Near the shores of Yamdrok tso lake, about 10km east of Nangartse town, Samding monastery sits on a 4,550m high ridge of a hill that separates two smaller lakes encircled by the northern arm and southern arms of Yamdrok-tso.
Samding Monastery is noted for the unusual fact that it is traditionally headed by a female incarnate lama named Dorje Phagmo. When the Mongolian armies invaded Samding in 1716, Dorje Phagmo changed her nuns into pigs to help them escape.
It's possible to visit the main assembly hall, to the right of the courtyard, which is dominated by a statue of Sakyamuni. There is also a footprint of the ninth Dorje Phagmo, plus an eerie protector chapel and several chapels upstairs. There are 34 monks in residence.
It is worth to have a stop to visit Samding Monastery if you are traveling in a slower path from Lhasa to Shigatse, as the location of it provides excellent views of the lakes, Dumo plain and the mountains to the south.