The year of the Snake is winding down and the year of the Horse is dawning upon us. In China, this means the beginning of the annual "Spring Festival Rush" known as "Chun Yun", where millions upon millions of Chinese travel home to celebrate the lunar new year with their families.
While the rest of the country is scrambling and moving about China on trains and planes, five Chinese gamers went on a 12-day journey from Southern China to North Eastern China, on a route spanning over 2300km.
As reported by CCTV, five Chinese gamers decided that this year, instead of taking regular transportation to return home for the spring festival, they would walk from Guangzhou, Guangdong to Ji'nan, Shandong. Forgoing the normal super crowded nature of travelling during a holiday in China, the quintet led by Mai Gufeng traveled on foot, using mobile devices to navigate.
Setting off on New Year's Day, the group left Guangdong together, supposedly each carrying only the bare essentials and about $16.50. The idea was to travel by foot up to Ji'nan and meet up with other netizens along the way. During the journey, the group slept in McDonald's restaurants, internet cafes and the like.
Sometimes they met other netizens; in total, 43 people who they've never met face to face before. Along the way they also met with various gamers from all walks of life, who, in their day to day lives, were farmers to government employees to business folk — people whom the group had got to know during their years playing online games.
After 12 days, the group successfully made their way up to Shandong province. The travel video was edited and uploaded onto the Chinese CCTV's "Citizen's Documentary" feature, where it garnered praise from the netizens — so much praise that it was then featured on the CCTV channel itself.
While I see no reason to doubt the story or the journey, some parts of the video felt like they were recorded by professional media people. There are scenes where all five members of the travel group are present. Of course, other netizens and people they met along the way could account for the discrepancy.