Langtang Valley Trekking Experience – The trek of the Langtang Valley, or how to see landscapes all more varied than each other: along a bubbling river, admire waterfalls, cross monkeys in dense forests, out of the forest and discover snow-capped peaks, get closer as you climb up. Continue to walk in more and more mountainous landscapes, say hello to yaks (yes, yaks !!! you only come across them from 3500 meters above sea level!), Feel small in front of gigantic glaciers, climb a peak and admire the Himalayas!
What an experience!! We who had never really done the trek, it was only discovery, wonder and surpassing oneself (and sore legs, still, we will not lie). Langtang Valley Trekking is a moderate level trekking, which can be done in 8 days (6 days of walking and 2 days of transport from/to Kathmandu). The people of the Langtang Valley have been extremely affected by the 2015 earthquake, which ravaged the entire village of Langtang; many guesthouses have been rebuilt since then, so the passage of trekkers contributes to the renewal of local communities. A trek “fast” (not to leave our little cabbages too long), moderate (for non-trekkers that we are) and solidarity (to help the inhabitants of the valley): it was exactly what we needed!
The departure to Langtang Valley Trekking
The start of the trek is done in Syabrubesi, I explain at the end of the article how to get there (just do not scare you from the beginning !!). After a night in one of the many guesthouses in the city, we meet Lhakpa, who gave us an appointment for a departure at 7:30. It was underestimating our morning power (we are very bad when it comes to being effective in the morning ..), we are finally ready around 8 am (8.30am …), but “No problem” there is never a problem with Lhakpa). We are only two so the program is flexible, the pace too, the time of departure too, and it’s very good because it would have been difficult to be part of a group of twelve (or even 17! !!! supreme horror, but know that there are agencies that organize treks with so many people, we came across!).
We meet Karma, who will be our bearer for this trek. Let’s hear us, he will not wear us eh, he will wear our “big” bags while we carry our bag of hiking for the day. It’s pretty strange to get your bag carried, it’s not really in our habits, but in Nepal carrying heavy burdens is commonplace (to transport firewood, to replenish guesthouses in the mountains, etc.).
One of the big strengths of the organizer is that the burden of the bearer is weighed initially, which is not the case for all agencies. We have the right to 12 kg each, with the ultra warm down jacket and down we rented at the agency we are well above this weight, reorganized in two to leave a business in the guesthouse, and we are FINALLY loans.
Trekking from Langtang, Nepal – Day 1: From Syabrubesi to Renche (2400 meters)
We leave on foot from Syabrubesi and quickly meet along the broad Langtang Khola River; the landscapes are already sublime and the bubbling of the river has a soothing effect. We cross several suspension bridges, cross a lot of monkeys, start climbing a little, and it’s time for our first tea break, which will become the morning ritual of the next few days.
Ginger lemon tea in a guesthouse high up, with a crazy view of the river and the forest around it, and prayer flags that fly everywhere: it takes no less to realize that this trek was beautiful. and started well.
We continue our ascent through woods, until Bamboo, a small group of guesthouses located at 1930 meters, at the edge of the river. The place is perfect for our first Daal Bhat, a typical Nepalese dish made from rice, vegetable curry, and lentils.
We continue through woods, take a lot of photos (Oh, the beautiful waterfall!), And then comes a time when we do much less clever: the climb becomes very very rough (it had to happen at some point). It will not last very long, we arrive fairly quickly at Ganesh View Lodge, Renche (2400 meters), where we spend the night.
The comfort is very basic, like all the guesthouses of the trek, but what a joy to be in the middle of nature! Enjoy having arrived, take a hot (solar) shower, sit down with a tea in the sun (yes, still some tea), do your laundry outside, take your time…
Most travelers continue to “Lama Hotel”, a group of 6 guesthouses located 20 minutes walk higher, but we were really happy with this alternative chosen by Lapkha, quieter.
Trek from Langtang, Nepal – Day 2: From Renche to Thangshyap (3200 meters)
After a hearty breakfast of Tibetan bread, porridge and scrambled eggs (enough to be effective!), We resume our walk, which turns out to be a rapid climb through forests of fir, maple, and rhododendrons. The place is so zen, with small streams to cross, monkeys who make their living in the trees, waterfalls.
Gradually we see snow-capped peaks, Lhakpa tells us that we will soon leave the forest and we will move to the more mountainous part of the trek. OK perfect. But before, the tea ritual is needed, this time at the Woodland Hotel.
Landscapes change as you climb up, the green of the forest disappears and is replaced by the orange and red colors of drier landscapes in the glacial valley. It starts to get much colder, and especially to get wind (it’s all over to make clever T-shirts).
After a Daal Bhat accompanied by a ginger lemon tea (prepared with a lemon tang, because there is no real lemon here .. I let you imagine the taste of the drink!), We continue our walk until ‘to the mini-village of Thangshyap, at 3200 meters, our second stage.
Another beautiful place in nature to spend the night! It is quickly cold so everyone ends up in the common room, the only room that is heated by a central stove. On the program: tea, tea, and more tea, socks to dry, onion soup (to fluff blood at altitude) accompanied by momo (sort of Nepali ravioli), and everyone go to bed around 19h / 19H30 (and yes, trekkers are crazy!).
Trek to Langtang Valley, Nepal – Day 3: Thangshyap to Kyanjin Gompa (3860 meters)
After having shared our porridge with the little girl of the guesthouse (who spends most of her time playing with the trekkeurs of passage), we resume our walk towards Langtang. The sight is desolate, what was village is now only a vast landslide : the earthquake has caused the fall of a large part of the glacier, which collapsed ravaged the entire village. Another village was rebuilt a little further, so we go through these landslides to join him and stop at the friends of Lhakpa for the tea break. Frankly, emotions are a bit limited, it’s poignant to see the tragedy that happened here, and it is all the more important to do this trek, now that locals can again welcome tourists. Each tea we drink, the meal we take and the night we spend, help them concretely.
Our walk continues quietly in the middle of pastures, we cross a multitude of yaks, against a backdrop of gigantic glaciers .. the show is magic, it is not every day that we have the chance to see yaks !
We arrive at Kyanjin Gompa, a village located at 3860 meters above sea level which will be our base for the next two nights. We must continue to walk to acclimatize and go to a higher level than where we are going to sleep; towards the glacier with Lhakpa, everyone is curdled, we do not drag on even if the landscape is super beautiful!
Langtang Trek – Day 4: Climbing Tsergo Ri (4984 meters !!!!!!)
Since Kyanjin Gompa, several hikes are possible by the day. We have since the beginning of the trek to go up to Tsergo Ri, to see the Himalayas . Wake up at 5 am (it’s still dark), breakfast wrapped in our jackets and glued to the kitchen stove (it’s so cold that the tap water is frozen), arduous climb for 5 hours (two to three hours) time, necessarily at this altitude we are not the most effective!) .. what to wonder repeatedly what took us to inflict that?!?
And then, finally, to reach 4984 meters, to discover the prayer flags hung by all those who climbed the summit before us, to see the vastness of the Himalayas, and to be so happy to have pushed back its limits that we forget (almost) what we endured!
Langtang Trek, Nepal – Days 5 and 6: Return from Kyanjin Gompa to Syabrubesi
The trekking of Langtang is a round trip in the valley , we go down in two days which took us 3 days to go up. The opportunity to take the measure of the path traveled, turn to admire the summit that we climbed (we are so proud ;-), then say goodbye to snow-capped peaks that we will see once more than we will be back in the forest.
Still, tea breaks in different guesthouses, and gradually remove the jackets to end up in t-shirts, to return to our point of departure: the city of Syabrubesi.
Walk for 6 days, see these magical landscapes scroll quietly, reconnect with nature, say goodbye to his little comfort (and peel at night in guesthouses), gather around a stove in the evening (and have eyes that sting because it is dried yak dung that is burning in), but also pushing its limits, adapt to the altitude, climb up to 4984m (and be taken for the champions of the universe) … A mix of emotions, landscapes and encounters that make this trek a fabulous experience to live!
The trek of the Langtang valley, practical information
Good to know: go to the left of the plane in the direction to Kathmandu, it will allow you to see the entire chain of the Himalayas from your porthole! I do not know if I tell you about the local bus ride to get to the start of the trek?? 9am to make 130 km, a completely rundown road that makes you jump right in all directions (on seats just as dilapidated, and suspensions that do not stop squealing), dust in the nose holes, the music at bottom (and of course, of excellent quality), people who never stop climbing (until almost sitting on us), the bus that keeps on stopping (yes, it is necessary that the driver does his little shopping on the road too, and then the friend of the driver, and even the passengers while we are there !? ) ..
If the trip is out of his zone comfort, then there is no doubt: we are well on a trip!
It is, I think, the first time I had aches BEFORE to make a physical effort … but long live the adventure and long live the local buses !!
Now that I have given you my impressions, some practical information: this famous bus costs 500 rupees, it leaves from the station of Machha Pokhari (which looks much more like a junction than a station), in Kathmandu, and takes you to Syabrubesi, starting point of the Langtang trek .
If you prefer a faster option, and a little softer comfort level, you can travel by private jeep (it’s expensive, necessarily), or shared and crowded (700 rupees per person).