Food & Snacks

While travelling in Asia, one must be careful about food & drink. Many travellers have problems with diarrhea in Tibet. Despite the most conscientious efforts, they may still come down with the dreaded ailment. Nevertheless, there are ways they can decrease the probability of getting sick and limit the bad effects of diarrhea once it has started. We recommend to carry iodine solution or tablets to purify drinking water. Normal concentration of chlorine tablets are not strong enough to kill giardia, a common cause of diarrhea in this region. No non-chemical filters eliminate viruses such as hepatitis & therefore should not be used alone to purify water. All boiled or tea water is probably safe. Ice cubes should not be taken unless one can be sure that they are made from boiled water. Many people forget that contaminated tap water used in brushing teeth could be a source of diarrhea. Any water going into the mouth should be purified with iodine or previously boiled.

Foods that come hot & recently cooked are best. Foods that are peeled or skinned are also usually safe to eat. Especially when visitors are not sure under what conditions the food has been prepared, they should avoid cold salads or other not recently cooked food that may have been sitting out for a long period of time. Salads cleaned & soaked in iodine are also safe. However, it is hard to determine whether or not the food has actually been soaked or whether the restaurant personnel just want to please the clients and tell them what they want to hear.

Good restaurants are not available on the highways in Tibet. Therefore, we recommend clients to carry lunch boxes. However, realizing that lunch stops during the tour can be a bit unappetizing, bringing own snacks would be a great idea. They should bring foods they like & can eat easily (i.e. crackers, cheese, cookies, chocolate bars, granola bars, soup mix or peanut butter). But it is advisable not to bring too much. Ascending to high altitude many people find their appetites greatly diminished. This is a mild symptom of altitude sickness, so they should not be surprised if they are not very hungry. Also, unlike trekking, they will not have a lot of exercise as they will sit in the bus and watch the passing scenery most of the time.