This week was a national holiday in China, which means that millions of people spent the week traveling through the country. National holidays are notoriously crowded in China–it’s never a good idea to travel on the first or last day of a holiday because it’s nearly impossible to get a ticket. Major tourist attractions are also unbearably crowded. A few photos of the Great Wall are circulating on the web–the crowd is so large that people might feel claustrophobic just from viewing the photos.
While I never experienced a crowd quite like those photos, I saw my fair share. After my first year, I made an attempt to either travel outside China or to less popular destinations within China during national holidays. During my first year, I took a trip to Jiuzhaigou National Park in Sichuan Province for the May holiday and witnessed this crowd around Five-Color Lake. On the second day in the park, I was given advice on avoiding the crowds and was much happier.