• Trip Style : Sightseeing, Jeep drives & Trekking
  • Trip Difficulty : Moderate + challenging
  • Max Altitude : 5,250m Shug-la pass
  • Accomodation: Standard hotel in Lhasa, rest in tents
  • Food : Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner(BLD)
  • Start-End : Lhasa
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Home » Tibet Treks » Ganden Samye Trek

Ganden Samye trek is the most beautiful and thrilling trekking journey in Tibet. Though popular, this is a challenging and demanding trek in Tibet. The trek, which takes four days to complete, crosses the mountains that divide the Kyichu valley from that of the Tsangpo and continue through high mountain passes and alpine pasture to the dry, almost desert-like countryside around Samye.

Ganden Samye trek goes by Hebu village and en route the breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks as well as the views of the Tibetan countryside will make the journey unforgettable.

Rescue and Evacuation: In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we hope will not happen; you shall be transferred to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own.

Fly to Lhasa, the guide will meet you at the airport, and transfer you to Lhasa city with about 1h30 driving (100 km). On the way, we'll visit to Nie Tang Buddha, a Buddha image engraved in the mountain face. Rest of the day will be acclimatizing. Overnight at hotel.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Lhasa
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3650m

After breakfast, we start our sightseeing tour of Lhasa city visiting Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Barkhor Bazar. Potala, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Stunningly dominating the skyline of Lhassa atop the crest of Marpo Ri hill, the seventh-century Potala is considered Lhasa's most holy destination for a pilgrimage. Winding up the hill, a stone path leads to the 14-story, 1000-room. Each day, thousands of pilgrims give the prayer wheels lining the path a clockwise spin as they make their way up to the entrance. The Jokhang Monastery is the home of the statutes of the revered Buddha, Shakyamuni. While all Buddhist statutes are magnificently robed in colorful brocade adorned with pearls, turquoise, coral and silver, solid gold bowls of holy water rest before Shakyamuni as well as offerings of Yuan (money) and khatas (scarves), left by pilgrims.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Lhasa
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3650m

Today, we visit Sera, Drepung and Nechung monasteries. Sera, one of the three largest monasteries of Gelugpa, sit at the foot of Hill Tatipu. It is as prestigious as Drepung and Ganden, which had a longer history. Sera in Tibetan means Wild Rose Garden since opulent wild rose woods once grew around it. Drepung monastery, Drepung once housed 10,000 monks, If we're lucky, we'll quietly ease into a dark columned hall to see and hear the lilting, booming chanting of the sutras, or perhaps sit under a willow tree and watch as the monks engage in theatrical debate. Nechung Monastery the seat of Nechung, Tibet's State Oracle. Major decisions of the state are made in consultation with the Nechung Oracle.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Lhasa
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3650m

Driving hours & distance: 160km on paved road, about 2 - 3 hours Altitude: Ganden: 4300m, camp: 4100m. Like Mountains, lakes are considered sacrosanct by the Tibetan people. Yamdrok Lake is one of four such holy lakes, the others being Lhamo La-tso, Namtso and Manasarovar. It is revered as a talisman and is said to be part of the life-spirit of the Tibetan nation. The largest lake in southern Tibet, it is said that if its waters dry, Tibet will no longer be habitable. The lake has nine islands, of which one houses the famous Samding Monastery. This monastery is interesting, as it is the only Tibetan monastery to be headed by a female re-incarnation. Since it is not a nunnery, its female abbot heads a community of about thirty monks. After the visit we drive to Ganden.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Ganden Camp
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:4300m

Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures and its thangkas are special and similar with embroidery of south China. The most important and valuable arts left are the paintings of Buddha and Jataka stories drawn by the First Panchen Lama. The trek begins from Ganden Monastery, traversing south along the ridge to reach the first village, Hebu, after about three hours. One hour from Hepu you reach Ani pagone, a narrow, craggy bottleneck in the valley. A small nunnery used to be above the trail. From Ani Pagong the trail steadily climbs for one hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Yama Do
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:4400m

One hour past Yama Do leave the valley floor and ascend a shelf on the east side of the valley to avoid a steep gully that forms around the stream. In another 45 minutes you enter a wet alpine basin studded with tussock grass. The Shug-la (5,250 m) is at least 1 hour and twenty-five minutes from the basin. The trail gradually descends to reach the valley floor, 1 and a half hours from the pass. The pastures in the area support large herds of yaks, goats and sheep, and during the trekking season herders are often camped here. This is an ideal place to camp and meet the drokpas (nomads). It is a 2 hour walk from the stream ford to the second pass, the Chitu-la, and at least 1 hour thirty to the first camping place.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Tsotup Chu valley
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3900m

From the Tsotup-chu ford, climb steeply upwards for 30 minutes until you reach a large basin. Follow this broad valley which soon arcs south to the Chitu-la (5100 m). A short but steep descent will bring you into a basin with three small lakes. It takes 45 minutes to reach the south end of the basin. Drop down from the basin on the west side of the stream and in 30 minutes you will hit the first place to set up camp. Herders have carved out level places for their tents here. But we may go down for 1 more hour to find other camping places.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Herders' camp
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3,800m

The trail is now wide and easy to follow as it traces a course down the east side of the valley. The next three-hour stretch of the trail is among the most delightful of the entire trek. According to local woodcutters more than 15 types of trees and shrubs are found here, some growing 6m tall. We then cross the Yamalung Tsangpo valley and visit the the Yamalung Hermitage. It consists of several small temples, and a few meditators live here. We cross a bridge and reach Nyango village. Half an hour past Nyango is the village of Wango, from where we will have to take the tractor to Samye monastery. This monastery is built with the shape of a huge mandala. Surrounded by a circular wall, it is a representation of cosmos. The different buildings are arranged according to a complex symbolism, around the Utse, the central hall, housing the hall of prayers. after reaching Samye monastery, meeting with waiting vehicles, and drive back to Tsetang, relax in hotel, Having shower.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Samye
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3,600m

Return to Lhasa in the afternoon, then by vehicle to visit the Tomb of Tibet King and Tandru monastery.

  • itinery-iconAccommodation: Hotel
  • itinery-iconMeals: BLD
  • itinery-iconPlace: Lhasa
  • itinery-iconMaximum Altitude:3600m

By morning flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu or Chengdu.

  • itinery-iconPlace: Kathmandu or Mainland china

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Note: Ganden Samye Trek Fixed Departure Dates

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  • small-thumbnails Accommodation on twin sharing BB basis during tour as per hotel plan.
  • small-thumbnails Two men a tent with foam & thermal mattress, dinning tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, expert Cook & Sherpa during camping.
  • small-thumbnails Freshly cooked vegetarian full board meals, continental: - any meals Chinese, Tibetan, and western style.
  • small-thumbnails All the sightseeing tours of main cities in Tibet including Lhasa by an experienced English Speaking tour guide inclusive of private vehicle and all entrance fees.
  • small-thumbnails Experienced and friendly English speaking Tibetan guide during tour.
  • small-thumbnails Supporting Van and truck
  • small-thumbnails Chinese visa fees, Tibet Travel Permit and Monastery entrance fees
  • small-thumbnails Basic first aid Medical kit bag
  • small-thumbnails Required number of crew during the tour.
  • small-thumbnails Enough Oxygen cylinder entire of tour
  • small-thumbnails Yaks and Yak-men to carry baggage, food, fuel etc while trekking.
  • small-thumbnails Lunch and Dinner in cities.
  • small-thumbnails Your Travel insurance.
  • small-thumbnails All kind of cold drink like alcoholic and mineral water, Coke, Fanta, Juice etc...
  • small-thumbnails Hot and cold shower during the mountain.
  • small-thumbnails Personal shopping and laundry etc.
  • small-thumbnails Personal trekking Equipments.
  • small-thumbnails Tips for trekking staff and driver.

Useful Information

Food on the trip

While staying in cities, every day’s breakfast is included in the package. This will be a dish of Tibetan or continental origin cooked by the lodgings you stay at. Lunch, dinner and any extra food are up to you; as a rough guide, budget Yuan 95 to Yuan 150 (US$15 to US$20) per day.
During the camping, your cook will provide 3 tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli, and cereal followed by omelets, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta, and traditional bread. After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3-course meal – soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice, and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and our cooks and kitchen crew maintain exceptional standards of cleanliness and food preparation hygiene. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.

Clothing and Equipment

During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings. Sleeping bags for the trip are also highly recommended. A comprehensive list of equipment will be provided by Alpine Eco Trek once you book your trip.


Keep in mind that you are traveling overland to the highest plateau in the world; the drive goes constantly above 5000m during your journey except for Lhasa (3,650m). Driving fast at such an elevation could cause medical conditions (Acute Mountain Sickness) which could be fatal. There is 50 percent less oxygen compared to sea level in high-altitude places like in Tibet. The higher the altitude the less is oxygen in the air. Your body needs a few days to acclimatize to this less oxygen environment. Although we provide enough information regarding AMS precaution matters, if you get AMS, we do not have other options to treat it other than medication. We advise specially the guest(s) with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.

Guide and Staffs arrangements

Throughout your time in Tibet, you will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide valuable insights into the Tibetan way of life. All our Tibet trips are run in cooperation with our Tibetan counterparts, so you can be assured that authentic local touch.


Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, and emergency repatriation.

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