Samye Ganden Trek

Trip Duration 14 nights/15 days
Trip Code NAP-TST - 509
Trip Cost On Request
Trip Grade Sightseeing/Hiking and driving.
Best Time May-July / Sept-Dec

Overview

Samye Ganden Trek from Ganden to Samye is the most popular trek route in Tibet. This trek gives you a real taste of Tibetan highland adventure and an insight into Tibetan Buddhism. Interspersed with excursions to ancient monasteries, this trek is also recommended for the aficionado of Tibetan theology. This trekking trip starts by drive or fly from Kathmandu to Tibetan land first. Hence this trip begins with drive through the Friendship Highway to Lhasa or directly flight.

Ganden Samye trip begins after the arrival of all participants in Kathmandu, the group will meet up with the staffs of Nepal Adventure Point for introduction and briefing about the trip. The next day is the day for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You will be taken around for a tour of Bouddhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan and Swoyambhunath - the monkey temple. This tour will help you to understand about the historical and cultural background of Nepal, Kathmandu valley and the people of Nepal. The next couple of days are for checking equipments, final preparations, packing, Tibet visa and other necessary document for this trip.

After official procedure, we have schedule flight to Lhasa, where you will receive by our Tibetan guide and after completion of the immigration formalities then we drive to Lhasa (3658m). We will spend three nights in Lhasa and make sightseeing tours that covers the visit of the spiritual centers of Tibet: the Jokhang Temple, Sera and Drepung monasteries & the Potala Palace. From here, we will spend in trekking section which begins a 40-kms drive to Ganden from Lhasa, we visit the monastery, one of the main Gelugpa sects of Buddhism. On this trek we cross two high passes in the Tsotup Chu Valley, Shug-La (5250m) and Chitu-La (5100m). You will also get to explore the many monasteries that lie along the trekking trail.

Finally, then you will fly to Kathmandu and the farewell dinner will be at typical Nepali restaurant enjoying together with Nepali culture show program.

Highlights


* Rim of the Kathmandu valley
* Adventure journey into the innermost Tibetan high country
* Breathtaking panoramic view of 7000+ meter peaks of central Tibet Bizarre culture and lifestyle of Tibetan nomads and herders.
* Delightful traverse along scenic trail from Ganden to Samye across 5000m high pass
* Visit to Ganden Monastery, the first monastery of the Gelugpa sect
* Incredible discovery of Tibetan civilization in Yarlung valley
* Exciting and informative tour to the historical and cultural attractions of Lhasa
 

Trip Summary

Trip Grade Sightseeing/Hiking and driving.
Trip Duration 14 nights/15 days
Trip code NAP-TST - 509
Trip Start/Ends Kathmandu-Kodari/Lhasa-Kathmandu
Maximum Altitude Tsotup Chu Valley (5250m)
Trip Cost On Request
Group Size Minimum 2 upto 16 passengers
Accessibillity Scenic Schedule flight to and from Lhasa from Kathmandu
The Route Kathmandu to Lhasa -flight doing trekking as per the itinerary and return flight to Kathmandu
Season May-July / Sept-Dec
Trip Valid This offer is valid on reservations made from September through December 31, 2018.
Trip Facilities Standard hotel/Lodge both part of Tibet and Nepal,

Itinerary

Upon arrival at Tribhuwan international airport, welcomed by our representative and transfer to hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given in the evening at hotel about the daily program activities by your Group Leader/Guide.

After breakfast the day will start with a guided tour of Kathmandu's historical and spiritual key attractions; including the historic Kathmndu Durbar Square, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and then finally visit to Patan Durbar square which is situated the heart of the city constitutes the focus of visitor's attraction. In the evening there will be pre-trip discussion where you can meet your group leader/guide then you can ask any questions you may have.

After official procedure, this day we have 90 minute schedule flight take you to the Lhasa (3658m). On arrival Gangkar airport, you will be warmly welcome by our Tibetan guide and after immigration formalities we drive approximately 2 hour to the holy city of Lhasa along with the view of Bharmaputra, known as Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibetan and a giant stone carved Buddha with more than a thousand years history.

DAY 04-05: Excursion around Lhasa City: Our guided tour will follow by visiting - Jokhang Gompa - Jokhang is the holiest Gompa in Tibet. Shuffle among the pilgrims, butter lamps permeating the air, and find gruesome Gods in hidden annexes. There is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. After walking the holy inner circle complete a circuit of the Barkor, the market surrounding the Jokhang, for good luck. It is the best market to shop for all things Tibetan. Drepung and Sera Monasteries – Sera is one of the best preserved monasteries in Tibet, renown for its lively debating sessions in the courtyard each afternoon. Within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study. Drepung was founded in the 14th century and was once the largest Gompa in the world. These days the figure has been reduced to several hundred, but there is still much of interest to see here, as the structure escaped relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution. Norbulingka - Norbulingka is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and is in a quiet and relaxing garden. One particular mural inside depicts the history of Tibet and all the Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace - The magnificent Potala Palace dominates the city of Lhasa. It contains the winter quarters of the Dalai Lama, the jewel-encrusted gold and silver Stupas of previous Dalai Lamas as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.

DAY 04-05: Excursion around Lhasa City: Our guided tour will follow by visiting - Jokhang Gompa - Jokhang is the holiest Gompa in Tibet. Shuffle among the pilgrims, butter lamps permeating the air, and find gruesome Gods in hidden annexes. There is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. After walking the holy inner circle complete a circuit of the Barkor, the market surrounding the Jokhang, for good luck. It is the best market to shop for all things Tibetan. Drepung and Sera Monasteries – Sera is one of the best preserved monasteries in Tibet, renown for its lively debating sessions in the courtyard each afternoon. Within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study. Drepung was founded in the 14th century and was once the largest Gompa in the world. These days the figure has been reduced to several hundred, but there is still much of interest to see here, as the structure escaped relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution. Norbulingka - Norbulingka is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and is in a quiet and relaxing garden. One particular mural inside depicts the history of Tibet and all the Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace - The magnificent Potala Palace dominates the city of Lhasa. It contains the winter quarters of the Dalai Lama, the jewel-encrusted gold and silver Stupas of previous Dalai Lamas as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.

 Morning we drive head along the south bank of the Kyi Chu to Medro Gongkar, towards Ganden. On continuing eastwards you will drive past the Tibet University crossing the Lhasa east bridge to the gas station. After a 40-kms drive from Lhasa, you arrive at Ganden. Ganden Monastery is the first Gelugpa monastery and has remained the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since. Of all the other monasteries in Tibet, it is Ganden that has suffered the most at the hands of the red guards. Ganden has stupendous view of the Kyi-chu Valley and fascinating kora. The mountains round Ganden provide you a good warming up before the trek. At the south-west corner of Ganden is a large rock draped with prayer flags. Ganden is an interesting place to explore. The ochre walls of many of the buildings make a great backdrop for photographs. A large rocky cleft draped with colorful prayer flags, a religious destination among the locals of Ganden, is worth a visit. The locals can be seen circumambulating (Kora) clockwise around this cleft. You will further spend nights here to acclimatize and prepare for your forthcoming adventure.

You resume your trekking adventure as you trek away from Ganden towards south along the Angor Ri. After ascending for 2 hours, you see several cairns near a saddle. The trail further leads westwards descending to Hepu village. Here several houses become visible. 3 ½ hours of trekking brings you close to Shug-La pass. Ani Panong lies 1 hour away from Hepu. An hour of continuous ascent leads to lush meadows and soon appears Yama Do.

Leaving behind Yama Do, you climb eastwards negotiating boulders along the final climb a top 5250 meters of the Shug-La, the highest point on this trail. The pass is distinctively marked with its large cairn wrapped in prayer flags and yak horns. After a brief stop at the pass to savor the grand vistas you make a sharp descent walking past a boulder field. The trail eventually opens into the valley. Up ahead in a distance the trail crosses the Tsotup Chu, a large stream with rich pastures of yaks, goats and sheep. You encounter several herders on the way. After trekking for 4-5 hours, you reach the Tsotup Chu Valley.

As you turn away from Tsotup Chu Valley, you come across main water course following from the south-east and a tributary from the south-west. You take the route along this tributary followed by steep ascents for 30 minutes to a large basin and thereafter, the tributary disappears out of sight. The trail further opens into the valley progressing south to the Chitu-La at 5100 meters capped with several cairns. The trail further brushes past a sheer rock wall on its south flank. Thereafter, follows a descent into a basin showcasing three turquoise lakes. Further on, the trail moves on to the west side of the stream and thereon, after 30 minutes approaches campsite. Many herders’ camps can be seen at the nearby locations. Following the rock-strewn valley floor, you will head to a flat seasonal herder's camp in the east side of the valley. Soon after returning to the west side of the valley, you will near another seasonal herders' camp.

Traversing through the lush scrub forest along the wide trail, you trek ahead, taking in the refreshing sights of verdant vegetation. The trail is dotted with fragrant junipers growing on southern slopes and rhododendron on the shadier slopes. Further ahead the village of Changtang comes into view, where the majority of the local villagers are engaged in animal husbandry. Yarlung Tsangpo valley can be viewed on the south. You can ascend steeply up to Yamalung Hermitage for one hour. But if you choose not to climb this ascent, you can simply wait near the bridge. Ancient history has it that Guru Rinpoche, after rigorous meditation attained spiritual enlightenment with the blessings from the deity of Amitayus at Yamalung. This hermitage houses small temples which shelters monks, sacred springs and stone carvings of 8th Guru Rinpoche, King Trisong Detsen and Indian pundit Shantarakshita. Stone houses come into sight after walking for one hour to the village of Nyango. The trail overlooks the tributary streams cascading from the north-west to join the Samye valley. The old trade route from Lhasa to Samye via the Gokar-La follows this valley. The trail further proceeds towards Wango. You further head towards Pisha.

Pisha offers picturesque view of the lower Samye valley. At its lower end an undulating hill called Hepo Ri appears into picture. This is regarded very sacred. The trail winds through the ridge of Dragmar towards verdant fields and villages of Samye reviving ancient history. A partially rebuilt palace is nestled on the summit. History boasts that the palace is the birthplace of King Trisong Detsen and had a grand temple in the ancient time. Further off the road, you will find a small red and white temple which is believed to have been built under the shade of white sandalwood tree and nourished by the buried placenta of King Trisong in the ancient time but was chopped off during Cultural Revolution. Further on, the trail overlooking amazing spires leads to Sangbu village. You will find a well trodden track to Samye.

As you approach Samye Valley, you can visit the Samye monastery bearing panoramic picture. Shortly after this insightful visit, you will drive to Tsedang, the third largest city in central Tibet. On the Southeast of Tsedang, you will get to observe mesmerizing views of mountain Gangpo Ri standing at 4,130 meters above sea level. Tibetans regard this mountain as their legendary birthplace and consider it to be immensely significant. You can eventually rest for the night at a comfortable guest house. You get to explore the Yarlung valley, which is also known as the Valley of Tombs. Ancient Tibetan history boasts that Tibetan civilization was originated from Yarlung valley. You can spot massive burial mounds of Tibetan Kings. This day’s sights include Tandruk (Trandruk) Monastery, a 7th century monastery, which holds fantastic wood carved altar, interesting relics and murals. Yambulakang, the castle perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley is the oldest known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlung Kings. The view from the castle is awesome. The tour continues to the west of Tsedang, crossing the Tsangpo River on a boat to Samye Monastery, founded in 779 AD, is in a green valley among barren mountains surrounded by a village. Samye Monastery is one of the most imposing sights of Tibet. Built between 763 and 75 AD modeled on the University of Otantapuri in India and planned as a representation of the universe, it has a collection of pagodas and temples.

This day drive to Gongkar airport according to your flight estimate time of departure, it is time to say your farewells to your guide and driver.

This full day at leisure to rest, relax or explore the local area in Kathmandu or do a bit of last minute shopping. You also have the option of doing some sightseeing. 

After breakfast you will have some free time until the time to leave the international airport for your final departure.

Cost Included


Cost includes in Tibet Part
* Accommodation on twin sharing with breakfast mentioned as per above the itinerary
* All camping equipment whilst camping
* Full board (Breakfast, Lunch and dinner) whilst camping
* Support truck to transport food, luggage and camping equipment.
* All airport transfers
* Sightseeing as per itinerary
* English speaking interpreter/guide (Tibetan)
* Tibet entry permit
* Chinese visa fees

Cost includes Nepal Part
* Accommodation: 4 night’s hotel in Kathmandu on bed breakfasts basis.
* Activities: One day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
* Transportation: Arrival/Departure transfer and surface road-head transportation.
* Company and Government’s service charge: All applicable Government taxes and  and official service charges.
 

Cost Excluded

Cost excludes in Tibet Part
* All international flight, departure taxes
* Personal expenses such as drinks, postage, and laundry
* Meals apart from breakfast on non-camping portion of the trip
* Travel insurance
* Emergency evacuation
* Tips and gratuities
* Official service charges.

* Cost excludes in Nepal
* Lunch and dinner while in city
* Bar bills and Beverages
* Optional activities
* And unforeseen expenses which are out of control by Nepal Adventure Point
 
 

Trip Notes

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