50+ Interesting Facts about Lhasa Tour Information
As a holy city filled with mystery and Buddhist vibes, Lhasa offers you unlimited opportunities for exploration. We come up with the top 50 interesting facts of Lhasa tour and hopefully, they will be your great inspiration for Lhasa visit.
1. Although Potala Palace is the most iconic architecture of Tibet, deep down in local Tibetans’ heart, the holiest place in Lhasa is the Jokhang Temple where the life-sized statue of 12-year-old Lord Buddha is enshrined.
2. To your great surprise, most of local Tibetans, including Tibetan monks, prefer to use an iPhone or iPad. The secret behind it is that the ISO system has a Tibetan keyboard, very useful to Tibetans.
3. Though being a devoted Buddhist, many Tibetans, Tibetan monks included, do eat meat, esp. Yak meat, which is a staple for locals.
4. Unlike the green tea you may drink in China, in Lhasa, you won’t see tea leaves when enjoying either Tibetan sweet tea or butter tea. Instead, powdered milk, black tea, and sugar or butter and salt would be the main ingredients respectively.
5. Tibetans don’t eat fish because they believe creatures like fish and vultures can bring the soul of the deceased back to heaven.
6. As opposed to the heavy rains in other parts of China in summer, Lhasa enjoys cool and pleasant weather (16-21°C) in its monsoon season. And constant downpours are very rare in Lhasa and interesting rain falls at night. - Check the best time to visit Lhasa.
7. When you see Tibetan monks yelling at each other or jumping with hands-clapping, finger-pointing or rolling mala, etc. Relax, they are not fighting against others. It’s the “Monk Debate”, just like a daily “thesis defense” in a Buddhist academy.
8. Besides the famous landmarks like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, to explore the real lives of locals, do delve into the backstreets of old Lhasa district, where the teahouses, craft shops, and hidden nunnery, and food produce market are hidden.
9. Don’t forget the “Great Three Gelugpa Monasteries” in Lhasa, i.e. Sera, Drepung and Ganden, and each monastery offers distinctive discoveries and legends with guru Tsongkhapa.
10. Amid the top 6 kora (pilgrimage, or holy walk) routes in Lhasa, the most famous one is the Barkhor Circuit, a must-have experience in Lhasa. Do remember to enjoy the holy walk in a clockwise direction.
11. To the newly-arrived travelers in Lhasa, the worst mistake is rush to roam over Barkhor Sreet or jump or run on the street. Just don’t do it. It may trigger acute altitude sickness. Instead, having a good sleep at your hotel is recommended.
12. As a vital trade hub between Nepal/India and China, Lhasa offers a variety of culinary delights. From authentic local Tibetan cuisines to yummy Nepali and Indian food and western and Sichuan dishes, you have plenty of options, even to veggies. Go for the culinary tour in Lhasa.
13. Chilly as it is, the night of Lhasa is teeming with activities. Prostrating pilgrims on Barkhor Street, lively music bars, princess Wencheng outdoor musical, and dancing floor of traditional Nangma Hall and Karaoke bars and street food stalls, even gods enjoy a relaxing night.
14. Due to the unique weather and climate, many tourists prefer to visit Tibet in summer, the monsoon season in Tibet. - Is the Rainy Season a Bad Time to Visit Tibet?
15. In some luxury resorts and hotels in Lhasa, like St. Regis, Shangri-La, and Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, you may enjoy public oxygen bars or oxygen supply in your room.
16. If you plan to visit Lhasa in summer, do time your visit during Shoton Festival(around Aug.) and Saga Dawa Festival (around Jun or July). It’s the best time to explore Buddhist festivities and local cuisines. Visit Tibet during its fascinating festivals.
17. Though eating fish is a taboo in Tibet, 50km to the southwest of Lhasa lies Junba Villiage, probably the only fishing village across Tibet, with intriguing legends and fishing traditions.
18. Don’t believe the myth that only weak people get altitude sickness in Tibet. In fact, it has a lot to do with your genes and happens randomly. - Learn from experts to avoid altitude sickness in Tibet.
19. Traveling by Tibet train to Lhasa is one of the best options for Lhasa tour. And the best view unfolds from Golmud to Lhasa section.
20. From mid-Dec to Feb, a large number of migrants birds like black-necked cranes and ruddy shelducks and black-headed gulls, etc. will spend the winter in and around Lhasa, the best season for birding in Tibet.
21. When visiting Lhasa, you couldn’t afford to visit two of the best-known sacred lakes around it, i.e. turquoise Lake Yamdrok and heavenly Lake Namtso. Should you visit Lake Yamdrok or Lake Namtso?
22. Although local Tibetans don’t swim in the lake, they do enjoy hot spring while being naked. And to the northeast of Lhasa, or around 140km, lies the famous Tridum hot spring, well-known for its special healing effect.
23. If you take a closer look at Lhasa, you will find that no building is higher than Potala Palace, the most prominent landmark in Tibet.
24. Local Tibetan pilgrims often walk the holy kora in a clockwise direction as they chant the Buddhist mantra “om mani padme hum”.
25. Nowadays, travelers like you can get dressed in traditional Tibetan clothes and enjoy photo-taking by professional photographers either at bustling Barkhor Street or Norbulingka Park.
26. Apart from dried yak meat and Tibetan prayer wheel, hand-made Tibetan incense, exquisite Tibetan Thangka, and Tibetan rugs, etc., are great items for souvenirs at Barkhor Street.
27. The best place to photograph Potala Palace is at the platform of Yaowang Mountain (or Chakpori Hill). - Check the photography tour in Tibet.
28. The large piles of stone, either with or without Buddhist mantra, are called Mani Stone and deemed holy. Tibetans believe that the stones can bring good luck, blessings and show pilgrims’ right direction.
29. For the peace and quiet and amazing mountain view, the medication caves at Yerpa Drak Monastery and sprawling Ganden Monastery over the top of Wangbur Mountain are worth exploring.
30. Wanna stay in the best Tibetan-style hotels in Lhasa, look no further than Songtsam Choskyi Linka, and Shambhala Palace Hotel and House of Shambhala.
31. Three of the best comprehensive hospitals are all located in Lhasa, with advanced medical facilities for emergency medical services.
32. If you happen to visit the countryside Lhasa, don’t try to approach chained Tibetan mastiffs, which are extremely hostile and aggressive to strangers.
33. The maternity leave for Tibetan women is one year. Don’t feel jealous, LOL.
34. The practice of polygamy, a rare tradition in which a woman has several husbands, usually brothers in a big family, still exists in Lhasa or other parts of Tibet.
35. Because of the thriving trade with other parts of China, Lhasa sees a wider presence of Sichuan restaurants than that of Chengdu or Chongqing.
36. Don’t fall prey to the hawkers who coax you to buy expensive jewelry or animal or herbal medicines, most of which are fake.
37. Since coins have no Tibetan language, locals literally don’t use it at all. And the cash is more acceptable than a credit card in Lhasa or elsewhere.
38. In the countryside of Lhasa or nomadic regions, like Namtso village, you will see the walls draped with dried yak dung, which is an eco-friendly material for fuel in Tibet.
39. Local businessmen don’t like over-bargaining, once both parties reach an agreed price.
40. Surprisingly, Tibetans don’t have a surname. The parents normally consult a high-rank Lama for the name of a newborn.
41. Zhaji Temple or (Zaki Temple) is a small yet extremely popular temple in Lhasa where locals line up to worship the god of fortune.
42. Nowadays, you can enjoy 4-G access for surfing the internet in Lhasa. You may purchase a Sim-card from our guide, which saves you from lots of troubles.
43. As you dine in a local teahouse, just find a teacup and room to sit, then leave your small change on the table, the waitress will come to you and fill your cup with tasty sweet tea.
44. Tsampa, butter tea, and sweet tea, and barley wine, Tibetan momos, and dried yak meat, and Shabalep, and yak noodle souple and Tibetan yogurt are some of the must-eat cuisines in Lhasa.
45. Inside the Potala Palace is a famous pit toilet, with an altitude of 3,700m, the highest toilet in the world.
46. 90% of local Tibetans are devoted Buddhists. While some of the migrants living in Tibet practice Islam or Catholicism, etc.. In Lhasa, you can even see a great mosque at the end of Barkhor.
47. Not only do locals put warm sweet tea into the thermal kettle in the teahouse, they also put butter oil into it when visiting a Tibetan monastery. So they can add butter oil to the lamps in a Tibetan Monastery.
48. Locals burn like branches pine and cypress for its aromatic smell as an offering to the Buddhist deities.
49. Different strokes for different folks. Local Tibetans favor odd No. than even No.
50. In Lhasa or other places in Tibet, a traditional board game called “Sho” is highly popular among men during Linka (or Tibetan picnic). The game equipment consists of shells and dices and a wooden dice cup.
Well, though having discussed so much of the fascinating facts of Lhasa and Lhasa tour, nothing will prepare you for the awe you may feel as you gaze up at magnificent Potala Palace and discover this holy city yourself.
And we, as a prestigious local Tibet travel agency, stand ready to offer you the most attentive services and best Lhasa tour experiences you’ve dreamed of. Please feel free to reach us for more consultation when needed.