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5 Days Shoton Festival Experience Tour

5 Days Shoton/Yogurt Banquet Festival Tour

(TFT012) Lhasa

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Tibetans celebrate Shoton Festival for a week, and the first two days are the most important. On the first day of celebration, you will visit Drepung Monastery to watch the Buddha painting (thangka) unveiling ceremony and see the light in the very first morning strikes on the large thangka at eight o'clock, and then moves to Sera Monastery.

On the following day, you will go to Norbulingka to appreciate the Tibetan opera and see how local Tibetans celebrate the festival. Combining the holy Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, our 5-day Lhasa tour in Shoton Festival provides a once-in-a-lifetime Tibetan experience for you.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Lhasa airport or railway station and transfer to hotel

Arrival to Lhasa airport or train station where you will be picked up by our local guide and driver then transfer you to hotel. Main highlights on the way to Lhasa, you will see the biggest river in Tibet called Yarlung Tsangpo or Barmaputra in Indian language, the unique architectural village houses of Tibetan farmers and the first glance of Potala Palace.

Free sightseeing or take rest in your room in late afternoon to acclimatize. Your guide will give you more detail advice on acclimatization.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Note: If your Arrival is by train, then you don’t have the chance to see the river view and Tibetan village houses because the train station is next to the city.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa, the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkor Street

In the morning your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby and drive you to the Potala this majestic palace, the land mark of Tibet, the first construction ever built in Lhasa by the most well known and outstanding Tibetan king Tsongtsen Gambo in seventh century as his residence and central government official. And in seventeenth century the fifth Dalailama began to extend it into current style. It is listed into the UNESCO’s World Heritage in December 1994. More than three hours visiting outside and inside the palace, you will learn all detail history about the palace by your guide.

After marvelous visiting and climbing hundreds of stairs there, your driver will pick you up at the exit of Potala and transfer you to local restaurant near by Jokhang, you will feel bit exhausted and tired but no matter you can have good relax during the lunch time and ask for your guide to order a glass of Ginger Lemon Tea+honey that will give you more energy and feel fresh again.

After lunch break, your guide will lead you to Jokhang Temple and Barkor by walking to explore the culture center of Tibet, the heart of Tibetan Buddhism and the main destination of the pilgrims coming from all over the Tibetan territories and the Barkor Ancient Street with local bazaar and art workshops.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, Beginning ceremony of Shoton Festival by Grand Thangka/scroll painting show

Today you have a great opportunity to visit the beginning ceremony of the most important annual festival in Lhasa called “Shoton” means Yogurt Banquet. The opening ceremony begins from Drepung and Sera the two largest monasteries in Lhasa.

In the very early morning your guide and driver will pick you up and drive to Drepung Monastery to attend the ceremony. With thousands of local pilgrims and tourists, you will luckily see one of the largest embroidered Thangka/scroll painting of Buddha in Tibet. Hundreds of monks and volunteers transfer it to a hillside not far from the monastery and display on a huge wall then the monks perform a special religious ritual to open the ceremony, the pilgrims from nomadic area offer fresh Yak Yogurt to the monks and everyone receives blessings from main master of monastery.

In the afternoon you will be driven to Sera the second largest monastery to visit another beautiful Grand Thangka and religious ceremony. It’s a very busy day for you but very worth.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 4: Sightseeing in Lhasa Norbulinka / Summer Palace and Tibetan Opera

Today you will spend whole day in Norbulinka to see how peopleare enjoying their festival, you will have a great chance to watch the performance of traditional Tibetan opera, join with very friendly local people, their hospitality towards you makes you feel like very close friends, they will serve you free cookies, Yak meat or yogurt sometimes and plenty of their homemade barley beer if you like it.

You will also visit the main residence of the successive Dalailamas’personal residences, guest interview room, meeting rooms, the wall of paintings that tells the general history of Tibet and ancient civilization as well as its unique architectural design and wooden carves.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 5: Departure from Lhasa

Departure to your next destination, your guide and driver will transfer you back to airport or railway station and help you to get the boarding pass. Say good bye Tibet!

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • 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 budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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