On the northern bank of the Yarlung Zambo River in Chanang County, Shannan Prefecture, the monastery was built in 779 under the supervision of Master Padmasambhava and Tibetan King Trisong Detsen. It is the first monastery for the monks in Tibet. The magnificient and unique Central Hall is three story high. The first floor is of the Tibetan architectural style, the second the Han style and the third the Indian style. The halls in the monastery house many statues and murals. The monastery has bronze bells, carved marble lions and tablets marking the development of Buddhism. All these are valuable cultural relics.
Tourists can take the bus from Lhasa to Zetang and get off at Samye Ferry for a charge of 30 yuan. Then you have to take a motor boat to the other bank of the river for five yuan and take a bus to the monastery. Also you can take a mini bus from Zetang to the monastery (running on the newly built highway). Staying in the monastery overnight costs 40 yuan. Just outside the east gate of the monastery stands the Friendship Snowland Hotel and others.