As I mentioned previously, the Tamang Heritage Trail is a fairly new trek, having only opened up to trekkers a few years ago.
The heritage trail is all about experiencing the Tamang culture and being immersed in village life. Rather than having tea houses being built as tourist numbers grow, which then create new villages on the popular routes, the Tamang villages on this trek have existed for hundreds of years. Life here is mostly as it was before the trail opened. It also is a means of bringing income and tourist dollars to the region which is largely cut off from amenities due to the isolated nature of the area (there are no roads to villages like Briddim and Thuman, meaning goods have to be carried in by people or horses).
Starting in Syabrubesi we walked clockwise and stayed in Gatlang, Tatopani, Thuman (via Nagthali) and then Briddim before walking to Rimche and joining the busier Langtang route. If time permits you can walk to the Nepali and Tibetan border which is only a few kilometres away, however we heard mixed reviews and decided to give this a miss so we could spend more time Kyanjin Gompa at the end of our Langtang trek.
The Tamang people are incredibly kind, gentle and so colourful in their traditional clothing. We experienced such warm and beautiful hospitality on the trek and in each village which made it an incredibly special experience.
Before we commenced our treks, we thought that out of the two the heritage trail would be the easier. However it turned out to be the reverse! Although not as high in altitude compared to the Langtang trek, the Tamang heritage trail is compromised of quite steep and long uphill and downhill walking. Other and more experienced trekkers we met along the way also had the same feedback (which made me feel a bit better!), and while not necessarily a hard trek, was an interesting observation. Each day consisted of approximately 3 hours up and then 2-3 hours down (or vice versa), whereas the Langtang trek was a very gradual ascent over a few days. Some days were easier, some days were harder and some days a we saw a bit more then others - each day was different as the landscape changed and we weaved our way through the region.
Another idea we had in our minds before this part of the trek was that we wouldn't see any (or many) mountains until we reached Langtang. We were pleasantly surprised to be accompanied by stunning views of the both the Himal Ganesh and and Langtang mountain ranges as we made our way around the area. It was particularly nice to see another viewpoint of Langtang Lirung before getting a much closer view in Kyanjin Gompa later on.
next: a few more snaps from the Tamang Heritage Trail and then it's on to the Langtang part of our trek.