For many travelers, Tibet is a far-away place with unique religion and mysterious culture. The land has high altitude and complex terrains, but it is actually a safe place to visit, just like other popular destinations of the planet. You just need to pay attention to some issues, such as altitude sickness. Let’s check the following top issues about safe travel in Tibet.
1. Is it safe to travel to Tibet under Covid-19? Tibet is very “healthy” in 2021
Yes, it is quite safe to visit Tibet in 2021. The land has been almost completely unaffected by the worldwide epidemic since last year. There is only one confirmed case of Covid-19 so far, and the patient has been cured a long time ago. Also, in spite of the low infection rate across the land, strict epidemic prevention measures are being implemented, to prevent any undesirable development.
2. Is it safe to travel to Tibet alone? you will be accompanied by local guide
Yes. It is safe to travel to Tibet alone, even if you are a female. International tourist needs to join in an organized tour, either in a private tour or a group. Therefore, for solo traveller, you will be accompanied by your guide, or other group members during the trip. Even when you are alone in Tibet, you are relatively safe. The public security in Tibet is very good, and local Tibetans are mostly innocent and kind. You can travel to Tibet with confidence.
3. How about altitude sickness in Tibet? just prevent from severe symptoms
Altitude sickness is one of the biggest concerns for tourists to travel to Tibet. Many tourists fear that they will not adapt to the plateau and will have serious symptoms, which will endanger their health and even lives.
Staying in Lhasa for a couple of days to get adapt to high alititude
Well, altitude sickness is not that frightening in most cases. It is just a natural physiological reaction similar to motion sickness, and may not occurs to everyone. It is normal for you to feel headache, chest tightness, anorexia, slight fever, dizziness, and fatigue etc. And for most people, these symptoms will gradually decrease after a couple of days’ stay in Lhasa, resulting no effect in subsequent trip.
Only if you do feel extremely uncomfortable and your symptoms are getting worse, you should get to see a doctor. Nowadays, the medical conditions in Tibet are very good, and you can get timely medical treatment with the help of your local guide.
Tips on dealing with altitude sickness in Tibet
1. Take some medicine like Rhodiola Rosea for prevention in advance.
2. Avoid catching a cold, which will aggravate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
3. Drink enough water, but refrain from alcohol and coffee.
4. Get enough rest and refuse vigorous exercise at the plateau.
5. Do not take a shower for the first two or three days after arriving in Tibet.
6. When the symptom gets worse, move to a lower altitude immediately.
4. How about road conditions in Tibet? good and safe for travel
The road condition in Tibet is much better nowadays. There are asphalt roads paved between main cities and attractions across Tibet. One of great examples is the road stretching from Lhasa to Gyirong Border, following the Friendship Highway, being broad and smooth for travel. Even for the route leading to the Everest Base Camp, it is no longer gravel road any more.
On the other hand, no aggressive driving will be permitted inside Tibet. There are many checks and rate limiting sections throughout the overland. But considering they are mostly mountain roads, which are relatively narrow, driving safety is very important and should be paid extra attention.
Well-paved road around Lake Manasarovar in Tibet
We suggest tourists who are visiting Tibet for the first time not to travel by car, as the roads in Tibet are complicated and only local experienced drivers can travel lightly. The drivers and guides we choose for tourists are all local Tibetans, they are familiar with the road conditions and the speed limit conditions of the road, so it is very safe to travel overland in Tibet with us.
5. Are weather in Tibet terrible? just avoid some natural disasters
Although Tibet is situated at a rather high altitude of average 4000 meters, the weather here is not that terrible as you assumed. The highest temperature in Tibet reaches around 25℃ throughout the year, while the lowest reaches around -10 ℃. Only there is a large temperature difference between morning and evening. So there is no big problem for travelers to enter Tibet all year round.
When travelling in Tibet, you just need to pay attention to some natural disasters like landslides and mudslides. Especially in summer, Tibet receives a large amount of rainfall, which may cause torrential flood, landslide, snowslide and mud-rock flow.
But there is no need to be panic, as the road maintenance along the way in Tibet are doing very well. The regular tourist routes in Tibet have been managed very well. As long as you take appropriate precautions, like check the weather forecast before you go to mountain areas, you can rarely encounter the natural disasters.
6. Do local Tibetan welcome foreigners? just don’t violate taboos and customs
Most Tibetans in Tibet are devout Buddhists, they are humble and kind natured, taking stealing, killing as taboos. They are friendly to foreign visitors, if you need help they will be eager to help; they are hospitable, if you come to their home, they will be warm to let you feel at home.
As long as you respect their region and tradition, and do not violate their customs, there is usually no any danger. For our tourists, your guide and driver are local Tibetans, they will tell you what you can and can't do. If you are not confident about what you are about to do, you can ask your guide first.
Tibetan people all have religious belief.
Etiquette and taboos that need your attention in Tibet
1. Don't make loud noises in the temple, or touch the Buddha statue with your hands;
2. Don't put your arm around the shoulders of Tibetans and touch their heads;
3. Locals are forbidden to kill and don't eat dog meat, horse meat, donkey meat, some places don't eat fish meat;
4. Don't step on the threshold when entering the door;
5. When you see Mani piles, stupas, temples, you should go around from left to right, and the direction of kora should be around clockwise;
6. Greet Tibetans with your both hands when they offer you tea, and bow to accept the when offer you Hada;
7. Is it safe to trek in Tibet? many routes are well-developed
In Tibet, there are many well-developed trekking routes that most tourists can challenge. For short trekking routes, such as Everest Base Camp Trek, Ganden to Samye Trek etc., you don’t need to stay in tents. During the trek, you just need to be aware of falling rocks and slippery feet.
For long distance route such as Gama Valley trek, we will arrange special cattle workers to carry your luggage, and the guide will arrange your camping, which will be set up in the safest and windproof area to ensure warmth and comfort. There are temples for accommodation along the trekking route of Mount Kailash, so tourists do not have to worry about camping safety.
8. Is it safe to travel to Tibet for the elderly and kids? It depends
Actually there is no age limit to travel to Tibet. But for tourists who are too young or too old, you should pay extra attention. Tibet is in high-elevation area, being cold and lack of oxygen, and the weather changes quickly, so people with poor health condition will feel difficult for adaption.
But many seniors or young kids of our clients also had a pleasant and safe travel in Tibet. So it is suggested to listen to the advice of your doctor, or have a physical examination before you head to Tibet. And it is recommended to visit some lower-altitude places of Tibet, like Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi etc.
To sum up, travelling in Tibet is relatively safe nowadays. For group tours, our drivers and guides will ensure your safety throughout the trip; for solo traveler, the social security in Tibet has also improved greatly. If you encounter safety problems or dangers, you can turn to your driver and guide; or turn to the local police. If you choose our tour itinerary, we will guarantee your travel safety and let you enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tibet with peace of mind.