You don’t need to climb Mt. Everest to reach some of the highest points on earth. There are some more accessible locations bearing the name of the highest … though in their own hight category.
La Paz. Bolivia
The highest capital: Up to 4,100 m (13,450 ft)
Thanks to its high location, La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, is the city of record-breaking extremes. Situated at an elevation of 3,660 meters above sea level (12,000 ft), it is the world’s highest capital city, with some of its districts rising as high as 4,100 meters (13,450 ft). Due to its altitude, La Paz can boast one of the highest major airports in the world, the world’s highest golf course, football stadium and velodrome.
The Tilicho Lake. Nepal.
The highest lake: 4,949 m (16,236 ft)
High in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas in Nepal there is the Tilicho lake, world’s highest located body of water. Also called ‘tarn’, i.e., a pool formed by glacier, the lake is difficult to access due to its extremely inhospitable surroundings. Nevertheless, in 2000, a Russian diving team conducted the world’s highest scuba dive in Tilicho.
The Qingzang Railway. China.
The highest railway: 5,072 m (16,640 ft)
The almost 2,000 km long Qingzang railway, called the train to the roof of the world, is the highest railway on earth. Connecting the Qinghai Province in China with Tibet, the line was specially built for high altitude environment – the carriages have an oxygen supply for each passenger and several oxygen factories were constructed along the track. Also, toilet water must be heated to prevent freezing. The highest part of the railway is the Tanggula Pass, rising at 5,072 m (16,640 feet) above sea level, making it the highest rail track in the world.
The highest ski resort: 5,421 m (17,785 ft)
The Chacaltaya ski resort, located in the Chacaltaya mountain range in Bolivia, used to be the highest ski area in the world. The 18,000-year old glacier that served the ski resort has completely melted down though. Whether the disappearance of the glacier was caused by global warming or a natural variation in climate is still a matter of dispute. At present, what is left of the ski resort is a 600-foot (180 m) stretch that receives sufficient snowfall during the winter.
Khunjerab Pass. China-Pakistan
The highest border: 4,693 metres (15,397 ft)
Khunjerab Pass, strategically located between Pakistan and China, is considered to be the highest paved border crossing in the world. The pass is also the highest point of the Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world. Rising at an altitude of 4,693 metres (15,397 ft), the border is often covered with snow and therefore it is closed during the winter, from November to May.
Semo La. Tibet.
The highest vehicle-accessible road: 5,565 m (18,258 ft)
The Tibetan road Semo La leading to the Chang Tang region in Central Tibet is the highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world. The old unsurfaced road is travelled only by a weekly bus, some trucks and adventurous travellers that use Semo La as an alternative access road to western parts of Tibet and Mount Kailash, a sacred peak in Hinduism and Buddhism. By the way, the mount has not seen any known climbing attempts, as climbing it would be considered an offence against the latter religions.
La Rinconada. Peru.
The highest permanent settlement: 5,100 m (16,732 ft)
La Rinconada is renowned for being the highest permanent settlement in the world. Despite its magnificent location in the Peruvian Andes, the town is one of the filthiest places to live in, with no running water and no sewage system. Its economy is based on the production of gold in the local mine. Apparently, the mine’s employees work under the cachorreo system, which means that they work without payment and on the last day of the month they are allowed to take as much ore as they can carry on their shoulders. There is no guarantee, however, that the ore will contain gold.
The Burj Al Arab tennis court. The UAE
The highest tennis court: 210 m (690 ft)
Last but not least, one of the world’s most striking constructions – the Burj Al Arab hotel, located in Dubai, is home to the highest tennis court on the globe. Situated 210 meters above sea level, the setting of the court is as impressive as the whole complex. Burj Al Arab is the only 7 star hotel on the globe and the second tallest building in the world that is used exclusively as a hotel.