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Where to buy in Tibet

Posted by tibettour May 16, 2010 in the Group General Discussion.

Barkhor is the best shopping market in Lhasa. Tourist can find lots of odd and fascinating stuff, for religious and secular uses. Small shops and stalls on the street sell a variety of items like prayers flags, Buddha figures, conch-shell trumpets, rosaries, amulets, fur hats, horse bells, bridles, copper teapots, wooden bowl, inlaid knives and jewelry inlaid with turquoise and other gems. However, attention shall be paid to the quality of the jewelry since many items are coarse. Exotic Tibetan opera masks and costumes are interesting items to buy. Bright and beautiful homespun Tibetan rugs and Tibetan khaddar are also popular souvenirs. Tourists can easily find things which are of individuality and appeal to them. The most interesting thing to shop in Barkhor is that you can bargain with local people and may buy nice things in a lower price. Just cut the price by 50 percent!

Shopping along the street accompanied by hundreds of pilgrims prostrating will be a thrilling experience. Tibet carpet and tent can be bought at Lhasa Carpet Factory and Lhasa Tent and Banner Factory respectively.

Department stores, mostly on Yuthok Lu and for everyday requirement, are becoming usual in Lhasa. Lhasa Department Store (General Department Store), on the west end of Yuthok Lu, is the largest and famous one in Lhasa. It sells handicrafts as well as practical items, such as cotton clothing, mugs, canned food, towels and toothpaste and other stuff tourist may need to buy before they move to other remote towns. Supermarkets can also be found in Lhasa.

There are three Xinhua book stores in Lhasa, one on Yuthok Lu, another on east Barkhor and the other on Beijing Zhong Lu, west of Tibet Hotel. They sell maps of Lhasa, Tibetan primers, Tibetan-Chinese dictionaries, and Chinese and Tibetan books. A bookshop carrying Tibetan literature is on north Barkhor.

*Shopping in Shigatse
The best place to go shopping in Shigatse is the market opposite the Tenzin Hotel. There is the usual array of jewelry, antiques and religious objects on display here. However, the market is much smaller than the one in the Barkhor in Lhasa. What is the same here are the shrewd vendors hanging around, hunting for potential buyers. So be prepared to bargain!!

An alternative is to go to the Tibet Gang-Gyen Carpet Factory on Qomolangma Lu, several minutes' walk from the entrance of Tashilunpo (open weekdays). Here, you will be given the chance to see how carpets are made. Of course, the real reason tourists are allowed in here, is to be encouraged to buy something! Prices range from between RMB200 to RMB3000. The factory even arranges shipping!

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