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11 Days Ganden to Samye Trekking Tour

Lhasa - Tsedang - Lhasa

from US $1900

Trip Rating:
Tour Code: TCT-PT-11A
Tour Type: Private Tour with private Tibetan guide & Vehicle

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Price Guide
This tour showers you with the highlights of Lhasa include the Potala , Jokhang Temple ,Barkhor Street, Drepung and Sera. You will also have a chance to see the fabulous location and spectacular circular complex of Samye, Tibet’s first monastery as well as a popular day hike to Chimpuk Hermitage--a warrant of caves northeast of Samye.
  • Day 1Lhasa airport/train station pickup and transfer to hotel
  • Day 2Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
  • Day 3Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery + Debate
  • Day 4Drive from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery
  • Day 5Trek from Ganden to Yama Do
  • Day 6Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup Valley
  • Day 7Trek from Tsotup Chu valley to Herder's Camp
  • Day 8Trek from Herder's camp / Wango / Samye Monastery
  • Day 9Trek to Samye Monastery and drive to Tsedang
  • Day 10Visit Yumbulakang Palace, Trandruk Monastery, drive to Lhasa
  • Day 11Drive to airport or train station and ends the tour
11 Days Ganden to Samye Trekking Tour  Map
Day 1Lhasa Arrival
Transfer Via: Flight arranged by you

Highlights: Welcome to Lhasa! Today upon your Lhasa arrival, you will be greeted by your Tibetan guide and escorted to hotel. Rest of the day you will have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. 


The altitude in Lhasa is about 3,650m above sea level. Take time out to relax and acclimate to the high altitude after arrival at your hotel. We recommend that you avoid strenuous activity for the first few days. It is advisable that you not take showers. For first time visitors, it is common to have different degrees of high altitude sickness symptom. Drink more water, have fresh fruit and plenty of rest will help to prevent the sickness. Have a good rest tonight, and get ready for tomorrow's journey. 

Accommodations: Overnight in Lhasa
    Day 2Lhasa City (B)

    Elevation: 3500m 

    Highlights: Today you will visit the famous Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street 

    Potala Palace: Which is known as the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the residence of the Dalai Lama lineages. Stands 13 stories high and owes over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues, the Potala Palace formed a small world in it. 

    Jokhang Temple: Listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2000 as part of the Potala Palace,Jokhang Temple is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Pilgrims. The temple is a four-storey timber complex with a golden top, with the combination of  Tang Dynasty, Tibetan and Nepal architectural styles. Every day, pilgrims come from every corner of Tibet worship here, make it a perfect site for photograpers.

    Barkhor Street: As the oldest street in Lhasa, Barkhor Street is considered as the center of the old city, and a perfect place to lear Tibetan culture, economy, religion, and arts. The street is full of handicarfts, such as ornaments, knives, tangka,  religious musical instruments, gold and silver ware, masks and a lot more. If you intend to buy some souvenirs for friends or famiy, Barkhor Street will be an ideal place.


    1) Some visitors might feel a bit hard to breath when climbing the Potala Palace, so please climb slowly. 

    2) Some places are not allowed to take photos, please kindly inquire your guide for details. 

    3) When shopping around Barkor Street, you can compare and bargain for the unique souvenirs 

    4) During the summer time, the musical fountain show at the Potala Plalace Square is 19:30—22:00PM. 

    5) Please bring water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses for today’s tour as you will be at outside for a long day. 

    Accommodations: Overnight in Lhasa
    • potala palace

      potala palace

    • jokhang temple

      jokhang temple

    Day 3Lhasa City (B)

    Elevation: 3500m 

    Highlights: Today you will visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and enjoy the debate. 

    Drepung Monastery: Located 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the western suburb of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered one of the 'Three Great Monasteries' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given the name 'Drepung‘, which, in the Tibetan language, means 'Collecting Rice.. 

    Sera Monastery: Which is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built. From of Mon ~ Fri, every afternoon, you ll be able to see monks debating at Sera Monastery.


    1) Today's road condition is good. The tour involves some easy walking and climbing

    2) Please bring water, a hat, sun cream, and sun glasses for today’s tour as you will be at outside for a long day. 

    Accommodations: Overnight in Lhasa
    • drepung monastery

      drepung monastery

    • sera monastery

      sera monastery

    Day 4Lhasa - Ganden Monastery (B)

    Elevation: 4500m     Distance: 45KM       Driving: 1.5hrs

    Highlights: Drive from Lhasa to Ganden, the highest altitude will be up to 4500m. Today will be spent acclimatizing further and visiting this wonderful Monastery. 

    Ganden Monastery: which lies at an altitude of 4,500m. Explore the attractions in and around the ancient town of Ganden, home to the earliest monastery of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Although the monastery is mostly in ruins, it is a fascinating place. Pilgrims arrive in Ganden from all over Tibet to walk around the site of the monastery, and one can observe the rituals they perform on this ‘Kora’ around the monastery.


    The broad paved road is in good condition. As Ganden Monastery is at an altitude of roughly 4,500m, be sure not to strain yourself physicaly, especially if you are still not fully acclimated. Be sure to bring snacks and plenty of water with you!

    Accommodations: Overnight at Ganden monastery guesthouse or camping
    • ganden monastery

      ganden monastery

    • ganden monastery monks

      ganden monastery monks

    Day 5Trek from Ganden to Yama Do

    Elevation: 450m up and 300m down    Distance: 17km    Trek: 5-6hrs 

    Highlights: This is a 5 hour trek. From the highest point of the Ganden kora, trek along an ancient trail and take in scenic views of unusual beauty. Walk along a ridge of reach the ancient Hepu village. In the afternoon, you’ll walk through Ani Pagong, a narrow part of the trail that was once home to a nunnery. In the late afternoon, ascend to Yama Do. 

    Accommodations: Camping
    • tibet trekking tour

      tibet trekking tour

    • tibet trekking tour

      tibet trekking tour

    Day 6Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup Valley

    Elevation: 1000m up and 450m down      Distance: 10km     Trek: 5-7 hrs 

    Highlights: This trek takes 5-7 hours. Early in the morning, trek from Yamo Do through a steep gully to the banks of a stream. Climb to Shug La pass and begin the descent from there through fields of glacial boulders. Tsotup Chup is actually a large stream that flows through the valley, and we will cross this stream towards the end of the trek. Camp overnight in Tsotup Chu valley.


    Be careful while trekking! Make sure you bring some snacks and plenty of water.

    Accommodations: Camping
    • tibet hiking trekking

      tibet hiking trekking

    • tibet trekking tour

      tibet trekking tour

    Day 7Trek from Tsotup Chu valley to Herder's Camp

    Elevation: 300m up and 400m down      Distance: 14km     Trek: 5hrs 

    Highlights: Go on an exciting 6-7 hour trekk covering 14km. Follow the Tsotup Chu towards the rocky mountain pass of Chitu La. Descend from there into the exquisitely beautiful camping grounds and fields around the tributary of the Tsotup Cho, walking through the picturesque Herder’s camp along the way. Stay overnight at the Herder's Camp.

    Accommodations: Camping
    • tibet hiking trekking

      tibet hiking trekking

    • tibet hiking trekking

      tibet hiking trekking

    Day 8Trek from Herder's camp / Wango / Samye Monastery

    Highlights: Trek from Herder's Camp to Wango (25 km). This is a 6 hour trek. The trail widens and the walking becomes easier. Follow the trail through beautiful rivulets of water and fertile forests. There are many varieties of trees, scrubs, rhododendrons in full bloom, and vistas of meadows that will take your breath away. There is also a desert not too far away. This part of the trek is really amazing. Along the way, you will pass the village of Changtang, and you can choose to hike to the holy Buddhist meditation site of Yamalung, an ancient hermitage. Eventually, the trail goes to the Samye valley along a beautiful stream.

    Accommodations: Camping or gusthouse at Samye Monastery
    • tibet hiking trekking

      tibet hiking trekking

    • samye monastery

      samye monastery

    Day 9Samye - Tsetang

    Elevation: 3700m      Distance: 14km      Trek: 2hrs 

    Highlights: From the camp site a 2 hour trek takes you to Samye Monastery (14km), with spectacular views from Pisha and the vista of the Samye valley along the way. From the high point of Dragmar, explore many temples, and ruins. At Samye itself, explore one of the oldest and holiest Buddhist sites, Samye Monastery. Its ancient buildings are a Tibetan architectural masterpiece. Drive from Samye to Tsetang, the third largest city in Tibet. 

    Tsedang City: Tsetang is known as “the cradle of Tibetan Civilization” for two reasons: first, its mild weather and fertile land conceived the great Tibet dynasty; second, it’s the birthplace of the first Tibetans who were said to be the offspring of a monkey and a demoness.

    Accommodations: Overnight in Tsedang
      Day 10Tsetang – Lhasa (B)

      Elevation: 3500m    Distance: 20km trek   Drive: 6hrs

      Highlights: Today you will visit the Yumbulakang and Trundruk monasteries, then drive back to Lhasa 

      Yumbulakang: According to a legend of followers of the Bon religion, Yumbulakang was erected in the second century B.C. for the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo, who was descended from the sky. Yumbulagang became a shrine and under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, a monastery of the Gelugpa school. Yumbulakang monastery was severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution, though it has been extensively rennovated since.

      Trandruk Monastery: According to legend, the site where the Trandruk Monastery lies once was a large lake and an evil dragon with five heads lived in the lake. The evil dragon caused havok for the people living around the lake. In order to defeat the dragon and save the villagers, Songtsen Gampo turned into a roc and fought with the dragon, finally managing to kill it. The Trandruk Monastery was built to commemorate Songtsen Gampo's great deeds. Many pilgrims come to Trundruk monastery to worship.

      Accommodations: Overnight in Lhasa
      • yongbulakang palace

        yongbulakang palace

      • Trandruk Monastery

        Trandruk Monastery

      Day 11Lhasa Departure (B)
      Transfer Via: Flight arranged by you

      Highlights: Today our guide will send you to train station or airport for your next destination. Your lifetime Tibet tour is completed now. 


        All Tibet travel permits

        Meals as listed in the itinerary

        Accommodation of shared basis 

        Transportation with experienced driver

        Lisenced Tibetan English-speaking tour guide 

        Entrance ticket fees for attractions listed in the itinerary

        Oxygen for emergey usage (Only for the groups going to Everest or Kailash area)


        Personal expense

        Travel insurance (Recommended)

        Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver

        Flights to and out of Lhasa (We offer flight/train bookings if you need)

        Meals that not specified in the itinerary (Average meals cost in Tibet is USD5-8/per)

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