1 866 838 5818 Toll Free from USA and Canada

Central Tibet with Shoton Festival


9 days 8 nights

Code TFT67

Category Tibet Classic Tours

  • Group Size 2-16 persons
  • Difficulty Level 2
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 5,045m ( 16,548 ft.) at Karo La
  • Trip Starts From Lhasa
  • Trip Ends At Lhasa
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Tsedang Samye Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse
Dates & Prices

Overview

This trip is timed with Shoton Festival, Tibet's one of the grandest festival. We observe the annual giant Buddha Thangka painting display, enjoy the Tibetan opera and take opportunity to join the local Tibetans amidst a picnic, singing and dancing. Of course, we will also visit the grandest Buddhist monasteries, temples and palaces of Central Tibet, including Potala Palace. We take scenic drive across the mighty passes of Tibet offering spectacular views of vast Tibetan plateaus and Himalayan mountains. The holy lake of Yamdrok Tso with turquoise green water is also one of the attractions of this trip.

Shoton Festival, also known as the "Yoghurt Festival", begins on the 30th day of the sixth Tibetan month. The origin of the festival dates back to the 17th century and first started when pilgrims served yoghurt to the monks as they took a break during their summer retreat. Years later, Tibetan opera performances were added to the event to amuse the monks in monasteries. During the festival, giant Thangkas of the Buddha are unveiled at the Drepung Monastery while Tibetan opera troupes perform at Norbulingka.

Land Cost

US$ 1999 per person. Private Room Supplement $ 298.

Airfares are not included.

Trip date

20 Aug 2019.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Lhasa Airport and transfer to Tsedang

Flights to Lhasa arrive from Kathmandu (Nepal), Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and other mainland Chinese cities. Tibetan entry permit is per-arranged by us. Upon arrival at Gongaar Airport of Lhasa, you are met by our local guide and driver. Following introductions, you are transferred to Tsedang (, altitude (3,100m/10,168 ft.), distance 120km/7.5miles, 1.5 hrs. drive).

Tsedang is the gateway town to the ancient Yarlung Kingdom of Tibet. The Yarlung Valley is considered to be the cradle of Tibetan civilization and it was from Yarlung that the early Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the 7th century. Check into the hotel and take the rest for acclimatization to the altitude. Please, drink plenty of water and take liquid food in meals.

Overnight: Tsedang Hotel
Day 02~Explore The Yarlung Valley.

Today, you will explore the historical and cultural sights of the Yarlung Valley. We begin from the ancient Trandruk Temple (7 km/4.5 miles) which is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries of Tibet, and contemporary to Jorkhang and Ramoche Temple of Lhasa. At Tradruk, you will visit the courtyard area, ringed by cloisters, the principal chapel with statues of Tara or Drolma and five Dhyani Buddhas (Buddhas in meditation) and a famous Thangka painting of Drolma in the chapel upstairs.

From Trandruk Temple, we head south to the Yumbulgang Palace (6km, 1.8 miles) which is claimed to be the first Tibetan building. It is a fine tapering structure that pops up from a rocky ridge overlooking the patchwork of fields of the Yarlung Valley. We will visit the ground floor chapel that was consecrated to the ancient kings of Tibet; the upper floor chapel has an image of Chenresig (Avalokityaswora). We will also see some excellent murals depicting descent of Nyentri Tsenpo from heaven to Yumbulagang. Walk up along the ridge above the building to enjoy fabulous views of Yarlung Valley.

Our next destination will be the ancient Samye Monastery which is a bit of rough ride but worth visiting. This is the first Buddhist Monastery in Tibet. Samye is famous for its sacred Mandala design: the central temple symbolizes the legendary Mount Meru, center of the universe. It is a popular pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists, some of whom travel on foot for weeks to reach this holy shrine.

Overnight: Tsedang Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Drive from Tsedang to Lhasa
(Alt. 3,658m/12,193 ft., 183km/122miles, 4 hrs. drive).

After a leisurely morning breakfast, we depart Tsedang for Lhasa- the heart and soul of Tibet. We will have time to settle into our accommodations and later we proceed to the Barkhor- the old Tibetan quarter and visit the Jorkhang Square and the temple. Jorkhang is the most revered religious shrine in Tibet. In front of the entrance, you can see crowds of Tibetan pilgrims in prostrations. The temple houses the images and chapels of various Buddhist deities and gurus including: Tsongkhapa, eight Medicine Buddhas, Chenresig (Avalokiyataswara), Jamapa, Sakyamuni, King Songsten Gampo, etc. We take a relaxing stroll around Barkhor which is Lhasa’s most interesting Kora (pilgrimage circuit). It encircles the Jorkhang Temple. Barkhor is both the spiritual heart of the holy city of Lhasa and the commercial hub for Tibetans.

Overnight: Dekhang Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Attend Shoton festival in Drepung Monastery, Norbulingkha Gardens and Potala Palace

Today is the first day of the Shoton Festival and so we leave hotel early morning for Drepung Monastery to secure the best spot for watching festival. A giant Buddha Thangka will be displayed amidst an exciting atmosphere. We watch the festival activities for some time and as the festival activities move towards the center of the town, we will also follow them.

We spend the rest of day watching the festival in Norbulingkha Gardens and the Potala Palace. The celebration includes Tibetan opera and local folklore singing and dancing. People also enjoy picnic in the gardens.

Overnight: Dekhang Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Attend the second day of the festival and visit the monasteries.

After breakfast, we attend the second day of the festival and later we visit the majestic Potala Palace-the landmark of Lhasa. It was the power center of Tibet until Dalai Lama's departure in 1959! The palace still draws a large number of local and foreign visitors every day. Time permitting, we will also visit Sera Monastery, which is among the largest monasteries of Tibet. The main assembly hall, its' printing press and colleges of instructions are major attractions here. We may also get a chance to attend the debating ceremony of the monks.

Overnight: Dekhang Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~A scenic drive over the high passes and along the shores of Yamdrok Tso Lake to Gyantse
(13467 ft., 160miles, 6 ½ hrs. drive)

Today, you will drive on the roadways of the high Tibetan plateau and head westwards Gyantse. As you cross the Tsangpo Bridge, the road climbs to the Kamba La pass (15, 700 ft.) from where you will enjoy magnificent views of the Himalayas as well as the dazzling views of Yamdrok Lake. Yamdrok Tso Lake is one of the four holy lakes in Tibet; legend has it that if the lake ever disappears, it will mark the end of Tibet. The road descends and follows the shores of the lake for more than 40 miles and then again climbs up to the Karo La pass (16, 500 ft.) before descending into the Gyantse Valley, making it a very scenic drive. You will enjoy splendid views of the Himalayas and the vast Tibetan plateau all along the way to Gyantse. The Gyantse town, unlike Lhasa and Shigatse, still maintains its Tibetan characteristics. Check into the hotel and take the rest of the day for your leisure.

Overnight: Gyantse Yeti Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 07~Continue our journey to Shigatse
(Altitude 12,785 ft., 57miles, 2 ½ hrs. drive).

After breakfast, you will visit the Pelkor Chode and the Kumbum Monastery which are the highlights of Gyantse City. The Kumbum Stupa is a landmark of Gyantse and it can be spotted from very far away. If you are a hiking enthusiast, you may also attempt a hike the historical fortress of Gyantse. Views from the fortress overlooking the city just superb. From Gyantse, it's less than a 2 hrs. drive to Shigatse, which is the second largest city of Tibet. About 20 km before Shigatse, you will take a 4 km side trip of Shalu Monastery. It is the first of the major Monasteries to be built by noble families of the Tsang Dynasty during Tibet's great revival of Buddhism, as well as an important center of the Sakya tradition. Upon arrival in Shigatse, check into the hotel and later take a relaxing walk through Shigatse's Flea market. It is a nice place to buy Tibetan souvenirs at a bargain.

Overnight: Shigatse Gesar Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 08~Return drive to Lhasa via the northern Friendship Highway
(186miles, 7 hrs.)

After breakfast, check out of the hotel to visit the famous Tashilunbo Monastery before hitting the highway for the journey back to Lhasa. The Tashilunbo Monastery is the principal seat of Panchen Lama who was the second most venerated religious leader of Tibet and also one of the 6 major Gelugpa Monasteries of Tibet. For the return journey, you will take the southern friendship highway that runs along the Yarlung Tsambo River. The road is rough and there is a lot of rehabilitation work going on. If time permits, and you are interested, you can stop by the Yundrungling Monastery in Tradruk. Upon arrival in Lhasa, check into the hotel and take the rest of the day for your leisure.

Overnight: Dekhang Hotel
Meals : Breakfast
Day 09~Depart Lhasa

Transfer to the Gonggar airport for your flight to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis.
  • Daily Breakfast at your hotel.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private van or bus.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • English speaking local Tibet guide.
  • Tibet Travel Permit.

Trip does not include

  • International and internal air fare.
  • Airport Taxes.
  • Chinese visa fee.
  • Lunch and dinner except as indicated.
  • Drinks, tip and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Travel & Health Insurance.
  • All extra expenses caused due to nature or unforeseen events.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Optional tipping to local staffs, hotels etc.
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone etc.).

Chinese visa and permits

Remaining validity of your passport must be minimum 6 months after your trip. Make sure you have enough blank visa pages for visa sticker, entry and departure seals.

Traveling via mainland China

Apply Chinese visa in your country and provide us a copy of the visa and photo page of the passport minimum 45 days prior your trip date. For some good reason, DO NOT disclose your Tibet intention otherwise visa procedure becomes tedious. We will obtain your Tibet entry permit at Lhasa and will ship it to your address (e.g. hotel) at the gateway city in China. Tibetan tourism does not allow shipping permits to the foreign address. You will need to present the original permit to get on the flight to Lhasa. Besides Entry Permit, there will be a few other permits that your Guide will be holding for you.

Traveling via Kathmandu, Nepal

If you are traveling to Tibet via Kathmandu, Nepal, you don’t need to do anything at your end. In this case, the Tibet Tourism regulation requires that we apply your Chinese visa in Kathmandu. We will obtain Visa Invitation Letter for you from Tibetan Tourism Bureau at Lhasa and submit this document with your passport and completed visa application forms at Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. Chinese embassy accepts visa application only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Regular processing takes 3 business days but we can obtain the visa and passport back the same day evening by paying urgent processing fee. While this sounds complicated, we will take care of all these process, leaving you free for sightseeing. Please bring one passport size photo.

Accommodations and facilities

The hotels in this trip are four star properties in Lhasa, Tsedang and Shigatse and three star in Gyantse by local standard. Please, do not compare them with the western hotels of the same rating. All hotels provide en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. Hospitality industry in Tibet is still underway and so Tibetan hotels do not meet western standard. Power outage is common problem in Tibet and if that happens, it may disrupt the supply of hot water.

Food

Tour cost includes breakfast only. Hotel restaurants cater Chinese, Tibetan, Indian, Nepali and western style breakfasts. Lunch and dinners are not included and so you should allow US$ 8-9 per meal in regular tourist standard restaurants and few dollars more if you eat in your hotels. We can arrange set meals for groups on your request. Restaurants in town cater wide ranges of Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian and Western dishes. You may want to bring some extra foods like dry fruits, chocolates, energy bars, vitamin supplements etc.

Transportation

Tibetan roads are now greatly improved and so 4WD vehicles are no longer required for most of the trips in central Tibet. We provide air-conditioned van and buses for all transfers and tours. Drivers speak little or no English.

Guide

You will be accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable English speaking local Tibetan Guide throughout the tour. Besides, leading you on sightseeing excursions, your guide helps you check in hotel and buy admission tickets in the monasteries and deals with check posts and bureaucracies. Guide and driver are different persons.

Health concerns

There is no mandatory vaccination required to travel to Tibet but you may consider vaccination against rabies and Hep A. Travelers with cardiac-pulmonary issues or any other medical conditions are recommended to consult their physician. The main health consideration in Tibet is altitude related illness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and sleeplessness, but these should lessen within a few days. A supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times should it be required. Hotels in Lhasa are equipped with oxygen. Doctors will also be available on call.

It's strongly recommended that you start some physical exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking and aerobics about several weeks ahead of the trip that helps you keep fit and lessen the chance of getting altitude sickness. You should have a good sleep the night before you fly in to Lhasa and take complete rest on the first day. It's also advisable to drink 3-4 liters of water daily and consume liquid food.

Note on Itinerary

Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Booking and Cancellation

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. The internal flights are the key factor in determining whether your trip can be realized or not. A deposit of US$200 on land plus the cost of internal airfares is requested along with complete trip application form and passport copies.

Balance Payment

Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date. If balance of payment is not received by the requested date, we reserve the right to cancel your booking without prior notice

Cancellations

  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.

Accomodation

Tsedang Hotel, Tsedang (4*)

Dekhang Hotel (3*)

Gyantse Hotel, Gyantse (3*)

Van Ray Hotel, Shigatse (4*)

Note: Hotel ratings are as classified by local authorities. Hotels are subject to change.

Review

  • There is no any review on this trip.
Write Review

Quick Inquiry Form

If you have any quick questions about this trip, please submit this form and you will get our response within 24 business hours.

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input

Any Question? Feel free to call our travel experts.

1 866 838 5818
(Toll Free from USA & Canada)

612 605 4428 (t)

Quick Inquiry

If you have any quick questions about this trip, please submit this form and you will get our response within 24 business hours.

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Bottom Logo

(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

United States

8030 Old Cedar Ave S, Suite 123
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137

Nepal

Kapoordhara, Samakhusi, Kathmandu
Tel (977 1) 4351780, 4381823
Fax +977-1-4381369

Bhutan

KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
Fax (+975) 2 337004

Tibet

B5-1-2, B3 dong, Renchen garden,
No 13 Jiangsu road Lhasa Tibet China.
Tel: +86-(891)-6836609,
Fax: +86-(891)-6836619


Far & High is member of

ASTA TOP NTA Midwest Bbb ccra True

Toll Free

1 866 838 5818

(USA & Canada Only)

Connect with us @

Facebook Twitter Google Plus

We Accept

Card