A Guide to Safe Travel in Nepal and Tibet

Water and Food Safety in Nepal and Tibet

Water and food safety are the main health issues in Nepal for travelers. As a small-sized landlocked country, Nepal’s population of 27 million people is actually putting more pressure on the domestic water supply. Nepal has been confronting this crucial crisis of water scarcity and water pollution from the industrial effluents and household waste. According to the statistics from the World Water Project, in Nepal, the estimated proportion of residents that have access to the water supply is around 80%; however, only 27% of Nepalese have access to sanitation. That means the drinking water most people use in Nepal is actually not safe. As a side effect, the food that is cleaned and cooked with this inadequate water can also be hazardous to health.

Typical Nepali Cuisine
Typical Nepali Cuisine

The water and food situation in Tibet is much better, though, because the average annual precipitation of Tibet is actually much smaller than that in Nepal. Tibet is also the home of mother rivers for many important water bodies in Asia.

To prevent diseases from taking in polluted water and food, such as diarrhea, as a short-term traveler, you can opt for bottled water which is purified, or boiling and filtering the tap water before drinking. And dining in a reputable restaurant in Nepal still costs much less than in other developing countries. It is suggested that you pay a little more for water and food in order to get better quality.

Tibetan Hotpot
Tibetan Hotpot

For those caring about philanthropic projects and minding about their impact on the local environment, you can also find some volunteer projects to contribute your knowledge and expertise to. Besides, you can always make donations to registered and trustworthy foundations for good deeds to help the local community.

Acute Mountain Sickness in a Combined Nepal and Tibet Trip

The acute mountain is commonly known as altitude sickness, which often occurs in areas where the altitude is higher than 2,400 meters. Whether you’re physically fit or not in your homeland, it doesn’t actually predict if you’ll encounter the acute mountain sickness. Almost all newcomers visiting the alpine area in Nepal and Tibetan Plateau have developed symptoms of sickness, varying from breathing difficulty, sleeping difficulty, feeling dizzy, vomiting, or headache, etc.

Oxygen Supply for Tourists in  Tibet
Oxygen Supply for Tourists in Tibet

Most people get better after acclimatizing for a few days. However, there were also many severe cases in which emergency evacuation was needed. Therefore, it is recommended that you hire an experienced local guide from a registered travel agency to escort and assist you when you plan to travel to remote areas far away from big towns.

Natural Disaster Types in Nepal and Tibet

Summer is the high-incidence season of natural disasters both in Nepal and Tibet, especially during the months of July, August and September when the most rainfall of the year in both regions may lead to a landslide. The severest natural disaster that happened in the region, covering Nepal and Tibet, was the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25th, 2015, which took the lives of 9,000 people and injured around 22,000 people. We suggest that you learn a self-rescue procedure or even practice before traveling to Nepal or other regions on the active seismic belt.

Winter months are not the time we would recommend our guests to do outdoor activities in Tibet. Because of the heavy snow, occasional roadblocks in the coldest zones of Tibet, such as Nagqu and Ngari, may break off your trip, The lower visuality and possible snow avalanche may put your road safety at risk. However, winter is the high season of Nepal travel.

Safety Tips on Outdoor Activities in Nepal and Tibet

Both Nepal and Tibet are teeming with adventurous outdoor activities. The most popular and challenging outdoor activity in this region is mountaineering at the highest peak of Mount Everest on both slopes, in Nepal and Tibet respectively. Trekking in Nepal and going on the biking tour across Nepal and Tibet border are also challenging and intriguing. Due to the ill road conditions in Nepal and the harsh climate features in Tibet, outdoor activities in both regions require the participants to be able to tolerate a relatively high physical demand and join a professional team to escort them. Solo travel for foreigners in Nepal is legally permitted, but not in Tibet. It might be an annoyance for free travel-minded people, but from another perspective, the safety of traveling comes with more of a guarantee.

Trek around Mt. Kailash in  April
Trek around Mt. Kailash in April

Avoid Getting Harmed in a Civil Unrest

Both Nepal and Tibet are very traveler-friendly destinations. The Nepalese and Tibetan people are the most religious and friendliest groups in the world. In some politically sensitive times of the year, protests, demonstrations, or strikes can make travel there a little bit dangerous. In Nepal, the selection period is when civil unrest is likely to happen. In Tibet, there has been no severe event after the 2008 unrest. But making a statement of political points of view in public is not a wise way to behave.

Culture Taboo and Physical Violence

To do some research about the etiquette and taboo in Nepal and Tibet can help you avoid the dispute or violence from fraud behaviors. If you’re uncertain about a certain behavior, ask your local guide to get a clarification.

Comprehensive Travel Policy

Buying comprehensive travel insurance is essential and necessary for an international trip. As you’re away from a whole support system from your mother country, make sure you check the insurance items carefully with your insurer before purchasing the product and ensure the most concerned items get covered. Apart from medical care, trip cancellation, flight delay, and cancellation, and accidents, the emergency evacuation should also be included in your consideration when choosing the insurance products, especially if you are traveling to the high areas above 2400 meters.

Emergency Calls

In Tibet: Dial 110 to reach police; dial 120 to get medical help; dial 119 to report a fire or other issues.

In Nepal: Dial 100 to reach police; dial 102 to get medical help; dial 101 to report a fire or other issues.

You can also call your insurer to help you deal with your problems first.

Related articles
Disadvantages of Traveling from Nepal to Tibet Comparing with entering Tibet from any city in China, traveling to Tibet from Nepal has two disadvantages in the travel document and health. Check out the details below and prepare for a perfect Nepal and Tibet tour.
Nepal to Tibet Transports There are 2 ways to travel to Tibet from Nepal, and you can choose to either take the flight or drive overland via Gyirong border.
Nepal to Tibet Tour FAQs This article lists some frequent asked questions about how to plan a tour from Nepal to Tibet.
Best Time for Nepal and Tibet Travel Both Nepal and Tibet are popular destinations for travelers. In this article, you’ll get more details about the best time for Nepal and Tibet tour.
Tibet Everest Base Camp vs. Nepal Everest Base Camp Mount Everest is divided into North Face in Tibet and South Face in Nepal. You’ll find the comparison of the two Everest base camps in this article.
How to Cross Nepal-Tibet Border Currently, Gyirong Port is the only border open to tourists travelling between Nepal and Tibet. In this article, you’ll get the details on how to cross Nepal-Tibet border.

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