No trip to Tibet would be complete without picking up some local souvenirs. This unique land captured in its crafts and goods does not disappoint!
What to Buy
Thangka is a kind of scroll painting using complicated lines, bright colors and is rich with religious elements. Most of the Thangka focuses on the motifs of Tibetan Buddhism. It is often made either by painting, embroidery or sometimes sewn with pearls. The pearl Thangka is the most desirable of all. Thangka is valued for its precision, balance and variety.
Lots of visitors like to buy Tibetan medicine for its herbs such as saffron, aweto and snow lotus. Local doctors and their traditional medicines made by secret methods attract much curiosity. The best places to buy Tibetan medicines are the Tibetan Hospital, right opposite the Jokhang Temple Square or the medicine company on the west outskirts of Lhasa.
Don’t forget to check out the gold and silver wares of Tibet and Nepal either. Nepalese and Tibetan silver ornaments and other artworks should definitely be on visitors’ shopping list. But beware of imitation goods and be sure to compare goods and prices in several stores before you buy!
The Tibetan knife or broadsword is still used by the locals as a necessity but visitors can buy it as an ornament.
Where to Buy
Barkhor Street is the famous commercial center of the high land. Over 120 handicraft and artwork stores and 200 or so market stands in the Barkhor Street: it is a must-go place for all souvenir shopping. Tibetan rugs, knives, broadswords, traditional clothes, gold and silver jewelry and all sorts of traditional handmade craft-work can easily be found in this street. It’s a good idea to go shopping on Barkhor Street in the morning or evening, because local people always highly value their first customer and their last one.
Barkhor Thangka Painting Department Store
The store mainly deals with making and selling Thangka products. Foreign tourists swarm here to buy them. The storekeeper speaks both Chinese and English.