Shopping in Lhasa - where to go?

 

WindhorseTour Travel Team's picture

Are you thinking of buying Tibetan Thangka and Tibetan medicine in Lhasa? Then you can't miss the main market for shopping in Lhasa after you visit Jokhang Temple (1,350 years of history) because  Barkhor street is just round the corner. Barkhor street is the famous commercial center in Lhasa and it is approximately 60 km (37 mi) or an hours drive from Gonggar Airport.

It is also known as Bā Jiǎo (八角) street which has origins from the Sichuan people, who live in Lhasa and the Tibetans regard it as a heavenly road. In the 7th century A.D. many pilgrims came to Jokhang Temple when it was built. Over the years hundreds of visitors came to this place and it gave rise to the birth of Barkhor street. Till now the street still has the same old style and feeling to it's visitors.

Here are some of the special local products you shouldn't only look but also buy while shopping in Lhasa:

  • Thangka, the Tibetan Thangka is the original Tibetan paintings most of which focuses on Tibetan Buddhism motifs such as: mandala, Buddhism gods, scenes, full of religious style and ethical characteristic. These Thangkas might take a few weeks to finish one. This could be the must buy item because of the long history and traditional influence of the Tibetan people are related to the Thangka.

  • Tibetan rug, it is said to have 600 years of history and uses the traditional craft with wool as the material, it's very good to keep warm.

  • Tibetan incense, Tibetan incense represents the special Tibetan culture and it is a mixture of Tibetan herbs, plants and medicine. It is not only used in holy ceremonies but it can also be used as a treatment for certain sicknesses.

  • Tibetan bracelets, its materials are made from Tibetan silver and retains 
    Tibet traditional styles, which has a long history and is popular among the Tibetans. It can be quite a fashionable accessory. A picture of this bracelet is shown on the right.
  • Tibetan Dao (a type of Tibetan knife ), it is a traditional craft, which is used by Tibetans for daily life.  As the Tibetans are a nomadic nation, they carry it for self defense and to cut meat. It is also used as cutlery and as a decorative item in their attire. 
  • Tibetan medicine, which is famous in China as well as abroad and it has high value for health. Because of the unique medicine system of Tibetans, the prices are not cheap and you'd better buy it from hospitals near by which is more reliable.
  • Tibetan wooden bowl, mostly used in daily life in Tibet and you can buy them in a variety of selections with different price tags.

By the way here are stores should visit:

  • Xue Yu Thangka Painting Department Store, it is a famous store located in Barkhor Street which is involved in making and selling of the beautiful Tibetan Thangka. You will be happy to know that they are very friendly and the staff also speak in English.
     
  • The National Tourism Handicraft Stores is a big place to purchase variety of Tibetan souvenirs, which is located in West Barkhor street No. 30. 

The Tibetan Dao (a type of Tibetan knife ) may not be allowed on the airplane, so after purchasing it you should use a courier service to transport your item. 

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