Shoton Festival in Lhasa with Mt. Everest 9 DAYS

    Shoton is a transliteration of two words in the Tibetan language which means "the Yoghurt (Sho) Banquet (Ton)", so this festival is featuring in eating yogurt, that's why the Shoton Festival is also called the Yoghurt Festival. The history of Shoton Festival can be traced back to the 11th century when the Great Bangladeshi Buddhist Master Atisha was invited to Tibet to revive Buddhism that had been forbidden about two centuries on this highland, during which people suffered a lot from endless conflicts and wars. After decades of Atisha and his disciples' hard work, the Buddhism spirits of charity, forgiveness, love and peace became prevailed again in the society and for this, Atisha won much respect from people too; The Master Atisha likes eating Yoghurt, and the folks would present him with alms of yogurt when summer comes; reciprocally, the Master would pray for them. It is said that the livestock of the folks presenting yogurt to the Master would be free from disease, getting neither lost nor eaten by wild animals, with these known by more and more people, yogurt became a kind of holy food from that time.

    Day 1/23rd, Aug: Arrive in Lhasa

    Arrival in Lhasa, Pick-up from Lhasa train station or airport and then transfer you to the hotel.
    Have a good rest in the hotel to better acclimatize yourself.

    Day 2/24th, Aug: Lhasa

    In the morning, visit the symbol or landmark of Lhasa - Potala Palace, the successive Dalai Lama's winter residence.In the afternoon,visit the center of Tibetan Buddhism - Jorhkang Temple, where you will come across lots of devoted pilgrimages coming from every corner of Tibet. Both sites are under the list of the world cultural heritages by the UNISCO. Visit Barkhore Street.

    Day 3/25th, Aug: Lhasa

    Wake up early, if you like, to experience the most zealous enthusiasm of Tibetan people's faith towards Buddhism, because today is the first day of Shoton Festival, and people will wake up very early to rush to Drepung Monastery in order to get a good position to view Great Buddha exhibition show. In the afternoon, drive you to see Sera monastery, the very exciting Buddhism scripture debating among lamas will go on there in the afternoon.

    Day 4/26th, Aug: Lhasa

    In the moring we will firstly drive to Ganden Monastery that is 65km away from Lhasa city. The monastery is the ancestry monastery for the Gelug sect of the Tibet Buddhism. Now Gelug sect is the most influential sect of Tibet Buddhism. The valley where the monastery located is very beautiful , we will do a short trekking ( 2 hours) there. In the afternoon, we drive to Norbulingka Park to watch the interesting Tibetan Opera Show.

    Day 5/27th, Aug: Lhasa - Gyatse - Shigatse (360km)

    Drive to the historic town of Gyantse via the turquoise Holy Lake of Yamdrok, according to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess; in distance you can also see the snow capped Summit of Ninjingkangsang. In Gyantse, you will find the largest stupa in Tibet - Kumpa Stupa (Ten-thousand stupa), just next to the Stupa is the Pelchor Monastery (Optional). Another important site in Gyantse is Dzong Castle which once was a battle field where Tibetan fought against British invasion.

    Day 6/28th, Aug: Shigatse - Rongbuk Monastery (340km)

    In the morning after breakfast, our guide will go to tourism bureau in Shigatse to apply for PSB permit for Mt. Everest, which will take about 1 hour. After obtaining the permit, we will drive directly towards Mt. Everest. On the top of the Gyalpo-la pass you can see 4 of the highest mountains over 8000 meters (Mt. Everest; Mt. Makalu; Mt. Lotse; Mt. Cho Oyu) in the world at the same time, what a great picture. Before arriving at the EBC, you will first visit the highest monastery in the world - Rongbuk Monastery, which is also a good position to watch the Everest, the sunset view is fantastic when weather is good.

    Day 7/29th, Aug: Rongbuk Monastery - Shigatse (340km)

    Activity today: Wake up early in the morning to view the very fantastic sunrise over the peak of Mt. Everest. After breakfast, you will have opportunity to hike at the EBC to discover the charm of the highest place you may reach through your life, if you think hiking is too tough, you can just take the green bus to the EBC. And we will drive back to Shigatse this night.

    Day 8/30th, Aug: Shigatse - Lhasa (270km)

    In the morning, visit Tashilumo Monastery which is the seat of Panchen Lama, the equally important religious figure in Tibet as Dalai Lama. The monastery was built by the first Dalai Lama in 1447, and inside the Monastery placed the highest statue of Buddha in Tibet which is 26.8 meters high. Afterwards, we will drive back to Lhasa; the free time is on your own.

    Day 9/31st, Aug:Leave Lhasa

    End of the tour. Transfer to the airport or railway station and leave Lhasa.
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