Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Spring Rush.

The crowds at the train stations during The Spring Rush

The Spring Rush (a.k.a. Chunyun) is such a phenomenal event, it has its own Wikipedia page. It happens very year before and after the Chinese New Year which, in Chinese we call it the Spring Festival. The Spring Rush is the time while an overwhelmingly large number of migrates going back to or return from their hometown for the Chinese New Year, this movement costs the air, train and bus transportation system heavily overloaded and crowed in a period of 15 days before the Chinese New Year and 25 days after the Chinese New Year. It was estimated there were about 3 billion people traveled during the last year's Spring Rush.

If you are a native of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou and a few other major migration cities in China. You probably never have to experience the Spring Rush, unless you work in other province. So, I basically have no idea about the Spring Rush until recent years when it becomes a bigger and bigger event and consistently became the headline news of the period. As I decided to spend my Chinese New Year with my family in Shanghai this year. I was naive enough to think I can also do a little bit of backpack traveling along the Yangtze River to shoot my Chinese Sentiment project. Everyone kind of laughed at me and suggested me perhaps to check out the train station before I pack my stuffs. The answer is always: "NO WAY!"

Except one person who brave enough to figure out the train adventure I have been dreaming about. That is my friend and travel companion Miss BaiBai. Luckily, the air tickets is not as demanded as the train tickets, we still managed to get a air tickets to Chongqing where the Three Gorges Dam is close by. BB is a world traveler, a filmmaker turn photographer, who has traveled to many brutal areas in the world, and worked for many A-list travel magazines. BB suggested we should take a train ride from central China back to Shanghai to experience the Spring Rush. Along with the suggestion, there is a few Gursky inspired images for my visual pleasure (above). First of all, I was scared, there is a lot of "what if", then it seems like such a rare adventure to take in China. So BB has pulled some of her connections to get a train tickets. OMG! I am already stressed out!

In contrast, my trip before the Chinese New Year has planned beautifully. I will visit Xiamen, a exotic southeast coast beach city, with a repetition as China's best city to live. I have already invited to present my work in an art event organized by 32HOW - a local creative organization, and stay in their newly opened 21Howtel. HOW FABULOUS!

I am heading to Shanghai on this Thursday, can't wait to see the city in the Spring spirit.


fhfh said...

When I go to Shanghai from Beijing, I often book tickets through, and every time I'm surprised to find such discounted prices for china domestic flights.

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