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7 Days Lhasa to Namtso Tour in Shoton Festival

7 Days Lhasa to Namtso Tour in Shoton Festival

(TFT002) Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Yampachen - Lhasa

Overview

“Shoton” means yogurt banquet in Tibetan language. As Tibetan opera is performed and Buddha paintings are exhibited during this period, it is also called “Tibetan Opera Festival” or “Buddha Exhibition Festival”. Besides the delicious Tibetan yogurt, you can watch the unfolding of the huge embroidered thangka  at Drepung Monastery and enjoy the essence of ethnic songs and dances, and famous Tibetan opera at Norbulingka Palace.

After celebrating the festival in Lhasa, you will head for Namtso Lake, one of the top three holiest lakes in Tibet, the “Heaven Lake” for Tibetans and the highest saltwater lake in the world. If you are interested in the scenic and mysterious lake in Tibet, this is the best tour for you.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Arrive at 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 a 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 arrive in Lhasa 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 Barkhor Street

In the morning your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby and drive you to the Potala 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 Dalai Lama 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 detailed 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 Palace and transfer you to local restaurant near by Jokhang Temple, 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 Barkhor Street by walk 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 Barkhor Ancient Street with local bazaar and art workshops.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery/ Thangka Painting Display (Shoton Festival)

Today you have a great opportunity to visit the opening ceremony of the most important annual festival in Lhasa called “Shoton” which means "Yogurt Banquet" in Tibetan. The opening ceremony begins from Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, 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 it 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 Monastery, 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 (Shoton Festival)

Today you will spend the whole day in Norbulinka to see how peopleare enjoy their festival, you will have a great chance to watch the performance of traditional Tibetan opera, join the 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 Dalai Lamas’ 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: Lhasa - Namtso Lake - Dunxumg/ Yampachen (approx. 350km)

In the morning, drive from Lhasa to Lake Namtso, one of the four holy lakes in Tibet and also the highest saline lake in the world. On the way, you can see snow-capped Nyenchen Thanglha Mountain Ranges and lots of nomads and their tent with grazing yak and sheep densely-populated on the flourishing grassland (in summer). Besides, you can enjoy the view of Sky-Road Railway against the snow mountain background. Standing at the famous Lagenla Pass (5190m), you can view the stunning vista of the holy Namtso Lake.

Then we can enjoy our time to do leisurely trek around Tashi Dor Island and along the lakeshore. Drive back to Dumxung or Yampachen. (For environment protection, the lakeshore guesthouses were closed by the government.)

Stay overnight in Dumxung or Yampanchen.

Day 6: Dunxumg/ Yampachen to Lhasa (approx. 90-160km )

Drive to Yampanchen and enjoy the natural hot spring bath there (Please prepare your own swimming suit). The famous Yangpachen lies on the southern slope of the Nyenchen Tangula Mountains and is famous for its geothermal scenery. Every year, Yangpachen Hot Spring emits heat equal to that of 4.7 million tons of standard coal. Lying in a plateau basin, Yangpachen’s geothermal field covers 40 square kilometers. To take advantage of geothermal field, resorts were built here, giving tourists a chance to enjoy the outdoor natural hot spring spa. After having a thorough relax during the spa, we head back to Lhasa. On the way, we will visit Chimelong Nunnery (Phyirmil Lung Nunnery) and have a far view of the sky burial site nearby.

Stay Overnight in Lhasa.

Cultural Tips: Sky burial is a funeral practice commonly seen in Tibet. The corpse will be disposed of and later devoured by vultures. In Tibetan Buddhism, sky burial is believed to represent their wishes to go to heaven. Only family members of the dead can attend the funeral.

Day 7: Depart from Lhasa

Depart to your next destination. Your guide and driver will transfer you to airport or railway station and help you to get the boarding pass. Say good bye to 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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