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Asia > East Asia > China > Southwest China > Tibet > Shannan (prefecture) > Samye
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Samye (桑耶) is a village in Shannan prefecture.

Get in

Buses leave for at the Brahmaputra River Crossing (Chinese: dùko) at 7:30AM from just south of the New Mandala restaurant in Lhasa, a journey of about 90 minutes. From the crossing, an open, flat-bottomed boat transports passengers across the river in about 1 hour. Finally, a 40 minute tractor ride completes the journey to the monastery.

Get around


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




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



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

Go next

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

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