So what’s there to do in Lhasa whilst acclimatizing? Once you are done visiting the Potala and various monasteries, there is still a lot to do to occupy your time. There’s shopping, anything from fake ‘The North Face’ jackets to antique Dzi beads, but you’ve got to bargain hard for everything. It’s a bit of a game with the locals to see how much they can fleece the tourists. The opening price is never the final price. Accept that you will end up paying too much, no matter what kind of deal you think you are getting.
The restaurants vary in quality from delicious to the inedible. The Lonely Planet guidebook has some good suggestions. The Dunya Restaurant next to the Yak hotel has a great selection of food. Everything we have tried there has been good. Stay away from the monastery restaurants, the exception to this is Samye Monastery Restaurant, which turned out to be pretty decent.
Finally, when it’s time to go trekking, make sure your guide knows what has been agreed on with your travel agent. Your Chinese travel agent will often sub-contract out the trekking arrangements to a Tibetan guide. It is best to iron out the details before you get started.
Top: Jokhang Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet.
Middle: Vegetarianism, Anyone? Butcher carves up Yak carcasses in Lhasa, Tibet.
Bottom: Berry Good. Sampling some local berries along the Ganden to Samye Trek, Tibet.
All photos taken with a Nikon D200, Nikkor 12-24mm lens.