For kids and adults alike, Tibet is an exciting and unparalleled adventure to the roof of the world, with the most popular place to visit is Mount Everest. However, it is not always possible to visit the world’s highest mountain. And for those families that cannot make that long journey. The best option is a travel to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital city, and the surrounding area of Lhasa Prefecture.
Traveling to Tibet with your children gives them a chance to experience the world outside of their normal comfort zone. In places where the culture and people are very different to their own and allowing them to see that there is more to the world than their small sphere of experience so far. It is an eye-opening journey of discovery for kids, and one that leaves a lasting impression on a young mind.
Family tours in and around the area of Lhasa are specifically designed for the kids. Mainly focus on their safety and entertainments. To give them a true feeling of Tibetan culture and to experience the things that Tibetan children take for granted as everyday things. And nothing leaves a bigger impression and a child than to see the local children doing something they have never seen before.
Try the Local Snacks and Tibetan Cuisine
Tibet has a very unique cuisine, and it is not to everyone’s taste. However, with the still-developing taste buds of a child, the adventure of tasting foreign food is an unusual and unique experience. There is more likelihood that they will be able to adapt to the local cuisine in Tibet than their parents.
Teahouses and restaurants abound in Lhasa. And the teahouse culture of the people of this stunning city is something akin to the coffee-shop culture in America. Teahouses in Lhasa are the best places to experience the delicious Tibetan Sweet tea or the local Yak Butter Tea that Tibet is famous for. For Tibetans, the days do not usually start until; they have had their first cup of tea. It is drunk throughout the day, often even taken instead of drinking water. You can experience all of that when you visit Lhasa.
Teahouses are also well known for their tasty Tibetan snacks, such as tsampa, momos, Tibetan noodles, soups made from yak meat, and many other delicacies. There are also many restaurants in Lhasa that serve authentic Tibetan foods. Though if it is not to your liking, there are also foreign restaurants and even a pizza restaurant in the city.
Stroll along Barkhor Street
It is being the center of Lhasa pilgrimage sites. The Barkhor Street is more than just the kora route around the sacred Jokhang temple. It is one of the city’s busiest shopping streets. Even though it is filled with a myriad of shops and stalls that sell everything from local crafts to stunning thangka paintings you can take home with you. But even if you are not there for the shopping and the pilgrimage.
There is something enticing about this street that makes you want to take a stroll along its length. This ancient city street has been the path of the pilgrims around the Jokhang Temple for more than a thousand years. And its polished flagstones are the result of millions of feet treading its length. Just remember to walk clockwise around the street, out of respect for the pilgrims and local Tibetans beliefs.
Visit a Thangka Painting workshop
Thangka painting is a quintessential part of Tibetan Buddhism and has its roots in the ancient Tubo Kingdom of the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. And for those interested in exploring this delicate art. There is a thangka workshop in Lhasa where you can see the thangka paintings taking shape, and even try your hand at some painting. Thangkas are a Tibetan Buddhist ideology of representation of the Buddhist deities through paintings that show them in a variety of poses.
The paintings are done on a canvas or silk scroll. And the paints are made with natural minerals in the same way they have been for centuries. By keeping the traditions of this unique art alive. It is the natural mineral paints that produce the bright and vibrant colors of the thangkas and last for hundreds of years.
Climb to the Potala Palace and Worship at the Sacred Jokhang Temple
Lhasa is a city with more than one Buddhist site, and with several places to see. It takes a few days to get around the major ones alone. One of the most popular places to visit in Lhasa is the Potala Palace. It was the former seat of Tibetan government and the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. There are hundreds of steps that lead from the city to the palace, which sits on top of Red Hill overlooking the city. It is an iconic symbol of Tibetan culture and is one of the best places to tour in the city.
The most sacred temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple is more than 1,300 years old. It was built by the Tibetan king for his two wives. A sacred place of worship, it has an aura of reverence about it. The peace and tranquility inside the temple are enough to ease the mind and leave pleasant memories within. The temple is the center of Tibetan Buddhism. The site of may thousands of pilgrimage journeys that end at the temple gates. Tibetan pilgrims travel hundreds of miles to prostrate themselves in worship at the gates of the temple and walk the kora route around Barkhor Street.
Enjoy the drive to Yamdrok Lake
Lake Yamdrok is lying to the southwest of Lhasa. The lake is one of the Great Three Holy Lakes of Tibet. It is also considered as sacred in Tibetan Buddhism. A freshwater lake in an area where saline lakes are prevalent. Lake Yamdrok is shaped like an ancient Chinese character. It is made up of many lakes all linked by channels and waterways. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the lake is a popular tourist attraction on the road to Shigatse.
The view from the pass above it as you crest the rise is tremendous. The lake’s waters are a distinct turquoise color, which reflects the sunlight in an unusual manner, often casting multi=hued ripples across its surface as the wind blows on the waters. Lake Yamdrok is one of the highlights of any tour to Tibet. It can be easily visited from Lhasa in a single day.