Langtang Valley and Tamang Heritage Trek
This twelve day trip (from Kathmandu back to Kathmandu) includes ten days trekking in the stunning Langtang region of Nepal, which is the closest National Park to Kathmandu and requires no internal flights to reach it. The area is renowned for its beautiful cedar forests and flowers and jaw dropping views of soaring Himalayan peaks including the mighty Shishapangma which is one of the 8000 metre peaks, Manaslu Massif, Ganesh, Langtang and Jugal Himal. Langtang is often described as the most beautiful valley in the world and our trip includes an amazing initial few days reaching the valley via the Tamang Heritage Trail. The Tamang trail is relatively young having been opened in 2004. It is a journey back in time and gives everyone who walks it a very traditional and authentic experience. The Tamang Heritage Trail is a lot quieter than the better known Langtang Valley section of our trek, meaning you'll meet far less people. During the initial few days on the Tamang trail the infrastructure isn't as well established as in the main valley or in the Annapurna or Khumbu regions, but if you want an authentic experience with raw natural beauty whilst spending times with the local communities, then this trek is perfect blend of both old and new and the adventure for you!
Langtang is situated north of Kathmandu and borders Tibet. The terrain is mountainous but not precipitous with forests, terraced hill slopes and valley paths leading to high pastures and eventually the moraine of the glaciers and peaks. It does not reach the same heights as the treks in the Khumbu valleys and therefore has far less of the altitude related issues, plus there are fewer people. This is a more peaceful trek, less demanding but still with the history, culture and scenic beauty that Nepal is famous for. It has an air of remoteness and visitors frequently mention this mixture of adventure and mystery, culture and there's lots of wildlife to see.
Below are a couple of independent clips covering the area:
SUMMARY OF LANGTANG VALLEY & TAMANG HERITAGE TREK ITINERARY
LANGTANG VALLEY AND TAMANG HERITAGE TREK MAP
LENGTH AND TERRAIN OF THE LANGTANG VALLEY & TAMANG HERITAGE TREK
The overall distance is in the range of 95km, possibly more depending on your chosen activities on day 11 at Kyanjin Gompa. You do not need to be super-fit for the Langtang trek section however the Tamang Heritage Trail section does have some moderately challenging ascent sections, though short lived. The entire trek has mostly 6 hours days of sustained walking with a light backpack - your main pack goes by porter. The effects of altitude may also further tax your body, though this trek is not overly high plus the pace is slow and the rate of ascent very gradual. The trek generally follows a well trodden path all the way through which can be rocky and uneven in parts. It is not precipitous and there is no need of any rock climbing or ‘mountaineering’ nor specialist equipment. Walking poles are useful especially if you have knee problems or if you have a personal preference for using them. Higher up, the open slopes and moraine may give you added reassurance with a pole, but again the path is quite easy to follow and of course you'll be in the expert hands of your guide.
ACCOMMODATION ON THE LANGTANG VALLEY & TAMANG HERITAGE TREK
This trek has two sides to it and accommodation can vary somewhat between the more traditional and quieter Tamang Heritage Trail and the Langtang Valley section. The former is far less westernised and more rural. This specific area was badly hit by the Nepal earthquake so you have a mixture of traditional lodges and in many places new builds, though of traditional style. The second section of the trek, up into the Langtang Valley is in comfortable and more established lodges. Accommodation in both sections are run by local families. Each lodge has a central communal area with a large stove that provides heat and a cosy atmosphere. The bedrooms are unheated and generally have two beds per room with mattresses, pillows and a blanket. You will need to bring a sleeping bag (3 season is normally enough) and we'd recommend a pillow case.
The lodges generally have showers and toilets with the first section being more basic and the latter powered by gas and with sit down flush toilets (some lodges do also have squat toilets). Food in the lodges is very good quality, a mixture of local Nepali food and in the Langtang western recipes. You will find a Nepal price guide here. There are also many shops selling all types of drinks and snacks, sweets and chocolate. You can also buy any gear that you may, or forget on the trail or in Kathmandu.
PACKING LIST FOR THE LANGTANG VALLEY & TAMANG HERITAGE TREK
Normal trekking clothes and some warm layers for the evenings and a rain jacket are needed for this trek. You won't need any specilist equipment or kit. Have a look at our Nepal Trekking Kit List page for information about what gear and clothing we recommend.
The basic idea of the kit needed is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night. The main points to cover are as follows:-
- Bags - Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you. Dry bags inside to store clothes.
- Rain protection - Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain, also an umbrella
- Layers - Shirts, trousers, shorts, T-shirts, jumpers and jackets, hat and gloves.
- Walking - Comfortable boots with a good sole and ankle support. Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings. Trekking poles
- Sleeping - 3 or 4 season is enough in the lodges where there are beds and mattresses and blankets
- Water - Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles. Water can be boiled or treated.
- Personal hygien - wash kit, towel, small first aid kit
- Sun protection - sunglasses, sunhat
- Miscellaneous - head torch, camera, books, music, power bank and leads
Kathmandu has an area called Thamel which is full of hundreds of equipment shops, each one an emporium of new, used, quality and fake equipment all very reasonably priced for rental and buying. You can buy anything needed for any trek.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) FOR THE LANGTANG VALLEY & TAMANG HERITAGE TREK
IS THE LANGTANG VALLEY AND TAMANG HERITAGE TREK GOOD FOR A FAMILY TRIP?
The Langtang Valley trek is a great itinerary for people thinking about trekking in Nepal with their children. The days are not too demanding, the views and scenery is beautiful and the villages and people interesting and friendly. It's not too high, there are none of the precipitous bridges crossing torrents and gorges plus it's not too busy an area and it's close to Kathmandu.
WHAT IS THE TAMANG HERITAGE TRAIL?
The Tamang Heritage Trail has only relatively recently been opened up for trekkers. It offers a lovely addition to the Langtang trek. It is an excellent way to experience the culture of the local Tamang people who live here. Life is very traditional along this unique trail and slower than on the main trails. With more tradition you can expect less westernised lodges, but a warm and friendly welcome and of course amazing views and fantastic flora and fauna.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE LANGTANG TREKKING REGION?
The Langtang National Park is a protected area where the majority of residents are Tamang and the climatic zones range from subtropical to alpine. It remained unknown until Bill Tilman’s expedition in 1949, the same year that the Royal Geographic Society and the Alpine Club asked for permission to explore the south side of Everest; this was refused, but Tilman was allowed into Langtang, where he searched for a way into Tibet. He discovered a pass (still called Tilman’s Pass) beyond Gangchempo leading south through the wild Jugal Himal and back to Kathmandu.
Today, despite the road going up the Trisuli Valley all the way to Dhunche, the valley is still a rarely visited area. The Park has similar climatic pattern to Sagamartha National Park, but the subtropical area to the south ensures a wider variety of animals, including musk deer, Himalayan black bears and the Himalyan tahr (a large ungulate), langur monkeys, ghorals, and the rare snow leopard and red pandas. Trees include oak, blue pine, birch, maple and in the springtime the hillsides are heavy with rhododendron flowers. The valley also boasts several glacial lakes including Gosainkunda Lake which is sacred to Hindus and a possible add on to your trek if you have a few more days. There are also lot's of very high technical peaks and lower trekkig peaks which can also be added to you itinerary such as Yala Peak.
Langtang Valley and Tamang Heritage trek itinerary
|1-3||1500m||8 hours drive to start of trek||Arrival in Kathmandu is day 1. We'll collect you from the airport and take you to the hotel of your choice (Kathmandu has a range of options for all tastes and budgets) where you'll stay for two nights, which gives you plenty of time to explore the bustling capital, sightseeing, shopping and overcoming jet-lag. On day 3 (day 1 on the trek map) we depart Kathmandu and drive north to Syabrubesi (1500m) by private vehicle. The drive, once out of the busy city traffic is relaxing and enjoyable with splendid views of Nepal, stunning views of many meandering rivers that carry the Himalayan water to the masses, quaint terraced fields, small villages and many snow-capped peaks. We'll reach a busy town called Dhunche before reaching our destination of Syabrubesi where we'll overnight in a comfortable local lodge.|
|4||2240m||6 - 7 hours||After a hearty breakfast we'll start off our first of day trekking as we head to the village of Gatlang at 2240m. The trail initially has a few steep ascents that will get the muscles working well and after about three hours we'll reach Ronga Bhanjyang. Along the trail we'll stop at several stunning viewpoints that that layout the Ganesh Himal and Gosaikunda range beautifully alongside the Goljang Valley. From this point our trail descends into the Goljang valley for about an hour where we'll stop for lunch. After lunch another couple of hours trek along relatively gentle terrain will bring us to traditional Tamang village of Gatlang and our destination for the day. Gatlang is an idyllic and centuries old settlement inhabited by the Tamang people. Whilst here we can visit the ancient monastery or for nature lovers the Parbati Kund offers a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Overnight in local lodge.|
|5||2605m||6 hours||After a good nights rest and breakfast our start today is relatively gentle as we leave Gatlang and pass many of Nepal's traditional Chhortens and Mani Walls. We then travel through deep forests, rich forests until reaching the village of Chilme which takes about 2 1/2 hours. We then cross a stunning suspension bridge as our trail take us up passed many terraced fields where local families tend their plots. After a further 1 1/2 hours we arrive at Gonggang village where we'll have lunch. After lunch, the trail gently and pleasantly ascends for another 2 hrs before reaching our destination of Tatopani, where you can visit the healing bathes and spa! The natural hot springs are famous for healing and rejuvenating any weary legs! We'll relax in the evening at our lodge.|
|6||2340m||6 hours||Today is good for acclimatisation as we trek higher then drop again for our overnight stay. Initially we continue through the lush forest and gradually gain in height. The trail undulates to Brimdang where we are welcomed by a beautiful monastery which is located on the top of an overlooking hill. After roughly 2 hrs we then reach a sections that climbs steeply but for only around an hour and of course there's ni rush! A the top we'll arrive at the Nagthali (3165m) where we'll relax, have lunch and be treated to jaw dropping views of Langtang Lirung (7,225m), Shishapangma (8,013m), Ganesh Himal (7,422m), Tibetan Himal amongst other classic Himalayan peaks. After lunch we have a gentle descent with several small monasteries along the train to Thuman, were we'll overnight and which is famous for it's friendly people who love to sing and dance!|
|7||2230m||5 hours||Today's destination is across the valley on the other side of the Bhote Koshi river. Initially our trail begins with a reasonably flat section which then descends to Timure which is on the old trade route to Tibet and why a lot of the Tamang villages in this region have such a Tibetan influence. We'll stop here for lunch. Rasuwaghadi, an ancient fort on the Nepal- Tibet border, is a short walk from Timure however with large hydroelectric projects now in the region it's not as attractive to visit the border these days. After lunch, having dropped to the valley and crossed it by suspension bridge our trail now takes us up a steep ascent to Briddim where we'll overnight in the lodge and from where we can visit the local ancient monastery.|
|8||2470m||6 hours||Today we depart Briddim and drop back down the Bhote Koshi Valley passing through rich forested areas, terraced fields and rural settlements. This region has some interesting wildlife and if we're lucky, we may spot a red panda! Our trail then ascends gently to Rimche (2,400m) through high bamboo which lies at the bank of the Langtang river. Following the river, we enter into the Langtang valley where we link up with the main trail. Here you'll meet more trekkers than on the Tamang Heritage Trail and will notice larger lodges. A short distance past Rimche is the Lama Hotel, which despite it's name isn't one hotel, but a collection of lodges and homes and our destination for the night.|
|9||3430m||6 hours||After a good breakfast, we'll start early and trek alongside the river through rich, lush environments as we ascend through dense forests from where it's at times possible to glimpse the snowy peaks ahead of us. After some time the narrow river valley broadens out at Ghoda Tabela (3,030m). At this point, which is roughly half we we'll pass through an army check point where we'll register our group. We';; then ascend to Chyamki village (3,230m) beyond which we pass many traditional Chortens, water mills, Mani Walls and Prayer Wheels, signalling that we're close to Langtang village, our destination and a large scenic settlement of mostly Tamang people.|
|10||3865m||3 hours||After so many 5 - 7 hours days our journey today will seem short my comparison. We continue along the Langtang Valley crossing many small plateaus used for yaks, ornate Mani Walls, several small villages and wide open meadows. Our journey passes many religious and traditional artifacts as we ascend to our high point and the ancient monastery of Kyangjin Gompa. The setting here in the heart of the Langtang region is jaw dropping. It's surrounded by the Himalayas and stunning views of many snow-capped peaks. We'll relax in the afternoon and overnight.|
|11||Varies||Varies||Today is what you want it to be! You can rest and soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the scenery of mighty peaks and glaciers or explore the monastery and see the Buddhist monks enchanting prayers. There is even a splendid cheese factory to visit! If you fancy stretching your legs there are lots of local walks or we can hike up to Langshisa Kharka (4100m) which is an amazing viewpoint of Tserko Ri (5,450m), Langtang Lirung (7,227m), Langtang II (6,586m) and many more. We'll again overnight in the lodges at Kyanjin Gompa.|
|12||2380m||6 hours||Today we descend back down the Langtang Valley along the same trail as our ascent but travelling quicker we bypass Langtang Village and stop at Ghoda Tabela for lunch, before descending further to Lama Hotel where we'll overnight.|
|13||1500m||5 hours||Our final day trekking will take us back to our intial start point of Syabrubesi. We walk along the Langtang river, as we head south descending through bamboo and birch forests, enjoying continuing stunning vistas as we cross the Langtang and the Bhote Koshi rivers before reaching Syabrubesi. We'll then overnight in our lodge and enjoy our last meal together, toasting new friendships and lifelong memories of the stunning Tamang Heritage Trail and the lofty heights and scenery of the Langtang Himalayan region.|
|14||1400m||8 hour drive||We'll again transfer by road back to Kathmandu enjoying a scenic drive along the way. We'll drop you back at the hotel of your choice where you can collect any left luggage.|
|15||N/A||N/A||Airport transfer for onward travel or start another adventure!|
Langtang Valley and Tamang Heritage Trail trek cost £1095.00
- Airport Transfers
- English speaking trekking guide
- Accommodation and meals with a hot drink in lodges whilst on trek
- Private return vehicle for transport to the Langtang region (requires min 4 people)
- All National Park and Heritage permit fees
- Staff food, insurance, accommodation and equipment
- Air Fare to Kathmandu & Visa
- Accommodation in Kathmandu - we provide options during booking or you can book your own. Click here for details
- Travel Insurance - trekking only.
- Personal expenses - drinks, showers, charging for example - on trek (~£50)
- Single room supplements and upgrades
A deposit of £100.00 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 6 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
This trek supports the Tamang Heritage Association because the route passes through their land and staying in their community lodges allows them to benefit from tourism revenue.
We encourage you to buy insurance prior to your trip well in advance to cover potential cancellation costs, and it is a requirement for any of our holidays that you are covered for all the usual contingencies on a trek. This includes possible helicopter evacuation.
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due six weeks before travel.
- Duration 10 days
- Numbers 5 - 10
- Max Altitude 5000m
- Distance 120km
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Lodge