Chinese tourists

Tourists stranded at Jiuzhaigou valley in 'golden week' misery

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 October, 2013, 11:23am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 October, 2013, 2:28pm

There was anger and chaos in Sichuan’s world-famous Jiuzhaigou valley on Wednesday as thousands of “golden week” holidaymakers found themselves stranded for hours inside the park after shuttle buses failed to show up as scheduled.

As visitors are not allowed to stay overnight in the park, many say they were forced to walk for miles before they could catch a bus to exit the valley.

The famous national park, known for its multi-level waterfalls, colourful lakes, and snow-capped peaks, stretches over 180,000 acres of land. Tourists rely on electric shuttle buses - the only transportation allowed on the site - to get around. It takes hours to hike from one bus stop to another inside the park.

But while disgruntled holidaymakers accused the park for selling too many tickets to visitors they couldn’t possibly accomodate, Jiuzhiagou authorities said all of their 400 buses were running yesterday and it was tourists who had blocked roads and caused terrible congestion.

Media reports said some tourists had tried to stop buses from driving away after they failed to get on, causing hours of delays. Police officers were sent inside the park after chaos broke out.

Photos posted on Weibo showed that thousands of angry visitors, after exiting the park, had gathered near the ticket office and demanded refunds.

On China’s social media and news sites, commentators were less than sympathetic about the misery suffered by holidaymakers.

“This wouldn’t have happened if people had learned to queue up,” one reader commented.

“Travelling during the golden week is a bad idea,” another remarked. “I’d rather stay at home and sleep.”

A statement issued by the park on Thursday pointed out that some visitors had trespassed onto the main road used by buses, which had worsened the delays. It added that all 4,000 visitors had been able to exit the park by 10pm.

Large crowds were observed in tourist spots across China this week as the holidaymakers tried to make the most out of the one-week break.

However there were frequent instances of coarse behaviour by the tourists.

Zhejiang’s scenic West Lake was visited by millions of visitors, who left behind a staggering 7,000 cigarette butts for sanitation workers to clean up.

Tourists visiting a Shanghai zoo were also accused of throwing water bottles at lions in their enclosure.