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Category: China ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ (page 1 of 2)

China closes Mount Everest base camp to tourists

The new restrictions are directed at regular tourists. Mountaineers, scientific researchers, and geological disaster researcher are still be allowed inside the reserve.

Karson Yiu, writing for ABC News:

Tourists will now no longer have access to the research base camp and can only reach as far as the Rongbuk Monastery at 16,400 feet above sea level. Only those with proper permits will be able to access base camp just over a mile away — and, with that, go beyond base camp onto the mountain.

And

Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau said in a statement that during last year’s climbing season, they collected 8.4 metric tons of waste including garbage and human waste from the core area.

The People’s Daily reported that this year, authorities are restricting permits to only 300 climbers and the mountain is only open to climbing during the spring.

China will also now charge a $1,500 per climber rubbish collection fee and each climber will be required to bring down 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of garbage back down with them to hand over to authorities.

More at ABC News

Watch: Higher Truths

Four Noble Truths comprise the essence of Buddha’s teachings. The firstย ย identifies the presence of suffering. This is evident in this film as we witnessย Cody Townsend and Chris Rubens head up the Tibetan Plateau in pursuit of skiing adventure.

 

The Logistics of Climbing Everest

China will be the worldโ€™s top tourist destination by 2030

Chinese authorities have recognized that tourism is a key pillar of their economy, and they continue to invest heavily to improve infrastructure and standards, in addition to opening up the country with increasingly tourism-friendly policies and initiatives.

At the World Travel Market in London, Euromonitor Internationalโ€™s Head of Travel Caroline Bremner said: โ€œDestinations like China are poised for a successful performance in inbound tourism, with China set to overtake France as the leading destination worldwide by 2030.โ€

The report estimates there will be 127 million arrivals in China each year by the end of the next decade, compared to 126 million in France and 116 million in the US.

And as household incomes and standards of living continue to rise, more Chinese are predicted to be travelling overseas in the coming decade than any other nationality.

Read more at World Economic Forum

These passports offer the most travel freedom

The Henley Passport Indexย is a ranking of the worldโ€™s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first obtaining a visa.

Henley & Partnersย released this press release today:

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singaporeโ€™s total of 189. The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Germany has now fallen further to 3rd place, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan. Iraq and Afghanistan continues to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index โ€” based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA).

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot โ€” from 4th to 5th place โ€” with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, and looking ahead, the most dramatic climb might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St.ย Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall.

Dr. Christian H. Kรคlin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008. โ€œThe travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,โ€ says Dr. Kรคlin.

The top countries are:

1. Japan (190 countries)

2. Singapore (189 countries)

3. Germany (188 countries)

4. (Tied) France,ย South Korea,ย Denmark,ย Finland,ย Italy, Sweden, Spain (187 countries)

5. (Tied) Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA (186 countries)

6. (Tied) Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland (185 countries)

7. (Tied) Australia, Greece, Malta (183 countries)

8. (Tied) New Zealand, Czech Republic (182 countries)

9. Iceland (181 countries)

10. (Tied) Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180 countries)

Why you must travel the Silk Road in your lifetime

History is full of long and legendary highways but none โ€“ frankly โ€“ come close to the Silk Road. Itโ€™s not just the magnitude (at least 4,000 miles, in more than 40 countries) but the mythic potency of the project. The world was cleft into east and west in the Middle Ages.

But long before, the Silk Road โ€“ which has existed in one form or another since the fourth century BC โ€“ breached any such divide. While trade was its raison dโ€™รชtre โ€“ Chinese silk, of course, but also salt, sugar, spices, ivory, jade, fur and other luxury goods โ€“ the road forged deep social, cultural and religious links between disparate peoples.

And

The Silk Road was not a road, but a network. The central caravan tract followed the Great Wall, climbed the Pamir Mountains into Afghanistan, and crossed to the Levant. Along the way were spurs branching off to river ports, caravanserai, oases, markets and pilgrimage centres. Journeys demanded meticulous preparation: the Silk Road and its tributaries cut through some of the harshest, highest, wildest places on Earth.

 

High speed rail travel between Hong Kong and mainland China just became a reality

The new bullet trains to southern China promise to be far quicker than existing cross-border rail links, and long-haul services will cut journey times to Beijing from 24 hours to nine hours.

โ€œThis is definitely convenient in terms of time,โ€ said one passenger who gave his name as Mr Kwok and was taking a train to visit his ancestral home in the southern Chinese city of Chaozhou.

More at The Guardian

UNWTO report confirms another record year for tourism, for most

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organizationโ€™s 2018 Tourism Highlights, the total number of international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew 7 percent from 2016 to 2017.

International tourist arrivals reached a total of 1.323 billion in 2017, some 84 million more than the previous year and a new record.ย The sector has now seen uninterrupted growth in arrivals for eight straight years.

2017 was the eighth consecutive year of above- average growth in international tourism following the 2009 global economic crisis.ย The growth in the travel and tourism industry has been fuelled by the global economic upswing, resulting in strong outbound demand.

By region, Europe and Africa saw bigger than average growth of 8 and 9 percent, respectively.ย By subregion, North Africa and Southern and Mediterranean Europe saw the greatest increases in 2017, reflecting strong demand for destinations along the Mediterranean.

When looking at sheer numbers, Europe continues to lead with almost half of the world’s total international arrivals, at 671 million. Europe was also home to six of the ten most visited countries in 2017, with France remaining in the lead.

Spain overtook the USA for second place as international tourism to the USA was down almost 4%.ย  Continue reading

Glory or Death: Climbing Mount Everest

The Economist ranks the worldโ€™s most livable cities

Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unitย release its annual Global Livability Index which measuring the most livable large cities in the world. In this yearโ€™s report, Vienna, Austria has succeeded in displacing Melbourne, Australia from the stop spot, which it previously held for a record seven consecutive years.

The Economist says:

The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide. Each city is assigned a score for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories of Stability, Healthcare, Culture and environment, Education and Infrastructure.

The 20 top rankings are populated with cities in Europe (9), Australia (4), Japan (2), New Zealand (1), and Canada (4).

Honolulu was the highest U.S. city at number 23. The next highest American city was Pittsburgh in 32nd position.ย Manchester was the highest ranked in the UK at number 35.

Here are the top 50:

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Melbourne, Australia

3. Osaka, Japan

4. Calgary, Canada

5. Sydney, Australia

6. ย Vancouver, Canada

7. (Tied) Tokyo, Japan

7. (Tied) Toronto, Canada

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

10. Adelaide, Australia

Continue reading

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