Traveling tips to travel to Tibet

September 13th, 2010 No Comments

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 it is recommended to not arrange any activities on the first day upon arrival.


There’re also some other tips to avoid AMS:
  • Do exercises to keep you fit before coming to Tibet.
  • 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.
  • Ascend to higher altitude gradually. DO NOT ASCEND ANY HIGHER if you feel bad.
  • Prepare some AMS pills according to your doctor’s suggestion.


Medicine

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.


Etiquettes and Taboos

With unique culture and religion, Tibetans 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 tips to make you behave well:

  • Remember not to step on threshold when entering the tent or house.
  • Calling somebody in name please add “la” behind the name to express respects.
  • If you are asked to sit down, please cross your legs, do not stretch your legs forward and face your sole to others.
  • You should accept the gift with both hands. While presenting the gift you should bend your body forward and hold the gift higher than your head with both hands. While offering tea, wine or cigarette, you should offer them by both hands and any fingers do not tough inside of the bowl.
  • Do not touch, walk over or sit on any religious texts, objects or prayer flags in monasteries.
  • 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.
  • Tibetan people do not eat horse, dog and donkey meat and also do not eat fish in some areas, so please respect their diet habits.
  • It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.
  • 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.
  • Do not smoke in monasteries. 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).
  • Seeing any dagobas, monasteries or Mani piles, please go around them clockwise (not of the Bon), do not cross them.
  • 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.
  • 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 not appropriate to wear shorts in public or outdoors among the Tibetans.), the above rules are not obeyed so strictly as before. But we still suggest you take the above advices and travel to behave well.
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