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David Wertime

Amazing Images: Chinese Tourist Season Rapidly Becoming an Overcrowded Disaster

Sometimes words fail even the wordsmiths at Tea Leaf Nation. But let us venture a brief try: By all appearances, China’s high tourist season is rapidly descending into a crowded mess at many of the country’s most popular sites. Images circling on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, tell the story better than even the most breathless narrator could. So let us conclude by invoking an icon that has lately become popular among stunned netizens:   

[围观][围观][围观][围观][围观][围观][围观][围观][围观]

Tea Leaf Nation features some of the most memorable images from Weibo and their accompanying tweets below:

@东方早报 writes, “On the evening of October 2, a large number of tourists got stuck on Huashan mountain, and got into a conflict when they tried to return their sightseeing tickets. According to Xinhua [news service], although the Huashan sightseeing [workers] took emergency measures in advance of the tourist crush, they failed to actually warn the tourists. Experts say that since the [crush] is good for business, some scenic areas felt that warning tourists would affect their revenues.”{{1}}[[1]]【华山滞留游客与景区发生冲突:景区怕发了预警少了游客】2日晚大批游客滞留华山,因退票问题与景区发生冲突。新华社称,华山景区虽提前启动应急预案应对客流高峰,却没有提前向游客发布预警。专家说,受商业利益驱动,一些景区认为发布预警会影响游客数量和地方收入。[[1]]

@杭州同城会 writes, “Statistics from the police at Xihu Lake show: The flow of people at Xihu on October 1 reached 900,000 visits, which is 50,000 more than the 40,000 from two days ago! And yesterday…On Duanqiao Bridge [literally meaning "broken bridge"] you can’t see the bridge at all, just people! Netizens are worrying the bridge will actually break!!! PS: Are you going to take a walk around Xihu today?” {{2}}[[2]]【堵城模式全面开启!】西湖景区公安分局统计:10月1日西湖景区人流量达到90万人次,比前天的40万人次还多了50万!而昨天…断桥现在已经只看得到人,看不到桥了!网友惊呼断桥真的要断了!!! PS:今天要不要去西湖走一圈呢?[[2]]

@南方都市报 writes, “‘A sea of people everywhere’: Tens of thousands stuck on Huashan Mountain; over 20,000 stuck on Putuoshan mountain; over 10,000 can’t find a place to stay in Lijiang; more people than grains of sand on Dahaishan beach; Sanya beaches becoming trash fields; Gulangyu completely ‘occupied;’ the bridge in Xihu no longer visible; Huangshan mountain bursting with tourists; roads to Jiuzhaigou packed with unmoving traffic in the middle of the night; a sea of people at the Forbidden City; in and around the Great Wall can only be described as a vast sea of people.”  {{3}}[[3]]【人人风景区 到处人海茫茫】华山数万人滞留;普陀山2万多人滞留;丽江上万游客找不到住处;大梅沙海滩人比沙子多;三亚海滩成垃圾场;鼓浪屿全面“沦陷”;西湖见人不见桥;黄山游客爆满;九寨沟深夜十二点赴沟道路纹丝不动;故宫人山如潮,长城内外唯余人海茫茫。[[3]]

User @乐活北京 writes, “‘Those who don’t go to the Great Wall are not good Chinese [quoting Mao], [but] those who do go to the Great Wall are left standing and staring.’” The good Chinese who made it to the Badaling section of the Great Wall on October 2 really needed to have a lot of courage and patience to stand there!”{{4}}[[4]]【不到长城非好汉,到了长城全傻眼】10.2八达岭长城上的好汉们,要有多么大的勇气和毅力才能此时此刻站在长城上啊! [[4]]

@日本潮流在线 writes, “In Japan, people are used to keeping their trash with them and separating it out [for recycling] when they return home. Even after their dog poos, they will bag it and wipe the ground clean [see last photo]. But on the beaches and hightways at Sanya during National Day, there is trash everywhere. In seven years in Japan, I’ve never seen anything like this.” {{5}}[[5]]【我的LV里装的是垃圾】在日本,人们习惯了把垃圾带在身上,回到家里再分类扔掉。就连狗粪都会擦拭干净包起来再带回家(如图)。类似国庆节时海南三亚的海滩,高速公路上那样遍地是垃圾的情况,我在日本呆了7年都没看到过。[[5]]

Thanks to Rachel for spotting the above images.

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David Wertime

David is the co-founder and co-editor of Tea Leaf Nation. He first encountered China as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2001 and has lived and worked in Fuling, Chongqing, Beijing, and Hong Kong. He is a ChinaFile fellow at the Asia Society and an associate fellow at the Truman National Security Project.