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Rail travel to Tibet expected for National Day holiday
1/9/2006 17:12

Wendy Zhang/ Shanghai Daily news

Residents of Shanghai are expected to travel to Tibet by train for the weeklong National Day holiday which begins from October 1, Laodong Daily reported today.

"Tour itineraries are ready, and we are waiting for the final nod from the Shanghai Railway Bureau," said a spokesman with a local travel agency. A month ago, the railway department opened discussions on these tours for the National Day holiday with local travel agencies.

However, the recent accident of a 77-year-old Hong Kong tourist that died from altitude sickness after riding on China's new Tibet railway, has aroused alert among local travel agencies.

Many people suffer from serious altitude sickness from this type of rail tour, which lasts about 52 hours. Fewer tourists are receiving hypoxia tests before the tour, and therefore, more will go to the hospital because they feel ill upon returning to the city, which is usually too late, said Bai Chunxue, a professor from the altitude-sickness department of Zhongshan Hospital.

Shanghai Odyssey Travel Co., Ltd has offered free altitude-sickness consultations via the Internet and special medical insurance to guarantee the safety of tourists.