Ganden Samye Trek - A pilgrimage journey between two sacred sites!

Ganden Samye trek is one of the most popular treks in the world which is an unforgettable trekking experience in one of the most stunning areas of Tibet. A pilgrimage journey between two holy monasteries, we invite you to join us this epic adventure from Ganden to Samye monastery which is a traditional pilgrimage route between to revered scared sites. Trekking from Ganden to Samye is the best way to learn about Tibet, this amazing trek leads you through much of Tibet’s magic, history and culture.

  • Ganden Samye Trek
  • Ganden Samye Trek

Ganden Samye Trek begins after an exploration of the ancient city of Lhasa; you will spend three nights in Lhasa exploring many of its attractions ranging from the massive Potala palace to bustling market streets. As we continue our journey we will drive to Ganden and explore the Gelugpa monastery. The trek begins crossing the steep and sky pointing Shogu-La Pass and Chitul la pass. Starting at 4180m at Ganden Monastery, passing Shogu-La Pass at 5250m and heading toward the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, Samye Monastery 3540m, the trek is quiet challenging and the altitude gains are higher than what is often recommended. Alpine Eco-Trek recommends this trek only for those with experience of hiking and camping in higher-elevation. The view of the surrounding area is undoubtedly breathtaking. There is a high chance of seeing musk deer along the way and you will see dense alpine vegetation with wild flowers and birds.

Ganden Samye trek follows the rugged trail which is not so difficult but moderate trek so that “acute mountain sickness” is common along the way, so we advise you to stay hydrated and be careful while crossing the passes and walking through the alpine villages. And, it is possible to do this trek all year around but any time between May and October is the best season. Hiking from Ganden to Samye, our final destination is to reach the ancient Monastery of Samye valley and its surrounding attractions. At the end of your trek, you will also explore the Yarlung valley which is also known as the valley of the tombs.  

Trip Itinerary

Ganden Samye trek – short itinerary

Day 01 - Arrival in Lhasa by Train or Air

Day 02 –Lhasa sightseeing

Day 03 – Lhasa sightseeing

Day 04: Drive from Lhasa to Ganden

Day 05: Trek from Ganden to Yama Do

Day 06: Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup Chu Valley

Day 07: Trek to Herder's Camp (5 hours)

Day 08: Trek to Wango (6 Hours)

Day 09: Trek to Samye (2 Hours), Drive to Tsedang

Day 10: Explore the Yarlung Valley

Day 11 Drive to Gonggor airport or Lhasa train station and Final Departure.

Tour Cost: Please contact us and let us know the number of members in your group, the category of hotels you would like to stay with and any other special desires and requirements of yours. We will be glad to quote you the price as per your requirements.

Tour Guides:

 We can provide the equipment and infrastructure along with the dedicated, multilingual leaders, guides, and drivers needed to make your trek, pilgrimage, or cultural tour of Tibet a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience!  Alpine Eco Trek is the pioneer in Tibet tours and treks. Its dedicated team has gained long experience in tourism and hospitality specializing in Tibet tours, Treks and mountain overland tours. During your time in Tibet you will be accompanied by an English speaking Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide a valuable insight into the Tibetan culture and way of life.

Hotel and Accommodations:

Now, Lhasa has many five stars hotels; there are so many nice and standard hotels in Lhasa, Gyatnse and Shigatse. We can organize any kinds of hotels and guest houses as per your requirements. Please be noted that the facilities and services along Friendship highway, especially Zhangmu, Nyalam, Tingri, Saga and Kailash part are still very basic. Read more


Lhasa, Tibet is now connected with the Railways network with mainland China. From any parts of mainland china you can take the amazing train journey to Lhasa which takes about two days to reach the capital. Roads and highways in Tibet are pretty much in condition now! Normally we use 4WD jeep, Van or minibus to carry tourists and trucks for kitchen logistics and equipments.


While you are in cities you can get verities of good meals but while you are on a trek or along the highways there are less varieties and not so good food so it is advised to bring some dry food of your own all the time. Due to the high altitude you may feel not so hungry or lose your appetite which is common symptom of altitude, no worry and try to eat as much as you can. You need more energy while you are in the high altitude areas. Many travelers suffer from diarrhea in Tibet, so please be careful with the varieties of food and try to have some light meals with more soups and tea.  Please avoid eating raw food like vegetable salads, etc… always try to eat well cooked meals and drink only boiled or sealed packed mineral water.

High Altitude Sickness in Tibet

What is High Altitude Sickness?
High altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), or altitude illness, is a pathological condition at high altitude which is caused by the combination of reduced air pressure and lack of oxygen. An altitude above 3000 meters is usually defined as high altitude, and most places in Tibet are higher than this level. Therefore, AMS is one of the biggest challenges when travelling in Tibet.Read more

Detail Itinerary

Ganden Samye Trek – detailed itinerary

Day 01 - Arrival in Lhasa by Train or Air
Upon your arrival at Gonggar airport or Lhasa Train Station, your Tibetan English speaking guide will comes to greet you and with an easy one hour or half hour drive will take you to your final destination Lhasa. Check in to hotel, the rest of time will be rest. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02 –Lhasa sightseeing
Today we will explore the beautiful city of Lhasa where we can see beautifully preserved Sera Monastery and you can see many of the pictures of Tibet and the buildings with white washed walls and golden roofs. In the afternoon we explore the Jokhang temple where you can see the devout Tibetans. Hundreds of visitors and monks visit this sacred shrine each day.  Here you can experience more Tibetan culture and purchase some amazing crafts. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03 – Lhasa sightseeing
After breakfast, we will first have a glimpse of tremendous Potala Palace performing out from the rest of the city by perching on the red hill. To explore the ancient quarters of the Dalai Lama we will visit Potala Palace in the morning. This palace is regarded as one of the most beautiful palace in the Tibetan world. Also we will visit Drepung Monastery which was once home for over 10,000 monks. Drepung Monastery is still a beautiful sight to visit. Incredibly it was one of the few sights to escape the Cultural Revolution without widespread damage. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04: Drive from Lhasa to Ganden
After an amazing experience of doing sightseeing of Lhasa city, today we will drive to Ganden where we will be spent the whole day in exploring this wonderful area. No doubt, there are many attractions in this ancient town; however, the highlight for most is the first Gelugpa Monastery. Although this monastery is mostly in ruins over the years, there is still much to see. Many pilgrims walk around the monastery and we can observe the rituals along the way. Overnight at guesthouse.

Day 05: Trek from Ganden to Yama Do
After breakfast, we start an amazing 5 hours trek from Ganden to Yama Do. The first day of our trekking begins at the highest point on the Ganden Kora from where we walk along an ancient trail with wondrous views. Then we traverse the west side of the ridge before passing through an ancient village of Hepu.  Later in the afternoon, we pass through Ani Pagong, a narrow trail and was once the former site of a nunnery. We will end the day with an ascent towards Yama Do. Overnight under tent.

Day 06: Trek from Yama Do to Tsotup Chu Valley
The trek to Tsotup valley takes about 4 to 5 hours. First, we leave the valley and make our way through a steep gorge rising form the stream bank. We then climb over the Shug La and begin our climb down through treacherous boulder fields. Then we cross Tsotup Chu la large stream is meandering through the valley floor. A comfortable camp will be set up in one of the many herder fields. Overnight under tent.

Day 07: Trek to Herder's Camp (5 hours)
After breakfast at camp, we start our trek following the Tsotup Chu towards the rocky mountain pass of Chitu La. After climbing this rocky pass we will quickly go down to a beautiful place to camping grounds and fields surrounding the stream. To find our campsite we will roam through quiet herder camps for nearly an hour. Another beautiful day of our trek is over. Overnight under tent.

Day 08: Trek to Wango (6 Hours)
The 6 hour trail gets wider and easier as we follow it through scrub forests in the main valley. Trek from Herder's Camp to Wango is 25 km. we will see the beautiful streams and lush forests surrounding us as we walk further. Along the way we will see 15 types of scrub trees, rhododendrons in full bloom, and vast meadows that will take your breath away. The next few hours are arguably the most beautiful part of our trek. After passing this wondrous landscape, our trek passes the Changtang village. Then you can choose to hike to the holy Buddhist meditation site of Yamalung. This is an ancient hermitage where you can reach less than an hour. Later in the afternoon we will join the Samye valley along the beautiful stream. The night will be spent at another comfortable campsite, not far from Samye. Overnight under tent.

Day 09: Trek to Samye (2 Hours), Drive to Tsedang
In the beautiful chirping morning we will admire the widespread views from Pisha from where the entire Samye valley can be seen. Upon reaching the summit of Dragmar we can explore numerous temples. However, the Cultural Revolution ravished the temples. Then we will prepare for an awe-inspiring site as we meet up with the jeep trail and get even closer to Samye. Samye monastery represents the Buddhist universe, which is the highlight of the trip. There will be plenty of time to explore this sophisticated network of buildings. And at the end of the day we will get into the Jeeps and spend the night in Tibet's third largest city, Tsedang. Overnight at guest house.

Day 10: Explore the Yarlung Valley
This outstanding area is widely believed to be the cradle of all of Tibetan civilization and the valley of the tombs is located at the origin of the Tibetan people. During the day you are being given an opportunity to explore this splendid site. It was here where both the huge burial grounds and Yumbulakhang can be seen.  Yumbulakhang is an amazing architectural site hovered on a cliff. It is one of the oldest buildings in all of Tibet. This will be last night in Tsedang. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 Drive to Gonggor airport or Lhasa train station and Final Departure
After early breakfast, we will drop you to Gonggor airport or Lhasa train station for your onward journey.

Cost Includes/Excludes

Trekking service Includes:

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private car / van / bus
  • Tibet entry travel permit and Chinese visa
  • All monasteries entry fees
  • Special permit for Ganden Samye trek,
  • English speaking Tibetan guide during whole trip in Tibet,
  • Yak & yak man for carrying luggage & goods while trek.
  • Supporting truck for staff,
  • One hand land cruiser during the overland tour,
  • All accommodation in Tibet at Hotel/Guesthouses inclusive breakfast during the overland drive up to Ganden.
  • Trekking equipment (two men tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, Table with chairs, kitchen utensils, and all other necessary equipments.
  • Full board meals during the trek Veg/Non Veg with tea coffee prepared by an expert cook
    Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment, medicine for all Tibetan staff
  • Japanese land cruisers 4WD, 4500 model (four people in one jeep)
  • All government taxes and official expense

Trekking Price Excludes:

  • Any fares of plane or train
  • Lunch, dinner in the cities (except during the trek)
  • Travel insurance, Nepal entry visa & re entry visa fess,
  • Personal trekking equipments,
  • Tibet Visa fees
  • Any additional expenses caused by reasons beyond our control such as natural Calamities, flight delays, rescheduling or cancellations, accidents etc
  • Tips for guide and support crew (Tipping is appreciated but it is not mandatory)

Why travel with us?

Why travel with us?

Small Group
A Smaller number of people means more attention and better access to the group leader for a more intimate and personalized experience. The primary goal of our trek to the sacred Mount Kailash is to provide our customers with an eco-friendly, well-equipped and well-instructed crew members. A maximum of 20 or fewer pilgrims will be taken for the holy trek at a time. We ensure that the group formed is sufficient for each one of the trekkers to be well attended, as well as large enough to enjoy the journey along with other pilgrims.

Commitment to Safety
The top priority of our company is to provide our valued customers with a strategically approach to their safety and security. Each year we make equal or more efforts to refine the previous operations and work on improving the already existing safety procedures. We make sure the guides and trainers provided to the customers are experienced and knowledgeable in first aid and emergency management. They are also well-trained for any emergency situations that might occur in the higher altitudes or while trekking. However, we request our customers to take precautions beforehand itself, and make precise and necessary food arrangements and give personal hygiene the most preference. Every necessary equipment such as sleeping bags, warm down jacket etc. required for the holy trek will be provided to you. Our customer's health and safety is our prior concern, therefore we carry first aid kits and Portable Altitude Chambers (Gaymow Bag) for any high altitude sickness emergency.

Stress Free Travel
Even tiny hurdles along the way can ruin the excitement of the journey. Alpine Eco Trek aims to minimize almost every hassle and tedium that is most likely to come in the way while trekking. This not only kills the mood but distracts you from admiring the most beautiful parts of the journey. Hence, starting from your arrival day itself, our team fully devote themselves to your service. Our crew members make sure every aspect of the travel including accommodation, transportation, and the food is taken care of beforehand. We make confirmations with every lodges, hotels, private bus and vans for an efficient and reliable service before we start the trek. Every entrance fees for monasteries, palaces, etc. on the way will be included in the itinerary itself and a deluxe van or a regular van will be on standby, giving us the freedom to explore the area if requested.

Quality Service
Compromising the quality of the services that Alpine Eco Trek offers, is never an option under any circumstances. Every trek we organize is an updated version of the previous treks in which we make the necessary changes and reconsider various aspects. From the equipment provided to the travelers, for example, sleeping bags, quality down jackets to the littlest guidance on the trek, every aspect of the trek is precisely focused and worked on, for the comfortable trip of our customers. The main focus is given to the most basic factors of the tourism activities and that is the availability of transportation, comfortable accommodations, and healthy food. The holy trip to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar requires various equipment which is also taken care by us. We particularly request each of our valued customers to give us their genuine feedbacks on the overall journey to Mount Kailash that helps us monitor our drawbacks and helps design quality operations and adopt approaches useful for a better trek in the future.

Well Trained Staff
We are a firm believer that for every company to run successfully, the internal management and the team must be strong. Hence, we have built a team of professionals who show extreme passion and determination towards their work. We ensure that every customer is accompanied by a well-trained, soft-spoken and an enthusiastic team leader who makes the journey more enjoyable.

Competitive Price
To gain the trust and reliability from any customer, transparency is a must. Therefore, Alpine Eco Trek works on providing the trekkers with an affordable, competitive and transparent cost which remains same for every traveler.

Our Goal
lpine Eco Trek aims to provide the best Himalayan pilgrim travel at the most reasonable price. We believe in building a fine bonding with our customers, keeping quality and reliable services in mind. The mission of our trips is also to offer a wide range of adventure and thrill, covering most the attractions of the region. We take our customers to the most beautiful, worth seeing sites, giving them an insight into the local culture and lifestyle, while also establishing a genuine friendly bond with both, the locals and the crew.

Guidelines& Considerations
Following are some of the guidelines and considerations to make while picking a travel company for your trip:

01) Make sure that the company takes good care of their own staffs and guides by providing them with the necessary equipment, food, proper clothing, along with a good pay for their work. This shows the work ethics of the company and a respect for their staffs. Secondly, observe and be confident on how focused the itineraries provided to you are on promoting the culture and beauty of Nepal.

02) Make sure the company is a certified company and is registered under the appropriate local travel and trekking associations. Also, make sure that it is operating under the laws of the land(s) in which you will travel.

03) Ensure that the travel company you select is experienced and holds an overall knowledge about the local environmental issues of the site you are traveling to. The company should be considerate and sensitive to the issues and should respect the culture, tradition, and privacy of the inhabitants of the region.

04) Make sure that the company gives importance and consideration to the littlest details of the trip such as toilet arrangements, cooking fuel, rubbish disposal, first aid, etc

05) Make sure the company that you choose has an appropriate travel insurance and it abides by the regulations regarding operations of travel and trekking company.

Alpine Eco Trek follows all the above-mentioned guidelines in order to provide its customers with the most trouble free, eco-friendly and safe journey that they desire.


Tibet Tours and Trekking Frequently Asked Questions

Question 01: What kind of permits do I need to visit Tibet?
Answer: Normally you will need two kinds of permits for travelling in Tibet: the entry permit (TTB permit) and the Alien's travel permit (PSB permit).

A. TTB permit – Tibet travel permit
When you fly from Kathmandu or any city to Lhasa you will need to show TTB permit (Tibet Visa) when you check in at the airport. Even while buying a flight ticket to Lhasa you need to show this permit.

B. PSB permit – Alien's Travel permit
if you like to visit restricted area you will need to buy an Alien's travel permit issued by PSB of Tibet.

Question 02: How to get Tibet travel permits?
Answer: To get the travel permits, you need to send us below details:
01) Full Name:
02) Sex:
03) Date of birth:
04) Passport number:
05) Nationality

The details you provide us must be exactly the same as on your passport and you need to tell us your profession because journalists and people that are involved in political matters could be revoked ( they need a different procedure to get a permit).

We suggest you to apply your permit at least 25 days prior to your entry date. Please note that if you do not book any tour with Alpine Eco Trek, we can't help you get the permits. No one can provide permit only service. Tibet Tourism Corporation will not issue travel permits to individuals and will direct you to a travel agency like Alpine Eco Trek. We can organize a travel permit to almost anywhere in Tibet but only if you book a package tour with us.

Question 03: What are the essential points about Tibet Travel Permit?
A. we can provide Travel permit to all kinds of people except Diplomats, Journalists and Governments officials who should travel to Tibet under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Government.

B. After issuing a permit, we could help you to buy your air tickets or train tickets.

C. The permit we provide you is a copy, the original will be with guide, in Tibet you are not allowed to bring permit with you and not even allowed to travel to anywhere you want because except Lhasa you need another permit named as Aliens Permit. Otherwise if you are stopped by the police or army you will be sent out of Tibet or have trouble politically and economically. Tibet is still very sensitive destination in Asia. Moreover, the travel agency which helped to get you the permit will also be in trouble. Therefore seriously not any legitimate travel agency could sell you the Tibet Permit if you do not book a tour with them. We don't think so you would like to be in trouble while you are enjoying your hard earned holiday due to a SOLD Tibet permit after you pay a lot of money for the your trip to Tibet.

D. There is a service charge to get the Tibet Travel Permits. And, it takes time, paper work, transportation fee and delivery fee for us to get a permit for you, so Alpine Eco Trek will charge an extra fee for the permits.

Read more

Further Information: contains as much information as possible about Tibet tours and Treks. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 36844 (Ram Kumar Adhikari).

Trip Facts

Trip Duration: 12 days

Mode of Trek: Overland drive and trek to Ganden to Samye

Trip starts: Lhasa fly in

Trip ends: Lhasa

Group size: Minimum 2 & Maximum 10 people

Elevation: Nearly 5000m

Transportation: 4WD Land cruiser or mini buses

Note: The best season to trek Ganden Samye is from April to October; please try to travel always with a local and direct agent and small group – private departure dates available. All the travelers except Chinese passport holders trekking Ganden Samye must be in possession of a current passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining.

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