Public holidays in China are kind of weird sometimes, particularly when they involve martial law.
Getting ready for the 70th anniversary of the victory in World Anti-Facist War, Beijing has applied many restrictions to ensure security and atmosphere for the events, so some lifestyle adjustments are necessary.
Adjusting your commuting habits:
Firstly, take a gander at these maps of the restricted zones (in Chinese).
Odd and even-numbered license plates are banned on alternate days, according to the Government Bulletin. Taxis are exempted from these restrictions. Take care when using cab apps – you may be charged four times higher than the usual price range. According to a report based on the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, Yidou Yongche – a popular taxi-app – has added 80 yuan for economy cars and up to 120 yuan for fancier models.
Public transportation is best in this situation. The same report said that due to the vehicle restrictions, the number of people using the subway has risen up 10% and the number of people renting public bikes has also increased 21% compared to the usual rate. The government has also added more than a thousand buses to ease the traffic.
Planning ahead for traveling:
Getting days off mean traveling, but that might not be the case this time since many sights will be shut down. Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Yonghegong Lama Temple will be closed on September 2 and 3. Some sights on Tiananmen Square could be closed until September 7.
The Beijing Capital International Airport and Nanyuan Airport will be closed for three hours, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, on September 3. For your convenience, the shutdown schedule of Beijing’s subway system for September 2 and 3 is available at chinatravelguide.com.
Sightseeing through television:
No routes to Tiananmen Square are open, so if you have not received any special invitation to the parade, the chances to participate in the audience are low. Even the residents in the apartments near the area have been told to stay inside – no balcony viewing or peeking from windows allowed.
However, CCTV-1 will broadcast the parade at 10 am and the evening anniversary gala “Victory and Peace” at 7:50 pm on Thursday. Besides, all entertainment programs will be suspended on CCTV and major channels until September 5, making room for war-themed documentaries and features.
Given all these details, being an introvert and sightseeing through television might be the best way to enjoy this public holiday.
Image via the ifeng finance portal