 7th - 9th (3 days)|
|Summer Holiday||July 1st - September 1st|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||September 13rd - September 15th (3 days)|
|National Day||October 1st - October 7th (7 days)|
Also read Traveling by Train During the Holidays.