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Tibet Travel Tips

Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres. Its culture, religions and way of life are great different from that of other Chinese areas. Travelling there, you need to pay attention to more things, the below tips are for your infomation.  

TIPS FOR PREPARING  TO TIBET

Apply for the Tibet Travel Permits!!!  Besides the Chinese visas, it is mportant for you to get the Tibet Travel Permits first before visiting Tibet.

Have medical check with your heart and lung before your trip to Tibet. The higher the elevation, the thinner its air. Altitude sickness can result in symptoms, such as dizziness, tiredness and headaches - and hardly catching your breath. Your breathing andblood circulation systems need time to acclimate the high elevation.

People who suffer from heart disease, serious anemia, asthma and hypertension are not recommended to visit Tibet.

Ginseng conduces to the body to adapt to the anoxic environments you can take some before flying to Tibet (if you think it is necessary).

To learn something about Tibetan etiquettes and taboos

HOW TO GET

At present, Chengdu is the busiest air hub to getting into Lhasa, Tibet. The major commercial flight routings (Beijing/Lhasa, Chengdu/Lhasa, Xian/Lhasa and Kathmandu/Lhasa) are monopolized by Air China. If the travelers wish to reach Tibet by land, there are few available roads to Tibet from Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Nepal respectively. However, the conditions of most roads are not good and the rides are quite tough.

THE BEST WAY TO GET

At present, independent travels are strictly prohibited by Tibet local authorities. Traveling through Tibet need certain travel documents issued the local Tibet government. Without the assistances of the local tour operators, the travelers cannot obtain the required travel documents. In order to avoid the foreseeable difficulties aroused by independent travels in Tibet, taking the tours coordinated by China Fact Tours and Tibet tour operators.

ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

About Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), it normally a slight reaction will take place for sure especially for the travelers who come to Tibet for the first time. AMS represents the body's intolerance of the hypoxic (low oxygen) environment at one's current elevation. the typical symptoms would appear on the facets like headache, dizzy, feels of to be disgusted, vomit and etc. but if only do you follow the necessary instructions from our tour guide and everything should be okay. And the major cause of AMS is going too high too fast. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in Oxygen molecules at a specific altitude. This process is known as acclimatization and generally takes 1-3 days at that altitude. And when acclimatization lags significantly behind ascent, various symptoms occur. To prevent of the Altitude Illness, the most important thing is you can't over-exert yourself or move higher for the first 24 hours and you'd better not to take any activities for the first day in Tibet. Normally you will regain normal sense on the second day upon your arrival.

That's why we do not arrange any activities for our guest the first day upon their arrival. It's our responsibility to guarantee to your safety.

TIPS TO AVOID AND TREAT AMS:

Do exercises to keep you fit before taking a Tibet tour.

Avoid catching a cold before you entry to Tibet.

Make sure you have a good sleep the night before you flying to Lhasa;

After getting off your airplane in the airport, walk slowly, take some deep breath. Do not do anything severely.

Buy a small oxygen cylinder when arrive in Tibet. (If you think it is necessary, but don't bring from your county because you will be forbidden before boarding the plane.).

Ascend to higher altitude gradually. DO NOT ASCEND ANY HIGHER if you feel bad.

Prepare some AMS pills according to your doctor's suggestion.

Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol, don't take cigarettes, and taking sleeping pills in the high altitude areas.

Drink plenty of water.

Eat high-carbohydrate foods (rice, pasta, cereal) while avoiding fatty stuff.

Take the prescribed medication before reaching Tibet and continue to take the medication upon arrival there.

Diamox® 125 mg. tablets taken twice a day is F.D.A. approved for prevention and treatment of A.M.S. Although it originally was released as a diuretic (water pill), it also helps you breath deeper and faster. This allows you to get more oxygen. Diamox is especially helpful with the sleeping problems and other symptoms of A.M.S. Avoid sleeping pills because they may cause shallow breathing at night and make it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Use Oxygen to relieve symptoms.

If nothing else works, return to the areas with the lower elevation.

MEDICINE TIPS

Following is a list of items you should consider including in your medical kit - consult your pharmacist for brands available in your country.

Aspirin or paracetamol - for pain or fever

Antihistamine - for allergies, eg hay fever; to ease the itch from insect bites or stings; and to prevent motion sickness.

Antibiotics consider including these if you're traveling well off the beaten track' see your doctor, as they must be prescribed, and carry the prescription with you.

Loperamides or Diphenoxylate 'blockers' for diarrhea' Prochlorperazine or metaclopramide for nausea and vomiting.

Rehydration mixture to prevent dehydration, eg due to severe diarrhea; particularly important when traveling with children.

Insect repellent, sunscreen, lip balm and eye drops.

Calamine lotion, sting relief spray or aloe vera-to ease irritation from sunburn and insect bites or stings.

Antifungal cream or powder - for fungal skin infections and thrush.

Antiseptic, such as povidone-iodine for cuts and grazes.

Bandages, band-aids or plasters and other would dressings.

Scissors, tweezers and a thermometer (note that mercury thermometers are prohibited by airlines)

Syringes and needles in case you need injections in a country with medical hygine problems. Ask your doctor for a note explaining why you have them.

Cold and Flu tablets, throat lozenges and nasal decongestant.

Multivitamines - consider for long trips, when dietary vitamin intake may be inadequate.

TIPS FOR AVOIDING SUNBURN

It is very easy to get sunburnt in Tibet. Sunburn can be more than just uncomfortable. Among the undesirable effects are premature skin ageing and possible skin cancer in later years. Sunscreen (UV lotion) with a high sun protection factor (SPF>30), good quality sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat are good means of protection. Those with fair complexions should bring reflective sunscreen (containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide) with them. Apply the sunscreen to your nose and lips and note how many hours it works.

TIPS FOR TIBETAN ETIQUES & TABOOS

With unique culture and religion, Tibetan people have different ways of behavior in many aspects. There is an old Chinese saying: "Sing the local songs when you get to a local place." So please keep in mind the following Tibetan etiquettes and taboos to make you behave well on your Tibet trip.

1. Remember not to step on threshold when entering the tent or house in Tibet.

2. Speaking or walking the guests and the aged people are always first; calling somebody in name please add "la" behind the name to express respects, remember not to call somebody in name directly.

3. When visit the Tibetan house (or tent), if you are asked to sit down (remember man sit on the left, woman sit on the right), please cross your legs, do not stretch your legs forward and face your sole to others; do not glance this way and that.

4. You should accept the Hada with both hands. While presenting the Hada you should bend your body forward and hold the gift higher than your head with the hands. While offering tea, wine or cigarette, you should offer them by both hands and any fingers do not tough inside of the bowl.

5. Do not touch, walk over or sit on any religious texts, objects or prayer flags in monasteries.

6. Do not use the paper with Tibetan words to rub (clean) things or use as toilet paper.

7. Don't touch Tibetan people's heads especially those of the children.

8. When the host presents you a cup of wine, you should dip your ring finger in the wine and flick the wine into the sky, in the air and to the ground respectively to express your respects to the heaven, the earth and the ancestors before sipping the wine. The host will fill the cup, and you take a sip of the wine again. After the host fills your cup again, you have to bottom it up.

9. Tibetans do not eat horse, dog and donkey meat and also do not eat fish, shrimp, chicken and eggs in some areas, so please respect their diet habits; throw the bones into fire is forbidden in Tibet.

10. Do not be mouthful when eating food, and do not make noises when eating or drinking.

11. It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.

12. Tibetan people stretch out their tongue to say hello to you. Also it is a courtesy to put their hands palm in front of breast.

13. Do not smoke in monasteries and temples. Also it is banned to touch the statue of Buddha and religious articles and take pictures of them. In addition,

all should walk clockwise (not in the Bon temples).

14. Seeing any dagobas, monasteries or Mani piles, please go around them clockwise (not of the Bon); do not cross the fire and Mani piles.

15. Don't revolve the prayer cylinders or wheels anticlockwise.

16. Eagles are the sacred birds in the eyes of the Tibetan people. You should not drive them away or injure them. On the outskirts, you could not drive or disturb the sheep or cows with red, green or yellow cloth strips on.

17. Since more and more tourists are going to Tibet, more and more Tibetan people get used of seeing the western people with jeans, sun glasses and some of them with shorts (It is prohibited to wear shorts among the Tibetans.), the above rules are not obeyed so strictly as before. But we still suggest you take the above advices and remember the Tibetant facts on etiquettes and taboos to behave well in your trip to Tibet and Lhasa.

OTHER TRAVEL TIPS

The temperature during daytime is around 8~25°C in Lhasa in early June, but the night temperature may reach 0°C and when visit the lake or mountain, down-jacket is needed. Try to dress in black or other heavy color clothes since the road out of Lhasa may be very dusty and dirty. The following are some we are suggested to bring for your tour in Tibet:

Sweater: Wool or wool mix with a high neck for extra warmth.

Headwear: wool or fible-pile ski-style cap or balaclava for warmth. A lightweight brimmed hat is good for sun protection .Inexpensive broad brimmed straw and elt hats are sold in Tibeet's city markets.

Scarf: wool or silk is best.

Bandanna or handkerchief: Bring several.

Cotton underwear: four or five pairs.

Socks: at least three pairs.

Shirts: A long-sleeve shirt made of wool, flannel, or chamois, or a track-suit top. A long-sleeve stay-pree cotton shirt for warmer temperatures. Bring two or three T-shirts as well.

Pants: For men, one pair of loose-fitting wool pants, wool knickers, or fiber-pile pants, and one pair of light-weight cotton pants. Women should wear a midcalf dress or skirt, though pants and knee-lenth knickers with socks are also acceptable. Shorts are not appropriate at any time in Tibet for men or women.

Camera: You will regret not bring one.

Money pouch or belt: Safer than a wallet for keeping your passport, money, and valuable papers.

Pictures from home: Personal photographs of your children, pet, city, house, and so on are a great way to communicate with local people.

TIBET EMERGENCY CALL NUMBERS 

110 Call police for help in any danger
119 Dial this number when fire or other disaster happens
120 Call for an ambulance
122 Dial this number when a traffic accident happens

Questions & Comments

  • PARIS on February 28, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Hey! Great concept, but will this truly function?

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