Planet China

Back peddling

As commonly noted, travelling home for the Chinese New Year can be a stressful time. Train tickets are hard to buy, and the stations are dangerously congested. Roads are clogged with amateur drivers and airfares skyrocket.

One man, hoping to beat the holiday crunch (or perhaps embarking early on a New Year’s resolution to improve his health) decided to cycle home from Shandong to Heilongjiang. That’s 900-odd miles and involves passing through some of China’s coldest areas.

Knowing that the distance was so far the avid cyclist set out well in advance, pushing off around December 20 last year. Unfortunately he wasn’t so sure on the directions and relied too much on the kindness (or not) of strangers. Having been pointed the wrong way, he was found a month later cycling along a freeway in Anhui province, some 1,300 miles from Heilongjiang. Taking pity on the lost adventurer, police and staff at a nearby ticket office pooled the funds to buy him a bus ticket to get him to Heilongjiang.


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