HONG KONG (AP) — Travel-starved, sleep-deprived residents might find a new Hong Kong bus tour to be a snooze.
People who fall asleep easily on long bus rides will enjoy the 76 km (47 mile) ride in a double-decker bus. This idea was born out of the common tendency for tired commuters and to drift off on public transport.
“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,” said Kenneth Kong, the marketing and business development manager of ulu travel, the organizer of the bus tours.
“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.”
The price of tickets ranges from $13 to $51 per head, depending on which deck they are on. For better sleeping, passengers receive a goodie bag that includes an eye-mask as well as earplugs.
The first “Sleeping Bus Tour” last Saturday sold out entirely. Some people brought their blankets, others brought their slippers and changed their shoes. Others had travel pillows.
“I have been suffering from insomnia so I am here to try and get some sleep,” said 25-year-old Anson Kong, one of the passengers on the first bus tour.
He said that the tour was a good idea and “more interesting” than he expected.
On Saturday’s tour, the bus stopped so passengers could take photos at scenic spots on the city’s Lantau Island. One stop was the aircraft maintenance area near Hong Kong’s airport, where passengers can snag selfies with aircraft in the background.
Another passenger, Marco Yung, said that he joined the tour because he usually falls asleep on long-distance bus journeys, saying it was a “great opportunity” to get some sleep.
According to Dr. Shirley Li (principal investigator of the Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory, University of Hong Kong), the tendency to fall asleep on public transport is an example of conditioning.
“People in Hong Kong don’t have enough time to sleep,” Li said. “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.”
“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,” she said.”