Langtang Gosainkund + Helambu Trek - Nepal

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 The Langtang, Helambu & Gosainkund trek is one of Nepal's best-kept secrets, situated in the shadow of the spectacular Langtang Range bordering Tibet. The Langtang valley is a region of unique Tamang heritag, alpine forests and soaring Himalayan peaks, with sacred Gosainkund Lake just to the south. Helambu is a lovely, relatively untreked region of Sherpa villages just above Shivapuri National Park.

Langtang was Nepal's first national park, and is dominated by Langtang Lirung (7245m), the highest peak in the area. The trek offers more breathtaking views in a short time than any other drive-to trek in Nepal, with the possible exception of the Annapurna Sanctuary. One of the highlights of trekking in Langtang is hiking through the beautiful and traditional Tamang villages. The Tamang ethnic group originally came from Tibet and now practice a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism, and are famed for their craftsmanship, unique dress and architecture.

Langtang is also known for its many glaciers (over 70) and clear, high altitude lakes that include Gosainkunda, Parvatikunda, Bhairavkunda and Dudhkunda. Wildlife in the region includes migratory birds, deer, monkeys, tahr and pika. The Langtang River, a tributary of the Trisuli Ganga, flows from Tibet and empties mightily into the Bhote Kosi River through a long, narrow gorge at the western end of the valley. The Trisuli, or Bhote Kosi as it becomes above Dhunche, forms an important corridor and ancient trade route through the mountains between the Ganesh and Langtang Himal, to Kerong in Tibet.

The Langtang trek as many options, and we have listed several options below, some including the clear Gosainkund Lake route, others crossing the Ganga La pass, and most including Helambu, a rugged region of north–south valleys and ridges, typical Nepali village life and 'southern' Sherpas.

Helembu was once a sacred, hidden region of cloud-covered ridges and verdant valleys, and is still relatively un-trekked despite its proximity to the Kathmandu Valley. Again, there are several choices of routes in this region, and lots of cultural diversity with its Tamang, Hindu and Sherpa ethnic groups. A great place to sample a glass of chang, or local beer!

Enjoy an amazing journey through one of Nepal's most unique and accessible mountain regions.

Incredible Nepal!

Trips

Langtang Trek
Day 1 -  Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu
Day 3 - Drive Kathmandu to Syabru Besi
Day 4 - Trek Lama Hotel
Day 5 - Trek Langtang
Day 6 - Trek Kyanjin Gompa
Day 7 - Kyanjin Gompa
Day 8 - Trek Langtang or Ghore Tabula
Day 9 - Trek Lama Hotel
Day 10 - Trek Sybru Besi
Day 11 - Drive Kathmandu
Day 12 - Depart

Langtang Gosainkunda + Helambu Trek
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu
Day 3 - Drive Kathmandu to Syabru Besi
Day 4 - Trek Lama Hote
Day 5 - Trek Langtang
Day 6 - Trek Kyanjin Gompa 3860m
Day 7 - Kyanjin Gompa
Day 8 - Trek Lama Hotel
Day 9 - Trek Thulo Syabru
Day 10 - Trek Sing Gomba
Day 11 - Trek Gosainkunda Lake
Day 12 - Trek Tharepati
Day 13 - Trek Tarkeghyang
Day 14 - Trek Sermathang
Day 15 - Trek Melamchi Bazaar 870m. Drive Kathmandu
Day 16 - Depart

Helambu Alternative Return Route
Day 12 - Trek Gopte
Day 13 - Trek Mangan Kharka
Day 14 - Trek Gulphu Bhanjyang
Day 15 - Trek Chisopani
Day 16 - Trek Sundarijal. Drive Kathmandu
Day 17 - Depart

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari

Add Ons
Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
Bhaktapur Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$100)
Patan Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$50)
Extra Trek Day Gandruk (+105)
Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
Extension Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+75 Night Depending on Room)
Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)

Nepal Modules
Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!

Highlights+Reviews

Trip Advisor Reviews

Client Testimonials
Trekker's Comments

Trek Highlights

  • Beautiful Langtang region of Nepal Himalaya
  • Tamang culture & villages
  • Spectacular Himalayan peaks on border of Tibet & Nepal
  • Tibetan Buddhist monasties
  • Some of the best Himalayan panoramas in Nepal
  • Challenging Himalayan trekking

Kim Bannister Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Kamzang Journeys | Country + Regional Photos
Kamzang Journeys Photos

Kamzang Journeys Group Photos
Group Photos

Himalayan Photos
Himalayan Wildlife Photos

Himalayan Bird Photos

Himalayan Flower Photos

Market + Street Food Photos
Asian Markets + Street Food

Date+Price

Dates
Custom Departures
12, 16 + 17 Days

Trek Price
Inquire

Includes

  • Kathmandu Guest House
  • Upper Mustang & Annapurna Conservation Area Permit
  • Domestic flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Group transportation by private vehicle
  • Kamzang-Style Trekking
    Marmot or Big Agnes tents (2x, or 3x for couples), delicious & copious 'gourmet' food with seasonal, fresh produce, French-press coffee, chai, Kashmiri & herbal teas, Katadyn filtered drinking water, warm washing water, library, 'lounge' with dhurri rugs, Crazy Creek camp chairs, blankets & the occasional music at night, oxygen & PAC bag (when needed), full medical kit, horses, yaks or porters, Western, Sherpa & local guides (when needed), our 5-star staff & the signature yellow 'Kamzang Dining Tent', NO single supplement for single tents. And flexibility ...

Excludes

  • Travel medical & travel insurance (both required)
  • Nepal Visa
  • Helicopter rescue cost
  • Helicopter shuttle service
  • Meals (while not on trek)
  • International flights
  • Monastery donations
  • Equipment rental
  • Alcohol & packaged drinks
  • Laundry
  • Tipping & other items of a personal nature

Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $250 for meals (while not on trek), drinks (on trek) and tips. We recommend $200 per trekker thrown into the tips pool for the crew.

Contact+Details

Trekker's Comments
Travel Books

Kim Bannister Contact
Kim Bannister
kim@kamzang.com
Mobile: +(977) 9803414745
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21277980 (Nepal)
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21274092 (Tibet & India)

Kamzang Journeys
Chez Kim, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
info@kamzang.com

Kathmandu Contact
Khumbu Adventures
hiking.guide@gmail.com
Office: +(977) 01 4488352
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 235461, 9813 371542
Doma Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 510833, 9803 675361

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Arrival Hotel
Kathmandu Guest House

Kathmandu Guest House Single Upgrades | 4 Nights
Standard Single - $75
Garden Single - $150
Deluxe Single - $425

Kathmandu Guest House Extra Nights
Includes breakfast + 25% taxes
Book with Kamzang Journeys + save 10%

Standard Single - $80
Standard Double - $100
Garden Single - $120
Garden Double - $140
Deluxe Single - $200
Deluxe Double - $220

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Kathmandu
Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings

Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Visas
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Health Information
Nepal Health Information
CDC

Medical
We have a full medical kit with us including Diamox (for acclimatizing), antibiotics, inhalers, bandages, re-hydration, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs etc. but please bring a supply of all prescription and personal medications. Kim has First Aid, CPR and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certifications as well as many years of experience with altitude in the Himalaya but is NOT a qualified medic or doctor, so please have a check-up before leaving home, and inform us of any medical issues. This is for YOUR OWN safety.

DO bring all prescription medications and good rehydration/electrolytes. We advise bringing your own Diamox, Ciprofloxin, Azithromyacin & Augmentin. We have all of these with us but the Western versions are always better than the Indian equivalents.

Notes on Itinerary
Although we try to follow the itinerary below, it is ONLY a guideline based on years of experience trekking in the Himalaya. At times local trail, river or weather conditions may make a deviation necessary; rivers may be impassible, snow blocks passes, and landslides wipe out trails. The trekking itinerary and campsites may also vary slightly depending on the group's acclimatization rate or sickness.

The Himalaya are our passion, and we take trekking seriously. Although everyone is here on vacation, please come with a dollop of patience and compassion added to your sense of adventure ...

Arrival Kathmandu

Arrival
You'll be met at the airport by Lhakpa or Doma Sherpa (of Khumbu Adventures) or the Kathmandu Guest House van. They will bring you back to the wonderful Kathmandu Guest House, where your rooms have been booked for you.

NOTE: Let us know if you would prefer to book an alternative hotel for the start of the trip or instead of the Kathmandu Guest House We can also provide a range of boutique and luxury hotels, or budget hotels.

Arrival Hotel
Kathmandu Guest House

Visas
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Temperatures + Clothing
Kathmandu during trekking season, in the spring and autumn, is usually warm (t-shirt, sandals, light pants or skirts) during the day, and gets chilly (light fleece or windproof top) in the afternoon. Nights can be cold enough for a sweater or light jacket, or warm enough for t-shirts. Summer is hotter and wetter; you’ll need a rain jacket and umbrella. The winter months (November – March) are chilly in the mornings and evenings, cold enough that you might start the day in a down jacket, but often warms up enough to wear a t-shirt by mid-day. Nights get cold enough for a down jacket if you’re sitting outside in the spring and autumn, and much colder in the winter when you won’t leave the hotel without your down jacket. It never snows in Kathmandu, leave your snow boots behind. Keens or lightweight sandals great for wandering around Kathmandu, and for trekking in lower altitudes.

Trekking is a mixed bag of temperatures. LAYERS are the key as hot can change quickly to freezing crossing the passes and snowfalls are common. We often have some rain below 3000 meters in the spring and early autumn, and it can rain hard in the summer. Have a wide range of layer-able trekking clothes for summer to winter temperatures. Keep a lightweight down jacket or synthetic jacket with you at all times, available inexpensively in Kathmandu. A lightweight rain poncho and umbrella for trekking recommended spring and summer. Be prepared! See our GEAR LIST for full details on gear, shoes, clothing, electronics and meds for the trek.

There are lots of real gear shops (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sherpa Gear) and of course many fake ones in Kathmandu, so if you don't think you have the right gear starting the trip it will be easy to pick-up stuff once in Kathmandu. We have sleeping bags, duffel bags down jackets to rent.

Dress conservatively in Kathmandu and on the trail as a rule. Shorts are okay if they aren't too short, mini skirts aren’t recommended. Sleeveless t-shirts are absolutely fine, but perhaps avoid tank-tops on the trail. Super tight doesn't go over so well with the village elders. Many of the younger generation in Nepal wear modern Indian or Western-influenced clothes, but remember that you haven't signed up for a beach or surf vacation. Use your good judgment, be an ambassador for western tourists! Please ask Kim or your guide if unsure about appropriate clothing.

Duffel Bags
We have North Face style duffel bags with Kamzang Journeys logos for sale (XL, orange). They are (mostly) waterproof, mid to lightweight (lighter than North Face) and good quality. Price 4000 NRP (about $40)

Cultural Issues
Nepalis are very open and welcoming, but there are a few issues you should be aware of to make your stay in Nepal more fulfilling. Use your right hand to pass things, shake hands or do most anything. Left hands are somewhat taboo. Nepali's often place their left hand on the right forearm when passing things to others, a sign of respect. Best not to pat kids on heads, or point feet ahead of you at monasteries. Don't walk over someone's legs or feet, but put your hand down in front of you to signal them to pull their legs to the side. Take off shoes and hats when going into Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples, don't use flashes inside monasteries or temples in general, be respectful of a puja (prayer ceremony) if attending one. You can talk, all religious are very tolerant, but be aware of your level of voice.

Nepalis don't anger quickly, so try not to raise your voice if exasperated or angry as it only will make a situation worse. Do bargain at shops, with taxis and rickshaws, but don't fleece them. They are poor and making a living, generally.

Give small donations on the streets if you choose, but try not to encourage begging too much. Be aware of who you are giving money to, and please only give small amounts. If you do want to donate to a cause, ask about our Kamzang Fund or other responsible organizations.

Pampering Yourself in Kathmandu
We’re happy to book your rooms before or after the trek (or upgrade during the trek) at other boutique or luxury hotels in Kathmandu. We recommend Dwarika’s, Shangri-La, Yak & Yeti or Hyatt. We can also direct you to wonderful spa & massage centers in Kathmandu.

Tips for Staff
We recommend at least $200 per person to go into the tip pool for the staff. Please bring Nepali Rupees (NRP) with you on the trek for the tips. It’s nice to buy the staff drinks on the last night. Or any other night that you feel like getting them a bottle of Kukure Rum!

Tips in General
Tips are always appreciated but they don’t need to be extravagant. 100 NRP to carry bags to/from your room is fine. The women who clean your room will be happy with 100-200 NRP when you leave, and 100 NRP is good for drivers to/from the airport. Round up taxi fares. A larger tip would be expected for a daytrip in a car, perhaps 500 NRP. 10% is included in most restaurant and hotel bills in Nepal, and if it’s not included it’s still expected. Check your bills, and still round up at restaurants. Feel free to give out small change to the beggars in the streets (5, 10, 20 NRP) but try not to give it out to the street kids who use it for glue to sniff.

Cash + ATMs
You’ll want some cash with you on the trek for drinks, snacks, beer, sodas, etc. There are often  chances to during the trek, and usually local crafts to buy en route. (You’ll want your tip money in NRP as well). There are ATMs in KTM but they don’t dispense large amounts of cash (usually 10-20,000 NRP) so you’ll be best with currency or TCs to change.

International Medical Center Kathmandu
CIWEC

Kathmandu + Kathmandu Valley Information
Our personalized 'Insider' list of things to do, places to go, what to visit, the most happening restaurants + the best hotels in Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.
Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings

Gear

Gear List
This is a guideline, not a bible, for the gear you will need on the trek. Ask if you have questions!
NOTE: Your duffel bag can NOT be any larger than a North Face XL (140 Liter, 32" x 19" by 19"). ONE duffel bag only please.

20 kg (50 lbs) weight limit for treks.

  • Duffel Bag
  • Day Pack (35-40 L)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Down Jacket
  • Trekking Boots or Shoes
  • Crocs (evenings)

  • Trekking Pants (2)
  • T-Shirts (2)
  • Long-sleeve Trekking Shirts (2)
  • Trekking Jacket
  • Gortex (or light weight) Jacket & Pants
  • Fleece or Thermal Top + Bottoms (evenings)
  • Lightweight Long Underwear (to sleep in or layer under clothes)
  • Socks (4)
  • Gloves
  • Wool Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Wide-brimmed Hat
  • Camp Towel
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended)
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottles | Nalgenes (2-3)
  • Bladder (optional, recommended)
  • Toiletries, Sunscreen with SPF, Lip Balm with SPF
  • Watch (with alarm)
  • Extra Batteries
  • Battery Chargers
  • Head Lamp
  • Water Purifying Tablets, Small Water Filter or Steripen
  • Laundry Detergent (Kathmandu) or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Small Solar Panel (optional, recommended for iPods, iPhones, camera batteries, Kindles)
  • Book(s)
  • Zip-Lock | Plastic Bags
  • Soft Toilet Paper | Tissues (we supply toilet paper but you will want something softer for blowing your nose)
  • Rehydration | Electrolytes
  • Snacks!
  • Personal Medical Supplies

Medical Supplies
We strongly suggest bringing Western meds with you as there are a lot of Indian fakes on the market!

Suggested: Diamox, Azithromyacin, Ciprofloxacin, Tinidazole or Flagyl & Augmentin. Bring COMPEED for covering blisters & good tasting electrolytes &/or rehydration salts (Emergen-C is a good American brand). The local versions aren’t very appealing.

We also recommend bringing strong knee & ankle supports & braces, ACE bandages for sprains & strains, Tegaderm &/or other would coverings. Duct tape is always useful. We're happy to take excess medical supplies off your hands when you leave if you won't need them and pass them on to others. We use lots of the large amount we have with us to treat locals as well as our own trekkers ...

Comments on Gear
Layers are essential for trekking. Quality is more important than quantity. It’s worth investing in some of the great, warm, lightweight gear available in all gear shops or online.

Kim's suggestions: I generally wear a trekking t-shirt, light trekking pants, a mid-weight trekking shirt, a lightweight synthetic jacket (instead of a fleece jacket) and always carry a wind & rain jacket (the same jacket, light weight). If the weather looks stormy, we're at higher altitudes, it's cold or it’s a pass day I carry a lightweight down jacket with me. I always have a pair of gloves, a wool hat, a baseball cap and extra pair of socks in my day pack. Good trekking boots are essential for passes although I mostly trek in low Merrill hiking shoes with socks. You don’t need climbing or plastic boots (for mini-crampons or micro-spikes).

Nights are chilly to cold, so a down jacket and warm sleeping bag are essentials. We recommend a DOWN bag of 0 to -20 F (-18 to -28 C). Mine is -20 F). At lower altitudes I open it and sleep under it like a quilt and up higher am toasty warm during the cold nights. Campsites near passes can get COLD. Rentals available.

Trekking poles are not required but strongly recommended, especially for going down passes which can be quite steep and are often icy. Bring gators if you tend to use them but they’re not required if you don't own a pair. Micro-spikes (mini-crampons) or YakTraks are almost always useful (or essential) for high pass crossings. It’s also good (possibly essential) to have a pair of plastic Crocs for washing and the evenings. Tevas take a long time to dry, not recommended. You can bring a pair of light sneakers or running shoes for the afternoons or easy days if you have room in your pack, or if you are used to hiking in them.

Good, polarized sunglasses are essential; please bring an extra pair if you tend to lose them! Don’t forget a sun hat or baseball cap and have plenty of sunscreen and lip balm with SPF!

Bring extra large plastic bags or stuff-sacks in case of rain. You can pack electronics in them or stash your sleeping bag and clothes. The weather is changeable in the Himalaya, so again I recommend that everyone has a strong, waterproof duffel bag.

Daypack
We recommend a 35-45 liter daypack (ask at your gear shop if you’re not sure of the capacity). Better to have it too large than too small as on pass days you’ll need to carry more warm gear. Most have internal water bladders built in, which are good for ensuring that you stay hydrated. Make sure it fits and is comfortable before purchasing!

In your daypack, you will be carrying your camera, 2 liters of water, a jacket, wind & rain pants, hat, gloves, extra socks, sunscreen, snacks, electrolytes, water purifying tablets, filter or Steripen (optional), camera, hand sanitizer, a pack-cover and often a down jacket. I slip my Crocs on the back for lunch. Lhakpa & I carry small medical kits in our daypacks.

Water
We bring MSF water filters along on the trek for fresh drinking water, ecologically the best way to get water in the Himalaya’s fragile trekking regions. Bring your own filter pump, Steripen | UV purifier or iodine/chlorine tablets for fresh water while trekking. NOTE: To be extra safe with your drinking water, you can drop one purifying tablet into your water bottle after filling with our filtered water. Make sure you wait the required amount of time before drinking, and don’t add anything with Vitamin C as this negates the iodine.

Please bring at least TWO (and better three) Nalgene, Sigg or other unbreakable plastic | metal water bottles. Camelbacks and other bladder systems are good for trekking but can leak, so as a back-up it’s best to also bring a Nalgene or other water bottle.

NOTE: We do not provide boiled water for drinking on either our tea-house | lodge or our camping treks although there is endless hot water for herbal, black or green teas, hot chocolate, hot lemon as well as Indian chai and Kashmiri tea.

Snacks
You will NEED snacks hiking at altitude, even if you’re not a snacker. People crave unusual foods at altitude!  Energy bars, ‘GU’ gels, chocolate bars, dried fruit & nuts, beef jerky (or whatever) are important to have along for long days, pre-lunch bonks and passes. Lemonade mix, Emergen-C or similar drink mixes are great to have for hot days in your water bottles, and it is ESSENTIAL to bring electrolytes with you every day. 

Rentals
We have Western down jackets to rent for $1.50 per day.  We also have good super-down sleeping bags to rent (0 to -10F) for $2.50 per day.

Duffel Bags
We have North Face-style duffels with Kamzang logos for sale, L & XL. They’re very good quality and come in Yellow (L) for $35 or Orange (XL) for $40.

Packing & Storage
It’s easiest to pack and unpack from a duffel bag, especially when the temperature drops, and easy for porters to carry. Inexpensive and decent quality duffels are available in Kathmandu. You can store extra gear in Kathmandu at the Kathmandu Guest House or your hotel's  storage room free of charge.

Shopping
Almost all gear is now available in Kathmandu, from real (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Sherpa Gear, Marmot shops in Thamel) to inexpensive knock-offs. The real gear shops take credit cards.

Langtang Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m
You'll be met at the airport by a representative from the Kathmandu Guest House, so look out for a Kathmandu guest house sign when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Kathmandu Guest House, where your rooms are booked. Relax in their beautiful, newly expanded garden and recover from your jetlag.

Thamel is a myriad of banners, signs, music shops, bakeries, internet cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops of all imaginable varieties and eccentrically clad backpackers. Enjoy a wander through these bustling streets!

Day 2 - Kathmandu
The day is free to explore Kathmandu, take excursions into the Kathmandu valley, shop, visit the spa, have a massage or just read a book in the lovely Kathmandu Guest House gardens.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings for more details.

We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.

Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.

Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.

In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’  stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.

Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.

Day 3 - Drive Kathmandu to Syabru Besi 1500m
A long and beautiful drive through the middle hills of Nepal, through traditional terraced paddy fields, to the start of your Langtang trek in Syabru Besi. We'll stop for a local lunch in Trishuli Bazaar, after which the drive ascends on spectacular, switch-backing roads into the mountains heading towards Dhunche. Once in Dhunche we have a quick descent down to Sybrubesi where stop for the evening. (7 hr drive)

Day 4 - Trek Lama Hotel 2480m
Our first day of trekking is a beautiful hike through Nepal's lush, forested middle hills, filled with Langur monkeys, fruit trees, local water mills, water buffaloes, cows, goats and traditional Tamang villages. We follow the Langtang Khola (river), crossing it on several suspension bridges en route. We'll be able to stop for a cup of tea at local tea houses as we trek, a chance to interact with local Tamangs. We have several ascents and descents which can be hot, but overall it's not a very challenging day, so en joy the hike. (6-7 hrs)

Day 5 - Trek Langtang 3430m
Coffee and hot chai are a lovely start to a chilly morning, and after breakfast we set off on the second day's trek, again passing through dense forest as we climb steadily up through Langtang valley, leaving the treeline behind after several hours. The views grown increasingly spectacular as we ascend, Langtang Lirung (7227m) dominating the skyline. These last two days are honey hunting territory, a dangerous means to procure the much-loved honey from bees nest high above. As we trek we pass vestiges of the Tibetan Buddhist religion that Tamangs follow, nested in rhododendron and evergreen forests. Prayer wheels, mani walls and chortens mark important sections of the trail and passes, beautiful reminders of their Tibetan culture. Langtang village is the largest village in this part of Rasuwa, with many lodge, local houses, a school and a monastery. (5-6 hrs)

Day 6 - Trek Kyanjin Gompa 3860m (3 hrs)
Gaining altitude, we hike out of Langtang and read pastures where the Tamangs graze their yaks, called kharkas in Nepali. Continuing along the trail we trek by Nepal's largest mani wall, ancient stones with Buddhist inscriptions carved to the gods. We cross several wooden bridges which span tributary streams and finally reach our destination, Kanjin Gompa, backed by high Himalayan peaks and very close to the border of Tibet. This idyllic setting requires at least two days to appreciate, so we've scheduled an extra day tomorrow to do some exploring.

Day 7 - Kyanjin Gompa
There are many great day hikes out of Kyanjin Gompa, all with wonderful views of the tumbling icefalls, chances to look for the indiginous birds and wildlife such as the Himalaya thar.

OPTIONS: Hike up the Lirung Valley to the north of the monastery for unbeatable views of Langtang Lirung and the surrounding peaks of Kimshung (6780m) and Yansa Tsenji (6575m) that border Tibet. Or climb Kjanjin Ri to the viewpoint at 4600 meters for incredible Himalayan panoramas, a half-day semi-strenuous return climb. A hike to Tsergo Ri (4984m) is a full day excursion, at least a 5-hour climb heading east towards Langshisha Kharka.

Day 8 - Trek Langtang | Ghore Tabula 2970m
We return the way we trekked up although no one ever recognizes the route down! Enjoy the downhill hike as you pass through the Tibetan landscapes heading back to Langtang village. If you continue on to Ghore Tabula, a former Tibetan resettlement project, you can continue on to Syabru Besi in a long day and give yourself an extra day up at Kjanjin Gompa.

Day 9 - Trek Lama Hotel
More downhill trekking, of course with more hills than you remember, to return to Lama Hotel.

Day 10 - Trek Sybru Besi
The last day of trekking, sadly, back to your transport at Sybru Besi. You'll spend the night here in a lodge before heading back to Kathmandu tomorrow.

Day 11 - Drive Kathmandu
Enjoy another breathtakingly beautiful drive back down to the main highway to Kathmandu, where hot showers await at the Kathmandu Guest House.

Day 12 - Depart
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Langtang Gosainkund Helambu Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m
You'll be met at the airport by a representative from the Kathmandu Guest House, so look out for a Kathmandu guest house sign when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Kathmandu Guest House, where your rooms are booked. Relax in their beautiful, newly expanded garden and recover from your jetlag.

Thamel is a myriad of banners, signs, music shops, bakeries, internet cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops of all imaginable varieties and eccentrically clad backpackers. Enjoy a wander through these bustling streets!

Day 2 - Kathmandu
The day is free to explore Kathmandu, take excursions into the Kathmandu valley, shop, visit the spa, have a massage or just read a book in the lovely Kathmandu Guest House gardens.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings for more details.

We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.

Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.

Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.

In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’  stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.

Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.

Day 3 - Drive Kathmandu to Syabru Besi 1500m
A long and beautiful drive through the middle hills of Nepal, through traditional terraced paddy fields, to the start of your Langtang trek in Syabru Besi. We'll stop for a local lunch in Trishuli Bazaar, after which the drive ascends on spectacular, switch-backing roads into the mountains heading towards Dhunche. Once in Dhunche we have a quick descent down to Sybrubesi where stop for the evening. (7 hr drive)

Day 4 - Trek Lama Hotel 2480m
Our first day of trekking is a beautiful hike through Nepal's lush, forested middle hills, filled with Langur monkeys, fruit trees, local water mills, water buffaloes, cows, goats and traditional Tamang villages. We follow the Langtang Khola (river), crossing it on several suspension bridges en route. We'll be able to stop for a cup of tea at local tea houses as we trek, a chance to interact with local Tamangs. We have several ascents and descents which can be hot, but overall it's not a very challenging day, so en joy the hike. (6-7 hrs)

Day 5 - Trek Langtang 3430m
Coffee and hot chai are a lovely start to a chilly morning, and after breakfast we set off on the second day's trek, again passing through dense forest as we climb steadily up through Langtang valley, leaving the treeline behind after several hours. The views grown increasingly spectacular as we ascend, Langtang Lirung (7227m) dominating the skyline. These last two days are honey hunting territory, a dangerous means to procure the much-loved honey from bees nest high above. As we trek we pass vestiges of the Tibetan Buddhist religion that Tamangs follow, nested in rhododendron and evergreen forests. Prayer wheels, mani walls and chortens mark important sections of the trail and passes, beautiful reminders of their Tibetan culture. Langtang village is the largest village in this part of Rasuwa, with many lodge, local houses, a school and a monastery. (5-6 hrs)

Day 6 - Trek Kyanjin Gompa 3860m (3 hrs)
Gaining altitude, we hike out of Langtang and read pastures where the Tamangs graze their yaks, called kharkas in Nepali. Continuing along the trail we trek by Nepal's largest mani wall, ancient stones with Buddhist inscriptions carved to the gods. We cross several wooden bridges which span tributary streams and finally reach our destination, Kanjin Gompa, backed by high Himalayan peaks and very close to the border of Tibet. This idyllic setting requires at least two days to appreciate, so we've scheduled an extra day tomorrow to do some exploring.

Day 7 - Kyanjin Gompa
There are many great day hikes out of Kyanjin Gompa, all with wonderful views of the tumbling icefalls, chances to look for the indiginous birds and wildlife such as the Himalaya thar.

OPTIONS: Hike up the Lirung Valley to the north of the monastery for unbeatable views of Langtang Lirung and the surrounding peaks of Kimshung (6780m) and Yansa Tsenji (6575m) that border Tibet. Or climb Kjanjin Ri to the viewpoint at 4600 meters for incredible Himalayan panoramas, a half-day semi-strenuous return climb. A hike to Tsergo Ri (4984m) is a full day excursion, at least a 5-hour climb heading east towards Langshisha Kharka.

Day 8 - Trek Langtang | Ghore Tabula 2970m
We return the way we trekked up although no one ever recognizes the route down! Enjoy the downhill hike as you pass through the Tibetan landscapes heading back to Langtang village. If you continue on to Ghore Tabula, a former Tibetan resettlement project, you can continue on to Syabru Besi in a long day and give yourself an extra day up at Kjanjin Gompa.

Day 9 - Trek Lama Hotel
More downhill trekking, of course with more hills than you remember, to return to Lama Hotel.

Day 8 - Trek Lama Hotel
Day 9 - Trek Thulo Syabru 2250m (5 hrs)
Day 10 - Trek Sing Gomba 3330m (6 hrs)
Day 11 - Trek Gosainkunda Lake 4380m (5 hrs)
Day 12 - Trek Tharepati 3600m (7 hrs)
Day 13 - Trek Tarkeghyang 2600m (6 hrs)
Day 14 - Trek Sermathang (5 hrs)
Day 15 - Trek Melamchi Bazaar 870m (4 hrs). Drive Kathmandu (2 hrs bus)

Alternative Return Route
Day 12 - Trek Gopte 3360m
Day 13 - Trek Mangan Kharka 3285m
Day 14 - Trek Gulphu Bhanjyang 2125m
Day 15 - Trek Chisopani 2194m
Day 16 - Trek Sundarijal. Drive Kathmandu (1 hr)

Day 16 or 17 - Depart
We send you off to the airport for your flight home, and hope to see you again soon!

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Kathmandu Photos

Namaste & Tashi Delek!

© Kim Bannister

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