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“go to see the quiz sessions (badly translated as "debates"”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery
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$170.00*
and up
Day Tour: Tibet Drepung and Sera Monasteries
Ranked #3 of 88 things to do in Lhasa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Sera Monastery (founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe, disciple of Tsongkhapa) is just located at the foot of Tatipu Hill,located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa and about 5 km (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang and it is about 6 km to the northeast direction of Potala Palace. It is famous for the Buddhism activities of” Monks Debate” which happens in afternoon from Monday to Saturday. This is one highlight attraction for travel in Lhasa Tibet.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
196 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“go to see the quiz sessions (badly translated as "debates"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

they are not debates, they are sessions where students are quizzed by their teachers... you can sit around in the open air and observe them... unlike anything I've ever seen...

Visited April 2013
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Thank PaulyJ201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Los Altos, California
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43 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The debating monks -- a must see!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

Between 3-4pm each day, the monks at Sera sit under trees in a pebble garden area and debate philosophy with each other. I have never seen monks so animated in their gestures and their expressions! Was worth the price of admission. The rest of the monastery was crowded with locals and tourists alike.

Visited June 2013
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Thank Pavan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Monks' Debate, fascinating.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

As part of a 3-day stay in Tibet, with a group of 18 visiting China, we were privileged to visit Sera Monastery, a very holy place and imbued with spirituality. Wonderful to be allowed to sit round a central square to watch as the monks debate important philosophical issues. Less attractive was that there was a very noticeable presence of guards watching us watching the monks. Although advised not to take photos of local people, we were permitted to take pictures of the Monks' Debate. It was a very moving afternoon, a memory that will stay with me forever.

Visited May 2013
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Thank sunsetadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest, Hungary
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65 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A life experience...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

I can't tell you whole story of my experience here but I can tell you it reminded me that humans can be humble, honest ad with a big heart without boudaries. The place is like a museum, you need to pay if you want to take pictures in every room. Not too crowded as other monasteries, it has one of the bigget assembly halls..

Visited November 2012
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Thank Lourdes A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
278 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 271 helpful votes
“The monks debate is genuine - but why does it feel so staged ?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

The monks of Sera have met in their courtyard for centuries to vigorously debate & defend their faith - the gestures & the ritual stamping of feet to summon & banish the devil are all completely genuine. But we couldn't escape the feeling that it has been turned into a tourist attraction [perhaps designed to demonstrate that there is freedom of religion in Tibet... ?]
A strange experience that somehow didn't quite ring true

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank sewaterman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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