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Shopping in Tibet

With vibrant Barkhor Bazzar crammed with colorful shops and busy vendors selling Tibetan ornaments, clothes, Buddha statues, Tibetan rugs, Thangkas, farm produce, spices, and incenses from Nepal and India, etc., Tibet offers you a truly exotic shopping experience beyond your expectation.

And the old district of Lhasa, somewhere around Barkhor Street, should be the center of bargaining.

Our expert local leaders teach you where and how to pick the best souvenirs for your Tibet journey and insider tips of bargaining with hawkers and striking the best deal.

What are the most popular souvenirs for you to buy in Lhasa?

The famous dried yak jerky, Tibetan sweet tea bags, and yeasty Lhasa beers are some of the finest souvenirs for you to pack in your luggage and share the unique flavor of Tibet to your relatives and friends back home.

Besides, the exquisitely-made handicrafts like Tibetan prayer wheels, turquoise bracelets, Buddhist prayer beads and aromatic Tibetan incenses are also quite popular amid international tourists.

For high-end souvenirs for interior décor or clients, the masterfully-crafted Tibetan Thangka paintings are second-to-none. Highly recommended.

What should you be careful with when shopping in Barkhor Street?

Don’t buy the expensive jewels from the hawkers. It's very likely to be fake.

If you happen to see someone selling so-called miraculous medicines made of the remains of the wildlife and unknown wild herbal medicine, don’t attempt to buy it because it’s illegal and unsafe to use.

Though Tibet has a low crime rate, don’t flash a large amount of your cash as you shop in the bustling Barkhor Street.

Is it convenient to use a credit card in Tibet?

Well, if you shop in big malls in downtown Lhasa, there won’t be any problem using the credit card.

However, the processing fee is also involved. In most cases, the cash is the only way to pay esp. as you travel beyond Lhasa to remote regions in western or northern Tibet or dine in local restaurants.

Nowadays, the use of Alipay or Wechat via the smartphone becomes highly popular throughout China.

So, we recommend you exchange an amount of cash(around 1,000-2,000RMB) for shopping in Tibet.

Any speciality to buy in different regions in Tibet?

Yes, there are a number of products that originate from different corners of Tibet. The famous Tibetan herbal medicine - caterpillar fungus or literally known as “winter worm, summer grass” is be found in Nagqu Prefecture.

While the Nyêmo County in Lhasa is best known for producing the finest Tibetan incense.

The Nyingchi, also known as the “Swiss-Alps” of Tibet, produces the best matsutake (wild mushroom) in Tibet.

Meanwhile, the fertile Gyaca County of Shannan Prefecture is the source of the highest quality of walnuts across Tibet, a long tradition that dates back to over a thousand years ago.

And the dried yak meat is also the best local flavor in Nagarzê County, Shannan Prefecture.

Since Tibetans are originally the nomads, they often use daggers to slice yak meat.

The best-known daggers or knives are made in Lhatse County, Shigatse Prefecture. However, it’s forbidden to carry it on the plane.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to take a look at the hand-made Tibetan rugs and artistic Tibetan Thangka paintings, other handicrafts, etc. in Lhasa.

Our local guide will give you more insider tips for your needs.

Most Read Articles about Shopping in Tibet

Despite the fact that there is a dazzling array of local specialties scattered around Tibet, Lhasa, more specifically around Barkhor Street, is truly the center of business and trade. We handpicked the most comprehensive guide to shopping in Lhasa. Read on to get expert tips for shopping in Tibet.

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