Barkhor Street

Barkhor Street is the ancient street centered on the Jokhang Temple. The Tibetan people are here to worship Buddha. Most of the streets retain the style of the ancient streets. If you want to know about the traditional Tibetan style, just go to the Barkhor Street. Leaving the main road, all the lanes of Barkhor Street can give you different surprises. You can walk into an old street, and you will find they are all Tibetans chanting. There is no tourist. It is forbidden to take pictures there. It is like the epitome of Lhasa in the past. The only difference is that there are no three lords, no serfs and nobles.

Barkhor Street is famous for two aspects. First of all, it is a famous small commodity city. There are many kinds of goods. It is the combination of Chinese and Western, and the price is very cheap, it is a good place to buy Tibetan tourist souvenirs. Secondly, you can see the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace worshippers. It is recommended that everyone experience it if time is available. If you don’t have time, don’t be reluctant. After all, there are too many beautiful sceneries in Tibet.

For Lhasa Barkhor Street, what the most worth seeing here is the famous Yellow House and Makye Ame, which is the meaning of “unmarried mother” in Tibetan. Behind this name it is a beautiful love story, and the love poems from the Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, have been passed down till today.

Barkhor Street is located in the old city of Lhasa. It is the famous circumanbulation and commercial center of Lhasa, which preserves the traditional appearance and living style of the ancient city. The original street of Barkhor Street is just a single circumanbulation around the Jokhang Temple. The Tibetans call it the “Holy Road”. If you are to visit Lhasa, you can take your trip to the Barkhor Street.

Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple is the landmark building in the center of Lhasa, you can see the Jokhang Temple Square from the Golden Summit of the Jokhang Temple. On the far right, it is the Potala Palace. The nearby willow tree is the “Princess Willow”. It is said that it was planted by Princess Wencheng. The layout of the Jokhang Temple is different from that of the Buddhist temples of Han Dynasty. The main hall is located on the east side and faces the west side. The main hall is four stories high and has a matching hall on both sides. The layout structure reproduces the ideal mode of the universe in the Mandala city in Buddhism. The halls in the temple mainly include the Sakyamuni Hall, the Tsongkhapa Masters Hall, the Songtsan Gampu Temple, the Bandan Ram Temple (the Dharmapala of Gelugpai God), and the Tibetan King Hall etc. Due to the tourist season, many halls are not open to the public. It is only open to general tourists at 14:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Tickets for Jokhang Temple are 85 yuan. It is recommended to check the introduction of each hall in the Jokhang Temple in advance so that you can gain more.

The interior of the Jokhang Temple is not allowed to take pictures. It is shocking. Only when you feel it yourself can you experience it. There is no time limit for visiting the Jokhang Temple. You don’t need an ID card when you buy tickets. The security check is also much better than the Potala palace. In the morning, there are many believers who worship, and among them, people will feel the power of faith. You can listen to the tour guide to explain it, or else you can only watch a lively event. The second and third floors of the Jokhang Temple can be visited, and you can take photos as you like. It is good to sit on the second floor for a rest after the tour.

The religious atmosphere of the Jokhang Temple is very heavy. There are some worshipers everywhere, it is very sacred and solemn. Come to Tibet and come to Lhasa, where you can feel the charm of Tibetan Buddhism very closely.

Drepung Monastery

Located in the foothills of the western suburbs of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery is the largest temple in Tibetan Buddhism. The temple’s architectural complex is large in scale, with white houses and red palaces lined up on the mountainside. From afar, it looks like a huge pile of rice. The photos of Drepung Monastery taken on the mountainside are very spectacular. It is the highest-ranking temple in the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The interior architecture is atmospheric and magnificent, which is full of many beautiful treasures, and the Monk’s debate ceremony can be watched there.

Visiting Drepung Monastery must firstly arrive at the mountain gate of Drepung Monastery. In front of the mountain gate, you can see that the temple is in the middle of the mountain. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides, facing the Lhasa River. The buildings are layered spectacularly, which looks like a white mountain city. After entering the Drepung Monastery, you can see the Tibetan architecture in the temple at a close distance. The houses are all surrounded by white walls, and the halls along the Golden Summit are scattered. They are all Tibetan characteristics. The temples in Tibet are different from that of the Han dynasty in the mainland. They are not symmetrically arranged in the central axis, but scattered in the mountains. They can be viewed clockwise along the road. The total circumference of Drepung Monastery is about 2 kilometers, and it is not tired even though you visit there by walking. Winding around the temple clockwise is also a way to pray for yourself to accumulate good business.

Drepung Monastery has the highest status in the temple of the Gelug Sect in Tibetan Buddhism. It has caught the attention of the Dalai Lama and is presided over the construction. The halls of each temple are majestic. Among them, the temple’s large hall has 183 columns, featuring the beautiful carvings on the column. The Buddha statues in the temple are solemn and noble, and there are also a large number of exquisite art treasures such as Thangka, pile embroidery and murals, which can be seen one by one there.


Norbulingka means “baby garden” in Tibetan language. It is the summer palace of the Dalai and Lama (the Potala Palace is the Winter Palace). Some people also call it “the Summer Palace of Lhasa.” The garden is very distinctive, and it has the shadow of Tibetan culture and also absorbs the traditional methods of gardening in the interior. There is a new palace inside, and its architecture, murals and decorations are the integration of the essence of Tibet’s major temples, palaces and buildings. It can be said that visiting the new palace is like browsing the entire Tibetan building. There are hundreds of plants in the Norbulingka, including many famous flowers such as Tibetan hydrangea, so it is also known as the Plateau Botanical Garden. During the festival, special activities such as Tibetan opera performances can be seen. Tibetans will sit in Norbulingka with tents and food, and chat with friends and family.

Official telephone number of the Norbulingka: 0891-6826274

Time reference for visiting: 1-3 hours

How to go to Norbulingka: Take bus No. 2, No. 14 and get off at Norbulingka South Station.

Tickets: 80 RMB during the peak season; 60 RMB during off-season (during Monday-Sunday from January 1 to December 31)

Opening hours: 09:00-18:00 (summer), 09:30-17:30 (winter) (during Monday-Sunday from January 1 to December 31)

As Norbulingka is the summer palace of the Potala Palace, there is basically no tour group in it. And there is no photographing in it. Except for the Chinese words in door and the entrance of the temples, all the introductions are Tibetan. If you are lucky enough, there will be a fire-fighting patrol of Tibetans who see you don’t understand and take the initiative to ask if you need to explain it. Inside Norbulingka, there are the last Dalai’s living quarters and some collectibles, with blocks of brick-like turquoise red coral set on the stool.

The Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is a palace, not a temple. It is politically similar to the Forbidden City and is the political center of the Tibetan region in history, not a Buddhist center. The building is divided into three parts: Snow City, White Palace and Red Palace. At this stage, there are only the East Side White Palace and some of the main halls on the east side of the Red Palace open for visiting. The west side has never been open to visitors. The tour route of The Potala Palace is very fixed. There is no turning way back. After the tour, you will leave from the mountain in the back. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

a) According to the regulations promulgated by the Tibet Autonomous Region, tickets for all star-rated scenic spots before April 31, 2018 were free of charge. The Potala Palace has a daily limit for traffic, and tickets must be taken only 1 day in advance to queue up by yourself with your ID card for a free visit reservation ticket (need to be queued before sunrise), the next day according to the designated time of the reservation ticket to queue for entry.

b) Normal off-season tickets are 100 yuan/person.

c) On the day of the visit, the time for the appointment ticket is 9:00 a.m., and the security check is 10:00 a.m.

d) It is said that during the peak season, a ticket can be raised to 1,000 Yuan. It is recommended to purchase the ticket online in advance, which is economical and convenient.

e) Although the Potala Palace is only over 100 meters high, it is a plateau area after all. When climbing a mountain, don’t be too fast.

f) The tour guide starts timing from the time of entering the White Palace and they must bring the group out of the Potala Palace within 1 hour.

g) Photographs-taking are forbidden in the White Palace and the Red Palace.

i) Potala Palace ‘s Treasure – Pabarakan avalokitesvara.

j) The world’s first decoration – the spiritual tower of the Fifth Dalai Lama.

k) The place to take a photo of 50 Yuan RMB with The Potala Palace, is the Yaowang mountain across the road.

Just enjoy your tour in the Potala Palace.

Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery are the three major temples in Lhasa. It was the last of the three temples to be built. There is the most famous debate ceremony in Tibetan areas. The debate was held in the northernmost debate hall in the temple. There are so many people watching the debate, and they can take a good position when coming there early.

In the many halls of the Sera Monastery, older murals are preserved. When you take a visit there, it is recommended to take preferably with a flashlight or headlights for easy appreciation. It is also recommended to go to the nearby rocky field when night falls, from which you can take a panoramic view of Lhasa. And the night scene at that time is more attractive.

Official telephone number of the Sera Monastery: 0891-6383639

Visiting time reference: more than 3 hours

How to go to the Sera Monastery:

Take bus No. 6, 16, 24 and get off at Sera Monastery Station.


Ordinary ticket: 50 RMB (Monday – Sunday during January 1st – December 31st)

Opening hours:

09:00-16:00 (Monday – Sunday from January 1st – December 31st)

When you arrive at the temple, both the monks dressed in shackles and the Tibetans in Tibetan costumes reveal their sincerity towards the Buddha. It is like two worlds with us. Most tourists like you coming there for the famous dok ceremony. There are many people who watch the debate. The debate center is full of dense tourists and many foreign tourists.

Dozens of lamas standing there, are divided into one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-one combinations, questioning, rebutting, refuting and then answering, using a variety of gestures, physical movements, or hands waving rosary beads, one-legged independence, even glaring at each other, vigorously claping to make a strong voice. The debate, for the monks is a practice, for tourists is like watching a lively performance.

But you don’t have to care about it even though you don’t understand it. You don’t have to deliberately explore the meaning of chanting. You can be lucky enough to come here and feel what is happening. It is already the fate of the previous Buddha.