Preparation of a Tour to Tibet

What is high altitude sickness and how to prevent it?

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) refers to some symptoms one may have at high altitudes, including headache, dizziness, lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, breathlessness, irritability and difficulty sleeping which reflect our bodies' intolerance to the low oxygen environment at high altitudes. They will generally disappear through acclimatization in several hours to several days depending on individual susceptibility.

Here are some suggestions for you to prevent it:

  1. Avoid catching a cold before entering Tibet;
  2. Try to have a good sleep at the night before flying to Tibet;
  3. Don't conduct many activities on the first day of your arrival in Tibet;
  4. Walk slowly and drink extra fluids after getting off the airplane;
  5. Light and high carbohydrate meals are recommended for more energy; Don't drink alcohol or smoke;
  6. Climb up to higher altitude slowly;
  7. Avoid sedatives;
  8. Prepare some medicines as per doctors'suggestion.

Related Topic: Altitude Sickness - Expert's Advices for Travel to Tibet

What are the altitudes of main places in Tibet?

Altitude of Main Cities and Towns in Tibet:

 City Altitude (m) City  Altitude (m) 
 Lhasa  3650  Pomi   2750 
 Shigatse  3836  Nyingchi  3000
 Gyantse  4040  Tsedang  3500
 Chamdo  3240  Tingri  4300
 Amdo  4800  Shiquanhe  4300
 Nagqu  4507  Purang  3700
 Damxung  4200  Rutog  4250


Is cold very serious for going to Tibet? What shall I do if I catch cold in Tibet?

If you get a serious cold before travelling to Tibet, it may result in pulmonary edema or other serious mountain sickness which are quite dangerous without timely treatment. However, if you catch cold in Tibet, it usually won’t be a serious problem as you have already had some acclimatization to the high altitude environment and the doctors in Tibet are quite expert in treating cold. You can also take some medicines yourself.

What do you suggest we bring with us if we travel to Tibet?

There is a great variation of temperatures from day to night in Tibet so casual attire style and layered clothing are recommended. Warm clothes are always a necessity when travelling in Tibet. Feather down clothes and woolen underpants are necessary if you’ll travel beyong Lhasa to Mt. Everest or Mt. Kailash in Ngari.

Is it safe to travel in Tibet?

Yes, it is safe. Most Tibetans have religious beliefs and they usually will never do something unfaithful or harmful to others.

What currency is used in Tibet and is it convenient to bring cash or credit cards in Tibet?

The main currency in Tibet is Renminbi (RMB). It is more convenient to take along enough cash with you than using credit card in Tibet. Credit cards are usually accepted in large shops or hotels only. There are ATMs in Lhasa and Shigatse only and some of them sometimes can not work properly.

What gifts shall I take for my visit to a local family in Tibet?

Stationeries, such as pencils, notebook, ball pen are quite scarce in Tibet, which can be welcomed by the Tibetans especially the students. Some snacks such as biscuits, candies and chockolates are also welcomed.