Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Our 7 Day Langtang Trek in the Himalayas (part 2)

Day 4: Kyanjin Gompa.

The next day was a free day and that morning Bolle offered us a chance to do an additional half day hike to get to an even higher elevation, once again my stomach was aching and I knew that I would be better off trying to get better for our hike back down rather than going higher. But Jason went with him. They had a nice hike and got to know each other better. That day Jason got to 4,000 meters.
Kyanjin village from Jasons extra hike.

Our guide Bolle taking in the views.

We spent the rest of the day walking around the village, taking in the views and visiting the town bakery. The food on the trek was very basic and every tea house had identical menus so it can get boring very quickly. We were quietly surprised to find the bakery up so high and even more surprised to find that the owner bakes everything himself. We enjoyed some yak cheese pizza and some cake. I hadn’t been able to eat much over the last couple of days so I pretty much just stuffed it down my throat, it was such a good feeling!

Myself and Jason in Kyanjin Gompa

We got photo-bombed by a local in this photo.

Day 5: Kyanjin Gompa to A tea house along the river.

Our first day of descent was magical. It was such an uplifting feeling knowing that I could walk as fast as I wanted to without having to worry about suffering from altitude sickness. I guess our mistake for this day was walking very fast. The weather was beautiful and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky making the descent beautiful. Initially while walking away from the majestic Himalayas I had to turn my head every couple of minutes to take a look at them, knowing that I may never see such a beautiful sight again. It was a little sad having to walk away from them. After about an hour of trekking we stopped at the Tip Top café. This is a wonderful little café that served real coffee. I ordered a cup and sat drinking it with the finest views in the world. It was one of those moments that I realized just how lucky I am to get to do these things.

The beautiful Himalayas

Jason on the descent 

Such beautiful views!

Myself, Bolle, Jason and Dendee

A coffee with a view!

Once we arrived at Langtang village I knew that the view of them would be hidden from me forever and took as many final glances as I could. But now that we were going back down the way that we had come we were given a chance to see the views that we had missed because of the mist and rain on the first two days. The valley itself is incredible, the river flowing down the middle of it is surrounded by mountains on either side. The lush green just makes it postcard perfect.
One of the local children near Langtang village.

Entering Langtang village.

That night we stopped at a delightful teahouse that was right on the river. There was also an older couple from England staying there with their guide so it made for a nice little group. We sat outside next to the river chatting and monkey spotting (there were quite a few Lemurs there) and it was definitely an evening that I’ll remember for a long time. Once it got dark we moved inside where once again the fire was lighting. I really do feel that these tea houses are what sets trekking in Nepal apart from other places. The people are locals that have a chance to make some money and you get to stay in a locals house and learn a bit about how they live.

On our way to our tea-house.

The river next to our tea-house

Enjoying the views by the river wearing my really comfy jumper that
I bought in Kathmandu.

Bolle and Jason sitting by the river.

Day 6 Tea House to Thulo Syabru.

Waking up that morning was torture. After doing a full day downhill the day before we both woke up with aching bodies. I had pains in places that I never knew existed. Also we both thought that today was another day of downhill but how wrong we were! This day will definitely go down as the toughest day of the trek for me.

We continued on downhill for another 3 hours and had lunch at the hot springs. While having lunch we had chickens running around under our feet. After lunch we had another 40 minutes downhill backtracking the way that we had previously come. Then came the turn off to Thulo Syabru.
To get to Thulo Syabru we had to climb straight uphill in the sweltering heat for about 2 hours and to make matters worse our muscles were still aching and we had run out of water.
The views from the top of the grueling hike.

That climb was by far the toughest climb I had to do on the entire trek, it took everything out of me and at one stage Bolle ran up to the top ahead of us and bought us some drinks at a little shack that was at the top. Once we had some drinks in us we felt better and made it to the top. We relaxed at the little shack for a while and drank more and more drinks, the views were beautiful and we could see Thulo Syabru from there…then came the most heartwrenching part of the trek.

After resting we walked for a bit and I saw the only way to get to Thulo Syabru was to cross a bridge. Meaning we had to climb back down to the bottom of the mountain, cross the bridge and climb back up on the other side. I’m not proud of what I did next but I may have stomped my feet like a four year old in frustration.
Some of the houses on the way up to Thulo Syabru.

This next part seemed easier than before as it wasn’t as hot and we had water and we had an ending point up ahead. We also had the porters from the big Korean group keeping us company. 

Once we finally made it to Thulo Syabru we were pleasantly surprised, it was a beautiful little village surrounded by rice paddies as far as the eye could see. It was also full of cobbled old streets and had many children around playing.

The tea house that we stayed in that night was by far the best that we had had for the entire trek…why? Because I was FINALLY able to have a nice hot shower! I must have showered for about 40 minutes but it was so good. While at our highest point of the trek I had to have a cold water shower in an icy cold bathroom and then get dressed in our icy cold room, it was torture, so this was the best present that I could wish for.

Day 7: Thulo Syabru to Dhunche

The last day of our trek was finally upon us. We woke up to an incredible view of the Himalays in the distance from our bedroom window. It felt strange knowing that this was going to be our last day, it almost felt like a way of life now. But we had made plans to meet up with some people that we had met on the trek and eat a big steak dinner when we got back to Kathmandu so we were getting excited about that.
Our view from the bedroom the next morning.

Beginning our final day of hiking.

Thulo Syabru was beautiful except for one thing…the flies. There were flies EVERYWHERE. I would see old ladies sitting on the ground in the street with hundreds of flies on them, the same with the dogs. I don’t know why there were so many but it made eating nearly impossible, especially eating a pancake with jam on it, you’d look down and see about 10 flies on the pancake and another 30 or 40 on you!

This last day of hiking was enchanting. This route isn’t taken very often so there was only one other small group of trekkers on the route. It was very peaceful walking through the forests and seeing cows, sheep and goats on the path. We also came across many farms and farm houses. There were so many monkeys on this route also. While in the forest all of a sudden you look up and there could be 12 lemurs on the branches above you. After about 2 hours of going through the forest and farms we came to the road. We would walk on the road for the last 2 hours ever of our hike. While on the road we came across buffalos, children swimming naked in the river, old men resting on the side of the road while hearding their goats/buffalos. People from the surrounding villages walking to and from. We even came across a man and his young son chasing their 2 pigs that had somehow escaped.
Jason and Bolle looking out at the many rice paddies that layer the mountains.

A random cow on the trail.

Amazing views!

A woman tending to her crops.

A mother and son at one of the final tea-houses that we stopped at.

The mountains nearby were so beautiful.

It was a lovely day. Unfortunately for poor Dundee (our porter) our bags were heavier that day and he was feeling sick so the trek was hard for him that day, luckily he flagged down a passing truck and got a lift to our final destination. Once we arrived in Dhunche it was such a strange feeling, we were ecstatic that we had completed the trek, sad that it was over and nervous about the next days bone knuckling ride to Kathmandu. That evening we bought both Bolle and Dendee a big Everest beer and spent the evening playing card games. We also had Dhal Bhaat for dinner and Bolle and Dendee taught us how to eat it Nepali style…with our fingers. Jason was a pro at it (I think the child in him was delighted to be able to eat his curry with his fingers) Me; not so good. It was great fun all the same though.
Jason eating some Dhal Bhaat.
That evening we also had to say goodbye to our wood sticks that had gotten us through the 7 days of trekking, it was strange to know that they wouldn’t be glued to our hands anymore.

Day 8 Dhunche to Kathmandu.

The day to return back to Kathmandu was upon us and we were both excited to get back to a comfy bed and a steak dinner but I was also apprehensive about the bus journey back since the one to there was quite scary. Luckily the weather was good for us which meant that we had no near death experiences and arrived in Kathmandu 2 hours before we expected to.

Overall our trek was an amazing experience. The Langtang trek offers a quieter trekking experience with fewer trekkers compared to the EBC and Annapurna treks. It also offers a diverse landscape, starting with the beautiful lush green forests and then to the more sparse higher elevated areas. There are tea houses everywhere so you are guaranteed a comfortable nights sleep throughout the trek. Also if it’s yaks that you are interested in seeing then Langtang is the place for you; we saw quite a few of them and apparently there are no yaks on the Annapurna trails.
But saying that, whatever trek you choose I have no doubt that it’ll be just as beautiful and awe-inspiring as ours was.

Travel Agents:
Exotic Mt.Treks: They were very honest and really seemed to want to help us in the best way possible. I'd definitely recommend any travelers to use their services.

Trekking Guide:
Bolle Magar:
He was a highly qualified guide who always had our best interests at heart, he always had a smile on his face and became a good friend during our trek. His English is also great.
Hint: if you book with him directly you will be able to cut out the agent fees and save some money.


  1. We plan to do the same trek in March 2014 with our three kids (ages 10, 13 and 14) as part of our year on the road. Thanks for posting your experiences as it reminds us that we need to prepare mentally as well as physically. Enjoy your travels!
    Daryl & Arleigh

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I have no doubt that you and your family will love this trek, we met many families along the way and the kids were just bursting with energy!
    Also, that's incredible that you are taking a year out with your children, I hope that if I ever have kids I could do the same thing. Good luck!