The Fake Cars of Beijing

On my last few visits to China, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon — the conversion of 3-wheeled motorcycles commonly used by the elderly and handicapped into what I can only describe as fake cars. Someone is making serious money converting these 3-wheeled motorcycles into vehicles that look like they want to be cars when they grow up.

Because they aren’t registered as cars, it seems that most traffic rules don’t apply to them. They can zip up and down the streets and/or sidewalks!

Here are some of the fake cars I spotted on the streets of Beijing earlier this month.

Next time you’re in China, keep your eyes peeled for the fake cars!

Holiday Traffic Jam

I’m a little late to the party, but this video has been flying around The Interwebs all weekend. It is a drone-shot video of an insane traffic jam on a highway just outside of Beijing — a highway that I have travelled many times.

I must admit that I chuckled at some of the headlines which described it as a jam on a 50-lane highway. A 50-lane highway? Really? I can assure you that there is no such thing as a 50-lane highway in China (or anywhere, for that matter).

Here’s what you are seeing: the highway coming into town is actually a 3 lane freeway. On the outskirts of the city is a toll booth, with perhaps a dozen or so toll booths. The traffic spreads out to the booths and must re-merge back into 3 lanes on the other side.

Unfortunately, what happens (and what is seen in this clip) is that the cars do not get into neat lines for the upcoming tool booths; rather that just take up every inch of tarmac as they jockey for position. In other words, three lanes spill into 50, then squeeze back to a dozen, then back to 3.

Here’s what I can’t figure out: this happens every year, so why do so many drivers head there in the first place?

Related Posts:

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