Find­ing a route to sim­pler plea­sures

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By CHINA DAILY

Li Xin­lei is plan­ning a trip to Dun­huang in north­west­ern China’s Gansu prov­ince. Ru­mor has it that some an­cient grot­toes might be closed soon to pro­tect them from rough weather, and he wants to see them be­fore it is too late.

Thirty-year-old Li is a travel en­thu­si­ast, and has jour­neyed to most of China, with only the Yun­nan-Guizhou Plateau and north­west­ern re­gion left on his wish list.

“I travel as of­ten as time per­mits, with a lim­ited bud­get,” said Li.

Li sel­dom chooses star-rated ho­tels, in­stead, he stays in youth hos­tels and inns, where trav­el­ers share rooms or suites. Prices per per­son can be low as 50 yuan ($7.20) a day, and newly met trav­el­ers can make friends and travel to­gether.

There is also abun­dant room for cost-sav­ing in trans­porta­tion. In­ter-city buses, car-pool­ing and hitch­hik­ing are Li’s fre­quent choices. Some places are ideal for trav­el­ing on foot: He had an in­tense four-day hike in snow-capped moun­tains of Muoto in the Ti­bet au­tonomous re­gion.

Doc­tor can­di­date Geng Zhaowei, 26, drove a rented van from Ohio to Cal­i­for­nia in a 20-day trip in the United States in July, and camped in na­tional parks to ex­pe­ri­ence a sim­pler va­ca­tion. Book­ing a camp­site for one night costs $20 to $26.

New grad­u­ate Bu Yusi usu­ally books tick­ets ahead of time and stud­ies travel guides on­line on sites such as Mafengwo and Qyer to trim ex­penses. When she trav­eled from Bei­jing to Tai­wan in April, she chose to make two tran­sits by plane and ship. The price was roughly 1,300 yuan, or half the price of a di­rect flight ticket.

“Not only did I save money, but I en­joyed a fan­tas­tic sea jour­ney,” she said.

Her 15-day trip in Tai­wan cost roughly 9,000 yuan. The daily spend­ing per capita of the 4 mil­lion main­land trav­el­ers to Tai­wan was 1,521 yuan in 2015. Bu’s spend­ing was only 40 per­cent of the av­er­age.

Though with big­ger bud­get now, Li prefers im­mers­ing into lo­cal cul­ture rather than seek­ing out lux­u­ri­ous plea­sure. He re­cently dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy, and an­tic­i­pates cap­tur­ing the beauty of wild deserts and grot­toes in Dun­huang.

He Fei contributed to this story.

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