Ganden to Samye Trek

Ganden to Samye Trek

Look no further for a comprehensive glimpse into Tibet's vast landscapes and cultural points of interest. This trip begins with a drive north from Kathmandu along the Friendship Highway, crossing the border into the stark and rugged Tibetan plateau to the capital city of Lhasa. We'll spend the next three days exploring Lhasa's famous sights, including the majestic Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera and Drepung monasteries and the summer palace of Norbulinka. Given adequate time for acclimatization, we'll begin a five day trekking excursion into the mountainous valley rim, crossing over two epic 5000 meter passes to Samye, where the first Buddhist monastery to be built in Tibet still stands. We'll pass through haunting terrain bejeweled with ancient monasteries and sparse rural inhabitations en route.


Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

You will be greeted at the airport by a representative from Outdoor Expeditions and transported to your hotel. Unwind from your flight and meet us in the evening for a welcome dinner at a traditional Nepalese restaurant.

Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Kodari: 6 hours drive

We'll depart Kathmandu after breakfast and head north through mountainous terrain to Zhangmu, where we complete our immigration formalities. Crossing the border into Tibet via Nyalam, we'll enter a sprawling landscape of desolate beauty. Overnight at a guesthouse in Kodari.

Day 3: Drive from Nyalam to Lhatse: 6 - 8 hours drive

Traversing the stunning valley north of Nyalam, we'll stop at Milarepa's Cave, where the great Tibetan Buddhist philosopher Milarepa is said to have meditated. We continue to Lhatse, a small Tibetan village in the valley surrounding theYarlungTsamporiver.

Day 3: Drive from Lhatze to Shigatse 3900m/12795ft: 3 hours drive

Our drive continues to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. Here we can visit the spectacular Tashilunpo Monastery, an imposing fort-like structure erected under supervision of the first Dalai Lama in 1447.

Day 4: Drive from Shigatse to Gyantse 3950m/12959ft: 2.5 hours drive

Today's drive takes us passed Yamdruktso Lake, one of Tibet's three largest lakes - a stunning body of pristine water framed by distant snowcapped peaks. In Gyantse, visit PalkhorChoede monastery and the spectacular KumbumStupa.

Day 5: Drive from Gyantse to Lhasa 3650m/11975ft: 6 hours drive

Driving passed Yamdrok Lake outside Gyantse, we'll have breathtaking views of the nearby glacial moraine. We arrive in Lhasa, Tibet's capital city, in the evening.

Days 6-7: Sightseeing in Lhasa

Spend the next two days exploring Lhasa's spectacular cultural sights: Potala palace,Norbulinka,Jokhang temple, Bakhor Market, and Sera and Drepung Monasteries

Day 8: Drive to Ganden 4300m/14107ft, begin trek: 1 hour drive

Drive to Ganden and stop to visit the monastery, located at the top of the nearby Wangburmountain. We'll begin the trek from a trailhead near Garden. Overnight in tented camp. 

Days 9-11: Trekking period. Traverse high mountain pastures and barley fields.

Cross the 5000 meter Shug La and Chitu La passes.

Day 12: Trek ends at Samye.

Visit the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet.

Day 13: Drive from Samye to Tsedang 3550m/11646ft: 4 hours drive

Drive from Samye to the banks of the YarlungTsangporiver. We'll cross the river by ferry and continue driving to Tsedang. Visit Yunbulakang, a hilltop castle built by the first King of the Yalong river valley.

Day 14: Drive from Tsedang to Lhasaand fly to Kathmandu: 2 hour drive and 45 minute flight

Return to Lhasa in the morning by jeep. Fly to Kathmandu, arriving in the afternoon and transfer to your hotel. Thanks for traveling with Outdoor Expeditions. Farewell and Namaste

Cost Includes

  • Airport pickup and drop off in private vehicle
  • Hotel with included breakfast in Kathmandu
  • Private transportation and government licensed guide while sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
  • Government licensed, experienced trekking guide and porters during trekking
  • Insurance for trekking crew (guides and porters)
  • All required equipment for trekking crew, kitchen tent, dining tent, and toilet tent
  • Accommodations in hotels, tea-houses, or camps during trekking
  • Three daily meals while trekking
  • All required conservation fees and trekking permits (TIMS)

Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu
  • Entrance fees for attractions (UNESCO world heritage sites, museums, etc.) during sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • Personal insurance or cost of air rescue in the event of emergency
  • Air ticket to and from Nepal from your point of origin
  • Visa fee for entry into Nepal
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, hygiene items, staff tips, etc.)

Trip Note

This tour involves days of driving and leisurely sightseeing. The trekking period is strenuous, as two 5000 meter passes will be made. Adequate acclimatization will be ensured while sightseeing in high elevations before the trekking period. This trip can be undertaken year-round.