Things to carry/Things to remember:
• Warm clothes (in winter) trekking shoes.
• First-aid kits.
• Trekking maps, walking sticks, flash lights.
• Light backpacks with camelbak or water bottle.
• Chocolates bars, cookies and dry fruits.
• Camera and video cameras with extra battery; less chance of getting charging slots.
• CDMA sim/phone. Network unavailable for NTC and NCell.
• Careful during ascending; might suffer from high altitude sickness.
• It is better to book your hotel before reaching destination as one might face trouble during booking on arrival.
• Guide (optional).
• If you are non-veg, then pack some dry meat with you. You won’t get meat products up from Syabrubesi because local people believe something bad (natural disaster) will happen if they sacrifice animals.
• Tamang Cultural Heritage.
• View of different mountains like Langtang Lirung, Tserko Ri, etc. and other mountains.
• Different flora, faunas, and wildlife.
• Waterfalls and white waters.
Note: Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card required for foreigners, which you can get at the national park entry post and national park permit required for both Nepali nationality and foreigners.
Although there are local buses which leave from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi, it’s better to book a jeep or take your own vehicle up to Syabrubesi which will save your time.
Kathmandu-Tokha-Nuwakot-Trisuli-Dhunche-Syabrubesi-Doman-Pahiro-Bamboo-Rimche-Lama Hotel-Ghora Tabela-Thangshyap-Langtang Valley-Kyanjin Valley-Kyangin Ri/Tesrko Ri and back.
As previously planned, I along with three of my friends, packed our backpacks and started our journey to Syabrubesi (1475 m) to trek up to Kyangin Ri, Langtang Valley. Weather was quite cold in the morning as it was raining for the past 3 days and it continued to rain even today, but the weather was good enough today to start our journey. We were lucky that it didn’t rain as much as before.
Instead of hiring jeep or taking local transportation we decided to take our motorbike up to Syabrubesi. We started our journey at 7 am. Our destination today was to reach to Syabrubesi, which was about 125 km from Kathmandu. There are two roads to go to Syabrubesi; one is from Nagarjun to Trisuli and to Syabrubesi and another one is from Tokha to Bidur to Trisuli, and to Syabrubesi. We decided to take Tokha-Trisuli route and then up to Dhunche and then to Syabrubesi.
Roads are good enough for bike ride, but at some point roads are washed away by continuous rain and landslide. It is fun to ride on off trails rather than to ride on pitch black-topped road to add extra adventure to our journey. One must to careful enough while riding motorbikes, as the there are many sharp turns and also graveled off tracks as well as tracks washed away by rain and landslides. As our first day destination was Syabrubesi, we drove our bikes quite slowly than a normal speed in high way, taking tea/coffee breaks, enjoying the views of mountains, hills, rivers, and lush green lands. During this trip up to Syabrubesi, we will enter two national parks; one is Shivapuri National Park and another is Langtang National Park. We have to enter our names and number of people travelling with us in both of these national parks check post.
In Shivapuri National Park, we have to pay certain amount in the check points (Rs. 10 for Nepali Nationalities and also charge for bikes or other vehicles), but we do not have to pay fee in Langtang National Park check post, but have to enter our name and tourists have to gets a Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card in Dhunche to trek further to Langtang. No need to get Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card for Nepali nationality.
Taking tea/coffee breaks and enjoying natural beauty, we reached Syabrubesi, a small town at 2 p.m. There are many hotels and lodges with facilities of internet, cafes and stores to take break or to stay overnight to trek further up to Langtang. Although there are many hotels to choose we suggested you to book your hotels in advance so that you do not have to go here and there searching for room to stay. We stayed in one of the lodges where there is good and safe place to park our bikes for the rest of our trekking. We went to our room, got fresh, and ate something and rest for few hours.
On the way from Dhunche to Syabrubesi, we saw Chilime Hydropower Project and we asked hotel personal if we could go in that hydropower. He said we have to get a permit from the hydropower office which was few minutes’ walk up from Syabrubesi. Unfortunately, that day, manager was out of station and we were unable to that hydropower and also after 4 pm, outsiders are not allowed to visit hydropower, so we were not able to go to hydropower. So instead of visiting hydropower, we decided to take a bath in tatopani (natural hot water) which was on the bank of Bhotekosi River.
We have to walk few minutes down to the bank of the river. After reaching there, we took a dip in hot water and relaxed our body which was aching from a long drive. We do not have to pay to enter there. As told by the local people there, that hot water will be washed away by flood in the rainy season, so we could not enjoy the hot bath in rainy season. Some times after a dip in that hot water, our whole body felt relaxed and we returned back to our lodge, ate our dinner. After few minutes of chitter chatter, we got tired and everybody went to their bed/room to sleep. We all had a good sleep that day.
Well, second day and rest of the day from today to next 2-3 days is trekking, trekking, and more trekking. We started our trekking at around 7, eating breakfast in the lodge that we stayed in. Bags packed and with excitement we started our trek.
Few Nepali as well as foreigners was also getting prepared to start their trek. Before starting trek, we must enter our names and show the permit that we got from Dhunche (Nepali nationality doesn’t have to show permit). This check post is few minutes of walk up from Syabrubesi. Trek officially starts after entering our names there and crossing suspension bridge. After crossing this bridge, you will enter a small Tamang settlement, where there are houses built in Tibetan style.
Life styles and cultures are mostly influenced by Tibetan culture here. We have to cross this settlement and continue our trek. In about an hour of hour trek, we reach Doman (1672 m) where there is waterfall. After passing this place, we hike further up to reach Pahiro (Landslide 1800 m).
Our today’s plan is to eat our lunch at Bamboo (1970 m) which is about 4 to 5 hours of walki and then up to Lama Hotel, resting destination for our today’s trek.
Our trekking is accompanied by the loud roaring sound of continuous flowing of water and waterfalls (numerous – at first we counted the number of water falls, but during the entire trek we saw more waterfalls, so we didn’t bothered counting). Almost in the entire trek, we can see rivers and waterfalls. We trek through the forests of bamboo and different vegetation.
In few places we have to be careful while walking because there are some places where the trail is swept away by the landslide with debris lying in the trail and the trail is merely 2 feet wide. So we have to be careful while walking in these trails. Although there is only one trekking route, at few places, you might see two or more route. It might get confusing which one to choose, one must be careful enough to find correct trail while trekking. I found lack of information boards and signs to show trail there. So best way to find out correct trail is to carry trekking map with you or to ask people on the way who is returning from that trail.
There are resting points at different places, where you can take a break for a while to eat and recharge your body. Walking through jungles with different vegetation, wildlife, and birds, we reached Bamboo (1970 m) at 10:30. Bamboo, place where you can enjoy your food enjoying view of river flowing. There are hotels and lodges where you can take break for lunch or to stay overnight.
Most trekker chooses Bamboo as the resting day in the first day of their trek, i.e. from Kathmandu to Bamboo. We take lunch break for about an hour. Other tourists were also taking rest and having their lunch. After finishing our lunch, we get ready to reach our next destination which was Lama Hotel (2420 m). But before reaching Lama Hotel, we will pass through two small villages,
Lower Rimche (2400 m) and Upper Rimche (2450 m) which is about 2 hours and 1 hours of hike respectively. Half an hour of uphill hike from Upper Rimche, we reached our today’s destination, Lama Hotel in about 1:30 p.m. There are few hotels and lodges in Lama Hotel, which is quite expensive compared to other hotels/lodges.
As we reached earlier than we expected, there was a sudden change of plan and we decided to continue our trek further up to Ghora Tabela (2950 m). So, we grabbed our backpacks and head straight away to Ghora Tabela. In between Ghora Tabela and Lama Hotel, there is River Side Hotel (2769 m), which is a good place to take a short tea break. We can reach there about 1:30 hours. Forest of oak trees and rhododendron accompanies our trek. In about another 1:30 to 2 hours, we reach Ghora Tabela. This was our new resting point for today’s trek. So we booked a room there for overnight stay. It is also good idea to stop there for acclimatization.
New day, new excitement for trekking. Yesterday, due to heavy fog, we couldn’t see mountains around us, but today, in the morning time, the weather was quite clear and we got a chance to view mountains which added extra excitement to our trek. In about 20 to 30 minutes of walk from Ghora Tabela, there is an army check post, where we have to enter our names.
Trail from here is quiet easy compared to yesterday’s trail. Trails are plain and at some point, there are uphill trails. In about an hour of walk, we reach Thangshyap (3200 m). Further continuing our trek, we can see beautiful view of Langtang Lirung. Throughout our entire trekking, we can see prayer wheels and small stupas in different places. In about 2 to 3:30 hours, we now reach to Langtang Valley (3430 m). There are some very good lodges to stay in and for lunch. We choose Pilgrim Lodge to stay, which is one of good lodges over here. Food is good and staffs treat us like family members. There is a facility of phone service, so you can contact your families and let them know your location.
We ate our lunch here and took a break for a while and after that we got off to view the beauty of nature around Langtang. Also, it is good to stay here for acclimatization. Due to high altitude, we can only see little vegetation here, but we can see beautiful snow-capped mountains in almost all directions. We spend rest of our day roaming around the valley.
With the view of beautiful golden mountains in the chilled morning, we ate our breakfast and started our trek further up to Kyanjin Gompa/Valley (3748 m) at 7 a.m. Although trail is plain and easy to trek, one can feel little uneasy to trek further up due to high altitude, we must be careful enough to hike further and prevent oneself from altitude sickness. We must be prepared for that too. Enjoying the beauty of nature, we finally reach Kyanjin Gompa/Valley in about 4 hours.
There are number of lodges to choose from for rest and for lunch. We ate our lunch at one of the lodges there and took rest for an hour. One can either choose to stay here overnight and climb further up to Kyanjin Ri (4500m) the day after or you can climb further up to Tserko Ri (nearly 5000 m) or can climb up Kyanjin Ri the same day. We climbed up Kyanjin Ri the same day we reach Kyanjin Valley. It took about 3 hours to reach up Kyanjin Ri. We can get good view of valley, glacier, and mountains if the weather is good enough from Kyanjin Ri.
Climbing up was little uneasy due to high altitude, but once you reach up Kyanjin Ri, the place is heaven. We spend few times here and then we head back to Kyanjin Valley. There is a cheese factory in this valley which is famous for yak cheese. You can buy cheese here as a souvenir. Also, there is Kyanjin Gompa, which is an old Buddhist monastery. There is also famous German bakery named as Dorje Bakery, where you can feast your tongue with bakery items in cheap price compared to other hotels around that area.
After eating bakery items, we trekked further down to Langtang where we have left our backpacks. We stayed there overnight and planned to reach Syabrubesi tomorrow.
During the winter season, entire valley is covered with snow, so it will be difficult to trek in winter season.
Today is our last day of trek. We started our trek earlier than before. We started our trek around 6 in the morning. As most of the route was downhill, it was quite easy to trek and we trek down fast enough. Enjoying the beautiful morning view in the surrounding, we reached Ghora Tabela around 8:30, and had our breakfast there. Finishing our breakfast and few minutes of rest, we continued our trekking.
We take very few breaks in between our trek today. We follow the same trail that we came from. From Ghora Tabela, we passed River Side Hotel to reach Lama Hotel where we stopped for a short tea break. After that, we trekked further to reach Bamboo, passing Upper Rimche and Lower Rimche village. At Bamboo, we ate our today’s lunch and took a break for a while from trekking. After that we head straight to Syabrubesi. Walking through the jungle and along the riverbank we reached Syabrubesi at 3, the same hotel where we left our bikes. After reaching there, our trekking officially ended. Resting there for few minutes and having some snacks, we got ready to head back to Kathmandu in our bike.
We reached Kathmandu at around 8 in the evening the same day and our trekking as well as biking ended.
Overall, we all enjoyed our biking and trekking and it was a good experience to be with the nature. What surprised me was not only foreigners, but also Nepali trekkers are so much into trekking these days, which is good for internal tourism.