Of course one of the most famous and stunning items you could buy as a gift or souvenir is the thangka, a religious image made either by painting, embroidery or sometimes even sewn with pearls. The pearl thangka is the most desirable of all. While Tibetan costumes are gorgeous, they can be inconvenient to take home as most of them are made from woollen cloth and are bulky. However, you might consider buying colourful aprons, fur hats or caps to take home, they can make unique decorations for your rooms.
Other items include wooden bowls, jade, prayer wheels, prayer flags, Buddha figures, conch-shell trumpets, rosaries, amulets, carpets, tapestries, Tibetan boots and beads, fur hats, horse bells, bridles, copper teapots, stunning inlaid knives, gold and silver wares and of course the fabulous turquoise jewellery! One tip is that, if you buy a knife and you are flying out, then be careful though to post your knife as you cannot take these items on a plane or as consigned goods. You will also come across bookstores with books on Tibetan history, culture and travel, including maps and postcards.
Make sure to visit the incredible Barkhor, the famous commercial centre of Lhasa. There are all the items mentioned about and you can also find fabulous Tibetan food here. A great tip is that it’s good to go shopping on Barkhor Street in the morning or evening, because Tibetan people highly value their first and last customers of the day.