Trekking in Tibet

Ganden to Samye Trek

Ganden to Samye Trek
  • Total Duration

    15 days
  • Duration in Tibet

    11 days
  • Trek Grade

    Moderate to Adventurous
  • Trek Starts

  • Trek Ends

“Adventure at the Roof of the world”


The trek to Samye Monastery from Ganden is one of the most beautiful and pleasant trek with steep uphill route, it can be quite strenuous because of its high altitude of over 5000m passes of Shuga La (5,240m) and Chitu-La (5040m/16,700ft) the Trek from Ganden heads south reaching the first ridge at 4,510m. After an hour walk, the trail continues due south across the valley leading up to the first pass, Shuga-la, after the last village of Hebu. On the first few hours of trek there are few places where you need to cross the streams and creeks. The trail passes through nomads and Shepherds camp with the hill side dotted with marmot’s dens. The dwarf rhododendron along this area is delightful and beautiful sight during the summer when it’s in bloom in miniature bouquets of pink, white and purple.

As the trek passes through beautiful country and meadows of green carpets, camp is made where there is creek nearby on the summer pastures. Before Chitu-la there is a small glacial lake, after the pass the trail follows the creek all the way to the Samye valley through the Yamalung pilgrimage site of the Nyingmapa sect, as you come to the village of Nyango. A good three hours walk from here brings you to the first great Buddhist Monastery in Tibet, at Samye founded in 775 A.D.



22 April to 06 May
08 May to 22 May
03 June to 17 June
10 August to 24 August
31 August to 14 September
12 October to 26 October


Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu (1300m) and Transfer to Hotel
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the hotel, where our Sherpa guide or the office staff will give you a brief orientation about the hotel, Kathmandu itself, trekking, and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal, including an overview of the next day's sightseeing tour. In the evening, you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of the finest traditional Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu, with the necessary transfer to and from the hotel by taxi, bus. Overnight in Hotel
Day 02: Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
After your breakfast, you will precede to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will tour the ancient palace, the temple of the Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal, Hanuman Dhoka, and Kasthamandav Temple with a guide knowledgeable about Nepalese history, architecture, and religion. From there, you will proceed by taxi, bus to the Buddhist site, Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of its lively troops of resident monkeys. You will then visit Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest shrine for Hindus, situated on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, a popular cremation site. Before returning to the hotel, you will visit Boudhnath Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to many colorful gompas, or monasteries. Once back at the hotel, you will receive a briefing about the trek and have a chance to meet your guides and ask any last minute questions before tomorrow morning's departure. Overnight in Hotel
Day 03: Fly to Lhasa (3650m)
Morning transfer to the International airport for your flight to Lhasa, one of the most dramatic and scenic short flights in the world. You’ll be met on arrival at Gongkar airport to begin drive around 45 minutes into Lhasa. After checking in the rest of your day is at leisure to rest and acclimatize. Please note it is important today and the next couple of days to take things easy and not rush around, to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water to allow your body to acclimatize. If you feel well and want to explore and take a gentle walk locally that’s fine but we don’t plan anything on this first day in order to allow you to rest and acclimatize first. Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 04: Lhasa sightseeing
Today you will have a sightseeing tour of Sera Monastery, one of the most important and old monastery of Tibet, as well a school for Tibetan Buddhism. The Jorkhang Temple is another interesting place to visit as it boasts a lot of historic importance and tales. Conclude the day tour by visiting Bharkor Bazaar. Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 05: Lhasa sightseeing
Today it’s also another day for the sightseeing tour to Potala Palace, originally built during 640 AD. The 13 storied palaces stand 117.19m high with 1000 rooms, big and small. Afternoon we visit Drepung monastery; the largest of all monasteries in Tibet. Overnight in Hotel
Day 06: Drive to Ganden
Morning drive to Ganden, the journey cover 70 kilometers to the north east outskirt of Lhasa valley and the journey passes through interesting rural villages and farm field and finally reaching at Ganden for the overnight halt. Ganden one of the main monastery of Tibet, founded by the great abbot Tshon Khapa of Gelukpa sect. It was estblished in 1409, Ganden means the joyful. Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 07: Full day in Ganden with short hike and Monastery tour
A necessary acclimatization day, this free leisure day for short walk around this great place and visit to the Monastery, half the Monastery area and its building was badly destroyed during the cultural revolution. Ganden monastery situated at an altitude of 4,267m and the founder of Geluk-pa sect and of Ganden Monastery. He lived in almost dark rooms with a low ceiling. These structures have been preserved for many years. His remains were preserved in golden funerary-chorten having on both sides' tombs of his two principal disciples. Later, several new buildings were added. However, after 1959, almost all the monastery of Ganden was razed to the ground. From the past 10 years reconstruction of this monastery is under way, but only the Lord knows how much time it will take to regain its past glory. At present there are about two hundred monks only living here. Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 08: Trek and camp en-route
Today you will trek to Gyama Valley and trek to the bottom of Shuga-la for the overnight camp. The trek passes through the village of Hebu as you camp near Shuga-La on the meadow beside the Drogpa camp (Nomads). Overnight stay at camp
Day 09: Trek to Chitu-La
The trek passes the Shuga-La and camp before or after the Chitu-La depending upon the availability of the water and camp. 5-6 hours walk and overnight at Camp. Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 10: Trek to Samye via the way of Yamalung and the Nyengo settlement
Today you will trek to Samye via the way of Yamalung and the Nyengo settlement. Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 11: Morning tour of Samye monastery and drive to Tsedang
Samye Monastery, this was the first monastery established in Tibet, located on the north bank of Yarlung Tsangpo River, south east of Lhasa. It was constructed by Padmasambhava (Guru Ringboche) and Santarakshita between AD 763 and 775 in the reign of King Dristan Destin. The Samye monastery was modeled on the University of Odantapuri in India and was made on a plan representing the mount Sumeru (Rirab) which is considered the axis of universe. The four pagodas in white, blue, green and red represents the four worlds in the north, south, east and west of the universe, smaller temples represents the island between the worlds. The main temple is dedicated to Avalokiteshvara (Chenresi). Acccording to a legend, Padmasambhava magically compelled Tibetan demons to collect stones and wood each night for constuction by men during day. The Nagas (serpent deities) procured the funds. This famous monastery was the site of a major Buddhist council called "Council of Samye' held there in 792-794, Two learned teachers, one from India and the other from China participated in the debate. India was represented by Kamlasila and China by Hashang and in Samye for the sightseeing of the ancient Monastery and trek to the bank of Yarlung-Tsangpo (Bhramaputra River). After a relaxing day at Samye, two hours walk to the bank of the Yarlung-Tsangpo River. Here we board on the Ferry a barge like boat propelled by the motor engine 40 minutes of scenic float brings to the bank where our vehicle will be waiting on the Lhasa to Tsedang main highway. From here an hour and a half drive to Tshedang the growing city. Tshedang in the early century use to be the actual capital of the northern Tibetan Kingdom before it was shifted to Lhasa. Once back in the Hotel, time for leisure stroll around the town. Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 12: Full day sightseeing in Tsedang
Today after breakfast you’ll visit the ancient fort, where the actual castle like palace of the earlier king of Tibet of this Kychui Valley still stands a short drive to the outskirt of the City. Once after the drive a steep 30 minutes walk up to the palace fort. Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 13: Fly to Kathmandu
You will be transferred to airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. Once you land in Kathmandu airport, you will be picked up from the airport and drop you to the hotel. Rest of the time will be at leisure. Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 14: Leisure at Kathmandu
You will be transferred to airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. Once you land in Kathmandu airport, you will be picked up from the airport and drop you to the hotel. Rest of the time will be at leisure. Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 15: Final departure
Today keep in mind your international flight time, so make sure to keep your confirmed air ticket and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from our amazing country, Nepal.

Useful Information

Tea House Trekking

On the more popular treks in Nepal, particularly in the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions, enterprising villagers have built teahouse lodges, similar to European style alpine lodges offering simple but comfortable accommodation and food. We offer a selection of single/twin sharing rooms in the best available lodges run to a high level of service. We also supply a four season sleeping bag and cotton liner free of charge on our teahouse treks. Hire of other key items if needed can be arranged in advance. During the trek you’ll have 3 meals a day, with a mixture of European and Asian style dishes and large portions. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included.

Fully Provisioned Camping Style Trekking

This type of trek is staffed by a full Sherpa crew including a Sirdar (head man), cook and assistants. Porters, yaks, horses or mules carry your main baggage. It is the Sherpa crew’s job to perform all the camp work, from setting up to providing freshly made meals,to leaving the site clean on departure. We provide twin share dome or a frame sleeping tents, a kitchen tent, mess tent and toilet tent. We also provide tables, chairs or stools,lanterns/candles, thin sleeping mattresses and all crockery and cutlery as well as a fully equipped kitchen set up. The Sherpa crew will cook, wash up, and provide hot water for washing and tea and coffee at night and for your wake up call. Food is a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, with lots of choice, freshly prepared. As with teahouse trekking you can expect 3 main meals each day. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included. A few of our teahouse treks involve crossing high passes and necessitate camping for a couple of nights. We provide full camping services for these nights including providing four season sleeping bags.

Small Group Travel

Most of our trips, treks and tours are organized on a small group basis, usually with a maximum of 16 persons in a group. On family holidays the maximum number is 20 to allow a number of families to join a group. By keeping numbers small we are able to offer a friendly, personal and high quality service.

Tailor Made Private Charter Adventures

We offer a very competitive complete tailor made service and are happy to design private charter programs for individuals and for groups as well as to tailor any of our packages to more closely meet your requirements. We have a wealth of experience in helping many clients in designing and planning individual adventures, ranging from romantic breaks to personal challenges, fundraising programs,student programs to extreme adventure expeditions, from low budget to no expense spared. We don’t charge a fortune to tailor make a trip for you and we have plenty of ideas, suggestions and experience we’re happy to share. We’ll work closely with you to design your adventure. Our advertised brochure prices will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay but we’ll provide individual quotes based upon your itinerary, requirements,budget and number of people traveling. Let us take care of the research and arrangements for your flights, accommodation,guides,transport,permits,peak fees,equipment requirements,food and all ground handling service for treks, expeditions or tours, using our local knowledge, expertise and contacts. And you can get on with enjoying yourself.

Group and Club Organizers

If you are organizing a trip for a group or a club we will offer one free* additional place for every 10 bookings made. You can use this for your own travel, use it to reduce the overall cost of the trip for everyone or perhaps offer it as a fantastic prize for your group members or for a charity. Contact us for more details and for conditions (*permit fees, national park entry fees, airfares and departure taxes not included).

Grading System

In Nepal, the trails often zigzag with plenty of ascents and descents and it is better to think in terms of hours spent walking rather than miles covered. A typical day’s walking is from five to seven hours with a number of ascents and descents. This includes a one hour lunch stop, a comfortable pace of walking and time to enjoy your surroundings. We use four grades for our treks, intended to give you a general sense of what to expect and to help you choose which adventure will suit you best. Factors such as weather conditions, altitude, fitness level, experience, interests and how you feel on a particular day all contribute to how easy or strenuous you find a trip. If you’re unsure of whether a trek is suitable for you just contact us before making your booking.

Equipment Checklist

A pair of light hiking boots
A pair of sandals
2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
1 medium poly pro shirt
1 pile jacket
1 down jacket
1 woolen hat
A pair of sunglasses
A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
A pair of woolen gloves
One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
Two Reading books (Optional)
One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
A one liter water bottle
A pair of trekking poles
One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one -5 to -20 sleeping bag
Two T-shirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
Two Trekking baggy pants

Toiletry Items

Towel, pre-moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items such as toothbrush, comb, etc.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries, reading/writing materials, postcards of hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with Nepalese people, safety pins, sewing kit, zip lock bags for small items.

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