Shopping on a Tour of Tibet: Updated Advice for the 2015 Travel Season

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As travelers arrive for their 2015 tour of Tibet many will discover the thrill of exploring busy markets and haggling for the perfect souvenir. Lhasa based travel agency Tibet Ctrip Travel Service-TCTS (http://www.tibetctrip.com) updates travelers with shopping tips.

Travelers around the world are gearing up to travel Tibet in 2015; many will discover that shopping for unique souvenirs and haggling over the price is an exciting, fun-filled, experience. Browsing through crowded markets like Barkhor Bazaar and the Tibetan Market in Shigatse, travelers will find everything from prayer flags and incense to hand made jewelry and Tibetan rugs. Lhasa based Tibet travel agency Tibet Ctrip Travel Service-TCTS (http://www.tibetctrip.com) gives travelers their advice for finding the perfect souvenir.

What to look for: Some of the most popular items include prayer flags, incense, and small trinkets. These are the things to pick up if needing to travel Tibet light or keep costs low. Those with some extra space and cash can find deals on valuable items such as Tibetan carpets, religious statues, and beautiful handmade jewelry. Don’t hesitate to ask the group’s guide for advice on where to look and how much to pay!

Where to buy: Authentic Tibetan goods can be found all over but the must-go place for shopping is Barkhor Bazaar. Travelers can spend hours exploring its crowded alleyways that are lined with hundreds of shops and stalls. If the Tibet tour is making a stop in Shigatse be sure to visit the market here as well. The selection is smaller but prices are generally lower than in Lhasa.

How to haggle: Haggling for the price of an item is a normal business practice in Tibet. Foreign travelers will typically be offered very high prices at first so it’s best to respond with an offer well below and work up from there. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the vendor is unwilling to budge but do keep in mind that a few RMB probably means a lot more to them than it does most travelers.

In an exotic place like Tibet, searching through crowded markets for the perfect souvenir and haggling for the lowest price possible is a far cry from the shopping experience of many other popular travel destinations. Not only is it an exciting experience but it’s also a great way to interact with locals. While your group shops on their tour of Tibet, be sure to purchase from Tibetan owned shops: not only do they provide higher quality for a better price but it also supports the Tibetan community!

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