Have you added Tibet to the list of must-go tourist destinations? If yes, you come to the right place. I am going to tell you eight things you should do when traveling to Tibet.
- Pay a visit to Potala Palace
As the landmark building of Tibet Autonomous Region, Potala Palace could say is the most famous tourist attraction in Tibet. It is familiar to international travelers as well because you will always see it in the photos which describe Tibet.
Potala Palace has enough features to stand in such a lofty position. It is the highest architectural complex which mixed with the palace, castle, and temple. Besides, it is the largest and best preserved ancient building in Tibet. There are countless treasures in Potala Palace, such as Buddha statues, murals, sculptures, antiques, etc. Anyone of them could tell you a story of Tibet.
However, the government has strict regulations to control the numbers and visit time of travelers every day, which is usually limited to an hour per tour group. That’s why no Tibet travel agency could guarantee the accurate visiting date of Potala Palace. It’s all random because you cannot book the tickets in advance but only to buy them on the spot.
- Join the pilgrims around Jokhang Temple
There is a word in Tibet. “Because of Jokhang Temple, Lhasa becomes a ‘holy city’”. Founded by Srongtsen Gampo, the greatest king of Tibet, Jokhang Temple has been existing for more than 1300 years. It has the supreme status in Tibetan Buddhism. Normally, Tibetan people have three kora routes in Lhasa, of which the center is the Sakyamuni Hall of Jokhang Temple. So, the highlight of Lhasa sightseeing tour is to join the pilgrims around Jokhang Temple, to feel their strong religious beliefs.
- Wander at Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street is the oldest but well-preserved street in Lhasa city, as well as a busy market, where you can buy multifarious interesting souvenirs for your beloved ones. There are many distinctive shops sell handicrafts there. You can also enjoy the authentic Tibetan food in the local restaurants or have a cup of Tibetan butter tea in the teahouse. Thousands of travelers gather here, you will never feel boring at Barkhor Street.
Tips: The shops at Barkhor Street close a little bit early in the evening. Please make good use of your time.
- Watch the Buddhist scriptures debates at Sera Monastery
There are four Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, among which Lhasa takes three – Drepung, Ganden, and Sera. As one of the must-go attractions in Lhasa, the highlight of Sera Monastery is the brilliant monk’s debates which begin at 3 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. The monks will wear their red long gowns and sit together in the courtyard. Then they will start to state their opinion about Buddhist scriptures. I know you will not understand what they are talking about. But I am sure you will get some points from their body language, like jumping up, or some meaningful gestures, and so on.
—to be continued