Overview of the Ganden to Samye Trek
The Ganden to Samye trek is one of the most beautiful treks in Himalayas. The level of difficulty is moderate, you will go over two high passes. The Ganden to Samye itinerary allows time for acclimatizing before the trekking. We will spend three days in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet at the altitude of 3900 before heading towards Ganden monastery.
Day 1 – Arrive in Lhasa by plane or by train
Lhasa train station / airport picking up. You will be warmly greeted by our local guide and driver, transfer you to reserved hotel in Lhasa. Today is your first day in Lhasa，so have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 2 Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
In the morning we arranged you to visit the Potala Palace which is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages（Avalokiteshvar). Inside Potala palace, you will see the throne room of Dalai Lamas and their golden funeral stupa. Afternoon section is to visit the most sacred shrine and spiritual heart of Tibet，the Johkang Temple，which built in 7th century by 33rd king Songtsen Gampo. Barkhor street，most known ritual circumambulation where you can see Tibetan locals prostrating and murmuring mantras in strong faith After you can ask your guide to take you to local tea stall to have some sweet milk tea. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 3 Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Today, you will visit two monasteries in Lhasa, the Drepung and the Sera. Drepung monastery is situated at 10km away from central Lhasa and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. It was biggest monastery in the world in 17th century, housed over 10,000monks in 1614 and Ganden podrang in Drepung was the Tibet government administration from which former Dalai Lamas had practiced control over Tibet. Later moved to Potala palace by fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso. After lunch, continue to visit the Sera monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkhapa’s disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most attractive is monks debating which is related to logic, is held there in the courtyard at around 3pm to 4:30pm. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 4 Lhasa-Ganden Monastery
Drive to Ganden monastery, built by Tsongkhapa in 1409. Monastery is founded 60km away from Lhasa on over 4100m high Wangpori hill. It is first monastery of Gelugpa sect. We will walk the circuit (lingkor) around the monastery where you can get an incredible view of the Kyichu valley. In the afternoon, your guide will arrange porters and yaks for your luggage during trekking. Take a good rest and prepare to trek next day. We are staying at the camp site beside Trubshi village located nearby.
Day 5 Trek from Ganden to Yama Do ( 17km, 5 to 6 hours ).
From Ganden to Yama Do via Trubshi and Hepu village, climbing up the hill for coming 30minutes and you can see Shuga-la pass (highest point during trekking 5250m high) in distance and Kyichu valley in west. Walking through gullies and valleys, you will reach Hepu village, from here trail climbs up Shuga-la pass 3 and half hours away. Enjoy wonderful scenery of Tibetan typical village throughout the trail and you will end the day at ascent to Yama Do which offers suitable camp sites. Overnight in camp.
Day 6 Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup-chu valley ( 10km, 5 hours )
In the morning, we have to complete the steep climb of Shuga-la pass. Descend down to Tsotup-chu valley passing couple of lakes, views of valley and lakes in the middle of trail from shuga-la is point to be noted. Keep your eye on herders dog on opposite side of river. During trekking season herders are normally camped nearby. This is good place to camp and explore nomadic life.
Day 7 Trek from Tsotup-chu valley to Herder camps ( 14km, 5 hours )
The trail runs along Taptic-chu valley to the bottom and climb up the Chitu-la pass 5210m high. You will notice the top with several cairns. Three small lakes can be seen from the top, trail moves through west of first lake and squeezes in rock walls. The bush forest surround the trail in distance is only way to Samye. Passing through large meadow and river, we will arrive herders camp.
Day 8 Trek from herders camp to Samye monastery ( approximately 5 hours )
Today is last day of trekking and also simplest part of trekking. Trail descends down 1200m. It is most beautiful is the entire trek. Walking through large meadow, you will reach Changtang village, first permanent village since Hepu village. From here walk 1 and half hours to Yamalong Hermitage. Your driver will wait here to take you to Samye monastery. Visit Samye monastery and relax in monastery guesthouse.
Day 9 Samye monastery to Tsedang.
It’s only 50km from Samye monastery to Tsedang. Visit Yumbulakhang stand 10km away from Tsedang. Yumbulakhang built for 1st king Nytri Tsanpo, founding of this palace dates back to legend and myth. It was first palace of Yarlong kings before Potala palace. Overnight at Tsedang.
Day 10 Tsedang to airport.
Today we will drive to airport according to your flight timing. End of service.