Gyantse Horse Racing Festival Tour
- 7 Days
- Tour Type:
- Private Tour
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.
Daily ItineraryCollapse Expand
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 1.5 hours. 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 construction that looks also like rice heaps in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks before Tibet's liberation.
In the afternoon, tourists will pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is one of the “great three” Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Monks debate from around 3pm to 5 pm. It’s very attractive even if you don’t understand what they are talking about at all. If the debate is not your type, you can also see the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha inside the monastery. Besides, the sight in the Sera Monastery is quite good because you can see wild roses around. That’s why people also call it “the court of wild rose”.
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 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 the Tibetan Buddhism, features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, and 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 can stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street, where you may drink the sweet tea, chat with locals to experience the 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 town, 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 Horse Racing Festival
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 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 in the 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(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
- Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) 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;
- All meals listed in the above itinerary;
- 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;
- Free use of sleeping bag;
- Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.
- 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 Gratuities 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 --- 4.2%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
- Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.
My TIBET experience with Great Tibet Tour was very brilliant. It was the 2nd-time visit to TIBET but Shigatse and Gyantse. The hotel you chose me at Shigatse had very Lovely Tibetan decoration. and Guides ( both 2 guys) were very kind and gentle. So I could relax. ....Read more testimonials...