Langtang trekking holiday in Nepal
Description of Langtang trekking holiday in Nepal
If you’re looking for an alternative to trekking in Nepal that doesn’t include the Annapurna range and the Everest area then it’s about time you discover the delights of Lantang Valley.
Set to the north of Kathmandu, and lesser known in comparison to the big hitters further south, Langtang provides that extra incentive to return to Nepal or visit for the first time.
Either side of summer is definitely the best time to go trekking in Langtang as from wild flowers and abundant birds in spring to majestic blue sky views around Langtang Lirung peak in autumn, there’s nothing that beats that feeling when you’re higher than 3,000metres.
Optional ascents to the top of Kyanjin Ri or Tsergo Ri combine wonderfully well with walking on the glaciers underneath Langtang Lirung and treks around Gosainkund Lake, a place of intense spirituality that’s held in very high regard by pilgrims and trekkers alike.
Not only is this two week trekking holiday in Langtang Valley unique for its incredible natural scenery it also allows travellers to aid local villagers who were part of the horrific earthquake of 2015. Staying in relatively recently repaired and newly built lodges and employing the services of local Sherpa is a great way to bring responsible tourism to the area and help those most affected where they need it the most.
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PlanetAccommodation and Meals:
Many of the lodges utilise solar power for electricity and hot water where clients are encouraged to consider using biodegradable toiletries for shower. Breakfasts are included and will usually consist of something simple, locally sourced and carb-heavy for energy, like porridge and toast. Where meals aren’t included, clients can support local lodges by trying some authentic cuisine, rather than imported meals. Some local specialities include Nepalese dumplings (momos), mixed bean soup with roti’s (kwanti), smoked meat tossed in mustard oil (choela) or lentils and spicy curry (dal bhat).
The Langtang Region was particularly badly impacted by the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, which caused a large landslide to wipe out the main Langtang village, and which destroyed many houses throughout the valley. Trekking is one of the main sources of income for many in this remote valley and the locals are welcoming trekkers back. Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and residents as a trekking trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to Kathmandu.
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose. In 2017 we donated a large UV water filter to the lodge owner who we work with in Kyanjin, who tragically lost his lodge and family in the landslide in Langtang during the 2015 earthquake. Our groups will get free water here but other trekkers will pay, providing a second source of income.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal Craft and Culture:
Although we spend much of this tour climbing the snowy peaks of Everest, there are several opportunities to engage with locals and learn about regional customs. Highlights include stopping at several small villages along the way (Dhunche, Syabrubensi, Langtang, Gul Bhanjyang, Pati Bhanjyang and many more). At Kathmandu you may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. Alternatively you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. There will also be traditional and handcraft souvenirs available for purchase. Buying handmade jewellery, painted masks and puppets, prayer wheels, handwoven bags and tapestries all helps to support small vendors and their craft.
We spend 3 nights in standard hotels and the remaining nights in locally owned teahouses throughout the trek. Often the teahouses are owned by families who have lived in the Langtang region all their lives. This is an easy way to make sure a decent portion of the trip cost and the money we spend on meals in the teahouses goes directly back to the community.
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