An Insiders guide – Things to do in Lhasa, Tibet

Located 12 000 feet above sea level on the Northern slopes of the Himalayas lies the majestically quaint city of Lhasa; the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region and more famously known as the “Land of the Gods.” It is no wonder then that Lhasa is referred to as a sacred place as the city has over 1,000 years of cultural and spiritual history and is the seat of Tibetan Buddhism. Those familiar with their history would know the significance of the world-famous Potala Palace; the religious and political center of old Tibet and the winter residence of Dalai Lamas.

The high altitude of the city adds to its charm and gives a sense of remoteness and mysterious romanticism to the place. Meandering through the streets will leave you in awe at its impressive heritage; this combined with the sights of flickering lamps, wafting incense and the sound of chanting hymns will make you fall in love with Lhasa.

There are many things you can do from finding your inner self through meditation to indulging in exotic dishes to discovering the city’s cultural secrets. LuxuryLaunches along with the concierge team at Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa shows you the best ways to explore the city’s sights & sounds.

Top Day Trip – a full day trip to Serjing Lhatsok
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this would be the perfect chance to do so. Enjoy clear water streams, green grasslands dotted with colorful flowers, and transport yourself into a world of bliss listening to melodious Tibetan nomadic songs. If you’re game you could probably even help the herders drive their sheep and yaks up the hillside. In addition to this tour, you could also take your pick from visiting a full-day trip to Namtsok Lake or Yardok Lake. If a full-day tour is not your pick; you could choose a half-day trip to the Rocky Buddha.

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Must try dish – Butter tea and a Tibetan Hotpot
Butter tea traditionally made from tea leaves, yak butter, water, and salt is a common drink across the Himalayan regions. Definitely, something you must try given its unique taste. Another dish is the traditional Tibetan Hotpot; a dish made using yak bone soup, yak meat, highland pork, meatballs, and vegetables cooked together in a copper pot. There’s no better dish to be had on a cold day than a warm hotpot.

Best activity – Hiking on the Sera Wutse
If hiking is your thing, then we suggest one of the high mountains surrounding Lhasa city. The hike takes around four hours to reach the top from where you will get to see breathtaking panoramic views of the Potala Palace, Lhasa city, and the Jokhang Temple with its beautiful golden roof.

Best place for local shopping – Barkhor Street and Kromziggang Market
Ah! That one thing we all love to do. Barkhor Street and Kromziggang Market are the places where you can find great deals. You will be spoilt for choice shopping for traditional Tibetan items such as Thangka art, relics, jewelry, spices, carpets, and crafts.

Best restaurant for a celebration – Shangri-La’s Shambala and Shu Garden
When in Tibet eat Tibetan food and the best place to do so would be at Shangri-La’s very own Shambala restaurant. A Tibetan-Nepal tapas bar and restaurant with indoor and patio seating, the restaurant serves some authentic regional meals such as Khampa roasted yak, spinach & cheese with tomato chili sauce, and served with Rice or Nang. For a taste of Sichuan or Cantonese cuisine, Shu Garden at Shangri-La is another popular choice.

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Best cocktail with a view – Shangri-La’s Shambala
This again has to be at the Shambala as this is the best place to sip on a drink whilst taking in the incredible view of the Potala Palace from your window. This is the perfect venue for chilling out with a cocktail in your hand.

Must see the museum – The Tibet Museum and The Yak Museum of Tibet
The Tibet Museum is the official museum of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in Lhasa. Inaugurated on October 5th, 1999, it is the first large, modern museum in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The museum has a collection of around 1000 artifacts from Tibetan art to architectural design. Note that it is closed on Mondays.

The Yak Museum of Tibet is the world’s first Yak museum and is located in Lhasa’s Liuwu New District on the south bank of the Lhasa River. The yak is the most important animal to Tibetan families since it is a source of meat, milk, fiber, and fuel for fires. The museum has three exhibition halls focusing on the origin and domestication of yaks, and yak-themed artwork.

Where : Shangri La Hotel Lhasa
19 Norbulingka Road, Lhasa, XZ, China
Phone: +86 891 655 8888

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