Lantang People and Culture
In your Langtang Valley Trek, you will be able to explore the unique and fascinating cultural aspects of the region that is mainly inhabited by the Tamang people. This ethnic group is originally from Tibet, and their name is derived from the Tibetan language in which ‘Ta’ stands for ‘horse’ and ‘Mang’ means ‘traders’. This ethnic group was originally known as the horse traders and their ancestors served as the cavalry division for the Tibetan King Srong-Sen Gampo, 33rd ruler of the Tubo Regime. During the Tibetan attack in the Kathmandu in 7th century, some of the groups of the Calvary division settled along the route; their ancestral land was won by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1762.
The inhabitants of the Langtang region are immensely influenced by Tibetan culture and traditions, they are very religious and have a great significance of ‘Shamans’ or ‘Lama’ in their culture who perform every kind of ritual from birth to death. The majority of residents of the Langtang region live a simple rural lifestyle with the main occupation being animal husbandry and agriculture. You will be able to find the unique architectural marvels in the region influenced by the Tibetan culture from stone-built houses and wooden porches with inscriptions and pictures, Chortens and Gompas, mani walls, and the prayer flags that lighten up the trails.
Langtang Valley Trek which explores the northern prospects of the Himalayas is indeed pretty close to the several peaks in the range close to the Tibetan border. This beautiful valley which is dominated by the Langtang Lirung (7,246 metres) also houses several other magnificent peaks of the Himalayan range. Dorje Lhakpa (6,966 meters) is another peak closer to the valley on the southeast side of the Jugal Himal range. Tsangbu Ri (6,781 meters) is another closest peak located in the Langtang Khola River valley, from its summit the China border is just 2 km farther.
Similarly, Langshisha Ri (6,427 meters), Loenpo Gang (6,979 meters), and Langtang Ri (7,205 meters) are some of the other closest Himalayan ranges to Langtang Valley if you are looking to add further peaks to your Himalayan prospects.
Best Time for Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang Valley Trek is a year-round expedition, however, the best time for the Langtang Valley Trek is considered to be during the peak seasons like spring (March- May) and autumn (September- November). The weather conditions are more favorable during these seasons which are accompanied by clear and warm days, these seasons are also the peak seasons for mountain expeditions in the country. Even among both of these peak seasons, spring, in particular, is a nature lover's paradise, during the spring season the Himalayan region is at its peak from the lower lush forested trails to the wide pastures.
You will be able to walk on the magnificent trails decorated with the vibrant wildflowers of the region and the fascinating wildlife and birdlife of the region blending well with the allurements of nature at its pinnacle. During the spring season, the temperature of the Langtang Valley hovers around 10°C- 20°C during the daytime and can drop upto 5°C at the nighttime and early mornings.
As for the autumn season, it is known for its mild temperature and simply breathing clear picturesque views of the Himalayas. During this season the weather is dry and stable, the monsoon rain nourished streams and rivers, lush terrains, and cool breezy mornings and nights make this season an ideal time for outdoor adventures. Plus the clear wide Himalayan vistas blending well with the blue sky make the exploration really magical in this season. The temperature of the Langtang region averages around 10°C- 15°C during the day and can drop upto 0°C to minus degrees at the higher elevation. The latter part of this season (usually late November) starts to see light rainfall as the winter window closes in, so make sure to pack accordingly if your trek is around that period.
Food and Drinks
As the third-most-popular trekking route in the country, you will be able to enjoy the moderate level of food and accommodation facilities along the trail. Although it is one of the most beloved trekking routes in Nepal, the amenities and services may not be like what you would find in the mainstream trek. Although there aren’t luxurious services available in this remote exploration of the Himalayas close to the Tibetan border, you can expect healthy locally sourced meals along with the Tibeatn-influenced and some of the common continental delicacies.
You can expect the following breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu in your Langtang Valley Trek:
- Tea, coffee, fresh fruit juice
- Eggs (boiled, omelet, scrambled)
- Tibetan bread
Lunch and Dinner
- Daal bhat tarkari (steamed rice, lentil soup, and vegetable dish)
- Dumpling/ Momos
- Spaghetti/ Chowmein
- Spring roll
- Yak steak
- Sherpa stew
- Riki kur
As for drinking water, you are not recommended to drink tap water along the route considering the safety factors. The bottled mineral water is one of the safest ways to consume water during this trek, however, as the price margin can hit upto US$ 4, at the higher elevation, the best way to stay hydrated during the Langtang Valley Trek would be to drink and store the boiled water from the teahouses. You should also bring water-purifying solutions or tablets to purify your drinking water, just to be on the safe side.
Note: Both vegan and vegetarian meal options are available at the teahouses along the trekking route. There are usually both options available in the Nepali eatery destination, plus, your chef will prepare the dish as per your request.
During your adventure in the Langtang Valley Trekking route, you can expect a moderate level of accommodation facilities. As it is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal, the accommodation facilities are clean and comfortable as you would expect in the mainstream trekking routes. Like any teahouse trekking expedition, you will sleep in a shared room with 2 to 3 adjacent beds; you will have a comfortable mattress on the well-furnished bed and get a pillow as well as a blanket (although it is still recommended to bring fours-season sleeping bag during your trek).
In the case of the bathroom facilities, it will be also on a shared basis, you can expect comfortable western-style bathrooms and showers at the teahouses in the lower region during the trek. However, at the higher altitudes, you will have to make do with hot water in a bucket and traditional latrine-style bathrooms.
Is Langtang Valley Trek Easy?
The Langtang Valley Trek has been labeled as a ‘Moderately Difficult’ expedition, there are no technical segments in this iconic Himalayan adventure and you don’t need any prior high-altitude trekking experience to do this trek. With the right amount of preparation and good health conditions, even a complete beginner can easily do this trek. However, despite its moderate trekking difficulty level, it would be wise not to underestimate the Himalayan expedition, as it is nothing like seasonal hiking in the backyard.
There are several difficulty factors you have to consider before setting out on the exploration of the Langtang Valley. Let’s check out some of the significant difficulty factors of the entire expedition that can make the Langtang Valley Trek challenging.
If you are familiar with high-altitude adventures, then you understand the risk that comes along. Altitude sickness can be a major concern in this Himalayan expedition as you will gain a significant altitude that can put you at risk of catching altitude sickness like High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Starting your adventure from Syabrubesi at 2,380 meters, you will move along high elevation points like Langtang Village (3,290 meters), Kyanjin Gompa (3,785 meters), and the highest elevation point of this entire adventure, Tserko Ri at 5,033 meters
As you will be spending a significant amount of time over an altitude of 2,500 meters (an altitude above which there is a risk of altitude sickness, you need to be careful about altitude sickness and be wary of its symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc.
The trekking expeditions in the regions take you to the remote and isolated parts of the Langtang Valley. Walking on the rugged, off-beaten, and rocky trails of the region might not be what you would have expected. Especially if it is your first time, as the gradually increasing altitude makes even simple trekking tiresome, and on top of that, you will be carrying your luggage. You will cover an approximate trekking distance of about 60 to 80 km in a standard Langtang Valley Trek and walk about 6- 7 hours each day on average. So, if you are not well prepared for this expedition, instead of enjoying this iconic experience, you will have a tough time even just trekking from one point to another.
Weather is another crucial factor that contributes to the overall difficulty level of the Langtang Valley Trek. Although the weather and climatic conditions at higher altitudes can be unpredictable, it isn’t stable during the off-seasons like winter (December- February) and monsoon (June- August). During the monsoon season, the heavy downpour can create complications during the adventure as the trails are wet and slippery, prone to landslides, and the weather isn’t stable enough to enjoy the clear views during the expedition.
Similarly, the winter season which is also known as the coldest season in the Langtang region, covers even the trekking trails with the snow. Besides the cold freezing wind and blizzards, the acclimatizing process also during the winter season can be quite hard. Furthermore, as the inhabitants at he higher elevation migrate down to the lower region to escape the cold, your crew will have to arrange food and accommodation facilities.
Acclimatization days are essential in any kind of Himalayan expedition, you need to rest properly so that your body can adapt to rising altitude. In case your trekking package doesn’t have acclimatization days or is a shorter package with a rushed adventure, then it will be hard for your body to cope with the changing environment and will also increase the risks for altitude sickness. You need to understand the basic thumb rule when it comes to buying the high altitude trekking packages, the longer itinerary days mean, a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
If you want to go for the shorter package just because they are cheap, the short rushed adventures may not provide the thrills you are looking for and may put you at risk drastically increasing the failure probability.
The Langtang Valley Trek explores the remote part of the Langtang region on the isolated and off-beaten route. As the Himalayan region in the country doesn’t have any proper mode of transportation, the development of the region is also pretty much limited as the inhabitants have to depend on mules, yaks, and porters for the transfer of goods. You shouldn’t expect the services of a star hotel and its amenities, it is pretty costly to move goods in the region so the price for even the basic services can be costly at higher altitudes.
There are also a limited number of health facilities along the trail and you will have to depend on the helicopter rescue in case of emergency. The same goes for electricity, the lower regions have adequate electricity supply but the higher region depends on solar power. You have to mentally prepare for these remote factors so you don’t end up getting disappointed during the actual trek.
Training for Langtang Valley Trek
For a more enjoyable and comfortable experience of this trekking route which has been labeled as a ‘moderately difficult’ expedition, it is recommended that you should at least prepare 4- 6 weeks prior to the actual trek. Even though it is at just a moderate level, it is still an exploration of the remote Himalayan region at a significant altitude, so you will still need to make an adequate amount of preparation. The 4- 6 weeks period is recommended for training as your body will get accustomed to the physical activity so that you won’t exert yourself during the long hours of actual trek.
As for fitness, a basic level of fitness with good health conditions will be ideal to do this trek. Even if you have medical conditions, you can consult your doctor and guide about the expedition. For the training period, hiking on the natural trails carrying your backpack will provide an actual stimulation of the trek and is a pretty effective way to train. You will also be able to check the comfort level of your trekking boots during the practice hike which is a very crucial factor during the actual trek.
You can also include the following strength and cardiovascular trekking exercises in your training phase for more effective preparation:
Strength and Endurance Exercises
- Push up
- Pull up
- Bench press
- Shoulder press
- Calf raise
- Leg curl
- Step up
- Hammer curl
- High knees
- Power walking
Other Trekking Routes in Langtang Region
Langtang Valley, the third-most-popular trekking destination in the country offers some of the most scenic and adventurous trekking routes to the trekking enthusiast. Depending on the duration and exploration prospects you can do several trekking expeditions available in the region. Here, we have listed some of the best and most popular Langtang Valley trekking adventures.
Langtang Valley Trek in 7 Days
Yes you heard right, Lantang Valley trek can be completed in just 7 days. Starting your adventure from Syabrubesi you will move along the classical trail toward Lama Hotel and proceed along the trail toward Langtang Village. Then, pushing for the Kyanjin Gompa, you will end your Himalayan expedition there with some side sightseeing exploration to the Tsergo-Ri or Kyanjin Ri. You will then retrace your steps back to the Lama and follow the downhill trail to Syabrubesi from where you will drive back to Kathmandu pulling a curtain to your beautiful Himalayan expedition.
Langtang Goasainkunda Trek
For the trekking enthusiasts out there looking for a thrilling and exciting add-on to the Langtang Valley Trek, the Langtang Gosaikund Trekking is a perfect package. Following the trekking trails of the iconic Langtang Vally Trek, this beautiful expedition diverges to the exploration of the stunning Gosainkunda Lake which a great significance in both Hindu and Buddhist culture.
Langtang Goasainkunda Trek lasts about 13- 15 days, starting your adventure in the same classical Langtang Valley Trekking route, you follow the trail from Syabrubesi to Lama Hotel, Langtang Village, and Kyanjin Gompa. However, in your descending trail, after reaching Lama Hotel, you will push forward for the Thulo Syabru Village, move along the trail toward Sing Gompa, and finally arrive at Gosainkunda. Then, in your descending trail, you will follow the route toward Kutumsang, Chisapani, and finally arrive at Sundarijal, which will officially mark the end of this iconic Himalayan expedition.
Tamang Heritage Trekking
This unique trekking route in the Langtang region follows the trail of popular Tamnag settlements in the region. It is a wonderful opportunity to immerse in the local culture and traditions of the Tamang people of the region and relish their warm delightful hospitality. Generally, lasting about 8- 11 days, this trekking does start from the classical Langtang Valley Trekking route, however diverse into densely populated inhabitants of the region for an enriched experience.
In the Tamanag Heritage Trekking, starting your adventure from Syabrubesi, you will move along the trail toward Gatlang and slowly make your way toward Tatopani, the natural hotspring of the region with healing properties. Then exploring the beautiful settlements of Thuman and Briddim, you will head toward the lama Hotel and conclude your expedition at Syabrubesi with a drive back to Kathmandu.
Ruby Valley and Ganesh Himal Trek
One of the most popular Himalayan expeditions among the Langtang Valley Treks, this epic adventure follows the rote of Bill Tillman, the first explorer of the Langtang Valley. Lasting for about 15- 17 days, this adventure commences from the same starting point as the classical point, Syabrubesi, but follows the route toward Parvati Kunda instead of Lama Hotel. From there, you will follow the route toward Somdang, Marmulung Kharka, and Tipling Village, the further route proceeds along popular Himalayan destinations like Neber, Kapurgaun, Khading, Nauban Kharka, Lamo Dhunga, Manbu, and finally to Arughat. Then, concluding your expedition at Arughat, you will drive back to Kathmandu.
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