Sera Monastery， located about five kilometers north of Sera in Lhasa Uzbek mountain foothill, is one of the six main gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism temples. It is also one of the three main temples in Lhasa together with Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery with the shortest history among the three tempes. It has been listed as is a national key cultural relics protection units.
There are a large number of the rare and precious cultural relics and handicrafts inside the Sera Monastery,including Buddhist scriptures, the Buddha, multiplier, frock, yee silks, treasure, and so on that were taken back by the monk Shijiyixi from Beijing to Tibet. Among all of them, the colored silk figure which is 109 cm long and 6 cm wide, is still bright-cloured though it is features a history of 500 years.
Sera Monastery preserved tens of thousands of gold Buddha, which are mostly local production in Tibet. Besides, there are many copper Buddha from China mainland or India. Traveling here, you will also see a large number of the original color mural preserved in the palace and every Zagreb warehouse oratory, and the most famous statue is Matou Ming king statue in the hall.
There is a debate activity you can take part in during your tour there. It is about the discussion of the knowledge of Buddhism which can be a learning way to the Lamas there. Sera Monastery building, dense but not crowded, miscellaneous but not disorderly, it adjusts measures to local conditions whose subject is outstanding and embodies the gelug sect Abbey’s unique style, is a religion city completely.
Travel information: 1) Ticket price: 55 RMB/adult; 2) Opening time: 9:00 a.m.～16:00 p.m. 3) Ways to go there: take the No.16, 24, 25 city public buses to the Sera Monastery stop; 4) Playing time suggestion: 4 hours; 5) Bes time to visit: March to September. 6) Bring a flashlight when visiting the old wall paintings kept inside the main temple halls of the Sera Monastery. 7) There is a debate holding in 15:00 p.m. every day, do not miss it!
Norbulingka, commonly known as the Summer Palace in Lhasa and means the “baby park” in Tibetan language, is the Summer Palace of the Dalai and Lama in all ages. When summer comes, the Dalai and Lama are shifting from the Potala Palace to the Norbulingka for office. Featuring 374 rooms, the Norbulingka is the largest-scale garden with the best scenery and most historical sites among the artificial gardens in Tibet. It has also been called the People’s Park.
There are three zones in the Norbulingka: The area before the eastern palace includes entrance and the front garden before the three cabinets; the middle area is central part of the palace area; the west area is golden forest featuring natural delight in jungle. Every area can be the deep courtyard with the ancient trees or the open forest with the various blooming flowers according to the functional requirements and combining with the natural environment to constitute a different landscape. Garden layout of the Norbulingka features the characteristics of the Tibetan plateau and absorbs the traditional technique of the mainland Chinese gardens, using buildings, rocks, water and trees group to create a different artistic conception, such as the design of the central palace has the trace of the “One Pool and Three Mountains” of the ancient Chinese gardening art in Han nationality area.
There is a Sho Dun Festival there holding from 23rd to 29th August, which is a festival in Tibetan language meaning a holiday eating yoghourt. Do not forget to taste the authentic yogurt there. During that time, you can also walk along the temples nearby in Lhasa and appreciate the Tibetan opera
Travel information: 1) Ticket price: 60 Yuan/adult; 2) Opening time: 9:30 a.m. – 18:00 p.m. 3) Best time to visit: summer time when the climate is warm and wet, the whole city is lush, and you can meet the Sho Dun Festival there.
Barkhor Street, located in the old Lhasa area, is the famous specialization and commercial center in Lhasa which relatively intactly preserves the traditional outlook and way of living of the ancient city. Barkhor Street originally a circumanbulation that is singly around the Jokhang Temple, Tibetan call it “Holy Road”. Now it gradually expands into a vast old blocks around the Jokhang Temple, which is composed of Barkhor East Street, Barkhor West Street, Barkhor North Street and Barkhor South Street. The Barkhor Street is 1.5 kilometers long and 9 inches wide which shows as a circle without street head and end, whose both sides are old Tibet rooms and street center is a few Buddhist statues of a giant incense burner with fireworks filled day and night and giving out the scent of pine oil. Travelers here always cannot find the right direction as there are many turnoffs and 35 lanes there. No one traveling there won’t know the Barkhor Street.
Barkhor Street has maintained the original style and features of the ancient city of Lhasa. The street was paved by hand grinding stones and nearby keeps those old house buildings. There are many shops in both sides of the street, among which more than 120 handicrafts shops and 200 vending stalls.
With a history of more than 1000 years, the Barkhor Street sets religion, culture, tourism and business as a whole to be one of the most characteristic and charming historical and cultural street in China and even in the world. It has become a historical epitome of the development of Tibet historically.
Barkhor Street is ancient, but also bustling. Although now municipal construction has developed rapidly, and Lhasa witnesses rapid progress in urban area, people still need Potala Palace and Barkhor Street, especially when the sunset comes, tens of thousands of Tibetans flood the Barkhor Street to take part in the night activities there.
Drepung Monastery, located in the western suburbs of Lhasa about 10 km to the root of uzbek south in the slope of the depression, was built in the year of 1416. Temple monks are more than ten thousand people before liberation and there are more than 540 farms and 141 manors, which makes it the largest temples of Tibetan Buddhism. Featuring the large scale, its rows of white buildings are covered up to the mountain slopes, looking like huge heap, therefore comes the name of “Drepung”, meaning prosperity. It is a monastery with the highest position in the Dge-lugs-pa monasteries. Drepung Monastery was listed as the Tibet autonomous region key cultural relics protection units in the year of 1962 and national key cultural relics protection units in 1982.
Drepung Monastery is one of the six major temples in Shamanism. It is called the “three temples in Lhasa” together with the Ganden Monastery and Sera Monastery. Located in the foot of the Uzbek Mountain, you can take the public city bus no.4, taxi or tricycle to the foot of the mountain and then go a hike for about 30 minutes. Temple Lamas have make activities every week and all monks gather together to chant Buddhist scripture, which makes the scene spectacular.
The continuous maintenance for the Drepung Monastery done by the government makes this famous ancient temple much more solemn and gorgeous and makes it become a Buddhist holy land for Buddhist and tourists to worship from home and abroad. There are thousands of cultural relics and the ancient books collected there, all of these are industrious and intelligent crystallization of the Tibetan people, which play an important role on the study of Tibetan history, religion, art and so on.
Travel tips: 1) Opening time: 24 hours; 2) Ticket price: 45 Yuan/adult; 3) Best time to visit: March to October; 4) Duration: 2-3 hours; 5) How to get there: take the city bus no. 24 and 25 to the Drepung station and then continue 30 minutes walking up the hill.
Located in the Red Mountain east-western of the Lhasa City in Tibet, the Potala Palace is a large-scale palace fort type buildings featuring 13 floors with 110 meters high and 3750 meters above sea level. Covering an area of more than 100, 000 square meters, all building on pile of build are made of laying bricks or stones, winding its way to the top of the mountain, which makes people in dozens of miles away can overlook its high precision and at the same time, it is also an important symbol of Lhasa. It has been listed as an AAAAA level scenic spots in China and also the first one in Tibet.
Called as the pearl of the roof of the world, the Potala Palace is symbol of the Lhasa and even of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. It is also once the power center of the Tibet. Within this highest and most magnificent palace in the world, there are rich cultural relics and handicrafts and even some cultural heritage unique snow area.
Potala Palace, a great palace in the snow area, is a lighthouse in the snow area plateau. People anywhere in Lhasa will devoutly worship folded palms pointing to her forever. Meanwhile, having a history of 1300 years, the Potala Palace is the highest and the most majestic palace in the world infinitely stretching out the glory of the Tibetan culture. It truly belongs to the world heritage which can be touched, penetrated into without decorating. It is a combination of Tibetan religion, politics, history and art which can be regarded as Museum of Tibetan history.
Travel information: 1) ticket price: 200 RMB/adult in the peak season from 1st May to 31st October and 100 RMB/adult in the slack season from 1st November to 30th April; 2) opening time: 9:00 a.m to 12:00 a.m. and 15:30 p.m. -16:30 p.m. 3) Best time to visit: March to October when you can avoid rainy season and the cold winter. 4) ways to go there: take the No.1, 6, 12, 17,24 and 25 city public buses to the Labai Stop. 5) Duration: 4-5 hours. 6) do remember not to wear hat and take photos and trample threshold when visiting the Potala Palace.
Located in the old city center in Lhasa, the Jokhang Temple is a Tibetan buddhist monastery being listed as the first group of national key units of cultural relics protection in 1961 by the State Council and the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. It is said that if you haven’t been the Jokhang Temple, you don’t really been the Lhasa during your Tibet tour.
Jokhang Temple is a temple of the civil engineering structures and features 3 floors for the main hall, whose top roof covering the Tibetan unique golden roof. Under the decoration of the sunshine, its brightness dazzles the eyes. One thousand years of history, one thousand years of incense lasted for a story circulated for more than one thousand years.
Jokhang Temple is the most brilliant construction during the tubo period existing in Tibet, and also the Tibet’s oldest civil structure construction, which created the temple layout gauge type of the Tibetan Pingchuan style. It is a blend of Tibetan, Tang, Nepal and India’s architectural style and becomes the eternal masterpiece of Tibetan religious architecture. There exists a large number of precious cultural relics, which offers rich material for the Tibetan studies. Besides, the Tang Fan cemented stone set in the square in front of Jokhang Temple monuments witnesses the Chinese and Tibetan people’s deep friendship; Zhongdou stone tablet meanwhile witnesses the care of the central government to the Tibetan people.
Travel tips: 1) Opening time: 07:00-12:00 in the morning and 15:00-18:30 in the afternoon. 2) Ticket price: 85 RMB/adult. 3) Duration: 1 hour. 4) Best time to visit: summer and autumn especially from May to October when the weather is temperate and has many festivals for you to enjoy the Tibetan unique ethnic customs. 5) How to get there: take the city buses No.7, 8, 20, 21, 22 and 23 to the Cemenlin Stop or take the No.5, 6, 15, 17, 18 and 24 public buses to the Lugu stop. 6) Must be careful of beggars there and don’t impulse to shop in the Jokhang Street.