The Tamang are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nepal and their matchless hospitality, festivals and fascinating culture make their lands one of the most fascinating to trek through and explore. Originating on the Tibetan Plateau they retain their Tibetan Buddhist faith and traditions and use Tibetan script as well as employing shamans and worshiping Hindu deities.
Venture deep into the Tamang hinterland as you follow the quiet Tamang Heritage Trail through the wilds of Langtang National Park to discover the surprisingly verdant midlands and stay in villages to immerse yourself in Tamang culture and connect with locals.
Did we mention the soaring views of Manaslu Massif, Ganesh, Langtang and Jugal Himal. This trek is perfect for the adventurous and active traveler looking for something different that lies well off the tourist trail.
Drive from Kathmandu to SyabruBesi
Your drive starts from Kathmandu. Climbing out of the Valley, travel along the western edge of Langtang National Park via a bumpy and steep road until you reach Syabru Besi. The village has become a commercial area and it is the starting point for this heritage trail, and other treks into the Langtang Valley and Gosainkunda Lakes.
Trek from Syabru Besi to Ghatlang.
Trekking starts today as, leaving the main street of Syabru Besi you follow a steep path upwards. Soon, the dirt track turns into stone steps and, climbing uphill you will pass through mustard and buckwheat fields. Stop for lunch at Bahun Danda Pass (2100m) then continue to climb towards Tsamkhand Stupa. The route is marked by many Buddhist chorten and mani walls adding colour to an already stunning landscape.
Continue through the Goljung Valley – rewarded with great views of the Ganesh mountain range – to Ghatlang, where you will spend the night.
Ghatlang is a picturesque village where houses have carved wooden shutters and colourful Tibetan decorations. Besides its obvious cultural richness and stunning location, Gatlang also boasts a 100-year-old Tamang monastery and the secret lake, Parvati Kunda. Legend has it that this lake was discovered in ancient times while the King of Gatlang was on his way to find a missing hunting dog. It is now revered by women for its apparent power to increase fertility.
Trek from Ghatlang to Tatopani village.
From Ghatlang, you will trek past some stupas made of grey rock, mani walls and stone pyramids (chorten) with painted mantras until you descend to rejoin the Trisuli river at the bottom of the valley, guiding you towards the Bimthang Khola Valley. Once the valley is narrowed, you will follow a path paved with stone steps and come close to Chilime village. From there, you will start another long and steady ascent with a possible glimpse of the Langtang peak at 7000 meters high and Ganesh Himal along the way. You will cross the Chilime River via a suspension bridge and have a long hike towards Tatopani village. Tatopani in Nepali literally translates into ‘hot water’. But the hot springs in Tatopani are no longer accessible, only empty pools remained after the 2015 earthquake. Now, Tatopani focusses on trekkers, with half of its houses having been turned into lodges.
Trek from Tatopani to Nagthali Ghyang.
Today we will trek uphill via the settlement and gompa of Bimthang (2848m) to the ridge top meadow of Nagthali Ghyang. The route is through an impressive subtropical forest of rhododendrons clinging to the side of the mountain, where vines and moss-covered trees may be filled with troops of grey langur monkeys.
After a gentle climb to Nagthali Ghyang the ridgeline ends atop open grasslands and, all of a sudden, you are surrounded by jaw-dropping views of Langtang Lirung, Kerung, Ganesh Himal and Shishapangma (on the Tibetan side) with the Sanjen Ranges before you. This is the highest village along the trek consisting of only a few houses.
Trek via Nagthali Ghyang to Thuman.
Start the day with an uphill hike to Taruche viewpoint for the clearest valley views. Then from Naghtali Ghyang descend steeply for 820 meters through the forest towards the beautiful village of Thuman.
Thuman is a comparatively large village in the Langtang region where locals largely follow a traditional Buddhist lifestyle with distinct shamanist overtones. Thuman has ancient monasteries and traditional houses with decorated wooden balconies, where you will spend the night – with beautiful views of the mountains from nearly every house.
Damage from the earthquake has mostly been rebuilt according to the traditional architecture and the villages’ narrow lanes invite evening exploration.
Trek from Thuman to Timure
After Thuman you will hike through rhododendron forest and open meadows to another traditional Tamang village – Timure. This route and on to Briddim is part of an ancient trade route to Tibet.
Trek from Timure to Briddim.
From Timure follow the road downstream into the Bhote Koshi River Valley next to a suspension bridge, from where you take the stone path up to Lingling village (1737m). After crossing a pass surrounded by prayer flags, descend steeply into a valley full of waterfalls.
From Lingling, stone steps will take you to Briddim, passing many traditional houses on the way. Briddim is a beautiful Tamang village decorated in colourful Tibetan style featuring some water-driven prayer wheels. Efforts have been undertaken to rebuild damaged structures according to old plans – most of the houses are built of stone.
There are a number of short side trips to mountain viewpoints from here.
Trek from Briddim to Syabru Besi.
From Briddim, it is also possible to hike further into the Langtang Valley and to the Gosainkunda Lakes and Helambu. The first part of the trail to Syabru Besi offers panoramic views and is slightly downhill through the pine and rhododendron forest. The path then broadens and continues gradually downhill as far as Kanjhim. From here it is a short, but steep descent down along the Bhote Koshi river to Syabru Besi.
Drive from SyabruBesi to Kathmandu.
From Syabru Besi drive back to Kathmandu via Dhunche, Ramche & Trishuli Bazaar. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Langtang Himalayas as you drive along.
Best Non-Touristy Tour I’ve Ever Been On