人山人海 "Ren shan ren hai" is a Chinese idiom translated "mountains of people, oceans of people." This idiom proved true for the seven day National Day holiday that began October 1.
During the holiday, millions of people travel to visit family, to see the sites, and to enjoy on last week outside before the temperatures drop. We did not. We stayed home. Why would we pass up a chance to get outside while its not freezing yet? What were we thinking?
"Ren shan, ren hai"
Sometimes we questioned whether we should step outside and join the mountains of people. Then a quick search on weibo and the thoughts of leaving home vanish. We knew tourist spots were crazy crowded during the Golden-week travel of National Day holiday, but just how crazy is it? See for yourself. And to think we thought it was crowded when we went, I guess not.
Nanjing Street, Shanghai - This is how the street looked on National Day 2011 and when we visited on February 14, 2006. Apparently Valentine's Day just isn't that popular in China.
Great Wall, Beijing - On the Great Wall for National Day 2011 there's no room to move. However, there was plenty of space to walk hand-in-hand when we visited the first week of April 2010.
Sun Yat-sen Memorial, Nanjing - National Day 2011 everyone uses umbrellas from the rain, but in mid-June 2006 only M'Lynn used an umbrella for the sun.
Forbidden City, Beijing - National Day 2011 there's no stopping or you'll get pushed around. Compare with my family's visit over spring break in March 2010 when there was plenty of room to stop and check out the digital photo.
The Bund, Shanghai - National Day 2011 on The Bund is a not-so-romantic stroll, but in February 2006 M'Lynn and I took a leisurely, romantic stroll down the Bund at night in the rain.
Tian'anmen Square, Beijing - National Day 2011 oceans of people crowding in to see the flag raising ceremony while Kanyon and I could practically walk up and touch the flag in late August 2010.
Old City, Shanghai - National Day 2011, no place to stand, and then M'Lynn with all the room in the world standing in the middle of the street in February 2006.
Photos of the super crazy crowded 2011 National Day holiday found here, here, and here. All other not so crowded photos, here.