Ganden Samye Trek

This four- or five-day trek via Shug-la and Chitu-la connects two of Tibet's most important monasteries - Ganden & Samye. It offers a glimpse of nomadic / village life and spectacular scenery with a visit to Tibet's most important temples and pal ...

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    4 + pax
All about the Ganden Samye Trek

Trip Facts

Duration: 20 Days    |    Best Month: April - November     |    Trip Grade: Moderate to Strenuous    |    Maximum Altitude: Sug-La (5230m)    |    Starting Point: Ganden Monastery    |    End Point: Samye Monastery    |    Number of Pax: 4 + pax    |    Style of Trek: hotel/guest house & fully supported camping.

Trip Detail

This four- or five-day trek via Shug-la and Chitu-la connects two of Tibet's most important monasteries - Ganden & Samye. It offers a glimpse of nomadic / village life and spectacular scenery with a visit to Tibet's most important temples and palaces of religious and cultural importance. In Lhasa we visit the awe-inspiring Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple as well as the great university monasteries of Drepung and Sera and of course we spend some time for shopping on the Barkhor Street. The route to Kathmandu takes you across high passes and along the shores of Yamdrok-Tso, the sacred turquoise lake to Gyantse and Shigatse with their famous monasteries. From the tiny gompa at Rhongphu the view of Qomolangma (Everest) is simply spectacular and there is time for a trip up to base camp before heading for the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the dramatic plunge towards Zhangmu and the Nepal border.

Ganden Samye Trek Itinerary

Day 01:  Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa (3650m)

 On arrival at Gonggar airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel in Lhasa. Rest of the day free for rest and acclimatization Overnight at hotel


Days 02 & 03:  Lhasa Sightseeing

With a relaxed pace to allow for the effects of altitude we spend two days in Lhasa and during the period we visit the great Potala Palace the residence of the Dalai Lamas of Tibet; Norbulinka, the Summer Palace; Drepung  Sera, two of the biggest Buddhist monasteries of Tibet; the Jokhang Temple, the holiest shrine in Tibet; and the bustling Barkhor Tibetan Bazaar. Overnight at hotel

Day 04: Drive Lhasa to Ganden

After your breakfast at Hotel we drive from Lhasa to Ganden, which takes about 2 hours. Today you will be spent acclimatizing further and visiting this wonderful Monastery. Overnight at Ganden (Guesthouse).

Day 05: Ganden / Hepu / Yama Do: Today we start trekking 5-6 hours, 17km:

 The first day of trekking begins at the highest point on the Ganden Kora. From here we walk along a saddle trail. After leaving this trail with wondrous views we traverse the west side of the ridge before passing through an ancient Hepu village. Later,  on the same day we  pass through Ani Pagong, a narrow bottleneck in the trail and former site of a nunnery. You will end the day with an ascent towards Yama Do, where will set up camp. O/N in Camp.

Day 06: Yama Do / Tsotup Chu Valley:

After Breakfast at our Camp we start trekking 5-7hours, 10km: In the morning we leave the valley and make our way through a steep gully rising from the stream bank. Finally, we climb over the Shug La (5250m) and begin our climb down through treacherous boulder fields. Later, we cross Tsotup Chu, a large stream winding through the valley floor. A comfortable camp will be set up in one of the many herder fields. O/N in Camp.

Day 07: Tsotup-chu Valley / Herders' Camps: trekking 5 hours, 14km

Today we follow the Tsotup Chu down through its tributary and head towards the Chitu La pass (5100m). After ascending this rocky pass we quickly descend down and find a beautiful place to camp in one of the fields surrounding the stream. O/N in Camp.

Day 08: Herders' Camps / Nyango / Samye Monastery: 5-6 hours trekking,

 The trail gets wider and easier as following it through scrub forests in the main valley. Beautiful streams and lush forests surrounded. However, the desert is close by. The next few hours are arguably the most delightful part of the entire trek. More than 15 types of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and vast meadow will amaze you every step of the way! After passing through this wondrous landscape we arrive at the first permanent village Changtang after Hepu. From Changtang we walk  another 1.5 hours to arrive Nyangohere where you ride on a tractor to Samye Monastery. Visit Samye Monastery in the afternoon. O/N at guesthouse.

Day 09: Exploring Samye

Today we explore a typical and fascinating Tibetan farming community, climb to the top of nearby Hepo Ri for magnificent views, wander the willow studded sand dunes along the river, a live with bird life or, for the more energetic, a trek to the Chimphu hermitages. At the head of the beautiful Chimphu valley there is a small ani gompa (nunnery) and the hillside is littered with meditation huts. 

Day 14:  Gyantse 3950m

An early morning ferry across the Yarlung Tsangpo is a fitting beginning to one of the most scenically spectacular drives in Tibet. Cross the Khamba La and Kora La (passes), along the shores of Lake Yamdrok Tso to Gyantse. Once an important trading town, Gyantse retains a feel of ‘old' Tibet. 

Day 15:  Shigatse -3900m

In the morning visit Gyantse's monastery – Pelkor Choede – and the justifiably famous Kumbum, within the same complex. There may also be time to visit the dzong (fort) that towers above the town. In the afternoon we make the short (2-3 hour) drive along the valley to Shigatse. 

Day 16: Xegar -4050m

Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama. Its numerous halls contain a 21.6-meter wooden statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha and elaborate, jewel encrusted reliquary chorten. In the afternoon we drive to Xegar. 

Day 17: Rhongphu -5000m

Turn off the Friendship Highway for a stunning drive through Qomolangma National Park to reach the tiny Rhongphu Gompa at 5000m. The view from here is utterly spectacular! 

Day 18: Everest Base Camp -5200m- Lao Tingri -4390m  

Trek or drive the 7kms to Everest Base Camp (5200m) before heading to Lao Tingri via a rough, yet scenic track crossing small rivers and passes. 

Day 19: Zhangmu -2300m

Another high pass gives a last, spectacular view of the Himalaya before we leave the Tibetan Plateau, descending to Zhangmu – on the China-Nepal border

Day 20: Drive to Kathmandu. (Trip ends)

After completing border formalities we drive back to Kathmandu

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
Whats included in this trip Items that are covered in the cost of trip price.

Airport transfers, transport to Lhasa by air and return to Kathmandu by road; Sightseeing as per itinerary, all meals on trek, services of a professional Sherpa team, and all equipment including sleeping/dining/toilet tents, sleeping bags (with inner sheets) and foam mattresses; trek staff insurance. Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Lhasa with breakfast English speaking guide in Tibet and all land transportation inside Tibet, trek permit & entrance fees etc.

Whats not included in this trip Items that are covered in the cost of trip price.

All arrangements in Kathmandu; Nepali visa and Tibet entry permit, Chinese visa; personal insurance; train tickets, personal tips; unexpected expenses in the event of emergency evacuation and price rises beyond our control.

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