The Snow-covered Holyland, the Bright Pearl of Plateau


General Information of Lhasa


Another Name: City of Sunlight (日光之城  in Chinese)

Location: located in the South Central part of the region, on the North bank of the Kyichu River
Population: with a population of 400,000, of which 87 percent are Tibetans





The Potala Palace in Lhasa City

Interesting in Lhasa

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Introduction of Lhasa

The scenery of Lhasa Shoton Festival, an event for Tibet people

Lhasa Shoton Festival

Lhasa China is rightly one of the most featured and dreamt-about cities in the world. This is not only because of its high altitude at 3,650 meters which  means remoteness and limited accessibility, but also because of its over 1,000 years' cultural and spiritual history which leaves an impressive heritage that has helped to create the romantic and mysterious Tibetan religion.


Lhasa Culture

Festivals in Lhasa China

As a beautiful flower of Chinese folkloric culture, Tibetan festival culture is an important component of Tibetan folkloric culture, ancient culture and religious culture. Tibetan festivals have multiple origins and qualities. Though most of them are related to Buddhism, we can still seek for the general look of Tibetan and Chinese cultures and the historical clues of cultural exchange between them. Tibetan New Year is the most significant festival in Lhasa. Different areas have different ways to celebrate it, with Lhasa the most representative. Other festivals in Lhasa include Ox festival, Great Prayer Festival, Butter Lamp Festival, Saka Dawa Festival, Bathing Festival and Palden Lhamo Festival.


Famous Attractions in Lhasa

The exterior of the famous Lhasa attraction--Potala Palace

Lhasa Potala Palace


1. Potala Palace: Situated on the Red Hill of central Lhasa, Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world, reaching 3,767.19m at the topmost point. Potala Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the center and the White Palace as two wings.

2. Jokhang Temple: Included on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2000 as part of the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple is located in central Lhasa in Tibet. With an area of 25,100 square meters, it is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Pilgrims.


3. Sera Monastery: Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery.

4. Barkhor Street: Located in the old area of Lhasa China, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the Tibetan people are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place for the tourists.


5. Drepung Monastery: Situated at the foot of the Mountain Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa China, the Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered one of the “Three Great Monasteries”.

6. Ganden Monastery: Ganden Monastery is located on Wangbur Mountain, on the southern bank of Lhasa River in Tagtse County, 47 kilometers from Lhasa China. Ganden Monastery 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.


7. Yangpachen: 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 away from Lhasa and covering an area of 40 square kilometers, Yangpachen gains its fame from the abundant geothermic heat which provides people with much to explore.

8. Heavenly Lake Namtso: Namtso Lake is one of the five most beautiful lakes in China. Namtso Lake's touching beauty should not be missed by any traveler who visits Lhasa Tibet. Its purity and solemnness are symbols of Qinghai-Tibet Platean.


9. Norbulingka: 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 southwest of Potala Palace. It is the biggest man-made garden in Tibet Autonomous Region.

10. Chakpori Hill: Rising up beside Potala Palace, the spired peak of Chakpori Hill (Yao Wang Shan) is 3725 meters high. Ascending the winding path to the top, one has the opportunity to view a panorama of the ancient city and its surrounding landscapes.


Food in Lhasa


Famous Lhasa food--Tsamba

Lhasa Tsamba


Tsamba is a traditional staple food of Tibetan in Lhasa and is a kind of dough made with roasted highland barley, pea and water. Tibetan butter tea, sour milk or Chang can also be enjoyed alongside this delicacy.

Air-dry Mutton and Beef

Dried meat is an extremely characteristic Tibetan food in Lhasa China. At the end of every year, Tibetans cut red meats into small pieces or strips and then hang the strips in a shaded, covered area when the temperature falls below freezing. The meat remains edible until the following February/March, when it will be crisp and full of flavor.



Chang is a Tibetan alcoholic drink made from barley in Lhasa China. It is loved by Tibetan people of all ages and both sexes, and is also a requisite drink during happy events and festivals. Although Chang has a light-fruit-like flavor, it is actually very strong. During a banquet, the host (whether male or female) would propose a toast while singing the toasting song.

Where to Eat in Lhasa China


Crazy Yak Saloon lies next door to Kirey Hotel on Beijing East Road. It has uniquely Tibetan decor and furnishings. Tibetan food has a good reputation here and the yak meat comes recommended. The other highlight is the Tibetan song and dance show from 19:30 to 20:30 every evening.

Ethnic Restaurant lies opposite the Kirey Hotel, on East Beijing Road, and it is one of the largest Tibetan restaurants in Lhasa China. The restaurant serves aweto chicken and aweto beef as well as some common dishes.


Snow-Deity Palace Tibetan Style Restaurant is located just west of the Potala Palace Plaza. It is one of the only slap-up Tibetan Style restaurants in Lhasa. There is authentic Tibetan food on offer such as freshly fried mutton chops and Tibetan steamed stuffed buns.

Snowland Restaurant next to Snowland Hotel on Mentsikhang Road has a range of western food, Tibetan food and Nepalese food. Its Nepalese food and pizza are delicious. The price is moderate when compared with the excellent quality of the food.


Tashi Restaurant, close to Penthoc Guesthouse and Tashi 2 in the Kirey Hotel is a favorite of many travelers. It is clean, quiet and the staffs speak good English. They offer Tibetan food including Tibetan momos, tsampa, thukpa and fried yak meat as well as spaghetti, mashed potatoes and fries.

Tibetan Cafeteria is located west of Middle Beijing Road. It offers Tibetan food such as fried mutton chops, radish stew, yak meat and potato buns.


Shopping in Lhasa


No trip to Lhasa China would be complete without taking away some local souvenirs either for yourself or as presents. This unique land captured in its crafts and goods certainly won't disappoint!


What to Buy in Lhasa China
The famous local handicraft in Lhasa--the Thangka

Lhasa Thangka



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. Tibetan Thangka is valued for its precision, balance and variety.


Tibetan Costumes

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.

Tibetan Medicines

Tibetan medicines made by secret methods attract much curiosity. Lots of tourists like to buy Tibetan medicine for its herbs such as saffron, aweto and snow lotus. 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.


Where to Buy in Lhasa China


Barkhor Street is the famous commercial center of Lhasa Tibet. Over 120 handicraft and artwork shops and 200 or so market stands in the Barkhor Street. It is a must-go place for all souvenir shopping. Tibetan rugs, knives, broadswords, traditional clothes, gold and silver jewelry and all sorts of traditional handmade craftwork can easily be found in this street.


It's a good idea to go shopping on Barkhor Street in the morning or evening, because Tibetan people always value highly their first customer and their last one. You can also find fabulous Tibetan food on Barkhor Street.

Nightlife in Lhasa

The Langma Opera, a popular Lhasa opera for local people's nightlife

Tibet Langma Opera


Langma Opera
For your first visit to Lhasa China, it is definitely worthwhile to watch a Tibetan singing and dancing show-- called Langma opera in Tibetan. Originally, Langma meant “royal music' in Tibetan but, over time, the opera became a favorite among locals and commoners. Xinshiji Langma Hall is one of the more authentic and pleasurable places to watch the performance, where you can drink beer and enjoy the dance in a truly cultural environment.

Tianhai Night Market
The most famous night market in Lhasa is Tianhai Night Market on the west suburb of city. Visitors from home and abroad are enchanted by the many stalls of snacks, fruits, and handicrafts lining the street. Each night, the street is crowded and illuminated. Tianhai Night Market is known for its great variety of goods and for being cheaper than the market on the Barkhor Street.


Bars in Lhasa are attractive for their exotic flavors. Especially in the evening, foreigners like to choose a bar to meet friends and share their travel stories with each other. Sometimes, too, the bars are good places to sit quietly alone relaxing, reading books or listening to music. Mayke Ame (Maji A'mi) is the most enchanting place which travelers like to go. It is not only an excellent restaurant but also a bar full of ethnic characters.

Lhasa Travel Guide: China Travel Tips for Lhasa tour

The peak of the holy mountain in Lhasa--the Himalayas

Tibet Qomolangma


Best Time to Visit Lhasa China


Generally speaking, summer and autumn are the best time to visit Lhasa. If you would like to explore Lhasa in spring, you can do some outdoor activities. It is very suitable to walk around in Lhasa China and have fun in Barkhor Street. In autumn, as the weather in Lhasa is very comfortable, you can visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple as well as Drepung Monastery and feel the strong and mysterious religion atmosphere. Take an excursion in Mt. Everest(Qomolangma) and watch the sunrise is a good choice for you.


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