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Tourist index tells where crowds are

By Zheng Jinran  (China Daily)

09:45, May 03, 2012

Palace Museum had more visitors on Sunday than other major Beijing sites

Beijing launched an hourly updated online index of crowds at major tourist sites on Sunday, the day that China's railway broke its record for the amount of passengers carried on any single day of a May Day holiday.

The index, launched at on Sunday, the first day of the holiday, covers six major sites in Beijing, including the Palace Museum, Summer Palace and Badaling section of the Great Wall. It indicates the size of crowds according to a five-level system, with level five being the most crowded.

The Palace Museum, which had the more visitors than the other sites on Sunday - 10,100 people, or 26 percent more than the same day last year - was labeled level four.

"There were so many people at the Palace Museum that we just moved forward with the crowd step by step," said Joaquin Couchot, an 18-year-old exchange student from Chile, who came to Beijing with his four friends for the first time.

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