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Shangri La Travel Tips

Shangri La Travel Tips

Customs and Taboos

Profoundly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, the local people demonstrate the religious components in every aspect of their life. When traveling to Shangri-La, make sure you follow the traditions and customs there.

The local Tibetans worship Mani Dui (alter built with stones) as the sacred road sign for guidance. Revered as the halidome of the local people, it’s carved with the six seed syllables Om Mani Pedme Hung or Buddhist statues. When you are in a temple, Mani Dui or Buddhist pagoda are on your way, which you have to cross from the left side. If you go to the wrong direction, the local people consider it as a defense. Remember not to pick up any stone from the Mani Dui, let alone sit on it.

Don’t cross over the musical instruments used in a Buddhist mass and braziers. Don’t rotate the wheels of the Buddhist scripture counter clockwise. Also, don’t touch peoples heads with your hands.

The Tibetan people are not fans of dog meat, monkey meat, horse meat and donkey meat.

Touching the children’s heads is also not allowed.

While visiting a Tibetan house, if you are not inclined to drink, you are to politely decline the host’s toast, whether it is tea or wine. While receiving a hada, you are supposed to take it with both hands. If a hada is directly presented around your neck, do not take it off immediately.

To take close photos of the people, especially the monks and women, you should ask permission in advance. Photos are allowed outside many temples and forbidden inside. Serious consequence result from breaking this rule. In some places, taking photos also require payment. If necessary, please act in accordance with local regulations.

Safety and Healthcare

Altitude Sickness

Since Shangri-La is higher in altitude than Lijiang, it’s more likely for the visitors to develop altitude sickness there. Thus, people that can be easily affected by altitude sickness should bring oxygen bags, drugs for altitude sickness and medicines for diarrhea and headache with them. In consideration of the intense polar radiation, sun creams (of high SPF), sunglasses are necessary. Additionally, enough clothes should be prepared in case of differences in temperature throughout the day and night.

The first time you set foot on plateau, you are not supposed to walk too fast, let alone running, rushing about and undertaking any physical labor. Excessive eating and drinking is a big no-no in that it will just add to the burden of your digestive organs. You should also cut down the amount of alcohol and smoking you partake in and eat more vegetables, fruit and food that are rich in vitamins, as well as drink a proper amounts of water. It is advised to keep warm and avoid taking showers frequently so as not to catch a cold.

Don’t inhale oxygen from your oxygen bags at the very beginning and try your best to adapt to the thin air all by yourself otherwise, you will be addicted. If you have the symptoms of a cold, that include a cough or fever, make sure that you take medicine and see a doctor in time because its likely develop into a pulmonary emphysema. If you have a serious one, you ought to withdraw to the low places, which is the most effective treatment. 

Medicines for Reliving Altitude Sickness

Rhodiola (take at least 10 days in advance), Plateau-Safety Capsules (take after you arrive in Tibet), American ginseng, Nuodikang Capsules (take at least 3 days in advance), Bufferin (for altitude sickness related headaches), Suxiao Jiuxin Pills (avoid overdosing), Danshen Pills (for cardiovascular diseases), glucose liquid, among others.