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Discovering Shangri-La

Posted on: September 3rd, 2011 by Lost Earth Adventures

Read the first of a two part blog, about the incredible trek into the Langtang Valley, Nepal

The cacophony of sound around us was mesmerizing. Locals bartered for fresh fruit and veg, chai wallahs called to passersby, a holy Sadhu sat chanting spiritual verse and mopeds and cycle rickshaws weaved in and out of the human traffic. We were in Thamel in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal getting ready for the next part of our adventure – trekking in the notoriously beautiful and secluded Langtang Valley.

Nepal has long been a destination of mystique and intrigue, commonly described as the last Shangri La, and rightfully so. Home to the earth’s highest peaks from iconic Mt Everest to the sacred Machapuchare (Fish Tail mountain) it is a country every trekker hopes to one day experience.

The majority of trekkers head to the popular hiking destinations of the Annapurna’s in the west of Nepal, or east to the Everest region, starting their journey in the bustling capital, Kathmandu. But I think they are missing out on one the most magical places in the Himalayas, the Langtang Valley!

The Langtang Valley is a lesser-known trekking region, though equally as stunning, located a day’s drive north of Kathmandu. The trekking is diverse, leading from the foothills and the flowering rhododendrons, gaining elevation into the open dramatic landscape of the Himalayas. Culturally the valley is also very similar to Tibetans, which is evident throughout the trek.

As we gathered our belongings onto the jeep, the excitement too was mounting. Though I have had the privilege to trek in the Langtang Valley before, the beauty of this route never fails to impress. I also really enjoy being able to share this experience with other fellow trekkers, just another reason why I love what I do!

The jeep navigated through the busy streets, climbing from the Kathmandu Valley and slicing its way through the foothills. Traffic wanes and tarmac turns to hard dirt track. On clear blue days superb views of Manaslu, Annapurna and Ganesh Himal can be seen. This is definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

Finally we reach the small village of Syrabrubesi. It is the administrative centre for the Langtang Valley and also the beginning point of our trek. Tired from an exhilarating day on the road we retire to our guesthouse for the night, getting ready to begin our trek in the early hours of tomorrow.

Next Week: Part 2 of our Trekking in the Langtang Valley, where you will get to read firsthand about the awe inspiring trek from Syrabrubesi to Kiangin Gompa.

In the meantime you can find out more about our Trek to the Last Shangri La here.

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