12 Days Ganden to Samye Monastery Trekking
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This 80 km trekking trail can be finished in 4 or 5 days, it depends on the tourists health situation and trekking experiences.Normally, for aged people,we suggest that 5 days for the trek will be more suitable, but for those with some trekking experience and tight schedule,4 days will be enough (a few guys even finished in 3 days,but not advised this way).
Service highlights: Tibet local English speaking guide,Tibet Native cook,Tibet native driver,Tibet native yak helpers & their yaks and Tibetan style hotel will be at your service.
Vacation Style Holiday TypeCamping, Discovery
Activity Level Challenging
Ganden to Samye Monastery trek includes a visit to Yarlung Valley, the cradle of Tibetan Civilization. Along the trek, travelers will enjoy varied remote Tibetan scenery from forestland to rocky landscapes and have the opportunity to learn about Tibetan Buddhism. The trek begins after taking time to visit Ganden Monastery and ends at Samye Monastery after four days of trekking. After the trek, groups will learn about Tibetan history in Yarlung Valley. This twelve-day tour is perfect for those who are adventurous and take joy in discovering new cultures.
Tour Service Included:
- All necessary Tibet travel permits
- All Entrance tickets for programs listed in the itinerary
- Private transportation in Tibet: Ranging from 4WD land cruiser to van or mini bus per your private group size
- Car gasoline, Car parking fee
- Private Tibetan guide handpicked
- Lodging: available from 5 star hotels to budget guesthouses per your further requests
- One time Pick-up and send-off services at the beginning/end of the tour
- Oxygen canisters: 2 portable oxygen cylinder for each person;
- Lodging and meals for guide and driver;
- Travel Agency Liability travel insurance
- Camping gears: tents, mattresses and sleeping bags (Optional per further requests)
- Yaks and porters during the trekking days (Optional per further requests)
- Cook and cooking gears (Optional per further requests)
- Full board meals during the trekking days (Optional per further requests)
- China domestic flight/train (Optional per further requests)
- Travel insurance covers trip cancellation and emergency evacuation(recommended)
- Expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.)
- International flight/train.(Note: we accept flights and train tickets bookings in advance, please check the updated cost and ticket availability with your travel consultant);
- Meals that are not specified in the itinerary (Averagely a meal in Tibet cost USD 6-20 per person);
- Tibet group visa fees: We can help you to obtain the Tibet group visa through our partner agent in Nepal
- Gratuities for the guide and driver
Arrival by train or air, transfer to Lhasa, check in hotel, rest for acclimatization
Upon your arrival at Lhasa Gonggar Airport or Lhasa Newwu Train Station, your Tibetan local guide and driver will pick you up with your name sign, and then they will transfer you to Lhasa city safely. Please be not so anxious to walk much around hotel to see this that, but you do need a good rest in your hotel for needed acclimatization, otherwise you maybe under the weather little bit and easy get mountain sickness. Accommodation: 3 stars standard and centrally located hotel (or any kinds of accommodations as per your idea)
Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street
Today what we will visit in Lhasa is the vital Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple with her vicinity. Potala palace is Lhasa’s most important landmark and she is a wonder of Eastern architecture. Your first site of this massive structure will be a magical moment which will be remembered for your rest life time. It has been a palace since the fifth or sixth century and was once the home to the Dalai Lama. Well another visit we will take is to Jokhang Temple which locates at Barkhor Bazaar. This temple is the most revered shrine in Tibet and is constantly bustling with devout worshipers. We will also be given the opportunity to shop in Barkor Bazaar, the crowded central market in ancient section of Lhasa where is the residence of many local people.
Drepung and Sera Monastery
After breakfasts in hotel, we will drive to west Lhasa city section (about 11 km) and give a visit to the Drepung Monastery,which was once the world’s largest monastery. Housing 10,000 monks, Drepung monastery lies hidden in rocky ridges just beyond the city. Surprisingly much of the building was left untouched throughout so many hundred of years.
In the afternoon, the site we will visit is Sera Monastery, a fifteenth century sprawl of golden roofs and whitewashed walls. This well preserved monastery is located just a few miles North of Lhasa and is home to several hundred monks. Its famous debating activities are happening 3-4 pm quite regularly every working day, we will not give it a miss.
Free day in Lhasa
Today is a free day for your own relaxation,get fully acclimatized,and see more of Lhasa. You may do some of your own preparation for the outgoing trekking adventure comping up soon.
Lhasa/Ganden Monastery, 70 km, trek about 2.5 km from Ganden to Tsubshi
Drive from Lhasa to Ganden (about 60 km, 4500 m altitude), takes about 1 and a half hours, and we can trek up to the Angkor Ri Mountain if you prefer). Today will be spent acclimatizing further and visiting this wonderful Monastery. Overnight-Camping at Tsubshi Village
Trubushi/Hepu/Yama Do, trekking 5-6 hours, 17 km, 450 m descent,300 m ascent
Our first day’s trekking begins at the highest point on the Ganden Kora. From here we 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. We will end the day with an ascent towards Yama Do, where will set up camp. More info about this, please read some useful reference in the handbook of Lonely Palate of Tibet.
Yama Do/Tsotup Chu Valley, trekking 5-7 hours, 10 km,1000 m ascent, 450 m descent
In the morning, we leave the valley of Tsotup Chu and make our way through a steep gully rising form the stream bank. Finally, we climb over the Shug La (5250 m) Mountain Pass and begin our climb down through treacherous boulder fields. Later, we cross Tsotup Chu, a large stream winding through the valley floor. A comfortable camp will be set up in one of the many herder fields.
Tsotup-Chu Valley/Herders’ Camps, trekking 5 hours, 14km, 300 m ascent,400 m descent
Today follow the Tsotup Chu down through its tributary and head towards the Chitu La pass (5100 m). After ascending this rocky pass quickly descend down and find a beautiful place to camp in one of the fields surrounding the stream.
Herders’ Camps/Gen Do-Yamalung Hermitage-Nyango,4-5 rs trek,we will take tractor to get to Samye Monastery around 7 pm, 39 km,1200 m descent
The trekking trail gets wider and easier as following it through forests in the main valley. We are given chance to enjoy the beautiful streams and lush forests. However, the desert is close by. The next few hours are undoubted the most delightful part of the entire trek. More than 15 kinds of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and vast meadow will make you shocked when you take every step of the way! After passing through this wondrous landscape, we will get to the first permanent village Changtang since Hepu. From Changtang walking another one and a half hours to reach Nyango from which we will take a tractor to get to Samye Monastery around 7 pm (but of course we can have overnight stop in Yamalung or Nyango tonight and finish the easy trek of 3 and half hrs till Samye tomorrow morning).We have overnight in Samye Monastery guesthouse.
(Yamalung or Nyango)-Samye Monastery-Boat across the widest part of Brahmaputra, drive to Tsetang
After breakfast in Samye, we will take a easy visit to this oldest monastery, and then we take ferry across the widest part of Brahmaputra, after 2 hours on the boat, we will get to the ferry point where our private vehicle and driver will take us to Tsetang, check in hotel, have a good rest.
Yarlung Valley tour-back to Lhasa
This grandiose area is commonly regarded to be the cradle of Tibetan Civilization. The valley of the Tibetan tombs is located at the origin of the Tibetan people. You will be given a rare opportunity to explore this grandiose site. It was here where both the massive burial grounds and Yumbulagang Palace locate. Yumbulagang Palace is an amazing architectural site perched on the cliff. It is one of the oldest buildings in Tibet! But you may feel tired if you walk up to the top, so why not ride a horse there? Yes, you will ride a horse there which gives you more interesting memory. In the later afternoon, we will drive back to Lhasa, o/n in Hotel as above
After breakfasts in hotel, we will check out the hotel and drive safely to the Lhasa Gonggar Airport for your flight out of Tibet. Hope your Tibet trekking tour leaves you a wonderful memory.
How can I get my Tibet Travel Permit?
It is critical to book your Tibet tour with a local travel agency like “Tibet local Guide travel service” for smooth travel permit application. Photo copy of your passport and the China visa copies are required for applying Tibet permits.
Please note that you will have to show the original permit in hand while asking for boarding pass and security checking in for flight to Lhasa or Copy of it while boarding the Train to Lhasa. However, Chongqing, Xi’an and Lanzhou railway station may also check original permits.
We will send it to your hotel in your flight departure city in China. While in urgent cases, we can send our permits delivery person to drop it to you at any China domestic airport if you just have few hours transit flight stop.
We do not send your Tibet permits to your home country, because permits come out regularly only 1 week to 2 weeks prior to your arrival date, and Tibet post companies have no efficiencies for handling international package delivery, so it is not trustworthy and not reliable to send your permits to your home county.
For more details of Tibet travel permits, you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org for instant Tibet local policy update.
What are the differences between travelling to Tibet from Nepal and entering Tibet from other Parts of China?
Foreign travelers have only two possible ways of getting to Tibet, one is from Nepal to Tibet by air or overland, while the other is from mainland city in China by train, air or car. Here below are the major differences.
- If you travel to Tibet from other provinces of China, you will need a valid China visa which allows you to travel, work or study in China, with this visa you can come to Tibet (but journalist, diplomats, public government service people, military persons and reporters, etc. must travel via Chinese government specified authorities, in most cases, these people are not allowed in), any Tibet travel agencies here in Tibet do not organize tours for those people whose jobs are listed as above. And the regular China visa categories are “L” tour visa, “Z” or “M” “Q” visa etc.
- Foreign travelers from a few countries such as Singapore and Japan may not need a China visa for specific period of time, in this case, these travelers can get Tibet entry permits without China visa. But please be noted that, you need to double check with your local china consulate to assure how long you can travel in China without a visa.
- Once you can travel in China legally, you can also get Tibet entry permits from local Tibet travel agency like us easily.
- To apply travel permits for foreign travelers entering Tibet from a city in China, none-restricted occupation travelers need to provide valid passport, valid China visa at least 2-3 weeks prior to arrival date to Tibet, and different travel destination in Tibet may require you to provide these documents even 30-40 days prior to arrival date because of many more complicated permits application process. These destinations are Kailash, North-loop-the Grand of Tibet, east Tibet bordering Kham (Sichuan province).
- Foreign travelers entering Tibet from mainland China can choose flight, train or overland driving. All the trains to Tibet will go through Xi’ning, Qinghai province, while the popular driving route is from Chengdu and Shangri-La or Kashgar or Xi’ning. The most picturesque driving adventure is between Tibet and Sichuan or Yunnan.
- If you enter Tibet from Nepal, you can go only by air from Kathmandu to Lhasa or by overland driving via Gyirong port or Purang (Taklakot) border, these are the only open borders between Nepal and Tibet. Currently the Indian-Tibet Sino border is not open for public.
- All foreign travelers from Nepal to Tibet must have 3 working days in Kathmandu to wait for the “Tibet Group Visa” prior to departure date for Tibet. This A4 size Tibet group visa (actually it is a china visa) document paper can only be issued through a registered travel agency in Kathmandu, but the important point is: any registered travel agency in Nepal has to obtain an official visa invitation letter photo copy issued from Tibet tourism Bureau here in Lhasa. To get this visa letter, a local Tibet travel agency like us can apply together with the Tibet permits around 2-5 weeks before visitor’s arrival in Tibet. So, travelers only need to bear in mind that, they do not apply any visa or permits by themselves, they just need to provide passport photo copies to Tibet based agency like us and we will handle all the rest.
- There is no train between Nepal and Tibet however. Kathmandu-Lhasa airfare is more expensive than via Chengdu, Chongqing, or Xi’an city in most cases.
- The overland driving between Kathmandu to Tibet border Gyirong is time consuming. The overall short distance may take around 10-15 hours especially in rainy seasons of July and August.
- No matter you enter Tibet from Nepal or mainland China, valid China visa (or Tibet group visa from Nepal) and Tibet permits are mandatory. And different permits are for different travel itineraries and specified schedule.
- When you fly from a city in China to Lhasa, original permits will be needed, however, if you fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, you only need Tibet group visa for flight checking in(our Tibetan tour guide will take original permits to pick you up)
What documents do I have to send to you to secure all necessary Tibet Travel permits?
A short document list as below:
- Photocopies of valid passports data page for all travelers.
- Photocopies of valid China visa.
- Working certificate or student Id card copies if you do not hold “L” China visa but Z or F type of China visa.
- Marriage certificate or relatives’ statement with signature if you hold Q category China visa.
While booking your Tibet tour, we would like you to send us the copy of your Passport and China Visa for every member of the group. The copy of passport should be the same one you will be using to get your Chinese visa. If you renew your passports, but the China via is on the expired passport, please provide both passports photo copies.
If your visa is not the “L” category, i.e., tour category china visa, you will need to provide us the additional supporting document such as student certificates, resident and Work Permit and so on.
Please provide passport copies at least 2-4 weeks before arrival date. For Tibet tour without Kailash, eastern Tibet, North-loop Grand Tibet, we can accept urgent tour booking 2 weeks before your arrival date, but if your trip covers the places mentioned here, you’d better send us your passport photo copies 4 weeks to 5 weeks in advance at least, most of our Kailash travelers provide us passport copies half year in advance. And they can provide China visa copies 1 month in advance.
If you travel to Tibet from Nepal, we will only need your valid passport copies. Yet, we will have to apply for the Chinese Group Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Nepal.
Can I apply for Tibet Travel permit or Tibet group visa by ourselves?Definitely No, you cannot apply for Tibet travel permit or Tibet group visa directly. Tibet Travel Permit is only issued by Tibet Tourism Administration in Lhasa, together with other Chinese authorities such as military office, and foreign affairs office, national security office, public security bureau, etc. Therefore, an only local registered travel agency based in Lhasa can help you apply for it. Hence it is impossible for you to apply permits by yourself, and you will have to book your Tibet tour directly or indirectly with a local travel agency in Lhasa.
What is the Tibet travel documents list so I can check before coming?
During your traveling in Tibet, the three main primary documents are passports, China visa (or Tibet group visa) and Tibet entry permits. Different tour destination will need further document such as military permits, foreign affairs border passing permit, alien’s travel permits,
- Valid Passports.
- Valid China visa (for entering from China);
- Tibet group visa (for entering from Nepal);
- Tibet entry travel permits for all Tibet tours;
- Alien’s travel permits for trip covering Everest. Tsetang (Samye monastery), Kailash and north-loop Grand Tibet, eastern Tibet such as Draksumtso lake;
- Foreign affairs permit (policy keeps changing on this section)
- Border defense passing allowance permit (trip between Nepal and Tibet)
- Military permits.
Can a foreigner travel Tibet without travel permit?
Definitely No. it is not possible to travel to and in Tibet without a Tibet travel permit. No international travelers can visit in Tibet autonomous region of China without Tibet travel permit. It is mandatory for all the foreign nationals to get this permit prior to your arrival in Tibet. Only a local Tibet travel agency here in Tibet can help you make this document in Lhasa.
At all the entry and exit point to Tibet, the authority people will check the permit, passport, and Visa.
Can I have a few days as my own free time in Lhasa without hiring a guide?
Definitely Yes. it is possible but your activity is very limited. You can have some days free time in Lhasa to walk around, and do your shopping, try some local food, drink tea, coffee, and spend your leisure time, etc., BUT never enter a tourist attraction if without a tour guide. Furthermore, you cannot leave Lhasa for any other places in Tibet individually, especially when there is no tour guide and a licensed tour vehicle. You cannot extend further since there are many permits and identity checking points for exiting Lhasa.
How can I apply for a Chinese visa from my home country?
You can apply it through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country. Tibet local guide travel service team strongly recommend applying it without mentioning about your travel plan to Tibet. Your application might get rejected as Tibet is a sensitive region of China. We helped many foreign travelers providing China tour itinerary references together with their own flights booking references, hotel booking references, etc., they can normally get China visa without any hassles.
If you do mention your trip covers Tibet, we will have to apply and send the Chinese Visa Invitation from Tibet Tourism Bureau office here in Lhasa. For this, you will need to go to the Chinese Embassy, not the consulate to apply China visa. The Visa invitation will only address to Embassy, not to the consulate. So, we suggest you try to avoid complicated and time-consuming process but choose the simplified and workable process. However, China visa application is beyond our Tibet travel agency, and policy keeps changing due to many factors such as political climate, international relationship, etc., please consult with your local visa agent for more information.
For your reference, the Visa invitation letter can be only applied after Tibet permits application approval. Therefore, you will have to book the tour with us and send us the Passport copies to start making the permit at least 2-3 months beforehand. Please remember, we can never complete the Permit process without the copy of your China visa. So, you will have to email your passport copies to us as soon as you get it.
For what kind of Tibet tour do I need additional permits?
Technically Tibet entry permit is enough to go if you are only visiting the Lhasa Prefecture. If you are visiting other prefectures in Tibet, you will need the additional permit depending on the region you will be visiting.
The military permit is required if you are traveling to Mount Kailash, traveling overland from and to Xinjiang and traveling overland to and from Yunnan and Sichuan.
Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) is needed if you are visiting from Lhasa to other prefectures in Tibet. Therefore, Mount Kailash in Ngari prefecture, Mount Everest in Shigatse prefecture, Samye Monastery in Lhoka prefecture and Nyingchi prefecture.
Additionally, there is another permit called Borders Permit. You will require it if you are traveling to any border region and arriving from Nepal to Tibet by flight.
But you will not need to worry about it all. Experienced Tibet travel agency in Lhasa will know which permits are required as per the tour itinerary.
How long does it take to apply our Tibet travel permit?
The duration of the Tibet travel permit application process varies from 2 weeks to 4 weeks prior to your arrival date. The authorities do not accept very early permits application submission. Sometimes those people in authority slow down the process without prior notice and all agents have to wait. As professional and experienced Tibet local travel agency and tour operator, “Tibet Local Guide travel service” team always suggest foreign travelers book Lhasa tour at least 3 weeks before arrival date, and book Kailash tours or other restricted regional tours at least 4-6 weeks prior to arrival date. To submit permits application for any Tibet tours around 4 weeks in advance can ensure on time application. If you have urgent booking, please talk with our consultants and see if it is doable or not, and urgent handling cost may occur. Every year, we did help some travelers for last minute Tibet tour booking.
Do I need multiple entry China visa to continue with china tour after Tibet?
Definitely No, Tibet is a part of China, called TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region of China) , single entry China visa or the Tibet group visa can allow your China tour after Tibet. BUT, please remember that, if you hold Tibet group visa (entering Tibet from Nepal) but want to travel to China after Tibet, you will need to hold individual pieces of the group visa to travel individually in China by yourself; while if you travel with the name listed group members together, all people can hold one “Group visa paper documents) since all are travelling together. Otherwise you will get issues when checking in hotel in China. Since 2019, most hotels in China need passengers to have face scanning and ID and or passports registry to check in a hotel room. Most travel agencies in Tibet do not know this, especially many agencies out of Tibet do not have this kind of experiences.
Do you provide Tibet Permit only service?
No, we don’t sell Tibet Permit service only since it is illegal. No agent is allowed to sell the Tibet Travel Permit. Even though on the permits itself, it says free and no commission fee, the permits application process and responsibility of managing foreign traveler’s travel in Tibet is strictly regulated. Tibet permits application is locally and lawful per the China local rules in Tibet for foreign travelers to ensure Tibet long run development, we have to obey the local rules and respect local policy regulations. So do not just book a permit only service, as local experienced Tibet travel agency, we can organize your trip with your maximum free time in Lhasa, meanwhile, not requesting you to hire a guide all the time. This is good for LHASA tours, if your trip covers places out of Lhasa, you will need to book tour including guide, driver and car at least.
Furthermore, we are only allowed to apply the permit when we provide Tibet tour service, which includes professional tour guide, tourist licensed vehicle with a driver and/or hotel accommodation.
All Tibet travel permits application is submitted by local registered travel agencies here in Lhasa, Tibet. No matter the agency is Han Chinese registered or Tibetan registered, if there is legal tourism license, permits can be applied. However, an agency like “Tibet Local Guide Travel Service” official name is Tibet Norpel Lin Travel service has many years experiences with focus on serving only foreign travelers, we can provide hassles free permits and quality Tibet tour services. It is one-stop shop Tibet tour solution with better local prices.
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