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Samye Monastery 桑耶寺 Travel Guide

Samye Monastery Overview

Samye is particularly famous for being the first Buddhist Monastery to be built in Tibet. It was first constructed between 775 and 779 AD under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen of Tibet who sought to revitalise Buddhism, which had declined since its introduction by King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. It was supposedly modelled on the design of Odantapuri monastery in what is now Bihar, India. Samye can be visited as part of an overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu.

Best Months to Visit Samye Monastery

samye when to go

Best Reason to Visit Samye Monastery

Samye is just off the beaten track enough to keep visitors to a minimum which means you will get a more genuine monastery experience here.

Top Attractions in Samye Monastery

The Monastery is the main reason to visit Samye. As it can be difficult to get there independently you won’t find the crowds of tourists you normally get at other more easily visited monasteries. It is possible to trek here from Ganden Monastery. The 80km trek needs to be organised and takes up to 5 days and can be quite tough going in the arid, high altitude climate as you need to cross two 5,000+ metre passes.

Weather Averages for Samye Monastery

samye weather averages

Our Top Samye Monastery Travel Tip

Samye can easily be added into any itinerary either as an overnight trip from Lhasa or as a stop along the Friendship Highway heading for Nepal.

Samye Monastery Accommodation

All part of the experience is spending the night in the Samye Monastery Guesthouse although don’t expect too much by way of comforts!

Explore More of China

Click the boxes below to explore further styles of destination in China.

By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.

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