Samye Lhasa to Shigatse

Samye to Shigatse via Lhasa

This is an extension to the Lhasa Samye Ganden Tour starting with trip to Samye and Yungbulakang Palace heading out Gyantse and Shigatse after doing all in the Lhasa valley. The trip takes in all the prominent sights. Tashilunpo Monastery, Shigatse, and Palcho Monastery, Gyantse. The stunning beauty of Yamdrok Lake. In the city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka Summer Palace, The Barkhor, and the great Monastic institutions of Sera, Drepung and Ganden along with Samye. The journey by air from Kathmandu to Lhasa is a stunningly spectacular journey with Himalayan views all the way and a drive by past Everest, the highest Mountain on earth. Like all our Temples of Nirvana Tours and Treks, they start and end in Kathmandu and include a comprehensive itinerary of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley.

Trip Duration
13 Nights, 14 Days

4 nights Kathmandu,
9 nights Tibet

Maximum elevation
3,900 metres


Day 1 – Kathmandu Arrival
On your arrival at Kathmandu, Tribhuvan Airport, you will be met by a representative of Temples of Nirvana and taken to your hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu.

Day 2 – Swayambhunath Temple – Kathmandu Durbar Square
This will be the first of your sightseeing days in Kathmandu. In the morning we will head for Swayambhunath (Monkey) Temple. Swayambhunath is a UNESCO, World Heritage and one of the must see sights of the Valley. We will walk the 365 steps up to the Stupa. There is much to see, not least the three large Buddha statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche. in the park to the rear. In the afternoon we visit the Durbar square in Kathmandu

Day 3 – Kopan Monastery – Bouddhanath Stupa – Pashupatinath Temple
Our second sightseeing day in Kathmandu starts at Kopan Monastery perched majestically overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. Kopan is a little haven of serenity amongst the chaos of the Valley. We will then head for Bouddhanath, the Tibetan area of Kathmandu where the mightily impressive Bouddhanath Stupa is situated. The Stupa is the second largest Stupa in the world. In the afternoon we will make our way to Pashupatinath Hindu Temple.

Day 4 – Kathmandu – Tsedang
You will be taken back to Tribhuvan airport where we will take the flight to Lhasa. This flight is one of the most spectacular flights you could undertake. The route takes you right by Mount Everest and over stunning mountain scenery all the way to Lhasa. On arrival at Lhasa Gongar airport you will be driven Tsedang where we will stay the night.

Day 5 – Tsedang – Samye – Yambulakhang
In the morning, after breakfast, drive to magnificent Samye Monastery which is the first monastery in Tibet. This was built by Great Tantrik Master Padma Sambhava in late 8th century. The grand building complex was structured in the model of the boundless universe regulated by the Buddhist scriptures. Its main building is a three story tower with an interior influenced by Tibetan, Han and Nepali style. After visiting Samye monastery back to Tsedang for lunch. After lunch visit the first Palace of Tibet Yambulakhang which was founded by Yarlung dynasty of Yarlung valley around in 1st century BC. And on the way back if time permit visit Tandruk temple. Overnight stay in Tsedang.

Day 6 – Tsedang – Mindrolling – Lhasa
We will take the journey from Tsedang to Lhasa. Along the way we will stop of at
Mindrolling Monastery. Mindrolling Monastery is one of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma school in Tibet. It was founded by Rigzin Terdak Lingpa in 1676. From there we will head for Lhasa. The rest of the day can be taken at leisure exploring the Barkhor and the Tibetan Quarter.

Day 7 – Potala Palace – Sera Monastery
Our first full day in Lhasa will start with a visit to Tibets most iconic building. The Potala Palace stands majestically overlooking the Tibetan part of the city. Standing 13 stories high this magnificent structure has over 1000 rooms and required the skills of 1,500 artists and skilled workers and 7,000 laborers. It has been the winter residence since the 17th Century from the 5th to the 14th Dalai Lama. After lunch, we take the short drive to Sera Monastery. Sera Monastery was built in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. Sera means “The court of the wild Rose”, because of the many roses planted there. Today still 200 Lamas live there. The monastery is famous for the debating sessions of the monks.

Day 8 – Drepung – Norbulingka – Jokhang
Our second full day in Lhasa we visit Drepung monastery in the morning. Drepung means rice heap in Tibetan language, and lies 8 kilometers west of Mt. Gambo Utse, Drepung Monastery covers more than 200 thousand square meters. Once the largest monastery in the world, it was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a leading disciple of Tsongkhapa. From Drepung we will head back into Lhasa via the Norbulingkha, summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. Norbulingka is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet, built in 1755. It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the 14th Dalai Lama’s exile in 1959. In the afternoon we will visit the Jokhang Temple. For most Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. It was founded during the reign of King Songsten Gampo around 642. According to tradition, the temple was built for the two brides of the king, Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal.

Day 9 – Ganden Monastery & Drayerpa Cave
Today we will take the 60km drive up to Ganden Monastery. Ganden Monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. It also keeps an armor decorated with gems, which was worn by Emperor Qianlong and was bestowed to the monastery as an offering to Tsong Khapa. in the afternoon we will drive to Drayerpa Cave. Drayer Pa cave is 35 Kms away from Lhasa city. There are more than 30 caves for silence which take around one and a half hours to visit just some of them. We return in the evening back to Lhasa.

Day 10 – Lhasa – Gyantse 
The drive from Lhasa to Gyantse is a spectacular journey. Passing the Potala palace we leave the Holy City and follow the Lhasa River. We make our way up and over the Gangbala Pass which is over 4850m. From here we have stunning views of the beautiful Yamdrok Lake which is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. From here we pass the spectacular mountains around the Karo La glacier and pass a spectacular resevoir, a valley purposely flooded by the Chinese. We stay the night In Gyantse (altitude 3900m)

Day 11 – Palcho Monastery – Kumbum Stupa -Tashilunpo Monastery – Shigatse
Gyantse is a spectacular town with the walled monastery and old town surround. We will visit the Palcho Monastery and Kumbum stupa with its 100 thousand images of Buddha, and walk by Gyantse Dzong , the kings fortress. I the afternoon we take the short drive to Shigatse where we will visit Tashilumpo Monastery. Literally known as “Auspicious Sumeru Temple” it is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, It is situated on the southern slope of the Nyima Hill to the west of Shigatse. It was founded in 1477 by Gendun Drubpain, the first Dalai Lama and a most outstanding disciple of Tsong Khapa. The Tashilumpo Monastery occupies an area of 150,000 square meters, surrounded by more than 3km long walls perched on the Nyima Mountain. The monastery has 57 buildings with over 3600 rooms in it. We take the day exploring all there is to see in the monastery and surrounding area. Stay the night in Shigatse (altitude 3800m).

Day 12 – Shigatse – Lhasa
We We retrace our steps back to Lhasa

Day 13 – Lhasa – Kathmandu
We leave our accommodation early and take the hour long minibus journey back to Lhasa Gongar airport to get the China South West Airlines flight back to Kathmandu. As before this one and a half hour flight is one of the greatest flights you can take with spectacular views of mountain peaks from start to finish with the highlight being the view of Mount Everest from the right side of the plane as we approach Nepal and Kathmandu. The rest of your day can be spent at leisure. In the evening we will take you for a farewell Dinner, to an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where we will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.

Day 14 – Depart Kathmandu
Depending on the time of your flight departure, you may have time for a little more sightseeing or shopping in Kathmandu. We will then take you to Tibhuvan airport 3 hours before the departure time of your flight home and see you to your departure terminal where we will say goodbye and hope very much, that you will have enjoyed your time with Temples of Nirvana

Cost of the Trip

The exact price of your trip depends on the date of travel and the number of travellers. We will quote you a price based on two people traveling together and sharing a twin/double room at a standard hotel in Kathmandu and in Tibet. If you require a single room or superior or deluxe accommodation please let us know. All prices quotes are starting from and ending in Kathmandu. The cost we quote you will include Lhasa – Kathmandu flight(s) and for your Tibet Visa. Please see our pages on Visas and Flights.  

What’s Included

In Kathmandu
Airport pick up to hotel, hotel accommodation in Kathmandu, including breakfast, but excluding lunch and dinner, Farewell Dinner and Nepalese cultural program, all entry fees to Kathmandu places of interest, all transportation to places of interest.

In Tibet 
All transportation, all accommodation including breakfast, but excluding lunch and dinner, Sightseeing Tours with English Speaking guide, Tibet visa fees, flight to and from Lhasa and Kathmandu.

What’s not Included

Nepal entry visa fee, All expenses of personal nature, Nepal re-entry visa fee, Insurance, Emergency evacuation.

Create your own Itinerary

If the trip or itinerary you are looking for is not here, you would like to make modifications, or you have your own itinerary please let us know and we will quote you a price based on your own personalised specifications.