With people's living standards improving all the time, travel has become a top priority for people when off-duty. In 2011, domestic tourism revenues amounted to1.9 trillion yuan (US$302.3 billion), up 21 percent on a year-on-year basis, according to a China Tourism Academy report. However, as many primary scenic spots have increased their admission fees due to popularity, more and more people are starting to complain.
In fact, China's entrance fees are far higher than those charged in other countries. Many of the world's most famous attractions only charge very low admissions, with some of them even free of any charge. Mount Fuji in Japan for example is free for all to visit and the Louvre in France charges only 8.5 euros (about 70 yuan). Compared to these, China's admission rates are often simply too high to still be acceptable. Tourist attractions in foreign countries mostly depend on the surrounding tourism infrastructure for additional revenue rather than on admission fees. However, most Chinese attractions have to rely on entrance fees for income.
Now let's take a look at the 10 most expensive attractions in China.
Top 10: Potala Palace 布达拉宫
The palace stands perched on top of Hongshan Mountain in the center of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, 3,600 meters above sea level. Potala Palace was first constructed in 641 by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in order to welcome his bride, Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). After it was renovated by the Fifth Dalai Lama between 1645 and 1693, it went on to become the chief residence of the Dalai Lama.
Admission: 200 yuan (US$31.6) (May 1 - Oct 31);
100 yuan (US$) (Nov 1 - Apr 30);