Tibet Local Custom Tips by mad4travel
Tibet Local Customs: 111 reviews and 171 photos
Yakety Yak don't talk back!
Yes there really are Yaks everywhere.
There are wild herds on the mountain passes and domesticated herds on farms. the domesticated ones often have prayer flags attached to them -weird.
I rode one up to a monastery and it was a very sturdy beast (believe me it had to be!) and very calm natured (altho the Yak handler said they could be quite dangerous and I can believe that)
Yak is pretty good to eat to, you can get a lot of different types of food with Yak in the local restaurants. Its like a very beefy beef. I only had a mouthful as i tend to prefer to go veggie when I'm travelling.
We came across chanting monks both at the Samye and Drepung monasteries. It was very calming and hypnotic.
You should be repectful and keep your distance when they are doing this and don't use a flash when taking a photo. Infact taking a video clip has a much better effect as you get the sound too.
You can buy CDs with monks chanting in the markets and tourist shops.
Listen, Man Utd will never win the cup!
You can see the debating monks at the Sera Monastery.
They were featured in Michael Palin's Himalaya series.
Every day at 3oc for 2 hours the monks go out into the courtyard to debate. Who knows what they were debating as they were speaking Tibetan but sometimes it got very heated. If the monks get excitable with all this heated debate they slap their hands infront of the other monks, this is instead of hitting the other monk which I think is fair.
As a tourist you can go and see them do this, although I think they derive as much amusement staring at you as a tourist as you do staring at them!
Dead Goat stall, Shigatze Market
I went veggie in Tibet-Wonder Why?
Yak Butter Shop
You will come across Yaks and Yak butter wherever you go. They burn it in candles in some monasteries (altho they are converting to candle wax as apparantly its cheaper) or they serve it as Yak butter tea (which everyone warned me about and I managed to avoid).
In Shigatze there was even a Yak Butter shop. Next door was a store selling only blenders. I thought that a bit odd until it was explained to me the best way to make Yak Butter tea was in a blender. You learn something new every day!
You see these solar kettles all over Tibet. An ingenious idea. A kettle can boil in 15 mins (quite quick because water boils at a lower temperature at altitude apparantly).
Having stuck my hand under the kettle I can report it was very hot indeed!
One of the locals
Say hello is Tibetan, they will love you for it!
Don't know how its spelt but its pronounced Tassi Delek
For the Chinese Hawkers who give you the "you buy this one dollar "routine say:
"Xie xie (Shay shay) wo bu yao" it means thanks, I don't want it. Works every time!
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