Held around the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, the annual Shangri-La Horse Racing Festival is one of the most looked forward to festivals celebrating the Tibetan culture in SW China. The festival includes not just a sporting competition showcasing expert horsemanship, but also attracts colourful ethnic groups from near and far in their most elaborate costumes to sing and dance almost non-stop for 3 days and 3 nights.
Organized as a 3-4 day trip
June 8: Lijiang – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-La, visiting Little Zhongdian (Rhododendrons should be in bloom at that time!)
June 9: Visit Songtsam Monastery (also known as Little Potala Palace) – Then attend the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Shangri-La Horse Race – Visit Dukezong Old Town in the evening for dinner and to spin the World’s Giant Prayer Wheel
June 10: Attend the horse races in the morning – In the afternoon, visit China’s first National Park, Pudacuo NP to view the rhododendrons in bloom – In the evening, attend a Tibetan Performance (Song of Shangri-La)
June 11: Visit Napa Lake in the morning, followed by a breakfast visit to a real Tibetan house where you can see how they make Yak Butter Tea. Return to Lijiang in the afternoon.