World's highest national park opens in Tibet
China has set another tourism record by opening what it dubs "the world’s highest national park" last week in Tibet Autonomous Region, according to China Daily.
Standing on "the roof of the world," the Qomolangma National Park (珠穆朗玛国家公园) embraces five eight-thousander mountains, including 8,848-meter Mount Everest (known in China as Mount Qomolangma), 8,201-meter Mount Cho Oyo and 8,013-meter Shishapangma.
The sky-high attraction also contains 10 mountains rising between 7,000-8,000 meters, as well as glaciers, hot springs and alpine forests.
High, huge and resourceful
Occupying 78,000 square kilometers, the newly unveiled tourist spot is roughly the size of the Czech Republic and is situated in the Xigaze Prefecture (日喀则) in southern Tibet Autonomous Region, near China's border with Nepal.
"The national park will be focused on the protection of the ecology and biodiversity and prevention from illegal resource exploitation or land use," said Sun Yongping (孙永平), deputy chief of the Tibetan Tourism Bureau, reported China Daily.
Admission to the park costs RMB 180 per person, RMB 400 for a "small vehicle" and RMB 600 for a "large vehicle."
No explanation has been given on how to define a "large" or "small" vehicle; and there's no word as yet about the park's official entry points.
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The plateau reserve is the third national park in the far-flung autonomous region, after Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Park in southeastern Tibet and Namtso National Park in mid-eastern Tibet.
The three national parks are considered by the Chinese government as a way to turn the plateau into "an important world destination."
Tibet is also set to become home to the world's highest airport, the 4,436-meter-high Nagqu Airport, which is scheduled to open in 2015.
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Tibet travel must-knows: Foreign travelers to China must carry a Tibet Alien travel/PSB permit, on top of a China visa, to enter the Tibet Autonomous Region.
It take a specialist travel company at least 10 days to apply for the documents.
Trips need to be booked through a recognized company in China, such as Tibet Travel Expert. Travelers are required to stay with the tour throughout the journey.
Previous reports suggested that the Chinese authority delay releasing Tibet travel permits to foreign travelers from time to time. It’s advisable to consult a Chinese tour company before planning the trip.