Tibet Travel for Children and the Elderly

There are millions of travelers traveling to Tibet every year, however, can some special travelers like children and the elderly go to Tibet? The answer depends. Because of the high altitude of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and relatively weak physical condition of children and the elderly, they are more vulnerable to the plateau environment. But no one can deny that a considerable number of children and old people did go to Tibet, some of whom even went to the Everest base camp.

Tibet Tour for Children

Is it safe for children to travel to Tibet? There is no simple answer. In fact, all of us, young and old, can respond to changes in altitude and develop symptoms of altitude reactions in various degree. Theoretically, children under the age of seven or eight are not recommended to travel to Tibet. In the meantime, it is too risky for children to travel to high altitudes such as Ngari or Everest base camp. Lhasa and its surrounding areas are best for children to understand the culture and history of Tibet. Besides, one of the biggest problems and challenges for children traveling to Tibet is that parents sometimes don’t realize if their children have symptoms of altitude sickness or other diseases. Given the age of the child and their unique physical development, there are some notes that do deserve parents’ attention.

Tips for Those Who Travel with Children

1. You’d better travel to Tibet by train and give your body enough time to adjust yourself rather than fly there. When you are in Tibet, you should walk slowly because of low oxygen, otherwise your child will feel uncomfortable.

2. Although Tibet does not have a clear minimum age limit for bringing children to Tibet, it is recommended that children under the age of seven or eight should not be brought to Tibet.

3. Be sure to give the children a medical examination before traveling to Tibet. Ask your doctor if your children can go to Tibet and buy the necessary medicine for the journey.

4. Children tend to fidget when they get bored. Don’t let your children run and jump around, because this will add to their body’s burden. In the first few days of your arrival in Tibet, do not bathe your children for fear of catching cold.

5. Bring some cute toys or snacks for your children, which can effectively calm them down when they’re bored during the long journey.

6. Due to the strong solar radiation in Tibet, which is harmful to children’s delicate skin, children must be coated with sunscreen, do not let them wear short sleeves or shorts.

7. Travel in crowded places, such as Barkhor Street or other temples like Jokhang Temple, please keep an eye on your children to avoid getting lost.

8. Never take your children to high altitude places like Ngari(4500 meters on average) for hiking and adventure, which will take too much time. And their frail bodies are not at all ready for such a hard journey.

9. Special attention should be paid to the sharp changes in temperature in Tibet. Keep your children warm and comfortable. Prepare sleeping bags for your children and yourself, since Tibet is very cold at night.

10. Clothes should be loose and easy to move. Sneakers are better than leather shoes.

11. When children see colorful prayer flags, do remember to remind them not play or jump over prayer flags. Never let them destroy Marnyi Stone or yell in the temple.

12. Drink more water to avoid dehydration and try to eat some vitamin C, iron and natural Tibetan herbal medicine.

13. The main food in Tibet, mainly yak or mutton, is usually light and monotonous, which may or may not affect your children. But it is recommended that you should pack some high-calorie foods and snacks, such as granola oatmeal rolls or chocolate, in case of emergencies such as hypoglycemia.

14. When you travel in Tibet, you will see many homeless dogs and watch dogs in rural areas. While most of them are friendly, many are aggressive to intruders, and a bite from them can lead to canine madness, which is very dangerous. Remind your children not to approach or touch any dog.

All in all, you are supposed to be very careful when travelling in Tibet with your Children.

Tibet Tour for the Elderly

For the elderly, it is also difficult to define age as the threshold for travel to Tibet, because things are not always absolute. Like children, the elderly should be well prepared to go to Tibet and must pay attention to some considerations while travelling. 

Preparation for Tibet Travel

1. Check-up and follow your doctor’s advice: elderly people with the following health problems are not advised to travel to Tibet. Such as uncontrolled glycuresis, high blood pressure, blood diseases, heart disease, chronic respiratory system diseases, cardiovascular, cranial vascular diseases, epilepsy or hepatic diseases.

2. Keep fit and not catch a cold: Practice regularly, such as jogging, swimming, cycling, etc., especially don not catch a cold before leaving for Tibet.

3. Prepare some medicine in case of an emergency: Tibet has high altitude(an average of more than 3000 meters), low oxygen content and large diurnal temperature difference. So you’d better bring some medicine. Old people and children traveling to Tibet need to take some medicine, such as Rhodiola, glucose, vitamin C, chrysanthemum tea, American ginseng powder, gauze, bandage, band-aid, iodine, Yunnan Baiyao, painkiller, Antidiarrhoeal and other medications recommended by doctor.

Travelling in Tibet

1. Acclimatize Yourself to High Altitude in Lhasa(3650 meters).

Newcomers to Lhasa may somehow feel subtle changes and discomfort (Like headache, fatigue, nausea or shortness of breath, etc.). All you have to do is calm down and have a good rest. Normally, the feeling disappears within 2 days. Try not to use oxygen masks, while oxygen masks can be useful to make you feel comfortable, it is easily addictive. You should try to handle the discomfort yourself.

2. But you need to go to the hospital when you feel serious.

In fact, in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, very few people suffer from altitude sickness, because its altitude is relatively low. It is a good place to rest and acclimatize to the plateau for your future travel.

3. Slow Down Your Movement and Drink More Water

When you move on the plateau, you should slow down and rest properly, otherwise you will feel tired. Meantime, because the climate of the plateau is relatively dry, you need to drink more water.

4. Be Aware of the Sharp Change in Temperature

The temperature difference in Tibet is large during daytime and night, pay attention to bring warm clothes and shoes to keep warm.

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