Hong Kong starts bus service for people who want to fall asleep

The first ‘Sleeping Bus Tour’ took place on Saturday and was sold out

Eleanor Sly
Thursday 21 October 2021 16:53
<p>The tour lasts for a total of five hours </p>

The tour lasts for a total of five hours

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Anyone who feels in need of a nap may find that a new bus service, starting in Hong Kong, is just the ticket to put them to sleep.

A five-hour long ride on the so-called “Sleeping Bus Tour” is designed to help sleep deprived commuters get some rest. Passengers can even bring pillows, blankets and slippers on the trip around the city.

Tickets for the 76km (47 mile) tour vary in price depending on the location of the seats within the double decker bus.

It is hoped that the tour will particularly appeal to those who are easily lulled to sleep by long rides, and was inspired by the tendency of commuters to fall asleep on public transport.

Kenneth Kong, the marketing and business development manager of ulu travel, in charge of organising the bus tours explained: "When we were brainstorming new tours, I saw a social media post from my friend saying that he was stressed out by his work, he couldn’t sleep at night.

"But when he was traveling on the bus, he was able to sleep well. His post inspired us to create this tour that lets passengers just sleep on the bus,” Mr Kong added.

The first “Sleeping Bus Tour” took place on Saturday and was completely sold out. Passengers received a goodie bag which included sleep-aids such as an eye-mask and ear plugs, to help them get a better sleep.

Meanwhile, some passengers came prepared with their own blankets and travel pillows to help make the experience as comfortable as possible.

The tour which took place on Saturday, stopped at various different locations so that passengers could take photos of scenic spots around the territory. These included stops on the city’s Lantau Island, as well as a break at the aircraft maintenance area near to Hong Kong’s airport.

It appeared that the more wakeful passengers used the latter stop as an opportunity to take selfies with aircraft in the background.

One of the passengers onboard the service was 25-year-old Anson Kong who said he thought the tour was a good idea and that it had been “more interesting” than he expected.

He explained why he had decided to join the tour, saying: "I have been suffering from insomnia so I am here to try and get some sleep.”

Another passenger, Marco Yung, called the tour a “great opportunity” to have a rest and said that he had decided to join it because he usually falls asleep on long-distance bus journeys.

According to Dr Shirley Li, the principal investigator of the Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory at the University of Hong Kong, the tendency of people to fall to sleep on public transport is a sort of conditioning.

"People in Hong Kong don’t have enough time to sleep," Dr Li pointed out. "That’s why we have to kind of use other times to sleep, which is our daily commute, especially when we are travelling on public transport."

She added: "For some people, they may tend to associate public transport with their sleep. And that’s why they found it easier to fall asleep on the bus.”

Additional reporting by PA

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