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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Here are some Tibet shopping tips for your reference.
Souvenirs in Tibet
Hello, we are considering to travel in Tibet in summer. We are a family of 5, two adults and three kids, age 13(then), 10, 8. We are interested in the 10 days Mt. EBC & Namtso Lake Group tour. We are US citizens with valid 10-year Chinese multiple entry visa, which we have applied when we went to Beijing in 2019. We are currently living in South Korea.
1. Are kids suitable (or even allowed) for this tour?
2. If kids can join, are there any discount deals for kids?
Dear Ms. Ho***,
Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour and welcome you to join our 10 days Mt. Everest & Namtso Lake group tour. For your questions: 1. Your kids are suitable for this tour. Travelling in Tibet is as safe for kids as it is for their parents. While the high Tibetan plateau may be the highest place on the planet, very often, the kids that visit this region are more adaptable and have fewer problems than their parents. We also have arranged wonderful Tibet tours for many families with kids such as a tour to EBC for a family with a 3-year-old son, a 9-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, they did have fun in Tibet and there is no problem for them. Or you can take some medicine under the guidance of doctor to prevent high altitude before enter Tibet. 2. If kids travel with you, we'll offer some discount for them, please check your email and find more detailed information. Thanks & Regards
Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side