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Do's and Don'ts - Tibetan Etiquettes and Taboos

31 January 2018 Last updated at 10:31

Tibet is a holy destination to visit and most of Tibetan people are devoted Buddhists. Make sure to respect the local customs and be polite when you travel in Tibet, and you will get an unforgettable and pleasant experience.

Etiquettes & Taboos for Monasteries Travel

During your tour, you can’t miss the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. While traveling in the monastery, remember to respect the local customs and behave accurately.

Wearing

1. Don’t wear brief skirts or shorts when you plan to visit the monasteries

2. Take off your sunglasses and hats when you enter the monasteries.

Gestures

Don’t point at the monks or the statue with your finger, but use your full upturned hand instead.

Pilgrimage

Walk around monasteries, temples, dagobas or chapels in clockwise, unless you have a strong Bon belief.

Photography

You'd better ask for permission before taking pictures of Tibetan people. Most Tibetan monasteries are not allowed to take pictures and sometimes you need to pay for it.

Etiquettes & Taboos for Local Family Visit

Tibetan people are getting more used to habits of foreigners and being more tolerant due to rapidly developing tourism in Tibet. However, we still hope you can show respect to Tibetan traditions and behave well since their unique lifestyle is part of the charm of Tibet.

Greetings

1. Tashi Delek is the traditional greeting in Tibet language, translated as “blessings” or “may all auspicious things come to you”. Using it to greet the local people is a polite manner.

2. When the owners present you a Hada, you need to receive it with both hands.

Dining

1. The guests are expected eat quietly and gently.

2. Generally, the hosts will offer over food to show their generosity and kindness, refuse them politely if you need no more.

Behavior

1. Don't step on the threshold when entering the house.

2. Don't pat the head of a Tibetan, even a child. The head is considered as a sacred part of the body.

3. Remember to cross your legs when you are asked to have a seat. Don't stretch your legs with feet pointing to others.

4. Don't drive away or hurt eagles. Eagles are considered holy birds in the hearts of Tibetan people. Don't disturb or injure cows or sheep with red, green or yellow ribbons because they are Tibetan sacrifice to worship gods.

Recommended Tour including visiting local family:

>> 5 Days Tibetan Life Discovery Tour

Other Etiquettes

If you are interested in Tibetan customs and etiquettes, here we provide more as follows

1. If you want to take some photos of the local monks or pilgrims, ask their permission first.

2. Don't spit or clap your palms behind Tibetan people.

3. Don't use a paper with Tibetan characters as tissue.

4. Generally, Tibetan people don't eat horse, dog, donkey, or fish.

The Tibetan people are always nice and friendly, and they truly understand that the foreign tourists may not know their customs and tradition. So don’t worry too much about behaving incorrectly and displeasing them unintentionally. If you want a tour to learn more about the Tibetan culture and local life, contact us and we can make a tailor-made tour for you. 

If you want to learn more restiction of Tibet, please check at 9 Important Restrictions on Tibet Travel You Should Know.

Recommended Tour Packages

Tibet has too much to offer. And our aim is to bring you the best experience in Tibet. Following are some other recommended Tibet tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want or check more Tibet Tours>

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