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Top 10 Tibet Souvenirs to Buy

Time: 02-08-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Tibet is known for its magically magnificent natural landscape and meaningful Buddhist culture. With a vast area and abundant resources, people have created rich and splendid Tibetan Buddhist culture on this land. When travelling in Tibet, you could not take away the beautiful and sacred Lake Manasorovar, Namtso, Yamdrok, or the majestic Potala Palace, Jokhang and Tashilhunpo Monastery, but at least you could take home some special local products from Tibet. 

Part 1. Top 10 Tibet Souvenirs to Buy
Part 2. Tibet Shopping Tips

Part 1. Top 10 Tibet Souvenirs to Buy

In Lhasa, there is a concentration of Tibetan local products and artwork in the Barkhor centered on Jokhang. It is a good place to seek for souvenirs. There are jewelry, ornaments, medicinal herbs, distinctive food and religious souvenirs. Ten items listed below are top ten Tibet souvenirs which are worth collecting.

1. Tibet Jewelry

Tibet Jewelry refers to ornaments of Tibetan characteristics in general. It is usually made of natural gemstones, yak bones, Tibetan silver and Tibetan copper by hand. Due to the feature of nomadic migration, in Tibet, real Tibetan jewelry are not simply apparels and accessories, but great fortune. They are not only representations of beauty, but also symbols of luxury and wealth. Tibetan Jewelry is made carefully into artworks by skillful craftsmen. The integration of religious elements into the works is breathtaking.

2. Ox Horn Combs

According to Bencao Gangmu, ox horn is a rare Chinese herbal medicine. It has a good effect on clearing away heat and toxicity, and reducing blood press. Therefore, Tibetan people use natural ox horns to make combs. It is said that long-term usage of ox horn combs could prevent alopecia and headache, and relieve psychological pressure. Each ox horn comb is unique because they are all handmade crafts.

 Tibet Souvenirs - Ox Horn Combs
Tibet Souvenirs - Ox Horn Combs

3. Tibetan Mask

Tibetan mask is an artware derived from religion. It is normally categorized into “Tiaoshen Mask”, “Hanging Mask” and “Tibetan drama mask”. The patterns of Tiaoshen Mask include evil spirits, Dharmapala, immortals and animal totems. They are mainly used in the Tiaoshen ritual held during big festivals in temples. The patterns of the Hanging mask are primarily different kinds of gods, such as Dharmapala, Lakshmi and Hayagriva. The Tibetan drama mask is popular among folks, and they are divided into blue masks and white masks. The patterns of the masks include King, Princess, immortals and monsters according to the figures of Tibetan drama.

Tibet Souvenirs - Tibetan Mask
Tibet Souvenirs - Tibetan Mask

4. Sheepskin Painting

Sheepskin Painting depicts Tibetan life and reflects Tibetan culture with natural colourant. It is composed also by a whole piece of sheepskin and other handmade wooden parts. You could see the exquisite painting skills embodied in the Snow Mountains and marshlands. Unlike ordinary paintings, sheepskin paintings offer us a strong sense of dimensionality.

5. Tibetan Carpets

Tibetan Carpet, traditional Tibetan artware, is one of the world’s top three carpets. The style of the carpets varies according to different local customs. There are rugs, tapestry and Kadian. The weave technique of Tibetan carpet is unique, with bright and harmonious colours and soft and exquisite cover. The fastness of the colour, the durability of usage and patterns of strong ethnic features endow it with a high value of appreciation and collection.

6. Thangka

A Thangka is a scroll painting. It is usually painted on silk or cloth. Due to its depiction of religion and its portability, it is quiet popular in the Tibetan area. Thangka is the primary form of painting art in Tibet. It expresses a wide range of subjects, including history and folk customs apart from religion, thus being credited as an encyclopedia of Tibet. Tibetan Thangka is a kind of scroll painting framed by silk. It has a unique artistic style with distinct ethnic characteristics and rich character of religion, therefore it has long been regarded as treasure. 

Tibet Souvenirs - Thangka
Tibet Souvenirs - Thangka

7. Pulu

Pulu is handmade wool fabric by Tibetan people. It is popular among Tibetans for thousands of years. Pulu has a wide range of colours such as black, red and green. It is the main material for making Tibetan clothes, shoes and hats. And it is durable and effective in warm-keeping.

8. Tibetan Incense

Tibetan Incense looks nothing different from ordinary incense, but it has an efficacy unmatched by other incense. Tibetan incense of good quality is a mixture of hundreds of spice and medicinal materials, making people feel pleasant and comfortable. Tibet is the kingdom of plants with tens of thousands of herbal medicine types which are the best raw materials for making Tibetan incense. Tibetan incense has a history of over thousands of years, and the making of Tibetan incense is an embodiment of Tibetan culture.

Tibet Souvenirs - Tibetan Incense
Tibet Souvenirs - Tibetan Incense

9. Tibetan Medicine

The unique Tibetan medicine system was formed in Tibetan people’s struggle with nature and all kinds of disease. Many Tibetan medicine has a good efficacy for cardiovascular disease and tumor. It is advisable that precious Tibetan medicine such as “Pearl Seventy”, “alpine snow lotus”, “rhodiola rosea” and musk should be purchased in formal pharmacy.

10. Tibetan Food

Entering a store of Tibetan local products, the most attractive products are different kinds of dry yak meat or air-dry yak meat. Yak meat, top-grade among all kinds of beef, is praised as “the crown of beef”. It is tender, tasty and chewy. It is a very good choice, no matter for taking back home for full enjoyment or giving friends and relatives as a present.

Part 2. Tibet Shopping Tips 

Here are some Tibet shopping tips for your reference. 

  • Shopping in the Barkhor Street, you could bargain politely for half of the full price. It usually works out well.
  • Tibetan jewelry made completely by hand is quite rare now, therefore you should be careful when purchasing Tibetan jewelry. Jewelry made in Nepal is often reliable in quality.

    Souvenirs in Tibet
    Souvenirs in Tibet

  • Traditional Tibetan costume, no matter made of wool or fabric, could be purchased in ordinary shops. However, its unportability is a real test for the size of your luggage. It is advisable to buy a few colourful Pulus to decorate your home with Tibetan elements.
  • Tibetan knife could not get on board the aircraft, but send by post. It is very inconvenient, so please purchase the knife with caution.
  • The quality of saffron crocus and worm grass varies according to different places of origin. Therefore, you’d better go to formal pharmacy to purchase these precious local products.
More Shopping in Tibet
The 8 Most Popular Handicrafts in Tibet

The 8 Most Popular Handicrafts in Tibet

Tibetan handicrafts have fully displayed the wisdom of Tibetan people. If you want to learn about the Tibetan handicrafts, this guide will introduce some traditional and well-known handicrafts to you. It includes jewelry, belt, Thangka, knife, mask, etc.
Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. To*** from: What documents are required to travel from Nepal to Tibet?

Hello  I am planning a trip to Katmandu and on to Lhasa and Mt. Kalias. I am  pilgrim. Let me know costs and details I intend to fly or go overload from Katmandu Lhasa etc. Thx.

Answered by Helen

Dear Mr. To***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. Travelling to Tibet from Nepal, you need to apply for Chinese Group Visa in Kathmandu. Firstly, we'll apply for visa invitation letter with copy of your passport. Next, we'll send visa invitation letter to you and our partner in Kathmandu. When you arrive in Kathmandu, you need to meet with our partner and give them your original passport, then they will go to Chinese embassy and apply for Chinese Group Visa for you. When you board plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa, they'll only check your passport and Chinese Group Visa. Apart from Chinese Group Visa, you also need Tibet Permit, we'lll apply for Tibet Permit for you in Lhasa, and our guide will pick you up at Lhasa airport with your permit. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Thanks & Regards

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8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Himalayan Panoramic Tour