China’s been breaking all sorts of records these past few years. From the “World’s Longest Bridge” to the “World’s Largest LED Screen”, China holds quite an impressive list of World records.

Recently, the title for the “World’s Most Expensive Dog” was snatched by China – again. A red Tibetan Mastiff, named “Hong Dong”, was sold for 10 million yuan (around $1.5 million) to a coal baron from North of China. Before the sale, the World’s most expensive dog was another Tibetan Mastiff who was sold in 2009 for 4 million yuan ($608,680).

“Hong Dong”, is 11-months-old but already stands nearly three-feet-high at the shoulder and weighs more than 180lbs, according to his breeder, Lu Liang. “He is a perfect specimen,” said Mr Lu, who runs the Tibetan Mastiff Garden in Laoshan, near the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao. “He has excellent genes and will be a good breeding dog.” “The price is justified,” he said. “We have spent a lot of money raising this dog, and we have the salaries of plenty of staff to pay.”

According to Mr Lu, the Tibetan Mastiff was fed a diet of chicken and beef, spiced up with exotic Chinese delicacies such as sea cucumber and abalone. That sounds like a luxurious life even for a human. Considering that abalone is something most living in China will never taste in their entire life, I would say that most would wish to rather be reincarnated as this dog.

But is a rare breed and an opulent style of nurturing worth such a high price? The new owner definitely thinks so. The male dog can be hired out to other breeders for as much as 100,000 yuan a shot, so it can be considered more as an investment than pet.

Tibetan Mastiffs are huge and fierce guard dogs that have stood watch over nomad camps and monasteries on the Tibetan plateau for centuries. They are thought to be one of the world’s oldest breeds, and legend has it that both Genghis Khan and Lord Buddha kept them.

More recently, however, they have become highly-prized status symbols for China’s new rich. The dogs are thought to be a pure “Chinese” breed and they are rarely found outside Tibet, giving them an exclusivity that other breeds cannot match.

via Telegraph.

For those who are planning on visiting Tibet, be prepared to be disappointed.

Chinese authorities have closed the troubled Tibetan region to foreign tourists, ahead of the third anniversary of violent anti-government riots there.

China has increased security in Tibet since the 2008 demonstrations descended into violence and spread to neighbouring areas with significant Tibetan populations. China routinely limits foreign travel to Tibet, requiring overseas tourists to obtain special permits (in addition to Chinese visas) and also travel in tour groups. Foreign tourists were banned from travelling to the Himalayan region for more than a year after the 2008 demonstrations. This is nothing new.

How long this travel restriction will last is still unknown. Hopefully, travel to Tibet will be resumed in April (if there are no protests).

I was very tempted to visit Tibet after seeing this, but I guess it’ll have to wait.

via Yahoo! News.

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