What to Do in Lhasa and Festival
Except for the amazing natural landscape to enjoy and strong religious atmosphere to suck, there are many featured activities in Lhasa as well. Taking part in these activities, you can experience the real Tibetan life better as well as enrich your journey. Check the following activities and learn about what to do in Lhasa.
Visit Local Family
Time: Flexible (according to your itinerary)
Fee: Included in your booked tour
Address: One local family in the suburb of Lhasa
Undoubtedly, you will meet many Tibetan people in your Lhasa tour and you must want to have an intimate contact with them and learn about their real life. Visiting a local family is a good choice. Getting a local house, you may find the yak dungs on the wall or piled in the yard. They are stored for fuel. Enter the house, and you will be warmly welcomed by the family. You can freely chat with the friendly and hospitable hosts and experience their daily lives. Tibetan people like buttered tea and Zanba. Don’t forget to have a taste, or you could ask the owner to teach you to make them. In the afternoon, have a nice lunch with them.
Fancy Meal Prepared by Local Family
Join Cooking Class
Fee: 150 CNY per person
Address: No.1 Danjielin Road (opposite the Shangbala Hotel), Chengguan District, Lhasa
Whether you are a gourmet or not, Tibet cuisine is a must try if you visited Lhasa. Moreover, trying the cuisine made by yourself will be another unforgettable experience. We strongly suggest you join a cooking class provided by Tibet Family Kitchen, which is a home-style restaurant. Tibet Family Kitchen features with the quality Tibetan food and an atmosphere of a family. In spite of the small scale and simple decoration, it will give a pleasant surprise with the authentic Tibet taste and superb service.
The cooking experience include shopping in the local outdoor vegetable market, getting food materials ready, cooking food to well and glutting your stomach finally. For a group of 1~3 customers, 3 dishes will be cooked. They are juicy Yak Meat Momo – specialty of Tibet Family Kitchen, tasty salad and what else you are fond of (from the menu). If 4~6 customers are in a group, there will be additional dishes. Tibet Family Kitchen can only handle with 6 customers at most to make sure that the owners can take care of everybody. If you have more members in you group, TibetDiscovery will arrange other restaurants for you to have a cooking class.
TTC can customize a tour including wonderful cooking class for you, and feel free to contact us.
Watch Princess Wencheng Drama
Fee: 380/480/580/880/1280 CNY per person
Address: Princess Wencheng Theatre, China Tibetan Culture and Tourist Creative Park, Cijiaolin Village, Chengguan District, Lhasa
Princess Wencheng Drama is a large-scale outdoor live-action show performed under the starlit sky and presenting the story of Princess Wencheng’s marriage to Songtsen Gampo. In Cijuelin Village where Prince Wencheng once encamped, the time goes back to 1300 years ago. The long trip of Princess Wencheng from Changan to Lhasa is revealed in front of the spectators and the song of harmony between Han and Tibetan people begins to ring. Combining the culture, history, folk-custom and natural landscape of Han and Tibet together, Prince Wencheng Drama use ancient Chinese dance, Tibetan dance, and Tibetan Opera to tell this moving story. The whole performance of Princess Wencheng is made up of five scenes, including Charm of Ancient Tang Dynasty, Buddhist Music of Heaven and Earth, Great Beauty of Tibetan Dance, God of the Plateau and Harmonious Beauty between Tibet and Han. Each part tells the truehearted love between Princess Wencheng and Songtsen Gampo, and shows the harmony between China’s Tang Dynasty and Tubo Kingdom. The stage might be the most resplendent one made by three-dimensional scenery. As an elaborate spectacle with massive sets, beautiful costumes, gigantic props, theatrical lighting and special efforts, Princess Wencheng Drama becomes a must-see in Lhasa.
Magnificant Performance of Princess Wencheng Drama
Draw Thangka Painting
Fee: Various on the different stores
Address: Barkhor Street Lhasa
Thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting or embroidery on cotton, silk or paper. It serves as an important teaching tool describe the life of the Buddha, various influential lamas, and other figures. There are many Thangka Painting Stores in Barkhor Street where you can buy a Thangka painting. Some stores also offers drawing lessons and tourists are able to learn to finish a Thangka painting. This activity is top recommended to the group of family members. Drawing Thangka can help the kids learn about the Buddhist art and cultivate their patience. The Thangka always depict a Buddhist deity, scene or mandala.
Take a Kora with Tibetan
Fee: Free (85 CNY in Jokhang Temple)
Address: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street etc.
If you are Buddhist or you just want to pray for the blessings in Holy City Lhasa, take a kora with the local people. Kora, walking, turning prayer wheels or prostrating around the mountains, lakes, monasteries, stupas or Marnyi Stones, is a Buddhist activity to save people from any disasters. Among the circumanbulations in Lhasa, there are three most famous ones – Nangkhor, Barkhor, and Lingkhor. Nangkhor means the inside circumanbulation, namely the sacred path around the Jowo Rinpoche – the Life-sized Statue of Shakyamuni at his 12 years old. Jowo Rinpoche is housed in the main hall of Jokhang Temple and you need to buy ticket to enter this monastery. Barkhor, or Barkhor Street, is the famous circumanbulation as well as popular shopping center. Lingkhor is sacred path with a length of 8 kilometers around old Lhasa City, the Potala Palace and Chokpori Hill.
Note: Circumanbulator have to walk kora or turn prayer wheels in clockwise direction. How many times for kora is not fixed but it needs to be an odd number.
Local Tibetans Kora around Potala Palace
Enjoy the Tibet Festivals
Time: Various on different festivals
Fee: Various on different places
Address: Different monasteries in Lhasa
There are many Tibet festivals celebrated in different ways in Lhasa. If time permits, you can visit Lhasa during the festivals and enjoy the lively scenes with the local people. The first festival comes Shoton Festival – taking palace from 30th June in Tibetan Calendar and lasting for 5 days. During the festival, a huge Buddha Thangka will be shown in Drepung Monastery and wonderful Tibetan operas will be performed in Norbulingka Park. Tibetan also will gather in the park to celebrate the festival by eating yoghurt. Tibetan New Year Festival is another significant festival in Tibet. On the first day of the New Year Festival, the local people will wear the most beautiful clothes and precious jewelry to celebrate the coming year. You can enjoy some performance in the Potala Palace Square and there will be sutra-chanting in Jokhang Temple. Please note that the New Year Festival might not be open to foreign tourists some years. You could contact our travel consultant for the up-to-date information.
In addition to Shoton Festival and New Year Festival, other festivals like Butter Lanter Festvial, ,Saga Dawa Festival, Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival etc. are attractive as well.
Thangka Exhibition on Shoton Festival
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