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 Q: Is it difficult for me to get a ticket for Potala Palace? How much does it cost?
A: Yes, the ticket for Potala Palace is always a headache for tourists. Each person can buy only 3 tickets at the most. You can book the ticket 10 days in advance. To make it easier to buy the ticket, Tibet Tourism Bureau now permits travel agencies in Tibet to report their tour plans for Potala every week, and then book tickets for their tour groups 4 days in advance. To shorten the visit time in Potala, the tour guide is not allowed to explain when inside the palace, but visitors can get some previews from the video display outside.

The ticket for Potala Palace costs CNY 100.

 Q: Is it ok for me to bathe every day?
A: It is not a good idea to bathe immediately you arrive in Tibet in case you catch cold or loss of energy. You can bathe one or two days later when you have adapted to the conditions. In fact, it is very dry and cold at night, so travelers usually choose not to bathe.

 Q: How about the shopping markets in Tibet? Are there many fakes? Can I bargain?
A: Shopping is centered mainly on Barkhor Street  in Lhasa , and the free markets in Shigatse, where various kinds and grades of goods are available. Most of the goods in Barkhor Street can be bargained down to 1/3 of the asking price. As in other tourist cities, you may find some fakes there, but they can usually be differentiated by a close look. The exceptions are the Tibetan medicines and Thangkas. Authentic Tibetan medicines can be purchased in the Pharmaceutical Factory of Tibetan Medicine of Tibet, the Pharmaceutical Factory of Tibetan Medicine of Lhasa, and their respective retail departments, but they can't be bargained down. For Thangkas, you need an expert with you if you want to collect an authentic one.

 Q: I can speak some standard Chinese, but I have learnt that the Tibetan language is quite different, so I wonder if the Tibetans understand Putonghua?
A: In some bigger cities or towns like Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi and Tsedang, Tibetans are generally able to understand Chinese, especially the young. But for people in the remote areas, it maybe is difficult to communicate with them.

 Q: Where can I change my money into CNY?
A: You can change money in the branches of Bank of China in Tibet. It can also be done in Lhasa Hotel in Lhasa.

Branches of Bank of China in Tibet are respectively located in 12 districts of Lhasa, Nedong and Zhangmu Ports, and Mt. Everest and Nianhe in Shigatse, and Nyingchi and Shannan. Here are some of the addresses of them:
Tibet Branch: No. 36, Drosenge Road (Duosenge Lu), Lhasa City.
Shigatse Branch: No.17, Jiefang Zhonglu, Shigatse City.
Shannan Branch: No. 21, Nedong Road (Naidong Lu), Tsedang Town
Nyingchi Branch: Zhongshan Lu, Bayi Town

 Q: Can I see a sky burial in Tibet?
A: To respect local customs, visitors cannot view sky burials or take photos of the practice without permission, or do anything that is blasphemous around. Detailed information about it is got in Sky Burial column.

 Q: Can you explain Tibetan etiquettes and taboos?
A: Tibetans, a religious people, practice many etiquettes and taboos in their daily life. Learning about these contributes to enjoyable experiences with Tibetan people.
For detailed information, click on Tibetan Etiquettes and Tibetan Taboos.

 Q: May I take photos of Tibetan people, especially elderly people? Should I give money for the photography?
A: You should always ask permission first as some Tibetan people believe that taking photos will harm their souls. Most people are very kind and would not ask for money from you. Refuse them if someone does. You can give them some small changes, or give them photos or some small gifts, which are more welcomed.

 Q: Can I take photos in the monasteries in Tibet?
A: Monasteries, as the most sacred spots in Tibet, usually do not allow photography inside. Ask permission first, or something unpleasant may happen to you.

 Q: Should I give money to the monks and beggars in Tibet?
A: The monks who beg food and money with bowls are acceptable in Tibet; you can give them loose change. But with professional beggars in the streets or temples, do as you wish.

 Q: To whom can I complain? 
A: You can complain to the local tourism bureaus in Tibet if you find your rights impinged. Here are phone numbers. TTB: (0891) 6834193 Lhasa: (0891) 6650808 Shigatse: (0892) 8990444 Shannan: (0893) 7995769 Nyingchi: (0894) 5998811 Nakchu: (0896) 3820677 Chamdo: (0895) 4824807  Ngari: (0897) 2824977   

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