Tashi delek. This place totally rocks if you are looking for a real Tibetan experience. And if not, why have you come to Tibet? Hopefully not just to make another notch in your travel belt to exotic places. Admittedly, this small hotel would probably not appeal to all and I need to say from the start that my rating for this hotel is based on the total Tibetan experience and considers only marginally other factors such as amenities. If you are one of those who needs to have 5 star comfort and amenities you would be better off perhaps to stay in one of the many Chinese hotels a km or so to the west of the old Tibetan quarter ( or what is left of it). This move of course would probably not guarantee 5 star quality anyway, having had considerable experience with Chinese hotels elsewhere in China. In addition you would miss out in really experiencing Lhasa as it might have been in the past. The Chinese part of the city is new and does not represent Tibetan Lhasa . The Rama Kharpo is totally owned and operated by Amdo Tibetans originally from the Qinghai province. In fact when we were there for a week the only residents from the West other than us were a pair of fellows from Boston who were in Tibet on a mission to improve their holistic medicine skills. The other residents were all Amdo Tibetans who had come to Lhasa on a pilgrimage following the completion of their farming and herding tasks. This made for rather lively evenings around the dinner table. Us and the curious ( we were curious also) and colorfully dressed Tibetans. The room initially shown to us was a little lacking (no water and heat), but everything was set straight by quickly moving us to quarters with functioning water and an electric heater. Tibetans really do not have central heat or running water for the most part and undoubtedly sleep in whatever they are wearing. We ended up following their example for some nights despite the heater. The Rama Kharpo is well situated to explore the old Tibetan quarter, being located in the lively Muslim area where you can buy pastries and other Muslim snacks, and a few hundred meters from the Barkhor and Jokhang where you can join the pilgrims in their circumambulation (remember always clockwise!). The Jokhang is an absolutely spiritual and moving experience, even for those not touched by the spirit of Buddhism ( we happen to be American Buddhists of a generic variety). The one other note of interest about the Rama Kharpo is that it is located directly across a rather narrow street from a Chinese Army barracks. It was quite interesting to have breakfast downstairs when the young soldiers were lining up in formation for their morning patrols just outside our window (remember photos are really frowned upon of such activities). I might say that while the room was probably not up to Western standards, it was lovely and very fitting and comfortable for the circumstances. Tour groups will not see this place. It is intended for the independent traveler who is looking for something authentic and special. And speaking of independent travel, look up the folks at Spinn Cafe in Lhasa to handle your permit and arrangements. These guys are really tops and will also allow you to use their computers to access the internet. What more can be said. See Lhasa ( at least the old Tibetan quarter) now rather than later when little of the old will remain. You will also not do better than a stay in the Rama Kharpo if you are truly looking for a real Tibetan experience. Kaleshu.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rama Kharpo is a small family style hotel in Lhasa (associated with Tibet Ctrip Travel Service), one of six hotels awarded a gold star rating. It was set up, and is owned and operated by a young Tibetan book lover with a vision to create quality accommodations and facilities to fit the taste of travelers interested in culture and travel in style. The interior of each room is designed in a simple, minimalist Tibetan style with natural wood floors, furniture, and tasteful decorations. The Tibetan style lobby, bar, and restaurant serve as welcoming and comfortable communal areas. Amenities-Wireless internet-Restaurant-Bar Services-We offer travel arrangements for tours in Lhasa or to other areas of Tibet, such as hiking/trekking trips to Mt. Everest and Kailash.-We can arrange for travel permits(through travel agencies) to Tibet.-We provide a fee consultation and guidance for tours in Tibet -English-speaking staff.Location-In the center of the old city of Lhasa, a 10 minute walk to the Jokhang Temple, centrally located to many other historic and cultural sites. In the recent years we improved decoration and upgraded our services. Meanwhile in early 2015 we have run our "Tibetan Hot Pot" Restaurant in our lobby. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rama Kharpo Hotel Lhasa, Tibet