Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Frank Fang's Travel Tips

High Altitude Sickness

Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS) is common at high altitudes, and depends on the elevation, the rate of ascent and individual susceptibility. Most visitors to Tibet will suffer from at least some symptoms that will generally disappear through acclimatization in several hours to several days.

Symptoms tend to be worse at night and include headache, dizziness, lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, breathlessness and irritability. Difficulty sleeping is another common symptom, and many travelers have trouble sleeping for the first few days after arriving in Lhasa.

To prevent acute mountain sickness:

    Drink extra fluids. The mountain air is dry and cold and moisture is lost as you breathe. Evaporation of sweat may occur unnoticed and result in dehydration.

    Eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy.

    Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration, and don't smoke.

    Avoid sedatives.

    Don't push yourself when climbing up to passes, rather take plenty of breaks.

    Avoid catching cold before you entering Tibet.

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.

Equipment

Medicines:

Try to bring the following medicines which will be very useful during your travel

  • Aspirin-for pain or fever
  • Antibiotics-consider including these if you are traveling well off the beaten track.
  • Cold and flu tablets, throat lozenges and nasal decongestant
  • Multivitamins-consider for long trips, when dietary vitamin intake may be inadequate
  • Scissors, tweezers and thermometer

Clothing

The temperature during daytime is around 10-25°C in Lhasa, but the night temperature may reach 0°C and when visit the lake or mountain, down-jacket is needed. Try to dress in black or other heavy color clothes since the road out of Lhasa may be very dusty and dirty. The following are some we are suggested to bring for your tour in Tibet:

  • Jacket: a fiber-pile jacket is ideal for evening.
  • Sweater: Wool or wool mix with a high neck for extra warmth.
  • Headwear: wool or fible-pile ski-stly cap or balaclava for warmth.A lightweight brimmed hat is good for sun protection .Inexpensive broad brimmed straw and elt hats are sold in Tibeet's city markets.
  • Scarf: wool or silk is best .
  • Mittens or gloves: wool, pile, or polypylene are best.
  • Bandanna or handkerchief: Bring several.
  • Cotton underwear: four or five pairs.
  • Socks: at least three pairs.
  • Shirts: A long-sleeve shirt made of wool, flannel, or chamois, or a track-suit top. A long-sleeve stay-pree cotton shirt for warmer temperatures.Bring two or three T-shirts as well.
  • Pants: For men, one pair of loose-fitting wool pants, wool knickers, or fiber-pile pants, and one pair of light-weight cotton pants. Women should wear a midcalf dress or skirt, though pants and knee-lenth knickers with socks are also acceptable.Shorts are not appropriate at any time in Tibet for men or women.
  • Jornal, reading book, writing materials: For quiet moments.
  • Camera: You will regret not bring one.
  • Binoculars: Good for observing birds, wildlife, and distant scenery.
  • Money pouch or belt: Safer than a wallet for keeping your passport, meney, and valauable papers.
  • Pictures from home: Personal photographs of your children, pet, city, house, and so on are a great way to communicate with ocal people.
  • Snack foods: Nuts, chocolate bars, granola bars, dried fruit, hard candies beef jerky, and flavored drink mixs are much-appreciaed trail treats.

Sunburn

It is very easy to get sunburnt in Tibet. Sunburn can be more than just uncomfortable. Among the undesirable effects are premature skin ageing and possible skin cancer in later years. Sunscreen ( UV lotion) with a high sun protection factor( SPF>30) , good quality sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat are good means of protection.

Those with fair complextions should bring reflective sunscreen( containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide) with them. Apply the sunscreen to your nose and lips and note how many hours it works.

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