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For decent and inexpensive local and Western fare, head to the traveler's cafes in the southern part of town. The most popular of the lot is the cozy Tibet Cafe at Changzheng Lu near the Martyr's Cemetery (tel. 0887/823-0282). It serves Western staples like pancakes, pasta, and pizza, along with Naxi and Tibetan specialties (try the yak steak or the hearty fried bread stuffed with yak meat). Main courses cost about ¥20. The Snowland Restaurant (Xue Yu Kafeiting), near the Tibet Hotel, has now changed names to the Puppet Restaurant (tel. 0887/887-8225485) but still does very reliable breakfasts, and the owners are a mine of information for places to visit both in and outside the town. Around Heping Lu and Jiantang Lu are a number of food stalls and small restaurants that serve Hui Muslim, Sichuan, and home-style (jiachang cai) Chinese food; none, however, have English menus.

The fabulous Arro Khampa Restaurant (A Luo Kang Ba), located on Gu Cheng Pi Jiang Po (tel. 0773/822-6442), employs chefs from Tibet, India, Nepal, and China to create a wide and varied menu. Apart from the stylish surroundings of carved beams and colorful thangkas, we really enjoyed the potato and pumpkin slices as well as the yak meat stew at only ¥10.

In the evenings, nocturnal activities begin at 7:30pm when locals and tourists alike congregate in the main square for Tibetan dancing in the old town main square that is even more fun than the dancing in Lijiang and Shuhe. In addition there are plenty of local bars, our favorites being the Google Bar with its huge balcony and the Raven Bar for its wide selection of music.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.