Where to shopping in Tibet
The great charm of the local culture, religion, art and folklore has made Tibet great place for picking up spectacular souvenirs. Barkhor Street in Lhasa is a good place to look for souvenirs and is a must for every tourist.
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Walking around Barkhor Street, your eyes will be dazzled by the numerous kinds of handicrafts available such as: ornaments, knives, tangka (a Tibetan religious painting on fabric, usually portraying the Buddha or lamas in stereotyped aspects), tapestries, religious musical instruments, gold and silver ware, and masks.
There are many antique replicas available which are produced in great numbers, but you can also find real treasures--precious natural gems, valuable porcelain ware, unearthed ancient coins and relics from temples. Yak horns and the skulls of wild takin are very popular with tourists. Even Buddhist scriptures and colorfully inscribed banners win favor with the tourists, especially those from abroad.
Finally, don't forget another specialty, traditional Tibetan medicine. It has been growing more famous as its positive effect on hard-to-cure diseases is becoming more well-known. Medicinal herbs such as saffron, aweto, and snow lotus are some of types tourists tend to buy.
What to buy in Tibet
Thangka is an exquisite Tibetan scroll, most of which focuses on the motifs of Tibetan Buddhism, such as depicting a Buddhist deity and describing historical Buddhist events. Thangkas can be made by cloth, embroidery, paper, brocade, silk tapestry or applique. Sometimes, jewels and pearls are decorated on Tibetan Thangkas.
Tibetan jewelry is usually made from metals such as silver, gold, and copper, and stones like turquoise, agate, wood, and bamboo, as well as from pearls, corals, and bones of dead animals, especially from yak bones. Most visitors like to buy Tibetan ornaments especially jewelry because they are not only exotic and aesthetically pleasing with vivid carvings of animals as well as Sanskrit, but also representing blessing and keeping evils away.
Tibetan Carpet and Textile:Tibetan carpet, with bright and harmonious color, is soft, exquisite and durable in addition to its strong ethnic-flavored pictorial pattern. Hand-woven woolen cloth Pulu comes in many colors and is used for making clothes, shoes, and caps. Pulu is durable, warm, as well as beautiful.
Tibetan knife is essential to Tibetan people's life. For Tibetan people, knives are not only a tool for daily life and a weapon to protect themselves, but also an adornment to add more color to their life. Tibetan knife is favored by tourists because of its unique style and the exquisite carving of the silver sheath. Prices of Tibetan knife can range from a few RMB to several thousand according to the material quality and the level of workmanship.
Tibetan Medicine: Tibetan people have developed a unique system of Tibetan medicine and pharmacology during the course of their struggle against the nature and diseases. With a history of over 2,000 years, Tibetan medicine has attracted much curiosity from home and abroad for its good curative effect on some diseases and its special processing method. Tibetan herbs such as saffron, aweto and snow lotus are popular Tibetan medicine among tourists. Some tourists also like to visit the Tibetan doctors for treatment during their trip.
Tibetan Incense is another good tourist souvenir. Tibetan people use them to worship the Buddha, exorcise evils, and conduct religious activities. Stored in wardrobe, the Tibetan incense can not only keep the clothing fragrant but also protect them from insects.
Tibet Shopping Tips
- Always remember to bargain on stalls.
- Carefully examine jewelry for quality.
- Tibetan people call white copper "silver", so the cheap silver ornaments are usually mixed with copper. If you want to buy real silver jewelry, go to shops or department stores.
- Tibetan knife are not allowed on plane or as consigned goods. It needs to be sent by post.