Lhasa, Tibet AR, 24/09/08 -
We flew in to Lhasa airport. We flew up the valley *between* the mountains. Mum was pretty worried about acute mountain sickness. We hadn't been able to get on the train - they'd told us it was booked out.
It seems like they tell all foreigners that it is booked out, but that is not true. Two women we'd met in Chengdu had managed to get on to it by employing persistent nagging.
Flying in worked out well in the end, though - we didn't get acute mountain sickness, in spite of flying from 500m to 3600m above sea level, and were only delayed 5 hours in the Chengdu airport on account of a thunderstorm there. We saw the women who took they train and they were delayed 18 hours due to a landslide over the tracks.
The Chinese put in the train line about two years ago and don't seem to have thought about the frequency of earthquakes on the Tibetan plateau and the constant shifting of the mountains. Or perhaps the continual landslides are a sign that Tibet, she don't like the train line.
We were shown to this cafe, a part of the Snowlands hotel, on the first afternoon and drank sweet masala tea. It became something of a home away from home while we were in Lhasa.
And we found some medicine in our hotel room. You will notice it "relieves the headache, insomnin, anorexia, nausea, dizziness of acute mountain sickness."