A 27-year-old Shandong man is being called "Brother Public Transportation" after he returned home from Hangzhou to Shandong on public transportation, riding 35 bus routes over 660 kilometers. The story picked up interest as he chronicled his travels on Weibo. Beijing Morning Post wrote an article about him on August 5 that was picked up by China Daily Here it is:
Public Transportation Brother’s Unconventional Chun Yun
From Hangzhou, Zhejiang to Linyi, Shandong, over 660 kilometers, a 27-year-old Shandong man named Xu Zhengguo used public buses to make his way back home. From start to finish, he spent seven days on a trip spanning three provinces and rode on 35 different buses. This unusual trip home attracted internet users’ attention, and he was "worshipped" as "Brother Public Transportation"
Preparation: One Week + A Thick Map + Searching Route Online
Xu Zhengguo is from Linyi, Shandong. He attended Hangzhou University. After graduating, he and a friend started an e-commerce business in Hangzhou. Why did he take the bus to return home? He said that for one thing, train tickets are hard to buy, and secondly, he envies people who cycle or hitchhike to travel and see the world, so he wanted to use the means of public transportation, to accomplish a seemingly impossible mission, and feel the power of experiencing this incredible task.
Saying it is easy, but doing it is hard. To accomplish this mission, Xu Zhengguo spent a week planning his route. "On the internet, I found each city’s public transit map and read with dizzy and dazed eyes," Xu Zhengguo said. In order to prevent a problem, he also bought a thick map of China. He originally planned on spending 10 days returning home.
Starting Out: Public Transit + Walking + Only One Time Hitchhiking
On the afternoon of December 27, Xu Zhengguo, with a thick route map in his front pocket and his luggage on his back, started out. This "internet businessman" broadcasted the progress of his trip home on his Weibo. Xu Zhengguo said the trip was very smooth. "South China’s transportation is very developed. There is a lot of transportation to villages and towns. You can basically get anywhere." Xu Zhengguo said this journey also allowed him to feel that this country’s transportation has developed very quickly.
After that, this good luck only lasted for two days. After crossing the Yangtze River, his road home turned bumpy. Because the public bus routes were sparse and not connected, he often had to walk. "When the routes weren’t connected, I would walk over 10 miles in a day!" he said. This part of the trip was harder than he imagined.
On Weibo, Xu Zhengguo recorded his difficulties drip by drip: "One step, and I’m always walking but not moving," "My knee bone is breaking down," "I’m tired and want to sleep, I’m really over doing this public transit thing, Right now I don’t know where I am." …
This trip, aside from the hardships, also allowed Xu Zhengguo to have a lot of different emotions. "On the fourth day, from Danyang to Zhenjiang, between the border of these two cities, I had to walk eight kilometers. Because it was already dark, I wanted to hitch a ride, but dozens of cars went by without stopping. Later, a big truck stopped for me. From the start, I was worried about my safety, but after a bit of talking with the driver, I discovered he is actually an extremely kind-hearted man," Xu Zhengguo said. That night at the inn, he kept thinking about the subtle relationships between strangers.
"At the beginning, I was angry that society was too cold, but later, I feel that there is also a lot of kindness. I also learned to empathize with other people," he said.
Returning Home: 7 Days + 140 Yuan + 35 Bus Routes
After sleeping at cheap hotels for less than 100 yuan a night, eating at restaurants on the side of the road, endlessly rushing about at bus stations for seven days, he arrived at his home in Linyi, Shandong on the afternoon of February 2. "This kind of trip gave me so much! It was a splendid experience. It ravaged my body. It’s something that should definitely be done once in a lifetime," he wrote on Weibo in summary.
On this trip, Xu Zhengguo rode on 35 different bus routes and spent a little bit over 140 yuan on bus tickets. Also, on lodging and eating, he spent over 400 yuan. It wasn’t much cheaper than driving or flying an airplane. His "Legendary Trip Home" attracted a lot of internet discussions, and a lot of netizens admired his course.