World's biggest annual migration underway in China
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 01:15
Jan. 30 - Tens of thousands of migrants fill trains in Beijing to rush home and reunite with their families on the eve of the Lunar New Year. Sarah Toms reports.
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It's China's great escape.
Hundreds of millions of people across China rush home for the Chinese New Year holiday in the biggest human migration on the planet.
Beijing's Ministry of Transport expects more than three billion trips, by train, plane and road, will be made over the 40 day travel period.
Although most journeys are made by car, the biggest crowds are seen at railway stations like this one.
Tickets are always scarce.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 25-YEAR-OLD DOCTOR, TAI WANBO, SAYING:
"It is very difficult to buy tickets this year, same as every year. Thankfully I managed to get one, so I can arrive home on the eve of the Lunar New Year. The holiday arrangement changed this year, so I still had to work for half of the day before getting off. I am so happy to go home after working outside for a year."
Many workers have had to spend several days queuing for a coveted ticket to get them home.
And many will have to endure long, uncomfortable journeys home, sometimes standing for hours to reunite with families for a few days and ring in the lunar New Year.
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