Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu.
Our trip starts in Kathmandu, Nepal’s lively capital city. If you arrive early, you can head out to explore the city’s labyrinth of back-street courtyards, market stalls and temples, giving you your first taste of Nepal’s rich culture. Check out Durbar Square in the centre of old Kathmandu, where Nepal’s kings were crowned in past times. The square is the city’s greatest example of traditional architecture – so much so it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
Later your trip leader will meet you at our hotel and run through what to expect from the days ahead. Afterwards we’ll have dinner together at a local restaurant to experience the local Newari cooking and start getting to know each other. Accommodation: Hotel Thamel Eco Resort, Kathmandu (D).
Day 2: Visit Swayambhunath Temple.
Today we’ll walk a short distance out of town to the Swayambhunath Temple. According to local legend, Swayambhunath was given its name (meaning “self-arisen”) as it was said to have risen from the lake that once covered the land where Kathmandu now stands. Local devotees come here daily to make a ritual circumnavigation of the centre piece stupa (a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine), and spin the prayer wheels set into its base.
There’s also a great view over Kathmandu from this hilltop temple, but don’t get too fixated on your camera’s viewfinder – there’s a resident troop of monkeys who can be fairly cheeky – they’ve been known to steal hats on occasion! Later, we’ll head back down to town and make preparations for our journey to Dunche and our trek into the Langtang Valley. Accommodation: Hotel Thamel Eco Resort, Kathmandu. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Journey to Dunche.
We’ll hop on our bus this morning and head north towards the Langtang region, making our way out of Kathmandu and to the start of our trek. According to legend, this valley was discovered by a lama following a runaway yak – hence its name: lang is Tibetan for ‘yak’ and tang means ‘to follow’, so keep your eye out for yaks. But it’s probably best not to follow them, who knows where you’ll end up...
As we leave the hustle and bustle of the city, we’ll watch the landscape rapidly transform from buildings, temples and markets into terraced hillsides, lush forests and towering mountains such as Annapurna II, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal.
When we arrive at the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley, we’ll stop at Kakani for morning tea before descending into the Trisuli Valley. We’ll follow the river valley as it winds its way back towards its mountain source until we reach the picturesque village of Dunche. Accommodation: Tea house, Dunche. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Hike to Thulo Syabru.
After an early start and a hearty breakfast, we’ll bid farewell to our hosts, set off alongside the Langtang Khola river and begin making our way into Langtang National Park. The lush forests in this area are teeming with wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for langur monkeys, wild boar and red pandas, and your ears open for the musical accompaniment from the orchestra of birds overhead.
By afternoon, we’ll arrive at the village of Thulo Syabru, lined with attractive houses and lodges that are known for their elaborately carved wooden windows. This will be our home for the night. Accommodation: Tea house, Thulo Syabru. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: Hike to Lama Hotel.
We’ll join the main trail today and zig-zag our way further up into the valley and watch as the landscape and scenery changes around us again. As we climb higher, the forests start to feel less subtropical, the roar of the Langtang Kola below becomes a soft purr, and we’re soon walking amongst majestic oaks, maples and rhododendrons.
We’ll finish our day in the small village of Chantang, popularly known as Lama Hotel. The local bakery here is perfect for hungry trekkers who have worked up a healthy appetite! Accommodation: Tea house, Lama Hotel. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 6: Hike to Langtang Village.
As we continue to gain altitude today, glimpses of Langtang Lirung (7227 m) start to appear through the trees. This is the highest peak in the Langtang Himal and is known to be one of the more difficult Himalayan peaks to climb; despite numerous attempts, it wasn’t summited until 1978.
This afternoon the forests open up into classic U-shaped valleys with wide alpine meadows. Look for mani stones (carved with the Tibetan Buddhist prayer invoking compassion “om mani padme hum”) scattered among the wild flowers.
Soon we’ll pass through Tamang villages and see stone-walled fields of potatoes, wheat and barley. Yaks, whose bells you’ll hear ringing in your arrival to Langtang village, graze in the hillside pastures beside the comfortable tea house we’ll call home tonight. Accommodation: Tea house, Langtang Village. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Hike to Kyanjin Gompa.
A leisurely start to the day gives us time to explore Langtang Village and relax for a while before we make our way towards the furthest point on our trek, the small settlement of Kyanjin Gompa. We’ll arrive in time for a mid-afternoon snack and cup of Tibetan tea, traditionally made with yak milk – a tasty treat!
The trail then winds its way out of the village and out into the valley past inscribed mani walls and a large square chorten (a stone Buddhist monument draped in colourful prayer flags).
Later, we’ll cross the Laja Khola river and hike up ancient glacial moraine to a spectacular viewpoint, where you can see right out over Kyanjin Gompa. Here you’ll get your first view of the dramatic icefall of the Langtang Lirung glacier and the snow-capped peaks that provide the spectacular backdrop to this little gem of a mountain village. Accommodation: Tea house, Kyanjin Gompa. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 8: Explore Langtang Valley, view Lirung Glacier.
Kyanjin Gompa will be our base for today and there are a few options available to you. If you’re feeling energetic, we can climb up higher to get an even more spectacular view. Or, if you’d like to take it easy, you can explore the village, its old gompa (meditation hall), and sample the locally made cheese. They produce about 700 kg of cheese a year in this town – all of which is hauled out to Kathmandu by local porters! Or you can just relax and take in the views today.
For those who are keen to put their boots back on, we’ll head up to one of the best viewpoints in the area, Kyanjin Ri (4773 m). It’s a short day walk from the village, so all you’ll need is a small day pack and a snack – and your camera, of course – as we’ll be staying another night with our hosts in Kyanjin Gompa.
We’ll head out past hillsides of glacial moraine, through alpine meadows and up towards the ridge before reaching the prayer flag festooned summit. This spot has superb views of the mountains, the beautiful Lirung Glacier and, if you take the challenge to head up to the highest lookout, you’ll be able to see right into Tibet. Keep your eye out for Himalayan tahr (a type of wild goat) that are commonly seen accompanying hikers on the grassy slopes along the trails through the upper valley! Accommodation: Tea house, Kyanjin Gompa. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 9: Hike to Ghora Tabela.
A leisurely morning in Kyanjin Gompa starts us off on our trek back down the valley into warmer temperatures and more oxygenated air. We’ll stop for lunch at Langtang Village, where you’ll have time to enjoy more mountain views and capture that perfect Himalayan landscape photograph.
As we leave the village, there’s also an opportunity to visit a gompa that sits watch over the valley. We’ll then continue along the trail to our rest stop for the night, Ghora Tabela. This small village was once a Tibetan settlement project, but now has very few permanent residents and mainly hosts trekkers, so it’s a great location to take a break! Accommodation: Tea house, Ghora Tabela. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 10: Hike to Syabrubesi.
Our trek today finds us once again surrounded by beautiful woodland and rhododendrons, soft underfoot and sheltered overhead. The trail descends rapidly down through Changtang and soon the roar of the Langtang Khola fills our ears again as we head back down into the lower reaches of the valley. Our trekking adventure ends back at Syabrubesi, where we’ll celebrate together over a festive meal to thank our incredible team of Sherpas and reflect on our achievements in the Himalayas. Accommodation: Tea house, Syabrubesi. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 11: Return to Kathmandu.
We’ll hop back on the bus this morning and head back to Kathmandu, where we’ll arrive with plenty of time to take a leisurely afternoon stroll around the streets of Thamel, do some last-minute shopping or relax in one of the quirky rooftop cafes. Dinner this evening will be yours to enjoy in one of the many great restaurants in town. Accommodation: Hotel Thamel Eco Resort, Kathmandu. Includes: (B, L).
Day 12: Explore Bhaktapur and Nagarkot.
Today we’ll make our way back out of the capital to the nearby town of Bhaktapur, which is one of the oldest, and also the best-preserved, towns in Nepal. It grew from the old trade route connecting India and Tibet so the oldest part of the town dates back to the 12th century. It’s also known as Khwopa, which means ‘City of the Devotees’. It becomes clear how apt this name is as we enter the city and discover its three town squares packed full of towering temples.
It’s the perfect place to wander along the cobble-stone streets that wind their way around red-brick houses and hidden courtyards. There’s virtually no traffic in Bhaktapur either, so a great way to get around is to jump on a bike and explore on two wheels!
As we head out of Bhaktapur in the afternoon, the landscape once again starts to rise, revealing views of the Himalayas that are rarely visible from the valley floor. Nargakot is perched on a ridge facing the mountains and is famous for its panoramic views that stretch from Dhaulagiri in the west, to Mt Everest and Kanchenjunga in the east – you’ll be able to spot Langtang Lirung out there too. Accommodation: Tea house, Nagarkot. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 13: Hike to Makakali Temple, free day in Kathmandu.
An early start and an easy walk will take us to the small hilltop temple of Mahakali, where a lookout tower provides an awesome 360-degree view of the Himalayas as they come alive in the morning sun. After enjoying this fabulous sight we’ll make our way back to Kathmandu, where you’ll have the day a free to wander the winding streets, temples and markets of the city or head out to explore the beautiful Newari architecture and impressive palaces of Patan (also known as Lalitpur, or ‘City of Beauty’). Tonight, we’ll meet for our final dinner in Nepal. Accommodation: Hotel Thamel Eco Resort, Kathmandu. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 14: Depart for home.
Today is the final day of your two-week trekking and adventure trip amongst the highest mountains in the world – a journey we’re sure you will remember and talk about for the rest of your life. If you have extra time after your trip, we’re happy to make suggestions on how to make the most of it. On the other hand, if you’re on your way home today, we’ll send you back invigorated from the great hiking, food and adventures you’ll have had with us in Nepal! Includes: (B).
We'll see you soon!
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Asia Nepal Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking