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Shaman Festival & Yushu Horse Race Festival

Shaman Festival & Yushu Horse Race Festival
• Tour Code: GTT11
• Starting from: USD1928 per person
• Trip Duration: 14 Days
• Departure Dates: July 18, 2016
• Features: Private guide & vehicle
• Starts from: Beijing
• Departs from: Xining
• Destinations: Beijing, Lanzhou, Xiahe, Repkong, Yushu, Xining
  • 2014 Shaman Festival & Yushu  Horse Race Festival Tour
    Destinations: Beijing, Lanzhou, Xiahe, Tongren, Xinghai, Yushu, Xining
    Time of Traveling: July 17 to July 30, 2016
    Tour Introduction
    The Tibetans are known for their strong will for happy life. Traditionally mental cultivation is more important than material wealth. Their happy life can be depicted by a series of festivals associated with Buddhism, legends, bumper harvests and love. They include horse races and the Shaman Festival at Repkong. When these festivals are held on emerald grasslands under blue sky dotted with white clouds, flowers are in full blossom. Nomadic herders gather from all sides. They put up tents. They sing, dance and drink highland barley wine for days running with snow-capped mountains skirted by pure rivers in the distance. Putting on their best clothes, girls adorn themselves with priceless jewels, while the enigmatic smiles on their ruddy faces hint at secret thoughts. 
    Shaman Festival is celebrated by the Tibetans living in the villages of Tongren County to show their devotion and gratitude to the Mountain God. It is presided over by the village's local shaman. During the festival, the villagers dress up in their holiday best. Females are done up in ornate, dazzlingly embroidered holiday costumes, which are adorned with gems. They assemble at the Temple of the Mountain God, singing and dancing to entertain the Mountain God. Ceremonies and activities include ritual dances, the beating of holy drums, the singing of folk songs, and shaman going into trances. We will see the ritual piercing of cheeks of all the young men in the village, the men dancing a drum dance with pierced backs, and the shaman in trance climbing the dragon pole then cutting his forehead with a knife. 
    The Annual Yushu Horse-racing festival is held from July 25th to August first on grassland not far from Yushu on which hundreds of tents are spread and the place is like a tent city. This Yushu horse-racing festival tour will take us to experience the unique way of Tibetan life. We can enjoy Tibetan songs, Tibetan dances, appreciate Tibetan clothing and adornment show and horse-racing, yak-racing and so on. 
    Day 1, July 17: Arrival in Beijing
    Meals Included: No meals
    Our GCT representative will meet you at the airport and assists you to your hotel. Relax during the remainder of the afternoon and evening to recover from the jet lag. 
    Day 2, July 18: Fly to Lanzhou, Gansu Provincial Museum, Yellow River Water Wheel Park
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    Fly to Lanzhou in the morning. We will visit Gansu Provincial Museum upon arrival. Gansu is an important part of ancient Silk Road. The Themed Exhibition of Silk Road is one of highlights of the museum. There are more than 140,000 collections in this museum, which mainly classified into historical cultural relics, specifically the colored pottery made in Neolithic Period, bronze-wares, wooden-wares, textiles, Buddha stone sculptures, Buddhist Stone Carvings and rare sutras. Besides, a massive of ancient treasured porcelains, classic Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphic masterpieces are also spotlighted in display. The world-famous bronze Galloping Horse's Hoof Stepped on a Flying Swallow, also named as Galloping Horse, is a treasure of Gansu Provincial Museum. Excavated in 1969 in Wuwei County of Gansu Province, the galloping horse is honored as the mysterious and rare treasure in the history of Chinese ancient sculpture art. Later we will visit the Yellow River water wheel park. 
    Day 3, July 19: Drive to Xiahe, Liujiaxia Reservoir, Binglingsi Grottoes
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    After breakfast at hotel we will drive to Liujiaxia Reservoir which used to be the largest hydro power station in 1970's in China where we will board a boat for about 2 hours cruise on the Yellow River to reach the Buddhist Binglingsi Grotto. Meaning "thousand Buddha" or "ten-thousand Buddha" in the Tibetan language, the Bingling Grottoes were carved into the cliffs of red sand-stones of Dasigou (valley) in the Western Qin Dynasty, and continuously went on expansion on a massive scale through the dynasties of Northern and Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Shui, Tang, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. We will continue our trip to Xiah
    Day 4, July 20: Xiahe, Labrang Monastery, Drive to Tongren
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    We will visit Labrang Monastery in the morning. The Labrang Monastery is one of the six great monasteries of the Gelukpa (Yellow Hat) Sect and it is home to the largest number of monks outside of Tibet Autonomous Region. The monastery was founded in 1709 by the monk E'Ang Zonghe, the first generation living Buddha. It is Tibetan Buddhism's most important monastery town outside Tibet. Labrang Monastery used to be one of the largest Buddhist monastic universities. In the early 20th century, it housed several thousand monks. The white walls and golden roofs feature a blend of Tibetan and Han architectural styles. The monastery contains 18 halls, six institutes of learning, a golden stupa, a sutra debate area, and houses nearly 60,000 sutras. After lunch we will drive to Tongren through the picturesque Tibetan grassland where sheep and yaks are dotted here and there under the blue sky and along breathtaking loess plateau landscape. 
    Day 5, July 21: Tongren, Shaman Festival
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    We will drive to village of Lower Tutun to join the locals for the Shaman Festival. There are numerous ceremonies and activities including ritual dances, the beating of holy drums, the singing of folk songs, and shaman going into trances. We will see the ritual piercing of cheeks of the brave young men in the village, the men dancing a drum dance with pierced backs, and the shaman in trance climbing the dragon pole then cutting his forehead with a knife.
    Day 6, July 22: Tongren, Longwu Monastery, Wutun Monastery
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    In the 15-16 century, the Tibetan Buddhism of Gelukpa Sect (Yellow Sect) came into Repkong. Repkong is famous for the Tibetan Buddhist arts. The Repkong art mainly includes colored paintings, colored sculptures, designs, yak butter sculptures, embossed embroideries, wood inscription and decorations in architecture. Among these, paintings, sculptures and designs are most famous. In the morning we will visit Longwu Monastery of Gelukpa sect which was initially constructed in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) as a monastery of Sakya-sect. After lunch we will visit the Wutun Monastery and Thangka Painting Center. The two Wutun Monasteries (upper and lower Wutun Monasteries) are famous throughout Tibet for its beautiful artwork of Buddhist art of Thangka. Upper Wutun Monastery is magnificently decorated, and the surface of the entire assembly hall has been carved and painted with traditional Regong designs. Lower Wutun Monastery boasts a much livelier monastery as the location for ceremonies and festivities that draw crowds of local worshippers.
    Day 7, July 23: Drive to Xinghai
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    Today we will drive for 250 miles to Xinghai and check into Xinghai hotel.
    Day 8, July 24: Drive to Yushu
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant 
    Drive for 370 miles to Yushu. The driving is very exciting as we pass by different landscapes which present us an amazing picture: Under the blue sky dotted with white clouds, we will see different type of flock of yak and sheep, nomads black and white tents, the colorful dressed Golok and Khampa people which brings us back to the nature.
    Day 9, July 25, Yushu, Horse Race Festival
    Day 10, July 26, Yushu, Horse Race Festival
    Day 11, July 27, Yushu, Horse Race Festival
    Meals Included: Breakfast & lunch 
    The local people honored Yushu as small Lhasa and more than 90% of people here is Tibetan Khampa people, one of the four Tibetan main tribes. They are strong and wild but honest and former fierce warriors of Tibet. Many Yushu (Sakyapa in Tibetan) monasteries are concentrated here with different architecture. The grand opening ceremony for the horse race Festival will take place on grassland on the 25th of each July. All Tibetans will be dressed in colorful costumes, wearing their best jewelry and ornaments. There will be horseracing, wrestling, and archery tournament, all by the nomadic people. This goes on for three days. We will be invited to private home to sample their food and watch their highly skillful textile handicraft performance. We will spend three days here to join local Tibetans for their horse race festival and many of their celebrations.
    Day 12, July 28: Drive to Qinghai Lake (Kokonor Lake)
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant 
    Drive for 420 miles to Lake Kokonor which is the biggest holy lake in Tibet and largest salt lake in China, covering an area of 1800 Square miles. The elevation here is 9950 feet and is called Kokonor in Mongolian and Tso Ngonpo in Tibetan which mean Blue Lake. The beauty of this lake lies in its salty vastness and the remote peace that it instills. The colors of the lake are of purity and contrast, from the deep yellows of rape seed flowers against the cold blue of the lake to the dark greens of distant mountains against the fluffy white of bilious clouds.
    Day 13, July 29: Drive to Xining, Kumbum Monastery
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant
    Drive for 95 miles to Xining which is the capital city of Qinghai Province and its elevation is 6600 feet. Xining is literally translated Western Peace. It has long been on the fringes of the western Chinese empire, probably established around the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), and it remained an important trading post in the area, mainly for goods to and from Tibet and China. We will visit the Kumbum Monastery in the afternoon. Kumbum monastery is one of the six most important Gelukpa (Yellow Sect) monasteries in Tibet. It was built in 1560 by 3rd Dalai Lama and is the birthplace of Gelukpas founder, Tsongkhapa. His disciples later on became the ancestors of the Living Buddha system, Dalai Lama and Panchan Lama. Three wonders of Tibetan art works; Butter Sculpture, Frescos and Appliqu are famous of this monastery.
    Day 14, July 30: Transfer to Xining Airport, Tour Ends at Xining Airport
    Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel
    Transfer to Xining airport after breakfast at hotel. Tour ends at Xining airport. 
    Important Notice: The Yushu Horse Racing Festival is taking place every year from July 25th to Aug 01.
  • 2014 Shaman Festival & Yushu  Horse Race Festival Tour
    2 pax: double occupancy, USD2308pp; single occupancy USD2538
    3-5pax: double occupancy, USD2168pp; single occupancy USD2438
    6-9pax: double occupancy, USD2028pp; single occupancy USD2338
    Over 10pax: double occupancy USD1928pp; single occupancy USD2238
    Booking Notice
    Tour starts in Beijing
    Tour ends in Xining
    Tour Feature: Exclusive private tour (with private guide and private vehicle)
    Departure Dates: July 17, 2014
    Minimum of two persons are required at the time of booking
    Pricing Policy
    The prices are based on per person, twin sharing basis
    Infants (under 2 years of age) traveling with parents: free of charge
    Child (2 -12 years of age) sharing a bed: 80% of the adult price
    Child (2 -12 years of age) sharing no bed: 60% of the adult price
    Tour Price Inclusions
    Hotel accommodations with daily Buffet Breakfast at hotel
    Domestic flight with tax included: Beijing/Lanzhou
    Meals as specified (B for breakfast, L for lunch and D for dinner at local restaurants)
    Private air-conditioned car/van/coach for land transportation
    Experienced English language speaking tour guide
    All admission tickets to sightseeing places
    All government taxes
    Tour Price Exclusions
    Optional tour & Insurance
    International airfare to Beijing and departing from Xining
    Gratuities to GCT service staffs (please refer to Travel Information)
    Expenditure of a personal nature, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, etc
    For reservation, please send an email to Please inform us: the tour code; the number of travelers; your name as appeared in passport; your passport number; the date of arrival in China and your international flight number. For details of payment, please read our Terms & Conditions.
  • City Inn Happy Valley Beijing
    Add: North Xiaowuji Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
    Tel: +86-10-67376688
    City Inn Happy Valley Beijing is a chain of fine business hotel brand developed by the OCT IHMC, located in the center of Beijing City that gives traveler the great location for business and financial purposes. The hotel is also easily reachable the city’s major shopping area and famous attractions. The hotel has an excellent location which is 18km to Beijing Railway Station, and 30km to Beijing Capital Airport. The hotel offers 224 rooms that have contemporary interiors and diverse room types. It offers the ideal setting for conferences, meetings, special events, business trips, and the Internet access helps guests keeping in touch with their friends and family when traveling in Beijing. Free broad video and self-help laundry house are available for guests. Restaurants, Bars, Sauna, Foot Massage, Beauty Salon, Supermarket, Banks, and Hospital are all around the hotel. An attentive and professional staff is always pleased to provide you all the necessary information for your successful Beijing travel.
    Gansu International Hotel, Lanzhou
    Add: No. 324 Qingyang Road, Lanzhou
    Tel: +86-931-8457188
    Gansu International Hotel is located at the City Center of Lanzhou, adjacent to the Baisheng Shopping Center. This hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Lanzhou. The Gansu International Hotel is only a 15-minute drive from the train station and 90-minute drive from the airport. The Gansu International Hotel offers 348 well-appointed guestrooms with IDD/DDD phone, free broadband internet access, mini-bar and refrigerator and so on. The Chinese restaurant serves Sichuan, Cantonese and Northwest Chinese style cuisines. There is also a Western restaurant in the lobby that opens 24 hours a day. Other facilities include multifunctional meeting rooms, beauty salon and fitness center.
    Xiahe Labrang Wangfu Hotel
    Add: No. 9 Renmin East Road, Xiahe
    Tel: +86-941-7121186
    Xiahe Labrang Wangfu hotel is a 3-star hotel situated in the center of Xiahe county. It is within proximity to the local bus station and the famous Labrang Monastery is only 1 km away. Decorated with a rich Tibetan ethnic minority style, Xiahe Wangfu Hotel houses various rooms equipped with all standard facilities. Other facilities include a Chinese restaurant, a tea house and two multimedia meeting rooms. Basic rooms offer all necessary comforts and make your stay a pleasant one. On demand wake-up calls are available. Free Wi-Fi access is provided in the public areas.
    Qinghai Lake Hotel
    Add: Near the 151 National Highway, Qinghai Lake, Qinghai
    Located near the Qinghai Lake, the Qinghai Lake Hotel is an ideal place for travelers to rest. There are 103 guest rooms provided all year round for travelers worldwide. The rooms are very spacious. Travelers can taste delicious local foods in hotel restaurants.
    Xining Hotel
    Add: No.348 Qiyi Road, Xining
    Tel: +86-971-8461000
    Qinghai Xining Hotel is located in the city center. Established more than 50 years ago, the hotel has won great reputations for its good services and facilities. It offers 320 rooms and suites in the main buildings. All rooms have free Internet. The meeting rooms can hold up to 1,000 persons for various-sized conferences. The hotel restaurant serves Chinese, western and Islamic cuisines.
    Note: GCT is using above mentioned hotels for our regular tour packages. Shall you have special request for staying at hotels of your choice or hotels located at a specific area, please feel free to contact our professional tour consultant at

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We have returned safe, sound and very pleased. This is just a brief note to thank you for your hospitality, care and attention for details. We were a bit anxious before starting this tour but thanks to your organizing skills we have returned with great bundles of very happy memories. Your guides are all wonderfully dedicated individuals. They made our stay and movements easy, enjoyable and educational.

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