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Overview

Tibet showcases her rugged beauty on this trek along the Roof of the World! Take a challenging hike across the highest- and most spectacular- mountain passes in the world. Pass through villages untouched by modern time, meet nomadic herdsmen and pay homage at ancient Tibetan monasteries.

Trip Highlights

Camping Expedition Ganden, Samye

Trek Tibet’s highlands

Take a challenging 5-day trek across Tibet, meeting nomads on the way and camping amid stunning natural landscapes.

Visit Ganden Monastery

Explore the home of the Yellow Hat Buddhists and witness their ‘printers’ copy thousands of pages of text by hand.

Learn about Tibet’s history

Get an introduction to Tibet’s history with a visit to its oldest building and Samye Temple, the first Buddhist temple

Itinerary

1

Lhasa - Ganden(3900meters to 4800meters) - Yamado

Estimate distances and transfer times: Lhasa center– Ganden monastery (approx. 40 km): 1.5 hours *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Begin the grand Tibet trekking journey from Lhasa to the Ganden Monastery, one of the most important monasteries of the Gelugpa “Yellow Hat” sect of Buddhism. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Kyi-Chu valley, this important pilgrimage locale is known for both possessing and reproducing a range of important Buddhist scripts on site. Take note of the “printers” at work, copying nearly 500 pages a day, or join the devotees in their kora, circumambulating the holy property with some amazing views of the monastery and valley below.

Take Note: For Tibet trekking: you are on the rooftop of the world! Proper acclimation to the altitude (3,900 meters) is necessary before embarking on this excursion. Remember to bring sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and always be mindful to stay hydrated. It is also recommended to see a doctor before embarking on this trip, to ensure you can physically cope with the altitude changes. While summer (June-September) can be quite hot, occasional rains keep the nights cool and fresh.

Also note that water is not brought along the trek from Lhasa. Guides take water from local sources during the walk and boil it in the morning. Water is then decanted into a thermos, which clients carry themselves.

The altitude adjustment of 200 meters from Lhasa to Ganden is just the beginning… the following transfer to the Drushi Valley (sitting an altitude of 4,500 meters) is where the real expedition begins! After about 90 minutes of continual ascent, the first panoramic viewpoint will commence just south of Kyichu Valley. Catching some amazing photos (and some breath), the journey continues upwards for two hours toward Hepu village, followed by another hour towards Ani Pangong Convent. The final hour of ascent will cut through marshy prairies to the small, timeless village of Yamado. the first base of the journey! Set up camp, rest, relax, and allow your body to naturally acclimate to the altitude changes.

Night camping (altitude of 4,800 meters)

Total ascent/descent: +300 meters / -450 meters

Total length of walk: 5 hours

Level: Intermediate (level 4)

2

Yamado - Shug La Pass (altitude of 5250 meters)

While trekking in Tibet can be exhausting, it’s also highly gratifying. Day 2 may be the most challenging day of the trip, but it will also be one of the most rewarding. Depart in the early morning towards Shug La Pass (5,250 meters), where a trek of 3.5-4 hours will follow. While the final 90 minutes will be on a suspended path scattered with stones, it will ultimately lead to a breathtaking summit.

Descend gradually over an hour and a half towards the Tsotup Chu Valley, where nomadic herdsmen and their yak and sheep accompany you on the trails.

Spend the night camping in the valley (altitude of 5,000 meters)

Total length of walk: 4-5 hours

Level: Advanced (level 5)

Total ascent/descent: +1000 meters / -450 meters

3

Shug La Pass - Chitu La Pass (altitude of 5100 meters)

Spend the morning trekking thirty minutes alongside a tributary of the valley, ultimately leading towards a basin. A rather steep section unfurls to a less challenging stretch, opening to the Chitu La Pass (altitude of 5,100 meters). Journey back down through the Tibetan-prayer-flag-illustrated alpine countryside towards another basin, home to three small lakes. It’s here that the evening’s site will be set up, situated amongst a herdsman’s camp (altitude of 4,700 meters).

Total Distance: 14km 

Total duration of walk: 5-6 hours

Difficulty: Intermediate (level 4)

Total ascent/descent: + 300m / -400m

4

Chitu La Pass - Zedang - Samye - Zedang

Estimate distances and journey times: Nyuong Go - Samye Temple(approx. 15 km): approx. 20 mins Samye Temple- Zedang(approx. 40 km): approx. 40 mins *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Day 4 begins with a slightly easier walk (about three hours), passing through forests of juniper, rhododendron, and lush vegetation- a stark contrast to the sights of the last three days. The trail extends to the Gendo Ruins, ultimately opening to the Chantan Village (4,020 meters.) Similar to Yamado, this region is millennia away from the modern world (one of the highlights of Tibet trekking.) A final (steep) ascent from Chantan (one hour) runs to the Yamalung Retreat (Nyuong Go), where a driver will take over the rest of the work.

Enjoy the cruise from Yamalung to the 8th century Samye Monastery (altitude of 3,500 meters), one of the region’s most historically significant locales. Take note of the complex’s mandala-shaped architecture, with the temple’s central structure representing Mount Meru (symbolic centre of the universe) and outlying temples signifying the world’s oceans and continents; a layout very unique to Tibet. Even the three floors of the temple are symbolic: a representation of the trilateral relations between Tibet, China and India.

Transfer to Zedang (located on the other side of the Yarlung River) and overnight in Zedang.

Total duration of the walk: 5-6 hours

Difficulty: Intermediate (level 4)

Total ascent/descent: + 300m / -1,000m

5

Lhasa / Zedang (altitude of 3600 meters)

Estimate distances and journey times: Zedang – Lhasa Airport (approx. 95km): approx. 2hours OR Zedang – Lhasa city center (approx. 170km): approx. 3hours *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Spend the morning exploring the castle of Yongbulakhang. The oldest building in Tibet, Yongbulakhang was built by Nyatri Tsenpo, the mythical founder and first sovereign of the Tibetan kingdom. While its promontory takes a half hour to ascend, it rewards climbers to stunning views of the Yarlung Valley and its checkerboard fields.

Optional: A transfer to Lhasa airport (well situated between Zedang and Lhasa), for a departing flight. Flights from Lhasa are now offered to Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shangri La, or Kunming. Alternatively, transfer to Lhasa and spend some time exploring this magical destination.

We advise that do not talk sensitive politics topic with guide and locals to avoid any unpleasant experience.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Tibet Travel Permit
  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room in Zedang and professional trekking tents H: 1,3m  W: 1,80 (2 to 3 pax per tent with luggage) the 3 other nights
  • English speaking trekking guide
  • Yaks and yakmen : for 2-3 pax group size, we bring 4-5 yaks and 2 yakmen along  to carry the clients, guides and cook luggage, camping equipment (cooking tent, dining tent, stove, 20kg of gas, 20kg of vegetables and food)

For 4-5 pax group size: we bring 5 to 6 yaks and 3 yakmen

The number of yaks and yakmen can change according to the size and weight of the luggage, it is therefore recommended to not bring too much things

  • A cook (and 1 or 2 assistants for above 4 pax groups)
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner). The cook will arrange hot breakfast and dinner. Lunches box will be provided with hot tea and coffee
  • Snacks and local fruits
  • Transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle (except the transfer Zedang – Lhasa or Lhasa airport)
  • Entrance fees for mentioned sightseeing
  • First aid kit (one per guide)

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • The transfer between Zedang and Lhasa or Lhasa airport
  • Metal bottle for water that client need to bring themselves as per explained in the notes on Day 1
  • Sleeping bags that client need to bring themselves
  • Visa for China
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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