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Samye (བསམ་ཡས་, 桑耶) is a village in Lhokha.

Get in[edit]

Buses leave from square in from of Jokhang in Lhasa every morning at 6AM, a journey of about 90 minutes if the tunnel to the Lhasa airport is opened. If not you will make big circle from Chushul county and journey will take about 3 hours. Ticket for bus is 70 RMB. (in winter 2015)

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Samye Monastery (Tibetan: བསམ་ཡས་, Chinese: 桑耶寺).

Built by the king Thrisong Detsen with help of Guru Rinpoche who came from India spread Buddhism in Tibet. The first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet, and the location of the famous 792CE debate when Indian forms of Buddhism were pitted against Chinese. The Indian traditions prevailed and consequently were established as the state religion. Samye Monastery was constructed in 779AD under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen and overseen by Santarakshita and Padmasambhava, two prominent Buddhist teachers from India.

Samye is built in the shape of mandala, around central temple is another 8 which represent 6 continents, the Sun and the Moon. In 4 corners are 4 chorten (stupas) - the white, the red, the black (dark blue) and the green. During Chinese Culture Revolution was many parts of monastery destroyed, but today most of temples are reconstructed and opened.

You can walk freely inside of most of the temples and chortens (stupas) in monastery except for the main temple. Enterence fee by winter 2015 is Y40 RMB at the gate of main temple. If you want to visit main temple as well as all temples and chortens in monastery, it will take you half day.

Before the sun gets to the west, remember to climb mountain Häburi about 500m to south-east from monastery. You can walk on the path or choose new built stairs. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the top. Do not stop your climbing where stairs ends. Go to the top of mountain with small temple. From here you will get the best view of Samye monastery, river Yarlung Tsampo and surrounding mountains.

In Samye town is many restaurants, shops and hotels. There is also internet coffeee but you need to register with Chinese ID card to open account (it is possible to borrow fake Chinese ID card everywhere in Tibet and China to use in internet coffee).

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit Monastery
  • Climb mountain Heburi with splendid view of Samye monastery
  • Visit Meditation Place Chimphu 13km North-east from Samye town.
  • Visit Emalung Monastery 16km North-west from Samye town.


In the town is living one male Tibetan Mouflon, usually it's not dangerous, but once it starts to slowly follow you, get quickly into local shop or restaurant with local people. This animal sometimes attact people. In town also live many dogs, as everywhere in Tibet, usually they don't attack people but do not provoke them.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Gompo's Snowland Restaurant, near East Gate. The restaurant has English speaking staff.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Samye Guesthouse, near Monastery. Offers cheap dormitory beds
  • Family-run Guesthouse, near East Gate. Popular with Western travelers.

Get out[edit]

Buses leave Samye for Lhasa via Tsethang at 8:30AM, and this journey takes about 6 hours.

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