Why vacations in China cause more stress, not less

The Chinese government has started to solicit public opinion about changing the country’s vacation schedules. Currently, Chinese get three “Golden Weeks” off per year. These include weeklong vacations around May 1st Labor Day, October 1st National Day and Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year). The net vacation time is less than this suggests, however, as workers must make up for the extra time off by working on the previous weekend. The Chinese government is now considering replacing one or more of the Golden Weeks with multiple one-day holidays spread out over the year.

The reason? The Golden Weeks cause huge stresses and strains on China’s transportation and tourism infrastructure. In a country of 1.4 billion people, one can imagine what happens to trains, planes and hotels when the entire country is suddenly on the move at the same time each year. In Hong Kong, where the Red Cat Journal is based, the immense influx of mainland Chinese tourists during the Golden Weeks strains Hong Kong’s vast shopping infrastructure, no mean feat. If you plan to visit China or Hong Kong on a vacation of your own, try to avoid the Golden Weeks.