Although Lhasa is a city rich with history and culture, first time visitors will quickly discover that it enjoys the same conveniences of a modern urban city as anywhere else. Although Tibet does not have a traditional alcohol culture, Lhasa has no shortage of bars to warm up tired and exhausted travelers. The following bars are one popular with backpackers and tourists to the area, and hence are great spots for meeting people from all over the world.
Ganglamedo 冈拉梅朵 View In Map
Ganglamedo, which means "snow lotus" in Tibetan, is a bar located near Bajiao (Octagon) Street in Lhasa; it's a stand-alone Tibetan-style building and courtyard offering Tibetan, Nepalese, Western and Chinese cuisine. They also provide rare Western finds like delicious coffee and pizza at the venue. The shop sign is written in Tibetan, Chinese and English, with the different language inscriptions for "Ganglamedo".
This venue is very spacious, with winding wooden stairs leading up to the platform on top of the roof where indie films are often screened for visitors. This rooftop space also serves as an art gallery and workshop, with oil and water-color paintings of Tibetan scenery and themes hanging on all four walls. These paintings are works done by local painters, and they are also for sale if visitors are interested in purchasing the artworks.
Add: 127 East Beijing Lu, Lhasa
Tel: 0891 633 3657
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Getting there: Take bus route 97 to the (Qufagaiwei) District Development and Reform Commission station and walk 200 m to destination
Makye Ame玛吉阿米 View In Map
This is a venue that offers mainly Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan dishes. They've got branch stores in Beijing and Kunming, Yunnan. It is said that Makye Ame was a secret lover of the Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, and this was where they would secretly rendezvous – at the second floor of the yellow-colored building. There is a wooden bust of Makye Ame at the front entrance into the venue – adding to an air of mystery and romance. This bar and restaurant is decorated to reflect Tibetan culture and customs; the rooftop platform serves as a great vantage point for looking down at the great expanse of city below. There are several guest books lying around on the tea table – with different comments and messages signed by travellers that passed by here from all over the world. This venue is mainly frequented by foreign tourists and thus prices are a bit on the expensive side.
Add: Bakuo Street, southeast corner (near the Octagon building), Lhasa
Tel: 0891 6324455
Opening hours: 08:00-24:00
Getting there: Take bus route 107 to the Sports Stadium station and walk 300 m to destination
DUNYA bar. Photo: blog1.poco.cn
Dunya Restaurant & BarView In Map
Almost every foreign traveller who’s visited Lhasa has most likely heard of Dunya. "Dunya" means "the whole world" and owners of the venue, Fred, his wife, and Chris, have definitely travelled the world. In the end, they chose to make their home in Tibet. This venue is renovated in the local Tibetan-style and integrated with a bit of the Western culture; iron-wrought chairs at venue are custom-made and transported from Chengdu, with various decorations imported from Nepal – each and every detail at the restaurant is meticulously managed and overseen by the owners as they only want "perfection" for their customers. Waiting staff, chef and owners are all expats at this venue; and western food served there is also very genuine tasting and delicious. Dunya has become a very popular socializing spot for foreign travellers to Lhasa – you just might be able to stumble upon someone from your hometown here.
Add: Cuomeilin Rd (nearby Yak Hotel), Lhasa
Opening hours: 09:00-24:00
Getting there: Take bus route 106 to East Beijing Rd station and walk 348 m to destination
Backpackers Bar & Restaurant背包客餐吧View In Map
This venue was opened up by two young Chinese travelers to Tibet, who then decided to settle in the area as they fell in love with the city. The owners aim to provide backpack travellers with best convenience and self-service, and this place has quickly become a favorite socializing corner for travellers from all around the globe; this is also a great place for seeking out and exchanging various travel tips and sightseeing information with other travellers in the area.
Recommended dish at the restaurant is the Tibetan-style beef pastry, two pieces of meat pastry with soup for a price of only 8 RMB; you can't go any more reasonable than that. Yogurt served at the venue is prepared with fresh and 100% yak milk – only 5 RMB a bowl; this is a must order item if you're ever in the area. There are also white T-shirts and memo books for you to doodle and write on as a source of self-expression.
They also take on volunteers. So, if you think you'll be in Lhasa for a while and don’t have much planned, the you can consider volunteering at this place. Two meals are included as part of compensation for your work, but no wage is offered. Still, it does offer the chance to get know lots of people from all walks of life and.
Add: East Beijing Rd (across from Dongcuo Hostel), Lhasa
Tel: 0891 632 1140
Opening hours: 08:00-23:00
Getting there: Take bus 105 to Renshiju (Civil Affairs Bureau) station and walk 43 m to destination
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