An uncovered lesson behind a stunning experience
I arrived in Nepal on the 25th of October with no idea that that country was going to change my life. Besides the beauty and craziness of Kathmandu, the main cities, and rural areas, Langtang trek was an awesome experience I will never forget. By that time, I was traveling alone and thanks to that I met an outstanding group of solo travelers together with those who ventured into this trekking in Langtang valley.
We went without a guide and our plans were to arrive at Kyanjing Gumba and ascent to Kyanhi Ri (4,287 m). Afterward, we wanted to head to Gosaikunda lake. That was going to be 14-day trekking in Langtang and Gosaikunda. It this article, I will explain to you everything about my personal experience through this unrepeatable and unforgettable day.
- 1 LANGTANG TREK
- 1.1 Why did I choose Langtang trek?
- 1.2 Best season to do trekking in Nepal
- 1.3 What do you need to prepare before the trekking?
- 1.4 What to carry in your bag?
- 1.5 Langtang trek cost
- 1.6 Our Trekking stages
- 1.6.1 Langtang trek preparation
- 1.6.2 Langtang trek Day 1: Start from Syapru Besi
- 1.6.3 Langtang trek Day 2: Lama hotel as the starting point
- 1.6.4 Langtang trek Day 3: Watching Langtang Lirun
- 1.6.5 Langtang trek Day 4: Bonfire in the Himalayas
- 1.6.6 Langtang trek Day 5: Kyanjin Ri
- 1.6.7 Langtang trek Day 6: Starting our descend
- 1.6.8 Langtang trek Day 7: Back to the starting point
- 1.6.9 Langtang trek Day 8: On our way to Gosaikunda lake
- 1.6.10 Langtang trek Day 9: The trek is over
- 1.6.11 Calculate the price of your insurance!
- 1.7 DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A FULL-TIME TRAVELER?
Why did I choose Langtang trek?
Langtang valley was on top of wish and to-do list of numerous adventurers and hikers due to the prettiness of its landscapes. After Annapurna and SoluKhumbu, Langtang trek was the third most important and well-known trek in Nepal. We were motivated to do it as a result of other travelers’ stories about this precious area in Nepal but something made us finish deciding on the Langtang trekking.
How is Langtang trek after the earthquake?
In 2015 Nepal suffered one of the worst earthquakes in decades with a magnitude of 7.8 MW with devastating effects in the Langtang area. After that, Langtang is not congested with tourists and hikers anymore. After the earthquake, you’ll need to find your own path through the rubble of tragedy. Also, that affects those families that previously live thanks to tourism. Those two reasons made us decided to choose to trek the Langtang valley.
If you are interested in how the earthquake affected Langtang, here you’ll have a documentary about it made by Killian Jornet.
Best season to do trekking in Nepal
The best season to do trekking in Nepal is from October to December and from March to May, in Autumn and spring respectively. This month corresponds with the dry season which will make your trek easier and more impressive due to the visibility. Temperatures are pleasant. During the day in the trek, you’ll not need more than shorts and maybe a jumper but get ready at night cause temperatures in the mountain at night go down a lot.
At the end of January, it will start to get pretty chili and I do not recommend going to Langtang trek. It could also be snowy and it could hinder the trek.
What do you need to prepare before the trekking?
Before the trekking, you’ll need to arrange a few things in Kathmandu previous to depart.
Btw, a lot of people ask themselves while traveling to Nepal for a trek…how high is Kathmandu? Kathmandu is already 1.400m high!
In Katmandu Nepal Tourism Board or Pokhara, you’ll need to arrange your permits before going to the mountain. There are 2 permits that you will need for Langtang trek:
1. Tims: Green, Blue, or Pink.
a) If you are an individual trekker you’ll need the Green Tims permit which costs 20 $.
b) If you go with a group, you’ll go to Blue Tim and It costs 10 $.
c) If you are a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) citizen, you will need the Pink Tims which only costs 6 $.
2. Langtang National Park Permit: 30 $ + VAT
To obtain the permits you need a copy of your passport and 2 or 3 pictures of yourself.
Besides, the appropriate permits you need while going to Langtang, make sure you travel with good travel insurance. Although Langtang trek is not dangerous, you always have to get ready as the mountain is unpredictable and be cover before any unforeseen.
Also, I recommend you, before planing the trek, to train a little bit of doing some long walks and resistance exercise.
What to carry in your bag?
My favorite tools along the trek:
- My filter water bottle to drink water from any Himalayan river. AWESOME!
- Convertible hiking pants, I use them every trek I do as you are able to adapt to every temperature!
- Thermal underwear set, very useful, really important to feel warm and comfortable after the trekking. Even if you have a really cold morning, it could be used under the jacket to stay warm.
- Convertible globes, do not forget to keep your hands warm during the whole day.
- Good hiking boots, probably the most important accessory you’ll need during these trekking days.
In case you do not have the needed materials for comfortable trekking, there are plenty of rental shops in the city of Kathmandu and Pokhara. Yes, you’ve read correctly, you’ll be able to rent your hiking materials. This is an excellent option for long time travelers that do not want to carry heavy staff on their backpack.
Langtang trek cost
Langtang is not as expensive as Annapurna trek as it is less touristic! In this case, you’ll need to take for granted these expenses (all the expenses are approximate):
- Accommodation and meals: 25 $ per day ( this is not for a single and comfy room but for a shared and most of the time cold room. Before departing you have to make up your mind to understand that, Langtang was the worst hit by the earthquake in 2015 and even though a lot of years have passed, the recovery is slow and facilities are hard to get in the mountain.
- Permits and passes: 60 $
- Transport: 60 $
- TOTAL price for 1 week: 300 € + extras
Our Trekking stages
Before starting, let’s talk about the team of 8 persons from Ireland, Denmark, Israel, France, Wales, Turkey, and Spain. We all met in Katmandu and each person in the group was very different between each other but that make the trip magical and we had so much fun all together. I would never change the team that accompanied me to conquer Langtang.
Now I am ready to tell you the details of every stage on my Langtang trek. As an overall view of the trek, this 9 days discovering the Himalayas were absolutely incredible. Although it was tough sometimes, it was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. Being surrounded by the awesome Himalayas discovering these small sherpa towns and been always welcome by the locals to have tea with them was indescribable.
That day had come and we were heading to what was going to be the beginning of our trek: Syapru Besi. We took that infernal bus from Kathmandu, it took us 9 hours to get there ( it is only 140 km… ). Yes, that is something to have in mind, wherever you plan to go out of Kathmandu, just relax and expect to spend the day on this comfy Nepalis’ buses.
Langtang trek preparation
Finally, we were in Syapru Besi and we couldn’t be happier that we were going to start that uncertain trip. The night before starting our trek we sleep on a humble little guest house of which it was in charge of a really nice local family. As we went without a guide, we had to plan everything in advance and I have to admit that, every local we found on our way was ready to help all the time.
Finally, we decided our itinerary, our plan was to reach Kyanjin Gompa and after, trek till Gosaikunda lakes. That was a 14-days trek approximately and it was going to be such a good trip! Let’s toast to it travelers!
Langtang trek Day 1: Start from Syapru Besi
We woke up at 7 am with a big breakfast, and ready to start walking. We all were really excited and, to be honest, I was a little bit expectant: what was going to be like trekking in the Himalayas? My head answered straight away: Relax and walk…
At the beginning of the day, we were all singing together and with a lot of energy. That started changing while we start ascending…That first day was tough, we ascend 1600 m and descend 470m, it was really hard!
As I previously mentioned, we had an incredible tool: A water filter. We used it to take water from every river, that way we saved money in bottles of water and it is better for the environment as we did not buy more plastic bottles!
Finally, we reached our destination: Lama hotel!
Details of the trek
- Kms: 13 km
- Duration of the trek: 7 hrs 10 min
- Height gain: 1,605 m
- Height loss: 472 m
- Max height: 2,736 m
- Min height: 1,437 m
Langtang trek Day 2: Lama hotel as the starting point
The second day we were feeling strong and fit, we were looking forward to discovering what the Himalayas wanted to offer us.
Some of us started feeling the effects of altitude sickness.
What does altitude sickness mean?
Altitude sickness, or mountain sickness, is caused by a lack of oxygen. Symptoms include headache, tiredness, nausea or loss of appetite, irritability, and, in more severe cases, shortness of breath, confusion, and even coma.
In case you start feeling altitude sickness, the solution is to descend. It is that easy. In case you get a really bad altitude sickness you may need to go to the hospital.
In my personal case, I started feeling a little bit of a headache when we ascended to 3,000 m., I asked for advice to some locals that lived in a beautiful town that was on our way and they gave me some garlic. They told me to eat it directly and they assure me that I was going to improved really fast. Since that moment I use to have garlic soup for dinner and I had no more headache during the trek in Langtang.
Details of the trek
- Kms: 14.68 km
- Duration of the trek: 6 hrs 16 min
- Height gain: 1,128 m
- Height loss: 701 m
- Max height: 3,013 m
- Min height: 2,456 m
Langtang trek Day 3: Watching Langtang Lirun
Already our 3rd stage trekking in Langtang valley and we were about to see Langtang Lisung in the distance. It was quite impressive.
What is Langtang Lirung? Langtang Lirung is the highest peak in Langtang Himal region with 7,234 m high.
That day we did not reach our destination as it was already late and it was starting to get dark. We found on our way a hut of a sherpa woman that kindly hosted us in her living room. It was so much fun, she cooked for us a delicious Dhal-bat (typical food from Nepal) and gave us some local liquor, called Roxy, that they used to get warm (it was strong ! ). It was cold and we slept all-around a fire that unfortunately it turned off after two hours…
Details of the trek
- Kms: 12.17 km
- Duration of the trek: 5 hr 19 min
- Height gain: 866 m
- Height loss: 432 m
- Max height: 3,443 m
- Min height: 3,009 m
Langtang trek Day 4: Bonfire in the Himalayas
We were already in stage 4 and I was starting to feel laces in my whole body. We started the morning with our daily stretching, Nepali tea, and ready to start! The days were going really fast and I was feeling a little bit tired so I suggested to the team to take a rest during lunchtime. The response of the team was super positive and we did a bonfire in the middle of the Himalayas and cooked some noodles! There was no tourist on the way but whenever a sherpa saw us, he/she came to us trying to communicate and always with a big smile on their face.
We finally arrived at Kyanjin Gompa!
Details of the trek
- Kms: 6.20 km
- Duration of the trek: 1 hr 27 min
- Height gain: 424 m
- Height loss: 16 m
- Max height: 3,855 m
- Min height: 2,444 m
Langtang trek Day 5: Kyanjin Ri
Already in Kyanjin Gompa, our last stop in Langtang valley. We spent there 2 nights cause we wanted to reach Kyanjin Ri. I would highly recommend making more than one night here, the village is beautiful, there are awesome extra hikes to do around and, on top of that, the population of Kyanji gompa extremely appreciate the presence of hikers for the area to recover from the earthquake consequences.
The way up to Kyanjin Ri was not easy…but we made it with a big smile on our face as the landscape was unbelievable!
From Kyanjin Gompa it took us 2 hours to reach our objective and, to be honest, it was an incredible sensation. Been able to observe that stunning glacier with views to Langtang Lirun ( 7,234 m ) and the beautiful Langshisha Ri (6,370 m).
After reaching the top, we stayed a while having some lunch and enjoying the views.
Sometimes people ask me why do I love Nepal that much and, this, Langtang valley is one of the main reasons.
Details of the trek
- Kms: 1.72 km
- Duration of the trek: 2 hr 24 min
- Height gain: 415 m
- Height loss: 0 m
- Max height: 4,287 m
- Min height: 3,443 m
Langtang trek Day 6: Starting our descend
We say goodbye to Kyanyi Gonpa, that unforgettable place where we spend two days. Although the ascend till this awesome town was hard, the descent wasn’t supposed to be that hard…I say it wasn’t supposed but my body was hurting too much.
We left this view with the objective of reaching Gosaikunda lakes! We were al really excited again for what was coming…
Back to Lama hotel again to take the new path!
Details of the trek
- Kms: 22.56 km
- Duration of the trek: 6 hr 25 min
- Height gain: 289 m
- Height loss: 1,669 m
- Max height: 3,857 m
- Min height: 2,456 m
Langtang trek Day 7: Back to the starting point
Day 7 and we were already near our starting point to begin our new path to Gosainkunda lakes. Although all my whole body hurt, we were still singing and having fun all the way.
Be careful cause when walking for several days you have much stiffness and more importantly, the falls are very demanding for the knees, so be careful!
Although we met only a few hikers along the way, they all shared one characteristic: they had hired a sherpa (locals from the Himalayas) to carry their luggage. Instead, we decided to carry fewer things to the mountain and take it by ourselves.
In my personal opinion, it is true that sherpas (locals from the Himalayas) are dedicated to helping tourists who hike the Himalayas but, some people take advantage that they are not going to carry their own bag and take to the mountains unnecessary stuff. You can not imagine how big those bags were. Well, Once we passed a large number of Sherpas carrying the tourist backpacks, I decided to ask if I could try to see how much it weighed …
This was just the second before I fell backward…. They always carry it with their front head and that bag was around 60 kg! Could you imagine?
That night we slept in Brabal Thubo Syabru.
Details of the trek
- Kms: 17.35 km
- Duration of the trek: 6 hr 12 min
- Height gain: 1,327 m
- Height loss: 1,635 m
- Max height: 2,447 m
- Min height: 1,712 m
Langtang trek Day 8: On our way to Gosaikunda lake
I have to say that it was one of the hardest days of the whole trek. There were so many climbs uphill, the slope was very steep and at the end of the trek we got into a huge forest and the day began to get dark, it was late and we had to reach our destination. We all were feeling very tired as we were going up very fast.
But still, the landscape was beautiful.
Finally, we arrived at our destination, there was only one guesthouse in 2 hours distance and it was our only option. We had to sleep in the living room as the rooms were expensive. It was really cold!
That night, part of the team was not feeling good. ALTITUDE SICKNESS hit 3 persons of our team…That 8th night was hard as we were trying to help them feel better but nothing helped. The only solution we found was descended and that meant the end of our trek.
We decided to wait the next morning to make a decision.
Details of the trek
- Kms: 9.34 km
- Duration of the trek: 6 hr 03 min
- Height gain: 1,508 m
- Height loss: 46 m
- Max height: 3,613 m
- Min height: 2,143 m
Langtang trek Day 9: The trek is over
Finally, we had to descend as the members of the team were not feeling better. We decided to find the nearest town with a bus station that could take us back to Kathmandu: Dhunche.
Even though we did not make it till Gosaikunda lakes, the experience was awesome. I had an incredible team to trek with and the place was outstanding. Trekking in the Himalayas was one of the top experiences of all my journeys.
While we started descending the altitude sickness started to go. Once we arrived at Dhunche we just had to book our tickets back to Kathmandu, rest and assimilate everything about that incredible experience.
Details of the trek
- Kms: 13.71 km
- Duration of the trek: 5 hr 02 min
- Height gain: 336 m
- Height loss: 1,932 m
- Max height: 3,637 m
- Min height: 1,963 m
I hope you now feel ready to start your incredible Langtang trek! Taking into account that Nepal is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, I think you won’t be disappointed. If you need and an extra hand to organize your journey to this incredible country, do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you!
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