The Ganden to Samye trek route has proved to be one of the most captivating of all Tibetan treks with 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 reasonably direct walk to Samye , the first monastery of Tibet.
Day 01 Arrive Chengdu (1,740 ft.)
Upon arrival in Chengdu, you will be met and transferred to hotel.
Day 02 Fly Chengdu - Lhasa (11,450 ft.)
Breakfast at hotel. If time permits, you can take an optional tour of Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center which is located just 10 KM (6 miles) from the city.
Transfer to airport and fly to Lhasa, the exciting capital of Tibet. You will be met at the airport by your local Tibetan guide and transferred to the hotel. Afternoon is at leisure for acclimatization & rest or just take a leisurely walk around the Barkhor Bazar.
Day 03 Full day tour of Lhasa
Today will be spent exploring palaces. First on your list will be the Potala Palace. The palace of the Dalai Lama a treasure of Tibetan culture was, till 1965, the seat of both religion and politics in Tibet and quite possibly, the singularly most important building in all Tibet. It was built in the seventh century by Tsongtsen Gampo as a fort and later renovated by the fifth Dalai Lama in the seventeenth century to its present specifications.
Your next stop will be Norbulingkha the winter palace of the Dalai Lama which was built in the eighteenth century.
Day 04 Full day tour Lhasa
Today you will visit the Drepung monastery. This is the largest monastery in the world and once housed 10,000 monks and nuns. It was built in 1419 and the second , third and fourth Dalai Lamas lived and were entombed here. A visit to the kitchen of this monastery is a must. Look out for the washing machine in which the monks mix their butter tea!
Your next stop will be the Jokhang Temple. This is the holiest shrine in Tibet and houses a golden statue of the Buddha which was brought to Tibet by the Chinese princess “Wen Chen”. You then stop off at Barkhor Bazaar outside the Jokhang monastery. This is a bustling flea market and is, generally, the place to buy souvenirs and meet other tourists.
Day 05 Drive Lhasa Ganden, Trek to Shugu La Pass ( 12,560 ft.)
After breakfast, drive about 70 KM to Ganden with your trekking crew. Visit Ganden Monastery, which is one of major monasteries among three monasteries in Tibet.
Then 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. Continue to bottom of Shugu la pass (Jooker la pass) via Helbu village.
Day 06 Trek Shugu La Pass – Shedi Tso (15,022 ft.)
This morning, climb to to Shugu La pass (17,150 ft.). It a long walk. Cross the pass, enjoy the views, and descend to Shedi Tso lake.
Day 07 Trek Shedi Tso -Nyango valley
Continue to Nyango Valley. Overnight camping.
Day 08 Trek Nyango -Yamalong Hermitage, drive to Samye village, - Tsetang
Trek to Yamalong. Our Yaks and Yakman will return to Ganden, and we will continue to Samye village (15 minutes) by local tractor. Visit Samye Monastery.
Later drive to Tsedang city.
Day 09 Tsetang - U.S.or an extension
Breakfast at the hotel, trasnfer to airport and fly to U.S. or extend your trip to Nepal or China.