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 Ganden - Samye Trek

Ganden-Samye Trek Combines the splendor and history of Tibet's most important temples & palaces with a glimpse of nomadic & village life and spectacular scenery. This 5-6 days trek begins from the ruins of the great monastery of Ganden head for the high valleys. You will cross the steep Shugar la pass (5250m) and Chitul la pass (5210m). You will witness the high alpine green valley with nomads’ families dwelling in their black tents and tending their herds on the grassland. The scenery is spectacular and herders are often camped beside the small lakes and streams, their herds of sheep, yak and goats scattered across the high pastures. The trek rings you to Same, on the banks of the Yarlung Tsangpo, is Tibet's oldest monastery and one of its most beautiful.The trekking will finish with a visit to the Samye monastery, and the ancient Tibet capital, Yarlung where you’ll visit some historical palaces and tombs before going back to Lhasa.

Duration: 10 Days 9 Nights

Tour Type: Trekking Tour

Departure:from Juan to mid Octber

Difficulty Level: High-fitness level

Group Size: Max 2-8

Total Fair: $1500


Price varies according to the number of people

in your group, category of hotel, transportation

and other services you request. Please

contact us with these important details first

Tour price for 2-8 people, 0USD per person.

Discounted price of 0USD per person from 

November 1st to April 20th.
– Single room occupancy supplement: 90USD.

Itinerary in short

Day 1: Arrival and pick up, either, at the Gongkar airport or at the Libu train station in Lhasa

Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing: Jokhang Temple, Bakhor Market and Potala palace.

Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing: Drepung and Sera monastery.

Day 4: Ganden monastery. Drive to Drushi village, then start trekking to Yamado..

Day 5:Trekking from Yamado to Balong Tsodu, about six hours. Optional: Trekking via the Shukar La pass.

Day 6: Trekking from Bhalang Tsoto to Nyeka Sumdo through the Chidu pass, about five to

six hours.

Day 7: Trekking from Nyeka Sumdo to Yermalong, about five to six hours. If we get there earlier you can visit the Guru Rinpoche meditation cave (Padma Sampawa cave).

Day 8:  Drive to Samye Monastery. Drive to Tsedang.

Day 9: Visit Yumbu Lhakang and Triduk monastery. Drive back to Lhasa.

Day 10:End of tour. Your tour guide will arrange transportation to either the Gongkar airport or the Libu train station in Lhasa.

Itinerary in detail

Day 1:Your tour guide will welcome you, either at the airport or at the train station. The distance from the airport to Lhasa is about 70km, approximately 1:30 hrs. drive. The distance from the train station is only 25km, about 30 minutes’ drive. After that, he will provide you with some necessary instructions about your tour arrangements in Lhasa. We will accommodate you at the Three Starts hotel or you own choice of hotel. ​ Day 2: Today is your first day on the high plateau and some of you may have a headache. This is very common for all travelers because of the high altitude, so drink enough water and avoid strenuous activity during this first few days to help you adjust to it. In the morning our guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a visit to the Jokhang Temple which is the center of the holy city of Lhasa. Jokhang temple is one of the most sacred temples in Tibet and has always been bustled with earnest local pilgrims. After that, you will have time to walk around the Bakhor Street, one of the most devotional circuit as well as the most crowded central market in Lhasa. In the old days, it was the most famous local market but nowadays it has evolved into a very touristic gift shopping center. You will be impressed by the crowds of local pilgrims doing prostration in front of the temple, especially during the winter months. In the afternoon you will visit the Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It was built by 33rd King Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and, later in the 17th century, rebuilt by the 5th Dalai Lama. Since then, it served as the home to the Dalai Lama and his government. Walking though the long steps is quite challenging, but it is worthwhile to leave your footprints in the spiritual palace on God’s compassion, listed in the world heritage. We will accommodate you at the Three Starts hotel or your own choice of hotel. ​ Day 3:This morning we will visit Drepung and Sera Monasteries Deprung monastery is one of the world’s largest monasteries, housing more than 10,000 monks. It was the residence of the Dalai Lama prior to moving to the Potala Palace. Destruction has taken place at different times, but you can still fully enjoy it. You can walk through numbers of narrow and twisted lanes of monks’ apartments, which are more like a typical village. This amazing day will end with a visit to the Sera Monastery. It was built in the 15th century by the Jamchen choji Sakya Yeshi who was a disciple of Tsongka pa. The monastic colleges in Sera house several hundred monks from different parts of Tibet. The famous Buddhist philosophical debates among the monks takes place every afternoon except on Sundays. Continue acclimatizing to the new altitude and alleviating your jet lag the rest of the day. We will accommodate you at the Three Starts hotel or another hotel of your choice. ​ Day 4: In the morning, we’ll drive for about an hour and a half to Ganden Monastery, located to the east and about 70 km from Lhasa. Ganden monastery was founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa, who was the revered reformer of the Gelugpa order, the monastery was the first Gelugpa monastery and it has been the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since. If you are running out of time in Lhasa, Ganden monastery is probably your best choice to visit. You will climb the Ngarong Lhaka, south of Ganden, where you’ll enjoy superb views over strands of the braided Kyi-chu Valley. Along the way and there are usually large numbers of pilgrim offering prayers flag, rubbing holy rocks and prostrating themselves along the path. Then, we we’ll drive from Ganden to Drushi village, offering you a great experience to Tibetan village life. The Drushi village has a rich history of more than 700 years, dating back to when Tsongkapa founded Ganden monastery. This beautiful village provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in Tibetan culture, as well as to enjoy a variety of activities such as trekking and horse-back riding. You could also enjoy a visit to a farmer’s house and taste home-made barley beer, butter tea and other local treats to experience the life of a Tibetan family. After that, we’ll start trekking to Yamado. Overnight camping at Yamado. ​ Day 5:We will begin early our trek from Yama Do to Balang Tsoto Valley, 10km which takes five to six hours through the steep banks of a stream. We’ll climb to Shuga La pass and begin the descent through fields of glacial boulders. Towards the end of the trekking we’ll cross The Balang Tsoto stream flowing through the valley. Overnight camping in Balang Tsoto valley. ​ Day 6:Our trekking will continue from Balang Tsoto valley to Nyeka Sumdo, covering  14km which could take to six hours. We’ll pass through the rocky mountain pass locally called Chitu La, descending into the exquisite camping grounds Overnight camping at Nyeka Sumdo. ​ Day 7:Today, we’ll trek from Nyeka Sumdo camp to Yermalong, 20km, about five to six hours. We will go through beautiful streams of water and fertile forests. There are many varieties of trees, scrubs, and rhododendrons in full bloom, and vistas of meadows that will take your breath away. There is also a desert not too far away. This part of the trek is amazing. We also pass the village of Changtang, and, if you wish, we could hike to the holy Buddhist meditation site of Yamalung, an ancient hermitage. Eventually, the trail goes to the Samye valley. Overnight camping Yermalong ​ Day 8:TToday, we’ll drive from Samye to Tsetang, 60km, about one and half hours. Along the way we’ll have spectacular views of Pisha and the Samye valley. From the high point of Dragmar, we’ll explore many temples, and ruins. Samye is one of the oldest and holiest Buddhist sites, its ancient buildings are a Tibetan architectural masterpiece. We will continue our drive from Samye to Tsetang, the third largest city in Tibet. Overnight stay at a hotel in Tsetang. ​ Day 9:We’ll continue our drive from Tsetang to Lhasa. Tsetang is known as “the cradle of Tibetan Civilization” for two reasons: first, its mild weather and fertile land conceived the great Tibetan dynasty; second, it’s the birthplace of the first Tibetans who were said to be the offspring of a monkey and a demoness. We will visit the Yumbu Lhakang and Tredruk monasteries. According to a legend by followers of the Bon religion, Yumbu Lhakang was erected in the second century B.C. for the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo, who descended from the sky. Yumbu Lhakang became a shrine and under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, a monastery of the Gelugpa school. Yumbulakang monastery was severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution, though since then it has been extensively renovated. According to legend, the site where the Trandruk Monastery lies, there was a large lake with an evil dragon with five heads. The evil dragon caused havok for the people living around the lake. In order to defeat the dragon and save the villagers, Songtsen Gampo turned into a rock and fought with the dragon, finally killing it. The Trandruk Monastery was built to commemorate Songtsen Gampo’s great deeds. Many pilgrims come to Tredruk monastery to worship. Drive back to Lhasa and stay overnight. ​ Day 10:End of tour. Your tour guide will arrange transportation to either the Gongkar airport or the Libu train station in Lhasa. ​

Contact Information

107, Beijing East Road Cheng Guan District Lhasa,Tibet China

Zip code 850000

+86 139 890 15156 

+86 139 890 15156 


WeChat QR Scan Code

Important  notice when you visit the Potala palace

To protect the Potala Palace, a limited number of tourists can go inside. The palace is made of clay and wood, and has become very fragile over the years, thus it is very easy to damage it if too many tourists enter at the same time. Visiting time inside the Palace is restricted to no more than two hours. Due to crowding conditions, tickets are very limited, especially during the summer high season. Sightseeing may also be changed from morning to afternoon, or switched from one day to another according to the situation or the space available.

Please be flexible to this possibility.

 1Please bring your passport

 2Tickets should be booked one day in advance

 3: The visit cannot be scheduled ahead of time, the ticketing officer will let your tour guide know when there is availability

 4You should be at the first security checkpoint one hour ahead of the scheduled time of visit, if you are late then you will not be allowed to re-book a ticket for one week

 Service included and Excluded in the group tours

The following 15 services are included:

 1: Payment for Tibet travel permit and all other necessaries    permits to Tibet

 2: All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the  itinerary

 3: Meals as specified in the itinerary.

 4: Local tour Transfers, 5-29 seats comfortable tourist vehicle  to accommodate Group Size.

 5: Professional English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide

 6: Comfortable hotel accommodations

 7: About your hotel accommodation: you will need to share  

 a room with another member but if you prefer to be by  yourself, you will need to pay a single room supplement.

 8: Breakfast in hotels

 9: Arrangements including planning, handling, operational  and communication charges.

 10: Welcome Group dinner at a local restaurant in Lhasa.

 11: Transportation between Lhasa Gongkar airport or train  station and your hotel.

 12: Welcome dinner is only possible in Group tours after    your arrival in Tibet.

 13:Tibet Handy Map.

 14: Drinking water at the tour bus during travel.

 15: Shared oxygen tank inside the tour bus.

The following 6 points are excluded:

 1: International flight in and out of China

 2: Domestic flight/train in and out of Lhasa. (We can provide you the  domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price, please contact our travel experts for further details)

 3: Lunches and dinners are not included, please pay on site by yourself. Usually it costs about $3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).

 4: Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please avoid alcoholic beverages during your Tibetan trip), optional tour activities, etc

 5: Tip to tour guide and driver

 6: Travel insurance covers trips cancellation cost in emergency evacuations, due to bad weather condition, avalanche, or natural disasters


What to bring


Warm Clothing

Tibet features a large temperature

difference between morning and

evening, even in June and July.

Please carry sufficient clothes,

such as down jacket and sweater.

Sleeping Bag

It is necessary for those entering

Tibet by road or visiting outside Lhasa.

Ginger Powder

Hotels in most locations outside Lhasa may have less-than-sanitary beds and bedding. Sprinkling some ginger powder on your bed can prevent louses from disturbing your sleep.


Ultraviolet rays are strong on the

Tibetan Plateau.Therefore,sunglasses

and sunscreen products are required.

Ration and Beverage

It is best to prepare sufficient

highcaloric rations,such as biscuits, chocolates and candies, as well as plenty of drinking water. Incidents such as car breakdowns happen from time to time in Tibet.

In case of emergency, please bring

with you enough food and water.

Hotel imformation


Food imformation

Other trips you may be interested in


Lhasa Highlights Tour


Everest Base Camp Tour

Mount Kailash Tour


Tibet-Naple Overland Tour


Lhasa-Namtso Tour

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