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.

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  is one of three famous monasteries in the city
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.
Reconstructed in Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties for several times, Jokhang Temple has four stories and covers an area of about 25,000 square meters now.
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

Sacred Lake Yamdrok glows with various colors, like turquoise, when the sun is shining
The white glacier is spectacular from the highway
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

Day 6 Shigatse – Lhasa 300km, approx 5hrs

Today we will drive back to Lhasa. The road condition is pretty good but because of the speed-limit, we will spend about 6hrs on the road. On the way, we will stop to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, which is the seat of Panchen Lama (the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet).

After lunch, we drive back to Lhasa along the Friendship Highway for about four hours. From there, we will tour the Yungdrungling Monastery, the second most influential Bon monastic institution in Tibet.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

“Tashilhunpo” means “Auspicious Sumeru” in Tibetan language
Yungdrungling Monastery
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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