Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery Travel Guide, Tibet



Main Gate
Panorama of Samye Monastery
Red Stupa, one of the 4 main stupas
Monks daily routine

Located at the foot of Mt. Hepo Ri, on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River of Zharang County, 38km from Tsedang, Samye Monastery is one of the main scenic spots of the Yarlung River Scenic Area.

The construction of Samye Monastery began in 762 AD and was completed in 779 AD. Samye Monastery is the first monastery in Tibet featuring Buddhist, laws and monks, where the famous debate of the doctrines between ancient Indian Buddhism and inland Buddhism happens. The Samye Monastery is modeled on the Odantapuri Temple in Bihar, India.

The Samye Monastery  was once ruined by Lang Darma (an ancient Tibetan King who banned Buddhism and destroyed Buddhist temples) and has been damaged throughout repeated wars and remains the present scope at an area of 4900sqkm.

Admission Fee: Y45; Opening Hours: 09:00 to 16:00

Getting there & away

2 direct buses from Lhasa to Samye Monastery every day at 6:00am & 7:30am leaving in front of Jokhang Temple. Most of the passengers are local Tibetan pilgrims.


Take the Lhasa <-->Tsedang bus and get off  at Samye ferry crossing,Y27 / 3hrs, then take a ferry to cross the Yarlung Tasangpo river for Y15, or you can try the sheepskin raft  instead. A tractor/ truck will lift you from the bank to the monastery for Y10.

For leaving, you can follow the same route to Samye Ferry crossing and take the Lhasa-Tsedang bus back. Or you may spend 5 Yuan to Yumbulagang by tractor.

Direct buses to Lhasa and Tsedang from Samye Monastery  run between 10:am ~ 2:30pm for Y40 and Y15 respectively.

Another option is to  to rent a motor tricycle for a round trip at Y40. On the way back you may stop at Trandruk Monastery and then lodge in Tsedang.


A few budget hostels along the street facing the main entrance of Samye  Monastery, it's hard to miss it as Samye is such a small town. Also, The Monastery Guesthouse, dorm. beds for Y15~40,shared washroom on the first floor without running water. Food is very basic there.

Bargaining with the ferry owners and drivers to make an agreed price in advance to prevent them charging more later.

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