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Gyantse Horse Racing Festival Tour

Duration:
7 Days
Price:
From USD1737
Route:
Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse-Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Overview

The Gyantse Horse Racing Festival is usually held in July of the solar calendar. It is considered to be one of the most traditional festivals in Tibet. You will watch the famous Tibetan horse racing, archery, Tibetan opera, dance and more with the locals. In addition to this, there is a cultural exchange meeting and an open market to buy authentic Tibetan crafts and picnics where you can taste Tibetan food. On this tour, you will visit the main monasteries for the first three days to experience the holy city of Lhasa, and then go to the famous Gyantse-Shigatse loop tour, during which you can take part in the festival.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel
2 Lhasa Sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
3 Lhasa Sightseeing Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
4 Lhasa - Gyantse, 262km, Approx. 5hrs Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery
5 Gyantse(4040m)-Shigatse(3840m), 96km, Approx 2hrs Gyantse Horse Racing Festival
6 Shigatse - Lhasa, 300km, Approx. 5hrs Tashilhunpo Monastery, Yungdrungling Monastery
7 Lhasa Departure Send off to the airport/train station

Daily Itinerary

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When you arrive in Lhasa, our staff will pick you up at Lhasa Airport/ Railway Station and transfer you to the hotel. From the airport, it takes about 1 hour. From the train station, it only takes 20 minutes. Afterward, it's better 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

In the morning, you are heading to Drepung Monastery, which means Monastery of Rice Heaps in the Tibetan language. It’s a white magnificent building complex that looks also like rice heaps in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks in the past.

In the afternoon, you will pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Monks debate from around 3 pm to 5 pm. If the debate is not your type, you can also see the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Paintings of Buddha. Besides, the sight here is quite good because you can see wild roses around. That’s why people also call it “the Court of Wild Roses”.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

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 the 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 can walk the pilgrimage route around the Potala Palace.

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

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

Stay overnight in Lhasa

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(4040 m), you will visit the Pelkor Chöde Monastery, the main monastery in Gyantse.

Stay overnight in Gyantse

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 Dama Horse Racing Festival
Gyantse Dama Horse Racing Festival

Today we will go back to Lhasa. On the way, we will visit the home of Panchen Lama - Tashilhunpo Monastery, it was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447 and is a historic and culturally important monastery in Tibet. It is 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".

After that, we will go to visit Yungdrungling Monastery. It's a typical Bon religion monastery in Tibet. 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(the assembly hall). Inside the house, there 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

Your Tibet tour ends today. After breakfast, you will be free in the morning. Our staff will collect you at your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station.
Tour Price and Service

From US$1737 p/p

Based on 3-star hotels for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies according to travel season, number of people and level of accommodation.

INCLUSIONS

  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • Breakfasts provided by hotels;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.4%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.
What Our Customers Say

The tour we took - 5 Days Lhasa Ganden Group Tour - was very interesting and enjoyable. Tibetan culture and monasteries are formidable. Guide Lhankdon was always very helpful, competent, and attentive. The driver was also always very friendly. Jennie was always very attentive to our requests and how ....

Read more testimonials...
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