Things to do in Tibet

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There are so many good things to do in Tibet apart from normal Tibet tour packages or Tibet trekking tours. Usually, there are lots of monasteries and temples in your Tibet trip packages when the local Tibetan travel agent offers you a Tibet travel package but many of them missed to create a new Tibet tour programs or offer you some authentic Tibet travel tours.

Tibet Shambhala Adventure always tries our best to have some authentic activities or excursion during your Tibet trip. Here we have explored the 13 best things to do in Tibet in the following and they are all very interesting to include in your Tibet trips.

Dinner with Tibetan Momo cooking class after the sightseeing tour in Lhasa

After finishing Sera monastery’s sightseeing, you will join the team who is going to learn how to make Tibetan Momo in a typical local Tibetan restaurant called Lubhum Tsang, owned by a Tibetan family. Eventhough you can see Momo in other parts of the Himalayan region such as Nepal, Bhutan, India or even in the western countries but the origin of the Momo comes from Tibet so you should not miss to have authentic taste of the Tibetan Momo in Lhasa during your Tibet trip.

The momo making process starts with preparing the dough that will be used as the cover for the veg or non-veg filling inside. With the dough prepared, you will move on to adding various condiments and sliced vegetables to the minced meat before proceeding to mix them all up with your hand. The next step is perhaps the most challenging and fun part of making momos, you will now have to fold the momos to have it ready for steaming! It doesn’t matter so much if you don’t get the shape right, but you have to take particular note to ensure that the momo is sealed properly from all sides to ensure the flavour stays trapped in.

  • Tour to a Tibetan traditional night club, known as Nangma

During one of the nights in Lhasa or Shigatse, we recommend you to try for a Tibetan traditional night club. It is interesting to go to a Tibetan traditional night club called Nangma. Nangma is a different club than other night clubs in Lhasa because in Nangma, from around 9.30-11.30, they perform different kinds of Tibetan traditional dances, Tibetan opera performance, Tibetan cross-talk, Tibetan Yak Dancing etc. They serve different kinds of local beer, such as Lhasa beer, Barley beer, and many other different kinds of beer, mineral water, coke, Pepsi, Sprite, Jasmine tea etc. You can ask local Tibetan people to dance with you just to have an authentic experience of your Tibet trip. This is one of the best things to do in Tibet during you Tibet trip if your fellow members are young and active.

  • Visiting Princess Wencheng’s live show

Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty was in the 7th century when the 33rd Tibetan King, called Songtsan Gampo, invited the Princess and married her. She came to Tibet with her dowry which is the most sacred statue of Buddha Skakyamuni, housed in the Jokang temple in the present day.

The live show of the Princess Wencheng includes songs of the Tang Dynasty and different kinds of Tibetan traditional dances and Tibetan opera. They also have real Yak Dancing and a huge live show screen. It is the most interesting and largest live show in Tibet. It is located in Tsechokling which is at the south side of Lhasa river, facing directly towards the Potala Palace so you can also enjoy a great view of the Potala Palace in the beautiful light and the night view of the whole Lhasa city in the distance. If you already had Jokang temple and Bharkor Bazzar in your Tibet travel program, it is recommended to include this show as this show describes a very detailed story of how the Image of Buddha Shakyamuni brought to Tibet and how the Jokang temple was built so make sure not to miss one of these things to do in Tibet during your Tibet travel.

  • Dinner with Tibetan traditional show

During your Tibet trip, it is worthy to test Tibetan meals. We can arrange you a typical Tibetan restaurant which serves different kinds of Tibetan meals including Tibetan Momo, Tibetan traditional bread, Tibetan traditional soup, different kinds of Tibetan traditional vegetables, fried yak meat, Tsampa which is the most Tibetan traditional meal, made up of Barley which grows entire Tibetan farming regions. You can also try Tibetan butter tea, sweat tea, Tibetan barley beer etc.

After the dinner, the restaurant arranges different kinds of Tibetan traditional dances, songs and Yak dance which gives you a real authentic experience of your Tibet trip.

  • A day excursion to Langthang Dewachen and visit a Tibetan family.

One of the most important things to do in Tibet during your Tibet tour is to visit a Tibetan family. Eventhough you can see lots of Tibetan villages and families during your Tibet tour but it is very important to visit a good Tibetan family in a village surrounded by beautiful landscape with a historical cultural back ground.

You take a day excursion to Langthang Dewachen village which is located to the southern part of Lhasa city at the distance of around 90km from Lhasa. This beautiful Tibet day trip takes you from Lhasa to Langthang Dewachen village through Lhasa Gongkar airport and Jideshol village. From Jideshol village, you will take on the right and drive through Namgyelshol village and then to Langthang Dewachen valley.

Langthang Dewachen village has more than thousand years history and the name of the village was given by Atisha who came to Tibet from India in the 11th century and he restored the Tibetan Buddhism which had been badly destroyed during the second last king of Tibet called Lang Dharma. The valley of Langthang Dewachen is extremely beautiful. It is very green, beautiful fields, beautiful Tibetan villages and their traditional houses with colorful prayer flags, the monastery of Bumthang, also built in the 11th century but the present shape of the monastery was built after the cultural revolution.  During this Tibet day trip, you will visit three monasteries including Duphoe Choekor monastery, Songropling monastery and Bumthang monastery.

You will visit a Tibetan family in Langthang Dewachen and have lunch in the Tibetan family. It is very interesting to visit a Tibetan family as you can see how Tibetan farmers house is and what kind of furniture they have, how many houses in a family usually have and how do they sleep and what kind of food they usually eat in their family so it is totally an authentic Tibet travel experience that you can try during your Tibet tour.  

  • A Day excursion to a nomad camp and back to Lhasa

Nomad is the ancestors of Tibet and it is the historical source of Tibet. Visiting a Tibetan nomad camp and experience their life is one of the best things to do in Tibet during your Tibet travel.

After breakfast, you will be driving to Taktse Penam town at the distance of half an hour drive from Lhasa, you will enjoy a beautiful drive along the villages and their beautiful field where they grow barley, wheat, potatoes, Radish etc. You will be reaching the Penam nomad camp and served tea and snack by our cooking team. Then you will have some activities at the camp site that they will teach you how to print Tibetan prayer flag and will provide you the printing board and cloth for printing for free, after you print the prayer flag, you can either take it as souvenir or use it as prayer flag and raise it in the mountain near the nomad camp.

After that, they will also lend you Tibetan traditional clothes for free and you can take photos in Tibetan traditional clothes if you like to. After that, you will also visit a nomad camp to experience how the Tibetan nomad live in the traditional nomadic camp life and have fresh organic Yogurt from the camp.

You will have lunch at the nomad camp with Tibetan nomad in their traditional black nomad tent After lunch, you will hike for around 2 hours up to the valley where you can meet the trail from Ganden to Samye monastery by trekking. If you like to ride Yak, then there will be extra cost of 55$ per Yak and Yak man for half day. Late afternoon, You will drive back to Lhasa.   

  • A day excursion to Namtso Lake

If your trip does not include Namtso lake, you can spend more time in Lhasa and a day excursion to Namtso lake is one of the best things to do in Tibet during your Tibet tour.

After early breakfast, you will start your journey from Lhasa and drive along the Qinghai Tibet highway at the distance of 250km distance. On the way, you will enjoy a beautiful view of Nyenchen Thangla snow mountain which is the highest snow mountain around Lhasa and beautiful nomad camps with their flocks of Yak and sheep, grazing on the beautiful grassland.

Crossing Lagan La pass at the elevation of 5000mt above sea level. From the top of the pass, you can see the east side of the Namtso lake and Tashido Hermitage in the distance in the west. Continue one more hour drive, you will reach Namtso lake and Tashido hermitage. Walk around Tashido hermiate along the lake shore and enjoy the most beautiful part of the Namtso lake and Nyenchen Thangla snow mountain. At the same time, visit some sacred caves and hermitages around Tashido. Afternoon, drive back to Lhasa which takes you around 4 hours with speed limit.

NAMTSO LAKE is at (4,700Meters) is one of the biggest lakes in Tibet and is 70Km long and 30Km wide. The landscape is dominated by the snow peak of Nyenchen Thangla to the south west of the lake. Tashi Do hermitage stands on a promontory with more than 50 small caves including some small chapels. Pilgrims do a half hour walk (kora) around Tashi Do hermitage.

A day excursion to Yamdrok lake

Yamdrok lake is huge and it has 11 different arms that goes around entire Yamdrok region of the southern part of Tibet, starting from the border Tsome county located to the east of Yamdrok lake and ending from the border nearby Bhutan in the west so a day excursion to Yamdrok lake is one of the best things to do in Tibet during your Tibet travel.

Usually, all the tourists visit one of the arms of the Yamdrok lake which is located to the foot of Kampala pass nearby the road to Gyantse and Shigatse but Tibet Shambhala Adventure explored a new day excursion route to Yamdrok lake that is the eastern arm of Yamdrok lake. The distance from Lhasa to the eastern Yamdrok lake is around 120Km distance only and the road condition is very good so it will only take you around 2 hours drive by traveling through Tsayul La pass at the elevation of around 5000m. From the top of the pass, you will see the entire eastern part of Yamdrok lake that is extremely beautiful.

You will travel to Yamdrok lake differently where there are beautiful Tibetan villages, monastery in the island, beautiful grassland nearby the lake, flock of Yak and sheep, grazing on the beautiful grassland along the lake. You can see beautiful Tibetan villages and hardly see other tourists with you around the lake. The people in the villages nearby the lake are very friendly and very traditional. They are very keen and happy to see foreign tourists since they have never seen different looking people before.

Two hours walk along the Yamdrok lake is very beautiful and very interesting. You will walk along the lake and enjoy walking along the shore of beautiful Yamdrok lake, having a great view of Noejing Kangsang snow mountain and wild lives on the mountains connecting to the lake.

  • Visiting a Tibetan Thangka art Gallery

One of the best things to do in Tibet is to visit a Tibetan Thangka art Gallery. During your Lhasa sightseeing tour, instead of visiting a lot of monasteries, one afternoon, is recommend to visit a Thangka art Gallery in Bharkor Bazzar of the old section of the Lhasa city. Thangka is a very important cultural relics of Tibetan people which not only shows the art and culture of Tibet but also tells the history of Tibet.

Thangka (Thang-ga) is also called Tangga. It is a transliteration of Tibetan. It refers to religious scroll paintings that are mounted on colored satin and hung for worship. Thangka is a unique painting art form in Tibetan culture which involves Tibetan history, politics, culture, and social life. Most of the handed down thangkas are works of Tibetan Buddhism.

Thangka is a unique painting art form in Tibetan culture with distinctive national characteristics, strong religious colors and unique artistic styles, it uses bright colors to depict the world of the sacred Buddha; traditionally all the paints are in gold, silver, pearls, agate, coral, turquoise, malachite, and cinnabar. Such precious mineral gems and plants as saffron, rhubarb, and blue indigo are used as pigments to show their sacredness to build Thangka of a Buddha image. These natural raw materials ensure that the painted Thangka is bright and dazzling, even though it has been painted for hundreds of years, it is still bright. Therefore, it is known as the treasure of Tibetan painting art.

Tibetan traditional Thangka drawing has strict requirements and extremely complicated procedures. It must be carried out in accordance with the rituals in the scriptures and the instruction of the Guru, including pre-painting rituals, canvas making, composition drafting, coloring and dyeing, line drawing, laying gold and silver, opening eyes of the image etc. It takes half a year to complete a good Thangka or even more than ten years to make a long one.

Visiting a day excursion to Nyenmo county to see how the Tibetan incense is made of

Visiting a Tibetan incense factory is one of the best things to do in Tibet during your Tibet trip. Nyenmo county is located to the west of Lhasa city at the distance of around 100km. Nyenmo county is a very famous place which is the birth place of Tonmi Sambota, one of the most famous ministers of the 33rd king of Tibet called Songtsan Gampo. Sambota was born in the 7th century and went to India to study Sanskrit. He created Tibetan script based on Sanskrit and it is also believed that Sambota created incense and offered them to the images of Buddha Shakyamuni that were brought to Tibet in the 7th century. The Ton village is the birth place of Sambota in Nyenmo county and there is a very historical incense factory in Ton village.

You can visit the Incense factory in the Ton village and interact with the staffs of the factory and learn how to make the incense. They will teach you how to make a Tibetan incense and finally you can make a Tibetan incense by yourself and take them with you to your home so it will be a very interesting day trip and it is completely an authentic experience of your Tibet tour.

Tibetan incense is mostly used for Buddhist sacrificial activities, and a small amount of it is used to ward off evil spirits. The process of producing incense contains the essence of Tibetan culture and the main ingredients are saffron, snow lotus, musk, Tibetan kou and so on.

The Tibetan incense is also produced under the guidance of Tibetan medicine, that Sambota meticulously developed the art of making incense by hand water milling and it also has a great function of preventing infectious disease. In 2004, Tibetan incense was widely used in the whole China during Sars to prevent from spreading disease since then Tibetan incense has become more popular than before. The above 10 best things to do in Tibet are available if you consult with Tibet Shambhala Adventure.


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