To commemorate Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej's 80th birthday this year, broadcaster TITV is planning to sponsor a nine-member team that will try to be the first Thai expedition to Mt. Everest.  The group will attempt to scale the world's highest mountain and plant the national flag, a Buddhist flag and a flag with the royal emblem on the 8,848-meter summit.  "No Thai has ever scaled Mt Everest," TITV said in a letter to Nepal's culture, tourism and civil aviation ministry.  "We want to show the Thai people's faith and loyalty towards the king, country and Buddhism."  Adding that a successful summit would also promote Nepal as a tourist destination, TITV asked the Nepalese government to waive or reduce the $90,000 royalty fee for climbing the peak.
The Economic Times