To travel or not to travel this Oc­to­ber hol­i­day

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - TWO CENTS - By Lisa Linssen

Every year be­fore China’s Golden Week hol­i­day I de­bate with my­self the same ques­tion: do I go trav­el­ing or do I stay in Bei­jing? And if I stay in Bei­jing, do I plan on sight­see­ing or just re­lax at home and try to leave my apart­ment as lit­tle as pos­si­ble? I am not the only per­son in this dilemma; most con­ver­sa­tions I have with friends in the weeks prior to Golden Week are whether to travel or to stay.

This year at least, most of my friends, in­clud­ing my­self, de­cided to stay at home. Why are we not will­ing to use those free days to go travel and ex­pe­ri­ence more from China, you may ask? There are mul­ti­ple fac­tors for this de­ci­sion.

Dur­ing Golden Week, you have a week of free time which is per­fect to travel around China. Since its au­tumn, most places will have very pleas­ant tem­per­a­tures, not too hot any­more and not too cold, yet. And a week is a per­fect amount of time to dis­cover new places that are a lit­tle fur­ther away from Bei­jing, such as the Yel­low Moun­tain, the grass­lands of In­ner Mon­go­lia or the “Avatar” moun­tains in Hu­nan Prov­ince.

But since it is such a per­fect time and op­por­tu­nity to travel, you will not be the only per­son with that idea. So, the down­side of trav­el­ing dur­ing Golden Week is that it will be very crowded! If you do not like crowds, try at least more un­known sights or more un­pop­u­lar re­gions, for ex­am­ple North China.

At the same time, those seven days eas­ily tempt you into stay­ing in Bei­jing. Bei­jing is such a vast and fast city that there are al­ways many new things to dis­cover which, dur­ing a reg­u­lar work week, one just can­not find the time for.

Bei­jing of­fers so many his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural sights to see and do that a week can eas­ily be filled with ac­tiv­i­ties. But since Bei­jing is such a lu­cra­tive city for sight­see­ing, dur­ing Golden Week, you won’t be the only per­son around the cap­i­tal’s his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural sites. There­fore, this year, hav­ing done ev­ery­thing else in pre­vi­ous years, I de­cided to stay in Bei­jing, re­lax and un­wind and stay away from the tourist hotspots. Nev­er­the­less, I still seek to dis­cover new places in Bei­jing and do things that I al­ways meant to do. There are at least five break­fast places and three bars I meant to try. There are so many ar­eas that I have never been to and have no clue what they are like. Next week, my goal is to take the sub­way and get off at least two stops that I have never been to and walk around. And of course, on my list are more ob­vi­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, such as go­ing to the gym and fi­nally fin­ish­ing my book, re­or­ga­niz­ing my closet as well as re­pot­ting my plants. Be­cause Golden Week not only gives me the time to re­lax and dis­cover but also to fi­nally do a lot of things that have been on my list for­ever that I just never had the time to do.

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