Lhasa Travel Blog› entry 7 of 27 › view all entries
Only 500 out of 5 billion people each day are allowed to visit the majestic potala palace in Lhasa. To be one of the lucky 500 you have to get up early in the morning to queue up behind the line in front of the gate of the ticket office. At 8am the gates open and you're allowed to form an orderly line in the waiting corridor which is almost blocked by all the benches there. When it's your turn you get a number written in Chinese on your arm and a time to return to pick up the tickets. I had to return at 11:40am and had number 9, I had a friendly Chinese translate that for me.
At 11:40 I queue up accoriding to my number in the waiting corridor in front of the ticket office and understand why the benches are there because you have to wait long before it's your turn.
The next morning at 10:40am they finally accept my Yuans for a ticket and I am in the Potala. Unfortunately you're not allowed to take any pictures or film. This is a pitty as you won't be able to see the magnificent rooms, shrines and tombs they have in the palace. Unlike all the other monestaries I have visited in Tibet you're not allowed to take a stroll and explore the palace. You'll have to follow a predefined route that takes you from one side of the palace to the other.