LUNAR NEW YEAR
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China: Around The Nation

Confused Chinese migrant cycles 500km south – not north – on Lunar New Year holiday journey home

Migrant worker who could not afford price of public transport heads in wrong direction on his 1,700km trip home by bike

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 2:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 2:17pm

A young Chinese migrant worker spent more than a month cycling along a highway thinking he was travelling north on a 1,700km journey home for the Lunar New Year holiday – only to discover he had been going south by mistake, mainland media reported.

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The confused man found he had cycled 500km in the wrong direction only after traffic police in Wuhu, Anhui province, stopped him last Friday as he was riding on the highway, which cannot be used by cyclists, the news portal Guancha.cn reported.

He told police he had been trying to cycle home to Qiqihar, in the northern province of Heilongjiang, by bicycle because he did not have enough money to pay for public transport.

The man had set off on the 1,700km journey home from Rizhao, in Shandong province, more than a month before dressed in a green overcoat with a napkin over his head to keep out the cold, carrying only a small bag on his back.

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The man said he was unable to read a road map and did not understand road signs, so had been carefully following the directions of passers-by, most of whom had sent him in the wrong direction.

Traffic police and staff at a toll station agreed to give him the money to pay for a ticket on a north-bound train so he could get home, the report said.