China travel

China travel

Pandemic fog hangs over Chinese New Year travel plans
Every year, we read headlines about the "world's largest human migration" when millions of Chinese people leave their places of work to head home and visit the family during the Lunar New Year.  But this year, a cloud hangs over the holiday period as China continues to battle sporadic outbreaks of Covid-19 across the country.  The 40-day travel season kicked off on Thursday, and the transport ministry estimated 1.2 billion trips would be made over the holiday period. But while that number sounds high, that number would be a 60% drop from 2019, underscoring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  The airport reported about a 50% drop in passenger traffic on Thursday compared with the usual
China’s new airline takes flight for the first time with domestically-made jetliner
China’s latest airline has completed its maiden flight using a home-grown jetliner, signifying China’s continuing ambitions to be a world leader in aerospace.  The nearly two-hour commercial flight from Shanghai to Beijing was the first flight for One Two Three (OTT) Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines.    The company used a 90-seater ARJ21 jet for the flight, China’s first domestically made plane. The ARJ21 went into service in 2016.  The ARJ21 was manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), which has spent the past decade developing its own commercial aircraft as it seeks to break the Boeing and Airbus manufacturing duopoly.  While it is still early days
Want to tour Beijing? Airbnb may not be a feasible option
The Chinese capital has dealt a significant blow to Airbnb in the city by banning short-term stays in the city’s heart, saying they could create a security problem.  The ban affects the Dongcheng district, which includes famous tourist attractions like Tiananmen Square, Zhongshan Park and the Forbidden City. It also applies to the Xicheng district, a popular area for dining. A ban on short-term stays essentially kills the Airbnb business model in the areas.  Beijing said criminal networks and terrorists could use short-term stays at Airbnbs, and the ban aims at improving security in the “core central administrative zone” that is home to China’s top officials. The ban is set to come into effe
Chinese granny finds freedom in ‘Eat Pray Love’ road trip
After living with a nitpicking husband for over 30 years, supporting her daughter to finish university and raising her grandchildren to preschool age, 56-year-old Su Min decided it was time for her to be just herself. While most of the Chinese women at her age would be babysitting their grandchildren or cooking and washing clothes for their husbands, Su started a solo road trip in September with her white Volkswagen Polo that she bought with two years’ savings from taking odd jobs. Without a planned destination or a return date, she drove away from her home in Zhengzhou, a transportation hub in central China, to claim responsibility for her own contentment for the first time. “When I left t
Pandemic fuels an RV boom in China
2020 is the year many Chinese people rediscovered the plethora of travel opportunities within their borders.  The global coronavirus pandemic created strict border controls in China, but the ability of the country to contain the virus has allowed people within China to live a reasonably normal life for the past six months.  And as Chinese people look toward domestic tourism to scratch that travel fix, a small but growing number has been taking the road less traveled, and RVs are suddenly a popular transportation mode. “We took in the Great Wall, Miaofeng Mountain and the Fragrant Hills,” says Zhou Ziyan who, for around US$140 a day, booked an RV in October. The Beijinger and her boyfriend s
Next time you fly, don't forget your Covid passport
Traveling may not look the same for years after the coronavirus pandemic, starting with the need to get a “Covid-19 passport” to fly in the future. There are several forms of digital health passes in development, the latest of which is a Travel Pass from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association based in Canada. The pass would serve as a “digital passport” with testing or vaccination certification for passengers.  The IATA app – which will likely include a global registry of health requirements for travel as well as testing and vaccination centers – is expected to launch at the beginning of next year, the latest effort to ensure safe travel during a global pande
Kyoto is not necessarily clamoring for the return of Chinese tourists
The coronavirus might have curtailed international travel from China, but it hasn’t stopped what the United Nations World Tourism Organization identified as “the leading tourism outbound market in the world both in departure numbers as well as total expenditure” from wanting to explore beyond the nation’s borders.  In lieu of real-life expeditions, they have been making do with tours of popular destinations, including the Palace of Versailles, in France, and London’s British Museum, live-streamed by travel companies. On November 9, Alibaba’s travel platform Fliggy joined forces with the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) to “bring popular tourist attractions in Kyoto online to Chinese neti
Temperature checks have a terrible record of failing to detect coronavirus
Temperature checks have become the new normal in airports, offices and even some residential buildings as authorities rush to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.  (Where did the coronavirus come from? How to prevent infections? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the coronavirus.) Despite their widespread use, medical and public health experts have said temperature checks are unlikely to detect infected people. Are ‘temperature guns’ reliable and accurate? Handheld, non-contact infrared thermometers, or “temperature guns,” have emerged as a popular device to screen people for fevers during viral outbreaks. The guns can quickly measure surface temperature without touching people’s
Coronavirus: Airports beef up screening of passengers
As the coronavirus spreads globally, airports and airlines are heightening their screening of passengers coming from mainland China. Airports around the world have enacted temperature screenings for passengers, and face masks at airports have become more common. Major airlines like British Airways and American Airlines have started to suspend flights to and from mainland China.
Getting home for Lunar New Year
It is the 2020 Lunar New Year holiday, and 11-year-old Xiaoxiao and her little brother are at home with their grandparents in a remote part of central China. They are anxiously waiting for the Spring Festival reunion dinner when their parents return from their jobs in southern Guangdong province. Like hundreds of millions of rural migrant workers in China, Chen and Liu travel home only once a year. The travel rush over the holiday period, which lasts up to 40 days, is considered the largest annual human migration in the world.