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Nagchu Horse Racing Festival Tour

7 Days
From USD1992
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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The spectacular Nagqu Horse Racing Festival usually takes place in mid-August and it's the biggest annual event in the Nagqu Prefecture of Tibet. August is the lushest season in Nagqu grassland, and the weather is also suitable for outdoor sports. During the festival, herdsmen will come to participate in the colorful Nagqu Horse Festival in full costumes, with tents, children and horses. During the festival, you can not only watch a variety of thrilling competitions, including horse racing, yak racing, tug-of-war, and Tibetan opera performances but also immerse yourself in traditional Tibetan culture, religion and customs, as well as breathtaking natural wonders.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel
2 Lhasa Sightseeing Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
3 Lhasa Sightseeing Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
4 Lhasa - Namtso(4718m) - Damxung, 280km, Approx. 6hrs Nyenchen Tangula Mountain Ranges, Namtso Lake
5 Damxung - Nagchu, 170km, Approx. 3hrs Nagqu Horse Racing Festival 
6 Nagchu – Lhasa, 342km, Approx. 6hrs Nagchu Horse Racing Festival 
7 Lhasa Departure Send off to the airport/train station

Daily Itinerary


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

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

On your third day, you will be feeling much more acclimatized to Lhasa’s high elevation. You will spend the day exploring two of three "Great Three" Gelug Monasteries. In the morning, you will call Drepung Monastery, which is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries that ever housed more than 10,000 monks. It's also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.

Then after lunch, you will head to the Sera Monastery, which is renowned as the most beautiful Tibetan Monastery. It is famous for the Buddhist Debate. Also, inside the monastery, you can appreciate the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Paintings of Buddhas.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In the morning, we drive to the holy Namtso Lake along the Qinghai-Tibet. On the way to Namtso, you will have a far view of Nyenchen Tangula Mountains. Enjoy the view of the vast grassland and spectacular natural scenery.

You'll arrive at Namtso Lake after passing Nagela Pass(5150m). It covers a total area of more than 1900 square kilometers. At an elevation of 4718 meters, it is also the highest-altitude salt lake in the world, the furthest depth being more than 33m. Besides, you can enjoy the view of the Sky Road Railway with snowy mountains background; while standing at the famous Nagela Pass, you can see the stunning view of holy Namtso Lake. If the weather is good, you will have a chance to enjoy the marvelous sunset view of the lake. Then we will drive to Damxung for and accommodation.

Stay overnight in Damxung

Today, you will head to Nagchu to watch the thrilling Nagqu Horse Racing Festival. There, you can enjoy spectacular horsemanship. Tens of thousands of herdsmen wear their festival costumes, ride their finest horses and pour into the vast grassland. The grand festival definitely deserves your visit as it includes riding competition, yak race, tug of war, stone-lifting and Tibetan operas, etc.

It is also the traditional occasion for the horse trade. The buying and selling of horses at these fairs attract the Tibetans. In addition, you can taste traditional Tibetan delicacies in different tents and explore some surprising goods.

Stay overnight in Nagchu

Herdsmen took their finest horses to join the event.
Nagqu Horse Racing Festival

In the morning, you will continue to enjoy Nagchu Horse Racing Festival which usually lasts for one week.

After lunch, you will head back to Lhasa along with the beautiful villages and vast plain.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Horse racing
Nagqu Horse Racing Festival
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$1992 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Dw***

I am event organiser for yoga retreat, and I would like to bring my group for this festival. I would like to add our yoga practice including in this trip too. I am looking at in July 2024, can you advice the best date for this festival. Thank you.

Answered by Merry

Dear Dwi***, 

Thank you for sending us an inquiry!  

As per your request, we can arrange 7 Days Nagchu Horse Racing Festival Tour for you in 2024. Usually, Nagchu Horse Racing Festival takes place in mid-August. I think you can find nice places to practice yoga during the trip.

Asked by Aral***

Dear sir/madam,

My name is Arald and I’m intresred in exploring Tibet and see the Nagchu Horse Race in August this year. I’m living in Hong Kong and consider to come by train from chengdu and take the plane back home. I’ve a China visa for business purposes which I believe isn’t valid for a touristic trip. Most likely I travel alone, hence I prefer a small tour group.

I have a flexible schedule and was thinking to spend approx 10-12 days travelin around half August. I like 5 star hotels for cities like Lhasa and don’t mind very basic accommodation either. I love nature, hiking and new cultures.

I’m keen hear your suggestion:-)

Best regards,

Arald Kapteijns

Answered by Nance

Due to Tibet's unique background, apart from a Passport and a Chinese Visa, all foreign tourists allowed to enter Tibet must have Tibet Travel Permits. We could surely get all your necessary permits to Tibet after your tour booked with us.  As your Chinese visa is for business purposes, you also need to send me your certificate of Employment in China, then we will use your passport and China visa copies as well as certificate of Employment in China to apply for them from Tibet Travel Bureau before tour starts and get them to you usually within 12 working days. Once I get it for you, I will send the copy of Tibet Permits to you by email so that you can board the train from Chengdu station. 

According to your request, how about having our 8 Days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Mt. Everest Group Tour plus 3 days Nagqu Horse Racing Festival private tour? 

Asked by Fede***

Dear staff, I'm currently looking for a Tibet itinerary during the next August in the period 3-17. The perfect tour length would be 7 days (but a couple of extra days would be ok just in case) and I would like to focus on monasteries and local life. I've seen that there are some festivals during summer, are there any during that period? We are 3 people. Guest houses are preferred over hotels. Planning to reach and leave Lhasa from Beijing by train, no problems about buying tickets on our own. Thank you in advance.

Answered by Amy

Dear Federico Ficarelli, according to your preference & schedule, taking our 7 Days- Nagchu Horse Racing Festival Tour is perfect, this spectacular festival falls usually in mid-August each year, I will email you with details shortly. 

What Our Customers Say
Paro Dzong

As I return home from my Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet adventures, I owe you a very BIG “ THANK YOU “, for making it one if not the best trip ever! Your thorough planning, flawless execution and above all your willingness to respond to ALL of my questions is most appreciated. I must give a big compl ....

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