• Trip Code TG02
  • From USD 3350
    USD 3350
  • 12 Days
  • Group Size(min)
    2
    • 1
    • 9
    Moderate

    Moderate trekking involves 5 – 6 hours a day walking at a steady pace below 4000 meters for around 10 days trekking trip.

Ganden-Sayme is one of the most beautiful and popular trekking destinations in Central Tibet and it takes about 4-5 days to pass through Shuga-la (5250m). This adventure partly makes very appealing as you would start the trekking from Ganden monastery and end in Yarlung valley where you can visit Samye Monastery and Yumbulhakhang. This demanding trek crosses two passes over 5000m, connects two of Tibet’s most important monasteries and begins less than 50km from Lhasa.

 

This is Tibetan adventure at its best. We get to explore the holy city of Lhasa and trek through remote valleys and over high passes and finish our experience off with a visit to the cradle of Tibetan civilization.

Things to do

What's Included?

  • Twin Sharing accommodation in Lhasa Hotel with breakfast as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in Tent / guest house during trek as per itinerary
  • Required Transportation by 4WD land cruiser in Tibet part
  • China / Tibet travel permit / visa fees
  • Special Trekking permits for trekking
  • High Altitude Dome Tent and all meals on the trek
  • Toilet tent
  • English Speaking local Tibetan guide
  • English Speaking local Tibetan guide
  • Supporting staffs (as experienced cook, kitchen staffs, porters) during trekking
  • Yak and Yak man for trek (compulsory) / Local porters
  • First Aid Kit
  • Travel rescue arrangement
Things to do

What's not Included?

  • International airfare
  • Nepalese Visa Fee & re entry visa fee
  • Custom clearance in Tibet
  • Accommodation & meals in Kathmandu
  • Personal gears & clothing
  • Travel / medical insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry
  • Tips, any expenses of personal nature
  • Medical evacuation in case of emergency
  • Expenses incurred due to mishaps, landslide, strikes, political unrest etc. In such case extra will be charged as per actu
  • Others expenses which are not mentioned on cost includes section.
Things to do

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1
    Arrive Lhasa (3,650m)
  • Day 2
    Sightseeing in Lhasa Day 1 (3,650m)
  • Day 3
    Sightseeing in Lhasa Day 2 (3,650m)
  • Day 4
    Free day in Lhasa (3,650m)
  • Day 5
    Drive to Ganden (4,180m)
  • Day 6
    Trek to Yama Do (4,300m)
  • Day 7
    Trek to Tsotup Chu Valley (4,880m)
  • Day 8
    Trek to Herder’s Camp (4,350m)
  • Day 9
    Trek to Wango (3,800m)
  • Day 10
    Trek to Samye , Drive to Tsetang (3,540m)
  • Day 11
    Explore the Yarlung Valley (3,500m)
  • Day 12
    Drive to Gongkar Airport and depart (3,570m)
  • Day 1
    Arrive Lhasa (3,650m)

    Surely we have the world’s most spectacular flight ahead of us this morning as we board the flight in Kathmandu. We fly over the highest mountain range in the world and land deep inside Tibet, the mysterious land for so long closed to outsiders.We will be met at Gonggar Airport by our Tibetan guide and take the 2 hour drive to Lhasa, through a mountain! Due to the jump in altitude today we advise that you rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day.

  • Day 2
    Sightseeing in Lhasa Day 1 (3,650m)

    Today we can immerse ourselves in this amazing city – the heart and soul of Tibet! Our sightseeing will be accompanied by a guide and interpreter and we will visit the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved monasteries in Tibet. Within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study.

    After lunch we’ll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, followed by the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor – a maze of narrow cobbled streets, which is the central market of Lhasa. This is truly fascinating stuff and you will be mesmerised by the energy and feel of this area of Lhasa.

  • Day 3
    Sightseeing in Lhasa Day 2 (3,650m)

    No visit to Tibet could be complete without visiting the Potala Palace. A spectacular building, it literally dominates the skyline of Lhasa. It contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand staterooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.

    After lunch we will visit the Drepung Monastery which was founded in the 14th century. This monastery was once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks! These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution.

  • Day 4
    Free day in Lhasa (3,650m)

    Today is our final day in Lhasa for acclimatization. This is a day at leisure in which we are free to explore further, revisit a favourite monastery or simply sit in a café overlooking the Barkor and watch the pilgrims as they circumambulate the Jokhang, or plunge into the madness of the market and check out the merchandise at the stalls lining the cobbled streets.

  • Day 5
    Drive to Ganden (4,180m)

    Ganden is 40km from Lhasa and we will arrive quite early in the day, which means we have the afternoon for rest and acclimatisation. If we take it easy we can explore Ganden which was the first Gelugpa monastery and has remained the main seat of the order ever since.

    Unfortunately, it is thought that Ganden suffered the most of all the great monasteries of Tibet during the cultural revolution, however, it is still a fascinating place. It’s ochre hues are stunning and there is a very active pilgrim presence. While on their kora around the monastery pilgrims perform unusual rituals that test their faith and earn religious merit. A large rocky cleft draped with prayer flags marks the start of this scenic circuit, which takes at least one hour to complete.

  • Day 6
    Trek to Yama Do (4,300m)

     Today we begin our trek by following the well trodden trail south along the side of Angor Ri, the highest point on the Ganden kora. We gradually ascend for about 1 ½ hours before reaching a saddle from where we can look west down the Kyi Chu valley towards Lhasa.We then traverse the west side of the ridge and descend towards Hepu village, a village of about 30 houses. We climb for about an hour in the direction of the Zhukar La (‘la’ means ‘pass’) to reach Ani Pagong, a narrow craggy bottleneck in the valley, where a small nunnery used to be located. From here we continue climbing for about an hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do, with suitable campgrounds where we will stay the night. (5 hours)

  • Day 7
    Trek to Tsotup Chu Valley (4,880m)

    From our camp by the Tsotup Chu we follow a tributary to the south-west, climbing steeply for about ½ hour up to a basin and a broad valley. Following this valley we turn to the south and can soon see the Chetur La in the distance, a rocky rampart at the head of the valley. As we continue towards the pass the trail switches to the east side of the valley and we have fairly easy terrain up to the Chetur La (5100m) which is marked by several cairns.After breakfast we proceed along the valley floor for about an hour before ascending to a shelf on the eastern side of the valley, avoiding a steep gully. We continue climbing to the Zhukar La (5200m), marked by a large cairn covered in prayer flags and yak horns. Crossing the pass we descend quickly across a boulder field, reaching the valley floor about 1 ½ hours from the pass.We cross the large stream, the Tsotup Chu, which flows through the valley. The pastures in the area support large herds of yaks, goats and sheep, and during the trekking season herders are often camped here. So this is an ideal place for our camp and to meet the herders (drakpa in Tibetan). (4 to 5hours)

  • Day 8
    Trek to Herder’s Camp (4,350m)

    From our camp by the Tsotup Chu we follow a tributary to the south-west, climbing steeply for about ½ hour up to a basin and a broad valley. Following this valley we turn to the south and can soon see the Chetur La in the distance, a rocky rampart at the head of the valley. As we continue towards the pass the trail switches to the east side of the valley and we have fairly easy terrain up to the Chetur La (5100m) which is marked by several cairns.

    As we leave our second high pass behind we circumvent a sheer rock wall to descend down into a basin with three small lakes. From here we drop down through a valley passing several herders camps on the way. At the first one, the herders have carved out level places for their tents. Below this the valley becomes very narrow and we pick our way through the rock-strewn valley floor, squeezed in by sheer rock walls. As the valley widens we come to a flat and another seasonal herder’s camp in the east side of the valley. As we continue down the valley the camping places become more numerous and we will choose our camp here for the night. (5 hours)

  • Day 9
    Trek to Wango (3,800m)

    Today our trail is wide and easy and we walk through an area where the combination of elevation, moisture, and aspect create a lush environment while just a few kilometres away the alpine desert prevails. We have entered into what may be the most beautiful part of the entire trek. Local woodcutters say that more than 15 types of trees and shrubs are found here, some growing 6 meters tall. Fragrant junipers grow on exposed southern slopes while rhododendron prefer the shadier slopes. At the end of May the forest is ablaze with pink and white rhododendron blossoms.As our trail winds through a series of meadows the forest start to thin rapidly. We soon reach Changtang, our first permanent village since Hepu, from where, looking south we see the far side of the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley in the distance. About ½ hour down the valley we can take a side trip to the Yamalung Hermitage. It is about 1 hour steep climbing to the hermitage and those not so keen on the climb can relax near the bridge.Yamalung (also called Emalung) is where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated and received empowerment from the long life deity Amitayus (Tibetan: Tsepame). Consisting of several small temples, a few monks live here. Below the temple complex is a sacred spring and an stone carving of Guru Rinpoche, King Trisong Detsen and Indian pundit Shantarakshita, all of whom lived in the 8th century. The cave Guru Rinpoche meditated in is enshrined by the Drup Pug Mara handprint of the saint said to have been created when he magically expanded the size of the cave.Back at the bridge, it is about 1 hours walk to Nyango, a village of solidly built stone houses which has some small shops where we can by soda/ cigarettes etc. We are on the old trade route from Lhasa to Samye via the Gokar La. Tonight we will camp in a meadow between Wango and Pisha, not much further down towards Samye. (6 Hours)

  • Day 10
    Trek to Samye , Drive to Tsetang (3,540m)

    From Pisha this morning, we can see the entire lower Samye Valley, a tapestry of fields, wood and villages. We can see a hill in the middle of the mouth of the Samye Valley called Hepo Ri, one of Tibet’s most sacred mountains.

    Not far down the trail past Pisha a ridge called Dragmar meets the trail. On the summit is the partially rebuilt palace where King Trisong Desten is said to have been born. Below, just off the road, is a small red and white temple enshrining the stump of an ancient tree. Legend has it that a red and white sandalwood tree grew here, nourished by the buried placenta of King Trisong. In the Cultural Revolution the tree was chopped down.

    We continue down the valley, finding a jeep trail to take us towards the golden spires of Samye along the margin between woods and desert. As we get closer Samye the valley can be fiery hot, but if the heat gets too much we can simply walk through the stands of willows and poplars not far from the road.

    Samye Monastery is designed to represent the Buddhist universe and many of the buildings in the courtyard are cosmological symbols. We will take ample time to explore this fascinating monastery before heading to Tsetang, the third largest city in central Tibet, for a well deserved shower!

  • Day 11
    Explore the Yarlung Valley (3,500m)

    Today we wrap up our remarkable journey visiting the Yarlung Valley, also known as the Valley of Tombs and considered to be the cradle of Tibetan civilisation. The creation myth locates the valley as the origin of the Tibetan people and it was from Yarlung that the early Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the seventh century. We see the massive burial mounds of these kings in Chongye.We will also visit Yumbulakhang, perched on a crag like a medieval castle and is considered the oldest building in Tibet. After a full day off exploring in the Yarlung Valley we return to Tsetang for the night.

  • Day 12
    Drive to Gongkar Airport and depart (3,570m)

    This morning we leave Tsetang early to drive 96 km to Gongkar airport for the flight back to Kathmandu.

Elevation Chart

Footwear : Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, camp shoes.

Clothing : Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, wool hat, sun hat, gloves, bathing suit, track suit.

Other equipment: Sleeping bag (5 seasons),  lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries, lip salve, gaiters.

Other items: Insect repellent, toilet articles, diary, toilet roll, laundry soap, wet ones, pocket knife, towel, sewing kit, plasters, binoculars, camera, film, cards and personal medical kit.

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