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As wonderful as it would be to present a whole bunch of last-minute Spring Festival/Chinese New Year travel deals, this year it seems there just aren’t many.
It all depends on how flexible your travel plans can be. Able to fly to the Maldives on Wednesday? Cathay Pacific will get you there for RMB 4,927, including tax. Not cheap, but for a trip like that, not bad.
Travel within China is expected to reach record levels during the Spring Festival holiday this year, with 148 million train tickets already sold. That’s not even including air transport or people who will travel by road. Be careful if buying train tickets from any non-official outlet: China Central Television (CCTV) tweeted Tuesday morning that police have arrested eight people accused of faking one million Spring Festival-period train tickets.
As we mentioned in our previous edition, travelers with plans to go to Thailand in the near future should keep an eye on political events there. A “shutdown” of Bangkok is underway, thereby making travel around the city extremely difficult. Although this will not necessarily affect travelers transiting Bangkok on their way to Thai beaches, previous political action saw the international airport occupied, and it could potentially happen again. For up to the moment news on what’s happening in Bangkok, follow blogger Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow).
This week saw the first non-stop Hainan Airline flight flying from Beijing to Seattle. It’s the second U.S. city to which Hainan Airlines has added non-stop service from Beijing this year along with a direct flight to Chicago, and is serving the routes with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Next week we’ll be back with our spring travel guide. Remember the Talking Travel rule of thumb: book your next holiday as soon as the previous holiday period ends. Until then, “one road flat safe“*.
* Chinese characters for “一路平安” （yīlùpíng’ān）