McDonald's is taking its food to new heights, quite literally. The fast-food giant has opened a branch in Lhasa, Tibet at a height of 12,139 feet.
The branch will serve the staple McDonald's items - burgers, french fries, and the hugely popular Bug Mac - at over 12,000 feet above sea level. Surrounded by clouds and natural beauty, this outlet would really be something else.
The outlet has hired over 60 personnel, aiming to provide a special experience to customers. The branch also has the option of mobile payments and self-service. The breathtaking palaces and mountains of Lhasa would be visible to the customers as they eat their burgers.
The restaurant is set in a shopping centre opposite the Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama's former residence. The palace remains one of Lhasa's top tourist attractions.
Before this restaurant, the highest McDonald's outlet was in Ben Nevis, Britain. The outlet in Ben Nevis was 4,379 feet, a third of the height of the Lhasa branch.
This is not the first time American fast food outlets have opened up in Tibet. In 2016, KFC opened its first branch in Lhasa. The business was the first major Western fast food chain to open up in the remote region.
Tibet has become a prime destination for Chinese tourists, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more Chinese travelling within the country. Millions of visitors come to the region every year, "drawn to the mystique and myth of Tibet as a remote snow-bound land".
The tourists visiting the land far exceed the region population of 3.5 million. The sharp rise in tourism poses a threat to the region’s fragile ecosystem and historical sites.