9 days Tibet Ganden to Samye trekking tour
A trek from Ganden to Samye is the most popular trek route in Tibet. During this trek, you will see lakes, beautiful alpine forests and meadows, as well as two centres of Tibetan religious culture. The best time for this trek is from May to Mid of Oct. Summer will be wet but the mountians are at their greenest and wild flowers spangle the alpine meadows. Before you start this trek you need a couple of days at Lhasa to acclimatize.
Upon arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, to be met and transferred to your hotel / hostel in Lhasa. Afternoon have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa. (B)=breakfast
Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged only to visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most sacred shrine in Tibet which was built in the 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from the entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.
Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung, Sera monasteries. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see.
In the afternoon you will also do some preparation with your guide for the following days trekking such as buying food, prepare clothes, camping gears, etc.
Morning drive about 60 km eastwards to Ganden Monastery, which ranks the first among the six largest monasteries of Gelugpa. In addition to its magnificent architecture and religious importance, there is a extremely fabulous view on top of the Ganden Wangpo Hill, and Kichu valley is behind Ganden monastery, it is strongly suggested to hiking around the monastery and take a bird's-eye view of the valley. The first nigh campsite is down in the Trubshi valley where we meet the Yaks and yak man, and you can have a rest further to acclimatize the high altitude.
Morning starts your trekking to Yama Do, walk along a saddle trail. After leaving this trail with wondrous views traverse the west side of the ridge before passing through an ancient Hepu village. Later in the day pass through Ani Pagong, a narrow bottleneck in the trail and former site of a nunnery. You will end the day with an ascent towards Yama Do, a few nomads families used to dwell their tents in this area for whole summertime, set up camp. o/n camping.
In the morning leave the valley and make our way through a steep gully rising to form the stream bank. Finally, we climb over the Shug La [5,250m] and begin our climb down through treacherous boulder fields. Later, we cross Tsotup Chu, a large stream winding through the valley floor. Notice that the Tibetan mastiffs of the nomad family on the other shore of the river are little aggressive. A comfortable camp will be set up in one of the many herder fields. o/n camping.
Today follow the Tsotup Chu down through its tributary and head towards the Chitu La pass [5100m], then trek through the rocks along a beautiful lake just after the pass. After ascending this rocky part quickly descend down through several twisted curves in the valley, and encounters some nomads settelments within the valley, find a beautiful place to camp in one of the fields surrounding the stream. o/n camping.
The trail gets wider and easier as we go through scrub forests in the main valley where beautiful streams and lush forests surrounded. However, the desert is close by. The next few hours are arguably the most delightful part of the entire trek. More than 15 types of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and vast meadow will amaze you every step of the way! After passing through this wondrous landscape arriving at the first permanent village Changtang since Hepu. From Changtang walking another 1.5 hours to arrive Yarmalung Heritage, where you meet your driver and drive to visit Samye Monastery. After visiting Samye Monastery, drive to Tsedang along Yarlung Tsangpo River for overnight.
Tsedang is the ancient capital of Tibet prior to Lhasa and fertile valley of Yarlung is the cradle of Tibetan civilization. (If time is allowed) In the morning you will visit Yumbulakang Palace, the first palace in Tibet. Then transfer to Lhasa airport for your flight out of Tibet, end the travel with WindhorseTour.