Altitude Sickness Prevention: How to Stay Healthy at High Altitude in Lhasa and Everywhere in Tibet

Lhasa’s altitude of 11,975 feet/ 3658 meters puts it among the highest cities in the world, and makes altitude sickness prevention a key part of staying healthy on your trip to Tibet. Failing to take basic steps to prevent altitude sickness can result in miserable days in Tibet, and even to much more serious consequences.

Yarlung Tsangpo
Yarlung Tsangpo

2020 Coronavirus Note: Due to the COVID19 crisis, Tibet is temporarily closed to all foreign travelers, at least through the end of July 2020. However, travelers who pre-book Tibet tours by the end of June 2020 will get a rare opportunity for special discounts plus extraordinary flexibility on dates of travel. At the same time, you will support local Tibetan-owned businesses at a time when they are struggling to survive. To learn more, ask us for an introduction to a reliable Tibetan travel agency here.

There is SO much ignorance and misinformation out there, and a lot of needless suffering and risk.

We don’t say this to scare you. We are just committed to raising the level of altitude sickness prevention awareness for EVERYONE who travels to Tibet, so that you can have an amazing time without suffering.

On this page, you will learn some quick facts about altitude sickness prevention in Tibet, and then take a deeper dive into key topics like knowing the symptoms of altitude sickness, and discoveries some itineraries that help you acclimatize to high altitude, like our favorite Safer Everest Base Camp Tour.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS Q&A

Are young, fit people less likely to get altitude sickness than older or unfit people? No! Age and physical fitness have no impact on your risk of getting altitude sickness.

What is the Lhasa altitude in meters and feet? 11,975 feet/ 3658 meters. Lhasa sits in a valley on the Tibetan Plateau, and is at one of the lower elevations on the Tibetan Autonomous Region!

Will the train ride to Tibet acclimatize me to Lhasa’s altitude ?  Mainly, no. For various reasons, the train ride helps a bit but is not enough. (Learn why in this post.)

Is there any way to know if I will get altitude sickness in Tibet? Unfortunately, no. If you have gotten altitude sickness before, you are more likely to be sick again, but not always.. Also not getting sick on one trip doesn’t guarantee that you won’t fall ill on following trips.

Is there anything I can do to prevent altitude sickness? Yes! You need to: ascend to high altitude slowly, consider taking medication, know the signs and symptoms, never go higher if you have symptoms, and descend if the symptoms become worse at rest at the same altitude. (Learn more about prevention here.)

Avoiding Altitude Sickness: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Avoiding altitude sickness: Everest from Everest Base Camp and Rongbuk Monastery

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn: 1) Three simple rules that could save your life 2) Myths about altitude sickness 3)High altitude dos and don’ts, and much more… Read more

Altitude Sickness Prevention for Tibet, in a Nutshell

Everest: Altitude Sickness Prevention

In this post we offer you a summary of the most effective tips for altitude sickness prevention, gathered from our growing collection of posts on this topic Read more

How Bad are the Symptoms?

How Bad are the Symptoms?

In this post, we aim to give you some essential facts about the symptoms for altitude sickness, to help protect you from getting seriously ill on a trip to Tibet
Read more

Itineraries for Altitude Sickness Prevention

Jokhang Square

Did you know that most of the popular itineraries for travelers to Tibet put you at high risk of getting altitude sickness
Read more

Safer Everest Base Camp Tour

We are so pleased to introduce a safer Tibet Everest Base Camp tour!
Read more

What is My Risk of Getting High Altitude Sickness?

Since the Lhasa altitude is just shy of 12,000 feet, almost everyone has a substantial risk of getting altitude sickness. In this post we offer you a practical way to reduce your risk of getting high altitude sickness when you travel to Tibet (or any other high altitude destination.
Read more

The Tibet Train and Altitude Sickness

Tibet Train Travel

While researching the Tibet train (the Qinghai-Tibet Railway) as a way to travel to Lhasa, we have learned a lot, which we would like to share with you to save you making some common mistakes.
Read more >>

How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Tibet

Altitude Sickness Prevention:

Our goal in this post is to give you practical tools and strategies for how to avoid altitude sickness when you travel to Tibet
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Videos: How do You Feel at High Altitude in Tibet?

Are you concerned about getting altitude sickness in Tibet? Do you wonder how you will feel at high altitude?
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The Altitudes of Places in Tibet

The Tro La Pass is an icy-cold

On this page you will find Tibet altitude information, and some of the common variations for Tibetan place names.
Read more

7-Day Lhasa Highlights Via Xining by Train

Yolanda is riding Tibet Train

If you only have a very short time in Tibet, you could take this tour rather than the high-risk fly in to Lhasa. (To tell the truth, if you think you can only get to Tibet once in your life, it’s worth saving up the time and money to make a longer trip of at least two weeks.) Read more

Updated on May 11, 2020. First published on February 16, 2019.

Your Tibet travel advisors, Lobsang and Yolanda

Most people who want to go to Tibet don't know how to get there or who to trust for help. We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, and we help make Tibet travel more simple, safe and ethical so you can feel peace of mind about your trip. Learn more about us and YoWangdu here.