Basic information Lhasa District Code: 0891 Tibet Tourism Bureau complaint telephone: 0891-6834193 Medical Treatment Tibet Military Region General Hospital Address: 150 meters north of Niangjiao North Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa City Phone: 0891-6858120 Armed Police Tibet Corps General Hospital Address: […]
Lhasa District Code: 0891
Tibet Tourism Bureau complaint telephone: 0891-6834193
Tibet Military Region General Hospital
Address: 150 meters north of Niangjiao North Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa City
Armed Police Tibet Corps General Hospital
Address: 77 Sera Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa City
Tibet Autonomous Region People’s Hospital
Address: No. 18, Linkou North Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa City
Lhasa People’s Hospital
Address: No. 1 Beijing East Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa City
Tibet Fukang Hospital
Address: 14 Linkou North Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa City
Do not wear a hat inside the Jokhang, Potala or other sacred sites. Please no short pants or tank tops. When visiting shrines it is customary to leave a small money offering, especially where you do not have to buy a ticket!
Circumambulate stupas and other sacred objects in a clock-wise direction.
Do not climb onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects.
Avoid eating garlic before visiting a temple. Tibetans find the garlic breath in a temple disrespectful.
Photography is NOT allowed inside the Potala Palace. You can take photos in the Jokhang temple. Some monasteries will allow photography upon payment of a small donation or fee. Monks begging will often allow a photograph after you make a small contribution. When in doubt, ask before snapping
Altitude sickness can easily ruin a holiday and can even be fatal. Lhasa is 3,750 meters above sea level, so there is considerable risk of altitude sickness, especially if you fly in from a much lower altitude and your body does not have time to acclimatize. If you must fly to Lhasa, it would be wise to fly via an intermediate destination such as Kunming at 1,950 meters and spend several days there to acclimatize before flying to Lhasa.
In the Tibetan language, Lhasa means the Holy Land or the Buddha Land. It is the center of Tibet’s politics, economy and culture. The city has also been appointed as one of the 24 historical and cultural cities of China. The splendor and grandeur of the Potala Palace remains a world-famous symbol of the enigmatic power of politics and religion in this region.
The Zang ethnic minority (also known as Tibetan People) mainly live in the Tibetan Autonomous Region on the Tibetan Plateau, with some groupings in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. The national census of 2000 showed that it had a population of 5,416,021.
They believe in the Indian Mahayana form of Buddhism but have gradually developed a distinctive Tibetan Buddhism which is also called Lamaism.
It is an occasion when Tibetan families reunite and expect that the coming year will be a better one. Known as Losar, it starts from the first to the third day of the first Tibetan month. Preparations for the happy event are manifested by special offerings to family shrine deities, painted doors with religious symbols, and other painstaking jobs done to prepare for the event. People eat Guthuk (barley crumb food with filling) on New Year’s Eve with their families. Eating Guthuk is fun since the barley crumbs are stuffed with a different filling to fool someone in the family. The Festival of Banishing Evil Sprits is observed after dinner. Signs that the New Year is approaching when one sees lit torches, and people running and yelling to get rid of evil spirits from their houses. Before dawn on New Year’s Day, housewives get their first buckets of water for their homes and prepare breakfast. After breakfast, people dress up to go to monasteries and offer their prayers. People visit their neighborhoods and exchange their Tashi Delek blessings in the first two days. Feast is the theme during the occasion. On the third day, old prayer flags are replaced with new ones. Other folk activities may be held in some areas to celebrate the events.
the Great Prayer Festival, falls on the fourth up to the eleventh day of the first Tibetan month. The event was established in 1049 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama’s order. It is the grandest religious event in that area. Religious dances are performed and thousands of monks gather for chanting before the Jokhang Temple. Examinations taking form of sutra debates for the Geshe degree, the highest degree in Buddhist theology, are also held. Pilgrims crowd to listen to the sermons while others give religious donations.
Chunga Choepa in local language, falls on the fifteenth day of the first Tibetan month. The event was also established by Tsong Khapa to celebrate the victory of Sakyamuni against heretics in a religious debate. Giant butter and Tsampa sculptures varying in forms of auspicious symbols and figures are displayed on Barkhor. People keep singing and dancing throughout the night.
known as the Yoghurt Festival, begins on the thirtieth day of the sixth Tibetan month. The origin of it started from the 17th century when pilgrims served yoghurt to the monks who stopped for their summer retreat. Years later, local opera performances were added to the event to amuse monks in monasteries. During the occasion, giant Thangkas of the Buddha are unveiled in Drepung Monastery while the opera troupes perform at Norbulingka.
Starts on the twenty-seventh day of the seventh lunar month and lasts a week when Venus appears in the sky. The locals bring food, set up tents along rivers and bathe themselves under the star light. The holy bath was believed to heal all kinds of illnesses and wards off misfortune.
Generally the period from March to October is the best time to pay a visit. Since the city is located at such a high altitude it is wise to be prepared before starting your journey. Generally speaking, due to the large temperature differences during any given day, warm clothes should be taken to keep away the cold. However, because it also receives a great deal of sunshine, sunglasses, suntan oil, and a sun hat are indispensable items if you’re going anywhere in the area.
Lhasa Gonggar Airport, LXA
Arriving and leaving the airport
Lhasa Airport has a civil aviation bus to the urban area of Lhasa. The first stop of the city stops at the Jinzhuzhong Road under the overpass, the second stop stops at the Xijiao Passenger Station, and then arrives at the Civil Aviation Bureau at No. 1 Nyonya Road. City departure time: 6:30, 7:40, 8:00-8:30, 9:00-13:00 every hour; 13:00-14:30 every half hour; 17:00 , 17:30, 19:30. Ticket price: 25 yuan / person, the whole journey time is about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you take a taxi, the price ranges from 120 yuan to 150 yuan. It is best to make an appointment with a taxi in advance.
Dongjiao Bus Terminal
Address: No. 3, Jiangsu East Road
Arrival method: bus 9 and 10 terminal
Xijiao Passenger Transport Station
Address: No. 1 Minzu Road, Lhasa City
Arrival mode: Bus 18, 19, Xijiao Passenger Station, get off
Beijiao Bus Terminal
Address: 11 Zaki Road, Lhasa City
Arrival method: bus 13 road
Liuwu Bus Terminal
Address: West side of Lhasa Railway Station
Arrival method: Bus 1 and 14
Lugu Bus Station
Address: Lugu Road
Lhasa Railway Station
Lhasa Railway Station is on the opposite side of the Lhasa River and is far from the city. There are 16 trains in and out of Lhasa, including direct trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu and Chongqing (every other day). The running time is about two days.
Most places in Lhasa can be taken by bus. The bus No. 24 is a tourist line and reaches the main tourist attractions in the city. Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Museum, and Drepung Monastery can all be reached by car. The bus fare is one yuan, automatic coin-operated, no ticket seller, no redemption, please automatically prepare for change.
In the city of Lhasa, I got on the train for ten yuan and went to a farther place for twenty or thirty yuan. Starting from May 10, 2014, the starting price of 10 yuan within three kilometers, plus two yuan for more than three kilometers, that is, the new policy of basic price of 2 yuan / km, a single journey of more than 8 kilometers plus the freight rate of 5% Ten return air fee.
Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world. Potala named after a holy hill in South India is a Sanskrit word meaning “Abode of the Avalokitesvara (Buddha of Mercy).” The Potala Palace is said to be used for greeting a Han Princess. Legend has it that in the 7th century, to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) of China, the then Tibet King Songtsen Gampo built a 9-storey palace with a thousand rooms up on the Red Hill and named it Potala. The palace was mainly made of stones and woods, and decorated with special local willow branches called Baima Grass. Later, with the collapse of the Songtsen Gampo Dynasty, the ancient palace was almost destroyed in wars. What we see at present is the architecture of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) and the continuous expanding work outcome since the 17th century.
Potala Palace is a symbol of the cultural and economic communication of Tibet and Tang Court. Now, with high historical value, the palace is very important to China.
The Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the center and the White Palace as two wings.
1. The travel route here is set strictly. Visitors all have to enter from the east main entrance.
2. The visit time is limited in 1 hour.
3. Note that expect the toilet at the right side of the White Palace Square, there is no rest room during the route of the rest time. The water closet at the back gate of the White Palace is said to be distinctive and worth a try.
4. Watch your steps due to the high altitude. Bring along an overcoat as it is a bit cold and damp in the hall.
Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it is also a must-see place for visitors.
It’s said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 – 650) built the Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. That is the origin of Barkhor Street. Today even still many pilgrims hold the prayer wheels to walk clockwise there from dawn to dark. Also you can see some pilgrims walking or progressing body-lengths by body-lengths along Barkhor Street. Even some of them are teenagers or have experienced thousands of miles’ walk to reach this sacred place. The way they express their piety could make you understand the holiness of religion.
For visitors, Barkhor Street is a magical place showing the original outlook of Lhasa. It was paved by hand-polished stone boards. Though it is not broad, it accommodates thousands of tourists every day. Varied shops stand on its both sides and thousands of floating stands are on every corner. Most of them offer the prayer wheels, long-sleeve ‘chuba’ (the Tibetan people’s traditional clothes), Tibetan knives and some religious articles for sale. Furthermore, some shops sell ‘Thangka’ (the Tibetan scroll painting), which is a unique art of Tibet with the themes of religion, history, literature, science and customs. Surprisingly, there are some articles from India and Nepal in this street as well.
Tips for Stroll the Street
1. You should better walk in a clockwise direction while your strolling.
2. Bargain with the stall keepers or store keepers as you buy things, since the prices of the same goods are vary from stalls to stalls.
3. Be a little bit hurry while you strolling the street, because the shops here will close if there is not much business to do. You may miss some wonderful stores if you linger on some other stores.
4. You will be given a favorable discount if you are the first or the last buyers, since Tibetans believe the first and the last buyers could bring them good luck.
The Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), was characterized by economic prosperity and great progress in politics. During this time, China was considered the cultural and political center of the world. King Songtsem Gampo (617 – 650, the 33rd king of Tibet) was the leader of the Tubo (or Tibetan) Kingdom. He actively promoted Buddhism in that region and under his reign, Tibet achieved great progress in social innovation and realized the integration for the first time. In order to promote friendly relationships with the neighboring countries, he successively married Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty. When the two wives arrived there, each brought a statue of Jowo Sakyamuni. During this time, most people lived in tents and there were few palaces. To house the Buddha brought by Princess Wen Cheng, King Songtsem Gampo constructed the Little Jokhang. Jealous of her, Princess Burikuti asked Gampo to build a Jokhang for her as well. Therefore, in 647 the giant complex was built.
The original complex included only eight shrines. After multiple renovations, most notably during the Yuan Dynasty (1206 – 1368), the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the complex grew to the scale that exists today.
Norbulingka, meaning ‘Treasure Park’ in Tibetan, is situated in the western suburb of Lhasa City, at the bank of the Kyichu River, about one km (about 0.6 mile) southwest of Potala Palace. The garden covers an area of 360,000 square meters (about 430,000 square yards), with 374 rooms inside. It is the biggest man-made garden in Tibet Autonomous Region.
Construction began in the 1740s. The area used to be wasteland with wild animals, weeds and scrub which the Seventh Dalai Lama liked and often visited, and, as a result, the Qing magistrate had a palace built. Years later, Kelsang Potrang was built by order of the Seventh Dalai Lama. Later it was used as the Summer Palace for successive Lamas, where they solved the political problems and held festive celebrations. After a series of expansions and renovations, the appearance was improved with potrangs, pavilions, gardens and woods. It has now been turned into a park open to the public.
Norbulingka consists of several palace complexes, such as the Kelsang Potrang, Tsokyil Potrang, Golden Linka and Takten Migyur Potrang. Each palace complex is divided into three sections – the palace section, the section in front of the palaces and the woods.
Located at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa City, Sera Monastery is one of three famous monasteries in the city along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. It is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa’s disciples built it in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when it was built.
The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres). Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa’s other famous monasteries.
Situated at the foot of the Mountain Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the western suburb of Lhasa, the Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered one of the ‘Three Great Monasteries’ (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery). Covering an area of 250,000 square meters (299,007 square yards), it held 7,700 monks in total and possessed 141 fazendas and 540 pastures in its heyday, and is the largest-scale monastery among the ones of the same kind. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given the name ‘Drepung’, which, in the Tibetan language, means ‘Collecting Rice’.
Rising up beside Potala Palace, the spired peak of Chakpori Hill (Yao Wang Shan) is 3,725 meters (12,221 feet) high. Ascending the winding path to the top, one has the opportunity to view a panorama of the ancient city and its surrounding landscapes.
Quite a few figures of Buddha, gods in different poses, and Buddhist scripture in Tibetan characters are engraved on the cliff. There is an extremely well preserved grotto with a history of more than a thousand years on the southeast mountainside. The grotto is 27 square meters (32 square yards) and in the shape of unequal rectangle. There are 69 stone statues engraved on the rock, vivid and lifelike, which represent the soul of Tibetan stone inscription art. At the north foot of the Chakpori Hill is a spring. The fountain, pure and sweet, was named “Holy Water”. It is said that the fountain was the favourite of the Dalai Lama half a century ago.
During the middle of 17th century, in the early Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911), a temple was erected on the top of the Chakpori Hill. Within this temple was placed a sapphire figure of a certain Tibetan Medicine King. Legend has it that the King was the avatar of Sakyamuni, who was able to treat patients no matter what the disease or how difficult the cure. During the period of the fifth Dalai Lama (1642-1682), lamas from all over the country were brought to this temple to systematically study and coordinate the knowledge of traditional Tibetan medicine. Later, the temple became the Tibetan Medicine Bureau, but over time it fell into ruin.
Chakpori Hill (Yao Wang Shan) is also the ideal location for taking photographs of Potala Palace. In the early morning of holidays or peak seasons, dense crowds of photographers and photography aficionados come to the Picture Spot to shoot a rare view of Potala Palace irradiated by the first rays of the sun.
Ganden Monastery is located on Wangbur Mountain, on the southern bank of Lhasa River in Tagtse County, 47 kilometers (29 miles) from Lhasa City. It stands at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) above sea level! It is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and stands atop of the six famous temples of Gelugpa – a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. Its significance as a religious, artistic, political and cultural relic led to it being preserved by the National Key Cultural Relic Preservation scheme in 1961, and is now known as being one of the ‘Three Great Temples’, together with the Sera Monastery and the Drepung Monastery . Every year, one of the grandest of Buddhist activities – Buddha Painting Unfolding Festival – is conducted here, attracting thousands of visitors and disciples.
In the early 15th century, Tsong Khapa called for the Reformation of Religion, advocating the rooting out the previous disadvantages in religious orders and initiated the Gelugpa. This sect also became known as the Yellow Hat sect, as its disciples were always wearing yellow hats. This order went on to become the biggest sect in Tibetan Buddhism, leading to Tsong Khapa establish the Ganden Monastery. Since dharma is essential to the teachings of the sect, the whole layout of the monastery is built on its principles.
The Ganden Monastery is comprised of over 50 structures. The main halls in the temple are the Main Assembly Hall (or Coqen Hall), Zhacangs, Khangtsens, and Myicuns.
Lhasa is situated at Hebalin to the east of the old city of Lhasa. It is one of the remarkable enterprises in Tibet Autonomous Region, mainly producing traditional Tibetan carpets.
In the Lhasa Carpet Factory, hundreds of experienced weavers using old-styled vertical looms weave carpets. All the carpets here are hand-made in different sizes, styles,and patterns. Some are elegant, and some are colorful; they can be used as floor covering or hung on the wall as a beautiful picture. Every item is unique. Lhasa Carpet Factory has developed into the biggest and the best in Tibet Autonomous Region.
Originating from the middle part of the Nyainqentanglha Mountain’s north face, Lhasa River flows through Meldro Gungkar County, Dagze County and Lhasa City and eventually merges into Yarlung Tsangbo River. As the longest tributary of Yarlung Tsangbo River, it drains an area of about 32,471 square kilometers (12,537 square miles), around 13.5 percent of Yarlung Tsangbo River’s drainage area.
Lhasa River is called Kyichu River in Tibetan language, which means ‘Happy River’. There is a saying that an ancient clan named Kyichu once lived along the river, hence its name.
Lhasa River had a great influence on Lhasa City’s development. In 633 AD, Songtsen Gampo moved the capital to Lhasa River Valley, which gradually developed into the political, economic and cultural center of Tibet. With an area of approximately 16,000 square kilometers (6,178 square miles), it supports a population of around 600,000. It is famed as one of the three largest granaries in Tibet. The other two are Nian-Chu River Valley and Yarlung Tsangbo River Valley.
Locals love Lhasa River very much. At weekends or during holidays, they go camping and fishing on the riverside and even bathe in the river. Meanwhile, they don’t forget to enjoy Tibetan butter tea and delicious food brought from home. For visitors, there are some other attractions along the river, which deserve a visit.
Originally built in 1916, Mentsekhang (also called ‘Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute’ at that time) was the place of research for Tibetan medicine and calendar calculations for the former local government. After a large expansion in 1980, it became the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Covering an area of more than 40,000 sq meters (about 10 acres) and with a staff of 450, it is also the biggest Tibetan traditional hospital in that region.Mentsekhang contains special medical departments for brain blood vessels, orthopaedics, paediatrics, internal medicine and surgery, etc. It also has two institutes of Tibetan traditional medicine and calendar calculations, and also one Tibetan medicine factory. The history of Tibetan medicine can be dated back to 2,300 years ago. It summed up the local people’s experiences as they fought against diseases and assimilated their local treatments with traditional medicine of the Chinese, Indian, Nepalese and even Sri Lankan. Because of its efficacy on many diseases, Tibetan medicine has drawn wide attention from home and abroad since the 1980s. Doctors do use traditional methods to diagnose in the hospital. For example, doctors talk with patients; observe their appearances and tongues, and take their pulses. Most of the prescriptions are compounds because there are fewer side effects when a prescription is composed of two or more recipes of herbal medicines. What’s more, Tibetan medicines also have special effects on such ailments as hypertension, heart disease, paralysis, gastric ulcers, falling sickness, etc.
Tibetan medicine has a close relationship to the Tibetan calendar. Local doctors believe that the body changes with the seasons. Therefore, they pay more attention to observing the changing of the stars, clouds, winds, lakes and even birds. According to local custom, Mentsekhang is also the place for astronomy and calendar calculations. Experts there not only calculate and edit Tibetan calendars but also do research in astronomy. The Tibetan Medicine Factory was founded in 1964 and after an expansion in 1995, became the largest one in that region. With modern technology in manufacturing, the factory produces more than 350 kinds of medicines, most of which are famous both at home and abroad.
On Nov. 14, 2005, Namtso Lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region was selected as one of the five most beautiful lakes in China by Chinese National Geography magazine. Its touching beauty should not be missed by any visitors there. Its purity and solemnness are symbols of Qinghai-Tibet Platean. In Tibetan, Namtso means ‘Heavenly Lake.’ It is considered one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and famous for its high altitude of 4,720 meters (about 3 miles), vast area of 1,961 square kilometers (about 757 square miles) and beautiful scenery.
Nietang Buddha is located at the north foot of Nietang Mountain in Qushui County, about 20 km (12.4 miles) southwest of Lhasa city. Being the biggest stone statue engraved on a cliff in Tibet, it is the first attraction to welcome visitors to Lhasa. Tourists who enter Tibet from Gonggar Airport will pass the statue on their way to downtown Lhasa and almost every passenger wants to get off the bus to get closer to it and take a photo as a souvenir. It can also be reached by taking a taxi from Lhasa.
The Nietang Buddha statue is one of Sakyamuni sitting under a bodhi tree to capture evil. The statue is 8 meters (about 26 feet) in width and 9.8 meters (around 32 feet) in height including the base around 1.3 meters (4.27 feet). The hand of the Buddha is 1.4 meters (about 4.6 feet) long and its leg is about 1.9 meters (about 6.2 feet) long. Around the statue, many pieces of hada can be seen. The hada is a long white scarf, symbolizing the giver’s sincere heart to other people. Of the many hadas around the statue are those presented by the visitors and the worshippers to show their respect to the Buddha. Due to the large size of the statue, these hadas are thrown upon the cliff. It is said that the higher you throw, the better it is.
Ramoche Monastery is situated in the northwest of Lhasa, covering a total area of 4,000 square meters (one acre). This temple is one of the key cultural relic protection sites of the Tibet Autonomous Region as well as a hot attraction in Lhasa.
The original building complex has a strong Tang architecture influence, for it was first built by Han Chinese architects in the middle of the 7th century during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). Han Princess Wencheng took charge of this project and ordered the temple be erected facing east to show her homesickness.
Located in the southeast corner of Norbulingka, Lhasa city, Tibet Museum covers an area of 23,508 square meters (5.8 acres) including the exhibition area of 10,451 square meters (2.6 acres). It is equipped with modern facilities to ensure quality service for visitors and safety and efficient administration of the museum itself. Here exhibits are introduced in Japanese, English, Tibetan, and Chinese, in order to accommodate visitors from all over the world.
The construction project of the Tibet Museum was listed as one of the sixty-two “Aid-Tibet Projects” in July 1994. It was opened in October 1999 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of Tibet’s Democratic Reform. The former Chinese chairman Jiang Zemin inscribed its name.
The museum building is a pioneering institution in the history of the region. Designed by a Han Chinese architect from Sichuan province, the complex is a wonderful combination of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. Upon entering the Prelude Hall, visitors’ attention will immediately be caught by the colourfully ornamented beams, pillars, lintels, banners and wall hangings. Going forward, visitors will see that the Tibet Museum is actually sub-catalogued: the first catalogue includes two exhibition halls on the first floor, showing the splendid history of the land and its abundant natural resources; the other catalogue is on the second floor and is comprised of five small exhibition halls that display folk custom, treasures, and arts and crafts of that region. The Tibet Museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colourful tangkas, and various printed Sanskrit and local scriptures. Visitors can also see variety of folk art such as unique local handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery.
Though not as famous as other scenic spots such as the Potala Palace in Tibet, Yangpachen attracts visitors for its unique resources: hot springs. About 87 kilometers (54 miles) away from Lhasa and covering an area of 40 square kilometers (2,471 acres), Yangpachen gains its fame from the abundant geothermic heat which provides people with much to explore. First exploited in the 1970s, one generating plant was built which now provides up to 45% of Lhasa’s total electricity. Research is now being undertaken for the further opening up of that area.
A singular location and plentiful snow both make it possible to form hot springs here. People are amazed to see that while the neighboring regions are areas of frozen soil covered with ice for over half the year, there exists a 40-sqaure kilometer area which is a carpet of lush green grass. It is said that Yangpachen in the morning is most attractive when it offers visitors illusions of a fairy land. When the air is still cool in the early hours of a day, masses of mist rise from the lake like a sea of cloud.
Located on East Zhaji Road in the northern suburbs of Lhasa City, Zaki Temple (Zhaji Temple) is the only one God of Wealth temple in Tibet as well as a branch of Sera Monastery.
In Tibetan, “Zha Ba” means “monks”. Ji can be interpreted as “four”. Literally, Zhaji Temple is a temple that has four monks. It was true that Sera Monastery just sent four monks to administrate this branch temple after it was set up.
At the beginning, Zaki Temple wasn’t popular with those who pray for wealth. It was a temple for people to seek peace. Just some businessmen came to make wishes for wealth and their wishes came true. Then, it gradually became the well-known Temple of God of Wealth.
Usually the Zang people eat three meals a day, but during the busy harvest season they will have four, five and often more. Their staple foods are tsamba, yak butter tea, mutton, and beef. Tsamba, made of highland wheat (Qingke) is convenient to carry around and eat whenever you want, so you can see many of them carrying tsamba bags. As for drinks, they enjoy chang, a type of wine also made from Qingke, and milk tea. The Tibetan knife, sharp and delicate, is often used to cut meat.
Thangka is a kind of scroll painting using complicated lines, bright colors and is rich with religious flavors. Most of the Thangka focuses on the motifs of Tibetan Buddhism. It is often made either by painting, embroidery or sometimes sewn with pearls. The pearl Thangka is the most desirable of all. Thangka is valued for its precision, balance and variety.
Tibetan costumes are inconvenient to take home as most of them are made from woolen cloth and are bulky. However, you might consider buying colorful aprons, fur hats or caps to take home, they can make unique decorations for your rooms.
Lots of visitors like to buy Tibetan medicine for its herbs such as saffron, aweto and snow lotus. Local doctors and their traditional medicines made by secret methods attract much curiosity. The best places to buy Tibetan medicines are the Tibetan Hospital, right opposite the Jokhang Temple Square or the medicine company on the west outskirts of Lhasa.
The Tibetan knife or broadsword is still used by the locals as a necessity but visitors can buy it as an ornament.
Note: You cannot take these items on a plane or as consigned goods, but you can send them anywhere via the post office. The Post Office in Lhasa at Middle Beijing Road is the best choice. Goods will be sent much more quickly than at any of the smaller post offices.
Other local gifts that are worthy of your consideration include wooden bowls, jewelry, jade, prayer wheels, carpets, tapestries, local boots and beads.Share this tour
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