Ladakh makes 48 hours of acclimatisation mandatory, to get first dark sky reserve
Among the destinations that have gained in popularity in recent years, Ladhak has seen a massive influx of travellers, a lot of them arriving by air. This, however, has raised instances of acute mountain sickness (AMS), a result of ascending to altitude much too quickly. With limited medical infrastructure in Ladakh, this has posed a serious challenge to the region’s health authorities. Now, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), in a meet, has decided to introduce a mandatory 48-hour period of acclimatisation for all travellers to Ladakh. The meeting also pledged to initiate awareness campaigns that would educate local health workers on dealing with medical emergencies. In other developments, an agreement between the Ladakh Union Territory Administration, LAHDC and Indian Institute of Astrophysics, will see Ladakh get its first Dark Sky Reserve. Hanle, where the reserve is slated to come up, is already home to the Indian Astronomical Observatory and has some of the best weather conditions for astro tourism across the year. While the observatory is currently not accessible to the public, with the new reserve and a visitor centre, travellers will be able to interact with scientists and learn about astronomy. Locals will also undergo training in astro-tourism activities.
U.S., Bahamas and Thailand relax travel restrictions
Visitors flying into the United States will no longer be required to take a Covid-19 test before arrival. The United States Centers for Disease Control said in a statement that starting June 12, travellers wouldn’t be subject to a test before departure although they will still need to provide proof of vaccination. The Bahamas meanwhile has scrapped the policy of all international travellers having to apply for a health visa before entering the country. Vaccinated travellers are still required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to entering the Bahamas. Visitors to Thailand too will no longer have to register with the Thailand Pass to enter the country and all vaccinated travellers will only have to furnish proof of having taken the required doses.
Nepal Considers Shifting Everest Base Camp
Set at a height of 5,364 metres, Khumbu Glacier—the current site of the Everest Base Camp has set off alarm bells due to its distressing thinning. The melting glaciers are a result of global warming and pose a grave risk to an estimated number of 1,500 trekking enthusiasts, who gather at the camp every climbing season. Nepal’s tourism department held an unofficial meeting where authorities discussed relocating the base. The whereabouts of the next potential camping zone is not confirmed. The Himalayan Glaciers have been paramount in contributing towards water resources in the South Asian subcontinent. However, with global warming and the meteoric climate change, the 2,000-year-old ice cap on Everest is melting at high speed.
Queer Britain, the U.K.’s first LGBTQ+ museum, now open to visitors
Queer Britain marks the first LGBTQ+ museum in the United Kingdom and has recently opened its doors to visitors. Situated in London’s 2 Granary Square, the museum showcases the history, struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community. Spread across two floors with four gallery spaces, five exhibition areas and a retail store, entry to the museum is free for all. The museum opened with the Welcome to Queer Britain exhibition and in July, an exhibit named “We Are Queer Britain” will promote 50 different voices to celebrate 50 years of the Gay Pride in London.
Samarpan Bhowmik is Deputy Editor at National Geographic Traveller India. Ever on the lookout for novel experiences, he believes the best way to travel is to do it slow. He hopes to hitchhike the length of South America one day.