- Where the Locals Go
Song’s Lhasa, Tibet
Hello, city-lovers! Today Song Lee tells us about all of the great things to see, do, and eat in Tibet’s capital city.
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Lhasa, Tibet is My City
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is for drinks at GuangMing GangQong Teahouse (Zangyiyuan road) and then dinner at Dunya restaurent (100 Beijing Donglu). Dunya restaurant serves delicious Western food.
When I crave a local snack, I always go to the Tibetan Cafeteria (west of Middle Beijing Road). It offers Tibetan food such as fried mutton chops, radish stew, yak meat, and mashed potatoes.
If I want to shop, I go to the Barkhor Street (left). Barkhor Street is full of religious atmosphere, exotic articles, and traditional aspects of the Tibetan life.
For complete quiet, I can hide away on the hill behind the Sera Monastery and lie under a tree, reading a book or listening music.
If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the Potala palace (pictured top), the symbol of Tibet.
If you have to order one thing off the menu from Tashi Restaurant (corner Zangyiyuan Road and BeiJing Zhong lu) it has to be cheesecake and the Bobi.
Lanpini is my one-stop shop for great exotic clothes and shoes (Zangyiyuan road).
Locals know to skip the expensive goods in the super market, and check out stuff in the Chong Sai Kang market instead.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go out for Tibetan noodles in the tea houses. In Lhasa, tea houses are almost always owned by locals, the price is really low: one beef noodle soup and a cup of sweet tea only costs 50 cents.
For a huge splurge I go Makye Ame Restaurant. It is always busy with travelers. Prices are a little high, but it serves really tasty dishes and good coffee.
Photo ops in my city include the Barkhor Street and the Potala Palace, and the best vantage points are from the peak of Chakpori Hill (below).
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Ciren ZhuoMa (a Tibetan singer).
The most random thing about my city is you can enjoy the sunshine almost every day.
My city has the most unconstrained men.
My city has the most beautiful and shy women.
In my city, an active day outdoors involves hiking around the Barkhor street, Climbing the Sera wuzi Hill just behind the sera monastery, and biking to the Derpung monastery.
My city’s best museum is Tibet Museum (right).
My favorite jogging/walking route is from Gandan Monastery to Samye Monastery (about 90 kilometers， it normally takes four or five days). This route is really a challenge to vistors. Climb the 5,000-meter mountain, tramp over the moors.
For a night of dancing, go to TangGuLaFeng. Or, for live music, check out Xinshiji Langma Hall. Xinshiji Langma Hall is one of the best places to watch performances in a truly cultural environment.
TanHai night market is the spot for late-night eats. It’s known for the many stalls of snacks.
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the Tibet commercial paper. But I think it’s better to ask a local.
You can tell a lot about my city from strolling in the old city.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they have a sunburnt face.
In the spring you should visit a local Tibetan, and join them to celebrate the Tibet New Year.
In the summer you should take a tour to LinZhi, a wild garden with flowers all over the mountains and plains.
In the fall you should camp outside and look upon the sky; you will find countless stars blinking at you.
In the winter you should go to Dezong Hot Spring and imagine that you’re lounging in a warm pool at the roof of the world.
A hidden gem in my city is Norbulingka (left).
- Nat Geo Expeditions
For a great breakfast joint try the Snowland Restaurant (Zangyiyuan Road).
Don’t miss the Horse Racing Fair and Archery Festival in summer.
Just outside my city, you can visit Namtso Lake (below), Yamdrok Lake, Manasarovar Lake, Mt.Kailash, the Everest, Basongcuo, and Yarlung Zangbo grand canyon.
The best way to see my city is by bicycle.
If my city were a pet it would be Lhasa apso.
If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live in the tents by Namtso Lake.
The best book about my city is Lost Lhasa by Heinrich Harrer.
Seeing a pilgrim with the right hand holding a prayer wheel and left hand leading a sheep could only happen in my city.
My city should be featured on your cover or website because Tibet is one of the few pure lands left untouched in the whole world, a place people all over the world dream of. And in today’s imformation age, Tibet still keeps its mystery, primitive natural scenery, and folk customs.
Photos by: thejerk (Potala Palace), kthypryn (Barkhor Road), reurinkjan (Chakpori Hill), Poorfish (Tibet Museum), vwsluk (Norbulingka) randomix (Namtso Lake) via Flickr