A Detailed guide for Langtang Trek
Langtang region lies just 50 kilometers north of Kathmandu near the Tibet-Nepal border. This area is home to Langtang National Park- the nearest national park from the capital of Kathmandu. This 1710 sq. km park spans parts of the Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchok districts, and there are around 4,500 people residing in the national park.
The highest point of the Langtang National Park is the Langtang Lirung at 7,245m. Japanese expedition ascended Langtang Lirung for the first time in 1978.
Langtang region provides three main trek routes - Langtang Valley, Gosainkunda Lake, and Helambu. Trekking trails for all of these treks start at Sybrubesi and end at Sundarijal, except for Helambu Trek, which starts at Sundarijal and ends at Sermanthang.
The royal decree in 1970 established the Langtang National Park and it encompasses several climatic zones, ranging from subtropical to alpine. Almost 25% of this park consists of forests, and you will find oak, maple, pine, and rhododendron trees here. Many wild animals, like the Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, red panda, yak, and around 250 bird species live here.
This park contains Gosainkunda lakes, which are sacred to Hindus. These lakes remain frozen for six months -from October to June. Hindus believe that Gosainkunda is the abode of Lord Shiva and his consort Gauri. The main Gosainkunda lake lies at 4,300m.
Similarly, one important Buddhist monastery Kyanjin Gompa lies in this region.
For those who want to explore culture, there is Langtang Village and Melamchighyang. Langtang Village, situated at the base of Mt. Langtang Lirung, sits surrounded by several snow-capped peaks and is a throbbing village with tea houses and shops.
Between the Helambu valley and Langtang region lies Lauribina La Pass, which many trekkers trek through. There is another challenging Ganja La Pass in the upper Langtang region.
Langtang Region Highlights
- Visit Langtang - the valley of glaciers, green meadows, pine forests, Rhododendron flowers, and terraced fields.
- Beautiful views of snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, deep gorges, stone-driven mills, and suspension bridges
- Beautiful Lirung and Kim Sung glaciers
- Local cheese factory at Kyanjin Gompa
- The majestic views of Langtang Lirung (7,345m), Gang Chenpo (6,388m), Naya Kanga (5,846m), Dorje Lakpa (6,966m), Kimsung (6,781m), and Yansa Tsenji (6,575m)
- Nepal-Tibet border region
- Ancient Buddhist monasteries (including Kyangin Monastery), prayer flags, and chortens
- The sacred Gosainkunda Lake (4,600m)
- Kyanjin Ri (4,773m), Tsergo/Cherko Ri (4,984m) viewpoints
- Stunning views from Ganja La Pass (5122m)
- Wildlife like red panda, snow leopard, musk deer, bear, langur, etc
Best time for Langtang region treks
Like most other high elevation treks, you must consider the season for the trek as the trek difficulties, views, and whole trek experience gets affected by the season. Here is a brief monthly description of weather conditions at the highest trek elevations.
January and February are the coldest months that bring heavy snowfalls at high altitudes. Treks will be difficult, but you will get to enjoy majestic views of snow peaks.
As the winter snow melts, temperatures start rising during March and April. With clear skies and cool weather, these are some of the best months to trek in the Langtang region.
May and June are also favorable months for Langtang region treks. From about the end of June, monsoon season starts in Nepal, and if you want to avoid rain, you can trek during May or early June.
The monsoon hits its peak during July and August. The trails get slippery, and the cloudy skies might disturb the views. Yet, if you love waterfalls, raging rivers, and frequent rainbows, you can still trek during these months.
September and October are perfect months to trek in the Langtang region. The summer temperature starts to cool off, the skies clear, and there is no rainfall - all ingredients for a perfect trek season.
The winter sets in from November and continues to December. The temperatures slowly go down, and snowfalls begin at high elevations. If you do not mind snow, you can still trek.
Langtang treks are moderate treks, and you do not need to worry too much about getting altitude sickness unless you want to include Ganja La Pass (5,122m). You will be trekking along trails that become steep up and downs at several places. Trekking can get desolate, and you will be passing through many dense forests.
1. Langtang Trek - 8 Days
This is a classic Langtang Trek. The trekking trails start at Syabrubesi and take you to the north until Kyanjin Gompa and return on the same path. You will be exploring surrounding places around Kyanjin Gompa.
2. Langtang Valley Ganja La Pass Trek - 11 Days
A more challenging trek that starts from Syabrubesi reaches Kyanjin Gompa at the north, passes the Ganja La Pass (5,122m) into the Tarke Ghyang, and Sermanthang in the Helambu region, finally ending at Melamchi Pul Bazaar.
3. Langtang Gosainkunda Trek - 13 Days
It is a longer trek in the Langtang region for those who want to visit the pious Gosainkunda lake. Again, this trek starts from Syabrubesi, reaches Kyanjin Gompa at the north, returns from the same path until Bamboo, then branches eastward, passing Gosainkunda and Laurebina Pass (4,610m), finally ending at Sundarijal.
4. Helambu Trek - 5 Days
Helambu Trek is a short and easy trek in the Helambu valley. The Helambu region starts at Lauribina La Pass, in Langtang National Park. This trek begins from Sundarijal and ends at Sermanthang.
Langtang treks are not very intensive. However, the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy your trek. So, it is a great idea to take part in stamina-building exercises, such as swimming, cycling, or jogging, a few weeks before your trek. If you want to pre-experience what long treks are like, you can hike for 5-7 hours, carrying a small backpack.
Though previous trekking experience is an advantage, it is not required. An average fit person can complete this trek.
However, if you suffer from sensitive health conditions like lung, heart, or blood disease, please consult your doctor before booking the trek.
We advise you to bring a good camera with you, as you will be visiting some of the world's most magnificent and unique regions. Of course, you can use your mobile/cell camera, but the image might not be good enough.
Similarly, though you will mostly be trekking during the day, you will have plenty of free time in the evening. So plan ahead. You can pack some good books to read or bring game paraphernalia like cards, monopoly, or chess. Most foreigners also engage in learning Nepali words during their free time.
High altitude treks come with certain inherent risks such as altitude sickness, injuries, etc. So, there remains a small chance of risk in Langtang treks. Hence, adequate trek insurance is compulsory. In addition to treatment costs, your insurance must cover helicopter rescue and repatriation up to the highest trek altitude.
Helicopter rescue is required because the trek regions have neither a developed road network nor adequate treatment centers. So, we will use your insurance to arrange a quick helicopter rescue during emergencies.
Before buying an insurance policy, call the insurance provider and ask specifically if their policy covers helicopter rescue. Do not just believe in what insurers say on their website.
If you need help choosing an insurance provider, you can contact us. We can recommend insurance companies based on our previous clients' experience. However, please note that we do not sell insurance policies.
It is always a good idea to travel light, but without missing to pack clothing, gear, and equipment according to the season, length of travel, and destination.
For every two trekkers, we assign a porter, but we have limited the max luggage weight limit a porter can carry to 18-kg. So, your luggage weight limit is 9-kg. However, we can arrange one porter exclusively for you if you require. Please do not forget to pack toiletries, personal accessories, essential gear, and clothes.
We also expect you to carry a small backpack with your valuables and important documents. For the duration of your trek, you can store the extra luggage at the Discovery World Trekking store for free.
Though our packages cover major costs during the trek, you will need to bring spending money to meet various expenses, including accommodations and meals in Kathmandu, insurance policy purchase, visa fees, beverages, snacks, souvenirs, tips, gear, equipment, etc. We do not cover accommodations because individual preferences may differ, and Kathmandu has hotels/lodges for all tastes and budgets.
Nepali Rupees (NPR) is Nepal's currency. 1 USD is almost equivalent to NPR 120.
There are three ways you can bring money to Nepal - cash, travelers' cheque, or credit/debit card.
We recommend you bring cash (major currencies) and exchange them for Nepali Rupees through legal money exchanges in Kathmandu and all-over Thamel. It is better to avoid banks or other financial institutions for money exchange because of lengthy processes and high commissions.
Though travelers' cheque is secure, you will have to go through lengthy bank processes to cash them. Moreover, banks and financial institutions charge 4 percent or more as commission.
You can withdraw Nepali Rupees from the many ATMs in Kathmandu. Several of these ATMs are open 24/7. However, using your foreign card, you can withdraw up to Rs. 35,000 for a fee of Rs.500.
There are no money exchanges in trekking regions, and markets in trek regions only honor Nepali currency. So, according to your spending estimations, you must exchange your currency in Kathmandu. We recommend you to allocate USD 10 to 20 per trek day.
All nationals except Indians need a visa to enter Nepal.
Citizens from most countries will get an on-arrival visa at Tribhuvan International Airport or immigration checkpoints along Nepal-India and Nepal-Tibet borders.
You need a passport with at least six months of validity, a passport-size photo, and application fees to apply for an on-arrival visa. The current cost for a 30-day stay is USD 50, which you can pay in cash. Children (except US citizens) below 10 get free visas.
Chinese and SAARC (Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka) nationals get free visas. However, free visas for SAARC nationals are capped at 30 days per visa year.
Citizens from - Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, and Afghanistan - may not receive an on-arrival visa, so they should contact the local Nepali Embassy.
Visa regulations can change without prior notice, so please visit https://www.immigration.gov.np/ for current information.
As soon as you book your trek with us, please send us your flight details so that we can welcome you at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
After receiving you at the TIA, we will take you to your hotel in a private vehicle. We offer free airport pick-up and drop-off service for all our guests booking Langtang treks.
Please arrive at Kathmandu before 3 pm, at least a day before your trek departure date. It allows us time to brief you about your trek and recheck your luggage to ensure you have packed all the essentials you need for the hike.
On your Langtang trek departure date, you will take a public bus from Kathmandu and reach Syabrubesi. For an extra cost, you can hire a Jeep to Syabrubesi. However, for the Helambu trek, we will drive to Sundarijal.
Permit & entrance fee
You will require the following permits for Langtang treks.
1. Langtang National Park Permit
Langtang treks take place inside Langtang National Park, and you need the Langtang National Park Permit to enter. The current cost of this permit is $30, excluding 13% VAT. SAARC nationals can acquire this permit for $15, excluding VAT. You can buy this permit at the Nepal Tourism Board Office at Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu, or at the entry point to Langtang National Park in Dhunche.
2. Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card
You will also require TIMS Card, which will cost you Rs. 1,000 (~10 USD). TIMS card is available at Nepal Tourism Board Office at Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu, or from the check post in Syabrubesi.
3. Shivapuri National Park Entrance Fee
Depending on the trek you choose, and especially for the Helambu trek, you will also need to pay an entrance fee before entering the Shivapuri National Park. The current cost is about $5, excluding VAT.
However, to make sure that your trek is hassle-free, Discovery World Trekking will arrange all these permits for you.
Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-religious country with more than 122 active dialects. Nepali is the lingua-franca. However, a sizeable population, mainly in the cities, speaks English. Discovery World Trekking guides are fluent in English, Spanish, and Japanese. So, you do not need to worry about language barrier.
Remaining in contact
Though you will be trekking in some of the most remote parts of the world, you can remain in contact with your friends and families from internet-connected lodges/hotels you will be staying in. However, you might need to pay a service fee.
You can also buy a local sim in Kathmandu, but the signals at high altitudes might not be strong enough.
At high altitudes, we will use phones to communicate with each other. Discovery World Trekking will contact all its trekking groups at least once a day via the team lead to ensure that the treks are progressing smoothly.
Food & water
High elevation treks like Langtang treks require lots of energy. We will provide you with plenty of nutritious, tasty, and hygienic food during your hike. The cuisine will be traditional, western, or Asian. However, as you climb up and away from the cities, your food choices get limited and more expensive.
We advise you to buy snacks and other extra-dietary food in Kathmandu, as these items become more expensive in the trek regions.
You can buy packed mineral water from en-route shops and tea houses/lodges, but some trek regions may not allow plastic bottles, so it is best to carry your own water bottle and fill it with mineral/boiled/filtered water. You can buy boiled water from tea houses and lodges you will be staying.
We strongly advise you to avoid drinking water from taps, wells, and rivers in trek regions because the water may not be potable.
Similarly, we advise you not to drink caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, dairy products, and non-veg items. You should avoid non-veg items because of meat hygiene concerns. Instead, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and lots of liquids.
You need to arrange for your own accommodations in Kathmandu before and after the trek. Kathmandu has both budget and luxurious hotels/lodges that suit every taste and preference. You can book many of these hotels online.
We will arrange your accommodations at the best possible hotels/lodges in trek regions. You will be staying in rooms with attached bathrooms wherever available and standard rooms at other places. All the rooms are on twin sharing basis.
All of the lodges/hotels you will be staying in will have electricity, internet, and running water. You can charge your electronic devices here. By paying a small fee, you can enjoy hot showers as well.
Your safety is of the utmost concern to us, and we have several policies in place to ensure safety. Our team leaders/guides carry all the equipment, gear, and first aid boxes, ready to face any situation, and our guides have completed extensive wilderness first aid training. For group safety, we trek together.
Like other high-altitude treks, there is a small chance of getting altitude sickness during the Langtang treks. So, we carry oximeters and constantly monitor your blood oxygen saturation level at high altitudes. It helps in detecting altitude sickness earlier.
However, here are some ways to minimize the chances of catching altitude sickness:
- Drink at least 4 liters of water every day
- Do not skip acclimatization days
- Walk at your own pace
- Drink garlic soup
- Take enough food during trekking
- Keep your body warm
- Take plenty of rest after a daily hike
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks.
But still, you need to remain aware of altitude sickness. Here are the signs and symptoms to look for:
- Appetite loss
- Tiredness and dizziness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Increased heart rate and shortness of breath
Severe altitude sickness can be life-threatening, so in emergencies, we will deploy helicopters (funded by insurance) to bring you back to safety. The trek regions do not have a developed road network, and the health centers here are very basic. It is the reason why you need adequate insurance.
If a trekker falls sick, the trek leader has the authority to decide whether to continue the trek or descend immediately. However, the trek leader will decide, taking into consideration the overall condition of the team.
We completely understand that you might feel that trekking in remote parts of a foreign country is a daunting task. However, we are here to help you at every step from airport arrival, during the trek, and until you return to your country.
When you arrive at Kathmandu airport, you will find our company representative at the reception ready to welcome you. After receiving you, they will take you to your hotel in a private vehicle. We offer free airport pick-up and drop-off services for all of our trekkers. If you need help, at any point, during your stay in Nepal, you should feel free to contact us.
Discovery World Trekking believes in universal brotherhood, and we treat all our valuable clients as family members.
You are now aware of the exciting trek options the Langtang region provides you. So, it is time to make an informed trek choice.
- Helambu Trek - 5 Days
- Langtang Trek - 8 Days
- Langtang Valley Ganja La Pass Trek - 11 Days
- Langtang Gosainkunda Trek - 13 Days
However, if you still feel you need more information or want to customize Langtang treks, feel free to call/Viber/WhatsApp Paul at +977 - 9840055491 or email at [email protected] - anytime.