Sleeping Bus or Snooze Bus is not the usual mode of transportation for Hong Kong residents. This bus is part of a new package offered by a creative Hong Kong travel agency, Ulu Travel.
Those who boarded the double-decker bus were able to sleep — or even be advised to sleep — during the five-hour trip around the city.
Hong Kong enforces the world’s strictest restrictive policies, including a 21-day quarantine at hotels upon arrival. As a consequence, the travel industry takes a hit while the demands of vacations around the house or staycation soared.
Sleep Bus offers the option to get out of the house, leave the daily routine and relax.
Anson Kong, a Hong Kong resident, enjoys the Sleep Bus service. He managed to get the cheapest ticket prices through sales online.
“I think the idea of this tour is great. It’s more interesting than I thought. I have insomnia so I tried to sleep on this bus. I was very lucky to get on this bus for only $13,” he said.
Marco Yung, another passenger on the Sleeping Bus, used to sleep during his journey due to his long working hours. When met, he claimed to have managed to sleep through most of the trip and had missed three toilet stops.
“Usually I fall asleep on long-distance bus trips. I checked before the tour that this bus route is 76 kilometers long. So this was a very good opportunity for me to sleep.”
Sleeper bus tour tickets cost between $13 and $51 per person depending on seat position.
Passengers can choose a “zero decibel sleeper seat” on the upper deck for $38 or a front row seat for the best view for $51.
The idea behind this tour stems from the tendency of Hong Kong people to fall asleep on public transport during their daily commute.
“As a new travel agency, we hope to bring joy to our customers during the pandemic. So we tried to think of some new creative tours,” said Kenneth Kong, Ulu Travel Marketing and Business Development Manager.
“While discussing developing a new type of tour, I saw a social media post from a friend of mine saying that he is stressed with his work, and can’t sleep at night. But, when he travels on the bus, he can sleep well. His posts inspire us to made this tour, which allows passengers to just sleep on the bus.”
According to Dr. Shirley Li, Principal Investigator of the Sleep Research Clinic at the University of Hong Kong, said people’s tendency to nap during their daily commute is a consequence of sleep deprivation.
“People in Hong Kong don’t have enough time to sleep. We tend to prioritize other things like fun activities, our other personal obligations or our work schedule, over sleep, which is actually a more important basic physiological need for humans,” he said.
“Because of that, we tend to take advantage of other times to sleep, namely our daily commute, especially when we travel by public transport. Some people even tend to associate public transportation as their place to sleep. That’s the reason why they are easier to fall asleep on the bus , “explained Li.
According to him, for Sleep Bus passengers, travel is more important than destination. [ab/uh]