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Sites overflowing with holiday visitors
By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-04 07:08

One Beijing city management officer said he had never seen so many people in Tian'anmen Square as he did on Saturday.

"The torrent of people is 10 times what it normally is," said the officer, who gave only his surname, Zhu.

It is "golden week" in China - one of three week-long holidays, this time for National Day - and across the country people are flooding to tourist sites.

According to the National Holiday Office, the major 126 scenic spots across China received 2.54 million tourists on Sunday alone - an average of more than 20,000 visitors per site.

Total ticket revenue reached 93.72 million yuan (US$11.57 million), an increase of 75.6 per cent over Saturday, the National Holiday Office said.

In Beijing, 56,100 people visited the Forbidden City on Saturday, exceeding its maximum capacity by 12 per cent. Other famous spots such as the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and Beihai Park are each receiving more than 30,000 tourists a day.

Statistics from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Parks showed nearly 1 million domestic and foreign tourists visited Beijing's parks and scenic spots on Saturday.

The huge crowds of tourists have also put the nation's transport network to the test.

According to an estimate by China's transport sector authorities, during the period from September 28 to October 7, passenger volume will surpass 380 million journeys.

About 1.12 million people arrived or left Beijing on Saturday, the National Holiday Office said.

The Beijing Transportation Management Bureau predicted that during the holiday, the city's bus-passenger volume will be 92 million fares, the subway 15 million and taxis 17 million.

The three subway stops near Tian'anmen Square - Qianmen, Tian'anmen East and Tian'anmen West - were closed from Saturday to today due to overcrowding. The Beijing Subway Company said they would be reopened tomorrow.

National Holiday Office officials also confirmed that none of the more than 800 Chinese tourists on the Indonesian island of Bali were hurt in the bombings that killed at least 26 people on Saturday. But 112 people were killed on China's roads between 12:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 pm yesterday, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Leaders visit factories, countryside

National Day on Saturday saw President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao make independent visits to urban and rural areas.

While Hu's trip took him to the factories, shops, ports and residential areas of North China's Tianjin Municipality to spread the word on "scientific development," Wen visited rural communities in Luanping County of Hebei Province, the focus of a national poverty-relief programme, about 200 kilometres northeast of Beijing.

As well as developing the rural economy and offering financial and technical help to rural communities, Wen said a collaborative health- care system was also being set up.

(China Daily 10/04/2005 page1)

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