Langtang is a region in the Himalayas of Nepal to the north of the Kathmandu Valley and bordering Tibet.
The Langtang National Park is located in the area. About 4,500 people live inside the park, and many more depend on it for timber and firewood. The majority of the residents are Tamang.
The park contains a wide variety of climatic zones, from subtropical to alpine. Approximately 25% of the park is forested. Trees include the deciduous oak and maple, and evergreens like pine, and various types of rhododendron. Animal life includes Himalayan black bear, the goat-like Himalayan tahr, rhesus monkeys and red pandas. There are also stories of Yeti sightings.
The park contains the Gosainkunda lakes, sacred to Hindus. Pilgrimages are made there in August. Another spiritual site is the Buddhist monastery Kyanjin Gompa.
Popular activities for tourists in the park include trekking, climbing, and white-water rafting.
Langtang village has been completely swiped away by a massive avalanche followed by the earthquake in April 2015. The village suffered an estimated 310 deaths, including 176 Langtang residents, 80 foreigners, and 10 army personnel. More than 100 bodies were never recovered.
ITINERARY FOR THE LANGTANG/GOSAINKUND TREK
AT THE MOMENT (2015) TREKKING IN THE LANGTANG IS NOT REALLY AN OPTION FOLLOWING DEVASTATION DURING THE EARTHQUAKE
The Langtang valley, running west to east, parallel with the Tibetan border, north of Kathmandu, is a popular trekking area, but nowhere near as crowded as the Khumbu or Annapurna areas. It offers a variety of spectacular scenery from dense forests to austere high mountain landscapes, and spectacular views of the Ganesh, Langtang, and Jugal Himals.
The itinerary below was followed a couple of years ago by two aging (65+) trekkers, as a camping trek, with a full Nepali trekking crew (though for the time in Kyanjin, and at Laurebinayak and Gosainkund lodges were used). From what was seen the lodges were perfectly adequate.
No doubt the itinerary could be shortened by a couple of days if you are younger and fitter !
There are several possible variations to this trek
Day 1: Drive to Thulo Bharku (between Dunche and Syabrubenshi) and trek (about three hours) to Thulo Syabru - relatively free from long ascents, and a pleasant trek
Day 2: Descend to Bamboo, and on to Lama Hotel.
Day 3: Trek to Langtang VIllage
Day 1: 6 – 8 hour drive to Syabrubenshi
Day 2: Trek on the north side of the Langtang Valley to Kangjim (initially gentle, then a 600 metre ascent)
Day 3: Trek to Rimche (another ascent, then mainly contouring)
Day 4: Trek to Langtang Village
Day 5: Acclimatisation at Langtang (unless you're feeling really good)
Day 6: Short trek to Kyanjin, and perhaps explore the valley a little way beyond.
Day 7: Ascend Kyanjin Ri for superb mountain views
Day 1: Drive to Syabrubenshi
Day 2: Trek to Bamboo Lodge (about 4 hours, mainly steadily uphill through forests)
Day 3: Trek to Riverside Lodge (beyond Lama Hotel. Quite steeply uphill through the forest)
Day 4: Trek to Langtang Village (initially steep, then once Ghora Tabela is reached the gradient decreases, and the views open out)
Day 5: Rest / acclimatisation around Langtang Village (including a visit to Langtang Gompa)
Day 6: Trek to Kyanjin
Day 7: Ascend Kyanjin Ri (c.4600 metres) for superb views of the Lantang Lirung amphitheatre
Day 8: Explore beyond Kyanjin towards Langshisha. Return to Kyanjin
Day 9: Descend to Lama Hotel
With any of these approaches you could do a 'there and back' route, making a good short (8 - 10 day) trek, returning from Kyanjin in 2 days directly down the valley to Syabrubenshi
An alternative short trek, which also avoids spending 2 whole days on the road, is to do simply the Gosainkund - Helambu section of the route, as outlined below (where obviously Day 10 is actually your first day !
Day 10: Trek to Thulo Syabru (short stroll down valley, then turn left to ascend for an hour, and then final contouring ascent (!) through farmland
Day 11: Day off in Thulo Syabru (interesting village, and even a Cyber Café)
Day 12: Trek to Sing Gompa (initially steep ascent for a couple of hours, then a gentle ridge walk with superb views)
Day 13: Trek to Laurebinayak (starts fairly gently, then ends with a steady ascent: fitter people could go on to Gosainkund provided that they are not feeling any altitude problems)
Day 14: Trek to Gosainkund (begins with steep ascent, then more gentle, through high mountain country, again with great views)
Day 15: You could, at this point, turn west and descend back to Sing Gompa, thence to Dhunche for a road journey back to Kathmandu
Cross the Laurebina La (4600 metres). (A steady, rather than steep, ascent, then stroll through wonderfully bleak landscapes to reach the final summit of the pass.) Steep descent to Ghopte There are now perfectly adequate lodges at Phedi and at Ghopte - used one of the Phedi ones in 2011 and it was fine.
Day 16: Trek via Tharepati to Mangengoth. (Initially short ups and downs to Tharepati, then mainly down. For non-campers there’s a good lodge on the small col about 30 minutes beyond Mangengoth)
Day 17: Trek to Ghul Bayang (Again mainly down, through interesting rural landscapes. Ghul Bayang seemed a bit of an uninspiring village, but again there’s an excellent lodge about 30 minutes further on)
Day 18: Trek to Chisapani (A gentle day, apart from the climb up from Pati Bhajang towards Chisapani. Great sunset views from the village)
Day 19: Descend to Sundarijal for the 30 minute drive back to Kathmandu (initially a bit, of a climb to the ridge but great views, then down. The route turns into a descent of an interminable series of concrete steps !)
What's Not Included