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Travel & Leisure

Chinese flock to escape rooms for a different lockdown experience

Immersive mysteries fuel a rebound in consumption after stay-at-home orders lifted

In an escape room decorated in traditional Chinese fashion, participants must solve a murder mystery. (Photo by Shin Watanabe)

BEIJING -- The clock is ticking. The room is dark. There might even be a murder victim on the floor. And the clues must be pieced together before you can leave. It may not be a matter of life or death like the pandemic lockdowns, but adventurous young Chinese are trading one confined space for another to test their puzzle-solving prowess in escape rooms.

China had about 1,100 escape rooms in 2019 -- two and a half times the year-earlier tally. Many are in major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

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