This week’s Thirsty Thursday takes us to the mountains on the China to Tibet border and is inspired by my recent visit to the town of Shangri La. The most prominent animal in this part of the world is the Yak. A lovable animal to glare at as your bus eases its way through awe inspiring countryside. Come dinnertime however, the tables have turned. In the cold mountains, the drink of choice and a local speciality is Yak Butter Tea.
I’m a big fan of tea – in fact it’s an addiction. Tea has kept me sane most of my life so when you are in Yunnan Province, particularly in the Tibetan influenced parts, Yak Butter Tea is something you should try.
Onto the taste. Well it was certainly different and creamy. Yet oddly watery at the same time. It was milky, sweet and it helped digest the food. Not my favourite cup of tea of all time but one that just had to be tried! It’s what the locals drink!
I love these travel experiences and being in the Tibetan influenced region of Yunnan was special in itself without this added bonus of some Tibetan food, drink and hospitality. Yes – if you are in Tibet (or parts of Yunnan) then give the Tibetan Yak Butter Tea a try.
What is it? – Tibetan Yak Butter Tea
Where can I try it? – The best place is Tibet. The second best place is Shangri La in Yunnan Province of China. You can get it at selected other places but the authentic stuff is in the Tibet region.
How much does it cost? – As you might see from the menu above a small pot was 20 Yuan (Chinese RMB). That’s under £2 or $3 so worth it. Mind you I was in a touristy part and I have no doubt that you will get it cheaper. Better still, try your luck with the locals and the monks – they may let you into their world and give you a free sample.
What’s it like? Milky, sweet, buttery and different. The only way to find out is to try it though!
In this region, I also tried Walnut Cakes and visited the magnificent Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, plus we hiked on the Upper Trail Hike, which you can read about in parts 1 and parts 2.
A video of me trying the Tibetan Yak Butter Tea:
2 thoughts on “Thirsty Thursdays: Tibetan Yak Butter Tea in Zhongdian, China”
It is very enjoyable travelling to new places and tasting new dishes from different countries and different cultures. I believe it was a great experience, drinking a Yak butter tea. I am also kinda tea addicted hope to taste it soon. thank you for sharing your experience of Tibetan tea .
Hi Pradeep, thanks for the comment and apologies for the delay in response. The blog and I have been going through serious mid life crisis and depression, caused (not by me of course) by a serial liar and a Guru God wannabe. Yes cool blogs – my book is now available – Backpacking Centurion – A Northern Irishman’s Journey Through 100 Countries: Volume 1 – Don’t Look Back In Bangor (1) . Stay safe. Jonny