Langtang & Gosainkund Trip NotesAt Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.
Trip code: ETNL
Trip length: 15
Trip starts in: Kathmandu
Trip ends in: Kathmandu
Maximum group size: 16
Minimum group size: 4
OverviewThe stunning Langtang Valley lies to the north of Kathmandu and sees fewer trekkers than the Annapurna or Everest regions. In Autumn expect to see superb views of the great peak of Langtang Lirung (7246m), while in spring this is an ideal route for those interested in birds and flowers. Both seasons allow you to reach the glaciers below Langtang Lirung and climb Kyanjin Ri or Tsergo Ri for some magnificent panoramas. Our return takes us past the spectacular holy lake at Gosainkund, an important place of pilgrimage, and across the Laurebena Pass to the end of the trek in the gentler region of Helambu.
Those on the group flight from London will arrive in Kathmandu and will be transferred to The Royal Singi Hotel in the early evening. Those not travelling with the group from London will meet us in the hotel this evening. There will be a full trek briefing this evening.
Leaving the Kathmandu valley we drive northwards to Trisuli Bazaar, and then join the military road which winds above the river valleys, eventually dropping to cross the Trisuli River. Passing the village of Dhunche, which lies just inside the boundary of the Langtang National Park, we reach Syabrubensi, a Sherpa village at 1,462m. We spend the night here.
Ascending through the forest,we will have glimpses of Langtang Lirung through the trees, before arriving at Ghora Tabela (3,048m). There was once a Tibetan resettlement project here, but now the only residents are the soldiers of the Nepalese army post. The trail continues to climb up the widening valley, passing a few temporary settlements used by herders who bring their livestock here in the summer months. In spring the forests are ablaze with rhododendrons. Shortly before arriving at the village of Langtang (3,307m), headquarters of the Langtang National Park there is a monastery, which we might be able to visit. In Langtang the houses here are Tibetan style and are surrounded by fields of wheat, buckwheat and potatoes. Above the village yaks and other cattle graze..
As we continue our climb beyond the village, the valley opens out to reveal spectacular mountain views.To our left the impressive Langtang Lirung towers directly above us and ahead is the great snow-covered bulk of Ganchempo. At 3,849m we come to the monastery of Kyanjin, well above the Langtang River. In the afternoon we can either head up a side valley to the foot of the Langtang and Kyimoshung glaciers, or climb onto some of the surrounding ridges for close up views of Langtang Lirung and the beautiful so called Fluted Peak.
We spend a day at Kyanjin Gompa with a chance to explore the area. There are various optional day walks around here. The most popular walk is up to Kyanjin Ri (4,350m) and Kyimoshung Ri (4,620m). These two viewpoints above Kyanjin gompa offer some of the most stunning mountain views in Nepal. An impressive array of peaks surrounds us - Langtang Lirung and Kyimoshung whose huge glaciers tumble to the valley floor. Straddling the Tibetan border are Dorje Lhakpa, Ganchempo and a whole host of 6,000+m peaks whilst across the valley are Naya Kang and the Ganja La pass. For the very energetic there is the chance to climb Tsergo Ri (often written Cherko Ri) - at 4,984m. This is a full day's walk but worth it for the views from the top. Another option is walk towards the Tibetan border and Langshisha, where we get wonderful views of the mountains bordering Tibet.
We continue down the valley. After crossing the Langtang Khola Bridge our trail undulates through the forest and finally climbs steeply up to Syabru (2,285m).
We begin with a long steep climb out of Syabru, passing through scrub forest and the occasional settlement among the fields, and then through magnificent rhododendron thickets, until we reach the top of the ridge and the small monastery at Sing Gompa.
Climbing a little less steeply this morning we follow the ridge for most of the day. We will have fantastic panoramic views of the Annapurnas, Himalchuli, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal to the west and Langtang Himal to the north-east. After crossing to the south side of the ridge,we descend and catch sight of the first of the holy lakes. The third lake, Gosainkund, at 4,380m, is particularly sacred and a place of pilgrimage in the summer. It is said to have been created when the god Shiva, suffering from thirst due to a poison, thrust his trident into the mountainside, whereupon three streams burst forth and ran together to form the lake. We stay close to a shrine by the lake, where there are a few pilgrim shelters. As the sun sets the reflection on the lake is incredible as the lake becomes one shimmering mass of gold. It is a truly magnificent sight.
The trail climbs gradually through bare and rugged terrain, passing four smaller lakes before we reach the summit of the Laurebena Pass at 4,610m. There are magnificent views to the north and west, and as we descend there are superb panoramic vistas over the Nepal midlands. After descending we continue along a delightful trail through rhododendron forest, with splendid views to the south.
Two relatively long days follow taking us through the unspoilt and culturally interesting Helambu valley. The villages of Helambu are inhabited by Sherpas whose language, culture and dress are very different from the Solu Khumbu Sherpas. We continue walking through thick rhododendron forest before descending steeply into open landscape. Further on are forests of giant Himalayan oak, with very few branches due to the local custom of cutting branches for animal fodder. There are fine views back to the Langtang and Jugal Himals, and if it is clear other ranges can also be seen. We pass through the well maintained villages of Gul Bhanjyang (2,142m.)and Pati Bhanjyang. A fairly steep climb brings us to open pastures, more forest and then the summit of the ridge,from which there is a magnificent view of the Himalaya;Annapurna in the west Everest in the east. We spend the last night on trek at Chisopani.
A short walk brings us to the road, from where we pick up our transport for the short drive to our hotel in Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Alternatively you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath.The leader usually organises a meal in one of Kathmandu's many restaurants for the whole group this evening.
End Kathmandu after breakfast. Those on the group flight will leave for the airport after breakfast.
Meals & Accommodation2 breakfasts included.
2 nights standard hotels, 12 nights teahouses.
Single room supplementA single room supplement is available. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. Please contact us to discuss this as accommodation varies from trip date to trip date. Single supplement prices from:
Trip gradesWalking & Trekking
Moderate / Challenging
Adult Group Holidays
Transport12 days point-to-point walking with full porterage. Altitude maximum 4610m (optional 4984m), average 2740m.
FitnessThe Langtang & Gosainkund trek is a moderate trek covering a range of altitudes. It is graded B/C with 12 days walking. The maximum altitude we reach is 4,610m (4,984m with Tsergo Ri) with the average being 2,740m. For those with previous walking experience it is a superb trek through the middle hills of Nepal up to the top of the Langtang Valley, an area surrounded by the huge mountains bordering Tibet.
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Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
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