Sometimes, having a wonderful trip depends on whether you have done enough preparation or not. If you are planning a trip to China, don’t forget to avoid certain dates, such as Chinese public holidays. If not, you will be upset to find that you are continually surrounded by huge tourist crowds. It’s easy to avoid these dates if you know when they are, so we have listed the dates you should avoid here for you:
|About 3 days
|Chinese New Year
|About 7 days
|Heavy traffic jams
|The Dragon Boat Festival
|The Mid-Autumn Festival
|National Day Holiday
|Crowded and heavy traffic jams
National Day Holiday — the Main One to Avoid
- Duration: 7 days
- Dates: October 1–7
- Features: very crowded, the worst traffic conditions, and expensive travel prices
For most Chinese people, the National Day holiday is the longest public holiday so you can imagine how crowded it gets with everyone traveling at the same time. It’s hard to breathe in such a huge crowd. Moreover, the travel prices are about three times higher than on normal days.
Chinese Spring Festival
- Duration: about 7 days
- Dates: usually from mid to late January until early February
- Feature: poor traffic conditions
The Spring Festival is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. People go back home from all corners of China and reunite with their family members, causing terrible traffic conditions across the country. It is extremely difficult to get hold of a ticket, whether you’re hoping to travel by train, airplane, or bus. Many shops will be closed and it’s generally not a convenient time for travelers.
- Duration: about 3 days
- Dates: around May 1st
- Features: crowded, expensive, and poor traffic conditions
Labor Day is not a traditional Chinese holiday but, if the weather is comfortable, it’s a good opportunity to do all kinds of outdoor activity. Therefore, many people like to travel to cities near to where they live.
Other Holidays You Should Avoid
Most Chinese public holidays last for 3 days, including the New Year, Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Chinese people like to have dinner with their families or friends during traditional holidays and take part in some form of entertainment after the meal, such as going to KTV, playing cards, or having a barbecue on the side of a street.
As the high-speed rail network connects many of China’s cities, some people prefer to go to other cities to spend their holiday days there. It is always difficult to buy high-speed train tickets for the best seats and journey duration during holidays, and some popular local restaurants are also packed with Chinese people.
If you have to visit China during these dates for whatever reason, here are some helpful tips for you:
- Book your train tickets in advance. Tickets will be sold out quicker than you can possibly imagine. Try to buy your train tickets in advance as early as possible.
- Reserve your hotel in advance. Good hotels that provide a nice service are popular during peak times. Reserve your hotel online a week in advance to ensure you get a satisfactory one.
- Avoid going out at the peak times. Traffic conditions are terrible during the early morning period and before dinner.
- Don’t go to popular attractions, such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the site of the Terracotta Army.
Visiting attractions that are far away from the city areas or going to some quieter places will help you enjoy your trip more. Traveling in China during public holidays can be very stressful. Try to avoid it or to find places to visit that not so many people will know about. If, however, you have arrived in China during these days, don’t worry and just enjoy your trip whatever circumstances you encounter.