High Altitude Sickness

High Altitude Sickness (AMS)

Average altitude in the third pole area (Tibean Plateau) ranges from 2000m to 5000m. Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, cased by acute exposure to low air pressure (usually outdoors at high altitudes). It usually occurs 3,000 meters above sea level.

If you travel Yunnan, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Qinghai or Gansu, there is no need to worry about the altitude sickness, while tourists to Tibet should have a scientific and better understanding of the illness of prevent and challenge with it. All of our trips are designed by arranging few days of acclimation in Lhasa in the beginning of the tour and then slowly increase their altitude tolerance.

According to a survey, the rates of acute altitude sickness 3,000m, 3,700m, 3,900m, 4,520m and 5,200m above sea level are 40 percent, 57.3 percent, 63.8 percent, 89.24 percent and 100 percent. However, the experts also point out that human bodies have a very magic capability of acclimation.

The altitude problem is a very common for everyone who arrives at the high altitude region from lower altitude area, but some are effected seriously and some are not, so there is certain way to prevent it or minimize its effect by preparing before you arrive in the high plateau. Here we have listed some tips that we had experiences in the past years.

#1. Mental preparation, altitude sickness is also can be helps psychological, so you should take it very normal and keep your mind in a comfortable state.

#2. Keep your body physically fit, so exercise regularly and make physically fit.

#3. Sleep well and rest well on the day before your arrival to high altitude.

#4. Take everything slowly for the first couple of days when you arrived in high altitude region, walk slowly and try to sleep lower altitude first.

#5. Drink enough water and avoid alcohols.

Besides, Diamox and Hongjingtian are also very helpful to cope the altitude problem, we provide the oxygen and some medicine for high altitude on our vehicle.


(Acetazolamide) have been found helpful. It allows you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygen supply. Since it takes a while for Diamox to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours before you go to altitude and continue for at least five days at higher altitude.

The recommendation of the Himalayan Rescue Association Medical Clinic is 125 mg, twice a day (morning and night) but you are recommended to consult your physician for the prescription. Also remember, after taken Diamox you should drink plenty of water, as this medicine will increase your blood circulation and your body need enough water, if not then you may dehydrate.


Tibetan herbs are still good preventive and treatment effects for AMS. Honjingtian (Rhodiola Eoccinea) may help sleep at high altitude and thus increase oxygenation at night.

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