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Langtang Trek Day 6 Lama Hotel to Shyaphru

Langtang Trek Day 6 Lama Hotel to Shyaphru

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gumba, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,


Click here to read about day 5.

The started like any other multiple day trek.  I woke up ate breakfast and started hiking with my guide.  I had no idea that my day would end with me meeting a Himalayan shaman in Shyaphru and being accepted as his apprentice after a 3-hour ceremony.  My mom always says, “You have no idea where the day will take you!”  This was especially true this day.

Lama Hotel to Shyaphru in 3.5 hours

I was a little sad to be finishing the trek today because I didn’t want to leave it behind.  Looking back on it, Langtang is one of those treks that that isn’t left behind but stays with you.

I took my time getting out of bead at Lama Hotel.  My guide and I got up and ate breakfast at 6:30.  I had a terrible paper mache tasting oatmeal.  Fortunately, it didn’t last long, and we were back on the trail at 7:00.  We ran into a flock of goats on the way down.  Goats are so much fun to play with.  We spent 30 minutes petting them and chasing them around.

We were about an hour into our hike when clouds started to form.  I was a little anxious because I didn’t want to get rained on, but I decided to throw my doubts away and enjoy the experience.  The air grew colder, and crisp mist lightly touched my cheeks as I walked through the forests.  I knew it was going to rain.

langtang river
Langtang River

A group of Nepali men must have sensed it too, because they were hiking extremely fast.  After they past us we didn’t see them again until we rounded a corner overlooking the Langtang River.  There was a deer drinking water at the rivers edge.

About 2 hours later, my guide and I were back in Shyaphru.  Just as we were walking into the hotel, it started to rain. Perfect timing!

If you are interested in experiencing the Langtang Trek for yourself, click here to learn more.

Shaman in Shyaphru

I unpacked my gear and tried to pass the time as peacefully as possible, while it rained.  it was too frustrating and I couldn’t contain myself.  I was out playing in the rain like a little kid with rubber boot and rain jacket on.  However, I had neither boot or rain jacket on.  I had a t-shirt and flip flops.

If my friend Sarah is reading this, she is probably shaking her head and thinking he’s going to get sick.  Hi Sarah! I didn’t get sick. So, Ha!

What the rain did was make the Nepali store owners worry about me enough to invite me into their store and out of the rain.  I reluctantly accepted, which led to an awesome conversation about Jhakri.  Jhakri are Himalayan shamans.

The store owner told me there was a shaman in Shyaphru and that I needed to see him.  “The adventure begins,” I thought.  I will see this shaman in Shyaphru.

I went to his house, about a 15-minute walk up a hill, but he wasn’t home.  The store owner said he will be back at night time, and we should come back later to meet him.

Since the rain had stopped, I went back to the hotel and dried off.  I then ate a dal bhat lunch and hung out for a little while.  I still had a lot of energy and decided to walk around Shyaphru again.

At 7:00 I met the shaman in Shyaphru.

The shaman’s ceremony

A shamans alter in Kathmandu
A shamans alter in Kathmandu

It was just after dark and the shops were lighted by the dull yellow glow of incandescent bulbs.  The shaman told me I needed rice, a scarf, and a beer.  This was starting to get weird and I was into it.  I spent 4 and got the requested items.

He took me to his home where his wife was lighting candles and burning incense.  The Jhakri took the rice and poured them into a bronze plate.  I was then instructed to give him a blessing by putting the scarf around his neck.  His wife took the beer and poured it into glasses for everyone to drink.

We talked for a little bit and his wife brought tea for everyone.  (beer and tea together was a first).  He then requested a donation.  I placed $2 in the plate of rice.  He then asked for a larger donation of $15, which kind of made me laugh but also upset me a little.

When I gave it to him, he took the money out of the rice then started sifting through the rice like he was panning for gold.  He moved the rice kernels to one side of the plate and with a slight shift a few kernels fell to the other end of the plate.

The plate was shook until about 12 kernels of rice were separated from the rest of the plate.  I was asked to place the kernels in my right hand and put it to my forehead then repeat the process with my left hand.  After I did this a few times I kept the rice in both hands and shook them by my head 3 times.

I then cast the rice kernels onto an empty plate, which the shaman took.

The shaman’s chant

He took the plate with 12 kernels of rice on it and started to chant while holding the plate over the incense.  The chanting started loud and rhythmic, but as he progressed, it grew softer and became more of a conversation.

He asked for my right hand, then placed the rice in it, paying attention to where and how the rice fell in my hand.  Afterward he read my palm and fingerprints on my right and left hands.

The shaman’s reading

He told me what he saw for 15 minutes.  It was a long reading, all of which I didn’t understand.  At the end of it though, he told me I would become his apprentice when I came back to Nepal.

Imagine that, Craig the shaman.

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Langtang Trek Day 5 Kyanjin Gompa to Kyanjin Ri and back to Lama Hotel

Langtang Trek Day 5 Kyanjin Gompa to Kyanjin Ri and back to Lama Hotel

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gumba, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,


Click here to read about day 4 of the trek.

This was the best day of the trek for mountain views.  My guide and I hiked up to Kyanjin Ri for some amazing panorama vistas of the mountains.  We could even see an 8,000er (Shishapangma 8,027m) in China (Tibet).  After our summit, we hiked down to Lama Hotel.  Without further ado, here is Kyanjin Ri.

Kyanjin Ri

I woke up at 5:00 to a beautiful starry night sky.  I threw on a few layers of warm cloths and my guide and I were on the trail by 5:30. Though it was still dark outside the mountains glowed.  They were highlighted in the darkness.  The trail head to Kyanjin Ri is a few minutes from the hotel.  It was extremely easy to find.

After hiking 20 minutes we were half way to the first sightseeing point and the views were incredible.  I was so giddy, I kept stopping every couple of minutes to take pictures.  We made it to the first view point at 7:00.  I could see Naya Kanga, Urking Kanggari, Kangjala Himal, Ponggen Dopku, Dshabu Ri, Gangchenpo, Langshisa Ri Tserko Ri Langtang 2, Langtang Lirung, Changbu, Kinshung, and Langtang Lirung Glacier.


Hiking to Kyanjin Ri in Langtang
Hiking to Kyanjin Ri in Langtang

The view point has a bench, mani wall and prayer flags.  The bench faces Yubra Himal, which limits your view of the mountains to Langtang Lirung, Changbu, and Kinshung.  If you do not sit on the bench and walk around a little, you can see it all.

From the view point we ascended another hour to Kyanjin Ri.  The trail led us on top of a narrow mountain ridge with steep slopes on our left and right.  A light amount of snow covered the ground and began to melt, which made the trail slippery and dangerous.

Kyanjin Ri summit

We arrived at the summit just before 8:00.  I stood there smiling my heart out while the mountains spun around me.  I felt like rain man counting cards in a casino.  The sky was starting to be come thick with haze, and a few clouds had formed, so I decided I should take a few pictures.

We could see Langtang Lirung, Changbu, Langtang Lirung Glacier, Kinshung, Yubra, Tserko Peak, Yala Peak Tserko Ri, Langshisa Ri, Pemthang Karpo Ri, Shishapangma (26,289 ft), Dshabu, Ponggen Dopku, Kangjala Himal, Urking Kanggari, Naya Kanga, and many others.

Tserko and Yala Peaks, Shishapangma, Tserko Ri and Langshisa Ri
From left to right: Tserko and Yala Peaks, Shishapangma, Tserko Ri and Langshisa Ri

I just stood there looking at the cairns and mountains and prayer flags.  It was so unbelievable I had to think about it for a time.  I understand why monks go to the mountains to meditate.  The atmosphere is clean and real.  It is just you and the mountains.

I took a few more pictures then headed back down.  I didn’t want to leave, but the clouds were starting to become thick and the views were becoming less viewable.

It took about an hour to make it back to the hotel.  We would have made it back sooner, but somebody peed in the center trail, so I had to walk around it, which proved more difficult on the steep terrain.  I also slipped in the snow melt or what I thought was snow melt a few times.

Trekking to Lama Hotel

We paid our bill and checked out of the hotel.  By 10:00 we were at the edge of the hotel looking back at what we were leaving behind.  Also, at the edge of Kanjin Gompa was Aku.  Aku is a young Nepali woman who operates a travel blog.

We walked the rest of the way to Lama Hotel together.  The trail down was surprisingly long, but it went by fast.  We passed through some of the most beautiful forests in Nepal.  These forests are almost as amazing as the mountains.  It was a real treat to go on this trek.

The forests were primarily oak and had a lot of ferns and moss growing on their trunks.  It was extremely beautiful and peaceful.  We again passed waterfalls cascading from the summits of clouds and cliffs.  We decided to take the direct route through the forest instead of crossing the bridges.  It was a good choice because it saved us a lot of time, we got to stay in the forest, and there were no horse trains to contend with.

Walking through the forest is like walking through peace.  It was like being eternally satisfied.

We came to a clearing where the river met us with its humming waves.  Birds danced over the river catching insects and chirping. The trail coaxed us along and eventually we were back in the forest.  We passed a small village and soon afterward we were back in Lama Hotel.

Click here to read about day 6 and the end of our journey.


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Langtang Trek Day 4 Mundo to Kyanjin Gompa

Langtang Trek Day 4 Mundo to Kyanjin Gompa

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gompa, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,


Click here to read about day 3.

We left Buttercups at the Tip Top Hotel and headed for Kyanjin Gompa.  The views on the way were spectacular. We could see Langtang Lirung, Changbu, Kinshung, Urking Kanggari, Ponggen Dopku, Dshabu Ri, Langshisa Ri and many others.  After we arrived in Kyanjin Gompa, I hiked around Kyanjin Ri, and visited Kyanjin Monastery. You are welcome to pin these images and share them on your social media.  They are great!

Trekking to Kyanjin Gompa

mani wall
Mani wall under the clouds (This photo was not taken on this day)

My guide and I woke up extremely early and saw that it was snowing.  We decided to go back to sleep to wait it out.  We woke up at 6:30 and the sky had cleared up.  The sky was a beautiful crystal-clear powder blue with a touch of white haze.  The mountains sparkled like streamers in the sky.  It was going to be a beautiful day.

Langshisa Ri and Shabu Ri Langtang
Langshisa Ri and Shabu Ri while hiking to Kyanjin Gompa

We left Tip Top Hotel and started hiking at 7:00.  The mountain views were amazing.  They were in front of us and behind us.  They were to our left and right.  We were surrounded by mountains.  If you are someone who loves mountains, Kyanjin Gompa is where you want to be.  The Annapurna and Khumbu areas are great too, but its hard not to be inspired by Langtang Himal.

Urking Kanggari in Langtang
Urking Kanggari in Kyanjin Gompa

We passed mani walls covered in snow and a stupa.  I hiked the trail to Kyanjin Gompa completely memorized by the new views.  I had better and better views with each step I took.  Before I knew it, I was in Kyanjin Gompa.

Finding a tea house in Kyanjin Gompa

My guide and I stood on a ridge overlooking the village.  We stood there in silence just looking when a shy little voice caught our attention.
it said: “Please… draw me a sheep.”  I’m just joking; the little prince said that.  The voice that was speaking to us, asked us to stay at her hotel.

We told her maybe and went to a different hotel to check their prices first.  When we returned, she was drawing in the dirt with a stick.
I said: “Take me to your leader!” in the best robot Martian voice I could make.  I don’t think she understood, but she did laugh.  My guide then asked her in a normal voice to take us to her tea house.

We arrived at Tibet Guest House 5 minutes later.  It was a bit expensive but after some negotiation we got the rooms for $5 per night.  I know $10 or $15 is not a lot, but if you don’t bargain for prices, the cost of the rooms will become prohibitive.  An example of this is bottled water.  One bottle of water can range from $3 to $5.  That’s more than at Disney Land!

The rooms were a little dirty, but the sheets were clean (I think).  The rooms had attached bathrooms with western style toilets and electrical outlets.  They had other rooms that were smaller and with out attached bathrooms.  These rooms share a bathroom with an eastern style squat toilet.

Hiking around Kyanjin Gompa

I finished checking in and put my gear in the room.  After I was situated, I started hiking up Kyanjin Ri , which is right next to the hotel.  Unfortunately, clouds started to form, and the entire mountain was covered in condensed water vapor.  I thought there is no sense in climbing up to the top if I couldn’t see, so I climbed down.

Note: Clouds tend to form around 8:30 am.  Your best mountain views are from predawn to 2 hours after.

Kyanjin Gumba Monastery, and Urking Kanggari behind coulds in Langtang
Kyanjin Gompa Monastery, and Urking Kanggari behind clouds in Langtang

I saw a monastery coming down from Kyanjin Ri.  Since I still had the rest of the day with very little to do, I decided to go on a village tour.  I went to the monastery, which was being built and didn’t have much to offer.  There was one monk inside carving a piece of wood into a dragon.

Next, I went to a glacier lake just above the village.  It is a small lake, not even labeled on maps, but it is important for the generation of hydroelectric power.

Then I hiked down and bought a slice of apple pie and carrot cake from a bakery.  They were both disappointing but good.  I remember the apple pie being over spiced with cinnamon and the crust being doughy.  The carrot cake tasted like a vanilla cake mix with carrots and raisins added.  It was crumbly in some parts and chewy in others.

I payed my bill ($7.5) then meandered back to the tea house.  I didn’t do much for the rest of the day.

To continue this journey with me, click here to continue to day 5.

YouTube video

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Langtang Trek Day 3 Lama Hotel through Langtang to Mundo

Langtang Trek Day 3 Lama Hotel through Langtang to Mundo

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gumba, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,


Click here to read about day 2.

This part of our journey was amazing.  Hiking up from Lama Hotel we passed a very beautiful rhododendron grove on the river.  The flowers were shades of red and pink. In addition, we had our first real views of the mountains while trekking from Langtang to Mundo.  Also, we went on a side trek in Mundo to see the oldest village in Langtang.  It was very cool.   If you enjoyed reading about day 3, please feel free to share this post or let me know in the comments.

Soupy porridge in Lama Hotel and Trekking

My guide and I woke up and packed our gear at 6:00.  We went to the kitchen and ate breakfast.  I had a bowl of watery porridge, which I was happy to eat.  We started hiking after breakfast.  Lama Hotel is a small village surrounded by forest.

Most of the vegetation outside of Lama Hotel was bamboo.  Oaks and rhododendrons were beta co-dominant.  I remember being disappointed by the forest.  It was aesthetically appealing, but something was out of place.

The forest was immature.  I didn’t realize what was going on until I was in a mature area of the forest.  People were harvesting forest products for timber and fire fuel, which is why it looked out of place.  In the mature area of the forest, there were more trees, ferns, and moss, and less bamboo.

These forests are extremely beautiful and wholesome when not disturbed.  I was a little sad after understanding the affects of tourism on the forest community and my part in its destruction.

We saw a family of monkeys playing in the healthy part of the forest.  There were also more birds singing and rustling around in the trees, and under the ferns.  The trail led us into a pure stand of rhododendrons on the river.  We saw some campers here with survival tents.  They were displaced by the earthquake.

Trekking, rhododendrons, and Langtang

Pink and white and red flowers colored the tree canopies and the river’s edges.  It reminded me of Poon Hill.  The Langtang Trek has traits similar to the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek.  The trail has rhododendron trees and is easy to walk on like the Annapurna circuit trail, but dynamic like the Everest Base Camp Trail.  It was nice to find this balance on the Langtang Trek.

Just outside the rhododendron grove we crossed the Langtang river again and trekked through some beautiful sections of the forest.

Note: the trail straight ahead from the rhododendron grove is a cattle trail.  It is a lot faster, but you run the risk of being caught in the middle of a cattle train.

steam in Langtang
Stream through the forest

The trail looped wide and we had a fantastic view of the mountains in the clouds.  We hiked through more forests and came to a ridge over the Langtang River.

There are some amazing waterfalls in this area.  You can see waterfalls on the Langtang, and Kangjala Mountain Ranges. We passed 4 on the hike up to Langtang.

My guide and I crossed the Langtang river again.  The bridge we crossed on was donated by a man who lost his son trying to cross the river.  As we were walking, we heard a thunderous crash.  We turned sharply to see an avalanche.  It was a forceful event that left me a little breathless.

Two Himalayan monals came running out of the brush, looked around then ran back into the brush.  They were beautiful to see.  After we passed the commotion, we descended on to a glacier moraine that looked exactly like the one in Gorak Shep near Everest Base Camp.  Langtang was on the other side of the moraine.

Langtang Village to Mundo

Langtang village in ruins
Rebuilding after the earthquake

I was surprised to see most of Langtang Village in ruins.  I thought that the relief effort would have given them a boost and fostered growth.  Most of the relief money was siphoned into the pockets of undeserving individuals.  You can read this article on what to expect before coming to Nepal to find out more.

As we passed through, we found quite a few people rebuilding their houses and hotels.  At the end of Langtang we were stopped by at a police checkpoint.  They were mainly concerned with the entrance permit, but they did check my TIMS card too.

Since we still had a lot of time left in the day, we continued to Mundo.  Mundo was 30 minutes further from Langtang Village.  We stayed in the Tip Top Hotel, which is the first hotel on the left.  They charged 5$ per night but the food was cheaper than the other guest houses and it was delicious.

The rooms in Tip Top were very nice.  Each room is about 81 square feet with two single beds, charging outlet, and an attached bathroom.  The toilets are western style flush toilets, but you have to pour water in the bowl to flush them.  Warm showers are available upon request.  The water is warmed by a solar heater, so it must be a warm sunny day to have a hot shower.

The hotel has a horse named buttercups.  They let me name her!  She is the sweetest thing. Sometimes she stands outside the hotel and looks in at you through the window.  She will let you pet her and feed her apples, which is a lot of fun.

The only authentic village in Langtang

My guide and I were talking to the hotel owner.  He told us about an old village 5 minutes behind the hotel and near the cliff.  He said it was the only original village in Langtang.  All the other villages like Bamboo, and Lama Hotel were started by people from Kathmandu or outside the area.

There are about 7 to 10 houses in the old village, but most of them are unoccupied.  The houses were made from wood, which looked very dark, but the color could have been from paint or stain.  It takes 10 minutes to walk through the village.  If you have 20 minutes to spare, I recommend visiting the area.

To continue this journey with me, click here to read about day 4.

YouTube video

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Langtang Trek Day 2 Syaphru to Lama Hotel

Langtang Trek Day 2 Shyaphru to Lama Hotel

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gumba, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,


If you missed day 1, click here.

In this blog post, we follow the Langtang river from Shyaphru to Lama Hotel.  We pass through Bamboo, which has occasional falling rocks to look out for, and some beautiful forests.  Most of the mountains were covered by clouds, which prevented me from taking a lot of mountain photos.  Otherwise it was a great first day hiking!  I hope you enjoy it.

So long Shyaphru, hello Lama Hotel

My guide and I woke up and left the hotel at 7:30. There was no reason to stick around for a terrible breakfast.  We could eat one of those on the trail.  My guide asked the hotel owner for the quickest route to the trail, as we were leaving.  The women pointed us in the exact opposite direction of the trail.  My guide knew exactly what she was doing, therefore we went the way he knew. Another reason I recommend a local guide.

Syaphru Besi Monastery
Syaphru Besi Monastery

We crossed the Bhote Koshi river to Shyaphru Besi.  There has been a lot of development work in Shyaphru Besi.  The city center has a concrete walk way courtesy of a German company.  There is also a very nice monastery with a Himalayan cherry tree in the back.  Just outside the village is a bridge that crosses the Langtang river.  We stayed on the North side of the river, but both sides are pleasant to walk on.

Our trail led us through a desert savanna type ecosystem with a lot of succulents and grasses. In addition, there were a few trees and a lot of monkeys.  It was fun to watch them play for a few minutes.

The trail along the river was extremely pleasant to walk on.  It had a very gradual slope and nice views of the Langtang river.  The mountain views were restricted by the clouds looming overhead, but I’m sure if they weren’t there, the views would be fantastic.

We passed through a small village then crossed the river on a metal bridge.  The trail continued up the hill then seemingly disappeared.  My guide pointed out the trail, which saved me an hour of wondering around with a stupid look on my face.

Trekking through a pristine jungle forest

The trail led us through a pristine deciduous forest and jungle above the river.  As we climbed though, we came to a side trail that lead to Gosaikunda Lake.  Once again, I was happy I had my guide, because I would have gotten lost on the wrong trail.

The correct trail descended into the forest once more.  The forest was beautiful, because it was open and dense and covered in moss.  We were walking right above the river and could hear the water rumbling against the rocks and the birds singing in the trees.

The forest looked like spring but smelled like fall.  It was a subtropical temperate deciduous jungle.  You could smell the leaves and the earth and the rain; you could see the shades of green and new growth precipitously thrown onto the landscape by the vegetation.

There wasn’t a soul around us.  It was so peaceful.  A breeze wondered into the jungle fluttering the leaves like wind chimes and cooling us down.  How nice it was.

Himalayan bees
Himalayan bees, Apis dorsata laboriosa

A little further the forest opened to show a cliff with an overhang.  Under the overhang were multiple colonies of Himalayan honey bees.  It was cool to see, and if you are interested I would recommend watching the YouTube video at the end of this post.

We came to Hot Spring Hotel, where my guide ordered food and I started talking with the owner.  She said that unfortunately the hot spring has now dried up to the size of a “puddle.”  She also mentioned that to get to it they must build a bridge, which is washed away during each monsoon season.  Lastly, she told me that they aren’t building the bridge anymore because it isn’t worth it.

Hiking through Bamboo to Lama Hotel.

langtang sign in Bamboo
Stay away from falling rocks in Bamboo

We found Bamboo (yes there is a village called Bamboo) a short distance from Hot Spring Hotel.  It is a little village under a rock fall zone.  I would not recommend staying here for safety reasons, but a lot of people do.  I admit, it is a nice place, but it is also expensive as well as risky.

As we were leaving Bamboo, we crossed a small wooden bridge and entered a very different forest that reminded me of the Appalachian wilderness.  It was a small grove of slender birch like trees that were probably planted for firewood.

The forest soon returned to its normal lush green character. We also saw more monkeys walking around on the mountain and had an amazing time hiking.  After a little way further, we crossed another bridge to the other side of Langtang river and found shop keeper selling overpriced goods in an outdoor tarped store.

We rested for a bit then continued.  Just outside the shop the vegetation changed to bamboo with oaks and rhododendrons.  Most of the rhododendrons were not in bloom, but a few had flowers on them.  At this point the trail became a little steeper, however still very easy and walkable.

We passed a very beautiful water fall that was on the opposite side of the river between two mountain ridges.  The water seemed to pour through rocks and into other rocks.  It was remarkable to watch.

waterfall in Langtang
waterfall in Langtang

My guide and I stopped for lunch in Rimche.  It was rather expensive at $3 for a bowl of chow mein noodles.  From here, Lama Hotel was 30 minutes away.

Lama Hotel

We arrived in Lama Hotel at 3:00.  Lama Hotel is not a hotel (I know, it fooled me too).  It is a small village a few minutes’ walk from the river. It has 8 to 12 nice sized hotels.  Some of the hotels will let you stay there for free, if you buy their food.  Others will get mad if you ask them for this deal.  I stayed at the Sherpa Lodge.

The Sherpa Lodge is the first hotel on the right-hand side of Lama Hotel.  It has about 16 rooms that it rents out as well as dining room floor space.

The 70 square foot rooms come with a single bed or double beds.  The walls of the rooms are made of exposed rock, which are either left bare or covered with wood.  You can see through the walls in some places. Tarps cover the ceilings to prevent debris from falling on you.

There are two common bathrooms outside behind the dining hall.  The bathrooms are eastern style squat toilets.  A separate shower facility is also available.  They claim to have hot water, but I didn’t check.

The kitchen food is ok and expensive.  You can buy a large bag of muesli for a few dollars at a general store above the hotel or buy a small bowl of it for $5 at the hotel.


You can continue the journey with me by clicking here for day 3.

YouTube video

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Langtang Trek day 1

Langtang Trek Day 1

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gumba, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,


To prepare for the Langtang Trek, click here.

The Langtang Trek is my second favorite trek in Nepal.  I love the sights, the smells, and the sounds, but I will get to those descriptions later.  Day 1 of my Langtang Trek was primarily just an 8-hour bus ride from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi.  Day 1 is kind of an interesting story and a prelude into the trek.  Kick back, relax, and enjoy the post.

NOTE: If you are interested in learning more about what you can do during your stay in Kathmandu, either before or after this trek, click here.

Leaving Kathmandu

I woke up in Kathmandu at 6:00.  The bus stop to Syaphrubesi was a 30-minute drive away and I had to be there by 7:00.  I hired a guide for this Langtang Trek and he was more excited than I was.  We were out the door and in a taxi by 6:20. That’s pretty good.

Normally Kathmandu is a giant dust bowl with traffic.  This morning though, most of the dust settled and you could breathe without getting sick.  We passed a flipped over 3-wheeler, which delayed us a few minutes, but we made it to the bus stop on time.

By 7:30, we were cruising the streets of Kathmandu on our way to Syaphrubesi.  The bus took an obscure route making the ride enjoyable but long.  We made it to the ridge of the Kathmandu valley 30 minutes later, and you could see the dust and pollution starting to grow.  I was glad to be out of that nasty mess.

The landscape quickly changed from piles of garbage and pollution to beautiful jungles and hills.  I could only imagine what Kathmandu would have looked like before colonization.  Hindu text says it was a giant lake with a single lotus flower growing from the center.

We twirled around on the road like doodle bugs in the sand until we crested the ridge and descended into Kakani.  The roads flattened and straightened out.  Kakani reminded me of Kathmandu without the pollution and population issues, but it is growing.  We passed a lot of construction sites, which only painted a gloomy picture of the future.

Driving to Dunche

The road to Syaphrubesi is paved in some sections and not in others.  Despite the quality of the road, it was still a more enjoyable ride than the bus trip from Jomsom to Tatopani on the Annapurna Circuit.  If you are prone to car sickness, this may be a terrible experience for you.  You can try taking a window seat in the front of the bus or a private car to alleviate the motion sickness.

We passed Ranipauwa and crossed Tadi river.  A few minutes later, just before Bidur, we started following the Trishuli River, which is an excellent river for white water rafting.  We passed a few waterfalls too that were more like water cascades than falls, but they were still nice to see.

After Trishuli village the road gradually became steeper and we started climbing.  We crossed green valleys and terraced farms.  Most of the farms were rice paddies, but some had potatoes and tomatoes.  We climbed a higher and the surrounds became jungle, thick with underbrush.

The jungle gave way to dry shrub brush and steep rocky slopes.  We had entered a new climatic zone.  I was happy because I was getting a chance to see a new part of Nepal.  But, I was also a little nervous because of the steep cliffs the bus was driving next to.

I have been on scarier roads in Nepal, but there were a few sections I didn’t care to see how far we would fall if the bus slipped off the road or if the road eroded off the mountain.  It was a long way down.

I started to see rhododendron trees as I was trying not to look down.  There were not a lot of trees and few had flowers, but it was something to distract me from the danger on the side of the bus.  Before I knew it, we were entering Dhunche.

Dhunche to Shyaphrubesi

We stopped at a checkpoint in Dhunche.  All the tourists exited the bus and took their bags to be inspected.  There was also a passport, TIMS card, and entrance permit checking counter.  You can buy an entrance permit and TIMS card at the ticket counter, but it is more expensive.

Langtang ticket counter
Langtang ticket counter

The bag and entrance permit check delayed the bus 30 minutes, but we were back on the road before long.  The bus stopped at a second checkpoint that again checked everyone’s passports, TIMS cards, and Entrance permits.

TIMS cards
Individual and Group TIMS cards

We arrived in Shyaphrubesi at 3:30. We were greeted by another police check point that was checking TIMS cards.  From here, we began looking into hotels to stay at.  I wanted to stay at the end of the main street, which I regret now, because the hotels are not that great there.

Every hotel in Shyaphrubesi charged for a room.  The cheapest room I found was for $2 per night.  The rooms were ok, but the food was terrible, and the owner was mean.  They had western style flush toilets but most of them were broken.

Buddha Guest House might be a better option.  I didn’t stay there, but heard it was nice.  You can expect to pay $5 to $10 per night.

Also, I do not recommend eating at the Moonlight Café!  It is the only bakery in Shyaphrubesi.  I heard multiple accounts of people eating there and getting sick.

My guide and I spent the rest of the day walking around the village and talking with the locals.


To continue to day 2 of the trek, you can click here.

Youtube video

This video can cause motion sickness!

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Preparing for the Langtang Trek

Preparing for the Langtang Trek

Langtang trek to Kyanjin Gumba
Kyanjin Gumba, Langshisa Ri, and Ponggen Dopku,

The Langtang Trek is an excellent trail for beginners and advanced hikers.  It has a lot of great qualities that made this trek a wonderful experience.  My favorite parts of this trek are its duration, landscapes, forests, and wildlife.  The trails are very easy to walk on and there are a lot of spots to rest and spend the night.  The primary trail ends in Kyanjin Gompa (pictured above), where you can extend your trek to side trails, which are a little more difficult to maneuver.

In this blog post I will review the necessities of the Langtang Trek.  You will learn about where to buy your TIMS card and entrance permit, where to stay, what to look out for, how much it costs, what to pack, the best time to go, and to top it off, you will receive a great itinerary courtesy of Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure!

Permits in Kathmandu

I went to the Immigration office in Kathmandu.  Just inside the building there was a receptionist that directed me to a room on my left.  There is also a room next door to it where you can get information and resources for your treks.  You will want to do your research and data collection in advance because they do not have a lot of information available.

The primary room is partitioned into smaller rooms.  Each room sells a different trekking permit.  I noticed three rooms.  One room was for Annapurna, a second room was for Everest, and the third room was for Langtang.  I didn’t see it but there is also another room for restricted areas and other treks.

TIMS cards
Individual and Group TIMS cards (trekker’s information management system)

The room I wanted was at the far end and on the left.  I asked the man at the front desk to purchase a TIMS card for individual trekkers, and an entrance permit for the Langtang National Park and Reserve.  He gave me a blank TIMS card, asked me to fill it out and return it with my passport and two passport pictures.

The TIMS card was 2000 rupees and the Langtang entrance permit was 3000 rupees with a 13% tax.  In addition, the guy charged me an additional 10 rupees.  I asked him for additional information about the trek and he sent me to the tourist resources room.  When I asked them about it they sent me back to the man overcharging for permits. Again, do your research in advance.

I realized quickly that they both didn’t have anything to offer but were too embarrassed to say, so I left.  This is a very culturally acceptable thing to do and is done frequently in Nepal.  If you run into this problem, understand that it is there way of saving face. For tips on what else to expect in Nepal, click here.

Permits entering the Langtang Conservation area

Langtang ticket counter
Langtang ticket counter

If you are pressed for time or can’t find the immigration office, you can buy your permit in Dhunche.  There is a police checkpoint here, that checks everyone’s bags and permits.  You can also receive a trekking map in the office, which is nice.

You can also buy a TIMS card in Dhunche, but it is more expensive.  The permit and TIMS card was about double the standard price in Dhunche.

If you don’t want to risk it, you can have Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure arrange for your TIMS card and entrance permit.

Where to stay?

This is a bit of a tricky question.  It depends on how far you want to hike per day.  I recommend staying in Syabrubesi on the eve of your trek, then hiking past Bamboo to Lhama Hotel.  After your second night you will want to hike past Langtang and stay in Mundo.  On your last night hiking up the trail, I recommend staying in Kyanjin Gompa.  This place has the best views and is the starting point of advanced trails that take you further into the mountains and glaciers.

If you have more time and would like to hike half days, you can start in Syabrubesi then stay in each of the villages you come to.  These villages are Bamboo, Lhama Hotel, Langtang, Mundo, and Kyanjin Gompa.


Note: Most of the villages that sustained damage from the 2015 major quake are being rebuilt.  These areas are now at a capacity to accept a limited number of trekkers.

Try this itinerary for a new twist on an old trek

Day 01: Meet guide in Kathmandu and check in to a hotel. Enjoy free time.

Day 02: Travel to Syabrubesi. ~07 hrs

Day 03: Trek to Sherpagaon. ~06 hrs

Day 04: Trek to Thyangsyap village. ~06 hrs

Day 05: Trek to Kyanjin Gompa. ~04 hrs

Day 06: Spend a day in Kyanjin to acclimate and go on day hikes

Day 07: Trek to Lama Hotel. ~07 hrs

Day 8: Trek to Syabru village. ~06 hrs

Day 9: Trek to Singh Gomba/ Chandanbari. ~05 hrs

Day 10: Finish the trek in Dhunche. ~05 hrs

Day 11: Travel Kathmandu and check into a hotel. ~05 hrs

What to look out for

Himalayan bees
Himalayan bees, Apis dorsata laboriosa

Langtang is full of wildlife. You can see the largest honey bee in the world, deer, red pandas, monkeys, Himalayan thar, bears, and many others.  You can also see a lot of different kinds of wild flowers and plants.  I am quite fond of the rhododendrons, but there are many other favorites.

wild iris
wild iris

None of the plants or animals pose any major threat and chances are, you will probably not see any bears or big cats. Being mindful of you surroundings will ensure you have the best opportunities to stay safe and have an amazing trip.

Butterfly in the leaves
Butterfly in the leaves. (how many do you see?)

How much does it cost?

That’s a tricky question.  It depends on how long you stay, where you stay, what you eat, and your guide and porter.  The short answer is $54 dollars! But that only covers the TIMS card and the entrance fee.  Food and lodging are not accounted for.  If you book your trek through Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure, your trek will cost $1,250.  This price includes all transportation, all meals, all hotels and lodges, a guide and a porter.

If you do not wish to have an all-inclusive trip you can contact us, and we can build a trip that works for you.

Packing list

One of the things I really like about the Langtang trek is how little you need.  But be careful you will be trekking through a series of different climatic zones ranging from tropical to alpine.  The following packing list is for an 11-day trek.

  • 11 pairs of socks (if you don’t wear socks, you can cross it off the list)
  • Lightweight trekking pants
  • 11 pairs of underwear (if you can get around with fewer, great!)
  • Light t shirt
  • Medium weight long sleeve shirt
  • Light weight jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat

Optional gear

  • Sunscreen
  • Band-Aids
  • Toilet paper
  • Crampons (depending on the season)
  • Rain jacket (depending on the season)
  • Mosquito repellent not normally needed but considered
  • Gloves
  • Water bottle
  • Thermals
  • Pillow case
  • Sleeping bag

Best time to go

The best months to trek the Langtang trail are October/November, and March/April.  These months are in the fall and spring seasons.  However, if you want to go on a pilgrimage to Gosaikunda Lake, which is off the main trail, you will want to go in August.

During October and November, you will have the best mountain and scenic views.  You may also have a difficult time finding a place to stay because this is the busiest season in Nepal.

During March and April, you will have more cloudy days, but there are a lot less people to contend with.  I had a phenomenal experience when I did the trek in late March and early April.  I had 3 days of clouds and 3 days of perfect weather. You can read about my Langtang Trek here.

Youtube video