With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Lhasa is highly reputed as “the City of Sunshine”. It has become a kind of fashion to tour Tibet in winter. Just bathing in the warm sunlight, I bet you’ll forget all your troubles and gain peace in mind. In this post, I’ll recommend top seven places for you to enjoy cozy sunshine in Tibet winter.
Jokhang Monastery and Barkhor Street – The Most Characteristic Places
As it approaches 11 o’clock, brilliant sunlight casts through Tibetan roof on the Barkhor Street and Jokhang Monastery Square suddenly warms up. It is a favorite spot for local Tibetans and visitors to kill their time in Lhasa winter. You can see them here and there, like the stone benches in the Barkhor Kora, the walls outside the Jokhang Temple, etc.
Basking in the sun, you can not only enjoy the warmth, but also experience authentic Tibetan life. Thick with the smell of yak butter, the murmur of mantras and the shuffling of wide-eyed pilgrims, Jokhang Monastery is the best place to explore Tibetan Buddhism. Just sitting on the square, you’ll encounter countless pilgrims spinning prayer wheel, chanting sutras and making prostration day and night.
Known as “the window of Tibet”, Barkhor street is a lively combination of marketplace, pilgrim circuit and ethnic melting pot. The path is not wide and paved with flatter stones. On its both sides stand distinctive Tibetan architectures, all kinds of jewelry stores and antique shops as well as art galleries. If you want to buy some Tibetan souvenirs for your family and friends, try to bargain with traders for a reasonable price. Chances are that you’ll meet some Nepalese vendors.
Lhasa River – The Most Leisurely Place
Lhasa River is Tibetans’ mother river and the cradle of Tibetan civilization. As a tributary of the YarlungTsangpo, Lhasa River is 495 kilometers long with a watershed area of 31,760 square kilometers. One thing I want to mention here is the 13-kiliometer-long urban reach of Lhasa river. It is a really great place for sunshine when visiting Lhasa. Just lying down on the beach, you can see birds flying over the blue sky, fish swimming in the crystal water and your body can get fully relaxed while exposing to the soft sunlight.
Zongchop Lukhang Park – The Most Romantic Place
It’s a little bit exaggerated to say that Zongchop Lukhang Park is the most romantic place to enjoy a sunbath. But if you want to search for romance in Lhasa, it’s definitely a good choice here. When the sunshine casts down through willow branches and leaves, it becomes so gentle and tempting that you couldn’t help falling in love with those enchanting scenes. With the fresh breeze puffing across the lake, you can walk leisurely around Zongchop Lukhang or sit on a piece of lawn to enjoy the charming sunshine.
Tibetan Sweet Tea House – The Most Artistic Place
Sweet tea house is the most distinctive place in Lhasa. It’s said that more than 400 sweet tea houses of all sizes are scattering in the streets and alleys of Lhasa. Sweet tea, means “Qiabadi” in Tibetan, is made of black tea, milk and white sugar, serving as Tibetan people’s coffee and refreshment for visitors.
As the first ray of sunshine spreads across Lhasa city, you can get up slowly to Tibetan teahouse and pay one dollar for a pot of sweet tea to warm up your heart and stomach. And the mount is enough for you to spend the whole afternoon there. How amazing it is to drink Tibetan sweet tea with sincere pilgrims!
Tibetan Family Hotel – The Most Elegant Place
There are dozens of family hotels in Lhasa. Taking a sunbath on the housetop has become a new trend among young people. Although it’s close to Barkor kora, swarms of pilgrims wouldn’t come here. In return, you can get a sense of tranquility and dig deeper into Tibetan folk culture.
Under the bright sunlight, majestic Potala Palace stands in distance and devoted pilgrims circle around. Strong elegant flavor are pervading over the roof, while you lie on the deck-chair and take a sip of red wine. All these images in sunshine is full of grace.
Chakpori Hill – The Most Comfortable Place
Rising up beside the Potala Palace, the Chakpori Hill, also called as the Hill of Medicine King, is 3,725 meters above sea level. Standing on the Chakpori mountain, not only can you get closer to the sunshine, but also catch a panorama view of the whole Lhasa city. With the soft breeze kissing on the cheeks, you would also accept the baptism of sunshine and form an open mind to the world.
There are still many other wonderful places to enjoy sunshine in Lhasa. I can’t list them all out here, so just enjoy yourself. By the way, you still need to wear a sunhat and sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn!