Shoton Festival Tour

4 Days
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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This 4 days Tour will show you the grandest festival to Tibetans - Shoton Festival lasting from August 22 of Tibetan calendar. The most attractive of which is Buddha Thangka and Tibetan Opera. Also, it’s the most sacred way to show the deepest respect for Buddhism. During this festival, you also will have a chance to well know the holy city Lhasa by visiting historical Potala Palace, mystical Jokhang temple, sprawling Sera and Drepung monastery.

1 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m)
2 Lhasa Sightseeing
3 Lhasa sightseeing
4 Lhasa departure

Daily Itinerary

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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 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

Day 2 Lhasa Sightseeing

Today, you will explore the Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. The most valuable 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's best to explore the inside of the Potala in the morning for 2-3 hours. Afterward, you may 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, golden sutra streamers, etc. 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 and even bargain with the street vendors to understand the real-life in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The Potala Palace stands in the ancient Lhasa for centuries and plays an important role in Tibetan people’s beliefs.
Three Tibetan women at the gate of Jokhang Temple.
Day 3 Lhasa sightseeing

Today's highlight is the annual Shoton Festival lasting from August 22 of Tibetan calendar. First, you will watch Qamba Buddha Thangka unfolding at the Drepung Monastery by about 100 lamas. At that moment, horns resound and scripture chanting starts. Disciples offer Khada to the Thangka and touch it by forehead to show their devotion. Within two hours, the Thangka will be rolled up again and carried back. We’ll not see it until the next year. Later, you will head to Norbulingka to watch the various superb Tibetan Opera, performed from about 11:00 am.

After having lunch and a short rest, you'll visit the Sera Monastery, which is another one of the 'Great Three' Gelug monasteries. It is famous for the Buddhism activities of "Monks Debate" held at around 3 to 5 PM in the afternoon. Also, inside the monastery, the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha are 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.
Kelsang Potrang, as the first palace in Norbulingka, it is named after the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso
Day 4 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.

Cost & Inquiry

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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Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients



Shoton Festival tour. Is it too late to go this year. I know TTP takes 15-20 days. Travel has proved to be difficult. Train tickets are sold out. My wife is Chinese and there are just the two of us. We are interested in joining a group. We are in China now. Please advise, thank you,


Hi, Gary!

About the train tickets you mentioned, I’d love to book it for you. So don’t worry, my dear. By the way, May I know where you will depart from by train?

About the tour you are interested in, is a private tour. But we have the fixed 4-day group tour and its itinerary is similar with the private one. Meanwhile, there is an existing 4-day tour on our tour calendar, which the date of departure is on 19th Aug. So you can catch up the Shoton Festival on 21th Aug when the biggest show is held in that day.





I have never traveled to Asia, but it is my dream to experience the city of Lhasa. I would be traveling with my husband. I have no idea how to get to Tibet by air so would require guidance on where to fly from. Curious as to cost. Thinking about making this trip next summer 2018. Thank you.



Dear Tracey Malesa-Wheaton, about transportation, you could fly from your country to a China city first such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing or Guangzhou etc, then take flight or train from one of China cities to Lhasa directly, this is not a problem. 

Since you are very interested in exploring the city of Lhasa in summer, I highly suggest you take our 4 Days-Lhasa City Cultural Tour between June and Aug(Sep is very good time to visit too). With this tour, you will see the best & most famous attractions Lhasa gotta to offer and experience the local life of Tibetans, hope you like it.



2 people, please offer also other tours


Dear Anat Hadash, the Shoton Festival will be held on 21 Aug, 2017. Could you kindly let me know more information as following so that I can provide you the proposal accordingly?

1. How many days you plan to stay in Tibet?

2. What kind of accommodation you would like to stay in, the Luxurious (5-star), the comfortable (4-star)/economy class (3-star) hotel or the budget guest house?

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