9 Days Tibet Trekking Tour from Ganden to Samye

Lhasa - Ganden Monastery - Trek to Samye Monastery - Lhasa

From USD p.p

This 9-day Tibet trekking tour combines the 2-day classic Lhasa city sightseeing with 3-4 days famous pilgrimage trekking from Ganden to Samye. In Lhasa, you will visit the magnificent Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple etc, and acclimate to the high elevation at the same time. Then, you will experience a wonderful journey during the Ganden to Samye trek, which featuring stunning natural landscapes and famed sacred sites. Starting from Ganden Monastery, you will cross mountains, valleys, walk through plateau meadows, visit villages and pasturing areas, explore the primitive Yarlung Zangbo River, and finally reach the cradle of Tibetan civilization - Samye Monastery. With changing mountain views and beautiful alpine lakes, the route is also an arduous journey due to its high-elevation. It normally takes you 3-4 days to complete the trek.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa

When you arrive in Lhasa by train or flight, your tour guide will hold a board with your name on it at the exit to welcome you. Then you will be transported to your hotel. You may view the Yarlung Tsangpo River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and Lhasa River on the way to the hotel.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Tips: If this is your first visit to Tibet, you will need to acclimatize to the increased elevation, to prevent altitude sickness. This is best done by resting in the hotel and minimizing any physical exertion.

Day 2 Lhasa Tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street

Today, you’ll pay a visit to the famous Potala Palace, the world culture heritage. You can explore its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens (stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, Thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc.

Then tourists will head to the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple, built during Songtsen Gampo's reign by princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty, 647 A.D. Here you can observe sincere pilgrims making prostration in front of Jokhang Temple. While entering inside the temple, you can see the holiest statue of Buddha. Around the monastery is the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do the kora with pilgrims and locals. And then we’ll go to explore the old market and you may have chance to see the traditional jewelry trading between people from different part of Tibet.

Finally, you’ll taste Tibetan tea with locals in tea house and enjoy a welcome dinner at night.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

After finishing the sightseeing, if time allows, you may go with tour guide to visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center. Besides, you can also choose to upgrade your tour to enjoy Tibetan Culture Show in the evening (fr. 60USD).

Day 3 Lhasa Tour: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery

Today, you will visit two of the three prestigious Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. Situated at the foot of Gambo Utse Mountain, Drepung was once home to more than 10000 monks. Here you can see the biggest monastery kitchen inside and then pay a visit to the Buddhist Sculpture Carving near Drepung.

After having lunch, you’ll continue to visit the Sera Monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa's disciple Jamchen Choeje. The highlight is the monk debate held in the courtyard at around 3-5 in the afternoon. Besides, you can also see the colorful Rock Painting of Buddha and the three sand Mandalas and then visit the Tibetan scripture printing house.

Stay overnight in Lhasa.

Day 4 Lhasa - Ganden Monastery - Tsubshi - Yama-do (2-3 hours, 7km)

In the morning, we will drive to Ganden Monastery, one of the three great Gelu university monasteries in Tibet. Sitting on the Wangbori Mountain to the northeast of Lhasa, the monastery was constructed in 1409 by founder of the Gelug order, Je Tsongkhapa Lozang-dragpa. It covers 2,000 square meters and can host about 3,000 people at the same time.

After visiting Ganden Monastery, we will transfer to Tsubshi Village, where yaks will be arranged for trekking. Then we start trek up to Yama-do. The trekking distance is around 7km and the time required is two to three hours.

Camping around Yama-do.

Day 5 Trek from Yama-do to Tsotup Chu Valley (5-6 hours, 10km)

Today, we will leave the valley floor and head to Tsotup Chu Valley. We will walk through a steep gully, cross a stream bank, and climb the Shug La, and then descend to the treacherous boulder fields en route. After reaching Tsotup Chu Valley, where a large stream meanders gently along the valley floor, we will set up a comfortable camp there.

Camping at Tsotup Chu Valley.

Day 6 Trek from Tsotup Chu Valley to Herder's Camp (5-6 hours, 14km)

Following the tributary of Tsotup Chu, the trail continues towards the Chitu La Pass. After climbing over the rocky pass, we will descend to the fields with stream nearby and camp there. It will take us nearly one hour to meander through those quiet Herders’ Camps to find a perfect campsite.

Camping around Herder’s Camp.

Day 7 Trek to Yamalung Hermitage via Changtang Village (6 hours, 39km)

During today’s 39km journey, you will first trek about 15 km, and then enjoy the ride on the tour vehicle for the rest 24 km. The road becomes wider and smoother as we pass through the shrubberies in the valley, with creek and lush forests on both sides. You will view the most beautiful part of this trek in the next few hours. Dozens of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons and expansive meadows will feed your sight all the way.

After passing through this amazing field, we will trek through the Changtang Village. Tourists can choose to make a one-hour hike to Yamalung Hermitage, an ancient holy Buddhist meditation site. Then the driver will transfer you to Samye.

Stay overnight at Samye Guesthouse.

Day 8 Samye Monastery to Yarlung River Valley

Being reputably called the first monastery built in Tibet, Samye Monastery is famous for its sacred mandala design. Located in the birthplace of Tibetan King - Trisong Detsen, it is also the first to contain the three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With these unique features, Samye Monastery has always been a hot attraction to tourists from near and afar. After visiting Samye, we will end the whole trek at Samye Town near Yarlung River.

Stay overnight at Samye Town.

Day 9 Depart from Lhasa

The guide will transfer you to the airport or train station, and help you with boarding.

Route Map

Service Inclusion

  1. Tibet Travel Permit and all other necessary permit to Tibet
  2. All lodging listed in the itinerary. If you travel individually, you will need to share one room with another tourist. If you prefer to stay in one room by yourself, you will have to pay the single room supplement
  3. Meals listed in itinerary
  4. Entrance fees of all tourist sites listed in the itinerary
  5. Local Tibetan English-speaking guide
  6. Local tour transfer, comfortable tourist vehicle according to group size
  7. One shared big Oxygen tank in the car
  8. Tourist accident/casualty insurance
  9. First aid kit

Service Exclusion

  1. Chinese visa
  2. International flight to and out of China
  3. Domestic train/flight to and out of Tibet. (We offer domestic train/flight ticket booking service, please contact our travel experts for the details.)
  4. Meals not specified in the itinerary
  5. Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver
  6. Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.

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