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Asia Odyssey Travel & Tours Co Ltd

Tibet Culture

Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Sera Monastery Debate worthy of visit?
    The debate at Sera Monastery refers to the study of Buddhist teachings in accordance with the logical reasoning system. “Cun Ni Zuo Ba” in Tibet means “method”, it is also a method in Tibetan Buddhist monastic education for assessing achievements and promoting students to the next academic level. Scripture debates involve forceful hand clapping, and those posing questions can also intimidate their opponent by standing in an imposing manner. It mostly happened in the courtyard or under a shadow of a monastery. It originated from a public debate between Mahayana monks and Gamara Scyllathe during Akamatsu-derzan period. The method of debate or arguing scriptures can be chased from ancient India. In 792 A.D., Akamatsu-derzan invited some eminent monks from India, such as Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita (the two men who built the Samye Monastery), to enter Tibet to preach the Grand Dharma. There were also quite a few Han monks in Tibet at that time, and the leader is called the Mahayana monk. In line with the principle that "one mountain cannot accommodate two tigers", the two parties have opened a polemical arena, and vow to fight it out. As a result, the Han monk was defeated by the Indian monk. It was not that Chinese Buddhism was inferior to Indian Buddhism, rather because of the practicing emphasis of the two nations are different. The practice of Zen Buddhism by Han monks emphasizes insight and comprehension. This emphasis on spiritual and emotional thinking is no match for the logical thinking of Indian Buddhism. This round of fighting, known as the "Lhasa controversy" in history, and thus created the first Tibetan Buddhism debate. It is worth to take a watch, the point is whether you are interested or not.
  • Can I see the celestial burial in Tibet?
    No, the celestial burial in Tibet is now forbidden for the tourists. While Tibet first opened up, a large number of tourists entered Tibetan areas to experience the living conditions of local people, however, also many people went to see the celestial burial. Since the time of celestial burial is before dawn every morning, during a celestial burial, the lights can interfere with the vulture' ability to eat and this will increase the work of celestial burial masters, and the financial burden of the deceased family. In addition, after the Tibet tour a lot of people upload the video and photos on various websites, and caused the negative publicity. Such behavior shows, they never been considered, it is a unique spiritual concept of a nation and should showing respect instead of curiousity. All of the local Tibetan people are proud to be on the celestial burial platform after their death. Therefore, all the celestial burial places in Tibet are closed to tourists.
  • Are there any taboos for tourists in Tibet?
    A: If you occasionally see the cattle and sheep hung with a red, yellow, green cloth logo roam in the countryside in Tibetan Regions, please do not drive or injury them as they are the offerings from the local Tibetans. Never aim at an eagle the shotgun, for Tibetans forbid any one to hurt their god bird.

    B: You are not allowed to enter a monastery without the permission. After entering the monastery, please do not smoke. The articles inside the temple can be viewed, but cannot touch the Buddha statues, scripture books and take photos without authorization.

    C: Please do not step on the door-sill with the foot, while entering the Tibetan’s tent, or house, also do not spit in front of local people.

    D: Tourists cannot clap the shoulder of Tibetan people. When the Tibetan put out their tongue, it symbolizes respect instead of mockery. When the Tibetan put their palms together devoutly, it is an etiquette.

    E: Regarding celestial burial: Neither the Tibetan government nor tourism agencies encourage tourists to see the celestial burial. Tibetans, especially the families of the dead, are reluctant to be watched by the Han people, which is a national custom and human nature. If you have the opportunity to see, please respect your words and deeds.

    F: Please do not purchase any wild animal fur, antelope horns, or yak skulls etc. in Tibet. This is tantamount to supporting the increasingly rampant poaching of wild animals in Tibet. In fact, if you were found to be carrying these items when you left Tibet, you could be faced a serious trouble.

  • When will the Performance of Princess Wencheng start?
    The Performance of Princess Wencheng will launch on May and end up until October 20th. According to different seasons, the starting time of performance will be different. Generally, it will start at 20:30 from May to June, from July to the beginning of September it will start in between 21:00 – 21:30 and from the end of September to the end of October, the performance will start at 20:30. The ticket fee will be no much difference if you as the tour guide to book on your behalf, but including free shuttle (between the hotel and the performance venue).
  • Besides drones, what else can not bring to Tibet by foreign tourists?
    Some books and CDs with reactionary ideas are not allowed to be taken to Tibet.
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