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Ganden Samye Trek

Trek from Ganden monastery to Samye monastery with ever stunning Potala palace in Lhasa

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$ USD per person

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10 Days Lhasa to Lhasa

  • Max. Altitude: 5250 meters
  • Group Size: Min. 1 / Max. 10
  • Best Time: Apr. to Dec
  • Trip type: Trekking
  • Accommodation: Lodge, camp

Trip Grade: Trip Grade

Moderate Plus Level

This trip grade involves trekking up to 7 hours a day below 5000 meters for the duration of 15-19 days trip.

Ganden Samye Trek is the most beautiful and thrilling trekking journey in Tibet. Though popular, this is a challenging and demanding trek in Tibet. The trek, which takes four days to complete, crosses the mountains that divide the Kyichu valley from that of the Tsangpo and continues through high mountain passes and alpine pasture to the dry, almost desert-like countryside around Samye. Ganden Samye trek goes by Hebu village and en route the breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks as well as the views of Tibetan countryside will make the journey unforgettable.

Ganden Samye trek – itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Lhasa airport or train station: Altitude: Lhasa: 3650m
Day 02: Lhasa sightseeing: Altitude: Lhasa: 3650m
Day 03: Lhasa Sightseeing: Altitude: Lhasa: 3650m 
Day 04: Lhasa - Drakyerpa- Ganden Camp }
Day 05: Trek from Ganden to Yama Do (5-6 hrs) Camp Altitude: Camp: 4400m 
Day 06: Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup Chu valley (5-7hrs) Camp Altitude: Camp: 3900m 
Day 07: Trek from Tsotup Chu valley  to Herders' camp after Chitu La (5 hrs) Camp, Altitude: Camp: 3800m 
Day 08: Trek from Herders' camp after Chitu La to Wango then to Samye (6-5hrs) Camp, Altitude: Camp: 3600m
Day 09: Samye to Lhasa, Altitude: Camp: 3600m
Day 10: Flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu or Mainland china.

Trip cost: In order for us to quote you the cost, please write us and let us know how many of you are there in your group to do this trip then we will provide you all the necessary information with the cost details as per your group size.

Ganden Samye trek – itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Lhasa airport or train station: Altitude: Lhasa: 3650m
Fly to Lhasa, the guide will meet you at the airport, and transfer you to Lhasa city with about 1h30 driving (100 km). On the way, we'll visit to Nie Tang Buddha, a Buddha image engraved in the mountain face. Rest of the day will be acclimatizing. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Lhasa sightseeing: Altitude: Lhasa: 3650m
After breakfast, we start our sightseeing tour of Lhasa city visiting Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Barkhor Bazar.
Potala, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Stunningly dominating the skyline of Lhassa atop the crest of Marpo Ri hill, the seventh-century Potala is considered Lhasa's most holy destination for a pilgrimage. Winding up the hill, a stone path leads to the 14-story, 1000-room. Each day, thousands of pilgrims give the prayer wheels lining the path a clockwise spin as they make their way up to the entrance. The Jokhang Monastery is the home of the statutes of the revered Buddha, Shakyamuni. While all Buddhist statutes are magnificently robed in colorful brocade adorned with pearls, turquoise, coral and silver, solid gold bowls of holy water rest before Shakyamuni as well as offerings of Yuan (money) and khatas (scarves), left by pilgrims.

Day 03: Lhasa Sightseeing: Altitude: Lhasa: 3650m 
Today, we visit Sera, Drepung and Nechung monasteries.
Sera, one of the three largest monasteries of Gelugpa, sit at the foot of Hill Tatipu. It is as prestigious as Drepung and Ganden, which had a longer history. Sera in Tibetan means Wild Rose Garden since opulent wild rose woods once grew around it.
Drepung monastery, Drepung once housed 10,000 monks, If we're lucky, we'll quietly ease into a dark columned hall to see and hear the lilting, booming chanting of the sutras, or perhaps sit under a willow tree and watch as the monks engage in theatrical debate.
Nechung Monastery the seat of Nechung, Tibet's State Oracle. Major decisions of the state are made in consultation with the Nechung Oracle.

Day 04: Lhasa - Drakyerpa- Ganden Camp
Driving hours & distance: 160km on paved road, about 2 - 3 hours
Altitude: Ganden: 4300m, camp: 4100m 
Like Mountains, lakes are considered sacrosanct by the Tibetan people. Yamdrok Lake is one of four such holy lakes, the others being Lhamo La-tso, Namtso and Manasarovar. It is revered as a talisman and is said to be part of the life-spirit of the Tibetan nation. The largest lake in southern Tibet, it is said that if its waters dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable. The lake has nine islands, of which one houses the famous Samding Monastery. This monastery is interesting, as it is the only Tibetan monastery to be headed by a female re-incarnation. Since it is not a nunnery, its female abbot heads a community of about thirty monks. After the visit we drive to Ganden.

Day 05: Trek from Ganden to Yama Do (5-6 hrs) Camp Altitude: Camp: 4400m 
Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures and its thangkas are special and similar with embroidery of south China. The most important and valuable arts left are the paintings of Buddha and Jataka stories drawn by the First Panchen Lama.
The trek begins from Ganden Monastery, traversing south along the ridge to reach the first village, Hebu, after about three hours. One hour from Hepu you reach Ani pagone, a narrow, craggy bottleneck in the valley. A small nunnery used to be above the trail. From Ani Pagong the trail steadily climbs for one hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do.

Day 06: Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup Chu valley (5-7hrs) Camp Altitude: Camp: 3900m 
One hour past Yama Do leave the valley floor and ascend a shelf on the east side of the valley to avoid a steep gully that forms around the stream. In another 45 minutes you enter a wet alpine basin studded with tussock grass. The Shug-la (5250 m) is at least 1 hour and twenty-five minutes from the basin. The trail gradually descends to reach the valley floor, 1 and a half hours from the pass. The pastures in the area support large herds of yaks, goats and sheep, and during the trekking season herders are often camped here. This is an ideal place to camp and meet the drokpas (nomads). It is a 2 hour walk from the stream ford to the second pass, the Chitu-la, and at least 1 hour thirty to the first camping place.

Day 07: Trek from Tsotup Chu valley  to Herders' camp after Chitu La (5 hrs) Camp, Altitude: Camp: 3800m 
From the Tsotup-chu ford, climb steeply upwards for 30 minutes until you reach a large basin. Follow this broad valley which soon arcs south to the Chitu-la (5100 m). A short but steep descent will bring you into a basin with three small lakes. It takes 45 minutes to reach the south end of the basin. Drop down from the basin on the west side of the stream and in 30 minutes you will hit the first place to set up camp. Herders have carved out level places for their tents here. But we may go down for 1 more hour to find other camping places.

Day 08: Trek from Herders' camp after Chitu La to Wango then to Samye (6-5hrs) Camp, Altitude: Camp: 3600m
The trail is now wide and easy to follow as it traces a course down the east side of the valley. The next three-hour stretch of the trail is among the most delightful of the entire trek. According to local woodcutters more than 15 types of trees and shrubs are found here, some growing 6m tall. We then cross the Yamalung Tsangpo valley and visit the the Yamalung Hermitage. It consists of several small temples, and a few meditators live here. We cross a bridge and reach Nyango village. Half an hour past Nyango is the village of Wango, from where we will have to take the tractor to Samye monastery. This monastery is built with the shape of a huge mandala. Surrounded by a circular wall, it is a representation of cosmos. The different buildings are arranged according to a complex symbolism, around the Utse, the central hall, housing the hall of prayers. after reaching Samye monastery, meeting with waiting vehicles, and drive back to Tsetang, relax in hotel, Having shower.

Day 09: Samye to Lhasa, Altitude: Camp: 3600m
Return to Lhasa in the afternoon, then by vehicle to visit the Tomb of Tibet King and Tandru monastery.

Day 10: Flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu or Mainland china.
By morning flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu or Chengdu.

Notice: Participants of the trip must keep in mind that this is an adventure journey that takes you into one of the remotest corner of the Tibetan plateau where many unexpected and unpleasant events may contribute to the need for a change in the itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation, the itinerary can be modified to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of tour conclusion should always coincide with the original plan.

Service Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing BB basis during tour as per hotel plan.
  • Two men a tent with foam & thermal mattress, dinning tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, expert Cook & Sherpa during camping.
  • Freshly cooked vegetarian full board meals, continental: - any meals Chinese, Tibetan, and western style.
  • All the sightseeing tours of main cities in Tibet including Lhasa by an experienced English Speaking tour guide inclusive of private vehicle and all entrance fees.
  • Experienced and friendly English speaking Tibetan guide during tour.
  • Supporting Land cruiser and truck,
  • Chinese visa fees, Tibet Travel Permit and Monastery entrance fees
  • Basic first aid Medical kit bag
  • Required number of crew during the tour.
  • Enough Oxygen cylinder entire of tour
  • Yaks and Yak-men to carry baggage, food, fuel etc while trekking.

Service Excludes

  • Lunch and Dinner in cities.
  • Your Travel insurance.
  • Nepal entry visa,
  • All kind of cold drink like alcoholic and mineral water, Coke, Fanta, Juice etc...
  • Hot and cold shower during the mountain.
  • Personal shopping and laundry etc.
  • Personal trekking Equipments.
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver.

Flight fare:

We provide you ktm-lhasa or Lhasa-ktm air tickets along with tour packages but the price are not fixed always, so please ask before booking your trip. Also if you wish to fly from Beijing to Lhasa and want a help from our side to book the air ticket then contact us and let us know your desire date, our ticketing officer will provide you entire details within 24 hours.

Food on the trip

While staying in cities, every day's breakfast is included in the package. This will be a dish of Tibetan or continental origin cooked by the lodgings you stay at. Lunch, dinner and any extra food are up to you; as a rough guide, budget Yuan 95 to Yuan 150 (US$15 to US$20) per day.

During the camping, your cook will provide 3 tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelets, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals.

We use as much fresh produce as possible and our cooks and kitchen crew maintain exceptional standards of cleanliness and food preparation hygiene. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.

Clothing & Equipment

We use as much fresh produce as possible and our cooks and kitchen crew maintain exceptional standards of cleanliness and food preparation hygiene. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.


Keep in mind that you are traveling overland to highest plateau in the world; the drive goes constantly above 5000m during your journey except Lhasa (3,650m). Driving fast in such an elevation could cause medical conditions (Acute Mountain Sickness) which could be fatal. There is 50% less oxygen compared to sea level in high-altitudes places like in Tibet. The higher the altitude the less is the oxygen in air. Your body needs few days to acclimatize to this less oxygen environment. Although we provide enough information regarding AMS precaution matters, if you get AMS, we do not have other options to treat it other than medication. We advise specially the guest(s) with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.

Guide and Staffs arrangements

Throughout your time in Tibet you will be accompanied by an experienced English speaking Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide valuable insights into the Tibetan way of life. All our Tibet trips are run in cooperation with our Tibetan counterpart, so you can be assured that authentic local touch.

Rescue & Evacuation

In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we hope will not happen; you shall be transferred to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own.


Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses and emergency repatriation.

Further Information
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 36844 (Ram Kumar Adhikari).


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