Couch-surfing Chinese girl travels for 272 days in a year

Updated 2017-10-10 15:03:53 CGTN
Wang Congming visited Chengdu.

Wang Congming visited Chengdu.

Only with a black backpack, 23-year-old Wang Congming began her third journey as a couch-surfer in southwest China city of Chengdu. Through living in other people's homes during the trip, she has visited various paces across China in the past two years. Last year, she spent 272 days as a couch-surfer.

Wang came across the word "couch surfing" while visiting Phoenix Ancient Town in July 2015. She recalled her nervousness of her first night of couch-surfing when she and two other girls crowded in a small room, "Of course I was fearful, I didn't pay anything after all." But after she spent a safe and good night, she continued her trip in this way from then on.

In the past two years, her most hosts were what she called "good people." Some offered meals, and one host in neighboring Guizhou Province, left the key in an electricity box outside his home before taking a business trip. No matter where she stayed, she knew she should be friendly and polite and do whatever housework she could. And she considered it as the reason that she could communicate with hosts well for most of the time.

However, Wang also met a strange host in Nanning, in southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. A 50-year-old woman signed up a one-day tour group for Wang, which she found however engaged in a pyramid selling scheme.

Just as Wang said, "The most attractive part of couch-surfing is that you never know what kind of people you are going to meet next second."

Different from other accommodation ways, couch-surfing is free. Visitors can stay at the host home, not only limited to the couch, but also beds and rooms, and sometimes the hosts even lead visitors to attraction places. As a new style of accommodation during travel, couch-surfing has gradually drawn public attention in China. At present, China's own first professional website Shafake ("couch-surfer" in Chinese) has more than 40 thousand registered menbers, ranging from 15 to 70 in age, mainly students and professional backpackers.

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