Would you spend $51 on a bus ride to nowhere? The answer is yes for some tired people in Hong Kong looking for a place to sleep. For five hours, a double-decker tour bus ferries tired Hong Kongers hoping to rest their bones for 52 miles. Seats on the lower deck cost $12; seats on the upper deck cost $51. Zhao Yan and Su Xinqi of the AFP checked out the bus service’s offers.
AFP reports that the bus operator also offers a traditional sightseeing service, but sleeping appeared to be the order of the day for those who arrived equipped with earplugs and face masks. ‘I think everyone has experienced not being able to sleep at home, but they can sleep very soundly on a bus as the bus swings and vibrates,’ passenger Ho Wai told the AFP during the trip. Hong Kongers face stress from work, the high cost of a flat, and the fact that they cannot travel. Because of all this stress, Hong Kongers don’t sleep very well.
VIDEO: Most of us will have experienced drifting off to sleep during a lengthy bus journey
But would you pay to do just that?
That's the idea behind a novel tour bus business in Hong Kong billing itself as a possible cure for insomnia pic.twitter.com/pnKooid5Bp
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 24, 2021
In an interview, Frankie Chow, president of Ulu Travel and the man behind the ‘bus ride to nowhere’ concept, said he created a route with few traffic lights so passengers wouldn’t have to wake up at all when the bus started and stopped. According to AFP, he is trying to cater to two types of passengers – those with insomnia who need a quiet spot to nap, and those who wish to see Hong Kong’s attractions while travel restrictions are still tight. COVID-zero Hong Kong remains one of the most tightly quarantined cities in the world, making inbound and outbound travel a challenge.
Hong Kong isn’t the only place where people pay for peace and quiet. In South Korea, stressed-out people seek solace in cafes where they can book time slots to sit in silence and zone out. Silent cafes also became a hot trend in Japan in 2015, with people flocking to these places to spend some ‘me time’.