Diary: Gosainkunda trek through Nepal’s Langtang National Park.
The Gosaikunda trek combines the spectacular hidden valleys of Nepal’s Langtang National Park with the holy lake of Gosainkunda at an altitude of 4.600 meters. After a few days trekking through the rich green vegetation of the Langtang National Park and through the scenic mountains, you will reach the beautiful lake, Gosainkunda. During my backpack trip through Nepal, I decided to do the eight days trek to this amazing area, consisting of 108 (small) lakes. You can either choose to start the trek in Dhunche Village, in Syabru Besi or in Sundarijal in the Kathmandu Valley. I did the last one. Together with a local guide, a Nepalese friend, a Swiss friend and my backpack of 8 kilograms, we set our first step in Sundarijal to our first stop: Chisapani.
Day 1: Sundarijal (1460m) to Chisapani (2200m)
Day 2: Chisapani (2200m)to Gul Bhanjyang (1800m)
Day 3: Gul Bhanjyang (1800m) to Magin goth (3200m)
Day 4: Magin goth (3200m) to Tharepati (3900m)
Day 5: Tharepati (3900m) to Melamchigan (900m)
Day 6: Melamchigan (900m) to Sermathang (2590m)
Day 7: Sermathang (2590m) to Kathmandu
Day 1: Sundarijal to Chisapani
The route from Sundarijal to Chisapani is almost 90% uphill. The first three hours of the hike is like hell, a straight continuous steep uphill path which never looked like ending. During the first part of the hike, we officially enter the National Park. Before the start, my guide arranged the permits and entrance tickets which I needed. For an one-day hike to Chisapani and back to Sundarijal, you can buy your entrance ticket at this entrance. After three hours hiking, we have lunch at a local restaurant and continue our way up. Part of the hike is through a forest, which is very nice. After three more hours, we arrive at Chisapani. There are a couple of hotels and resorts in Chisapani. We overnight in the Hotel Green View & Bamboo Cottage, a simple ‘hotel’. The hotel also has a restaurant where we enjoy the local Nepali dish: Dahl Baht.
Day 2: Chisapani to Gul Bhanjyang
The next day we wake up early for breakfast and continue our way to Gul Bhanjyang. This route will be less uphill and even a few kilometers downhill. It is a nice route. We cross some small villages, see local children playing and goats are walking next to the roads. After seven hours walking, we arrive at Gul Bhanjyang. Unfortunately, because of the earthquake, all the hotels are destroyed. A local family offer a few rooms of their house to us and spoil us with a hot meal. We all had a separate room, but unfortunately no electricity, toilet and shower.
Day 3: Gul Bhanjyang to Magin goth
Today we have an uphill route again. We start from Gul Bhanjyang (1800 meters) to Magin Goth (3285 meters). After facing rain, snow and thunder during our way up, we decide to overnight in the Hotel Green View and Lodge in Magin Goth. It is pretty cold, what we did not expected. There is pretty much snow everywhere and it is around -10 degrees outside AND inside the hotel. Around a fire kiln in the restaurant, we try to keep ourselves warm. After three days, I finally get the chance to wash myself with the ‘hot bucket shower’, a bucket filled with warm water. After playing some games together, we all go to bed early and try to get some sleep.
Day 4: Magin goth to Tharepati
Luckily, the bad weather of yesterday disappeared and turned into a sunny, but cold morning. The hotel where we slept, is located on a hill, so we have an amazing morning view over the Himalayas. Today, we go a little bit higher. After five hours walking over the beautiful snow covered mountains, we face bad weather again and decide to shelter in a restaurant in Tharepati. Luckily, they have a shed with some beds where we can overnight. There is a kiln in the shed, so the entire night we stoke up the fire to keep warm.
Day 5: Tharepati to Melamchigan
The view is again amazing when we wake up. The clouds are gone and we can enjoy the sunrise over the Himalayas. After taking plenty of pictures, we have to make a big decision. Will we continue our way to Gosaikunda and face the unpredictable and tuff weather conditions or will we go for safety and return via a different way back to Kathmandu. We decide to do the last option. We walk down through forests to a more pleasant temperature. At the end of the walk down, we come across a ravine and cross the river via a suspension bridge. Then, we arrive in Malamchigaon at an altitude of 900 meters and overnight in a tent.
Day 6: Melamchigan to Sermathang
From Melamchigan the trail drops over a ridge, but soon starts climbing up again through deep forests. We continue our way passing the large gompa at Chumnik and continue to the village of Sermathang. Sermathang is located at an altitude of 2590 meters and is around 40 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Unfortunately, this village is also hit hard by the earthquake of last year. We cannot find any hotel and have to sleep in tents again. After dinner at a local family, we watch the sunset and go to bed.
Day 7: Sermathang to Kathmandu
The next day we decide to visit the Palri Padma Odsal Ling in Sermathang. This stupa is on a walking distance of one hour from Sermathang. This temple is really nice and offers an amazing view on the Himalayas. After taking some pictures we walk back to Sermathang and wait for our jeep that will bring us back to Kathmandu. After a four hours bumpy ride, we are back in Kathmandu and cannot wait till we arrive in our hotel in order to enjoy a hot shower, mobile connection and electricity after seven days.
I hope you liked to read about my personal first trekking experience in Nepal. Would you like to go trekking to Nepal or do you have any trekking experience in Nepal you want to share with me? Let me know in the comment section!
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