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Lhasa Travel Tips
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Tibet train Beijing-Lhasa
By KARLFWWME | 12/27/2010 8:44:19 AM

Hi there!!
We are two guys who go to China in August!
We have already the hotel in Beijing but we want to get the train to Tibet..
The TTB is not a problem just get the train tickets on this particular season
If is possible to manage the tickets via web when the right moment arrive?
Thanks a lot!!!

Buying carpets and textiles as souvenirs in Lhasa
By CHRISBUCKLEY | 11/28/2007 3:14:55 AM

Tibetan carpets and textiles are famous worldwide, but in recent years most "Tibetan" textiles have tended to come from Nepal or India rather than Tibet. This situation is now starting to change, and good traditional textiles are once more becoming available in Lhasa, but finding them takes a little effort. In particular you will need to look beyond the tourist trap shops in the Barkhor and by the Potala, where most of what is on sale has not been made in Tibet (or anywhere near!).

Two places where you can find authentic textiles are the Dropenling Handicrafts Center and the Tanva Carpet Workshop. Dropenling is a project started by the Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund a few years back: its store is near to the Mosque (follow the sign by the Makye Ame cafe, or look for leaflets and posters in cafes around town). It sells good Wangden carpets made in the villages around Lhasa and distinctive apron fabrics.

The Tanva workshop is a recently started venture in Nam village, on the road between Lhasa and the airport, using local handspun Tibetan wool and both traditional and contemporary designs. You can watch the carpet making process from start to finish and carpets can be bought in the showroom on site. Call the factory manager Norbu on his cellphone 1398 990 8681 to arrange a visit.

Be wary of carpet factories in town showing "weaving demonstrations": these may not be all they seem - in many cases the carpets that are actually on sale in their showrooms are not the ones made by the demonstration weavers!

The Potala Palace
By ELCABRON | 3/5/2005 6:36:28 AM

The Potala Palace, maybe the most famous building in Tibet, known by every tourist, is still able to keep its promise, even if you have seen all the movies and reports you wont be disappointed, because it is incredible!
The Potala dominates the city from a hill right in the center of Lhasa.It is the highest building in town and can be seen from nearly every point of the city. Despite the fact that the days are gone when religious and political decisions for Tibet were made here, it is not a dead and dusty museum. There is a vivid life inside and around the building because of the huge number of pilgrims visiting it each day (at least during my stay).
The building consists of up to 13 storeys and can be devided into the Red and the White Palace. Walk all the way through mystic dark halls filled with incense, chapels and rooms up to the roof from where you have the best view over the city!
Around the Potala, especially in the back there is a narrow pilgrimage circuit with hundreds of prayer wheels and stone carvings and paintings.

Barkhor Area
By ELCABRON | 3/5/2005 3:39:29 AM

This Pilgrimage Circuit around the Jokhang Temple is crowded with praying pilgrims and full of shops with pilgrim equipment. Prayer Flags, Prayer Wheels, everything a pilgrim needs. The assortment gets completed by a huge number of food stores (fresh meat and Yak butter most of the times) and delicious streetkitchens. The heart of the Barkhor Area is the Jokhang Temple.
You cannot get enough of the vivid Tibetan life in this part of the town!

Jokhang Temple
By ELCABRON | 3/5/2005 3:35:23 AM

Because it is the holiest Tibetan Temple many pilgrims do their prayers inside and around this place. They circle the Temple through the surrounding alleys by touching the ground with their full bodylength all the way on their pilgrimage circuit. Very impressive! Inside the Jokhang Temple there is another pilgrimage circuit full of prayer wheels around the center hall. There are alo several storeys and you can walk up to the golden roof, from where you have a nice view over parts of the Barkhor Area all the way to the Potala Palace.

Summer Palace
By ELCABRON | 3/5/2005 6:40:26 AM

The Summer Palace inside the Norbulinka Park is more a disappointment. The park is in a bad condition, not worth the name of a park. There was a sad kind of zoo inside in a very poor condition. I wonder who wants to see a lion in Tibet??? The condition of the whole thing makes you feel sad! This could only be topped by a Sea World or a Disney Land in these Himalayan Mountains.
Anyway, the building of the Summer Palace itself was in a good condition and you get the feeling that there is still somebody living inside. You can see the furniture, radio and the modern bath the Dalai Lama used in these days.
But still my expectations of a summer palace were much higher.

Sera Monastery
By ELCABRON | 3/5/2005 3:28:06 AM

The Sera Monastery is situated just a few kilometers outside the Holy City of Lhasa, the Seat of the Gods. In past days there were more than 5.000 inhabitants which has been reduced to a few hundreds nowadays. But still the huge number of buildings and alleys give the impression of a small city.

But dont think of monasteries as stonage anymore. Ive seen monks with mobile phones and as an entrance ticket you get a CDRom, I couldnt believe it! One of the most interesting things to me were the Debating Classes,taking place everyday in Sera. A big number of monks come together and discuss their philosophical and religious standpoints. Each argument is stressed by clapping with your hands. Most of the times it is a one-on-one, sometimes there are two or even three monks discussing with only one opponent. In the end they reach a uniting conclusion.
Really fascinating!

Drepung Monastery
By ELCABRON | 3/5/2005 6:43:59 AM

Within close distance around Lhasa you can find the major monasteries of the Gelugpa Order. Drepung is still the biggest one with round about 600 monks today. In the past it was the largest monastery of the world with more than 10.000 monks. Dont get lost in the narrow alleys embraced by beautiful decorated buildings because it got the size of a small city! But you can still see many ruins of destroyed buildings from the cultural revolution. The surrounding is also worth to take a look at. On the left side you can take a hike up to the pitoresque stone paintings. Behind the monastery on the ascent of the mountain you can see a rock plateau where the traditional sky burial took place.
In one sentence, Drepung is a MUST!

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