Mark Twain once famously quoted “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
This line has a great impact on me so did the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, I think its my passion to explore dream and discover, while traveling to new places, its like attending a new class. You learn so much from it, there’s whole wide world in front of you and there are so many places to explore. I have always felt travel broadens one’s horizon as you get to see new culture, new people and places which in turn makes you more matured and understanding. The 1st week in November, I got a call from my close friend from Boston, USA saying, “yo buddy I am coming to Nepal, we should explore the mountains of Nepal.” Being a mountain lover and an avid photo enthusiast, there was no chance I would say no.
We decided to go for a 10 days trip to Langtang National Park. Langtang is one of the nearest trekking destinations from Kathmandu and is an unparalleled combination of natural beauty and cultural riches. Langtang lies about 130 km north of the Kathmandu Valley close to the border with Tibet, China. It is Nepal’s first national park, and lies between the Himalayan ranges to the north; fewer tourists visit this area and the trek here is more adventurous.
Apart from the spectacular scenery, a visit to the area is an opportunity to explore the lifestyle and culture of the Tamangs, whose craftsmanship, language, dress and houses bear their uniqueness. Langtang is also known for its many glaciers – of which there are more than 70 of varying sizes – and high altitude lakes that include Gosainkunda, Parvatikunda, Bhairavkunda and Dudhkunda.
Langtang National Park covers an area of 1710 square kilometers covering three districts of Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok, there are many different routes you can take, you can take Gosainkund route and even go up to helambu or you can take the route to kyanzing valley or you can combine both these routes first go up to kyanzing valley and then come down to Thuloshyabru and go to Gosainkund and even further to helambu and come Kathmandu via chisapani, we decided to take the Kyanzing valley route and this one is the most popular route.
The main highlight of this trek experience was natural hot spring bath at Tatopani, scerene high meadow of Nagthali with great views, high pasture trail after Brindam, jungle walk after Lama Hotel area, wide scenic river valley after Ghodatabela and Langtang village and the climax of upper Langtang valley around Kyanzing Gomba and the glacial valley beyond. Clear skies will afford great view of Himalayan vistas.
Landscape views are spectacular for photography. As I was there for photography, the month of November was perfect choice as the weather is very clear and you have chance to capture some majestic views,You can do trips without guides as the route is very much easy and you see signboards everywhere and you wont get lost.
Average budget would be 1500 Nepalese rupees per day for Nepalese travellers (without guide and porter if you want a porter that will cost you around 1000 rupees a day or if you hire a mule it will be around 2500rs a day) and for foreigners it depends on how they are going to travel, there are various costs Tourists including park entry fee and for porters and guides so its best for them to consult a trekking agency.
We carried our own bag and went on our own; I was carrying around 16kgs while my friend had around 10 kgs(my camera equipment’s made it heavier). Below is the summary of our route
- Day 1:Bus from Kathmandu to Shyabrubeshi
- Day 2:Shyabrubeshi to Lama Hotel
- Day 3:Lama hotel to Langtang
- Day 4:Langtang to Kyanzing Gomba
- Day 5:one more day in Kyanzing Gomba and explore the valley
- Day 6:Kyanzing Gomba to Ghodatabela
- Day 7:Ghodatabela to Shyabrubeshi
- Day 8:Shyabrubeshi to Dhunche and explore Dhunche
- Day 9:Dhunche to Kathmandu
There are buses going from Machhapokhari in Balaju to Dhunche or Shyabrubeshi cost is 300 Nrs for local and 500 Nrs for tourist bus. Langtang trek is basically an easy trek compared to other treks in Nepal. If you are a first-timer, this is perfect route to follow. It isn’t necessary that you follow the same route we did. There are many hotels on the way so you can either elongate or shorten the trip, but I would suggest not walking more than 8 hours a day.
You should be also careful about altitude sickness, always stay hydrated, don’t consume excessive alcohol and don’t walk long hours with big load. Apart from this trip is really fun and enchanting you will remember this your lifetime, very friendly locals and amazing trek. Do enjoy the pictures from my Trek.
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Prakash Budha is a Travel Photographer and a very passionate Traveller (Ghumante). He mostly does landscapes and fine art shots.
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