Lhasa is world-famous for its places of historical interest related with Buddhism, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, etc. Tibetan ethnic group make a great contribution with its long history and rich culture. And one of them is Tibetan fresco which is an important component of Tibetan culture. Tibetan ethnic group is also featured by its special lifestyle and habits.
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.
Lhasa attractions offer the most popular Lhasa sightseeing. Must-have attractions in Lhasa travel include Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Ramoche Temple, Jokhang Temple and so on. These Lhasa attractions would offers you a great chance to discover this Holy Land. Click for details about these Lhasa tourist attractions.
Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, has a history of more than 1300 years and is the cultural, economic, political and transport center of the region. It covers an area of 30,000 square kilometers and has the downtown area of 59 square kilometers. The total population in Lhasa amount to 550,000, among which Tibetan ethnic group makes up 87%, so that Lhasa is characterized by its local special culture.
Lhasa was named “Re Sa” in ancient Tibet. In Tibetan language, goat is “Re” and earth “Sa”. In the seventh century, Songtsen Gampo moved capital to Lhasa and the powerful Tubo kingdom was established after unifying the whole of Tibet. And then Tibetans set about building Great Brightness Temple and Little Brightness Temple. After completion of these two temples, monks and pilgrims gradually came to Lhasa. By the 640’s, 18 hospices had been put up near Great Brightness Temple for pilgrim from afar and the houses of many local residents had risen nearby, forming the beginning of the old quarter of the Lhasa centering around what is now know as the Octogon Street. Meanwhile Songtsen Gampo built an extension onto his palace, i.e. Potala Palace. World-famous plateau city began to come into being and “Re Sa” gradually became “the Sacred Land” in people’s hearts.
The following paragraphs will some information on the culture of traditional architecture, Tibetan Buddhism, traditional customs and traditional handicrafts.
Lhasa provides the best food compared with other places in Tibet. The food can be divided into Tibetan food, Sichuan cuisine and west-style cuisine. Nepalese and Indian food in some restaurants are also available. The flavor of Tibetan food is light and not greasy. Any spicy ingredients are not added in the food except garlics and green onions.
Visitors can have a taste of local Tibetan cuisine such as Yak beef, buttered tea, and Tsampa, etc. Lhasa has some food streets which you can taste authentic Tibetan food. Deji Road which contains about 100 restaurants is the most popular dining place among locals. Western-style restaurants can be found in Beijing Road and Barkhor Street.
Shopping is indispensable for many tourists. In Lhasa, the most popular souvenir should be Tibetan artworks, Tibetan medical herbs and traditional Tibetan knitting. The most attractive souvenirs for tourists include Thangka and religious objects such as prayer wheel. Barkhor Street is famous shopping center where all sorts of traditional Tibetan handicrafts, such as traditional clothes, Thangka, Tibetan carpet, can be easily found. Remember to bargain with shopkeeper when you buy souvenirs in Barkhor Street. But there is shopping mall nearby Barkhor Street in which the handicrafts are inexpensive with good quality.