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Fabulous! Why Not Tour Lhasa in Traditional Tibetan Clothes?

Latest Update: December,19 2019

Traveling in Tibet is a very unique experience, and there are many ways in which you can enjoy the traditional and distinctive culture of the Tibetan people. Whether it is the unique Tibetan cuisine or the sweet Tibetan tea, the visits to the monasteries or the experience of strolling around the famous Barkhor Street, you can experience Tibet in a wide variety of ways.

Yet, for those that really want to become immersed in the Tibetan culture and way of life, little can compare with the delights of dressing in the traditional and colorful Tibetan national dress while touring Lhasa city, the heart of Tibetan culture and history. And for women, this is a fashion parade that can last for days. So if you are interested in trying out the stunning clothes and becoming a beautifully-dressed Tibetan for the day, we can help.

What Are Traditional Tibetan Clothes Made of?

The traditional Tibetan clothes are made from cotton and yak or sheep wool, as well as a varied use of silks and satins. They originated from the skins of the animals that were first used for this purpose, and while the materials may have changed a lot over the centuries, the style has changed very little. And there are parts of Tibet where animal furs are still widely used.

Our clients modeling the traditional Tibetan clothes at their hotelOur clients modeling the traditional Tibetan clothes at their hotel

The traditional dress is known as the Chupa, and is designed differently for both men and women. In general, the Chupa is like an oversized robe with very long sleeves, which has huge differences between the clothes for men and women. The male version of the Chupa is usually caught up at the waist using a belt, which leaves the upper part rolling in multiple folds that are used for carrying things. Under the Chupa, the men wear a white or plain-colored shirt, usually with a high collar, and with pants below and leather boots.

In contrast, the women’s version of the Chupa is more closely cut, and comes both with and without sleeves. A shirt is worn underneath the Chupa, often slim fitting and with long sleeves. For the ladies, the clothes are all brightly colored, in contrast to the men, and the shirt or blouse underneath the Chupa traditionally has a turned-down collar.

Accessories are the major decorations of Tibetan clothing, and no Tibetan is seen in a traditional dress without all the decorations and accessories they can manage. Men traditionally wear only hats as decorations for the traditional dress, while the women add all kinds of gold and silver jewelry, often with precious gems and colored beads. However, in some regions of Amdo, men are as decorated as the women, and so are their horses.

For the women, a head-dress or cloth covers the head, and they seldom wear hats. Another difference of the Chupa for women and men is the addition of the apron, which is colorful and often striped, and worn over the Chupa. However, only married women wear aprons.

Where to Look for Such Clothes?

For those that are looking for traditional clothes and decorations to wear during their trip, you can find a number of decent rentals and fashion boutiques along Barkhor Street and the surrounding area that can provide you with the clothes you are looking for. Many also provide a photographic service, so that you can have photos taken in the most popular tourist spots in the city, though some just use their own studio for souvenir shots.

Trying on the traditional men's Chupa in the outfittersTrying on the traditional men's Chupa in the outfitters

Our stunningly-dressed ladiesOur stunningly-dressed ladies take the escorted transport to their next destination

However, for our own clients, we can offer you a full clothing service so that you can spend your trip dressed in the traditional beautiful fashions of Tibet. Whether you are traveling on a private tour or a small group tour, we can provide you with complete clothing rentals, a photography service to get those all-important traditional costume photos at the best places, and all as part of your complete tour. Our services also make it easier for you to arrange your Tibetan traditional clothes experience. Mail your inquiry for the details.

Top Places to Take Photos with Tibetan Clothes on in and around Lhasa

Lhasa is an amazing city with a wealth of sights and things to see and do. And there is nowhere better when traveling in Tibetan dress to get your photo taken than in the major tourist attractions of the city. Here are some of the best and most popular locations for your traditional Tibetan costume photos.

Taking photos with some of the beautiful Tibetan ladiesTaking photos with some of the beautiful Tibetan ladies at Norbulingka Park

Located on the western edge of Lhasa, Norbulingka Palace is the former seat and summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Filled with the largest manmade gardens in China, this beautiful palace, which is part of Tibetan history, is the perfect place for photos in traditional Tibetan dress. While the gardens do make an ideal backdrop for your photos, you can also get good shots outside all of the Potrang Buildings, the former government offices, or by the beautiful man-made lake in the palace grounds.

A classic Tibetan pose in front of the BuddhaA classic Tibetan pose in front of the Buddha for our esteemed guests

If you are planning on getting a lot of photos of yourselves in Tibetan dress, then it is worthwhile traveling to the best places to do so. The best options for the perfect shots are outside some of the city’s many monasteries, including Drepung and Sera, two of the Three Great Monasteries of the Gelug tradition. Alternatively, almost any Tibetan-style decoration is perfect for photo opportunities, and there are thousands of those all over the city.

Winter photo opportunities at the semi-frozen Lake Yamdrok near LhasaWinter photo opportunities at the semi-frozen Lake Yamdrok near Lhasa

Winter photo opportunities at the semi-frozen Lake Yamdrok near Lhasa

Winter photo opportunities at the semi-frozen Lake Yamdrok near Lhasa

Winter photo opportunities at the semi-frozen Lake Yamdrok near Lhasa

Yamdrok Lake, located just 60 kilometers southwest of Lhasa, is an ideal place for photos. And it is more dramatic if you are in the right local dress for the photoshoot. Standing above the stunning turquoise waters of the lake, you can get the beauty of the snow-capped Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains in the backdrop, making for the most striking photos ever.

Trying their hands at raising yak calvesTrying their hands at raising yak calves in a nomadic setting…

For those that want to blend into the landscape through which you are traveling, there is no better way than in local costume. And you get a unique opportunity to take photos in front of some of the plateau’s most iconic sites and attractions, as well as with local people and animals. And who would not want such a cute photo with a baby yak? Just make sure mama is not going to get too upset…

Getting a photo with the pretty Tibetan ladiesGetting a photo with the pretty Tibetan ladies…

While taking photos with beautiful Tibetan girls may be something worth trying, it is important that you always ask permission to take someone’s photos in Tibet, young or old. Tibetans believe that the photo takes a slice of the soul, and prevents them from entering Nirvana or reaching Buddhahood. So always ask the locals before taking your photos out of courtesy. Some of the best places for photos with locals are in Lhasa along Barkhor Street, at the base of the red Hill below the Potala Palace, or in any of the towns and villages you will pass through.


Touring Tibet in local traditional clothing is an ideal way to help you understand more about the people and culture of this unique high-altitude destination. It is relatively easy to hire or rent the local Tibetan traditional dress for both women and men, and we can help make sure you get the ideal costume for your iconic Tibet trip. And there are plenty of places in and around Lhasa where you can get some amazing photos of yourself in local costume to thrill your friends back home. So if you want to try out the Tibetan local dress, let us know when you book your tour, and we will have it all ready for you when you arrive.

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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