Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Kathmandu 1400m to Syabrubesi 1503m to Pairo 1800m (Landslide)
I was at the Macha Pokhari bus area in Kathamandu by 6:30am.
There did not seem to be any Jeeps at the Jeep counter, so I went directly to the bus ticket wicket. Very quickly I had in hand an assigned seat on the next Super Express for $5.
My assigned seat was the most cramped on the rig! Tight even for a Nepali.
Happily, one of the guides offered to swap my seat for his … beside a gruff, old German client.
Super Express was not bad. Far better and smaller than most Asian buses.
The bus did fill. With people. Luggage. And radish.
It would end up taking 7.5hrs total to Syabrubesi. Not too bad for Nepal.
We had a terrific driver. Very skilled. Very careful.
Though a Nepali bus (killing tourists) had crashed just a few days before, our cliff edges were never scary close.
The rear view mirror may have been nudged a time or two.
Only one landslide delayed our upward progress.
I skipped breakfast. Ate only a few Digestive Biscuits at lunch. In my experience, it’s better to ride Himalayan buses on an empty stomach. With an empty bladder.
Instead of lunch, I wandered the stopover town.
Sections of the journey were pretty.
My only one reservation with the driver were times when he and another bus driver played music back and forth using horn and noisy brakes. (VIDEO)
Three times en route we disembarked at checkpoints. The first only looked at our TIMS card. The next two required both TIMS and our Langtang National Park permit.
I had paid for both in Kathmandu, but some on the bus were missing one or both. Happily, you could purchase them at the checkpoints.
We disembarked Syabrubesi 1300m at 3:30pm.
I had late “breakfast” and enjoyed free wifi before starting up the trail. Very late in the afternoon.
Everyone else spent the night in town. I was rushed to get high.
I walked about 90 minutes up to Pairo (Landslide or Hotsprings).
Good marketing is calling your lodge Hotsprings. Bad marketing is calling your lodge Landslide. 🙂
Great lodge. I had fun my first night chatting with a Brit and his Guide who were boozing, celebrating the end of his adventure. Sadly, the hotsprings were not available as a bridge had washed out. It was supposed to be repaired by the time I came back down trail in a week.
see all my high res photos from this day
Heading up trail towards Pairo is by far the most popular start to the Langtang trek. More scenic, but longer and tougher, is starting towards Khangjim 2235m instead. The mantra is “slowly, slowly” on the way up. Walking via Khangjim is slower, better for acclimatization for altitude. I should have gone that route.