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How to Enjoy Local Tibetan's Life in Tibet

Latest Update: October,23 2018

Just a pack on your back and point you where the wind blows. An improvisational tour in major cities of Tibet may stun you with more pleasant surprises in your exploration of local Tibetan’s life. There have a great number of ways to do this, but we recommend you to start with the following experiences we have friendly selected for you since most visitors find them much more interesting and enjoyable with satisfaction.

Spending a leisure day exploring the local customs by wearing the exquisitely made Tibetan costumes; enjoying a cup of sweet tea in the well-known sweet teahouse and witnessing the making of it; tasting the famous Tibetan food and try making one of them; being a guest to the Tibetan family to get a closer contact with the local Tibetans and join their traditional prayer flag or religious flag hanging activities, Just follow our guide to walk into the local Tibetan’s life and find out whether the comfortable local Tibetan life is just the one that you favor most.

Dress like a local Tibetan

No matter whether you are the first time come to Tibet or a frequent visitor here, dressing elegantly in beautiful silk and brocade-made Tibetan costumes must be a wish you are longing for. In fact, not the visitors, local residents themselves always have the wish of putting on the best Tibetan costumes to be in a good mood. Males, typically with white long-sleeve T-shirts worn inside, cares more about the sheepskin, wool or the brocade made oversized coat, for the coat's style unveils their dressing tastes in daily communications. Most men like to hang an amulet on the waist to protect themselves and sometimes along with a tobacco pipe.

For women, most of them favor an elegant and graceful wear with tailor-made silk and brocade robes or the rainbow aprons. Robes never get outdated among Tibetans. Meanwhile, men and women love to wear jewelry. The ivory, colorful pearl and turquoise made necklace, the gold cast earings are widely seen among Tibetans and some of the women put one big precious stone on their heads, inlaying in the up-do braids to look nobler.

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

Tibet dressing is a kind of art, and it is not just the basic necessities, but the reflection of the taste and the symbol of the wealth. Are you tempted? Try on the Tibetan costumes and explore the local things like a real Tibetan.

Insider tips: We provide varied kinds of the elegant and exquisitely made Tibetan clothing for all visitors with the photo shooting service.

Taste the famous sweet tea and enjoy the making of it

What does the sweet tea taste like and does it suit my flavor

Each place has its own way for fostering its own residents, so does the Tibet. For the local Tibetans, there is nothing more comfortable than enjoying a cup of tea on a sunny afternoon. Why does sweet tea so popular and what makes lots of people (Most locals are included) crowd in from the streets to the sweet tea houses? Served only in noble Nepal families and first introduced to Tibet by Nepal businessman, the sweet tea is not that popular in local Tibetans, for most of the Nepalese favor the sweet tea with a heavy taste. But gradually, when the spices and ingredients in the sweet tea were removed, the light but sweet tea became suitable for local tastes.

Actually, the sweet tea is a mixed taste with bitter and sweet flavors, which enables the tea drinkers to find a comfortable and unstrained mood between the bitterness and sweetness. Most of the visitors find the sweet tea tasty. If you want to know whether you can get used to it, why not just to have a try?

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

Insider tips:
1. Sweet tea house at all levels can be found in the main cities like Lhasa and Shigatse. If the weather is perfect with sunshine, try finding somewhere you can enjoy the sunlight.
2. You can drink the sweet tea at any time in any season, so don’t miss the chance to taste the real characteristic tea in Tibet.

What else we could do besides drinking the sweet tea in the tea house

Besides drinking the tea, there remains another interesting thing for you to explore, and that is to witness the producing procedures of the sweet tea which were introduced to Tibet from Nepal approximately 400 years ago. With the main ingredients of milk powder and black tea, the making of sweet tea is seemingly easy with mainly three steps. Boiling the black tea, dumping in the milk powder and adding the sugar. However, this seemingly easy making procedures actually needs extra masterful skills and the accumulated experience.

Insider tips:
1. When you are seeing the sweet tea making procedures, feel free to communicate with the local sweet tea makers.
2. If you find the sweet tea suits your flavor, don't forget to give them a thumb up to show your satisfaction and compliments.

Taste the exquisitely-made Tibetan food and try cooking one of them

What are the tasty foods that local Tibetan favor most

Any choice of the Tibetan food is enough to make you feel impressed, for each food is well selected with an elaborate cooking process. Except for the Tsampa (Roasted barley flour), buttered tea, Tibetan noodle and all kinds of yogurt and cheese, the residents have a much wider range of choices for their daily food. So when you in Tibet, why not have a taste of some other most-favored snacks and foods which are frequently served on Tibetan’s dining table.

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

Here we recommend you the most favored foods by Tibetans, just try some to see which one most suits your taste.
Dishes made of haslets:
Fried lung slice: Tibetan characteristic snack made of sheep lungs, flour and red pepper strips
Sheep blood stuffed intestine: Sheep intestine filled with buckwheat or white flour mixed sheep blood
Pickled pig lung: One of the delicious salted Tibetan products with a fresh smell, a good appetizer but not greasy.
Fried sheep Lung: Also the Tibetan featured snack with ghee and flour mixture, crisp outside but the inside is soft
Spicy beef Tripe: Fried beef tripe with chili and pointed green peppers.

Stewed food:
Lulang stewed chicken in the stone bowl: Made of big chicken legs, marsh room, herbs and kinds of spices
Stewed Tibetan chicken with matsutake: Very popular food in Tibetans for its rich animal proteins

For local Tibetans, their dinner food can be multiple. Beside the main characteristic dishes we recommended above, many vegetables are also available in the market and can be served on their dinner table.

Is it possible to cook Tibetan food at local Tibetan’s house under the landlord’s instruction

Cooking the Tibetan food all by yourself must be the most direct way to enjoy and further understand the local Tibetan’s life. Selecting the cooking tools in the open fair and get the foodstuffs from the vegetable market. Don’t forget to bargain with the local sellers as other Tibetan do to experience the real Tibetan life.

Find some booths selling spice or condiment and select the correct spices for the dinner cooking under the instruction of the local guide. Then return to the house to start the food cooking and if you don’t want to make the food flavor far more different from what it originally to be, then restrain yourself from turning the cooking process into free play and follow the landlord’s suggestions. Isn’t it cool? Found our guide below for the detailed information, for our local guide can arrange you a private fantastic and friendly experience for this.

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

Being the guests to a local Tibetan’s family and enjoying the prayer flag hanging

What’s the experience of visiting a Tibetan’s house with Tibetan costumes properly dressed

The Tibetan people are well known for their hospitality, so just relax and enjoy. Before you enter the Tibetan’s houses, you may notice some of them are mainly courtyards with exquisitely decorated front doors, around which are some colored flags. Explore deeper into the house, you can find the door sill attached to the ground of every room. Crossing the door sill to get into the room means you can walk through the life’s twists and turns. Typically, every Tibetan house hangs Thangka (A Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton, silk appliqué, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala.) around the walls to strengthen the family’s faith confidence. Besides, you can also find a small place for worshipping the Buddha. Before you take a seat, you need to wash your hands in a copper basin, for every Tibetan family believe washing hands in a copper or gold basin can eliminate the evils and bring the fortune.

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

After you take the seats, the hospital host starts to serve you with a lot of Tibetan foods, snacks and drinking including the highland barley wine, air-dried beef, mutton, fresh fruit, etc. There always has been a tradition that before drinking, you need to hold the cup with your left hand and dip into the wine with your middle finger of your right hand, and then flip the wine into the air. Repeat this action three times to worship the heaven, the earth, and the Buddha respectively.

Being the guests of a Tibetan family, you can also enjoy their local songs and dances. Don’t be surprised when you hear a song crying out from any member of the family, for almost all the Tibetans are born to be a singer, and very masterful at songs with extremely high tones. Their dances are also unique and easy to learn, so just feel free to join them.

Insider tips:
1. When the wine is served, you need to hold it with both of your hands
2. Bottom-up the wine to show that you do not look down upon this family

Is it interesting in hanging the prayer or the religious flag

Hanging the prayer and religious flags have long time been the tradition for the local Tibetans. You can easily find colorful flags on every Tibetan family’s house roof, on the mountains or by the riverside. In Tibetan folk houses, flags are changed once a year during the Tibetan new year. Scriptures are written on the prayer flags, and when the wind is blowing, flags are driven into the air just like the scriptures have been chanted for thousands of times. The religious flag is regarded as the fate flag by Tibetans with lions, tigers, dragons, and hawks brocaded on it.

 enjoy local tibetan life

 enjoy local tibetan life

Everyone can hang the prayer and religious flags without any taboos, so just join the locals and write your name on the religious flags to pray for the blessing of Tibetan Buddha.

Insider tips:
1. Before the prayer-flag hanging activities, a grand and joyous ritual is carried out to worship the god and pray for blessings. The color of each flag is determined and the displaying order is strictly regulated. So pay attention to the flag color and the hanging order.
2. Burn some cypress branches with tsampa when the aromatic plant burning process started to worship the god with local Tibetans together.

Tibetan’s life is enjoyable and relaxing. Don’t let go any chance to experience the real local Tibetan’s life and find the inner peace that belongs to you in Tibet. If you have any questions, find our local Tibetan guide underneath and feel free to drop us a line.

So if you’re ready to a Lifetime Tour to Tibet, our dedicated and professional teams are expecting you in Tibet! Please feel free to reach us, sharing your great ideas. We would like to offer the most useful Tibet tour advice, For Free!

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