Chinese National Day travelers hit a record 790 million during the 7-day break from October 1 to 7 this year.
I wrote about my own experience observing National Day festivities in China: A foreigner’s view on National Day
In 2012, I went out to Yunnan to visit a village in Dali county. The village of Shuanglang, which is on the northwestern edge of Erhai Lake is extremely beautiful. It is literally built right next to the lake. You can see the water from some of the guesthouses. You can walk along a boardwalk and sip a beer while looking across at boats and clouds and the villages on the other side.
I stayed at a hostel recommended by a friend who lived in Dali. The hostel, the name of which I cannot remember, and may or may not still exist, was built largely out of wood and had an artfully-designed interior. In the bedroom, the beds were all on platforms of different levels.
Agriculture is one of the major industries in the villages of Dali, and there were a lot of chickens running around the field next to the hostel. I learned two things from living near chickens: First, the sun rises a lot earlier than I had guessed; and second, hens actually start clucking half an hour or longer before it actually rises. Nonetheless, I had to thank the chickens. A few of them fed us well on the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The hostel organized a feast that could be said to celebrate the two festivals at once. They put three long tables together and had some volunteers prepare food starting in the morning. In the afternoon, they set out the tables with a cornucopia of delicious Chinese home-style cooking. Everyone staying at the hostel was invited.
As I was the only foreigner staying at the hostel, the other guests took a particular interest in watching me drink baijiu.
“How does it taste?” they asked.
“Spicy,” I said, after choking just a few drops down.