We flew into Lhasa from Shangrila. It was a short flight and we already spend a week acclimatizing so we were fine when we landed at altitude. Its interesting to see how much control the Chinese government have. The Chinese investment in the area as well. And of course, the inevitable control and fear they exert. There’s so many checkpoints everywhere. We got checked everywhere we drove. Tourists can’t even enter without buying a tour.
We came here hoping to reach Everest base camp but our hope was destroyed by the earthquake that hit the region in April 2015 (less than a month before our trip). So we ended up visiting more temples than we liked. We spent too much time on the road as well, but in this case we didn’t have a choice since everything was so far apart.The most interesting sights we visited were the Potala Palace, Yamdrok Lake, and Namtso Lake. The sceneries during the drive was beautiful as well. My main concern for this trip was probably the food, toilet, and accommodation outside of Lhasa.
In Namtso, it was a shack with no heating. We almost froze to death since the weather decided to play a joke on us and snowed in the middle of summer. And I mean snow! A lot of it. The good thing about the change in weather was that we get to see both the summer and winter Namtso. One evening the mountains and road side were brown and the next morning everything was white. Totally mind blowing.
This trip the highest point we reached was at the altitude of over 5200m. We started feeling the lowered oxygen level at close to 5000m. We walked slower and it took so much energy to climb a small hill. My brother had to take Diamox at around 4000m since he was having headaches and nose bleeds. To those planning a trip here, bring your meds! Its better to have everything than run into a tough situation in the middle of nowhere. There’s no hospital for 100 of kms. Oh and its better to do some cardio exercise before you come here. Both me and my friend were exercising 4 – 6 days a week before our trip here. We were able to hike 20km a day. In contrast, my brother did not enjoy his visit at all and was stuck in the bus most of the time.