Nagchu Horse Racing Festival Tour

7 Days
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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The spectacular Nagchu Horse Racing Festival which falls the mid-August. Not only you will enjoy all sorts of competition involves horse races, yak races, tugs of war, staging of Tibetan operas in the festival days, but also you will have a chance to experience true lives of Tibet nomads.

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 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.

After lunch, you’ll visit 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

As the winter palace of the Dalai Lama, Potala Palace is an important religious landmark of Tibet.
The life-sized statue of the Jowo Shayamuni of age 12 can be seen in Jokhang Temple, it is recognized as the holiest object in 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 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. Later, you will visit the 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 was the largest monastery in Tibet, with over 10,000 monks. Now, this monastery houses about 700 monks.
Sers Monastery, a best place to see the colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines
Day 4 Lhasa – Namtso 225km, approx. 5hrs

Driving from Lhasa to Namtso Lake in the morning and on the way you can enjoy the view of the vast grassland and spectacular natural scenery. Then you can make out the ribbon of pure blue that was Namtso Lake out in the distance. Namtso means 'Heavenly Lake.' It’s considered one of the three holy lakes in Tibet and the highest altitude saltwater lake in the world. With the snowy mountains in the background and chunks of ice still floating on the crystal-clear dazzling blue water, it was definitely a beautiful sight.

Stay overnight in Namtso

Namtso Lake
Yampachen hot springs
Day 5 Namtso – Nagchu 215km, approx. 5hrs

Today, you will head to Nagchu to watch the annual Nagqu Horse Racing Festival. There, you can enjoy a spectacular horsemanship and taste many Tibetan delicacy. Tens of thousands of herdsmen pour into the vast grassland and dotted with tents to enjoy the Festival which is included riding competition, yak race, tug of war, stone-lifting and Tibetan operas. This is really a grand and lively Horse Racing Festival that you should not miss.

It is also the traditional occasion for horse trade. The buying and selling of horses at these fairs attract the Tibetans. You can taste traditional Tibetan food in different tents and explore some unexpected goods.

Stay overnight in Nagchu

People were singing and dancing to celebrate Nagchu Horse Racing Festival.
Everyone dresses up at the event.
Day 6 Nagchu – Lhasa 342km, approx. 7hrs

In the morning, you will continue to enjoy Nagchu Horse Racing Festival which is lasted for about one week.

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

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The Nagchu Horse Racing Festival includes many events and competitions between horse farms in the area.
Everyone dresses up at the event.
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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Asked Questions from our Clients



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.



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. 

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