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  • Ganden Monastery
  • Drak Yerpa
  • Pabongka Hermitage
  • Tsurpu Monastery
  • Namtso lake

There are many great places within 30 – 100 km away from Lhasa. All of them can make a perfect day trip from Tibetan capital.

Ganden Monastery near Lhasa, Tibet

Ganden Monastery

The Ganden Monastery was built in the 15th century by Lama Tsongkhapa who established the Gelug or Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

The monastery is located about 40 km away from Lhasa on top of a mountain overlooking gorgeous valleys. You can spend a great day outdoors visiting monastery and walking the high kora (circumambulation) around the monastery.

Drak Yerpa Hermitage

Drak Yerpa

Drak Yerpa heritage is a complex of monastery and meditation caves on a slope of a mountain. There is a path going up the mountain connecting different structures of the hermitage.

The mountain in front of Drak Yerpa was earlier used for sky burials. Nowadays you can visit it to get a great view on the monastery and the valley around it.

It is located approximately 15 km away from Lhasa and it takes about 30 minutes to get there. It can make a great day trip from Lhasa.You can also combine the visit to Drak Yerpa in the morning with Ganden monastery in the afternoon.



Pabonka Hermitage is one of the oldest religious sites in Lhasa region. King Songtsen Gonpo had meditated there before the construction of Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. From the monastery you can get a great view on Lhasa city and Potala Palace. There is a meditation cave inside the monastery, where you can spend some quite moments.

Nowadays it belongs to Sera Monastery. Visiting Pabonka can make a great day trip near Lhasa. Combine it with visiting Sera monastery in the afternoon or visit one of the many smaller monasteries around Sera.

Tsurpu Monastery

Tsurpu Monastery

Tsurpu is the seat of Karmapa, the head of the Black Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism (Kagyu). Karmapa is one of the most influential lamas in Tibet.

It is located 1-1.5 hours of driving away from Lhasa in a beautiful valley.

The monastery was seriously damaged and nowadays it is undergoing reconstruction. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important monasteries in the Lhasa region and it attracts many visitors.

Namtso Lake

Namtso is the Tibet’s largest saltwater lake, and at 4718m, also one of the highest lake in Tibet. The lake is over 70km long, reaches a width of 30km and is 35m at its deepest point.

A newly paved road cuts across country from a turn-off northwest of Lhasa and approximately 250km. Driving on the paved road over 5190m high pass (Largen La), it takes an hour to reach Lake Namtso: the road runs through a grassland valley, with the odd nomad encampment visible, and herds of yaks, sheeps and goats roaming around. For the nomads, life is dependent on yaks: they live in yak-hair tents, and use yak-dung as their main fuel source.

Namtso is a sacred lake: there are cave- temples, hermitages and a nunnery for contemplation at Tashi Dor. From this area you can see one of the most beautiful natural sights in Tibet and the lake is a miraculous shade of turquoise with snow mountains (Nyechen Tanglha).

The Nyechen Tanglha (Tangula) range in distance, to the south, 7088m snow cap of Mount looms up, along with the range of the same name.

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