Ganden to Samye Trekking
International - WEST CHINA & TIBET TOUR - Ganden to Samye Trekking
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Itinerary

Overview

Ganden-Samye trek is the most popular trek in Tibet, connecting two of its most important monasteries. This route has much to offer: lakes, beautiful alpine forests and meadows, as well as two centres of Tibetan religious culture. With so much to offer, its popularity is understandable, but you should not underestimate the trek.

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 01 Arrive at Lhasa for acclimatization by air or train

Today's highlights:

Airport/train station transfer to hotel, Acclimatize to the High Altitude.

Details:

Fly into Lhasa or arrive in Lhasa by train. Local guide will meet you and transfer you to Lhasa. On the way, you can appreciate the heart-beating highland view along the Yarlong Tsangpo river (the longest river in Tibet and highest river on the earth with an average altitude of 4,000 meters), originating from Jiemayangzong Glacier on the northern Himalayas.

Day 02 Sightseeing in Lhasa

Today's highlights:

Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Barkhor Street

Details:

The cardinal landmark of Lhasa, Potala Palace, is a structure of massive portions. Its towering image already appearing on various occasions, but your first sight of the Potala will still be an awe-inspiring moment. Potala Palace is a place where you can appreciate the Tibetan culture, religion and art of architecture as well.

Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek a long distance to the temple to pray for their now and future. The temple is the product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques.

Barkhor Street, the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet.

Day 3 Lhasa Sightseeing

Today's highlights:

Drak Yerpa, Sera monastery

Details:

This morning, our tour begins with a 20km-drive out of Lhasa to one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet, the Drak Yerpa hermitage. In old times, some ascetics and kings have sojourned here for meditation. Among them, the most famous ones are Guru Rinpoche, Atisha, Lhalung and King Songtsen Gampo. Here we could visit some meditation caves once used by those famous figures, like Lhalung-puk (monk Lhalung), Dawa-puk (Guru Rinpoche) and Chogyal-puk (Songtsen Gampo).

Sera Monastery is one of the greatest Gelugpa monasteries. Around 5km north of central Lhasa, It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, one of the eight disciples of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect, covering an area of 114,964 square metres. The structure is imposing, picturesque in disorder, and splendid in green and gold. It is a typical Tibetan architecture. The 'Buddhism Scriptures Debating' in Sera is very famous.

We will drive to Ganden next day to start our trekking. This trekking route covers 80 kms and can be done in 5 days.

Time Chart

Day                 Place                        hours     length     ascent     descent
1          Ganden-nomad camp          5 3/4     17km      300m      450m
2        South base of Jooker La        5 3/4     10km    1000m      450m
3               Valley junction              7 1/4     14km      300m      400m
4                   Ninggong                 3 3/4     25km                     600m
5                    Samye                   3 1/2     14km                    600m

Day 04 drive from lhasa to Ganden, trek from Ganden to yama do

 

Today's highlights:

Today you will trek about 5.5 hours. Going up slopes, passing stone cairn, wading to the bank(during summer the river is 1 m deep), passing the steep cliff face.

Details:

An hour's drive out of Lhasa will take us to Ganden Monastery (3,800 m/12,467 ft), which was founded in 1409 by Je Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelupka (Yellow Hat) sect. We'll visit the monastery and after lunch drive to Gyama Valley, we'll arrange yak and do trekking preparation there.

Our trek begins from here. The trail gradually ascends for 1.5 hrs before reaching a saddle marked by a cairn with views of Kyichu valley to Lhasa. Traversing the west side of the ridge from the saddle, the trail reaches a spur surmounted by a cairn, a spring and then the village of Hepu in 2 hrs. 1hr from Hepu reaches Ani Pangong, a small nunnery. The trail climbs steadily for 1 hours through marshy meadows to Yama Do.

Day 05 trekking to Tsotup Chu Valley from Yama Do

Today's highlights:

Today you wiil trek about 5 hours. Passing the entrances of two side valleys, climbing to the Jooker La at times and going is quite steep. Then looking back from the top to see a grand panorama of mountain ranges. Ahead is a long waterfall. From pass, walk down scree slopes strewn with rocks. Zigzag along. Cross a valley.

Details:

In 2 hrs past Yama Do we ascend Shug-la pass (5250m). It takes at least 1.5 hrs from the basin negotiating boulders and lumpy ground along the final steep climb to the pass. The route continues cover the Shug-la pass following the cairned trail descending gradually and reaching the valley in 1.5 hrs from the pass. Cross the Tsotup Chu. Nomad herders with their herd of yaks, goat and sheep can be found here.

Day 06 Trekking to Herders's Camp from Tsotup Chu

Today's highlights:

Today you will trek about 5 hours. Walk up side valley to Sukhe La, lower and easier than the Jooker La. The climb is gradual except for a short, steep section near the top. Descend past two glacial lakes.

Details:

From the Tsotup Chu valley, follow a small tributary entering from the south-west. The route follows steeply upwards for 30mins until you reach a large basin. The terrain is not particularly difficult to reach Chitu-la pass(5100m) which is marked by several cairns. A short steep descent will bring you into a basin with three small lakes. The trail at many points is not clearly marked and goes past several seasonal camping sites before it reaches the valley floor.

Day 07 Trekking to Yamalung from Herders's Camp

Today's highlights:

Today you will trek about 5-6 hours. Head southwestward by descending the valley. Cross a log bridge and follow the river. Pass a deserted house. Go up the slopes.

Details:

The trail is now wide and easy to follow and goes through forest of shrubs and rhododendrons for 3 hrs. The trail winds through a series of meadows before reaching Gen Do, a place with a ruined stone structure. The forest thins rapidly and we reach the first permanent village of Chantan (4020m) after leaving Hebu. In 30-40 mins we arrive at the turn off at Yamalung Valley. Yamalung Hermitage is another 1 hour steep climb from the valley floor.

Day 08 Nyango Village to Samye Monastery via Wango and Dragmar(Trek ends)

 

Today's highlights:

Today you will trek about 3.5-4 hours. Walk down the easy Samye Valley.

Details:

From Yamalung Valley it takes 3.5-4 hrs to Samye. We go past the villages of Nyango, Wangon and Pisha. From the Pisha the entire lower valley of Samye and the golden aspires of Samye Monastery can be seen. En route there are several nice meadows for camping. Trek to Samye Monastery, our final destination.

Drive to Tsedang for accommodation. Tsetang is located in Shannan area which is the cradle of Tibetan culture.

Day 09 Tsetang-Yamdrok Yumtso-Gyantse

Today's highlights:

Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, Karola Glacier

Details:

About hundred kilometers, you will appreciate the holy Lake of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake.The sacred lake of Yamdrok Yutso is revered as a talisman, supporting the life-spirit of Tibet. It is said that should its waters dry, Tib


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