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Fabulous forests, mountains and culture
With quick access from Kathmandu, this trek is a superb introduction to trekking in Nepal. The walk up the Langtang Valley roughly follows the river through pleasant forests and occasional villages before reaching the open alpine country encircled by massive snowy peaks and glaciers. A 5000m/16400ft viewpoint provides a stunning panorama, and all possible in 11 days trekking.
Our trek begins with a 7 hour drive to Syabru Bensi. Initially we are trekking through a sub-tropical jungle, then a dense forest of oak, birch and pine before the valley opens out into alpine meadows and yak pastures. In the spring these high meadows are carpeted with a rich variety of alpine wild flowers also the forests are also in full bloom with rare tree orchids and the colourful rhododendron, Nepal's national flower, also a spring highlight. The Langtang forests are also well known for their wildlife, including red pandas, Himalayan black bear, wild boar and langur monkeys - you are likely to see packs of these monkeys between Syabru and Ghora Tabela.
Beyond Langtang village is the summer settlement of Kyangjin with its small gompa and cheese factory. Our camp here amongst yak pastures, dominated by the fluted north west face of Kangchenpo, whilst Kyangjin Ri at 4708m provides a splendid viewpoint. The views from here are as spectacular as anywhere in the Himalaya, a 360 degree panorama of snow capped including the awesome Langtang Lirung, Pemthang Ri, Langshisha Ri, Dorje Lakpa, and Kangchenpo, Tilman's fluted peak.
Descending from the upper Langtang Valley, we retrace the route back to Syabru then take the slightly quicker way out via Syabru Bensi and drive to Kathmandu.
Fitness and Experience
No super-people needed! You should be moderately fit and know that you enjoy walking in the great outdoors but you certainly don't need to be an experienced hiker. For many people this is their first real trek.
Providing you have sent us your arrival details, you should be met at the airport and escorted to the hotel. Normally Joel, Kim or Jamie will met you there. Extra nights at Hotel Dynasty cost US$25 a single, $32 a double, booked thru us. (The normal rates are over $50).
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1350m
Arrive in Kathmandu. You’ll be met at the airport by one of our local staff, so look out for a Project Himalaya sign with your name on it. Normally we met you at the hotel and then introduce you to Thamel, the main tourist area of Kathmandu.
Thamel is a mass of energy and chaos with a myriad banners, signs, pumping music shops, bakeries, internet cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels and eccentrically clad backpackers. Over dinner we check your insurance details and equipment – and get to know each other over a beer.
Day 2 - Kathmandu 1350m
Today we’ll explore the sights of Kathmandu and the valley (opens in a new window) with a good local guide. We match the sightseeing itinerary to what people haven't seen before; many trekkers are already familiar with Kathmandu. In the late afternoon we can sort out any equipment that you need.
Day 3 drive to Syabru Bensi 2000m
An early departure for the 7 hour drive to our starting point at the foot of the Langtang Valley. The road takes a spectacular route, climbing high over the ridges to escape the Kathmandu Valley which gives a superb panorama of the Himalaya, including the Annapurnas, the Manaslu and Ganesh Himal and the other peaks of Langtang that you will soon become better acquainted with.
Day 4 trek to Changdam 2748m
The trail initially crosses the Bhote Kosi, flowing down from Tibet, literally a few kilometres away, and then gradually climbs up through the sub-tropical forests, teeming with bird-life, to join the trail from Syabru. We then follow the river, climbing through uninhabited forest of oak and rhododendron and maybe catching a glimpse of langur monkeys roaming through the trees. Passing the single dwelling of Chongong we climb along a steep trail to our camp in the forest.
Day 5 to Langtang Village 3500m
As we continue climbing there are occasional glimpses of Langtang Lirung between the trees. At Ghora Tabela (3000m), the trail emerges out of the forest. Once there was a Tibetan resettlement project here, but now it is a Nepalese army post though it has no permanent inhabitants. The trail continues to climb gently and the valley widens, passing a few temporary settlements used by herders who bring their livestock to graze in the high pastures during the summer months. There is a monastery which we can visit shortly before arriving at the village of Langtang, the headquarters of the Langtang National Park. The houses of Langtang and neighbouring villages are of Tibetan style, surrounded by stone walls enclosing fields of buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips and barley.
Day 6 to Kyangjin 3800m
The trail climbs gradually through small villages and yak pastures as the valley opens out further and the views become more extensive. After crossing several small streams and moraines, the trail reaches the settlement at Kyangjin. Here there is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory. We should arrive at Kyangjin by lunch time allowing time to acclimatize and explore the area.
Day 7 exploring around Kyangjin
A day to rest, acclimatize and explore the area. Near the village a visit can be made to the monastery and the cheese factory. We may walk up the moraine northwards, to see the spectacular ice faces and tumbling glaciers of Langtang Lirung or ascend Kyangjin Ri, directly behind the village, for a breath-taking panorama of the Langtang peaks.
Day 8 exploring around Kyangjin
Today, now more acclimatized, we can explore further and higher.
Day 9 return to Changdam 2784m
From Kyangjin we retrace our route, following the Langtang Khola to Langtang village and on to Ghora Tabela. After lunch we continue the steep descent to Lama Hotel.
Day 10 to Syabru Bensi 2000m
We continue retracing our steps to Syabru Bensi.
Day 11 drive to Kathmandu
Today we conclude the trip with a bus journey back to Kathmandu.
Day 12 - Kathmandu
A free day for washing, shopping and a last look around Kathmandu.
Day 13 - Farewell - tour ends
We take you to the airport for your flight home. If you wish to stay longer we can offer plenty of suggestions as to what to do.
We hope (we know!) you had a fantastic trek!
For the price and trip dates please refer to Our treks.
The cost includes all airport transfers in Kathmandu, sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, all guiding and portering, all accommodation and meals while trekking, all group transportation by private vehicle and all local taxes and entrance fees.
Not included: international airfares, meals in Kathmandu, equipment rental, alcohol, laundry, tipping and other items of a personal nature.
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