What is the Best Way to Avoid High Altitude Sickness

Last updated: August,17 2018

When it comes to visiting places with high altitude, most people will become worried about the high altitude sickness, which is quite common in high mountains, high plateaus and etc. If you plan to set out to visit Tibet, you also need to pay more attention to this issue. It is sensible for you to get some basic knowledge on high altitude sickness, which will do you much help once you get the symptoms during your Tibet tourism.

Altitude of the Major Attractions in Tibet

As for the issue of what is the best way to avoid high altitude sickness in your Tibet tour, you need first to know the altitude of some major attractions in Tibet to plan your Tibet tour more considerably. You can read the following contents to grasp this kind of information, which may offer you some assistance in your Tibet travel.

Altitude of Lhasa

You should know that Lhasa is the provincial capital of Tibet, which is also the holy city for Tibet Buddhism. It is seen as the center of Tibet Autonomous Region in the aspect of politics, economy and culture. It is in the middle of Qinghai Tibet Plateau, which is located in the north of Himalaya Ranges. Its average altitude is about 3,650m (11,975ft), which makes it become one of the highest cities on the earth.

Visit Potala Palace in LhasaLhasa is one of the highest cities on the earth.

The location of Potala Palace is Marpori Mountain of Lhasa Valley, whose elevation is 3,700m (12,139 ft). As for the altitude of Jokhang Temple, it is recorded as 3,650m. The altitude of Barkhor Street is about 3,650m and the circuit of it is just like a polygonal. Drepung Monastery is regarded as the largest monastery on the earth with an elevation of 3,800m. The altitude of Sera Monastery is about 3,700m, which is the best faction of Tibetan Buddhism.

Altitude of Namsto Lake

One of the holy lakes in Tibet is Namtso Lake, which plays the same role in Tibet culture with Yamdrok Lake and Lake Manasarovar. The altitude of the surface of this lake reaches 4,718m (15,479ft), which is known as the highest lake on the earth. Its landmark is the Nagenla Pass with an elevation of 5190m.

Altitude of Yamdrok-tso Lake

Yamdrok Lake is one of the biggest holy lakes in Tibet as well, which is more than 72 km long. It is a freshwater lake with a surrounding of lots of snow-capped mountains, which is formed by a number of small rivers. The area of its surface reaches 638 km2, and the altitude of its surface is about 4,441 m. It has great cultural and economic significance for Tibetans.

Yamdrok-tso Lake AltitudeTake a group photo at the high-elevation Yamdrok Lake

Altitude of Shigatse

The elevation of Shigatse is about 3,800 m. Shigatse is known as the second largest city in Tibet, where you can enjoy stunning landscape of the Barley Field and visit the residence of Panchan Lama, namely the Tashilunpo Monastery with an altitude of 3,880 m. If you want to view gorgeous buildings and golden roofs, you can visit this religious attraction in Shigatse.

Altitude of Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp (EBC) is located at an altitude of 5,200m. If you go to visit Everest Base Camp as soon as you arrive in Tibet, the risk rate of the high altitude sickness is much higher. So it is suggested to spend a few days in Lhasa and Shigatse before you reach to the base camp.

Altitude of Mount Kailash

Kailash kora in this holy mountain is also quite famous in Tibet, and travelers have to endure the altitude change from 4,575m to 5,630m.

Kailash kora altitudeChallenge the high altitude of Mount Kailash

Altitude of Lake Manasarover

The scenery of Lake Manasarovar is amazing with the companion of blue sky and white clouds. Pilgrims will kora around this lake to pray for cosmic blessings. It is located at an elevation of 4,590 m (15,060 ft), which is also a sacred lake in Tibet. Every year, numerous pilgrims and tourist will come here to gain purity in mind and enjoy the dramatic natural environment.

Altitude of Nyingchi Prefecture

Nyingchi Prefecture lies in the southeast of Tibet. There are many famous attractions in this city, such as the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, Namcha Barwa Peak and so on. Its total area is 116,175 km2, which is located in the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River. Its average elevation is 3000 m, which is a wonderful place to explore in the Tibet tour.

Ways to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Your Tibet Tour

After you obtain the basic altitude information of some famous attractions in Tibet, you need to know some methods to avoid altitude sickness before and during your Tibet tour.

Before Your Tibet Tour

Your Tibet trip calls for a physical examination before the tour, for the sudden shift to a high altitude may accelerate a potential health problem. You’d better inquire your doctor to offer you some precautions on what you shall take to begin your Tibet tour, such as several commonly used OTC medicines and etc.

Besides, you can also formulate a sensible itinerary for your Tibet travel. It is reasonable to take your trip from relatively low altitude to adapt to the attitude sickness gradually. For example, if you plan to take the classic trip to Everest Base Camp from Lhasa, it is suggested to travel from Lhasa (3650m) to higher places. You can head to Shigatse (3900m) via Gyantse to Everest Base Camp (5200m). During this process, you can get used to high altitude changes steps by step. After you have a good visit to EBC, our guide will bring you back to Lhasa (3650m) via Shigatse (3900m). To maintain a good mind-state before the launch of your Tibet tour is also necessary. You should believe yourself and prepare yourself well in psychology.

In addition, it is also a good decision to choose a reliable tour agency like us to take care of you during the whole journey, and you will feel more secure in your Tibet tour, for the tour operator will protect your life and help you to solve various kinds of problems during your Tibet tour. Once you get the high altitude sickness, you should know that the tour agency will try its best to help you. Thus, your fear on altitude sickness will be reduced to some extent.

During Your Tour in Tibet

We sincerely recommend you stay in Lhasa for two or three days to offer much time to yourself to adapt to high altitude. In the first two days after you reach Lhasa, you’d better not take a shower, for you may get cold, which can affect your whole tour.

Besides, strenuous exercises should be avoided to get used to the high altitude in Tibet. You’d better drink more water and have more vegetable sand fruits than common time. High carbohydrate diet is highly recommended. However, it is not sensible to be too full. Smoking and drinking are not good for you to adjust to high altitude. Therefore, you’d better control yourself not to do such things during your Tibet tour.

Visit Barkhor Street in LhasaStay a couple of days in Lhasa to adapt to high altitude

In addition, sedative hypnotics should also be included in your Tibet travel itinerary, for it is not helpful for you to adapt to high altitude naturally and gradually. Several relaxing walks will do you much help to avoid high altitude sickness.

At last, keeping warm is also important for you to avoid getting cold in Tibet tour. Once you catch a cold, your physical resistance will decrease, which makes you easy to get high altitude sickness.

Paying attention to these aspects during your Tibet tour may assist you to avoid high altitude sickness to a great degree.

What to Do if You Get the Symptoms

Although you prepare quite well for your Tibet tour both physically and psychologically, you may also suffer high altitude sickness. Once you are unlucky to get the symptoms, you can refer to the following suggestions to help you to get rid of it as soon as possible.

1) Once you feel you get the uncomfortable symptoms of high altitude sickness, you’d better stop and have a rest at the location you are. We recommend you not head to any higher place for about 24-48 hours.
2) Once your head aches, you can take ibuprofen or paracetamol. Some anti-sickness medications can also help to resist the sickness, such as promethazine, acetazolamide and so on.
3) Continue to drink enough water and avoid exercise.
4) Tell the guide of your tour group your feeling and do not try to climb again till your symptoms have fully disappeared.
5) Go to see a doctor if you feel worse or your conditions do not improve.
6) You can also go to ground with lower altitude till your symptoms go away.

You can choose the most suitable solutions to avoid high altitude sickness and to tackle this common problem by referring to the contents shown above. Having discussed so much on high altitude sickness, you should become clearer of this issue. However, there is no need for you to worry too much about high altitude sickness, for your tour guide and the tour operator you choose will ensure your safety. If you select our agency to arrange your Tibet itinerary, we will surely offer you the best service to the whole process of your Tibet trip, including some necessary equipment and medicines to cope with high altitude sickness, great methods to deal with various situations and etc. May you have a good Tibet trip!

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