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May 2, 2012

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Back to work after holiday ... and the sun's returning too

THE three-day May Day holiday drew to a close under gray skies yesterday, with heavy traffic on the roads and busy trains and flights as people headed home for work.

Extra rail services were added to meet demand, mainly in the Yangtze Delta region, said the Shanghai railway operator.

The operator said railway stations in the region handled more than 4.11 million passengers during the holiday.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station recorded 160,000 passengers on Sunday alone.

Railway police said they held 10 ticket scalpers at local stations and confiscated more than 600 pieces of contraband, including knives and imitation guns.

As residents return to work today, downtown transport facilities will come under pressure, said the traffic administrations. Additional subway trains have been put into service on Metro Line 8.

And after the rainy, overcast weather during the break, Shanghai weather forecasters said yesterday that the sun is set to reappear - albeit accompanied by cloud - over the next four days.

Temperatures are expected to rise and stay at 25 degrees Celsius late this week.

Among those eager to get out and about over the holiday, many locals chose short-distance tours, said city tourism officials.

More than 10,000 travelers left the city from the Shanghai Tourism Center hub, travelling to nearby destinations, said officials.

For those looking further afield, airlines added flights to popular tourist destinations, such as Thailand, while Taiwan and Hong Kong remained hot destinations for locals.

Immigration police said the city's two airports reported 173,000 passengers in the past three days - up 13.7 percent on the same period last month.

For visitors to Shanghai, the newly re-opened Italy pavilion and the Saudi pavilion at the Expo site proved popular.

"It's quite relaxing now to see the pavilions," said one visitor, surnamed Gong.


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