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中国人去韩国济州岛旅游:五天考驾照

The unusual reason Chinese tourists are going to S Korea
中国人去韩国济州岛旅游:五天考驾照

It’s always disheartening to get stuck in a queue, but never more so than when there’s a semi-tropical island right outside the door.

困在人潮拥挤的队伍中总是令人沮丧。如果门外就是一座亚热带的岛屿,那么再没有比排队等候更令人失望的事了。

Jeju is South Korea’s holiday paradise, a volcanic isle 100km off the south-western tip of the peninsula. It is especially popular with Chinese tourists, over 300,000 of whom have visited so far this year. And it felt like every one of them was ahead of me in line at the DVLA.

韩国的度假天堂济州岛是一座火山岛,距离朝鲜半岛西南端100英里(160公里)。济州岛特别受中国游客欢迎。截至目前,济州岛今年已接待超过30万名中国游客。那种感觉就像是,当我在英国司机车辆执照局(DVLA)排队等候时,30万人一个一个叠在我前面。

Chinese tourists love Jeju’s beaches, shopping and gambling – and now its driving licences too. Many build an entire holiday around a trip to the Driver’s Licence Examination Centre, where they spend days filling in forms, queueing and taking tests. And if they’re lucky enough to pass at their first try, there’s still time to hit the beach.

在济州岛,中国游客喜欢去海边、去购物、去赌场,如今还喜欢去考驾照。很多人专门拿出假期前往司机执照考试中心,度假的时间就是在填表、排队和考试。如果幸运地一次通过考试,还可以趁机去海边玩一圈。

Holidays built around a practical purpose are not new. Nowadays people routinely cross the globe for cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments, professional training or just to watch a football match. Some cities have built reputations around their specialities: Los Algodones, Mexico, is Molar City to the US citizens who fly in for dental work, while Hoi An, Vietnam, is famous for bespoke tailoring.

带着明确目的去度假并不新奇。如今,不管是做整容手术,进行辅助生育,还是参加职业培训,抑或只是看一场足球比赛,通常都要绕地球一圈。有些城市因当地特色享负盛名:美国人飞到墨西哥小镇洛斯阿戈多内斯(Los Algodones)去看牙,称其为臼齿之城(Molar City),而越南古城会安(Hoi An)则以定制衣物而闻名。

在中国和韩国考驾照,都需要经历体检、笔试、场内技能测试和道路行驶测试。

Driving licence tourism on Jeju Island is a recent phenomenon, but it is growing fast. According to the local Driver’s Licence Examination Centre, as of the end of August this year, 2,172 Chinese national had been certified. That’s an average of 62 a week. In 2010, the yearly total was 68.

济州岛发展驾照游是近些年兴起的热潮,但发展迅猛。根据当地的司机执照考试中心,截至目前,济州岛今年已为2172名中国公民发放了驾照,相当于平均一周有62人拿证。2010年,全年总计68人取得驾照。

Quality and cost-effectiveness are huge motivators in this kind of practical tourism. For aspiring Chinese drivers, South Korean licences pay off on both counts. Not only is a trip to Jeju comparable to the cost of China’s big-city driving schools, but it’s also faster and more convenient.

高品质和高性价比是推动此类旅游的两大动力。对于志在必得的中国考证族,韩国驾照二者兼得。在中国大城市上驾校的费用就可以去一趟济州岛,而且在岛上拿证的过程更方便、快捷。

Chinese tour companies offer five-day holidays to get a licence in “South Korea’s Hawaii”. Packages start at around 8,800 yuan ($1,280)  and shepherd clients through the process with a bit of sightseeing thrown in. The hotel, driving instruction, on-the-ground transport and testing fees are covered in the price; meals and flights are not. It sounds expensive, but VIP driving course packages in Beijing can run over 15,000 yuan ($2,188) and take months to complete.

中国的旅行服务公司提供“韩国夏威夷”考驾照五日游。驾照加观光的套餐起价约8800元(1280美元),全程带队,学车考试之余还安排济州岛观光旅游。酒店、指导教学、地面交通和考试费用均已涵盖;不含三餐和往返机票。听起来价格不菲,但北京的VIP驾校班费用超过1.5万元(2188美元),要花几个月才能毕业。

China, like many countries, allows valid licences from other nations to be exchanged for a local permit. So once they’ve passed, Chinese residents can convert their South Korean licence by simply passing a written test.

像很多国家一样,中国允许在本国更换国外有效驾照。因此,一旦通过笔试,中国居民就能把韩国驾照换成国内驾照。

And there’s another reason Chinese tourists feel the Korean licencing process is a better bet. Mingqui Liu, a Chinese student helping his friend schedule a road test, summed it up succinctly. “The Chinese driving test is very strict. The Korean test is easy.”

中国游客认为在韩国考证更有定数,还有一个原因。中国学生小刘(Mingqui Liu)帮他的朋友安排路考,一语概括道,“国内驾考非常严格,韩国驾考简单。”

The process in both nations includes medical checks, written exams, a closed-course driving test and a road test. The Korean version is not necessarily easy—at least, not anymore. In December 2016, the tests were revamped after years of criticism for being too lenient. According to Arirang News, the closed-course test pass rate fell 60% in the immediate aftermath of the changes.

两国的考驾照流程均包括体检、笔试、场内技能测试和道路行驶测试。韩国考驾照未必容易——至少不像以往那么容易。考试太过宽松,多年来饱受批评。2016年12月,韩国实行新的驾考。据阿里郎电视台(Arirang)报道,考试改革后,场内技能科目的通过率立即下降60%。

But the Chinese version is still notably harder in some respects. The written test, for example, consists of 100 questions versus South Korea’s 40. The scoring is tougher too: China requires a 90% mark to pass, while South Korea allows a more forgiving 60%. (The UK requires 70%.)

但中国考证在某些方面明显更有难度。例如,笔试有100道题,韩国则是40题。评分也更加严格:中国要求答对90%才能通过,而韩国放宽至60%。(英国的要求是70%。)

There’s also scheduling to consider. Due to limited slots and high demand in China, each step of the test can take weeks to complete. And those who fail any part of the exam more than once must start again from the beginning. On Jeju, meanwhile, it is often possible to complete multiple parts of the exam in a single afternoon.

课程时间也要考虑。中国的考点有限,需求量很大,因此每一科目的考试要花几周时间。如果没有通过其中一个科目的考核,必须从头再考。然而,在济州岛,往往一个下午就可以完成多个科目的考试。

Yingqin Cui, owner of package-tour company Jeju Island HD Driving School, liaises with a local driving academy to provide the 13 hours of instruction mandated for new drivers in South Korea. This includes four hours on a practise course and six of road driving. She says few people fail to get their licences after this intensive session. “Out of 100 people, maybe one.”

济州岛HD驾校是一家驾考旅行公司,老板崔女士(Yingqin Cui)与当地的驾校机构接洽,为新学员赴韩考驾照提供13小时的规定教学指导,包括4小时场内技能和6小时道路行驶。她说,参加这个强化班后,很少有人拿不到驾照,“100人当中,可能有一个。”

An employee of the Jeju Driver’s Licence Examination Centre agreed that success rates among Chinese visitors were high and the pace blistering. He estimated the average time from application to certification as a week and sometimes as little as two days.

济州岛司机执照考试中心的一名工作人员认为,中国游客考驾照通过率高,速度极快。他估计,从报考到拿证的平均时间为一周,有时候只要两天。

South Korean licenses aren’t just accessible; they’re also versatile. In the 1940s-1960s a series of United Nations conventions created the International Driving Permit (IDP), which allows people to drive and rent cars in foreign countries. As China did not participate in these conventions, Chinese licences aren’t compatible with the IDP. South Korean ones are, making them valuable to travellers.

韩国驾照不仅可以考取,而且用途很广。上世纪40至60年代,经过几轮大会,联合国制定了国际驾照(IDP),允许司机在国外驾驶或租车。由于中国不是缔约国,中国驾照和国际驾照不能通用。韩国驾照可以互通互用,游客很看重这一点。

“Most of my clients are Chinese nationals living abroad,” says Cui, citing the UK and Italy as common countries. With an IDP, they can drive in their host country, plus more than 150 others.

崔女士说,“大部分客人是海外华人。”来自英国和意大利的居多。拿到国际驾照后,他们不仅可以在自己的国家开车,还可以在另外150多个国家驾驶。

Language is also factor, Cui points out. In the UK, for example, driving tests can only be administered in English or Welsh. In Jeju, the application and written test are available in Chinese, and many Examination Centre employees know relevant Chinese vocabulary.

崔女士指出,语言是另一个选择来济州岛考驾照的因素。例如,在英国,驾考只设英语或威尔士语。在济州岛,报考和笔试可以选择中文,考试中心的很多工作人员也会使用相关的中文表达。

This is not unusual in South Korea—the written test is also available in English, while the application forms come in a myriad of languages. But Jeju remains the prime destination for licence tourism for one compelling reason: unlike the mainland, Jeju has no visa requirement for Chinese tourists.

这在韩国不足为奇,笔试也可以选择英语,而申请表有多语言可选。但是济州岛一直是驾考游的首选之地,理由充分:和韩国其它城市不同,济州岛对中国游客免签。

So the lines are still long at the Driver’s Licence Examination Centre. Admittedly, it’s hard to compete against the island’s perks. Not only do tourists leave with a valid, internationally accepted driving permit, but there’s beach time and Korean barbecue waiting for those who conquer the queue.

所以司机执照考试中心的队伍仍然很长。不可否认,岛上的便利难以匹敌。游客不仅可以领取国际认可的驾照,在排队赶考之后还可以享受海边闲暇和韩式烧烤。
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