Bakhor Street, also named as Baghor, is the oldest street in Lhasa. In the past, it was only a circumambulation circuit, "a saint road” in the eyes of Tibetan. Now it's also a shopping center with national characteristics. It's an old district with colorful Tibetan features. Tibetan houses line the street, and the ground is paved with man-made flagstones, preserving the ancient look.
Shops and Souvenirs
In the street, visitors can find satisfactory souvenirs and experience the mysterious "one step one kowtow" faith in religion. All the houses along the street are stores. All kinds of fantastic commodities show us all aspects of Tibetan life. Such as: Thangkas, copper Buddha, prayer wheels, butter lamps, prayer flags with sutras, beads, Tibetan joss sticks, cypress, etc.
Household goods in shops are in abundance, such as cushion, Pulu, aprons, leather bag, harness, snuff bottles, steels, Tibetan-style quilts, Tibetan-style shoes, clasp knives, Tibetan-style hats, butter, butter pots, wooden bowls, Highland Barley Wine, sweet milk tea, milk residue, air-dried beef and mutton, etc. All kinds of tourist products, cheap but good, can be found in the 1,000-meter-long street.
Bakhor Street is a miniature of Lhasa, even in the whole of Tibet. The old circumambulation circuit is always crowded with pilgrims from everywhere. Some come along the road by performing the body-long kowtows, some come by truck. Some are monks, and some are businessmen from Kham. Here visitors will find people from all over Tibet. Visitors can enjoy different dresses and languages. Even the similar-looking dresses of the monks vary depending on the different religions.
Bakhor Street is the window to view the Tibetan area, which is silently telling the history of Lhasa. History Bakhor Street was first a circumambulation circuit around the Jokhang Temple. According to Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism), circumambulation means walking around the Jokhang Temple in the clockwise direction, which shows worship to the Bronze statue of Sakyamuni enshrined in the temple.
It is one of the three famous circumambulation circuits in Lhasa. An endless flow of worshippers every day proved it the famous one in Lhasa. In addition, there are two more circumambulation circuits chiming with it. One is the Linkhor (outer circumambulation circuit) around the old city zone containing the Potala Palace; the other is the mysterious "Rangkor", which is the circumambulation corridor inside the Jokhang Temple.
The three circumambulations circuits give witness and maintain the vital position of the Jokhang Temple. The temple is not only a palace where the Buddha Bronze statue and holly articles are offered but also the reflection of the Esoteric Buddhism about the ideal of the universe, namely the Mandala.
Magyia Ngami Restaurant
Now Bakhor Street refers to a larger area including the entire district around the Jokhang Temple, which is the well-preserved old city zone. Legend in Bakhor Street, there is a place, which the visitors can't miss: the Magyia Ngami Restaurant. Most of the buildings in the street are white, except the yellow two-storey at the southeastern corner of Barkor Street. It was the secret palace of the 6th Dalai Lama Cangyand Gyamco.
There he wrote the famous poem from the top of high mountains in the east, "Whenever the bright moon rose, from the top of high mountains in the east, the pretty young girl's face rises in my mind." "Pretty young girl" means Magyia Ngami in Tibetan. Now the Magyia Ngami Restaurant is a bar with a good taste in art.
On its wall hang works of painting, photographs, and handicrafts and on the shelf, there is an original edition of works by Kafka and Eliot.
In the downtown of Lhasa
How to Get There?
Bus 5, 6, 9, 25 to Health Care Hospital
Don’t stroll in the Bakhor Street too late. Every day after 6 o’clock the Bakhor Street will turn to a fair trade market, mainly selling small articles of everyday use.
- Second-hand goods: For some unknown reasons, the stall keepers in the Bakhor Street firmly believe that second-hand goods can be sold at a high price, so they will show you new articles while telling you they are second-handed. In fact, that’s only a way of deciding the value, which will not indicate any problem about their judgment.
- Bargain: When shopping in the Bakhor Street, visitors shall learn to bargain with the stall keepers. The stall keepers will charge quite differently for the same article, usually by ten times. Don’t make the final decision before inquiring several shops. The quality of the same goods differ greatly, especially the Dzi Beads from Heaven.
- Discounts: According to the ancient customs, every day the Tibetan stall keepers will offer discounts to the first and the last buyers. Besides, the stall keeper will tap the money, charged from the buyers, on the goods as a way of inviting the God of Wealth.