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Forbidden Lhasa & Ganden-Samye Trek

View Of Ganden Monastery - Tibet.

16 Days Tour of Central & South Tibet + 6 Days Trek
Best Season: May - October
This trip explores Central and south Tibet including the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley, the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Additionally it includes a short 5 days trek.

Ganden-Samye trek is a 5 days trek that connects two of Tibet's most important monasteries of Ganden and Samye. It offers fantastic walking, superb scenery, and interaction with Tibetan villagers and highland nomads. It is a fairly demanding trek and crosses two passes over 5000 meters. Participants must be physically strong and in good health.

Special Festival Tibet Treks Year 2009

  1. Samye Dolde - June 27-July 12
  2. Thanka Unveiling (Tashilhunpo) - June 25-July 10
  3. Shoton Festival - Aug 18-Sept 2

Special Festival Tibet Treks Year 2010

  1. Samye Dolde - June 19-July 3
  2. Thanka Unveiling (Tashilhunpo) - June 16-30
  3. Shoton Festival - Aug 8-23
Private tour dates available on request


Arrive in Lhasa Gonggar Airport. Meet and transfer to Kyichu/Dhoodgu Hotel.

We will have two full days in Lhasa to make excursions to the following places: The Jokhang - The Jokhang is the principal and holiest Buddhist temple in Lhasa, as well as all of Tibet. It is the focus of devotion of hundreds of Tibetans from near and far who circle it to gain spiritual merit. The Jokhang was first constructed in the 7th century and has a large gold image of Sakyamuni Buddha or Jowo Rinpoche.

Norbulingka - The Norbulingka, a richly decorated complex located in a beautiful garden setting, is the traditional summer palace of the Dalai Lamas.

Drepung and Nechung Monastery - Drepung is the biggest monastic university of Tibet housing 7-8000 monks prior to the Cultural Revolution. Adjoining to Drepung Monastery is the Nechung Monastery, residence of Tibet's state oracle.

Potala Palace - Potala is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama and is believed to contain 1,000 rooms. Potala was rated as one of the wonders of the world in the early 14th century.

We will also visit the Barkor bazaar in Lhasa, a colorful congregating place for Tibetan merchants.

Early morning drive to Ganden, one of the 3 monastic universities of Tibet. Our trek begins from Ganden. 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. 1 hr from Hepu reach Ani Pangong, a small nunnery. The trail climbs steadily for 1 hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do.

In 2 hrs past Yama Do we ascend Shug-la pass (5250 m). It takes atleast 1.5 hrs from the basin negotiating boulders and lumpy ground along the final steep climb to the pass. The route continues over 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.

From the Tsotup Chu valley, follow a small tributary entering from the south-west. The route follows steeply upwards for 30 mins until you reach a large basin. The terrain is not particularly difficult to reach Chitu-la pass (5100 m) 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.

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 (4020 m) 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.

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

Day 09:
Visit Samye Monastery, the first monastic institute built by King Trisong Detsen under the spiritual guidance of Padma Sambawa in early 8th century, and Yumbulakhang, the first castle built for Tibet's first recorded king Nyatri Tsenpo. O/N Snowpigeon Hotel.

Day 10: TSEDANG-GYANGTSE (3990 M), 350 KMS
Drive via Yamdrok, the Turquoise Lake to Gyangtse across Kampa la pass 5050 m and Karo la (5045 m)passes. Visit Kubum stupa and Pelkor Chode Monastery.

Drive to Shigatse. En route visit Shalu Monastery.Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama who is the 2nd in the Buddhist religious hierachy and Shigatse Market.

Drive to Shegar across Tsoula pass (4500 M) and Gyatso la pass (5220 M). En route visit
Sakya Monastery.

Day 13: SHEGAR-RONGBUK(5050 M)
Drive via Pangla pass (5200 M) to Rongbuk Monastery, world's highest monastery situated at 5200 M. O/N Rongbuk Guest House.

We have the option to hike or drive to Everest Base Camp. Rongbuk Guest House

Day 15: NYLAM
After watching sunrise over Everest, we drive on to Nylam. Nylam Guest House.

Drive to Zhangmu and on to Kathmandu. En route visit Milarepa Cave. We descend from the high arid Tibetan plateau into the lush greenery of Nepal.

Cost in USD Per Person: (MIN 2 PAX)

2 PAX: USD 2500 per person
3 ~ 4 PAX: USD 2250 per person
5 ~ 9 PAX: USD 1950 per person
10+ PAX: USD 1850 per person

Single supplement - USD 350
Airfare KTM-LXA - USD 273+83 (USD 356)

Cost Includes:
● Tibet permit, entrance fees
● Twin sharing accommodation in hotels on BB Plan
● Full service camping with Tibet staffs
● Yaks & yak herders
● Transportation by Toyota jeep + support truck for food & equipment
●  Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) + oxygen

Cost Excludes:
● Airfare & airport taxes
● Insurance & emergency rescue charges
● Tibet visa fee
● Personal clothing & accessories including sleeping bags
● Extra porter/transport charges in the event of landslides
● Others not specified in above cost inclusions list