What to Buy in Tibet: The Most Recommended Souvenirs for Your Tibet Tour

Last updated: October,25 2018

In addition to appreciating stunning landscapes and tasting local foods, shopping is also an interesting part of travel. And many tourists, especially foreigners who are not well familiar with Tibet, will ask what to buy as souvenirs for their Tibet tour. From stylish handcrafts to dazzling jewelry, you may find difficult to make a choice among a lot of interesting stuffs. Read this guidance to find the most recommended souvenirs you can buy during your journey to Tibet.

Recommended Souvenirs You Can Buy in Tibet

As a unique land full of mysterious legends and religious history, Tibet boasts many special and precious items that are worthy buying. Some of them are for decoration, some for practical uses. Some have strong religious meanings, and some made by hand for a long time. Check the recommended souvenirs listed as follows.

Tibetan Jewelry

The jewelry of Tibet mainly includes pearls, agate, gold, silver, wood, stone and bone etc. Different ornaments have different expectations, but basically they all mean "blessing". Among them, Dzi beads, pearls and agates are more expensive and precious, while wood or bones present a special charm in their original, rough and unrestrained style.

Tibetan JewelryTibetan Jewelry of various kinds and colors

Tourists can find their favorite from various Tibetan jewelry made by these materials. Whether it is a necklace hanging round the neck, an elaborately designed bracelet or a unique finger ring, all Tibetan jewelry have different characteristics and can meet the needs of different travelers.

Tibetan Carpet

Tibetan carpets are traditional Tibetan handicrafts. They are not only famous throughout the country, but also are sold well in India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries, being one of the world's three famous carpets. In addition to Tibetan carpets, rugs and mats, there are also horse-riding mats, large livestock forehead decorations etc., all belonging to the same handcraft.

Tibetan Carpet Tibetan Carpet is a kind of traditional handicrafts.

The wall hanging style of Tibetan carpets varies from place to place. The soft and delicate face, bright color, and non-fading wash can keep warm and moisture-proof and durable. If it is properly matched, it will be a comfortable bedding and an ideal home decoration. Since each person handles the details differently, each piece of the hand-woven Tibetan carpet is unique, so the collection value is very high.

Tibetan Knife

The exquisitely crafted, scabbard silver-plated knives can be used for cutting meat or for self-defense. As a special accessory, Tibetan knife is a must-have for Tibetan men, women and children. Some of the Tibetan knives stress practicability, requiring the blade steel to be good and sharp; some are for decoration, with choice shape, pattern and polishing of the tool; and some are both. Generally, Tibetan knives for men are rough and sharp; while women's knives are delicate and small.

Tibetan Knife Tibetan Knife is a kind of special accessory to Tibetans.

Please note that knives are forbidden to bring when taking the train, flight or other public vehicles, therefore it is suggested to mail your knives by mail.

Tibetan Mask

Tibetan mask is a kind of handicraft derived from religion. It is mainly used in kinds of folk performance activities, like dance ceremony of the major Tibetan festivals. Using abstraction, symbolism, metaphor and other techniques, Tibetan mask is colored with characteristic features. And each mask color represents a relatively fixed type of character, which is rich in Tibetan unique aesthetic taste.

Tibetan MasksTibetan masks are mainly used in folk performance activities.

There are two kinds of ancient masks: cortex and mud. The cortex mask is still used in small amounts, and the muddy mask has become a history. There are also metal masks, which are generally used for temple hanging and offering, and rarely used for Tibetan opera dances. While wooden masks and cloth masks are widely used.

Tibetan Incense

Tibetan incense is a necessity for Tibetans to worship Buddha, exorcise evil spirits, and hold religious activities. The gentle and peculiar scent is thick and long-lasting. With the development of Tibetan culture, the incense has also been endowed with a lot of strange and mysterious legends.

Tibetan Incense Tibetan incense can eliminate disease and promote metabolism.

Tibetan incense ingredients pay attention to the harmony between the world and the yin and yang. The hand-made technology is unique and sophisticated. It has the functions of eliminating diseases, promoting metabolism, enhancing immune function, and rejuvenating the mind. It can also clean the air and disinfect the household articles.

Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan medicine has a history of at least 2000 years and is one of the complete and influential ethnic medicines in China. It is a unique medical system formed through long-term practice, extensive absorption and integration of theories of traditional Chinese medicine, Indian medicine and food medicine.

Tibetan Medincine Many Tibetan medicines have good curative effects.

Many Tibetan medicines have good curative effects on diseases like cardiovascular diseases and tumors. Also, some have functions such as calming the nerves, regulating blood pressure, and replenishing the body.


Thangka is a kind of religious painting that transferring religious pictures such as Buddha statues, folk tales, myths and legends to satin or cloth. Thangka has a history of more than a thousand years and is divided into different types such as painted Thangka and decal Thangka etc. A superb Thangka often takes months or more than half a year to complete. Travelers can choose to buy the ready-made or the custom-made.

Tibetan Thangka Thangka is a kind of religious Buddha paintings.

The Best Place to Shop in Tibet

The best place to buy souvenirs in Lhasa is Barkhor Street, which retains the original features of the ancient city of Lhasa. There are more than 120 handicraft shops and more than 200 vendor stalls on the two sides of the street. Tourists can leisurely stroll along Barkhor Street to see those distinctive shops and old-fashioned Tibetan architectures, while considering what you might be interested in buying.

The Ethnic Tourism Shopping Mall near the Jokhang Temple is also a good place to go. With fair price and guaranteed quality. If you want to buy Tibetan medicine, it is suggested to directly go to Tibetan Medicine Factory, Lhasa Tibetan Medicine Factory or its sales department, or you will probably get cheated by fake goods.

Insider Tips about Shopping in Tibet

1. Always remember to bargain at the price. When shopping in Barkhor Street, don’t rush to get your goods paid. There are plenty of choices in different shops for similar items, so you can make comparisons, and decide on the price you will spend before making a decision.

2. If you want to buy jewelry, go to some certificated stores. Like any other tourism cities, there will be quite a few fake or roughly made goods sold to travelers. So when you plan to buy some expensive items, like jewelry, it is recommended to go to a certificated store or specialty store, and carefully examine the quality.

3. Don’t believe any people who advise you to buy something during your sightseeing. Also, don’t be afraid to refuse when some locals try to sell you something that you are not interested.

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