Hitting the Wall in Lhasa

We hit the wall in Lhasa — headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and nausea. This is probably a combination of altitude sickness and not getting enough sleep. We’ve been jet-lagged, waking up in the middle of the night, and we woke up at 4:00 am twice for early morning flights to Xian and Lhasa. We skipped dinner our two nights in Lhasa.

But the primary issue is altitude sickness. We talked with another Bay Area couple on a tour of Tibet and Bhutan. They put us in touch with a member of their group who is a physician. He came to our table at breakfast and assured us that our symptoms are just altitude sickness, and not acute mountain sickness. He suggested diamox, which helps people acclimatize, and he gave us a bottle from another member of their tour. I took it immediately. We took it easy yesterday, making room for naps in the afternoon and before dinner, and we got 8 hours sleep last night. First time we slept through the night. We feel much better this morning. If we ever visit a high-altitude place again, we’ll be better prepared next time.
The picture shows Potala Palace from the roof of Jokhang Temple. We visit Potala Palace today and the sun is shining . Our guide is a Tibetan who grew up in Lhasa. He is very knowledgeable about Tibet and Buddhism. We have seen a variety of Tibetans and pilgrims.

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charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

2 thoughts on “Hitting the Wall in Lhasa”

    1. You’re right. It took a bit for the altitude sickness to hit. We arrived in Lhasa mid-morning and then walked to lunch and the temple where the picture was taken. As you noted, we had no problems at the time. We felt the altitude sickness that evening and the next morning.

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