Gyantse Horse Racing Festival Tour

Duration:
7 Days
Destination:
Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse-Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Gyantse Horse Racing Festival falls on 10 Jul 2017 in the solar calendar. It’s considered to be one of Tibet’s most traditional festivals. You will see Tibetan world famous horse racing, archery, Tibet opera, dancing and more with locals. Also, you have a chance to experience Tibetan Buddhism and folklore in an intimate way. In this tour, you will see the holy of Lhasa city through major monasteries for the first three days and head to tour the well-known Gyantse-Shigatse loop during which you can join the festival.

DayRoute
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m)
2 Lhasa sightseeing
3 Lhasa sightseeing
4 Lhasa- Gyantse (4040 m), 262km, approx 5hrs
5 Gyantse(4040m)-Shigatse(3840m), 96km, approx 2hrs
6 Shigatse-Lhasa, 300km, approx 5hrs
7 Lhasa departure
Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m)

When you arrive in Lhasa, our staff will pick you up at Lhasa Airport/ Railway and transfer you to the hotel. From the airport, it takes about 1.5 hours. From the train station, it only takes 20 minutes. Afterward, it's best to relax and take it easy on the first day to get acclimatized to high altitude and alleviate the jet lag. You might go to the local market and wander around the city on your own but try not to overtax yourself.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 2 Lhasa sightseeing

Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so our guide will meet you at the hotel. Enjoy your easy travel by visiting Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery.

In the morning, the first station is the Drepung Monastery, which is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries that housed for more than 10,000 monks. It was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Great Fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala. It was known for the high standards of its academic study and was called the Nalanda of Tibet. And then you also can visit biggest monastery kitchen in the monastery and enjoy Buddhist sculpture carving workshop near Drepung.

Then after lunch, you will head to the Sera Monastery, which is another one of the ‘Great Three’ Gelug monasteries. It is famous for the Buddhism activities of "Monks Debate" for around 3 to 5 PM in the afternoon. Also, inside the monastery, the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha is the hot attractions.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Drepung Monastery is one of the three greatest Gelug university gompas in Tibet.
Sera Monastery, one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet.
Day 3 Lhasa sightseeing

On your third day, you will be feeling much more acclimatized to Lhasa’s high elevation. It is an excellent idea to spend the day exploring the Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of the Dalai lama. The superb collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. It is best to explore the inside of the Potala in the morning for 2-3 hours. Afterward, you will walk the pilgrimage route around the Potala.

In the afternoon, you will head to the Jokhang Temple, which is well known as the center of the Tibetan Buddhism, features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, golden sutra streamers. Also, you can see a great many of pilgrims praying in front of the temple and do kora with local pilgrims.

After visiting the Jokhang Temple, you will stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street where you can drink the sweet tea, chat with locals to experience the real life in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The original Potala Palace was built by the King Songtsan Gampo for his bride in 637 AD, and it was rebuilt by the fifth Dalai Lama.
khang Temple has a beautiful golden roof, which will attract you when you get close to it. The golden roof of Jokhang Template. Ancient wooden beams and rafters can be found under the roof.
Day 4 Lhasa- Gyantse (4040 m), 262km, approx 5hrs

From Lhasa to Gyantse is about 264km, en route you will see the Yamdrok Lake which is said to be able to help Tibetans find the reincarnated soul of the Dalai Lama. The lake has attractive turquoise blue water and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. You can have a panoramic view of the lake from the S307 pass.

Later you’ll arrive at Karola pass, at 5.039m above sea level. And there, right there, you will visit the magnificent "Karola Glacier"! The contrast between blue skies, snow peaked mountains and turquoise waters will be forever in the memories.

After having lunch at Gyantse town, you will visit the Pelkor Chöde Monastery, the main monastery in Gyantse.

Stay overnight in Gyantse

Yamdroktso Lake is a freshwater lake in Tibet
The white glacier looks spectacular for visitors passing by.
Day 5 Gyantse(4040m)-Shigatse(3840m), 96km, approx 2hrs

Today's highlight is the annual Gyantse Horse Racing Festival lasting from April 15 of Tibetan calendar. It shows you all the Tibetan arts performance and tradition sport in one venue. You will enjoy these contests involve horse racing, wrestling, as well as archery contests. Also, you can see the unique Tibet Opera, dancing with locals from the 19 townships in the Gyangze County. Along with this, there is a swap meet to taste highland Tibetan delicacy and collect exquisite handicrafts and other souvenirs.

Stay overnight in Shigatse

  • Gyantse Horse Racing Festival
Day 6 Shigatse-Lhasa, 300km, approx 5hrs

Today we will go back to Lhasa; on the way we will visit the home of Panchen Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery, it was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447, and is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse and also the second-largest city in Tibet. It located on a hill in the center of the city, the full name in Tibetan of the monastery means "all fortune and happiness gathered here" or "heap of glory". For the trip back to Lhasa later afternoon, we will provide you two solutions which will be decided by Great Tibet Tour.

After that, we will go to visit Yungdrungling Monastery; it is a typical Buddhist monastery. The monks here are very friendly to visitors. Some of them can even speak English. If you are lucky to meet the key holder, he can show you the large dukhang. Inside the house are the impressive thrones of the monastery's two resident Shiromo along the walls-look for the deity's characteristic swastika mace. There are also a couple of more behind the main hall that you can pay a visit to. Those chapels' include the Namjya Lhakhang. Keep in mind that you should visit those chapels in an anticlockwise direction.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Tashilhunpo Monaster was founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447
Doing kora around the monastery is part of the daily life of the locals.
Day 7 Lhasa departure
Your Tibet tour ends today. After breakfasts, you will be free for the morning. Our staff will collect you at your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station.

Our private customized Tibet tours are ideal for families, small groups and individual travellers who desire a more thorough and intimate introduction to Tibet. Price varies with size, season, hotel rate. etc. Please fill out this form so our travel designers can start helping you plan a trip.

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