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The road goes ever on and on Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So...Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

Gosaikunda Monsoon Trekking

NEPAL | Friday, 8 August 2008 | Views [4576] | Comments [4]

Leeches and rain, that is what everyone says about monsoon trekking. But being just a little crazy I decided to give it a go anyway, it couldnt be all that bad.. So my trusty trekking partner Ashok and I set off for Gosaikunda (this time with a map...).

The trek was a little marred by my getting sick twice, but overall it was good. Here is a bit of a day by day blow of what happened...

Day 1 – Bus from Kathmandu to Dunche (1950 m)
No story about Nepal would be complete without a crazy bus journey. This journey was about 8 hours all together on the roof. The road was a winding mountain trail fraught with landsides, that at somepoints where so bad we had to get off the bus and walk across the landside while the bus followed passengerless. Finally the bus got to a point where it couldnt continue at all and we had to walk about 10 minutes up the road to some waiting lorries – yes lorries, we travelled the rest of the way like cattle, wet cattle as it also started to rain at this point.

Dunche is a lovely clean Tamang town, the Tamangs being the ethnic group that inhabit the area. The guest house is cheap even with a private bathroom, the food however is expensive and this continues to be the case for the rest of the trek.

Day 2 and 3 – Dunche...

Well I didnt feel so well overnight or in the morning, but I thought if I just started walking it would wear off. It didnt, and it was clear about an hour into the trek that I wouldnt be able to go very far this day, particularly as the first day of the trek sore us climb more than 1200m. So we turned back to Dunche, and I got worse by the minute, I couldnt even walk the whole way back, I got a lift from a passing motorcycle once we got back to the road. It was not a good day, fortunately I had some medicine with me and was feeling a lot better the next day, which I spent recovering in Dunche.

Day 4 – Dunche – Sing Gompa (3350m)

Finally to the trekking! It was a beautiful clear day! The entire day was uphill but the scenery was beautiful, jungle and pine forest. It was even clear enough to get a view of the Langtang himal, which is unusual for this time of year. I felt like the slowest walker in the world, but 5 and ½ hours later we where at Sing Gompa, dry and with no leech bites, not to bad an effort considering how sick I was 2 days earlier.

We where the only guests at the guest house, which was the case nearly everywhere – this is the off season. The advantage of this is that you get to know your host a lot better and get a lot more attention from them. Sing Gompa is a small village consisting of a monastery and a yak cheese factory. I also discovered the yak-cow here (which is exactly what it sounds like it is). It basically looks like a REALLY big cow.

Day 5 – Sing Gompa – Lauribinyak (3900m)

The walking was quite easy today Nepali flat* in most places and even real flat at times! Towards Lauribinyak the trail started to rise out of the jungle above the treeline and the flora got more scrub like. We where walking in the clouds for a lot of the day. Only 3 and ½ hours walking, still no rain and no leeches! Lauribinyak is just a couple of tea houses. The highlight of the Hotel Mount Rest is definitely the deep fried yak cheese balls! I would walk back there just for them. The tea house was also quite full, a couple of european botanists on a research trip and a lot of local porters bringing up supplies for the upcoming festival at Gosaikunda.

Day 6 – Lauribinyak – Gosaikunda(4380m)

It was a relatively easy 2 hour walk from Lauribinyak to Gosaikunda and the lake is indeed spectacular. The flora quickly changed as we where walking up to smaller and smaller scrub and flowers. At Gosaikunda plants are starting to dissapear completely into the rocky mountain terrain.

There are no other tourists at Gosaikunda but the guest house is full of locals building temporary shelters and restuarants for the upcoming festival in which around 10000 pilgrims will pass through here over a 2 week period, as this is a holy site for hindus.

A special mention should be made of the Lakeside teahouse at Gosaikunda, the food here was incredible, considering the limited ingredients the cook has to work with, she was a master chef. The evening was incredibly pleasent, the men played there Tamang guitars, and danced and the women spun wool by hand, all sitting around the big pot belly stove.

Day 7 – Gosaikunda

Everything was just so nice we decided to spend an extra day here enjoying the lake. The day was spent walking around the lake and relaxing.

Day 8 – Gosaikunda – Ghopte (3430m)

This days trekking took us first over the Laurabina pass at 4600m the highest point of the trek. From there it was down down down to Phedi, passing several cow-yak farms along the way. Although it was down, the trail was rocky and uneven, so not really that easy walking.

From Phedi to Ghopte was up and down ravines, up a hill, down a hill... with each valley punctuated by a water obstacle, some easier to cross than others. It also rained while we where walking for the first time, we had been lucky so far, but not today. It was also during the evening at Ghopte that I realised my throat was really sore. I also discovered several leeches inside my shoe, but unable to get to my feet! Leeches 0 – Me 3

Day 9 – Ghopte – Mangengoth (3500m)

Well today I am not feeling so well, and as a result I really am the slowest walker in the world. We where supposed to walk to Kutumsang today, but due to my very slow walking and increasing breathing difficulties we only got as far as Mangengoth. Where I spent most of the time in bed.

Day 10 – Mangengoth – Kutumsang (2500m)

I really shouldnt have walked today, but there was a health post in Kutumsang, and I now had a chest infection which wasnt going to go away without medicine, so I walked, in more rain, very, very slowly down the mountain.

The path wasnt so much a path as a piece of the jungle where the water had cut through and you could kind of walk, it was really just a stream of uneven rocks, which often resembled more a waterfall than a path. Team this with sore legs, rain and my first leech and I was not a happy Heidi today. But I made it to the health post where there was an actual doctor who gave me medicine, all for only 40 ruppees (less than $1). Medicine is so cheap here, but unfortunately still unaffordable to so many nepalis.

Day 11 – Kutumsang


Day 12 – Kutumsang to Kathmandu!

Well unfortunately due to my illness we cut the trek abit short, We where supposed to continue walking to Sunderijal which was 2 more days away (3 the way I was walking), and if it rained I was only going to get sicker. Fortuntately there was a road within 3 hours walk, however it was a hard to follow local trail so we had to hire a guide. Another long bus ride ensued and I was back in Kathmandu.

So monsoon trekking in summary was not as bad as the guide books made it out to be. Yes there where leeches, but not so many as you are overwhelmed by them and nearly every time you get them on your shoe before they get to your leg. Yes, it was also a bit wet at times, but not unbearably so. You have the trail all to yourself most of the time and get a real feeling of being alone with nature.

Unfortunately getting sick did make the whole experience a little less great for me, but Gosaikunda is definitely worth seeing!

*Nepali flat – little bit up, little bit down

Tags: gosaikunda, illness, lang tang, nepal, trekking



Hey i am planing a Treak to Gosaikunda on
24 Aug for 7-8 days fromSundarijal and i would really appericiate if you could inform us about the things we must to carry with us and tips dat keep us safe during treak.And could you plz provide us information about Lodeging and fooding there.

  Bikash Shrestha Aug 5, 2010 3:59 PM


hey this is me manoj would like to have some general information about to go gosaikunda by dhunche. Could you please let me advice about this treak?

  Manoj May 31, 2011 5:31 PM


Hi there,
We just went on a trek (June 22-July 1) in rain to Annapurna sanctuary. To deter leeches, some good things to put on your boots:

- rub on tobacco on shoes (can buy at local shops)
- spray mosquito repellent on shoes
- rub on Tiger Balm on exposed skin above socks

We found all three to be pretty effective in deterring leeches (we didn't want to kill them with salt, to it was good enough to keep them off the shoes).

Best of luck!


  Laura Jul 14, 2012 2:31 PM


See http://picasaweb.google.com/gannettm for 130 digitized 35mm photos of "George and Mike in Nepal" where we did the Gosaikunda trek in nine days in late April 1967. There were no tea houses those days, save for Trisuli Bazaar, Ramche and Dunche. Our porter abandoned us the night before we went over the snow-covered pass. This trek was a highlight for sure!

  Michael Gannett Nov 25, 2012 11:36 PM

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