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Tips on October Holiday Trips

Brief: Tips on October Holiday Trips

Act now if you plan to travel during the weeklong October holiday.

Tourists bound for the Tibet Autonomous Region might be looking at a last chance this year to catch the Qinghai-Tibet railway. This is because many travel agencies will stop tours to Tibet in late October as winter approaches the Tibet Plateau. Tours will resume next June, when the Tibetan summer kicks in, according to Liu Bihong, spokeswoman for the Tibetan Tourism Bureau Shanghai Office.

As of now a nine-day tour to Tibet, with train rides either on the way in or way out, costs around 5,000 yuan (US$625) each for Chinese travelers. Foreign passport holders need to travel in group tours with their entry permits.

For overseas trips, travel agencies are recommending Southeast Asian countries, which have similar cultural traits to China and offer some exotic sights.

Also, this year's Mid-Autumn Festival falls during the holiday period on October 6.

With the Southeast Asian nations boasting large Chinese communities, domestic tourists will be able to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival abroad while munching on delicious mooncakes, a traditional pastry made for the festival, which should be easily available.

But it will be hard to find home-like festival atmosphere in European countries, said Zhang Lei, a spokesman for Shanghai Spring Travel Agency, who added that the Mid-Autumn Festival concept isn't suitable for overseas tours.

Yan Wenwei, a local salesman, has booked a five-day tour to Thailand with his wife.

Though the Mid-Autumn Festival is all about big family reunions, Yan said, "Still we will spend the festival in Thailand. We are a family, too."

Naturally, tours to Southeast Asia are now the top picks, according to Zhang.

Traveling expenses will also rise this holiday as demand increases, and air ticket prices soar.

The Yan's have paid more than 5,000 yuan each for their weeklong trip to Thailand, but the same package costs around 3,800 yuan per person in the normal season.

Air fares are also affected by global oil prices. "Air ticket prices have soared more than 30 percent so far," Dong Ming of Shanghai Jingjiang Travel Agency revealed.  

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