Great Tibet Tour Logo GREAT TIBET TOUR ®
Big News: Tibet has Opened to Expats Living in China Now!

Altitude Sickness in Tibet

Many people are full of imagination and yearning for Tibet but there are many questions to figure out before planning a Tibet trip. Among all the matters, the concern about altitude sickness must come out firstly in most of the travelers' minds. In fact, altitude sickness is not that terrible. So, what is high-altitude sickness? And how to deal with altitude sickness when traveling to Tibet? Let's take a look at it.

What is Altitude Sickness?

As the name implies, altitude sickness is a series of physical discomfort due to changes in air pressure caused by high altitude, low oxygen content, and dry air when someone gets to a place with a high elevation, usually 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) and up. High altitude reaction, also known as altitude sickness, is a type of Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS).

The average altitude of Tibet is above 4,000 meters (13123.36 feet), so especially for those who live on the plain and get used to a low altitude, it’s not easy to adapt to the sudden change of the elevation.

What are the Symptoms of Altitude Sickness?

Headaches, fast heart beating, loss of appetite, difficult breathing are mild symptoms when someone is getting altitude sickness. And they may always feel thirsty, dizzy, or tired, hard to fall asleep or could not sleep well at night, etc. Altitude sickness is a common and unique disease in plateau areas. Most people will experience one or more symptoms of AMS after arriving in Tibet. The symptoms usually will disappear within one or two days, which varies with different individuals. So travelers don't have to worry too much about altitude sickness.

Who Cannot Travel to Tibet?

Usually, if you are healthy, there is no problem for you to visit Tibet. But people who have cardiovascular or respiratory diseases are not suggested to travel to Tibet. For mild heart disease, please check with the doctor and do follow professional advice.

How to Deal with Altitude Sickness When Traveling to Tibet?

1) Take it easy. Please don’t be freaked out by altitude sickness, let alone stop your Tibet tour plan because of it. We should have a right understanding of altitude sickness. It’s hard to avoid it because the average of Tibet Autonomous Region is over 4,000 meters (13,124 feet). And the most popular tourist attractions like Everest Base Camp, Namtso, Mt. Kailash, are around 5,000 meters (16,405 feet). According to our over 16-years’ Tibet tour experience, nearly 99% of travelers will overcome altitude sickness after the beginning of two or three days.

Tips: You can try to take some exercise to keep your body in good. Get enough sleep and avoid catching a cold before traveling to Tibet. If you catch a cold, unfortunately, please contact your tour agent to postpone the trip.

2) Adapt to the altitude in Lhasa. The first stop of your Tibet tour is normally Lhasa. Not only because it’s the capital city of Tibet where there are rich tourist sources, such as the world-known Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, etc. but also for the relatively lower elevation. With an elevation of 3,650 meters (11,975 feet), Lhasa is no doubt to be the perfect place for you to have sufficient rest and get adapted to the altitude change before launching the next destination with a higher elevation.

Tips: It’s vital to have a good rest in the first two or three days of your Tibet tour. After transferring to the hotel on the first arrival day, it’s better to rest and do not take a bath to keep from catching a cold. If you could not help going out, try pack light and stroll walk slowly. For a good sleep at night, please do not overeat at dinner. And you can use a high pillow to make sure your head is higher than the body, which is an excellent way to help you breathe. Even if you didn’t feel any uncomfortable when you get off the airplane or train, it doesn’t mean you will be good later. So, please keep the tips in mind.

3) Please always pay attention to the weather change during the whole trip. As you know, the temperature difference between daytime and night in Tibet is quite big. You may wear a T-shirt in the afternoon while wearing a down jacket in the evening. Thus, please prepare the necessary winter clothes even if you are traveling to Tibet in summer.

4) Regarding the food, please eat those easy to digest. And eat less food bought from the unlicensed vendors, which may cause gastrointestinal disorders. Do not drink alcohol or smoke, or as little as possible. If you can take good care of yourself, the risk of getting altitude sickness will greatly decrease.

5) Prepare useful medicines. If you travel a lot, you will know what medications to prepare for a normal trip. But if for a Tibet tour, please bring some necessary medicines for curing altitude sickness. You can ask for help from your doctor before visiting Tibet. Nuodikang Capsules, Nifedipine, and Suoluomabao Capsules (known as Hongjingtian Capsules in Chinese) are the most common drugs for high altitude. Hongjingtian can be taken two or three days prior to the tour starts for prevention.

Tips: If you don’t feel well after taking medicines, please contact your tour guide and go to the hospital ASAP. Don’t underestimate the harm of altitude sickness. The worst case is getting a fever, which may cause death.

Oxygen uptake at Everest Base Camp
We only meet 1 or 2 clients going to the hospital due to altitude sickness among thousands of travelers of all ranges of conditions. So the data is less than 1%.

Conclusion

Altitude sickness is not horrible but could be defeated as long as you follow the correct guidance. Above all, you need to engage with a reliable Tibet tour company to make sure your Tibet travel interesting and safe. A good tour operator will take responsibility for your physical health and mental satisfaction. As a local Tibet travel agency, Great Tibet Tour arranged thousands of Tibet tours for foreigners since 2005. Besides the handpicked itineraries, we also do our best to make sure our clients complete the tour smoothly. We always have the Oxygen tank & some medicines in the vehicle for emergency use. Meanwhile, our experienced Tibetan guide will take measures according to different circumstances. And we will send you to the hospital if you are not feeling well.

Related Articles

  • Tibet Travel Restrictions You Should Know
    Tibet is a special destination so there're many travel restrictions in Tibet. And foreign tourists should obtain Tibet travel permits before visiting Tibet.

  • Tibet Neighbors, Borders and Ports
    Tibet is located in the southwest of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and neighbors India, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Kashmir, and other regions, with a 4000km+ borderline.

  • Why Visit Tibet in Winter?
    Check the list of the best winter travel destinations in Tibet. The temperature there is not cold for intensive sunlight and the cost is much lower.

  • Best Time to Visit Tibet
    What's the best time to visit Tibet? It depends on what you want to see and do. Generally speaking, April to October is the best time to travel to Tibet.

  • How to Travel to Tibet from Beijing?
    Traveling to Tibet from Beijing is a good choice for international travelers because Beijing is an important international arrival hub and you can get to Lhasa conveniently from Beijing by flight or by train.

  • What to Pack for Mount Kailash Trekking Tour?
    What to pack for your Mt.Kailash trekking tour? You don't have to carry all the items for the 3 days Kailash trek. Here's the list you might need such as clothes, medicines, skin protection, sleeping bags, and so on.

  • How to Plan a Trip to Tibet?
    Tibet is a pearl on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A trip to Tibet is not as tough as you thought. It has a unique landscape, mysterious Tibetan Buddhism, and many other fantastic things for you to explore. Read this step-by-step guide from your door to Tibet!

  • Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: Once in A Lifetime Experience
    Kailash Mansarovar is a pilgrimage site nestled in the Himalayas in Tibet. Over the years, Yatris across the world come here to do the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, and travelers come to witness its mystical beauty. In this article, you will find more details such as routes, cost, best time, etc.

  • Where is Tibet?
    Tibet maps show the location of Tibet on the world, Asia, and China. What's more, you can clearly get the information about Tibet attractions, transportation, Tibetan Plateau terrain, travel routes, rivers resources from these maps.

  • Travel to Tibet
    If you want to travel to Tibet, a land of lofty heights and religious significance, you should know some Tibet travel tips of the restrictions, transportation, things to do, diet, etc.

  • Tibetan Tsampa(Zanba)
    What is Tsampa? Tsampa(also Zanba or Tsamba) is one of the traditional staple foods of Tibetan herders. Tsampa is the Tibetan transliteration of roasted flour. Butter tea is the perfect match for Tsampa.

Ask a Quick Question Below? Or Call 0086-891-6679450
or Email Us