Visitors pass a small lake near the Khukchung Gangri Glacier in Tibet's Damshung county. PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY
Authorities in Damshung county in the Tibet autonomous region announced on Thursday that the Khukchung Gangri Glacier Scenery Site is now open to the public.
Khukchung Gangri, also known as the No 1 Glacier of the Lhasa Valley, is the nearest glacier to the regional capital, Lhasa. It first opened to the public in 2019.
Tsering Lhashung, a manager at Damshung County Changthang Culture and Tourism Development, said it takes less than three hours to drive from Lhasa to the site entrance, about 5,500 meters above sea level.
"It is about 10 kilometers from the entrance gate to the foot of the glacier, which takes less than 20 minutes by car on a dirt road," Tsering Lhashung said.
Tourists visiting the site may participate in various outdoor activities, including glacier observation, mountain and ice climbing, soaking in a hot spring spa, skiing and viewing the plateau pasture.
At an altitude of 6,010 meters, Luodui Mountain-locally known as Lungkar Mori-which looks down on the glacier, is a destination for climbers and an ideal place for beginners to learn.
Tsering Lhashung said the site had been open to the public for only a few months in the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected to operate throughout the remainder of this year.
The price for an entry ticket is 149 yuan ($23), but ethnic Tibetan people get a discount and need to pay just 39 yuan.
"It's suggested that any visitor with poor health or inexperienced climbers refrain from climbing immediately upon arrival at the foot of the glacier. This is to avoid potential health risks," Tsering Lhashung said.
Items such as oxygen, drugs for altitude sickness and suitable outdoor sportswear should be packed by visitors, he added. Visitors can book tickets online or offline.
"Operation of the scenery site is one of the county's measures in developing the tourism industry, and it also aims to provide more job opportunities for residents," Tsering Lhashung said.
"So far, more than 20 villagers have been hired to work as security guards, salespeople, cooks, mountain guides and assistants."