The Tamang Heritage Trail is a route very special to Umbrella’s heart. Located between Langtang and the Ganesh Himal, this trek takes you through a culturally rich region steeped in Tibetan tradition. The local Tamang people have their own unique language, dress and customs and they are some of the warmest and most welcoming people in Nepal.
“…Tamang rituals, Tibetan culture, festivals, traditional architecture and costumes” Umbrella has a close relationship with the area as we have reintegrated many children from our residential childcare homes to their home villages along the Tamang Heritage trail. The children were previously moved from these villages but we have been recently working hard to reintegrate them back into their home communities and culture.
Langtang is often considered to be the third major trekking area of Nepal (after Everest and Annapurna regions) and it shares many of the attractions of those famous areas – beautiful mountain views, a rich culture and good facilities for trekkers.
This Tamang Heritage Trail tour provides a variety of experiences with Tamang rituals, Tibetan culture, festivals, traditional architecture and costumes ensuring you gain an intimate insight into the local culture.
You can enjoy a hot bath in the healing hot-water spring at Tatopani before reaching Nagthali and the ancient monasteries and houses adorned with rich wood engravings at Thuman provide an unforgettable experience.
There are spectacular views of the Langtang Himalaya on offer, opportunities for intercultural exchange with the local Tamang people and also a chance to see Umbrella’s work in the communities first hand – not to be missed!
Day 0 – Arrival in Nepal
It is strongly advised that you arrive in Nepal at least 1 full day before the intended start date of your trek. This will give you the opportunity to allow for any jetlag and to obtain any additional items you may require in the numerous trekking and climbing supply shops in Kathmandu.
An airport pick up and hotel on arrival can be arranged easily for you if you wish and we will be on hand to assist you in picking up any items you need or want and to arrange tours of Kathmandu’s numerous cultural sites.
Day 1 – Drive from Kathmandu to Shyphru Besi - 1467m
From Kathmandu we take a bus for 8 hours on paved roads past Dhunche, the headquarters of Rasuwa district, to the town of Shyphru Besi, the starting point of our trek. The bus trip offers up some exciting and breathtaking sights of the mountains on one side of the road and steep inclines on the other. The district of Rasuwa is thickly populated by the local community of Tamangs, an ethnic group whose origin can be traced back to Tibet. Shyphru Besi is the perfect starting point from which to head off on our trek into the surrounding Tamang villages.
Day 2 - To Gatlang (The Umbrella Foundation’s supported Village) – 2238m
After breakfast we will begin our ascent of the steep mountainside up from Shyphru Besi to Gatlang. You will be able to look into the parallel village of Thulo Shyphru on the other side of the valley before rising further and obtaining views of the mountains far into neighbouring Tibet. We will pass through the village of Goljung before reaching Gatlang after about 5-6 hours of trekking.
Gatlang, a cluster of a few hundred houses perched on the side of the mountain among terraced fields and ancient stone Buddhist stupa, provides a striking site from afar and as we approach we will see the distinct wooden huts that serve as homes and the beautiful local wood and stone craftsmanship. Time permitting we can visit a local mountain viewing spot and yak cheese factory as well as the community’s Buddhist monastery.
You will overnight at a local homestay run by a teacher from the local school where you will learn to cook local foods over an open fire with the homestay couple and their young children.
The Umbrella Foundation have been supporting the local schools in Shyphru Besi, Goljung and Gatlang for the past few years in the form of international volunteers, teacher training workshops and the provisions of education, sanitation and infrastructure facilities to the communities.
For more details please visit The Umbrella Foundation’s Community Support details page.
Day 3 - Gatlang to Tatopani – 2607m
Rising early we will be treated to spectacular views of the Langtang range and Ganesh Himal. With your homestay couple as guides, you can take time to explore the Gatlang village some more with its intricate and tight stone lane ways, open irrigation and sanitation system and numerous stone Buddhist stupas. You can observe the indigenous skills and crafts, visit the local women’s carpet making factory and learn about the unique local dresses and hats worn by all, from the oldest members down to the youngest.
Leaving Gatlang, we will trek down the mountainside to the river at the bottom of the valley before traversing back up through a gap in the opposite mountainside to the village of Tatopani after about 6 hours. Tatopani, which means ‘Hot Water’ in Nepal, is home to large natural hot springs. Local legend has it that a dip in these hot springs will relieve you of aches and pains so make sure to bring your bathing suit so that you can enjoy these soothing hot springs in the lap of the Himalayas!
Day 4 - Tatopani to Thuman – 2338m
After breakfast we will trek onwards to the small village of Thuman through the local mountainside. We may encounter local monkeys and deer along the trail and we will be treated to a panoramic view of Langtang, Kerung, Ganesh Himal, Sanjen ranges. We will also pass through the village of Nagthali, which used to be a popular meditation centre for the local monks and priests.
After about 4 hours we will reach the village of Thuman, which is popular for its Shamanic performances and beautiful views of Langtang, which can be seen from every house in the village. Once again we will stay over night in a local homestay where you can learn more about the area’s customs and culture from local Tamang residents.
Day 5 - Thuman to Timure – 1762m
Heading off from Thuman we will be able to view far into nearby Tibet as we are just a 1-hour walk from the border. We will visit the historical Rasuwagadi and experience Tibeto-Burman Tamang culture in two villages along the way. Descending the mountainside once more to the river and trail along the valley floor we will visit the close by border with Tibet. Timure is located an old trading route and an old stone fort serves as a reminder of the Nepal-Tibetan relationship that has existed for many centuries.
There is just a single width suspension bridge linking Nepal with Tibet currently but construction is under way nearby on a much larger link road, which may change this area forever. After about 5 hours we will reach our guesthouse at Timure where we will rest for the night.
Day 6 - Timure to Briddim – 2229m
Taking the trail up from Timure again on the other side of the valley we will navigate tight mountain paths up to the villages of Lingling and Briddim. Briddim is a tiny village perched in the bosom of Langtang Himal with only 40 or so houses made of local stone with roofs of split slate.
The local Tamang people are direct descendants of ancient Tibetan immigrants and their cultures and traditions, while somewhat different in nature closely resemble those in nearby Tibetan villages. In Briddim you will overnight in a homestay with a local family where you can learn more about their life in the shadows of the Himalayas.
Day 7 - Briddim to Shyphru Besi – 1467m
Today we will gently descend through smaller mountain villages where men, women and children work in terraced fields with snow capped mountains providing a magnificent backdrop. We will pass through the village of Wangel as we make the 3-hour trip back to Shyphru Besi.
In Shyphru Besi we will overnight at a guesthouse where you can enjoy a hot shower, good food and take a well deserved rest after your trek.
Day 8 - Shyphru Besi to Kathmandu
After breakfast we will leave Langtang and the Tamang people behind for now as we catch a return bus to Kathmandu, where you will transfer to your hotel or guesthouse.
Langtang National Park
Lantang National Park is located 5-8 hours north of the Kathmandu valley and encompasses some of the worlds highest mountains, including Lantang (7227m) and the majestic Gosainkunda lake (4380m). Trekking days are normally 6-7 hours long and range from a mid to high level of difficulty, depending on that day’s terrain and altitude.
Level of Difficulty
The highest point on this trek is 3780m (4770m if you climb Kyangjin Ri) and while it ultimately depends on the participant’s level of fitness and determination, the trekking can become strenuous at some points as we gain elevation. However, anybody with some reasonable level of physical and mental fitness can enjoy this trek.
Travel to and from Trek
The bus to Langtang takes about 8 hours and follows the road that winds its way up north of Kathmandu to the Tibetan border. You can choose to rent a private jeep for an additional cost instead, which can cut the travel time to 5 hours.
Food and accommodation
Guest Lodges, sometimes called Teahouses, along the way provide good accommodation and a considerable choice of well-prepared meals. However, it is advisable to bring your own sleeping bag, as during the high season, bedding can be in short supply and it can get very cold at the higher altitudes.
Best time to Trek?
March to May is one of the best times to trek with lots of flowers in bloom, especially rhododendrons in the mountains. While the sky may not be crystal clear as during the autumn months, it is the second busiest season for trekking and mountaineering.
June to August are wet but the mountains and hills are covered with lush, full green forests and vegetation. The daily cloud coverage means that mountain views are not guaranteed but as very few people travel during this time it can present the perfect opportunity for people to explore the trails and nature in quiet.
September to November are the busiest trekking months due to predictable weather and mostly clear skies. The mountain views are spectacular but the most popular trails can become quite busy.
The winter months of December to February are good to trek due to the clean skies and the reduced number of trekkers. However, you should be prepared for cold temperatures.
Safety on the trail and Acclimatisation
Our guides are trained in First Aid and have significant experience in trekking this and many other routes throughout Nepal. Safety is our foremost priority and our staff will be available for any issues, and alert to any symptoms of illness, that may come up.
Altitude problems, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), can be life threatening and can occur at any point above 3000m. Our trip itinerary has been designed specifically to allow you to have enough time to acclimatise to the altitude as our height increases. Our guides are very experienced and will act in accordance with the seriousness of any mountain sickness suffered. The easiest and best remedy for AMS is to descend quickly, so never ignore the symptoms and please talk to your guide or leader if you feel unwell. They are trained to manage the logistics and assess the situation continually to make sure that you have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.
For more information on the trip and on trekking in Nepal, please visit out FAQ section.
Trek Cost: $900 / person USD
This is based on a twin sharing basis for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 people.
- An experienced, English-speaking trek leader/guide
- Porter service and support staff for above 4 person
- TIMS trekking permit and national park fees
- Tourist bus/shared jeep transportation: Kathmandu – Langtang – Kathmandu
- Staffs food, wages, accommodation and insurance coverage
- 3 meals a day and accommodation in local lodges along the trail
DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Hotel in Kathmandu
- Airport transportation, visa, international or international flights, airport tax
- Bottled and hard drinks
- Meals in Kathmandu
- Your travel insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Costs incurred due to any unforeseen events
- Emergency evacuation and rerouting
An insight into rural Nepali culture – Tamang Heritage Trail
Our poorly planned trip was a total disaster from the get-go. We arrived mid-monsoon season with no baggage (the airport lost it) and were utterly unprepared for a hike.
Thankfully, Umbrella Trekking Nepal put us in touch with their trekking partner, Nature Treks and from that moment we were in safe hands. An itinerary was tailored for us and after getting the appropriate gear needed, we set off for our 8-days Tamang Heritage trail.
Throughout the trek, we received wonderful hospitality and first hand insight into rural Nepali culture against the backdrop of the spectacular Himalayan mountains. Bijay, Yaim and Nishan, our guides and porters, kept us safe from landslides and blood sucking leeches, while educating us on Nepali wildlife throughout the adventurous trek. We would like to thank Umbrella Trekking Nepal and Nature Treks for an amazing experience, which was in no small part due to our knowledgeable and most importantly, hilarious guides.
Amazing time on the Tamang Heritage TrailAmazing time on the Tamang Heritage Trail with the guys from Nature-Treks & the Umbrella Foundation! Cheers for the recommendation Eadaoin, Mac & Mikey Reidy