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This is one of the most popular treks in Tibet connecting the famed Ganden and Samye monasteries. Its one of the closest trekking routes to Lhasa and also one of the shorter treks at 4 days so it is the best option for those with less time. Despite the relative ease of logistics it has great mountain views and is a challenging trek that includes crossing over Chitu La and Shug La, both these passes exceed 5000m (The word “La” means pass in Tibetan). The ruins of Ganden at the start are built high on a cliff and are attraction for many on day trips from Lhasa. One reaches the Samye Monastery at the end of the trek which is significant as the first Buddhist monastery to be built in Tibet and many Buddhists make a pilgrimage from across Tibet to visit this site.
Kathmandu-Lhasa Airport or From Kathmandu Via Road
4 Hours Before Flight Time
Kathmandu-Lhasa-Ganden-Tsotopchu Valley-Yamalung-Samye Monastery-Lhasa-Kathmandu.
Hotel/Similar/ Luxury Camping at the Campsite
1 to 2 Pax SUV Car | 2 to 8 Pax: Toyota Hiace Bus | 8 to 16 pax: Toyota Coaster Bus.
Local Tibetan English Speaking Trekking Guide/ language Guide upon extra payment (German/Spanish/Chinese/Italian/Japanese speaking Guide)
First-day L/D and last day only breakfast before Departure. All meals during Tour/Trekking
Transfer to Lhasa downtown after arriving in the Lhasa Gongar airport or the Lhasa train station. Have a rest in Lhasa to acclimatize the high altitude.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
In the morning, visit the most splendid museum, the Potala Palace, and explore the grandest of its myriad chapels. Appreciate the jeweled burial chorten of past Dalai Lamas as well as statuary, frescoes, and paintings.
Later, visit the Jokhang Temple, which is considered the most sacred temple in Tibet. It draws a tremendous number of pilgrims from all over Tibet each year for it houses a magnificent image of Sakyamuni at 12 years old.
Then stroll around Barkhor, a pilgrimage circuit that encircles the Jokhang, and it also serves as the biggest bazaar in Lhasa, where you can find some handicrafts, ambers, jewelry, Tibetan clothes, etc. Stay overnight in Lhasa
Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery
Explore Tibet’s two greatest monasteries, Drepung and Sera, which once housed about 10,000 monks. Drepung monastery is situated at the foothill of a mountain and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. The monastery is divided into two different colleges, that is, Drepung loselling and Drepung Gomang college. The Ganden podrang is famous as it is the government center and later moved to the famous Potala palace during the fifth Dalai lama. In the afternoon, explore the Sera monastery, which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa’s disciple Jamchen Choeje. The whole monastery is divided into two colleges and there are Sera ‘jhe’ and Sera ‘may’ respectively. The ‘Tsokhang chenmo’ is where the monks from all the colleges assemble and pray together. You can also see monks debating in the courtyard at around 6-7:30 in the afternoon. (Note: if you don’t feel tired, you can try the Kora (Circling around the religious sites) Drepung and Sera monastery.) Then drive back to your hotel. Prepare food materials and trekking gear. Stay overnight hotel
In the morning, drive to Ganden Monastery, after visiting it, transfer to Tsubshi Village, and prepare for yaks. Then start the Trekking up to Yama-do(trekking time 2-3hours). Camping
In the morning, leave the valley floor and make our way through a steep gully rising form the stream bank. Then, climb the Shug La and begin our climb down through treacherous boulder fields. Later, cross Tsotup Chu, a large stream winding through the valley floor. A comfortable camp will be set up in one of the herder fields.
Follow the Tsotup Chu down through its tributary and head towards the Chitu La pass. After ascending this rocky pass, we will quickly descend down and find a beautiful place to camp in one of the fields surrounding the stream. To find our campsite we will meander through quiet herder camps for nearly an hour. Another beautiful day of our trek is over!
During the 39km journey, you will trek about 15km, while for the rest 24km you can enjoy the ride on a tour vehicle. The trail gets wider and easier as we follow through scrub forests in the main valley. Beautiful streams and lush forests surround us as we walk. The next few hours are arguably the most beautiful part of our trek. More than 15 types of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and a vast meadow will amaze your every step of the way! After passing through this wondrous landscape, we will trek through Changtang village. Less than an hour away, participants can choose to make the one-hour hike to the Yamalung Hermitage. Yamalung is an ancient and holy Buddhist meditation site. The driver will pick you up at Samye.
Stay at Samye guesthouse.
The Samye Monastery is the first Monastery built in Tibet and the first contains the three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With these unique features, this splendid temple has become an attraction for visitors from near and far. After visiting Samye, we finish the trek and live in Samye Town near the Yarlung River.
Hotel in Samye Town
leave Tibet for your next destination.
Transfer to Lhasa airport (about 1.5 hours driving), and fly to your next destination.
The best time to trek in Tibet is in spring and autumn, which are from April to May and September to October. During these times there is little rain to interrupt your trekking tour in Tibet and it is not too hot to walk in the wilderness of Tibet.
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Its always better to have a pre-arranged trip to Tibet. Get your accommodation. Guide and vehicle booked in advance to avoid any last minutes problems.
Please check our cancellation policy for Tibet Travel Plan.