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Tibetan Opera, Shoton Festival, Lhasa

Life in Lhasa is easygoing and relaxed. By tradition local Tibetans spend a leisurely afternoon in sweet teahouses. Drinking cups of sweet tea while playing cards, Chinese chess, listening to music or watching videos are a source of enjoyment for the locals. Now, more and more visitors like to enjoy the atmosphere in teahouses with the local people. Guangming Sweet TeaHouse in Beijing Dong Lu is the most famous. Visitors can taste the delicious sweet tea, which is only CNY 0.3 per cup, and also sample Tibetan noodles in this dim but busy teahouse.

Tibetan Opera is an important element of Tibetan Culture. Actors wearing masks perform stories inspired by or derived from Tibetan history or Buddhist traditions. In the past, famous Tibetan Opera groups came to Lhasa during the Shoton Festival to entertain the Dalai Lamas and lamas. Now Opera is performed at Norbulingka . Visitors can enjoy these performances at 11 A.M., every day.

There are many other places of entertainment in Lhasa including bowling alleys, karaoke clubs, cinemas and bars.

Lhasa at night, Tibet

At night Lhasa is truly a sleepless city swarming with tourists and locals. Stalls on Youth Road Night Market sell snacks, fruit, clothes and handicrafts at reasonable prices. The local people prefer to go to this market after 9 P.M. The larger Tianhai Night Market in Minzu Bei Lu is also a local favorite. Clothes, books, fruits, flowers, handicrafts as well as snacks from all over China are sold in this market. No matter how late you visit the market, you are sure to find hospitable stall-keepers and satisfied locals and visitors.

Bars and clubs are also booming in Lhasa with most of them located in Beijing Lu and Barkhor Street . Mayke Ame, which is located at the south east end of Barkhor Street, deserves a visit as it is reputed to be the site of the romance between the Sixth Dalai Lama and the beautiful young girl, Mayke Ame. Barkhor Cafe, which is located in the southern part of Jokhang Temple Plaza, serves coffee and a variety of food. Visitors to the Cafe can surf the Internet or watch the news on CNN. Dunya Restaurant and Bar near the Yak Hotel was established by Fred, a Dutchman who traveled the world and found his way to Lhasa. This bar is a unique combination of Tibetan and European Style food and it has earned a reputation for serving good quality western food. All staffs are westerners and visitors from the west will feel at home. Tibetan residents prefer to visit Langma halls. Langma is royal music, and in the past was reserved for the Tibetan nobility. Today local Tibetans can enjoy traditional Langama at the New Century Langma Hall in the Tibet Hotel or at the Sunshine Night Club in Jokhang Temple Plaza along with local dance, Indian dance and ethnic fashion shows. Visitors also can dance with each other freely in the hall.

Lhasa attracts more and more visitors every year and provides a wide variety of good entertainment. There is something for everyone.

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