Watch the morning sunrise from a Himalayan hill and discover one of the finest treks in the world.
Only a short distance from Kathmandu, the Langtang is surprisingly short of tourists and trekkers even though it offers superb mountain trails, sacred lakes and wonderful village hospitality. Maybe a 7246m peak (Lantang Lirung) is simply not high enough for trekkers, but we think the Langtang has so much to offer, especially the famed trek to the sacred Gosainkund Lakes.
Each July and August, Shiva devotees flock here for the full moon festival of Janai Purnima. The trek itself trails up through lush rhododendron hillsides. The Sherpa of the region call themselves Hyalmo, named after their sacred valley the Helambu.Yet it is the trek to Gosainkund Lakes set at 4600m that draws us here. These are high altitude Yak pastures during the warmer months with the land of the Kyangim Gompa and lake providing excellent nutrition for th herds. And surrounding this are breathe taking snow capped peaks right on the border of Tibet. This is a fabulous trek undertaken by few trekkers.
Day 01 Arrive in Kathmandu (1330m)
Your group leader will meet you at airport and transfer you to the hotel where a pre-trek briefing and other information will be given. Arrangements are made today for the distribution of your kit bag, down jacket, sleeping bag etc. Remainder of the afternoon is free. Your group leader will be happy to assist you in any way he/she can and will meet you every day while you are in Kathmandu to help you with any queries.
Day 02 Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
Today you have time to explore Kathmandu-valley, which has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. This capital city has an amazing range of traditional fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. In our morning exploration of the cultural sights and sounds in Kathmandu, we will visit the Bhaudanath stupa, the biggest Buddhist shrine in Nepal and Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu temple, where you will have a chance to witness a public cremation. After the guided tour you are free to pack, purchase last minutes items for your trek or simply relax.
Day 03 Kathmandu to Syabru Besi (1460m)
An early departure for the 6-7 hrs drive to our trek starting point at the foot of the Langtang valley. The road takes a spectacular route, crossing over the ridge to escape from the Kathmandu valley. It offers superb panoramas of the Himalayas including the Annapurnas, Manasalu, Ganesh Himal and many other peaks of Nepal's Best Kept Secret valley. You will soon become acquainted with all of these in your trip to the Langtang.
Day 04 Trek to Lama Hotel (2748m)
After crossing the Bhote Koshi, flowing down from Tibet, we gradually climb up through the sub-tropical forests, teeming with bird-life, to join the trail from Syabru. We then follow the river, climbing through uninhabited forests of oak and rhododendron (the national flower of Nepal) to reach the Lama Hotel for our overnight stay.
Day 05 Trek to Langtang Village (3540m)
Leaving the Lama Hotel we walk for an hour, climbing first gently, then more steeply. There are tantalizing views of Langtang Lirung (7225m) through the trees as you arrive in Gumnachowk (2800m). The valley starts to widen out from here as we reach Ghora Tabela (2970m). We now slowly ascend, passing through Tamang villages before a steeper climb just before Langtang village itself. Langtang (3430m) is a Tibetan village with flat-roofed houses and its own gompa (Buddhist monastery). The fields around are sown with wheat, potatoes and barley – Tibetan staples – whilst the yak is a common beast of burden. Once in the Langtang village you can relax and perhaps enjoy the sunset, which from Langtang can be superb.
Day 06 Trek to Kyangjin (3800m)
We exit Langtang by a large chorten (pagoda) and a long row of Mani stones to pass through the villages of Mund and Sindum. Since the last leg yesterday we will have been above 3200m and thus our pace must reflect the increased altitude if we are to minimize the risk of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). The path rises until we come to the Tajar Chu River and cross a small wooden bridge. After climbing a little further, Kyanjin Gompa (3870m) is visible ahead as are the glaciers of the Langtang Himal to the north.
The views around Kyanjin Gompa are just reward for the trek. Lirung Glacier spills down the mountainside to the north of town, and the icy peaks of several 6000m peaks surround you, including the 7225m peak of Langtang Lirung. You should be in Kyanjin Gompa around lunchtime, leaving the afternoon free to ascend Kyanjin Ri (4773m) for the spectacular views of the area and good preparation for tomorrow morning’s early ascent of Tserko Ri (4984m).
Day 07 Explorations / Rest Day
Today is a free day to relax and enjoy the setting (perhaps pick up some of the excellent cheese from the ‘factory’, established by the Swiss Association for Technical Assistance back in 1955), but for enthusiastic walkers you’ll be making an ascent up nearby Tserko Ri. You have to start early and your climb depends very much on the weather – poor weather, no climb. The ascent takes anything between 3 and 5 hours, depending upon the conditions of the day. A prayer flag greets you from the summit and one truly has a feeling of being on top of the world – you are after all only a few hundred meters lower than Everest Base Camp!
The views from the top are magnificent – snowy peaks; many unnamed; and glaciers wherever one looks. The ascent of Tserko Ri is the literal and for some, figurative highlight of the trek.
Day 08 Trek to Riverside (2700m)
Leaving Kyanjin Gompa you retrace your steps, but given you are descending you arrive in Riverside via Lantang village later today. Trekking the same route in reverse is no hardship – for all intents and purposes the views are different. Lovers of rhododendrons will be richly rewarded in spring when the forest of the lower slopes is aflame. Wildflowers such as gentians, primulas and primroses can be spotted by sharp eyed enthusiasts.
Day 09 Trek to Syabru gaon (2200m)
The views are beautiful – the Nepal of countless coffee-table books - terraced hillsides dotted with farmhouses all against a backdrop of snowy peaks in the distance. As you walk you’ll probably meet the friendly local people, many carrying enormous loads of fodder for their cattle or, depending on the time of the year perhaps a harvest of rice. The last part of the day involves a twisting climb as you gain height to arrive in the little village of Thulo Syabru or Syabru gaon.
Day 10 Trek to Sing Gompa (3585m)
You leave past the little monastery and police post and take a steep twisting path up the trail to above the village. You quickly arrive at around 2500m and a few teahouses at a place, which on most maps is called Dursagang. Passing through forests you continue to climb, but the path is easier now and eventually levels out. Dhunche at 1950m can be seen below and behind you from a ridge as you pause to enjoy the views. Whenever the trail divides you inevitably take the higher route as you climb to Chandanbari (3330m), home of Sing Gompa. It may be possible to visit the gompa itself (please tip the guardian) – the dark interior blackened by years of burning candles. A torch will pick out the colourful murals of gods, goddesses and demons on the walls.
Day 11 Trek to Gosaikunda Lake (4300m)
Your path starts out steeply, and then levels as you walk along a broad ridge that effectively divides the Langtang Valley to the north from the headwaters of the Trisuli River to the south. You pass through thick forest and then arrive at Chalang Pati at 3650m. As you enter Laurebina Yak you can see not only the Langtang Peaks, but right across to Ganesh Himal (7406m), Manaslu (8156m) and even, on a clear day, the Annapurnas. As you descend you have the first view of the first of the Gosainkund Lakes, Saraswati Kund. The holy lakes are the objective of Hindu pilgrims who, at the time of the full moon in August each year, make the same trek as you have just completed, often barefoot and in little more than thin cotton clothing
Day 12 Free & Exploration day at Gosaikunda
Day 13 Trek to Ghopte via Laurebinayak Pass (4600m)
A long and sometimes difficult day as you cross the Laurebina Pass into the idyllic Helambu Valley. Whilst the pass is not technically difficult, snow can make the walking more arduous. Ice can also form on the trail, making it slippery underfoot. Your route up to the pass is clearly marked with cairns and once at the summit (4610m) if time allows you could climb a small hillock nearby for good views. The trail now descends only to climb again, at times passing through forest and at others ascending bare ridges with ravines falling away below. At the end of this tough day you arrive at Ghopte (3440m) and an opportunity to reflect on your achievements today.
Day 14 Trek to Kutungsang (2470m)
We continue descending along the ridge, through rhododendron and juniper forests to a stream before climbing to Tharepati, a group of herders' huts at 3490m. From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through pine and rhododendron forest with good views down into the Helambu valley and across to Jugal Himal and Numbur in the Solu Khumbu
Day 15 Trek to Gul Bhanjyang (2140m)
From Kutungang it is a short climb to cross a ridge before following a pleasant trail through forest, with superb views across to Numbur, the Jugal Himal and many other snow-capped peaks. From Kutumsang, we climb to a pass at 2620m, before descending to the Tamang village of Gulphu Bhanjyang. We camp beyond Gulphu Bhanjyang on a ridge with splendid views, stretching from the Annapurnas and Manaslu in the west to Numbur in the east.
Day 16 Trek to Chisapani (2195)
It is an easy climb to a small pass before descending to Pati Bhanjyang; a large Tamang village with a few shops and a police check post. From here it is a 2-hour climb to Chisopani for overnight stay.
Day 17 Trek to Sundarijal (1465m) and drive to Kathamandu O/n at Hotel
Leaving Chisopani, the trail passes through meadows and cultivated fields and then climbs through oak and rhododendron forest to Burlang Bhanjyang. From here there are magnificent views, from Annapurna in the west to Ganesh Himal and Numbur in the east. This ridge marks the northern rim of the Kathmandu valley. We now begin descending steeply through dense forest of oak, pine and rhododendron to cross a dam and then follow a large water pipe, which supplies much of the water for Kathmandu. Soon we are down into Sundarijal where we pick up transport back to Kathmandu and the comforts of our hotel.
Day 18 In Kathmandu
There are lots of interesting thing to see in Kathmandu valley: the Royal Palace, Durbar Squares, Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), Pashupatinath, Buddhist Stupa at Baudanath, Patan and an ancient city Bhakatpur etc. Or you may explore down town to shop for souvenirs, getting your photos or slides processed and trying out the various restaurants in Thamel.
Day 19 Departure/Trip Concludes
It is time to fly back to home keeping all the exhilarating experiences of Nepal in mind. Please make sure that you have collected all valuable from the security department. Those people traveling by aircraft to further destination will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check in procedures.