Taking a cue from these words by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, we have set out on a Mindfulness Journey. As per his advice we will be walking in the pristine and the tranquil trails in the Himalayas through the Langtang Valley in Nepal.
The Langtang Valley Trek begins, and ends at Syabrubesi. Trekkers will travel in Helicopter Charter Flight from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi and on the way back will travel by deluxe air-conditioned bus or private vehicle from Syabrubesi return to Kathmandu.
At an amazing altitude of 3,830 m/12,565 ft, the Langtang Valley is famous for its colorful spring flowers, shy red panda and Kyanjin Gumba, Langtang Lirung Dorje Lakpa and Langshisha Ri. A two-day trek through the dense plains of Langtang River, Rhododendron and Pine Forest to Langtang Village welcomes tourists carrying Tibetan prayer flags. The main inhabitants of Langtang is mostly of Tamang caste.
An important spiritual site is the Kyanjin Gumba, which is also a Buddhist monastery. Travers reach the active glaciers from the lower Himalayas to the higher Himalayas in a few days and there are many attractive places for a day trip and the most liked spot of tourists is Tserko Ri (4,984 m/16,352 ft).
The village of Langtang was completely destroyed by a massive avalanche after the April 2015 earthquake. Since the area has been resurrected and the locals have now returned to rebuild their homeland, rebuild their homes and rehabilitate their farms.
The Langtang Retreat is the perfect blend of Plum Village Mindfulness and Meditation practices along with Trekking experience in the Himalayas.
This is made possible as the Practice, Meditation and Walks are led by the Plum Village Monastics while all the logistics of travel, transportation, lodging and meals are managed by the professionals of Rustik Travels. This Plum Village retreat was made possible by the close partnership between the monastics and the hiking enthusiasts of Rustik.
Throughout the journey you will experience a casual, light hearted environment focused on enjoying the present moment, practice meditations while simultaneously challenging yourself with moderately hard hiking in the Himalayas. Both the leaders from Plum Village and guides from Rustik will provide necessary support to make this a special and memorable experience that is safe, adventurous and deeply meaningful.
Most of the details below focus on the trek and transitions aspect of the retreat. The main part of the meditations begin once we arrive in Syabrubesi and begin the trek. The PV monastics will guide you through the practices, the intentions with which you walk and the routines that we will follow everyday. This will include - morning meditations, all meals in silence for the first 10 minutes, walking together as a group in silence and dharma sharing in the evenings.
Day 1: 25th Mar ’23, Sat: Kathmandu - Arrive at Any Time
A personal representative from Rustik Travels will greet you at the airport and provide private transportation to the fantastic Kathmandu Guest House. When you arrive at the airport - pick up your luggage and look for a representative with a Rustik Travel placard.
You will be notified of group briefing times by a representative. In the meeting we will discuss the travel plans and services as well as introduce the trek guide. Your goal on the first day is to rest up from the trip, soak in a little Kathmandu and perhaps enjoy some Chai and a delicious meal at the Guest house. Kathmandu Guest house is an iconic oasis in the middle of crazy Kathmandu but it's super comfortable, very clean and really top notch in its services.
If you arrive during the day time and are not jet lagged - please take the opportunity to meet with the monastics (the Rustik representative will provide you with the time and place for the meetings).
Day 2: 26th Mar ’23, Sun: H/D Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu and Overnight in Kathmandu
This day is to spend time in Kathmandu, meet the group, get introduced to the monastics, get briefed on the trip and also pick up any trekking items that you may have left behind or just realize you need :).
After breakfast, we will visit the following places with a cultural tour guide such as Bouddhanath and Kathmandu Durbar Square. After the sightseeing, we will meet you at the hotel and start the journey briefing in the hotel lobby. This meeting will be led by the monastics and the trekking guide. Each of them will give you all the details about all the activities, routines and expectations throughout the rest of the retreat. We will have our first group meditation here as well. Stay overnight at Kathmandu Guest House in Kathmandu.
Two historically important and spiritually significant places to visit in Kathmandu are Bouddhanath and Durbar Square. We will visit both.
It is the largest stupa in the world located about 2 km north of the Pashupatinath temple. This huge stupa is known by the name of Bouddhanath, the God of wisdom. It is difficult to date it, as it is believed to have been built in the 7th century during the reign of Shiva Dev or Anshu Varma. Bouddhanath attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. Entry fee is to be paid at the gate as applicable.
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kathmandu is both the capital of Nepal and the country's largest city. Some of the interesting places in the city include Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kal-Bhairav, Kumari-Devi, and Basantapur. Apart from this, Narayanhiti Palace Museum and Garden of Dreams are also tourist attractions. Entry fee is to be paid at the gate as applicable.
Day 3: 27th Mar ’23, Mon: Kathmandu – Syabrubesi (1,503 m/4,931 ft) by Helicopter: 30 min flight time
We depart Kathmandu early to Syabrubesi by Helicopter.
By road it takes 7 hours and while we won’t be driving this on the way there, we will be driving on the way back. The road to start the Langtang trek goes through the Kathmandu Valley, the road climbs the cliffs and offers panoramic views of the Annapurna Himalayas to the west, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and the Langtang peaks ahead. We travel through the bustling town of Trishuli before heading towards Dhunche and Langtang National Park. After Dhunche town it is another an hour to Syabrubesi and your lodge for the night. The road passes over several bridges and finally crosses the Langtang River Bridge to enter Syabrubesi. Thankfully - this time you flew there.
You will check into the hotel on arrival in Syabrubesi. After an hour of free time you will meet for a group meditation and teaching session and the monastics will help set the intentions for the journey. The trek guide will also discuss the activities for this evening and the schedule for tomorrow. Stay overnight at Trekkers Inn in Syabrubesi.
Day 4: 28th Mar ’23, Tue: Trekking – Khangjim (2,280 m/7,480 ft) and visit Briddhim in the afternoon: 7 hrs trek
After breakfast at the lodge we start the trek. Before we start each day - there will be a group intention of the day shared by one of the monastics. After a short session we start our walk in Silence. First, we will cross the Bhote Koshi River to Khangjim Village (2,280m/7,480 ft). This is the alternative, most beautiful and safe hiking route. It takes about 3 hours to reach Khangjim from Syabrubesi. Also explore the village and the lifestyle of the people. After lunch at Khangjim, we will start the tour to Briddhim which takes about 2.5 hours to reach there and return to Khangjim takes about 1.5 hour. The way to Briddhim is mostly plain land. Stay overnight at Surka Viewpoint lodge in Surka/Khangjim.
Day 5: 29th Mar ’23, Wed: Trekking – Lama Hotel (2,480 m/8,137 ft): 5 hrs trek
After breakfast at the lodge and proceed to start the trek. From Khangjim, the trekking route reaches a higher altitude and one can enjoy the white view of Gosaikunda, Ganesh Himal range. We will pass through beautiful Sherpagaon (2,563 m/8,409 ft) to reach Lama Hotel. After lunch at Sherpagaon we continue our trek to Lama Hotel and the trekking path is uphill and downhill. Khangjim to Lama Hotel takes about 5 hours for trek. Stay overnight at the Original Lama Guest House in Lama Hotel.
Day 6: 30th Mar ’23, Thu: Trekking – Thyangsyap (3,140 m/10,302 ft): 5½ hrs trek
After breakfast at the lodge and proceed to start the trek. The first walking trail leads through the forest and landslide area to the new bridge and then follows the safe alternative trail on the east side of the Langtang River. Langtang Lirung (7,227 m/23,711 ft) with a scenic walk continues through the forest. Lama Hotel to Thyangsyap takes about 5½ hours for trek. Stay overnight at the Buddha Guest House in Thyangsyap.
Day 7: 31st Mar ’23, Fri: Trekking – Kyanjin (3,830 m/12,566 ft) and Explore Kyanjin Ri (4,400 m/14,436 ft): 4½ hrs trek
After breakfast at the lodge, proceed to start the trek. Today we can see the natural disaster of Langtang village during our Kyanjin trek. After reaching Mundu village we can see the amazing view of Tsergo Ri (4,984 m/16,352 ft) and we will leave the forest area from here. A little further from here at Kyanjin Pass, we can see many traditional Tibetan gem walls, chortens, pastures, junipers, bushes and monasteries (old gompas). During our trek today you can enjoy the valley view and amazing views of Langtang Lirung on the way to Kyanjin. Kyanjin is known as the last place in this valley where we spend the night and it is the last but also the main destination of this trek. The valley is surrounded by Himalayan scenery. After lunch, if you want to hike, you can also explore Kyanjin Ri (4,400 m/14,436 ft) in the afternoon. Thyangsyap to Kyanjin Gumba takes about 4½ hours for trek. Stay overnight at the Namaste Guest House in Kyanjin.
Day 8: 1st Apr ’23, Sat: Stay in Kyanjin or Spend a full day exploring Tserko Ri (4,984 m/16,352 ft): 8½ hrs trek
Today we are in Kyanjin and it is the sixth day of the Langtang Valley Trek in Nepal. This day is designed as a rest day to explore the main destination of this trek, the life of the Himalayan people and the nature of the Himalayas. We will take a break from trekking and relax our stiff muscles. Kyanjin Gumba offers panoramic views of Langtang Lirung, Ganja La and many other mountains. Cheese factories, Buddhist monasteries, and Tserko Ri (4,984 m/16,352 ft) are other sites are also interesting to visit in Kyanjin. For physically fit people, we often recommend the Tserko Ri hike, which gives you a stunning view of the mountains and when you are at the top of Tserko Ri, the incredible mountains will surround you. The walk from Kyanjin to Tserko Ri and back to Kyanjin takes a total of 8½ hours. Stay overnight at the Namaste Guest House in Kyanjin.
Day 9: 2nd Apr ’23, Sun: Trekking – Lama Hotel (2,480 m/8,137 ft): 6 hrs trek
After breakfast at the lodge, start the trek to Lama Hotel. As there is no alternative trekking route back to Lama Hotel, we will follow the same route to Lama Hotel. Most of the trek goes downhill through the villages of Mundu, Langtang Thyangsyap, and Ghoda Tabela. On the way we can again enjoy the scenery of mountains, Tibetan stone walls, pastures and rhododendrons. Kyanjin to Lama Hotel takes about 6 hours for trek. Stay overnight at the Original Lama Guest House in Lama Hotel.
Day 10: 3rd Apr ’23, Mon: Trekking – Syabrubesi (1,503 m/4,931 ft): 5 hrs trek
The Langtang Valley trek ends at Syabrubesi. It is the gateway to Langtang National Park, Tamang Heritage Trek and Gosaikunda Lake Trek. The distance between Lama Hotel and Syabrubesi is about 11.5 km. Explore the vibrant culture and lifestyle of local Tamangs influenced by Tibetan culture and lifestyle. The trail passes waterfalls and scenic views of the beautiful Langtang River and rhododendron forest. Walk downhill from Lama Hotel to the banks of the Langtang River. We walk downhill to Pairo Lodge then climb to the banks of the Rimche River at Syabrubesi. Lama Hotel to Syabrubesi takes about 5 hours for trek. Stay overnight at Trekkers Inn in Syabrubesi.
Day 11: 4th Apr ’23, Tue: Drive Syabrubesi – Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,593 ft) by private vehicle: 7 hrs drive
After breakfast we leave Syabrubesi early for Kathmandu. It is a long journey, which takes about seven hours to reach Kathmandu. Leaving Syabrubesi, we go to Kathmandu through the bustling city of Trishuli.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel and check in at the hotel. Spend the day at leisure or do some last minute shopping or explore any places you may have missed on your first two days in Kathmandu. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner together at a typical Nepali restaurant where you can also experience a live Nepali folk dance performance. Stay overnight at Kathmandu Guest House in Kathmandu.
Day 12: 5th Apr ’23, Wed: Kathmandu – Depart at Any Time
Breakfast at the hotel and free day. Transfer to the airport to return home three hours before your actual flight departure time. You can extend the trip as per your wish and available time.
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