Trekking in Langtang Valley had been a blast. Tiring physically and mentally. A once in a life time experience me thinks. You only experience first time once no? The Langtang Valley has long been a favorite trek due to its expansive views, interesting Tamang culture, relatively gentle pace and accessibility from Kathmandu.
Nepal had been on my bucket list for quite some time now. But I never had anyone interested to join me for the trip. As adventurous as I was, I was not going to do Nepal by myself just yet. After hearing many great things from friends; I decided I'd give it a go and bought myself flight tickets
Planning a trek there is part of the adventure itself. A lot of reading and research needed. Even that said and done on my part, I still think I could've done better choices especially with my hiking boots and packing (less is better guys). So to help reduce a bit of your stress - I came up with this itinerary for your references and maybe customise your own. HAVE FUN!
In total, including days in Kathmandu we did the whole trip within 10 days. Very doable no?
There are a total of FOUR documents you need to get ready before heading on to your trek
What to pack?
DAY 1: Arrived in Kathmandu
First thing, change your money as they will be no ATMS in the mountains. Also, the exchange rate is higher in the park should you succeed finding a place to change currency. Please change to NEPALI currency instead of USD. (not that the local do not accept USD but it would be cheaper for your pocket if your use NEPALI)
Arrived Kathmandu after a tiring 4.45 hours flight from KL to Kathmandu. Headed straight to the hotel. Got settled down and made an appointment with guide for a meetup. (orbitnepaladventure.com/)
After we settled our deposits and arrangement for the hike, we requested our guide to direct us towards the best Momos in town. and Momos we had.
Verdict: Sama jak with our Siew Mai. lol Momos just has more varieties in terms of what they put in them.
DAY 2: Bus day to Syafrubesi
Approximately 9 hours bus ride from Kathmandu to Syafrubesi - The 170 km long ride takes longer than expected, with security check points in various places and land side affected roads delaying the ride and also with a lot of stops in between villages including short toilet breaks and breakfast and lunch stops.
I've read that 9 hours is is okay provided there are no problems on the roads of with the bus itself.
We choose to use the deluxe bus instead of a normal bus it was not advisable to use the normal bus. (for more comfort). There is an option to can to rent a jeep if there are more of you as it would cost around 150USD to rent a jeep.
To be safe, bus tickets can but bought at the bus "station" at least a day before you travel, or on the day you travel (if you don't mind risking no seats as there always seem to be lots of locals travelling from Kathmandu in the direction of Syafrubesi). The bus station is really just a small counter near the edge of the road, and the buses to Syafrubesi stop at the road side - it is all a bit chaotic and confusing, but will depend on how used you are to travelling in developing countries.
We decided to be SAFER by booking ourselves a guide to assist us with out travels. Best bet in our case to reduce risks in our travels albeit it more expensive
We arrived Syafrubesi at 5PM local time
Day 3: Trek to Rimche Tea House (Near Lama Village)
I went at the peak of tourist season so we were told that lama village is packed and no more teahouses were available. So we decided to stop at Rimche ( a few minutes before Lama Village)
Day 4: Trek to Langtang Village
This route took us the through one of the area massively affected from the 2015's earthquake. In 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthqukae shook Nepal. It caused a huge landslide of rock and ice to slide off of 7,227m Langtang Valley. The village of Langtang was directly underneath. The village was wiped out, and over 200 people died, including around 40 foreign tourists. The 2015 earthquake and subsequent landslide had an enormous effect on the region, but aid and reconstruction have recently reopened this valley to trekking again. Not only is it still a beautiful trek, your visit will also provide vital support for local livelihoods.
Trekking through this rubble was hard for me because of the unstable rocks and the thick evening mist - low visibility, tired legs after trekking non stop for two days, unstable ground, cold weather: the combination was a exasperating one. Plays with your mind I tell you.
Day 5: Trek to Kyanjin Gompa
Today we were scheduled to walk for three hours. Started from Langtang Village at 8am and arrived around 11am. On time and I was proud - albeit still the slowest in the team.
Despite being the shortest hike throughtout the trip, I find myself the most tired on this day. I had a problem acclimatizung and my heart rate went crazy-even after I arrived our hotel. It is advisable to walk around when this happen just so your body can get use to the height you are currently in. DO NOT NAP/SLEEP.
After settling down, we decided to have something to eat and how else but to do it with freshly baked pastries and artisanal coffee. You can see this bakery just on your way into the village so u wont miss it. Of course you can always opt for coffee/tea at your respective tea houses for a cheaper price but we wanted something extra just so we can celebrate.
Day 6: Trek to Kyanjin Ri then down to Ghoda Tabela Teahouse
Peak Day! Highlight of the Trip! Kyanjn Ri View Point. Personally i think this hurdle is the easiest one though the steepest. 2 KM up it took me 2 hours and 15 mins to ascend. Glad I made it up at all despite my heart rate.
Make sure you start your journey early to avoid the crowds. We started to hike up at 530am. I knew I'd take my time going up because of my heat rate so this was a welcoming idea to me so I could take as much time as I needed to ascend but still get my solo pictures taken once I arrived the view point.
Right on the dot, as we were descending to peak, the crowd started ascend. Good thing we were already on our way down. But still- traffic! because the trail was very narrow and steep! so be extra careful!
Our original itinerary would allow us to stay another night in Kyanjin Gumpa. But we decided to shorten it and descend to the next teahouse below right after lunch. Ghoda Tabela Teahouse, we we decided to rest for the night.
Day 8: Trek to Syafrubesi
Day 9: Bus Day to Kathmandu
Tip: In the beginning of the trip, please readily buy your return ticket as well to avoid getting full houses. Also get the current bus schedule from your friendly home stay owners/caretakers so you can plan your way down from your hike.
Day 10: Kathmandu
Arriving early one day ahead of schedule we had a full one day to explore the town.
Our guide decided we explore Patan Durbar Square is situated at the centre of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. It is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of its attraction is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided.
Next stop is the famous Boudhanath Stupa. The stupa's massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.
It is curious that the practice of lighting lamps seems integral to Hinduism. I find this practice/culture a beautiful one. honestly, my understanding of Hinduism is still very low but on site while taking photographs; the local encourages all walks of life to take part in lighting these candle (albeit for some money) warms my heart even in the cold temperatures of the streets.
Day 11: Flight back to Malaysia
There aren't any nice pictures on this day so I'll recap some of the local delicacies that I manage to take pictures of before gobbling them all up.
October is the peak tourist season - with clear skies and temperatures comfortable for trekking