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Kathmandu-Lhasa Road : Earthquake

September 3, 2013

imageEarthquake north of Nyalam on the Friendship Highway gives a good shake all the way down to Kathmandu in the weekend . No details on casualties or damages to the road.

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2 comments

  1. Hi there, I know your name from Lonely Planet, my husband and me plan to go Nepal- Tibet on coming April and we wanna take a jeep from Nepal to Tibet. I am worry on the altitude sickness is worst if we go in Tibet from Nepal, is it truth? Because we heard many stories from different people in different opinions. So we hope to look for prof’s advice. Thank you so much!


    • I did the the Ktm-Lhasa route some years back , with predictable results : none in our group had any major effects , but this came from the time before going in to the jeeps. I was at the end of useful acclimatization , taking two weeks from Ladakh to the last day in Kathmandu : I took Diamox second and third day , after mild symtoms started. The others came more directly from high altitude treks and had no problems. On the other hand I saw some distinctly greyish westerners struggling with their breakfasts on the return leg .

      This is highly predictable from the itineraries : the standard run start with a night in Nyalam , one hundred meters higher than Lhasa , followed by going even higher – Lhasa is the lowest night on the whole itinerary.

      Ideally one should do a trek first. Staying in Kathmandu or anywhere below 2000 meters has no acclimatization value , several nights in Nagarkot might be positive. The one thing one should avoid like the plague are Ktm-Lhasa runs that include Everest Base Camp , there have been a number of deaths. If you are a group you should be able to set the itinerary , and make Zhangmu the first night : good health value , but little else to offer .
      Other things I found valuable was the days in Gyantse and Shigatse , which had a more district Tibetan flavor. In Lhasa try to find a hotel close to the Barkhor , unless you love the new glass , steel and concrete China : Tibetans are very much a minority in Lhasa today.

      Once one has done everything to come closer to guidelines , and it’s not possible : see a travel doc and get a prescription for Diamox/acetazolamide , unless you are one of the few who don’t tolerate this.

      And yes , Tibet and the Tibetans are worth all the hassles.



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