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'Golden Week' celebration gears up
Updated: 2005-05-02 09:11

From north to south, west to east, Chinese people began May Day, also the first day of the "Golden Week" holiday, in various ways of entertainment and celebrations.

A boy and a girl enjoy boat time at a amusement park May 1, 2005. [xinhua]

More than 30,000 people from across the country gathered at Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing early Sunday morning, witnessing the flag-raising ceremony.

Xiao An, an 18-year-old college student, said her desire to study hard and serve the motherland was even stronger when the national flag was being raised.

From May 1 to 7, Beijing's railways are expected to carry about 1.9 million passengers, who are mainly bound for famous tourist destinations such as Yantai, Qingdao, Zhangjiajie, Dalian in eastern, central and northeastern China, said the municipal railway bureau.

The bureau will use an additional 18 pairs of trains running on the lines from Beijing to Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, Handan, Shanghai, Yantai, Zhangjiajie, Nanchang, Dalian and Harbin.

Parks in Beijing played host to more than 620,000 visitors on Sunday, according to preliminary estimates.

Hong Kong's Immigration Department expects 4.25 million people to pass through Hong Kong's land, sea and air control points during the holiday period, up 16 percent year on year.

According to the department, by 5:00 p.m. Sunday 156,00 people had entered Hong Kong by land, air and sea. In the upcoming week 460,000 Chinese mainland tourists are expected to visit the special administrative region.

Industrial insiders estimate that combined retail sales in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, would soar 40 percent during this year's May Day holiday.

"Business has been brisk since this morning," said Chen Xue, who owns a clothes store at Zhongshan Road in the city.

Genghis Khan's mausoleum, located in Ejin Horo Banner on the Ordos Highlands in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China, has seen a sharp surge in the number of visitors in recent days as the Golden Week holiday coincides with the traditional Spring Sacrifice ritual for the founder of the Mongol Empire.

According to Nachurge, deputy director of the Genghis Khan Mausoleum Administration, more than 10,000 people come to visit the site every day, with the number of visitors reaching a record high of 20,000 on April 29.

Big influx of tourists was also witnessed in major scenic spots such as Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, east China.

The China National Tourism Administration said it received 53 complaints from tourists on May 1, 24 of them about airline services, but all of them were "minor."

No reports on traffic accidents involving casualties of tourists have been heard in the first day of the week-long holiday.

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