High Altitude Sickness in Tibet
Extremely high elevations such as those encountered on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau may present unique problems to people who are not accustomed to these high altitudes. Fortunately, the following are some tips to prevent or at least alleviate the uncomfortable feelings caused by altitude sickness.
Before you go to Tibet
A physical examination before the trip is necessary as people with heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, serious anemia, and other cardio and respiratory problems should not travel in the extreme altitudes encountered Tibet. Even if you do not believe that you have a health problem, the sudden change to a high altitude possibly make a latent one apparent. We strongly suggest that you had better take proper precautions. It is best to ask your doctor to advise you about precautions you can take and items to bring along on your trip that may assist you to adjust to the climate and altitude. It is also a good idea to pack some commonly used over-the-counter medicines, such as those used for cold, inflammation, insect bite, and sunstroke. But, even with these OTC items, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that the brands are safe in very high altitude environments.
Work out a reasonable itinerary. It is a favorable choice to travel from relatively low elevation to get used to the attitude sickness step by step. For example, you can travel firstly in Nyingchi Region, the average elevation of which is about 2,900 meters, then to higher places. It is better to travel by plane than by road or by railway. The latter ways will not help adapt tourists gradually to the plateau, but rather make tourists too tired to adapt.
When you in Tibet
Take good rest after your arrival. People cannot feel altitude sickness until several hours after the arrival. If you are too excited in the first hours, you will suffer a lot when it comes. Do not eat too much. Your stomach may not work as well as it does on the plain. Besides, do not drink alcohol.
When altitude sickness comes, do not be panic. The symptoms of Altitude Sickness are headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise. Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at altitude and begin to decrease in severity about the third day.
You can just sleep or take medicines following the doctor's advice. Tibetan doctors know too well procedures for curing it. Do not depend on inbreathing pure oxygen. It will only slow your adaptation process.
Try to not catch a cold. On the plateau, a cold can easily turn into dangerous high altitude illness. Wearing warm and enough clothes for the plateau is usually extremely cold. Do not take showers or bathes too frequently especially on your first night in Tibet. This will help you avoid catching severe colds.
Please keep a good mood and be optimistic all times. Fight your fear of altitude sickness. When you overcome it, it will do you no harm. Generally speaking, this process takes 2-4 days or a little longer depends on individuals.
Your high altitude diet should consist primarily of foods that are easy to digest, such as light soups, cereals, noodles, fruits and cooked vegetables. This is one time when sugar in your diet is a plus as a source of energy, especially brown sugar which works well to relieve altitude sickness. Moreover, avoiding cigarettes, cigars and alcohol is very important.
What is the accommodation condition in Tibet?
We should make your attention that the equipment and conditions of hotels in Tibet are not as well as that in the rest parts of China. If you would like to book a 5-star (or 4-star or 3-star) hotel in Tibet, you should notice that the standard may not as the same with the one you always anticipate.
In Lhasa, lodging ranges from guest houses to the best five star hotels. In Shigatse, Gyangtse and Tsetang, the highest standard is three star hotels. In Dingri and Zhangmu, the highest are two stars while in other smaller or remote areas, accommodation is mainly guest houses.
Asking your travel advisors to arrange your accommodation in Tibet is a better way for your Tibet travel.
What to wear in Tibet in four seasons?
For many tourists who plan to go to Tibet, which kinds of clothes should bring with become the biggest confusion. Whether it is needed to bring a coat in summer? In this page, Top China Travel will give you a brief introduction about what to wear in Tibet in four seasons for your reference.
Travel to Tibet in spring (Mar. - May)
In spring, most of the tourists traveling to Tibet are for Nyingchi’s peach. At this time, Tibet is still slightly chill. As it is to travel outside, and will be more walk, the clothes and pants to wear should be loose and comfortable, such as sportswear or other casual clothes, comfortable shoes. This time to Tibet, you can wear a thick cotton jacket plus general thermal underwear, and for the pants, sportswear with thin long johns. Comfortable cotton underwear are best choice.
Travel to Tibet in summer (June – Aug.)
Entering summer, Tibet also enters the peak season of tourist. It is sunny with comfortable temperature. In Lhasa, during the day, you can wear long-sleeved shirt and casual trousers; Namtso also has thawed at this time. More tourists trek to Nagri, Medog and other regions. If you go to these high altitudes area, you’d better bring a sweater, jacket and other warm clothing. At these areas, the temperatures can drop to below freezing at night. The high-top outdoor shoes are more appropriate in this season.
Travel to Tibet in autumn (Sep. – Nov.)
Tibet's autumn is very beautiful. Different colors were tilted down from the mountains, many tourists hiking in Nagri or Medog and other routes. If you go to Nagri and other high altitudes areas, you need to bring sweaters, jackets and other warm clothing. These areas are usually cold at night, and temperatures may drop below zero. In Lhasa, Nyingchi and other regions, you should bring thicker coat and thermal underwear, sports pants and thinker long johns. High-top outdoor are more appropriate.
Travel to Tibet in Winter (Dec. – Feb.)
At this season, Nagri, Medog, Namtso and other places have snow blocking the road, not suitable for tourism. Jokhang Temple Square during the day, the sunshine is a very pleasant thing in the morning and at night temperature will reach a few degrees below zero. You need to add sweaters, down jackets, and sports pants plus thick warm long johns to resist cold. Shoes are better add cotton with moistureproof, and a hard-soled shoes are appropriate.