You wake to the throaty bark of burly herding dogs, and open your eyes to take in the sunlit, smoky interior of a large black tent. Your host coaxes you out of your down sleeping bag with a cup of steaming yak butter tea, and you gladly take a sip to ward off the chill. You pull on stiff boots, glad to find that a night piled close about a yak dung fire has evaporated all traces of yesterday’s knee deep snow and left them blissfully dry. Pushing back the heavy door of the tent and emerging into the morning sun, you wonder what all those jaded backpackers you met in Lhasa were talking about when they announced so confidently that the real Tibet Trek was gone forever.
The onslaught of the Chinese tourism machine has most definitely taken its toll on the kingdom at the top of the world, and all-inclusive package tours abound in Lhasa. Tourists pay exorbitant sums to be whisked around the province in Land Cruisers, often by Chinese drivers just as new to Tibetan culture as their clients. For independent travelers there are other more rewarding options available and Lhasa is just a few days hike from a “real” Tibet trek adventure
1.Prepare for Altitude Changes in Tibet Trek
You can climb high, but go slow! When hiking in the mountains, people can experience acute mountain sickness (AMS). People respond to changes in altitude differently – both experienced hikers and first timers can get altitude sickness. Some people don’t have a reaction while others react with symptoms such as headache, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and loss of appetite.
To avoid these unwanted symptoms and possibly a day in bed, it’s important to hike slowly when changing altitude. When going up, plan a practical journey that allows you to adapt steadily to the high altitude. Altitude sickness is not an issue when going down, so go as fast as your heart desires!
When WildChina travels to high altitudes, we plan time for rest and elevation adjustments. In the event of altitude sickness on one of our trips, our guides take hikers to a lower level to rest. Usually after some rest and water, symptoms go away.
2.Use Local Guides in Tibet Treck
In order to get a local experience during a tibet trek (and to not get lost!), it’s important to travel with a local who knows the land and language. Also, be sure to do your research or ask family and friends to find someone you can trust.
Here at WildChina we combat such issues by hiring local, responsible, and friendly guides that will add a personal touch to your already epic trekking adventure!
3. Do Your Research in Tibet Trek