Travel during the Lunar New Year in China has been called the greatest human migration in the world. Hundreds of millions of people board trains, planes and buses to visit family and celebrate the country’s most important holiday. Imagine the Sunday after Thanksgiving, throw in the Friday before Christmas, add some Fourth of July traffic, and then multiply that a few times over and you get a sense of just how many people are trying to move about in China right now. An estimated 2.9 billion trips will be made from January 24 to March 3 as part of the Spring migration.
For example, the Guangzhou-based newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily reported that in Guangzhou, 100,000 people gathered around the main train station on Monday as poor weather caused rail service delays. Huge crowds waited through the night for their travel. However, even though it may be a long wait now, conditions have not dropped to the state they were in during 2008, when accidents set off by snow and ice killed at least 24 people across the country and when as many as 800,000 people waited in cold rain outside the Guangzhou station.
To try and capture the magnitude of this experience, Baidu has released an interactive map that tracks movements around the country during this travel rush. According to a real-time travel map by Chinese internet giant Baidu, the Beijing-to-Shanghai route on Wednesday afternoon in Asia was the most heavily traveled across all forms of transport, followed by Xian to Beijing and Shenyang to Beijing.