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Trips China Tibet

Ganden to Samye Monastery Trek

Tibet is a beautiful rugged, desolated, mountainous region with numerous snow-capped peaks, jade-green lakes, with a predominant Buddhist influence. What better than a trek in the highland plateau of Tibet ?

Founded in 1409, Ganden ( 4500m ) was the first Gelugpa monastery and has remained the main seat of this major Buddhist order since then. If you only have time for one monastery excursion outside Lhasa, Ganden would probably be the best choice. With its stupendous views of the surrounding Kyi-chu Valley and fascinating kora, Ganden is an experience unlike the other major Gelugpa monasteries in the Lhasa area.

Samye, established between 765 and 780, was Tibet's very first monastery and has a history that spans over 1200 years. Samye, located in the middle of the sandy Samye valley and approached via a beautiful river crossing, has a magic about it that causes many travellers to stay longer than they had intended.

The Ganden to Samye trek is one of the most popular in Tibet; offering lakes, beautiful alpine forests and meadows, as well as two centres of Tibetan religious culture. The trek may begin less than 50km from Lhasa but it is a demanding 4-5 day trek, over a distance of 80km and crossing 2 high passes over 5000m.

Due to the high altitude, we take good time acclimatizing in Lhasa and Ganden before we start out on this trek. Trekkers must be well-prepared for extremes in weather and terrain and for some people, the altitude will create serious difficulties for them while crossing the high passes of Shug La of Chitu La if they're slow-acclimatizers.

This trip covers the highlights of Tsetang, Lhasa, Samye & Ganden. Activities include overland drive, culture sightseeing, trekking, visit to alpine lakes.


  • Full accommodation arrangement ( twin-sharing basis in hotels outside of trek) with daily breakfasts
  • Full transport arrangement & airport transfers
  • Full trekking arrangement ( camping & kitchen equipment, yak porterage, guides, cook, and return transfers )
  • Entrance tickets to the listed scenic spots as well as special travel permits for Tibet
  • Either Chinese or English speaking guide service
  • All expenses for guides, drivers, and vehicles
  • Oxygen support for overland journey & trek in Tibet


  • Return international & domestic airfares between Singapore & Chengdu & Lhasa
  • All airport taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Meals during tour except for breakfast which is provided with accommodation
  • Tipping & gratuities to guide & driver
  • Fees for photography inside monastery chapels & other places where extra fees are required
  • Personal travel insurance, pre-trip medical immunizations, and all expenses of a personal nature
  • Personal travel & trekking gear & clothing

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Duration: 14 days
Dates: 10 - 23 Jun 12
  04 - 17 Nov 12
Group Size: minimum 2 persons
Maximum Altitude: 5,250m ( Shug La pass )
Group Sizing
Land Price
08 - 11 persons 1750
04 - 07 persons 1960
02 - 03 persons 2500
* Price above is land cost only and does not includes international return air fares.
* Lhasa - Potala Palace, Jokhang monastery visits
* Sera, Ganden, Samye monasteries, & Yongbulakang Palace
Challenging 80km trek over two high passes exceeding 5000m in altitude
* Tsedang - “the cradle of Tibetan Civilization”

The vast Tibetan plains and beautiful alpine lakes

Day 1 - 2
Singapore - Chengdu - Lhasa ( flight )
Day 3 - 4

We spend these 2 days acclimatizing in Lhasa with visits to Potala Palace, Jorkhang Temple, Sera monastery, Drepung monastery, including a day trip to Tsurphu monastery, the seat of the Karmapa (the living Buddha) and one of the main temples of the Karma Kagyu sect. Evenings are ffree n easy time for shopping at Barkhor Square and other personal activities.

Day 5 - 9

5 Day Ganden ( 4500m ) to Samye Monastery Trek, passing the hightest point Jokarla Pass at 5200m.

Day 10 Morning visit of Samye monastery before driving out to Tsedang. Visit the Yongbulakang Palace and Tandruk temple.
Day 11 - 13 Drive to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake. Visit Palcho monastery, Kumbum and drive to Shigatse. Visit Tashi Lunbu monastery and drive back to Lhasa.
Day 14 Lhasa - Chengdu - Singapore

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Beware that any trip to Tibet will involve high altitude travel and may be tough especially for most of us who live at sea level. The main deciding factor to whether you'll enjoy the trip or not will be your ability to acclimatize to the high altitudes within the prescribed trip period. We will provide oxygen support during the overland & trek period but do note that this is not a substitute for proper acclimatization which is subjective and cannot be pre-determined in each person.

Our typical Tibet overland trips are rated 3 'mountains' due to the high altitude. For most people, getting used to the thin air is already a major task so for this trip with 5 days of trekking at high altitude above 5000m, it is rated at a difficulty level of '4 mountains'. Beside an abilit y to acclimatize well, good fitness level is required.

At high altitudes between 4000m to 5200m, even an easy walk will push your lungs pretty hard if one is not well-acclimatized enough so sufficient acclimatization is one of the main criteria to an enjoyable & comfortable time on this outing. On certain days, the overland drives will be long so this trip may not be suitable for those who dislike long drives as well as unprepared people looking for a comfortable holiday. All participants must travel with an open mind and positive attitude. For many, however, the superb beauty of the Tibetan highlands will more than often not make up for whatever discomfort you may experience on the trip and leave you with lasting memories of this adventure of a lifetime.

All participants are strongly advised to join our weekly GCS to tune up their fitness for this trip.

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