Ganden Samye Trek

Brief Overview of the Tour Overview

Tour Name: Ganden Samye Trekking
Duration: 10 days
Destinations: Lhasa, Ganden, Samye and Brahmaputra River
Originality: Classical
Tour Code: GSTT10
Cost: $2071
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On this trip you will see Lhasa city, and most importantly the famous Yamdor Lake and Namtso Lake. During a two-day trek you will experience pristine air and hiking one of the highest trekking paths on the planet. This is a 10-day tour in Central Tibet.


Tibet Tours, LLC
Tibet Eco-Tours
Mailing: P.O. Box 32991 Santa Fe,
NM 87594 USA
Phone: 847 772 1430
Email: info@tibetanecology.org
Site: www.tibetanecology.org/tours


| Accommodations | Booking |Brief | Communication | Contact | Culture Shock | Currency Exchange | Departure Date | Emergency Contact | Evaluation | Foundations | Group Size | Health | Important Notes | Itinerary | Laundry | Legal Advice  | Map | Meals | Overview| Papers | Payment | Spending Money | Style & Bonus | Tipping | Transportation | Travel Insurance | VISA |

Your Itinerary 

Day 01 : Arrive in Lhasa by flight or train. You will be met your guide and transfered to our hotel in Lhasa

Day 02 : Visiting the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor in the morning and the Tibetan Medical Center—an easy and relaxing day

Day 03 : Visiting the Potala Palace and the Sera Monastery

Day 04 : Visiting Drepung Monastery in the morning. You will have the afternoon free to prepare for the trek.

Day 05 : Lhasa - Ganden 54kms - 1 1/2hrs
A visit to the earliest Gelug Pa ( Yellow hat tradition of Buddhism ) monastery to be founded in Tibet by the great founder of the Yellow hat tradition, the source of the great traditions of Dalai Lamas, Penchen Lamas and various other highly respected Buddhist personages!
Its history dates back to the 15th  century. We will have a picnic lunch in the vicinity of the monastery. In the afternoon we start our trek crossing the Ganden ridge at 4510 metres, passing Hebu Tibetan village, with overnight camping at the base of Shuga la pass valley.

Day 06 : 4650m - The Junction Lake 4600m - 6 - 7hrs
This is the day we tackle the highest pass on the trek " The Shug Ga La pass at 5240 metres ", In the morning in the first hour we will have a steep ascent, but will take it easy and do it slowly, as we will have plenty of time. Our planned duration of trek is for your holiday trek, NOT for local herders! Never push yourself too hard, particularly when you at
such altitudes! You will make it to the summit of the pass in a reasonable time, benefiting from your exercises the previous days! Being at the pass after such a challenge on your own legs is so beautiful, you have made it! We will have our lunch at the pass if it is not too windy and cold.
Treks ahead will become easy for you now! As we descend from the pass, the scenery will be quite different. We will continue to trek across a small river and head on to our camp, next to a tiny high altitude lake at the entrance of Chi Tu Valley, which we are going to explore the next day!!! Arrival at the camp after the satisfying day and having some coffee and tea while looking out at stunning nature will be so relaxing. It will have been such a perfect day—but NOT yet! We are forgetting our special camp dinner, which will top off our day gloriously!

Day 07 : 4600m - Nying Go Sumdo - 3800m - 6hrs
This day we will trek through the Chi Tu Valley, crossing the Chi Tu Pass at 5090 metres. Passing a few tiny lakes at the pass, we have a beautiful,deep descent. The scenery changes a lot down the valley, which makes the day so different, beautiful and easy! We will have lunch at a cozy meadow corner on our descent from the pass!!! Our camp will be at Nying Go Sumdo junction, a nice meadow campsite between two rivers. We can also have
an evening fire if weather permits!

Day 08 : 3800m - Samye 3560m - 4 to 5 hrs
An easy and beautiful day, it will be nice to be in bustling Tibetan farming villages and to visit a big monastery after being out in the nature for a couple of days! Arrival at Samye monastery, we will set up our camp in the meadow picnic ground behind the monastery. After our lunch break, we visit the monastery (the very first Buddhist monastery founded by the 37th king of the Yarlung Dynasty with the participation of the famous Indian tantric master Guru Rinpoche and Kenchen Shiva Tso in the 8th century. This is the monastery where the first 7 Tibetan monks were ordained and translated the Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit and Pali into Tibetan ), the structure of the monastery is so distinctive and fascinating!
An awesome day—a bit of trek and a beautiful monastery!  Samye monastery hotel

Day 09 : Samye - Chim Pu Valley and Its Meditation Caves
This will be a beautiful and unusual day hike into the Chim Pu Valley and its meditation caves. Their history goes back to the times of the founding of the Samye monastery, 1200 years back! These hermitage caves are still in use for many Buddhist devotees, nuns and monks meditators!
We will have a bit of a climb to make it to the caves, but it will be very worthwhile. Being at the caves an d feeling the atmosphere—the peace will soak in.
This will makes our trekking tour so rewarding!  A once-in-a-lifetime experience! Late evening we will return to the Samye monastery hotel.

Day 10 : Samye – Lhasa airport 70kms / 1 1/2hrs
Leaving Samye, transfer to the airport for departure


In the larger cities of Lhasa, Shigatse, and Chengdu we use standard two or three-star hotels. In many counties and townships, we use guesthouses for our accommodations. In most places these guesthouses are the best we can find in the remote areas on the Tibetan Plateau.  If camping is in your itinerary, we provide tents, but please bring your own sleeping bag. You can also buy one in Lhasa.  Hot water will be available in hotels and guesthouses.  Please note that you are sharing rooms with other members of the group. If you don’t want share a room, please let us know; we will have to charge you the supplement.

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Please book your tour one month ahead or at least two weeks before your departure date. To apply for your Tibet Entry Permit and to buy some of your monastery entrance tickets, we need some time for processing. To book your tour, we require a deposit of $200. The deposit is NOT refundable.  Full payment must be complete one week before your departure. Some of the wildlife tours require an 8-week advance booking because of paperwork and scheduling guides and drivers.


In Tibet many cities have internet cafés. Some of the guesthouses and hotels have internet access in their business centers.  In most places, you will be able to find an internet source, but it may not be available in very remote areas.  You may need some extra cash to use the internet.
You can bring your cell phone but it will be very expensive to use.  Almost every accommodation will have a phone that has international service.  If you need to find a phone or internet, ask your guide for assistance.


Tibet Tours, LLC
Phone: 847 772 1430
Email: info@tibetanecology.org
website: www.tibetecotours.com
Mail: P.O. Box 32991 Santa Fe, NM 87594 USA

Culture Shock

English is not commonly spoken in this part of the world. Often you will encounter comfort issues like an open toilet. Some of the local customs may shock you, but be aware that you are a stranger to the people in Tibet.

Currency Exchange

The exchange rate changes often. You may want to change money in the Bank of China or in hotels and restaurants that have exchange service. We don’t recommend carrying traveler’s checks because they are difficult to exchange in China.  The best currency we recommend is US dollars and EUR (euro). We recommend you bring $500 USD for personal expenses during the trip. ATMs are available across the country but one thing you must be wary of is the fee for overseas withdrawal.  Every bank or ATM is different.
You may check exchange rates before you depart at: http://www.xe.com/ucc/

Emergency Contact

Please provide your detailed emergency contact in case of an accident or death.  We will give you our emergency agent's contact information after you book a tour with us.
You may consider seeking information about traveler’s insurance independently.


After your trip has ended, we would like to receive your evaluation of the tour and suggestions on how can we improve your next trip. Any comments on our guides, drivers and local agents will be appreciated.

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Departure Date

The departure dates are effective from where your trip begins in China or an airport—NOT your departure from your home country.  Sometimes the departure may change. If so, please contact your agent at info@tibetanecology.org

Tibet Tours, LLC & Tibetan Ecology Foundation

Tibet Tours, LLC was established to promote Tibet Eco-Tours as a Limited Liability Company to support the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. Ten percent of your payment goes directly to benefit the work of the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. TEF is non-profit 501 (c)(3).
Tibetan Ecology Foundation is an environmental education organization that promotes the conservation of Tibet’s natural ecology. Ecotourism is one of our awareness programs, offering on-the-ground exposure to the beauty of Tibet and bringing awareness to the threats to its ecosystems—beyond what you might learn from the news. Tibet Eco-Tours will allow you to experience Tibet firsthand. Our Ecotourism partners are local Tibetan tour companies run by Tibetans, and your participation greatly supports the livelihoods of these individuals and their communities. It will also help TEF to continue our educational programs. Please visit www.tibetanecology.org for more information.

Group Size

The group size will vary. There is no limit on the number of travelers. Please notify us if you are a student or a research group of more than 2 people.


Tibet Eco-Tours require that all the travelers be in good health. You must be physically capable of hiking and handling cold weather. You must enjoy camping and trekking. Additionally, you must be mentally comfortable traveling or working with a diverse group of people. Please be open-minded and respectful of others’ boundaries, beliefs and traditions. People with special heart conditions or respiratory ailments are advised that the Tibetan Plateau lies at an average elevation of 5,000 meters or 16,500 feet.
You may experience altitude sickness for a few days, which is normal. We recommend that you take time to adjust to the altitude before doing any hiking and trekking, even in Lhasa. If you are seriously ill, we will provide transportation to a medical clinic for free, but any other expenses related to your health care will be your responsibility.

Important Notes=Paper

Before you enter Tibet (Tibetan Autonomous Region) we will need to acquire your Tibetan Entry permits and border permit. Also, some areas require applying for a special permit. Please send us copies of both your passport and Chinese visa. If you are entering Tibet through Nepal, you will need a few copies of a passport-sized color photo. The Nepali border officials will ask for this when you apply for a Nepali visa at the border, whether entering or exiting the country.


The itinerary on the site is final. The trip will proceed according to the itinerary, barring unforeseen obstacles due to nature or government policy. Otherwise, your guide will not deviate from your itinerary. You may print out the itinerary for yourself. Changing your itinerary during the course of the trip will not be possible. To extend your trip after your booking, please contact us before starting your permit process.  


Often, there will be a laundry service for a fee available in the hotels where you will be staying. You may need to change currency (Chinese Yuan/RMB). Sometimes, a laundry business will be available near the hotel.  Most of these businesses are not self-serve and your laundry will be taken and returned to you. 

Legal Advice

Illegal drug use is prohibited. Drug offenses will be subject to the Chinese court process. It will also put the entire group and travel agency at risk. Marijuana, opium and other drugs are culturally unacceptable. Also, political expression against the Chinese Government is strictly prohibited. We will not be responsible for violation of these rules.

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Tibet Eco Tours

Names of the locations on our trip maps are based on National Geographic maps and Google maps. You may find different spellings on different websites. Most of the maps we use show locations that you will pass throughout the trip but are not necessarily where you will stay overnight.



Your payment must clear one week prior to your departure. You may pay by check, credit card and cash. If you are writing a check, please make it payable to the Tibet Tours, LLC. For cash, please do not send by mail, but hand deliver it to a representative of Tibet Tours or Tibetan Ecology Foundation.
Tibet Tours will donate 10% of your payment to Tibetan Ecology Foundation. If you would like to deduct that money from your taxes, please speak to a representative about making two separate payments—one to Tibet Tours, LLC and one to TEF.

Spending Money

We suggest that you bring some spending money for shopping, bars or entertainment. Some may want to make an offering to the local monastery and having extra change on hand is a good idea.

Style and Bonus

The tour style is customized by the Tibetan Ecology Foundation in order to share an inside look at traditional life among wild nature, snowy mountains, great rivers and their sources. Tibet Eco-Tours also organizes tours to the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau to visit people living off the land in a traditional way—a lifestyle that has changed little over millennia in spite of modernization. It is also a chance to see the ancient architecture of cities and monasteries and a variety of art forms and folk crafts. Tibet Eco-Tours will invite you into an exotic and inspirational world of life and culture. 
Mostly, we will let you have ample time to arrive at your destination, take pictures, and write notes. We limit your travel time to no more than 8 hours or 500 kilometers a day. This way, your trip will be safer and more comfortable. If you are a writer or blogger, we invite you to share what you have learned about Tibetan ecology or culture with us. We offer a refund of 5% of the tour payment to anyone who writes an article relating to Tibet’s ecology. 

We would like to know what you think about Tibet, its culture, people and its natural and built environments.


Usually tipping is not customary in this part of the country, but in the tourism business it is. Please feel free to tip, but please do not tip less than ¥1 (20 cents). We suggest a minimum tip of ¥5 for a hotel porter, restaurant waiter or waitress. You may tip your local guide and driver more than ¥10 a day. You may tip your trekking cook and assistant at the end of the trek. 


Travel Insurance

We recommend you buy International Travel Insurance if you don’t already have it. We cannot be responsible for accidents, injury or death. We cannot be responsible for loss of personal valuable items, cash, camera, laptop, phone, etc. Insurance agreement form


Please apply for a Chinese visa from your home country or nearest Chinese embassy. For further information, please visit http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm  For your Tibet Entry Permit, please send a copy of your Chinese VISA to us so we are able to apply for your TAR permit ahead your arrival.

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