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Health and Safety FAQs

What are my chances of getting altitude sickness?

Lhasa is 3,700 meters above sea level. At this altitude, approximately 40 to 50 percent of people will be susceptible to altitude sickness. However, you can guard against this by avoiding strenuous exercise during your first two days in Lhasa. You should be in good health and well-rested. In addition, you are less likely to experience altitude sickness if you visit when temperatures are warmer during the summer.

You can also visit a doctor and obtain medications that will help to reduce your chances of getting altitude sickness.

Your tour guide will arrange activities that are light enough to give you time to acclimatize and is trained to recognize the symptoms and to get you medical help if needed. Thanks to medical advances, 99% of altitude sickness cases experience full recovery.

What health conditions preclude a visit to Tibet?

People suffering from pulmonary disorders or cardiovascular disease should not risk travel to high altitude destinations. Pregnant women and children younger than age three should also avoid traveling to Tibet. If you have a bad cold, flu or fever, you will have to cancel or delay your trip until you have recovered.

What happens if I develop altitude sickness?

At first, you must rest and receive extra oxygen. If your condition does not improve within three or four hours, you will be taken to the hospital. If need be, you will be evacuated to a lower-lying area.

What medicines should I bring with me?

See your doctor before visiting Tibet and ask him or her to check your overall health and prescribe Diamox. Follow the directions for use carefully and drink lots of water. You can also bring along medicines for minor ailments such as painkillers and throat lozenges.

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