Shoton Festival Tour

9 Days
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Tibet Shambhala Adventure is a local Tibetan owned Tibet travel agency who organizes the best Tibet festival tours including Shoton festival tour. Shoton Festival is one of the grandest traditional festivals in Tibet. In local language, Sho refers to yogurt and Don means banquet and eating. Therefore, Shoton Festival is namely a feast day to have yogurt.

In truth, this Shoton festival 'yogurt festival' was originally an utterly religious event, starting in mid-11th century. At that time, people sacrifice yogurt to monasteries. Since late 17th century, it had become an important festival with Tibetan opera and Thangka unfolding ceremony, backed up by entertainment and religion activities. Since it was hosted by Lhasa government, it has changed into a famous celebration combining tradition and modernization. Having a Shoton festival tour around Lhasa during this period of time is the best.

Although Shoton Festival is held in every late sixth month or early 7th month of Tibetan calendar, appointed Tibetan opera parties from different parts has get ready for the big day in a month advance. The opening ceremony will begin on 30th of 6th month of Tibetan calcendar which usually is held in August or Beginning of September according to western calendar. Norbulingka in west outskirt of Lhasa is the central venue for the celebration, which used to be the summer palace of Dalai Lama. In these most energetic days, Lhasa's hustle and bustle are wholly moved the green forest around Norbulingka.

On the first day of Shoton festival, a giant silk appliqué Thangka is displayed on the hill side of Drepung monastery in the early morning and another huge silk applique Thangka is also displayed on the back hill side of Sera monastery. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists gather in both monasteries in order to get blessing from the sacred Thangka images.During your Shoton festival tour, you will extremely beautiful Tibetan traditional activities including Tibetan opera, monks ceremony inside the monasteries, picnic party in Norbu Lingka, the summer Palace of the Dalai Lama and different costumes from different regions of Tibet.

During your Shoton festival tour, you will see a lot of different Tibetan opera performances. Tibetan Opera is another big draw which is to be carried on since the second day of the festival from eleven o'clock in the morning until dark. Shows can be admired in Norbulingka and LuKang (Dragon King Pond), Park behind the Potala Palace. The local Tibetans sit on mat with families and friends, drink butter tea and Barley beer (Chang in Tibetan ) , taste dessert and watch the opera while waving the prayer wheel or finger the rosary in hand. During the period, different schools of Tibetan opera will compete with each other, and teams from Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan will come to the holy Lhasa to improve their skills by exchanges. During 7 days Shoton fesetival, those opera parties will perform in every corner of Lhasa city area which makes the Shoton festival in Lhasa more authentic and meaningful in a Tibetan traditional way.

Days Trip Outline Daily Activity Accommodation Guide & Driver Meal
01 Arrival in Lhasa by train or air and transfer to downtown Lhasa (3650m/45km) Barhmaputra, Kyichu valley, Lhasa city Hotel in Lhasa Local Tibetan BB
02 Sightseeing tour around Lhasa Visit Potala Palace, Jokang temple and Bharkor Bazzar Hotel in Lhasa Local Tibetan BB
03 Sightseeing tour around Lhasa and Shoton Festival Walking to Drepung monastery-Visit Thangka display in Drepung and Sera monasteries Hotel in Lhasa Local Tibetan BB
04 Sightseeing tour around Lhasa and Shoton Festival Visit Norbu Lingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama-visit local Tibetan's picnic party-Tibetan opera in Norbu Lingka and Lukang temple Hotel in Lhasa Local Tibetan BB
05 Lhasa to Tsetang (3600m/180km) Barhmaputra-Visit Samye monastery-Yumbu Lhakang-Traduk temple Hotel in Tsetang Local Tibetan BB
06 Tsetang to Gyantse (3950m/340km) Visit Yamdrok lake-Nojing Kangsang snow mountain-karola glacier-Gyantse Hotel in Gyantse Local Tibetan BB
07 Gyantse to Shigatse (3900m/90km) Visit Palchoe monastery-Kubum Pagoda stupa-Tashi Lhunpo monastery Hotel in Shigatse Local Tibetan BB
08 Shigatse to Lhasa (3650m/280km) Barhmaputra-Nyemo county-Kyichu valley-Lhasa Hotel in Lhasa Local Tibetan BB
09 Drive to Lhasa airport (3600m/45km) Holy Lhasa city-Kyichu valley-Lhasa airport

Inclusive

  • Accommodation as mentioned in the Tibet trek program on twin sharing basis
  • All necessary Tibet entry and road permits
  • Transportation by good conditioned mini van
  • All entry fees to the sites and monasteries
  • Yamdrok lake conservation fee
  • Karola glacier conservation fee
  • Breakfast for entire Tibet tour
  • Oxygen in the vehicle incase needed.

Exclusive

  • Both international and domestic flight/train tickets. (Note: We can help you to book your flight or train tickets, especially domestic ones)
  • Lunch and Dinner in the hotels
  • China Tibet visa fee
  • Service of Nepal and mainland China side
  • Tips for the staff
  • Travel insurance inclduing trip cancellation, medical and emergency evacuation
  • Expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.)
  • Any extra cost in the event of landslides or any other personal nature expenses that are not mentione above
  • Day 01 Arrival at Lhasa Gongkar airport and transfer to Lhasa (3650Mts/ 45Km ) Hotel on B.B

    You will be warmly welcomed by our Tibetan guide and driver and accompany you to the holy city of Lhasa.

  • Day 02 Sight seeing Lhasa, Potala Palace, Jokang temple and Bharkor. Hotel on B.B

    After Breakfast, you will start from the hotel and drive towards Potala square. Leave the car behind and must be ready and take your challenge to climb more than hundred steps of the Potala Palance. The Potala Palace was originally built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo but the one to the present size was expended by the 5th Dalaia Lama. It has thirteen storey’s high with more than a thousand rooms and divided with White and Red Palace. After the sightseeing of the Potala Palace, walk around the Potala Palace with pilgrimages and you can experience the ancient tradition of Tibetans, walking around Potala, praying matras. The Kora takes you around 40 minutes. It is also good to acclimatize to the high altitude. After lunch, you will visit Jokang temple. Jokang temple is the oldest temple of Tibet which was built by King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century and it is housed to the most sacred statue of Bhudha Shakyamuni brought from mainland China by the princess Wangchen of the Tang court. Walking around the Bharkor is another interesting thing during your tour in lhasa. You will meet many different people in Bharkor.

  • Day 03 Sight seeing around Lhasa, Visit Thangka display in Drepung and Sera monasteries. Hotel on B.B

    Early morning, start from your hotel and drive to the foot of Drepung hill for 8km and then walk in the pilgrim que which might take an hour to reach where the Thangka displays eventhough it is just around one km distance. Enjoy taking photos of the pilgrims from different regions of Tibet and visit the Giant Thangka of Buddha Shakyamuni which can be displayed once in a year to the public. After Drepung monastery's festival show, you will continue to Sera monastery for 8km and visit another Giant Buddha Thangka with thousands of pilgrims together. Have late lunch and walk around the Bharkor and rest in the late afternoon.

  • Day 04 Sightseeing around Lhasa and Shoton festival. Hotel on B.B

    Morning drive to Norbu Lingka which is just 4km from your hotel. Visit Norbu Lingka which is the summer palace of the successive Dalai Lamas. You will see an extremely beautiful Tibetan painting which describes the life story of the Buddha Shakyamuni and Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelukpa school. Visit picnic party of locals gathering and Tibetan opera in the summer Palace. Have lunch and then visit Lukang temple behind the Potala Palace and visit Tibetan traditional opera performances. Enjoy a great day with full of local Tibetans, wearing in Tibetan traditional dress and having different kinds of opera performances.

  • Day 05 Drive from Lhasa-Samye monastery-Tsetang.(3600Mts/ 160Km ) Hotel on B.B

    You will start your tour at 8Am and drive along the Lhasa river where it joins the Bharmaputra river at Chushur bridge. You will leave your vehicle at Samye ferry and take a motor boat to Samye monastery by crossing the Bharmaputra river which takes an hour to get to the other side river and then we will take monastery bus or truck to which takes half an hour to get to Samye monastery. After the Samye monastery sightseeing, you will have lunch in the monastery restaurant and then continue your journey back to ferry side and get to Tsetang after half an hour drive. We will directly drive to Yumbu Lhakang which is 30Km outside of Tsetang town. Visit Yumbu Lhakang and Traduk temple on the way back.

  • Day 06 Drive from Tsetang to Gyantse.(3950Mts/ 360Km ) Hotel on B.B

    You will start your tour at around 8.30Am from your hotel and then drive towards Gyangtse through 3 big mountain passes, Kampa La, Karo La, Simila respectively. Karola is the highest pass among them which is over 5000Mts with it's most beautiful glaciers, beautiful Yamdrok lake emerged as coral color from the top of Kampala pass. You will have your lunch at Nakartse country which is just between the Yamdrok lake and Karola glaciers.

  • Day 07 Drive from Gyangtse to Shigatse. (3900mts/ 90Km ) Hotel on B.B

    You will start your tour at around 9Am from your hotel and then drive towards Palchoe monastery for a few minutes. Visit Palchoe monastery and Kubum Pagoda stupa. After the sightseeing, You will have your lunch and then continue your journey to Shigatse by passing one of the biggest farming land in Tibet where people grow barley, wheat, different kinds of vegetables. Pm visit Tashi Lhunpo monastery and old market of Shigatse.

  • Day 08 Drive from Shigatse to Lhasa (3650Mts/ 280KM ) Hotel on B.B

    You will start your tour at around 9.30Am from your hotel and drive along the Bharmaputra river with a landscape of sandy hills, villages, and Rulak Yungdrung ling at the otherside of the river. You will have lunch in a small town called Nyenmo which is the border point between Shigatse and Lhasa . Free afternoon for shopping.

  • Day 09 Drive from Lhasa to Lhasa Gongkar airport.(3600Mts/ 60Km ) End the trip

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Note: Contact us if the departure dates doesn't suit you. We can also arrange you a personalized trek according to your convenience. For more details, Contact Us

Inclusive

  • Accommodation as mentioned in the Tibet trek program on twin sharing basis
  • All necessary Tibet entry and road permits
  • Transportation by good conditioned mini van
  • All entry fees to the sites and monasteries
  • Yamdrok lake conservation fee
  • Karola glacier conservation fee
  • Breakfast for entire Tibet tour
  • Oxygen in the vehicle incase needed.

Exclusive

  • Both international and domestic flight/train tickets. (Note: We can help you to book your flight or train tickets, especially domestic ones)
  • Lunch and Dinner in the hotels
  • China Tibet visa fee
  • Service of Nepal and mainland China side
  • Tips for the staff
  • Travel insurance inclduing trip cancellation, medical and emergency evacuation
  • Expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.)
  • Any extra cost in the event of landslides or any other personal nature expenses that are not mentione above

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