An insightful introductory experience to authentic Himalayan trekking
A superb introduction to Himalaya trekking including all the main elements: excellent and exciting trails, ridge top paths with extensive views on both sides, stopover with wonderful outlooks (watch the sunrise over Nepal from your door!), continually changing environments as we climb and descend, different cultures and religions, a high pass to cross (the Laurabina La at 4610m), a sacred site to visit (the lake at Gosiankunda) and new and dramatic vistas from day to day. Views on the route of Gosaikunda and Helambu Trek include all the main peaks between the Annapurnas in the west and Everest in the east. The trek begins at Sundarijal on the outskirts of Kathmandu, finishes at Dhunche and is followed by a bus journey back to the capital.
Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Kathmandu
Day 2 Sightseeing tour of Boudhanath, Pashupatinath & Patan Durbar Square
Day 3 Drive to Sundarijal & Trek to Chisopani (2300m) - approx 40 minutes’ drive and trek to Chisapani
Day 4 Trek to Gul Bhanjyang (2130m) – approx. 6 hrs
Day 5 Trek to Magen Goth (3150m) – approx. 5 hrs
Day 6 Trek to Phedi (3500m) – approx. 5 hrs
Day 7 Trek to Laurebina Yak (3950m) – approx. 6/7 hrs
Day 8 Trek to Dhunche (1950m) - approx. 4 hrs
Day 9 Drive back to Kathmandu – approx. 8/9 hrs
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu
All meals during trek (except for GAP trek)
Accommodation during trek (tent on camping trek, lodge on GAP and lodge trek)
English speaking local expert guide, porter,
National park fees
Trekkers' Information Management System fees
3 nights' accommodation at 3 star hotel in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast
All guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu and entry fees.
Airport transfers and escort
Kathmandu – trek start/end point – Kathmandu private transfers
Equipment and clothing for all porter and staff
Insurance for staff and porter
Nepal visa - Multiple Entrée 15 days - USD 25 per person
Any flight & departure tax
Lunch & dinner during hotel stay in Kathmandu
Meals during GAP trek, hot shower
Extra baggage charges
Personal gears & clothing (available on hire)
Tips, any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/road block due to any reason, table drinks, snacks while walking
Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Kathmandu
You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.
Overnight at Hotel..
Sightseeing tour of Boudhanath, Pashupatinath & Patan Durbar Square
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to Boudhnath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and after that to Pashupatinath, the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. We take a tour to Patan also called as Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. Overnight at hotel..
Drive to Sundarijal & Trek to Chisopani (2300m) - approx 40 minutes’ drive and trek to Chisapani
After healthy breakfast, we take a half an hour drive to Sundarijal from the city to reach the trek starting point. We follow Kathmandu's water supply pipe steeply uphill and come out into typical terraced farmland and already the views back to the city are good, planes landing at the airport looking like toys! Continuing up onto a ridge, we enter the forests of the Shivapuri, bamboo, holly-leaved oak and epiphytic ferns and orchids. Glimpses through the trees show that we have crossed the watershed and are beginning to descend a ridge on the opposite side and, as the trees clear even more, views open up towards Jugal Himal, Langtang peaks and Ganesh Himal. We soon reach Chisopani (2300m), a ridgetop collection of teahouses for the night. Overnight at Local Lodge..
Trek to Gul Bhanjyang (2130m) – approx. 6 hrs
After watching the sunrise over the eastern Himalaya in the morning, we start walking towards Gul Bhanjyang for today’s overnight stay. We walk for around 6 hours today through forest and few settlements. We walk past the villages of Patti Bhanjyang and Chipling which have majority of Tamang community but all ethnic groups Chhetris, Brahmins and Newars also live with great harmony in these villages. Overnight at Local Lodge..
Trek to Magen Goth (3150m) – approx. 5 hrs
After breakfast we walk for couple of hours to reach the first village on the way, Kutumsang (2470m). We walk slightly uphill through terraced fields, meadows and forest as the trail starts changing character as we will be walking from warm, terraced and populated 'middle hills' to the higher, and refreshingly cooler 'temperate' and 'sub-alpine' zones. By the time we reach the top of the climb, we are in amongst rhododendrons and conifers. 5 hours’ of walk from Gul Bhanjyang we reach Magen Goth for overnight stay. Overnight at Local Lodge..
Trek to Phedi (3500m) – approx. 5 hrs
An excellent morning walking takes us back up onto the main ridge, with sensational views across a middle ground of blue ridges, to the peaks of the Rowaling and the western Khumbu. Undulating traverses and short climbs bring us along the crest to Tharepati (3490m). In the spring there will be flowering rhododendrons, in the autumn, the reds and yellows of berberris and birch. Our trail now swings away from the ridge and crosses some very steep ground at the head of the valley of the Tadi Khola, aiming for the distant Laurebina La. The path takes a series of quite short but steep ups and downs, past the tiny settlement of Ghopte, to the equally small one of Phedi (3500m) for the night. The surroundings are dramatic deep gullies and waterfalls, pinnacled ridges and scatterings of pines and arching bamboo, silhouetted against a blue sky - or ethereal in the mist! Overnight at Local Lodge
Trek to Laurebina Yak (3950m) via Laurebina La (4610m) – approx. 6/7 hrs
This morning we have a long and steady climb up to the Laurebina La (4610m), the high point of this trek, through pastures and past small crags, to reach the pass, just above a small lake. The views do not really appear until you have walked a bit further, rounding a corner and then looking down towards the Gosiakunda (4380m) - the very best views are to be had by climbing one of the small hills, either to the right or left, for a panorama of the Manaslu and Ganesh Himal and the very close looking and very snowy peaks of the Langtang. We soon reach the holy lake of Gosiankunda, where the black rock in the middle is said to be the head of Shiva. The water nearby from a glacier is said to have formed by him to slake his thirst after drinking poison. During the full moon in August, the place throngs with Hindu pilgrims and shamans. We now follow an excellently constructed path, contouring the north side of the valley, now the headwaters of the Trisuli Khola, to come out onto a ridge that overlooks the main Langtang Valley, with Syrabrubensi almost 3000m. We descend the ridge to the few lodges of Laurebina Yak (3950m.) where we can leisurely watch the sunset behind Manaslu and Ganesh, and rise again, making the mountains glow pink, beyond the misty depths of the valley of Bhote Kosi. The mountains of Tibet are clearly in view, just right of Ganesh Himal. Overnight at Local Lodge
Trek to Dhunche (1950m) - approx. 4 hrs
Today we descend down the hill to reach Dhunche; the administrative headquarter of Rasuwa District. It is a pleasant walk along the pines, berberries and rhododendron with white mass of Langtang Lirung to our right and Ganesh Himal in the front. From here we plunge down through forests, clearings and then fields and pastures, meeting the dirt road for the last few minutes into bustling Dhunche (1950m). Overnight at Local Lodge
Drive back to Kathmandu – approx. 8/9 hrs
We drive to Trishuli Bazaar and the long climb over the mountains and into the Kathmandu Valley. In the vicinity of Ranipauwa, there is a classic panorama, including the Annapurnas, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and the now familiar Langtang Lirung. Overnight at hotel
You have free time till departure. You will be assisted to Tribhuwan International Airport as per your flight time. Have a safe journey back home!
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Langtang region is the home of several ethnic groups. The majority of people are Tamang, Sherpa and Bhotia. Their religion is related to the Bon and the pre-Buddhist doctrines of Tibet. Today this religion has merged with the newer teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Helambu situated at the north side of Kathmandu valley, which comprises of highland villages, such as Melamchi and Tarkeyghyang. Beautifully situated in alpine meadow, beauty of this region is worth spectacular. The region is mostly inhabited by friendly and helpful Tamang people. It is home to two major races of peoples, the Hyolmo or Yolmo and the Tamang. Helambu also offers an opportunity to experience Sherpa culture. Helambu is also famous for its sweet apples and artistic Buddhist monasteries.
TRIP GRADE - Moderate to fairly challenging
This trek is quite demanding. It involves approximately 6 to 8 hours of trekking on up and down well marked trails. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:
1) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)
Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters
This is an abbreviation of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
2) Camping trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one Sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
3) Lodge or tea house trek
Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or tea house treks are less expensive than camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups.
Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals
YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
Trekking in the Langtang region does not need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail. We stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary. It is cheaper to stay in lodge rather than organizing a camping trek.
Camping trek means sleeping in tents. On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu with 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website.
FOOD & DRINKING WATER
Meals are included in our price and are taken in Lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer).
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the many Lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
On camping trek, our staff will boil water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy bottled water in tea houses.
We recommend you to bring water purification pills.
LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu for free of charge.
GROUP LEADER AND CREW
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:
1) Western leader
2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members while on GAP and Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.
JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2018 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to get you on the trip you want.
GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE TRIP
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies: minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2, the maximum is 12 people.
Personal expenses depend largely on the type of trek, duration and the trekking region.
Lodge trek and Camping trek:
You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking, tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
You need to pay for your meals and should expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for your food and snacks.
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.
The starting point of the trek is Sundarijal, which is connected by approx 2.5 hours drive from Kathmandu. On your return, our car/bus shall pick you from Dhunche and drive to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).
While trekking in the remote parts you may not have an access to telephone facility for some days or weeks. However, en route there may be few places where telephone facilities may be available and likely to be working. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a sim card or rental satellite phones if necessary.
TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT
You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack.
Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip or check CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST LINK.
GEARS AVAILABLE IN KATHMANDU
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.
TYPICAL DAY ON TREK
Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day's walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon's walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day's adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which will be served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.
MEETING AND GREETING IN KATHMANDU
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.
CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO
The Langtang-Helambu trek can be done anytime of the year except the monsoon season (June to September). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights can be chilling cold (between -5C to 5C) but the days can be sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). Temperature starts to drop as you gain altitude. The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited. Trekking during the winter is possible; however, it is much colder than autumn and spring.
March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.
The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.
We ensure liability as per indicated itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay extra for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, please download form from the link below (visa form) and get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January - December).
HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.
The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and to handle the low oxygen rate. For your service, we carry a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a users’ manual which you can use upon your own risk. We do not take any medical liability since our staffs are not qualified to prescribe medicines.
Altitude Sickness has the potential to affect all travelers from 2500m and higher. Your body needs time to adjust to smaller quantities of oxygen in the air at 5500m/18,044ft; the air pressure is approximately half that of sea level, i.e. there is half the amount of oxygen. Acute Mountain Sickness is caused by going up high too fast and can be fatal if the entire warning signals are ignored. This itinerary has gradual climb and the duration itself is short, hence, chances of AMS are not high. However, one needs to be careful and take all the necessary precautions.
If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking.
FIRST AID KIT
We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions
RESCUE / EVACUATIONS
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
Care for Porters and Staff
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.
1) It is fundamental you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We can not be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall only be responsible for refunds after deducting the expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of USD 300 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 300)
29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost
Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us directly by phone: 977-1-4418100.