New Scenic Site Added To City on Roof of World

A 153-meter-high tower, the tallest of its kind on the "Roof of the World", the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau,was opened to tourists as of Monday.

The tower, nicknamed "pearl in snow-clad region", is located inside the compound of Lhasa Radio and TV Center.

The tower has 37 storeys and has a main rotating hall with restaurant and tourists may get a bird's view over Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.

The tower cost about five million yuan (aboutUS$ 602,400) which was borne by Beijing Municipality as part of a nationwide campaign to support economic development in Tibet.

"Old houses are gone, and roads are interwoven. I can hardly recognize the street where I live," said 62-year-old Basang Norbu who led his grandson to the main rotating hall.

"It is beyond my recognition this is the very Lhasa I live in every day," said the old Tibetan.

Wangdui, operator of the tower, called the construction of the tower a necessity as Tibet has witnessed an average growth rate of 20 percent in its tourist industry.

This region played host to 670,000 tourists last year.

( Xinhua News Agency April 8, 2002)

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