Solo Trek to Langtang Nepal during Covid-19

March 5, 2020. I remember it was Friday, my excitement level was intractable as I was going on my first solo trek to Kyanjing Gompa valley of Langtang Region. Situated only 51 kilometers north of Kathmandu valley, Langtang trek is considered one of the most attractive and famous tourist destinations among international as well as domestic travelers.

I had already made up my mind that besides roaming in the spectacular beauty of the Langtang region, I would get more involved with villagers to know their culture, religion, and their situation during covid-19. As I was traveling solo, I got a chance to know more about the locals and their traditions.

Traveling alone has both pros and cons. I had to be extra careful and take extra precautions as I was aware that trekking alone in the dense forest could be more dangerous especially in the current scenario as there are not many tourists roaming around the trail. 

Langtang-Valley

The day before my trip, I made my backpack ready with some warm clothes, a water bottle, a camera, and dried foods along with some chocolates along the way. My trip finally started on Friday. I woke up early in the morning and went to Machhapokhari to catch my bus. 

The bus started to move towards its destination at around 8 am but I noticed one unusual thing. In the year 2018 when I and my one friend were going to Gosaikunda from the same route the public bus was full with locals as well as tourists and that time we were struggling even to stand in the bus, however, now even the bus seats were not occupied.

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When the bus crossed Langtang National park checkpoint after nearly a four-hour drive from Kathmandu, an officer of the park asked about my destination, and wrote my entry for the record. When I told him I was traveling alone, the officer warned me of possible threats of an animal attack, which actually scared me at that time. After finishing the process to enter the National Park, I again entered the bus which was almost empty with only a few passengers left.

My destination was Syafrubesi however I was the only passenger left on the bus when it reached Dhunche which was almost half-hour far from my actual destination. I could clearly see that they didn’t want to go further, only carrying me so they arranged another bus which was going to my destination Syabrubesi from which I had to start my trek to reach my destination.

Langtang-Valley

On the first day, I was planning to walk for almost three hours and stay after reaching Lama Hotel, however, it started raining so I couldn’t walk that day. I searched for a lodge nearby and stayed there. The owner of the lodge was in her 50s living with her husband and running the lodge. She was surprised to see me as the number of tourists was very few.  

Day 2: I woke up nearly at 4: 45 am and started my journey after having breakfast. After almost a 12 hours walk, I reached Gumba, which is just three hours away from Kyanjin gompa village. 

Day 3: After waking up at around  6 am in morning, I started my journey to Kyanjin Ri. After an almost 1 and half hour walk, I reached Langtang village where I explored for a while after which I started heading towards my actual destination Kyanjin Ri peak. After walking for nearly 6 hours, I reached the peak where I clicked some photos and returned back to the village. I planned to stay my night in Langtang village. 

Day 4: On Day 4, after waking up, i started my journey back to Syabrubesi from where i was supposed to catch the bus to return back to Kathmandu. On the way back, I clicked some good photos as the weather was very clear.

Day 5: On Day five, I returned back to Kathmandu.

The whole trip cost me around Nrs 8000 however, the cost depends on the expenditure you make in the way.  

From my solo trip to Langtang, I found that the people in this place were mostly of Tamang and Tibetan origin, whose culture goes back to hundreds of years. 

The craftsmanship, dress, traditionally-built stone houses, and the beautifully carved wooden porches reflect their rich Himalayan heritage.

Partly protected as Langtang National Park, a visit to the area gives Himalayan nature experience and an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the Tamangs who are predominant inhabitants of the region.

Wheat, maize, potato, soyabean, and millet are their staple food.

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