Sunday (Sept 25) we went to the summer palace, which is where the Dalai Lamas lived before the Potala Palace and also where they spent their summers before leaving Tibet. The grounds were beautiful with flowers and lots of green open spaces. We walked around and also saw the quarters of various Dalai Lamas. My favorite was the 17th Dalai Lama’s rooms, which included a western bathroom complete with a bathtub and western toilet! After the summer palace it was back to our neighborhood for lunch and then out for the afternoon to the Jokhang Temple. The temple itself was full of tourists, which was a bit overwhelming. You can always tell the Chinese tourists because they push and shove, even in a temple to make an offering! The Jokhang Temple is the first temple in Lhasa and was built on a lake (after it was filled in). Crazy that they were doing that kind of construction back in the 700s! The view from the roof of the temple was awesome. You can see all the way to the Potala Palace and out over the Bangkor Market. It was breathtaking — and not just because it was up several flights of stairs in high altitude!
From there we headed down to the market and began making our clockwise loop around the temple. Our guide took us to a shop that was super overpriced and said we should just look around because they have cool stuff. I’m guessing he gets a kickback for bringing people there but since it was no pressure to buy and they did actually have some cool stuff, it was fine to take a quick look around. After that, we worked on our bargaining skills. Rob won with his sunglasses for 25 RMB when the original asking price was 65 RMB. I bought a bracelet and only got it reduced from 15 RMB to 10 RMB. Disappointing percentage wise but considering it is only $0.40, not too upsetting!