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9-Day Tibet Tour with Lhasa and a Ganden–Samye Trek

Fulfill the Most Scenic Pilgrmage in Tibet

This private Tibet tour includes the best of Lhasa and the most rewarding trekking route near Lhasa.

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.

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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.

trekking in the valley
taking photos in the valley

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.

Yumbulakang Palace
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.

prayers at Jokhang Temple
small island on Lake Yamdrok

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.

Ganden Monastery
The white and red buildings of Ganden Monastery

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.

Samye Monastery
Green pagoda of Samye Monastery

Lhasa and a Ganden–Samye Trek Map

Tibet Tour with Lhasa and a Ganden–Samye Trek Tour Map

Tour Map

Lhasa and a Ganden–Samye treking map

Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Arrive in Lhasa (elevation 3,650 meters)

Your private guide and driver will pick you up at Lhasa's airport or train station and accompany you to your hotel.

DAY 2 Lhasa | The Holy City and Its People

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.

DAY 3 Lhasa | Lhasa | The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism

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.

DAY 4 Ganden to Samye Trek | The Splendid Ganden 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.

DAY 5 Ganden to Samye Trek | Yama-Do to Tsotup Chu (10 km)

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.

DAY 6 Ganden to Samye Trek | Tsotup Chu to Chitu-La Pass (14 km)

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.

DAY 7 Ganden to Samye Trek | Chitu-La to the Yamalung (14 km)

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.

DAY 8 Samye to Tsedang | The First Monastery and the First Palace

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.

DAY 9 Lhasa Departure

Your personal guide and driver will escort you from Tsedang to Lhasa Airport.

Hotel Selection

—the Icing on the Cake

Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.

lhasa shangri-la hotel
the hotel room with Potala Palace view
FromCNY18,100 / USD2,800p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Tibet Travel Permits
  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • All the equipment and provisions for camping and transport them during trekking
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Tour code: xz-29

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