Good weather brings out the crowds
Parks and tourist attractions across Shanghai were packed with tourists during the three-day Qingming Festival holiday because of the pleasant and balmy weather and blossoming flowers.
Qingming is the traditional time for families to enjoy a spring outing — or taqing — after paying respects to their ancestors on tomb-sweeping day. Taqing translates as “stepping on the green.”
A total of 140 tourist attractions across the city received 4.66 million visitors during the holiday, up 47 percent from the same period last year, according to the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.
Shanghai Botanical Garden in Xuhui District, which is hosting an international flower exhibition, had more than 110,000 tourists over the three days. On Friday and Saturday, there were 45,000 and 41,000 visitors respectively, four times the figure for the same days last year.
Chenshan Botanical Garden in Songjiang District welcomed more than 120,000 visitors during the holiday, with over 51,000 on the first day, four times the number on the same day last year.
Shanghai Zoo in Changning District had more than 110,000 visitors over the three days.
On 2pm on Saturday, there were more than 27,000 people in the zoo, approaching its 30,000 limit. At the same time, more than 10,000 were touring Zhujiajiao watertown in Qingpu District. It had an instantaneous visitor flow of 14,077.
"My daughter and I got stuck by the big crowds from time to time and had to move slowly and carefully, not to mention watching the animals," said Yang Rongxiao, a Shanghai resident at the zoo on Saturday. "We has expected a large number of visitors, but not that large."
"It took me more than one hour to queue for the cable car as there were too many visitors," said Chen Zhenni, another local resident who visited Haichang Ocean Park in the Pudong New Area on Friday with her family. "The indoor venues are particularly crowded."
"The first floor of the Penguin Restaurant had no seats, and we had to move to the second floor," she said.
Shanghai Disney Resort was one of the most popular destinations during the holiday.
At 9pm on Saturday, the amusement park still had almost 45,000 people inside. Queuing for Soaring Over the Horizon, one of the most popular rides, took some four hours around 9am on Saturday. People were waiting for over two hours for other attractions such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
The resort stopped selling tickets on-site on Saturday due to the large crowds.
Gucun Park in Baoshan District had more than 300,000 visitors over the three-day holiday as people flocked to appreciate the cherry blossom.
Century Park in Pudong had about 50,000 visitors on Saturday, with no space left to even set up a tent on the lawn at that time.
Last year it rained in Shanghai during the Qingming Festival, dampening people's enthusiasm for trips, park operators said.
Shanghai Tour Bus Center had 4,329 visitors through the holiday, 67 percent up on the same period last year.
The weather boosted residents' enthusiasm for spring outing, it said. The center developed 22 routes featuring flower appreciation, watertowns and ecological attractions during the holiday.
Wuzhen in Zhejiang Province, Fengjing Ancient Town in Jinshan District, Chongming Island, Tongli, a watertown in Jiangsu Province, and Dangkou Ancient Town in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, were the top five destinations over the holiday, the center said.