Nagqu Horse Race Festival is the most famous folk festival in Tibet. People gathering in Nagqu Town for horse race festival annually build a tent city. Thousands of herdsmen participate in this thrilling horse race, archery, horsemanship contest. They dress themselves and their horses. They also hold many other commodity fairs. On this trip, you get to immerse yourself in Tibetan traditional culture, religion, and customs, in addition to mind-blowing natural wonders.
The trip takes you from Lhasa to Namtso, Nagqu, and then back to Lhasa. The Lhasa sightseeing tour of two days is for you to get adapt to the high altitude environment and a general understanding of Tibet. After Lhasa, you will head to Namtso Lake, the highest saline water lake in the world. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along with pure blue water. You can also enjoy a relaxing bath on natural hot spring at Yampanchen Hot Spring at Namtso. Finally, you will reach the Nagqu. Here, you can celebrate the Nagqu horse racing festival with local Tibetans.
Tibet tour is accessible all year round. However, the ideal time to visit Tibet is in the spring and autumn season. Winters in Tibet are freezing due to its high altitude environment. So, unless you can handle extreme cold, you can opt-out winter to visit Tibet.
Tibet Travel Permit
You need Tibet Travel Permit to make a tour to Tibet. The cost of the permit is included in the package. You have to send us your passport and China visa copies 20 days in advance. Then we will apply for the permit after you book the tour with us (Only travel agencies can book the Tibet Travel Permit). We will inform you immediately after we get your permit from the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
Tibet is not famous for its 5-star luxury resorts; however, you can find some like St.Regis Lhasa Resort, Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise, Sheraton hotel, etc. in Lhasa. Generally, the accommodation facilities and services in Tibet are not as excellent as those in central parts of China. Though, there are still lots of choices for accommodation in Tibet. So there is no doubt that you will get hotels that will match your interest and budget. We have included cozy and safe hotels in the central area of Lhasa. From the hotel, significant attractions like Jokhang Temple and Barkhor streets are just a few steps away. If you don't like the ones we prepared, you can always choose another of your choice for an additional cost. You can easily experience more of the local life and culture. Generally, as you travel to remote areas in some parts of Shigatse like Tingri, or EBC, Ngari, Nagqu, etc. the accommodation facilities would be fundamental. The foods in these regions are also basic.
When compared to many western toilets, using toilets in Tibet is the most terrible experience. You need to lower your expectations in this part. The train from Tibet to Lhasa contains both western toilet and squat toilets. If you choose hotels above the 3-star category in Lhasa, Shigatse, etc. you will surely get a standard western type toilet. However, if you visit places like Yamdrok or Namtso, EBC outdoor, the bathrooms are very poor. Mostly, you will be using a pit toilet. So, it is better to carry enough toilet paper.
The temperature in Tibet changes dramatically between day and night. The temperature on Lhasa lies between -2degree C to 12degree C in spring, 9degree C to 22degree C in summer, 7degree C to – 19degree C in fall, and -7degree C to – 9degree C in winter. You must carry warm clothes throughout the year when traveling to Tibet.
Carry clothes such as thermal tops, fleece jacket, breathable underwear, down jacket, jeans, beanie, etc. also carry sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses to protect you from great blinding sunlight on the plateau. While traveling in Tibet, do not forget to drink more water and eat more vegetables. It can help to prevent dehydration.
Acclimatization to the High Altitude
It is necessary to get an adequate amount of rest to acclimatize to the high altitude environment for people that are not accustomed to high altitude environment. For a few beginning days of your trip, do not rush to tour the street or attractions on your own. Walk slower, and do not exert yourself by running and jumping. The better way to acclimatize is to spend a couple of days in Lhasa before moving to higher altitude places like Shigatse and Namtso. If you feel any discomfort, tell your guide, and he will help you out.
Other Dos and Don'ts
generally, monasteries forbid taking photos. However, if you want to take pictures of Tibetan pilgrims, it will be nicer to ask for permission, or you can simply do it from a long distance. Tibet restricts swimming and fishing in its holy lakes. According to the policy, international tourists are not allowed to travel alone. Walk clockwise around Barkhor Street; do as much as you can to protect the fragile eco-system in Tibet, etc. Never venture into the unknown trails; As Tibetan Buddhism is deeply-rooted in every phase of Tibetans' life, always respect the unique customs in Tibet. If you are not sure about something, it's advisable to ask your guide before you do it at will.
Enter the outstanding Potala Palace, the winter house of Dalai lama
Join the pilgrims around the shrines of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet
Engage in Kora at Barkhor street
Witness the monk's debate at Sera monastery thrilling Horse Racing Festival in Nagqu Town
Involve in the electrifying Horse Racing Festival in Nagqu Town
- Tibet Entry Permit
- Experienced local driver with a comfortable vehicle depending on your group size
- Entry fees of tourist spots listed in the itinerary
- An experienced, highly professional English speaking guide
- A twin-sharing room (if you want to choose single room supplement, you can do so with an additional cost)
- All meals listed in the itinerary
- Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance
- International flight to and out of China
- Chinese Visa
- Domestic flight or train tickets (If you want domestic tickets, you can book through us, we will manage the best discount price for you)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Tips and gratuities to tour guides and driver
- Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone calls, optional tour activities, and so on
Arrive in Lhasa
You will be starting your Tibet trip with a warm Tibetan greeting from your local tour guide who will present you with Hada (traditional Tibetan scarves). Then, he/she will escort you to your hotel in Lhasa city on a private vehicle. You will be moving through the Kyichu River. Along the route, you can get the views of Tibetan homes and their trapezoid-shaped windows and fluttering prayer flags, Tibetans walking beside the road in their unique national costumes. After you arrive at your hotel, check into the hotel and relax. If you like, you can go for sightseeing in the city. You can visit the famous Potala Palace, the winter home of the Dalai Lama. The palace sits imposingly on a hill dominating over Lhasa. We recommend you to get enough rest, as Lhasa lies in high altitude, and it can be tough for newcomers to handle the environment. It will help to take things easy for the first few days.
Lhasa sightseeing tour
After relishing the mouth-watering breakfast in the hotel, we begin our sightseeing tour. Firstly, we will visit the Potala Palace, a golden feather on the roof of the world. Tibetans proudly call this palace to be a significant miracle since the creation of the world. The palace is visible from any distance, with the golden roof shining in the sun. We will spend about an hour wandering inside this majestic building, exploring rooms previously used by the Dalai Lama and many Buddhist icons. In the afternoon, go for a tour to Jokhang Temple. The Jokhang temple has lots of small temples within it dedicated to enlightened beings, protectors, high lamas, or saints. You will notice paintings and sculptures everywhere. There are paintings of images of clouds, creatures, mandalas, or decorative patterns in every inch of the wall.
They have hung colorful silk banners in various places of the temple. Pattern, color, and images crowd in around you. The central image in the building is a 30-foot high golden image of Maitreya Buddha. After Jokhang, we visit the Barkhor area of Old Lhasa. You will see hordes of pilgrims doing Kora in the Barkor street. The street is full of yak butter and incense' smell. If we have enough time, we can also visit Tibetan Handicraft Art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine Center.
Drepung and Sera Monastery
In the morning, we visit the Drepung monastery. Drepung monastery is one of the great three monasteries of Tibet. The monastery house over 10thousand monks. This white monastery gives the appearance of a heap of rice when viewed from a distance. Thus, the name of the monastery means the "Monastery of Collecting Rice" in the Tibetan language.
We will spend the afternoon touring around the Sera monastery. By taking a little hike, we get beautiful scenery where we can stop for a picnic. Afterward, we visit the Sera Monastery, built in 1419, and is an essential Buddhist seminary since then. There are rose planted everywhere in the monastery, so it is also famous as "the court of wild rose." Even today, more than 200 lamas live here. Here, we can enjoy the renowned monk's debate that lasts for about a couple of hours;3-5 in the afternoon.
Drive from Lhasa to Namtso
This morning, we make a trip to Namtso. We move past the Damxung town and the Lhachel La at the altitude of 5150 meters to reach the Nam Tso along the recently paved way. Today, we set up camp at the Tashi Dorie peninsula. If the weather is clear, you can see the miraculous shade of turquoise in the water, and also some magnificent views of the nearby mountains. We can get a spellbinding view of the sunset over the lake. You can also get the view of majestic Nyainchentangula from the lake. There is a belief that the holy lake and the mountain are lovers who guard the vast pasture and cattle together. If you are lucky, you might see the lifestyle of nomads at the Changtang, Tibet's enormous northern plateau. You may have the opportunity to stop at the brown or black spider-like tents of nomads.
Drive to Nagqu
Enjoying the beautiful lake in the morning and getting a glimpse of sunrise over this turquoise lake, we start our trip. We will hike along the lakeshore to the Tashi Dor Island to explore the meditation caves. In the afternoon, we drive towards the Nagqu town. Nagqu town lies by the Qinghai-Tibetan Highway, which is a political, business, cultural center of northern Tibet. The annual horse racing festival held in the city is a glimpse of highland culture and folklore activities, which is the most famous folk festival in Tibet.
Horse Racing Festival
Today, you will join the Horse Racing Festival with the locals. Tens of thousands of herders attend this festival. Herders come by riding their herds from as far as hundreds of kilometers away. Thousands of herdsmen participate in the thrilling horse race, horsemanship, and archery contest while dressing themselves and their horses. There we also are other commodity fairs here.
Drive back to Lhasa
After enjoying the festival, we return to Lhasa
Day Eight :
Today, our airport representative will drive you to the airport at the time of your scheduled flight.