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Langtang and Helambu

The region north of Kathmandu, is accessible without flights and offers a number of superb mountain treks close to the Tibetan border. After a day in Kathmandu we drive by coach to Dhunche where our trek starts. This journey takes us from the valley through the foothills on the winding road to Trisuli Bazaar and beyond to Dhunche, at times the road is high above the Trisuli Khola (River) and good views of the mountains are possible, the road also switchbacks back and forth up the ridges and on to the higher villages and finally to Dhunche.

Three days of trekking that will take us to the village of Langtang set in a high narrow valley that lies just south of the Tibetan border. The trail winds up and down through Tamang villages and soon enters the Langtang valley with good views to Naya Kangri the 5846m peak far down the valley. A short steep descent through bamboo forests brings us to Syabru (2100m) a pleasant village strung out along a ridge. The trail continues with steep climbs up and down through forests, the habitat of many species of birds and mammals, to Changtang (238Om). A further day along the now widening valley brings us to Langtang (3500m).

After a night in Langtang we move further up the valley to Kyangjin Gompa (3800m) where we plan to spend two nights giving time to explore the hills and ridges at the eastern end of the valley amidst superb mountain scenery, Langtang Lirung, Kyangjin Ri, and Naya Kangri.

We retrace our steps to Syabru, from where we take the trail to the sacred lakes of Gosainkund, first to Sing Gompa and then on the sometimes steep trail to the lakes. Pilgrims visit the lakes to worship and bathe during the full moon festival each August. Leaving Gosainkund we climb to the Laurabina Pass at 4610m the highest point of our trek, from the pass the trail descends and crosses some lower ridges before Gopte. We are now entering Helambu and we trek to Kutumsang, on to Banyang and down to Kathmandu. This last few days of our trek gives some outstanding views ranging from the peaks of the Annapurna in the west to the Everest range in the east. Although not as high as the Khumbu this area offers the trekker variety from forests rich with flora and fauna to peaks as spectacular as any in the Himalayas, a rewarding experience indeed.

Back at our hotel in Thamel you have time to absorb some of the culture, to visit the other ancient kingdoms of the valley, Patan and Bhaktapur, sightseeing and exploring, or just looking for souvenirs to remind you of your Nepalese experience.

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