The Ganden to Samye trek route has proved to be one of the most captivating of all Tibetan treks with a rich variety of scenery from high snowy passes to lush alpine meadows to the desert like environs of the Samye monastery.
There are secluded valleys inhabited by nomads and yaks. This pilgrimage route is well used by Tibetans who combine a visit to Ganden, The principal monastery of yellow hat sect with a hard but reasonable direct walk to Samye, the first monastery of Tibet.
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa (3650m/11972ft)
Upon arrival in Lhasa, get received by our local representative from either from the airport or the train station and get transferred with an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. It is advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Spend the evening exploring the Jorkhang bazaar or explore the city at your leisure.
Days 02 – 03: Lhasa Sightseeing
For the next two days, you will need to gather all of your energy to explore the wonders (and that is no overstatement) of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the ancient Barkhor market, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery. There is so much to see and experience in this magical city and your guide will do his or her best to explain, show and enthuse – enjoy your time here!
Day 04: Lhasa – Jogsumba
Drive eastward to about 72 kms. To Ganden, one of the Tibet’s three major monasteries, and on to Gyama, overnight camp near village of Jogsumba.
Day 05: Jogsumba – Hebu Village
Today you will begin the trek from the Ganden complex. This is also the beginning of the Ganden circuit and you will most likely meet pilgrims on their way to circumambulate the monastery. Arriving at a fork take the lower left which contours along one side of the Wangku Ri. The upper Hebu valley can be seen below, to the left of the ridge. It branches into two side valleys. A village stands near the entrance of the nearer one. The path down from the saddle passes this village. Walk from the saddle to Hebu village. After passing a steep cliff face, camp.
Day 06: Hebu Village – Tso uptso Valley
Starting early for the hard day ahead from the nomad camp, continue up the Hebu valley. The path heads due south by following the river’s right bank. Past the entrance of two side valleys opening to the right ad left continue climbing to Jooker la. From the top of Jooker la you can seem a grand panorama of mountain ranges. There is a long waterfall ahead. From the pass walk down slopes strewn with rocks zigzagging along the higher stretches of the ridge before straightening out once the trial becomes distinc. Next to the entrance of a side valley may be Nomad tents and across the valley are stone enclosures for animals. The path to Samye turns right up this side valley, following the west bank of the river.
Day 07: Tso Uptso Valley – Headers Camp
From the first side valley walk up to Sukhe La which is lower and easier than the Jooker la Climb gradually except for a short steep section near the top of the pass and descend past two glacial lakes ringed by large rock formations. Beyond this the valley narrows into a gorge befre opening to grassy meadows, a lovely section of the walk, Camp.
Day 08: Headers Camp – Samye
The trail gets wider and easier as following it through scrub forests in the main valley with beautiful streams and lush forests surrounded. The next few hours are arguably the most delightful part of the entire trek. Enjoy the more than 15 types of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and vast meadow on the trail. Continue to Changtant. Thi is the major village since Hepu. Further down is Nyangohere from where you take a tractor to Samye Monastery.
Day 09: Headers Camp – Samye
Today visit Samye Monastery which is the oldest monastery in Lhasa, cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahamputra) by river Ferry, followed by a short drive to Tsetang. Sightseeing of Tsetang.
Day 10: Final departure
Leisure until getting transferred to the Lhasa Airport / Railway Station by our local representative for your onward journey.