After noticing passengers falling asleep on their buses, the Hong Kong tour company, Ulu Travel Agency, recently launched an innovative way for adults to sleep: a five hour ride on an air-conditioned double decker bus to essentially nowhere, according to a recent report.
Because many in the city live in cramped spaces where construction noise is rampant day and night, napping becomes almost a necessary ritual, according to a recent Washington Post report.
A 2020 poll by the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Center of Communication and Public Opinion Survey noted almost 70% respondents experienced some form of insomnia.
Hong Kongers created an Instagram account called mtrsleepers to immortalize the ingenious ways to catch some sleep on the subway.
Frankie Chow, founder of Ulu Travel Agency, told the Washington Post recently:
"Hong Kongers have too much stress from work and need a space for sleeping, but their living spaces are too small. Some may not live alone and have to share apartments with their family, which may not be a good environment for a proper rest."
He added, "The motion of buses resembles a mother swaying a baby in her arms. It is very comfortable."
When the company started brainstorming new tours, the marketing and business manager was inspired by the idea for Hong Kong’s first sleeping bus tour after seeing a social media post from a friend who couldn’t sleep at night, but was able to sleep well on the bus, according to a recent report.
Ulu Travel advertises to potential passengers: "Do you have the experience of getting off of the bus when you sleep the deepest? Are you looking for an uninterrupted sleeping bus for a couple of hours? Hong Kong's first sleeping bus will definitely help you!"
The 47 mile tour ride is the longest bus route in Hong Kong designed to maximize sleep, complete with a "Food Coma Lunch," with upper or lower deck seating, dubbed "zero-decibel sleeping" cabins (with bathroom stops).
Riders are treated with a goodie bag complete with an eye mask and earplugs to help them sleep, although some passengers bring their own blankets and slippers.
The ride is especially appealing to Hong Kongers because many can’t travel abroad due to very strict quarantine requirements, according to the Washington Post.
There are, however, no known reports of the sleeping bus winding its way to the United States just yet, so Americans are stuck practicing good sleep hygiene, which includes a consistent sleep schedule, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep and turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Click here for more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about getting a better night’s sleep (and no, a double decker tour bus is not included in the recommendations — at least not yet).