Langtang Trek as a holiday destination
Nepal is a country studded with treks that are experiences to be cherished and remembered for a lifetime. Offering treks and hikes for beginners and experienced trekker alike, Nepal is the ultimate destination for treks and hikes. One such trek that has attracted the attention of trekkers for a long time now is the Langtang Valley Trek.
Located just 150km north of Kathmandu, Langtang valley is the nearest trekking region from Kathmandu valley. Nestled in the Himalaya bordering Tibet, Langtang boasts idyllic rural landscapes and traditional Tibetan lifestyles. The week-long Langtang Valley Trek offers the perfect combination of classic mountain views, flora and fauna and traditional culture. Starting at Trisuli Bazaar (541m), the trek ascends to Kyanjing Gompa (3870m), passing through numerous variations of climate, biodiversity and topography. From there, the trail descends back the same way, passing by Mani walls and prayer-wheel houses.
The Langtang Trek can be done in as little as a week, and there are plenty of lodges for accommodation along the route. The best periods for this trek are February-April and August-November. Langtang village was badly destroyed during the 2015 earthquake. Surviving residents have started to rebuild a new village close by, and there are memorials at the site of the old village. All of the lodges along the route remain operational.
What You can Experience
The trek starts with Free Walking Tour Kathmandu and tours of Kathmandu’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites followed by a fantastic trail that is both pleasant and a very engaging experience. Sunrise views, gompas, and small villages, and farmlands, along with a wide range of wildlife typical to the higher Himalayas can be witnessed. A very interesting aspect of the trek is that the trail takes you to the Langtang Village, heavily devastated by the April 2015 earthquake. You can witness how the Local Nepali people have coped with the massive disaster and started to rebuild their homes.
The trail follows to a glacial valley which has long been used as yak-grazing territory. A local legend is that the valley was discovered by a venerable lama that was chasing after his runaway yak, thereby giving the region its name: ‘Lang’ (yak) ‘Tang’ (to follow). Kyanjing Gompa is a superb location to relax, soaking in the monastery and tasting some delicious yak cheese. Most of the local population are from the Tamang ethnic group. Originally from Tibet, the Tamang strongly retain their Tibetan heritage, as evidenced from their monasteries and the Mani walls that mark the entrance to their villages. Many ‘Tibetan’ souvenirs in Kathmandu are also made by Tamangs. Aside from a few villages, Langtang is a sparsely populated area with little evidence of ‘modernisation’. This relative isolation allows a deeper appreciation of the natural surroundings than is available on other treks.
Getting there/coming back
Access to the Langtang Valley is via Syabrubenshi, a 6-7 hour bus journey from Kathmandu (Rs700-800). The bus leaves from Machhapkhari Junction and goes through Prithvi Highway and branches off from Galchhi, follows the newly opened dirt road and reaches to Trishuli where we take our lunch. The road is well pitched upto Kalikasthan, then has bad road till Sebrubenshi. There is check point at Dhunche, Braber Military Camp as it starts of Langtang National Park Area and we pass through innumerable bends to Syabrubenshi.
Passing through Langtang National park, the trail follows a steep river gorge through a mix of oak and rhododendron forests, as well as birds such as cuckoos, barbets and magpies; with views of green valleys from Sing Gonmba. In the spring, the forest comes alive with blooming flowers, and in the Autumn the beriberi bushes blaze with a deep rust hue. Leaving the national park, views of Langtang Lirung (7246m), Langtang II (6581m) dominate the snowy peaks to the North, with Gang Chenpo (6388m) can be seen to the South. The view is best at sunrise and sunset, which can be achieved easily by a short walk from the homely teahouses dotted along the route.
Every trek in the Himalayas requires a certain level of physical and mental fitness. You should be in good physical shape and feel comfortable hiking up and down 7-12 miles per day whilst carrying about 10 pounds. It is recommended that you carry out at least one hour of aerobic activity 3-4 times per week for at least 1 month before starting the trek. Aerobic conditioning is important, as it enables your body to better metabolize oxygen and prepare for thinner air (there is 40% less Oxygen than at sea level). If you are in any doubt of your physical readiness, please consult with a doctor beforehand. Always remember that stamina, confidence and continuity are more important than speed.
If the trekkers wish to extend their stay at any of the pristine Himalayan villages to experience the village life, the trek can also be extended according to the trekkers’ budget, and preference.
For those that want to elongate this trek, there are opportunities to continue to Goshaikunda Helambu, a holy lake revered by both Hindus and Buddhists; to the more challenging Ganjala pass (5122m); or to join the Tamang Heritage Trail.
Advised Season for The Trek
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are the best seasons for this trek. Even though it can also be arranged during winters, the extreme weather conditions might not prove to be suitable.
Day 01:Arrival in Kathmandu Airport (1350 m), and transfer to hotel. O/N at hotel
Day 02:Free Walking Tour Kathmandu, 4-5 hours and Trek Preparation. O/N at Hotel
Day 03:Drive from Kathmandu to Syabrubensi (1,503 m), 8 hrs. O/N at Guest House
Day 04:Trek from Syabrubenshi to Lama Hotel (2,410m), 6 hrs. O/N at Guest House
Day 05:Trek from Lama Hotel to Kyangjing Gompa (3,830 m), 8 hrs. O/N at Guest House
Day 06:Hike to Kyangjing Ri (4,750 m) early morning and trek back to Lama Hotel (2,410 m), 8 hrs. O/N at Lodge
Day 07:Trek down from Lama Hotel to Syabrubenshi (1,503 m), 5 hrs. O/N at Guest House
Day 08:Drive from Syabrubenshi to Kathmandu, 8 hrs. O/N at hotel
Day 09:Departure to the airport