Samye to Lhamo Latso Trekking
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Itinerary

Overview

The pilgrimage from Samye Monastery to Lhamo Latso is richly varied and has much to offer: high snow mountains, a magnificent monastery, seldom visited cave hermitages, nomads and their black-tent culture, and a sacred "oracle lake". The trail follows the flat Tsangpo Valley with its sand dunes and myriad freshwater pools. Small, untouched villages and monasteries dot the way to the Yulung Chu Valley. Near its head, close to high snowcapped peaks, are the delightful nomad settlements of Shindu and Amando. Being at the radiant oracle lake of Lhamo Latso is a high point of this journey. It is the foremost "vision" lake in Tibet and sitting Dalai Lamas were obligated to come here at least once in their lifetimes, usually on the lake's surface, concerning his future.

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 03 Lhasa-Ganden or Drak Yerpa-Lhasa

Today's highlights:

Ganden Kora, Drak Yerpa

Details:

Drive to Ganden monastery, the first monastery belonged to Yellow Hat sect. You could see the countryside views there. One the way have a family visit (optional) You can have a easier or harder hike at Ganden. High kora or low kora depends on your physical condition. The high kora climbs Angkor Ri south of Ganden and then drops down the ridge to join up with the lower kora. The low kora is easier than high kora.

Drak Yerpa hermitage is one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet. The site is deeply peaceful and has stunning views. There are many caves and retreats higher up the cliff face. There, you can have a climb on the hill. It is said that Lhasa is the shrine of Tibet, Drak Yerpa is the shrine of Lhasa. Without seeing Drak Yerpa in Lhasa is just like making a dress without the collar.

Day 04 Lhasa-Samye

Today's highlights:

Samye Monastery

Details:

In the morning drive to Samye Monastery, located in south of Tsetang, is the first Buddhist monastery erected in Tibet. The first floor is of the Tibetan style and the second the Han style and the third the Indian style. Stay overnight at the poor guesthouse near Samye.

We will start our Samye-Lhamo Latso Trekking at Samye Monastery next day.

Time Chart

Day                           Place                       hours
1                    Samye-Gerpa Ferry               9
2                       Ngari Tratsang                   7
3                       Zangri Karmar                   8
4                    Cholung Monastery            6 1/2
5                      Nomad Camp                  4 1/2
6                         Amando                         7
7                       Chokorgye                    6 1/2
8                      Lhamo Latso                    4

Day 05 Trek from Samye to Gerpa Ferry 9hrs.

The pilgrimage heads east from Samye along the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo to the village of Lo. During the rainy season of July and August, this sandy area can be flooded, making the going difficult. After Lo, the train disappears. Stick close to the river and walk towards the low bluffs that come down to the water. It takes 5 hours from Samye to reach the entrance of the Doh Valley, running north-south. From here stay close to the Tsangpo for four more hours to Gerpa Ferry, a small landing by the river. The going can be muddy along the trackless north bank.

Day 06 Trek from Gerpa Ferry to Ngari Tratsang 7hrs.

Wade across a small river that flows south into the Tsangpo.This region is barren. A trail following the Tsangpo starts east of here and makes the going easier. From the ferry to the last bluff takes 4 hours. The snow peak to the south is Yala Shampo, across the river is Tsetang. The trail now heads north, veering left just before another ferry. Crosses a small bridge and after 3 hours reaches the village of Chermen or called Timen at the entrance of Yon Valley. Tagka Sho is a short distance to the east.

Day 07 Trek from Ngari Tratsang to Zangri Karmar 8hrs.

Follow the well-defined track 1km north of the river to Jang. Goats, sheep and donkeys abound in this prosperous area. From Jang walk 1/2 hour to a small village next to the main path. At this point a track on the left zigzags up a range of mountains to the northeast. A 3 hours walking along it leads to Densatil Monastery. After returning from Densatil, continue along the river to Pumdru. Leave the main track that continues along the river, and follow a side trail, lined by transmission towers, up the hill to the left. Cross a small rise and then descend towards Zangri.Follow a motor road for 10 minutes to where wooden posts block the road. Take a side road to the left. 10 minutes further along the main road is a small hill on the left. From Jang to here is 5 hours. Climb for 15 minutes to the Gelugpa monastery of Zangri Karmar.

Day 08 Trek from Zangri Karmar to Cholung Monastery 6.5 hrs.

A scenic motor road runs north for 22km from Zangri Karmar, along the east bank of the Tsangpo river, to a power station. After the station follow the wider of the two valleys to the left. Carry on along the valley for 1 3/4 hours to a small bridge. Here the valley divides again. The motor road continues to the left. Take the dirt track to the right through a side valley. This is the Woka Valley, trending to the northeast. After 1 1/4 hours on a level path, the valley widens, with good views of sacred Wode Gungyal to the right. Ignore the small bridge that crosses the river on the right. Continue for 15 minutes to good campgrounds, then follow the jeepable track to Woka. From the camping area to Woka is 3.5hours. From woka cross a small bridge and head east towards the mountains along the right side of the Woka Valley. Cross a range of low hills to reach Cholung Monastery.

Day 09 Trek from Cholung Monastery to Nomad Camp 4.5 hrs.

For hours from Cholung, the valley abruptly becomes a narrow gorge flanked by sheer cliffs. Climb a small bluff, bearing to the right. Cross a bridge at the top and descend to a small lateral valley with nomad tents. It's possible to stay with the herdsmen, surrounded by yaks and snowcapped mountains.

Day 10 Trek from Nomad Camp to Amando 7 hrs.

Cross a small hill on the n


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