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Lhasa Shopping

There are numerous distinctive local products in Lhasa. You should never miss the opportunity to buy the unique Tibetan things, such as Tibetan thangkas, silver ornaments, yak wool products. Thangka is a kind of Tibetan scroll painting that has strong ties to religion and features distinctive ethnic flavor. Some Thangkas are charming portraits of Buddhas, some are colorful representations of Tibetan customs and some retell the history of Tibet. Tibetan crafts are normally made from metals like gold, silver, copper and stones like turquoise, wood and bamboo as well as from the bones of dead animals. The Barkhor Street is a traditional Tibetan market where you will find thangkas, traditional Tibetan silver ornaments. Be sure to bargain with the vendors!

Lhasa Barkhor Street

Before entering the Jokhang Monastery, it is well worth strolling around the old streets and alleyways nearby, to get a taste of the old Tibetan atmosphere about town. This area bursts with atmosphere and contradictions. On the one hand, this is one of THE holiest areas of Tibet, awash with pilgrims, monks, nuns and temples. On the other, the streets around here are the hub of Lhasa's commercial zone. Street traders, hawkers and market sellers fill the pavements around the Barkhor area. Today, this is not simply part of a pilgrimage circuit but also the heart and soul of the city.

Numerous weird and wonderful things can be bought including souvenirs, ornaments, Tibetan knives, Tibetan robes and hats, tapestries, religious musical instruments, gold and silver ware and prayer wheels....the list of magical souvenirs is endless.

Tibetan Gold & Silver Wares

In the Xigaze area, both local people and tourists like the celebrated handmade gold and silver wares available there that are mainly utensils for daily life or religious use.

Except for some gold statues of Buddha, buttered lamps and medical golden needles, gold is used for jewelry, such as bracelets, rings, earrings, eardrops, necklaces, hair and breast ornaments.

Silverware, particularly silver jewelry, is more common than gold.

Utensils for daily use include wine bottles, wine cups, spoon, bowl, chopsticks, plate, lid for bowls, and wooden bowl foil, while the pure water kettle, butter lamp, Mandala, prayer wheels, and Buddha shrine used as talisman are for temple use.

Tibetan Knife

The Tibetan knife is essential to Tibetan people's life. It also has high art value as a form of ethnic handcraft with a longstanding good reputation at home and abroad. The typical Tibetan knives of the Xigaze area are from Lhaze and Xietoinmen, which has become a very fashionable souvenir or gift for tourists to take home. The shinning bright knife is a completely handmade of high quality steel. There are three sorts of knives: long, short, and small, measuring about over 1meter, 40cm, or just over 10cm in length respectively. If talking in shapes, there are pastoral area style, Kamba style, and the Xigaze area style. Knives are widely used for chopping down trees, for butchery, or even for the open-air burial (in Tibet). The handle is normally made of ox horn, ox bone or wood. Some top quality ones are twined with silver strings or cupper strings. The scabbard tends to be more exquisite. Outside of the simple wooden or leather scabbard covers, copper or sometimes silver and even gold in nice designs of birds, animals, or grass and flowers can be seen. Some are even inlaid with precious stones, or colored stones, looking gorgeous and expensive.

Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan medicine system is developed on the basis of traditional Chinese medicine, India medicine and Arabic medicine. After centuries of practicing, the unique Tibetan medicine system is formed. Till now, Tibetan medicine has existed for thousands of years and it is one of the complete and influential ethnic medicine systems in China.

Tibetan medicine is another popular commodity among tourists. Tibetan has always been a treasure house of medicinal plants. Aweto, glossy ganoderma and snow lotus are the most famous herbs in Tibet region. Tibetan doctors and their traditional medicines made by secret methods attract much curiosity in the world. 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.


Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 11:11