Fulfill the Most Scenic Pilgrmage in Tibet
9-Day Tibet Tour with Lhasa and a Ganden–Samye Trek
You’ll ascend into the amazing Potala Palace, visit the top three monasteries of the Gelug (Yellow Hat) Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, witness the magnificent landscape between the Lhasa River valley and the Yarlung-Tsangpo Canyon, meet friendly Tibetan people, and arrive at "the cradle of Tibetan history and culture"at the end. (xz-29)
Tour 'Wow' Points
Connect the Lhasa River Valley and the Yarlung-Tsangpo Canyon with Your Footprints
Follow in the steps of Tibetan monks'pilgrimaging between the two great monasteries. Experience the snowy mountains and awesome valleys, rivers, lakes, and meadows during a 4-day trek.
See Tibet's First Palace and Greatest Palace
Discover the origins of the Tibetan history in Yumbulakang Palace, and unlock stories of the mysterious Dalai Lamas in the Potala Palace.
Step into Tibetan Life in the Less-Touristy Corners of Barkhor Street
Feel the piety of local Tibetans as you see them worship with their whole body touching the ground. Explore a local market to experience Tibetan daily life and sit in a peaceful nunnery for a cup of sweet tea that's loved by locals.
Appreciate the Splendid, Fortress-Like Ganden Monastery
Visit the ancestral monastery of Tibetan Buddhism's Gelug Sect. Enjoy the magnificent architectures, exquisite murals, priceless Buddhist art work, and the tranquility there.
Delight in the Lovely Colors of the Pagodas in Samye Monastery
Visit the "cradle"monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Find clues to the birth and development of Tibetan Buddhism in Samye’s architecture, containing the styles of India, the Han Chinese empire, and Tibet’s own distinctive identity.
Why Choose Us
Your Wellbeing is Our Priority.
- 1-to-1 travel expert
- Vaccinated guides
- Private Rides
Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.
- No crowds
- Exclusive Exciting Experiences
Your Booking is Risk-Free.
- No cancellation fee
- Free changes
Finish Your Booking in as Quick as 1 Day
About China Highlights
Since 1959 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
Top of the World!
From our welcome at the airport with the traditional Tibetan scarves to our departure 3 days later, out time in Lhasa was nothing short of fabulous! Our guide, Tenzin was exceptionally energetic, knowledgeable and friendly. He made sure our time was spent experiencing the many wonderful sites as well as learning about the history and culture of this exciting place.Thank you to China Highlights and their local partners, in particular our fabulous guide Tenzin for organizing and executing a most wonderful trip! more
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Your private guide and driver will pick you up at Lhasa's airport or train station and accompany you to your hotel.
Visit the Potala Palace in the morning. Prepare to enjoy the resplendent chambers, exquisite wall paintings, and the stories about the king of the Tubo Kingdom and Dalai Lamas.
Have a walking tour in the afternoon. Visit Jokhang Temple and explore Barkhor Street including its local market, admire traditional Tibetan architecture, and take afternoon tea in peaceful Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery.
Start to discover Tibet's religion with the biggest and the most important monastery of Tibetan Buddhism — Drepung Monastery.
After lunch, visit Sera Monastery and watch a monks' debate. Guess the meaning of their gestures and grasp the chance to take photos. Admire the colorful thangka-style murals on the rocks on the hill behind, which is normally missed by most tourists, and enjoy a great panoramic view of Lhasa city from the monastery.
Drive from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery. This main monastery of the Gelug Sect has a magnificent building group.
Then continue to Tsubshi Village in your private car. Trek from there to Yama-Do Village — 7 km (4 miles). Along the way, you will see barely fields and meadows where there could be some yaks.
Camp in Yama-Do Village overnight.
On the second day of the trek, you will climb over Shug-La Pass by making a steep and rocky ascent out of the Lhasa River Valley into the rare air of altitude 5,250 meters (17,220 feet)!
The route continues across Shug-La Pass following a trail with many prayer stones. Descend gradually and reach a valley an hour and a half from the pass. Cross the Tsotup Chu, a long stream winding along the valley floor where Tibetan nomads with their yaks, goats, and sheep dot the landscape.
The day's trek is 10 km (6 miles) and you will camp near the Tsotup Chu stream.
From the Tsotup Chu valley, you will follow a small tributary. The path rises steeply for 30 minutes, finally reaching the mouth of a large col. The terrain ahead is not particularly difficult after passing the Chitu-La Pass — altitude 5,090 meters (16,700 feet), marked by several large cairns. A short steep descent leads us into a basin holding three small beautiful lakes.
The day's trekking covers 14 km (9 miles) and you will camp right by the Chitu-La basin lakes.
The final day of the trek will be an easier 14 km. Hike in a forest of shrubs for three hours. We go across a series of meadows. You will also pass several villages. The local Tibetans might be seen on their way into the mountains with their horses and yaks. When you get to the Yamalung valley, your personal driver will pick you up and transfer you to Samye Town.
Sleep in the guesthouse in Samye Town.
In the morning, visit Samye Monastery, which is significant to Tibetan Buddhism as it is the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery that had a Buddha, dharma, and monks. Its four pagodas in different colors are a unique feature.
Visit the first palace of Tibet — Yumbulakang Palace in the afternoon and listen to stories of the first king of Tibet in context. The barley field at foot of the palace's hill is the first piece of farmland that fed the local Tibetans, and it has been used generation after generation since.
Your personal guide and driver will escort you from Tsedang to Lhasa Airport.
—the Icing on the Cake
Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.