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Shopping in Tibet

Tibet, with its great charm of the local culture, religion, folklore, and fantastic scenic and historical wonders, has generated great interests in travelers to do some shopping during their trips in Tibet. It is said that a trip to Tibet is never complete without a shopping spree. Tibet has vast and rich variations of shopping treasures. Tibetan carpets, Tangka Paintings, carvings, Tibetan jewelry, Tibetan Knife, Tibetan medicine…

Thangka

Thangka is one of the most famous and stunning items you could buy as a gift or souvenir in Tibet. It is traditional Tibetan artworks with painted or embroidered images rendered on cloth, silk or pater and is mounted on a cloth backing. Most Thangkas focus on the motifs of Tibetan Buddhism, such as depicting a Buddhist deity and describing historical Buddhist events. Color comes with pigments from non-transparent mineral and plants such as malachite and cinnabar. They are mixed with animal glue and ox bile to maintain the color's luster.

Thangka

Thangka

Tibetan Carpet

With unique weaving style, Tibetan carpet has bright and harmonious colors, and it 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, and beautiful. Tibetan carpet is strong national feature of designs adds more value of appreciation, so it has high reputation all around the world. Tibetan carpet, with patterns of footcloths, rugs and kang mats, on the basis of Tibetan minority traditional art, merging the essence of religious artists from the Han nationality and other countries like India and Nepal, becomes an elegant artwork with unique Tibetan art style.

Tibetan carpet

Tibetan carpet

Tibetan Jewelry

Jewelry of all kind is very popular by the Tibetan people. The gold and silver jewelry and ornaments with all kind of tones are still made with traditional techniques and kill at high level. The stones include turquoise, agate, wood, and bamboo, as well as from pearls, corals, and bones of dead animals, especially from yak bones. Local jewelry can be found at all markets. 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.

Handcrafted Tibetan Jewelry

Handcrafted Tibetan Jewelry

Antique Style Tibetan Jewelry

Antique Style Tibetan Jewelry

Tibetan Knife

Tibetan knife is essential and indispensable to Tibetan daily life. Most Tibetans male or female carry knives. Indeed, knives are not only a tool for daily life and weapon to protect themselves, but also an adornment to add more color to their life. Tibetan knife enjoys an international fame for a long time. This elaborate Tibetan handcraft carries a high art value. Tibetan knives represent the profound Tibetan ethnic culture to the world.

Tibetan Knife

Tibetan Knife

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. Lots of tourists like to buy traditional Tibetan medicine for its herbs such as saffron, aweto and snow lotus.

Aweto

Aweto

Saffron

Saffron

Tibet Shopping Area:

Barkhor Street: It is the famous commercial center of Tibet just located outside of Jokhang Temple. There are all the items mentioned about you can also find fabulous Tibetan food here. A must-go place for all souvenir shopping.

Lhasa Department Store:  The largest and most famous store in Lhasa. It sells handicrafts as well as practical items, such as cotton clothing, mugs, towels and toothpaste and other stuff tourist may need to buy before they move to other remote area.

Tibet Shopping Tips

  • Remember to bargain when shopping.
  • Carefully examine the quality of the jewelries.
  • 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.
  • Go shopping on Barkhor Street in the morning or evening, because Tibetan people highly value their first and last customers of the day.
  • Tibetan knife are not allowed on plane or as consigned goods. You have to post home when after you purchase it.

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