1. Tibetan New Year and Chinese Spring Festival on February 16, 2018
In China, the Tibetan New Year and the Spring Festival are not fixed. Sometimes the difference is two or three days, sometimes a month apart. However, there are overlaps, and it happens to be the same day: February 16, 2018 in Gregorian calendar. If you’re going to feel the hilarious atmosphere of the New Year, it’s time to start preparing for your China Tibet tour.
2. Top Tibet Attractions for Free until the End of April
The unprecedented entrance ticket free preferential policy is expected to target A-list attractions in 6 major prefectures (such as Lhasa, Shannan, Shigatse, Nyingchi, Ngari, Chamdo) across Tibet. Big names like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Lake, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Mount Everest National Nature Reserve, and Mt. Kailash, etc. will remain free for worldwide tourists within this limited time frame (in February, April). If you are planning your Tibet tour in February and April this year? This could be your perfect chance to fulfill your bucket list.
3. Tibet Museum Closed for Two Years
With the permission of the Scenic Spot Assessment Committee of Tibet Autonomous Region, the Tibet museum has been closed in December 2016 for the purpose of expansion, and will not be open to tourists within the next two years.
4. The New Yunnan Tibet Route: Bingchacha Road to Tibet
The new line of Yunnan-Tibet Highway (Bingchacha road) connects Bingzhongluo Village, Gongshan County, Yunnan with Chawalong village, Chayu County, Tibet. As one of the key projects in Tibet’s “12th Five-Year” highway planning and construction, the new Yunnan Tibet Road covers a total distance of 264.3km with the budget of 1.82 billion yuan. And the Yunnan Tibet overland trip will be shortened by 5 hours!
5. The Chola Mountain Tunnel Opened to Traffic
At 10:30 on September 26, the Chola Mountain Tunnel was officially opened to traffic. It is located in Dege county, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province（close to the border of Sichuan and Tibet). Before the completion of the Chola Mountain tunnel, all the vehicles had to pass through the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, passing over the Chola Mountain Pass at the elevation of 5,050 meters. It used to take two hours to drive over Chola Mountain, now only 10 minutes!
6. The Railroad Bed of Sichuan Tibet Railway Lhasa Nyingchi Section Completed.
The railway subgrade of Lhasa Nyingchi section in Sichuan Tibet Railway has been successfully completed in December 2017. Sichuan-Tibet Railway Lhasa Nyingchi section starts from Lhasa City, passes through Gonggar, Zhanang, Zedang, Sangri, Jiacha, Lang County, Millin, and ends at Nyingchi City. It covers the length of 402 kimlomters with 34 stations, including Changguo, Gonggar, Zhanang, Zedang, Nyingchi, etc.
Lhasa Nyingchi section is an important component of Yunnan Tibet Railway and Sichuan Tibet Railway in the medium and long-term railway network planning. It is also the main thoroughfare for passenger and freight transport in Tibet, Sichuan, Chongqing，Guizhou，Central China and Eastern China.
7. Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival in March to April
Although the opening time of 2018 Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival is still unclear, we can begin to prepare for Tibet Nyingchi tour in advance. Nyingchi peach blossom annual flowering season is relatively fixed. Generally speaking, the blooming period lasts from March 15 till April 20. Since the temperature is slightly different, the opening time would also vary from region to region.
8. Tibet Shoton Festival on Aug.11
Shoton Festival is a traditional festival in Tibet. Originating from Drepung Monastery in the 11th century, it is usually celebrated from the end of June to the beginning of July in the Tibetan calendar. That’s to say, Shoton Festival often falls in August in the Gregorian calendar. In Tibetan language, “snow” is the meaning of yogurt, “dun” is the meaning of “eat” or “banquet”. In other words, Shoton Festival is the time to eat yogurt, which makes it also known as Yogurt Festival. In the 6 Days Shoton Festival Experience Tour, tourists can catch the golden chance to observe Tibetan opera performances and large-scale Buddha Thangka unfolding ceremony. That’s also the reason why it also called as Tibetan Opera Festival and Buddha Exhibition Festival.
9. Lhasa to Chengdu and Chongqing Train Time Reduced by More Than 7 Hours
With the operation of Lanzhou Chonging train, Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company has optimized the schedule and timetable of Tibet trains to Lhasa in time according to the passenger flow rules. The new train running chart has been implemented on October 12th, 2017. As a result, the running time of Lhasa Chengdu train and Lhasa Chongqing train has been shortened by more than seven hours!