Nothing beats a good night’s sleep. But nowadays, in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people around the world are sleeping less according to studies—“coronasomnia” or “COVID-somnia” as some experts call it, a phenomenon linked to the stress of life during the pandemic.
As there are several factors that causes sleeplessness, people who have a hard time catching some shuteye try ways to help them drift off to sleep—from listening to podcasts or solfeggio frequencies, meditating, drinking warm milk, to hopping in a bus for Zs.
In Hong Kong, tour company Ulu Travel crafted a trip with sleep- and travel-deprived people in mind.
The company’s “Bus Sleeping Tour” is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, which also has the longest bus route at 83 kilometers (about the distance from Fairview, Quezon City to Tagaytay). Its tour schedules are reportedly selling out.
The bus is divided into four cabins:
- “Zero-decibel Sleeping Business Class Cabin” on the upper deck of the bus, where two seats are allocated per person. It costs HK$199 (P1,300).
- “VIP Panorama” cabin on the upper deck, where one dedicated Bus Lover Seat is allocated per person and costs HK$399 (P2,600).
- “Zero-decibel Sleeping Economy Class Cabin” on the lower deck where two seats are allocated per person. It costs HK$299 (P1,950).
- “Extra-legroom Cabin” on the lower deck that can accommodate one to four persons.
Passengers are treated to a five-hour double-decker bus ride, where they can have an uninterrupted sleep.
The tour starts with a “Food Coma” lunch at a restaurant for a “two-course Western menu” before boarding the bus—the perfect way to make some people feel sleepy.
Inside the bus, passengers will be handed a gift set with goodies that include an eye mask and ear plugs for better sleep. Passengers may start to get some sleep as the bus departs the town of Tsuen Wan. They will then traverse the Tuen Mun Highway going to the first photo-op spot.
The ride goes through the North Lantau island and includes a few stops, including bathroom breaks, and several drop-off points where passengers may choose to disembark.
Passengers are also required to have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated guests may be denied to join the tour.
The Bus Sleeping Tour’s first run was reportedly sold out entirely, with passengers bringing travel pillows, slippers and blankets.
Some shared that it is during their long commutes that they are able to experience deep sleep.
Dr. Shirley Li, principal investigator of the Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory at the University of Hong Kong told AP that the tendency to fall asleep on public transport is a type of conditioning.
“People in Hong Kong don’t have enough time to sleep,” she said. “That’s why we have to kind of use other times to sleep, which is our daily commute, especially when we are traveling on public transport.”
Li added that some people may find it easier to fall asleep on the bus because they associate public transport with their sleep.