Lhasa, meaning “the Sacred Land” or “Buddha place” in Tibetan language, has been the cultural, economic, political and religious center in Tibet since ancient time. Tibet was a theocratic state and Potala Palace was the symbol of supreme theocratic regime in old days. However, with the peaceful liberation of Tibet on May 23, 1951, theocratic regime went to its doom and Lhasa entered a new era. In 1960, State Council officially approved Lhasa for the prefecture-level city. In 1982 Lhasa was selected as one of the state level historical and cultural cities.
Things to do
Drink Sweet Tea in Guangming Teahouse
Sweet Tea House
In Lhasa, drinking sweet tea in Guangming Teahouse is an indispensable things to do just like strolling around Hutong area in Beijing. Guangming Teahouse is well-known with long history in Lhasa. This teahouse is indispensable part for people’s life and become a good place to exchange and spread information and news. In the old times, the sweet tea was only limited to noble class, but with the social development, the sweet tea can be drunk by all walks of lives. In the teahouse, you can witness the real and ordinary Tibetan life.
Lhasa is called “sunlit city” because it enjoys over 3,000 hours of sunlight annually. Undoubtedly, Lhasa is the best city to enjoy sunbath in China. Find a place you like and totally relax yourself under the sun, but don’t forget to smear sunblock.
Stroll around Barkhor Street
The Barkhor is an area of narrow streets with public square situated around Jokhang Temple. There are many shops and booths sold various kinds of traditional and unique Tibetan handicrafts. It is a holy pilgrimage site so that you should stroll around Bakhor Street in clockwise direction according to Buddhist principle.
Visit some small temples
Besides the famous Jokhang and Ramoche temples, there are many other unknown temples which are mostly worshiped by locals. These small temples are free of charge. The Buddhist statues and murals in these temples are worthwhile to watch.
Scripture Debate in Sera Monastery
Scripture debate in Sera Monastery is so famous that the scenes of debate are printed on the tickets. Even if you have witness the debate in other temples, the debate in Sera Monastery should not be missed.
Potala Palace is the most representative attraction in Lhasa so that it is must-see. Tickets for the Potala Palace are limited. Take your passport and head to the southwest exit and look for ticket stand where you will get a free ticket voucher. The following day, arrive at the south entrance 30 minutes before the time on the voucher. After checking, you are allowed to enter the palace.
Lost in the scenery of Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake is a mountain lake about 112 kilometers away from Lhasa. It is a holy lake in the eye of Tibetans. The lake is crystal-clear blue and the degree of blue are changeable as weather, position and seasons change. You will be lost in the blue world!
The The best time to visit Lhasa is from August to October. The climate during this period is humid and warm compared with dry and windy weather in spring and winter.
When visiting Lhasa in summer, you can pay a visit to some palace-like monasteries such as Drepung Monasteries and Jokhang Monastery. In the evening, you can relax in the Tibetan-styled bars and immerse yourself in the Tibetan atmosphere. Although it is rainy season in summer, your journey will not be affect, because it always rains at nigh and clears up on the following day. If you happen to visit Lhasa during Shoton Festival in August, you can not only watch the performance of Tibetan Opera, but also witness the magnificent scene of exhibition of precious Thangka in Drepung Monastery.