Tibetan Shopping Tips: what & where to buy in Lhasa

These days, visitors can get most things in Tibet, such as Thangka, Tibetan Crafts, Tibetan Knives, Tibetan Carpets and Textiles, Tibetan Medicine, etc. And it could be said that Tibet is a great place for shopping.

What are the famous shopping items in Tibet?


A Thangka is a Tibet scroll painting, which is made of cloth, embroidery, paper, brocade, silk tapestry or applique, by using many techniques: silk tapestry with cut designs, hand painted, color printing, brocade and pearl inlayed. They have been popular in Tibet for centuries and valued for their precision, balance and variety.

Tibetan Thangka

Tibetan Crafts

Most visitors prefer to buy Tibet crafts as the great souvenirs from Tibet, especially jewelries because they are not only exotic and aesthetically pleasing with vivid carvings. Other crafts, from the raw materials such as gold, silver, copper, wood, bamboo and bones, are also popular.

Tibetan Knives

Tibetan knives are the necessaries in Tibetan's daily lives. They use it as a tool and a weapon protect themselves, and an adornment to add more color to their life. For the visitors, the Tibetan knives are also popular because of its unique style and the exquisite carving of the silver sheath.

Please note:
all visitors can not take these items through security check of airport and railway station, but you can send them anywhere via the post office, which is located at Beijing Zhong Road.

Tibetan Carpets and Textiles

Tibetan carpets are durable and beautifully crafted. The color is bright, harmonious and diverse. For example, Pulu, the hand-woven woolen cloth, comes in many colors and is used for making clothes, shoes and caps. If you need to buy the high-quality hand-made carpets, such as the fur, the knots, you'd better have some basic understanding on the carpets and then search around and find the local Tibetan carpets stores.

Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan Medicine is another popular commodity that lots of visitors like to buy, because of its herbs such as saffron, aweto and snow lotus. They has attracted visitors for its good curative effect on some diseases and its secret processing method.

Tibetan Medicine

Where to shop from in Tibet?

Barkhor Street

Barkhor is a more traditional Tibetan shopping market. It is a market where shopkeepers with small shops and stalls on the street sell many unusual and fascinating items for both religious and secular usages. You can find Tibetan rugs, knives, broadswords, traditional clothes, gold and silver jewelry and all sorts of traditional handmade craftwork in this street.

Lhasa Department Store

Located on the west end of Yuthok Street, the store is the largest and most famous store in Lhasa. It sells handicrafts as well as practical items, such as cotton clothing, mugs, canned food, towels, toothpaste and other necessaries.

Barkhor Thangka Painting Department Store

Located at the east Barkhor Street, the store mainly deals with making and selling Thangka products.

Other Shopping Areas

In the Beijing Zhong Road, which begins at Duosenge Street and ends at Kanang East Street, there are many supermarkets and stores, selling the daily necessaries as well as the other tourist commodities. This area is considered the commercial center of Lhasa.

The Yuthok Walking Street is a pedestrian street for shoppers. It offers many modern style clothng and some local crafts. Here is the place where most of Lhasa's youth do their shopping.

Tibetan Shopping Tips

1. Remember to bargain with the shopkeepers for lower prices. Sometimes you can cut their asking prices by 50%.
2. Carefully evaluate the quality of jewelry in Tibet.
3. Be sure to buy some necessaries you need in Lhasa, before you leave for more remote towns.
4. Tibetan knives are not allowed on plane and train, but it can be sent via the local post office.

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