If you’ve ever been to China during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), you know how impossible it is to make travel plans or book tickets during that time, as the whole country prepares to make the journey back home to see family and friends. It’s nice if you’re a foreigner living in a major metropolitan area, as whole cities empty out, traffic disappears, and you get a temporary respite from the sounds of construction.
Train tickets are particularly impossible to come by, as trains are the cheapest and most popular way return home. This article addresses a couple of ways that the transport authorities plan to address the problem this year.
It’s also interesting to note that bank cards (debit / credit cards) have been almost useless in China until the last decade or so, as restaurants, bars, smaller hotels, ticket offices and grocery stores rarely accept them. This, as we can see from this article, is gradually changing.