Many people are surprised about Nepal's cultural and scenic diversity. Not only does it feature the highest mountain range on earth, the foothills and lowlands are equally beautiful.TrekkingManaslu offers all of that. Finding a route that lets you experience both of these worlds without meeting too many annoying tourists can be difficult. The Manaslu area in Central Nepal had been opened for tourism relatively recently and has been declared a restricted area. Individual trekkers are not allowed to go there and trekking agencies do not heavily promote the trek.
We start north of Gorkha and follow the BuriGandaki upstream along lush rice fields and pass through small Gurung villages. Rice terraces and yellow rapeseed fields cover the hillsides and wide valleys. Dense forests grow in the deep gorge along the river. Instead of following the standard route to Nupri, we take the narrow exposed trail that goes to Tsum. The valley stretches far into Tibetan territory and offers stunning mountain views.
The Ganesh range and ShringiHimal dominate the scenery with their size, though the Buddhist villages with their great stone carvings, chortens and paintings are equally beautiful. During the tough traverse back to the main trail the mountain scenery becomes even more impressive. The gorge slowly changes into an open valley and settlements become larger and more numerous. The Tibetan villages are surrounded by wide golden barley fields where people are harvesting.
From Lho we have the most stunning views of Manaslu. Full-moon illuminates the pyramid-shaped mountain at night, during sunrise the view of the world's 8th-highest mountain are terrific. Larkya La is the highest point during the trek, 5'220 meters high. It is not only the passage between the two valleys to the east and west, but also stands between the Himalayan range and the Tibetan plateau.
When we join the popular Annapurna Circuit we take the high trail and enjoy the atmosphere in villages and the enchanting scenery. The barren Manang valley features pleasant pine forests that are contrasted by the huge peaks of the Annapurna range. After three weeks of trekking, we attempt to climb Chulu Far East, one of the 'simple' 6'000 meter peaks that can be climbed with limited bureaucracy.
Bad weather and cold temperatures turn the climb into a real challenge. Our effort is rewarded as everbody reaches the summit and gets down safely. The great views during the flight from Hongde to Pokhara evoke memories of the last four weeks - and I wish I were on my next trek already.
Please note: I tried to make the description of the following four weeks as accurate and correct as possible. I received the information from locals, our guides or out of books. Undoubtedly, there will still be some mistakes for which I apologize.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience as exotic panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range peaks sprawls before you. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu.
DAY 02: SIGHTSEEING OF KATHMANDU VALLEY
Kathmandu People Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur are its two major neighboring cities which bear immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous & biggest Hindu shrine PASUPATHINATH, the largest Buddhist stupa in town BOUDHANATH, the 15th century palace of 55 windows and SOYAMBHUNATH. In the evening, a trip orientation meeting will be organized.
DAY 03: DRIVES TO ARUGHAT BAZAAR
We drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway for the first part of the day; we turn of towards to the hill bazaar of Gorkha. After Gorkha the road gets a bit rough but we will reach our destination Arughat Bazaar in approximately seven hours from Kathmandu.
DAY 04: TREKS TO SUNDI KHOLA
On our first day on the trail we head north, following the Buri Gandaki. In the low country rice paddies and picturesque hamlets surround us. After climbing briefly to Kyoropani, we descend once again to the river and our campsite at the confluence with the tributary of Sundi Khola. It is a nice first day not too long, and perhaps we have time for a refreshing swim sometime during the day for it is hot in the low country.
DAY 05: MACHHA KHOLA
The country changes, the broad valley narrows and at times the trail is cut into the steep valley side, which is densely forested. We pass a number of small villages, tucked into the hillside, until we reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Buri Gandaki. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapbesi . We descend once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follow a path, which runs below the steep, craggy valley side. At length, we have to climb up once again on a trail to Machha Khola. We camp outside the village, which has a number of teashops.
DAY 06: JAGAT
TrekkingWe cross the Machha Khola - Fish Stream - and head upstream to the tiny village of Khola Bensi and the hot springs at Tatopani. The valley sides are steeping until they are impassable and the route then switches to the left bank by way of a suspension bridge. The trail is quite exposed and challenging in places. After a short section of forest path we reach the single teahouse at Doban. Above Doban, the Buri Gandaki descends an impressive series of rapids. Beyond this steep section, the river is much more placid, meandering across a broad gravel bed. At Lauri, we recross the river on a suspension bridge, and then climb on a high path to the fields of Jagat, where we camp.
DAY 07 : DENG
After descending a long series of stone steps to the river, we climb a terraced hill to Saguleri, from where we can see the impressive Sringi Himal, 7187m. Crossing the river again, at Gata Khola, the path splits, with the right - hand branch heading off towards the Ganesh Himal. Our route continues upstream, through a gorge section with towering walls. We cross the river three more times in the next two hours to avoid difficult valley sides and then climb up over a further steep spur to reach the village of Deng (four houses), where we camp. Today is a longer day of around 7 hours trekking.
DAY 08: GHAP
The valley is still steep-sided and most impressive. We cross to the village of Lana , and start to see mani stones (prayers etched onto wayside rocks), a sure sign that we are entering a the high country Buddhist regions. After only about four hours we reach our camping place at the village of Ghap, which straddles the river. We have entered the Tibetan areas and the cultural change is obvious, and the climate change is also obvious the trekking is pleasantly cool now, as we start to gain the altitude.
DAY 09: LHO VILLAGES
We gain altitude to take us into alpine territory and increasing mountain views. There are more Mani walls and 3 more crossing of the Buri Gandaki on our route to Namrung, where our special permit is checked. Above this village the valley opens out and there are extensive pastures. Climbing climb gently now, and cross a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers, and reach the Tibetan village of Sho, 3000m. We get our first incredible views of the Manaslu North and then of Manaslu main ahead from Sho. As we continue we come to Lho, a large village at 3150 metres where there is a lovely little monastery and numerous chortens and Manis. Looking back Ganesh I is visible. We camp just outside the village.
DAY 10: SAWA GAON
Leaving the village, we follow the right bank of the river, with views of Peak 29 ahead. As we continue on the main trail, we soon reach the fields of Sama Gaon, 3500m. We camp at Sama Gompa, 20 minutes beyond the village, or Samdo, near the Tibetan border.
DAY 11: REST DAY
Surrounded by mountains in a peaceful forest, we take a rest day to acclimatise and relax. It is a good time to catch up on that book or wash clothes.
DAY 12: LARKYA LODGE (DHARAMSALA)
The once large Buri Gandaki is now merely a stream as we continue to follow its course ever upwards. Everywhere you look is mountains, as spectacular as they get and Manaslu is particularly impressive. After crossing to the East bank of the river, we reach the last permanent settlement in the valley, which is called Sumdu. Above the village we cross the stream, which runs down from the Gya La (Pass), the pass to Tibet , and there is the ruins of another village here known as Larkya Bazaar. Presumably this village thrived on trade with Tibet over the nearby Gya La, a trade that is now much diminished. Nearing the Larkya Glacier, we reach a lodge at 4450m, which has been built to serve the travellers crossing the Larkya La.
DAY 13: TANGBUCHE
After a short climb above the lodge, we reach the ablation valley on the North side of the Larkya Glaciers. There are views of Cho Danda and then of Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across the moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent, which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. Initially, there is a steep descent over snow and then scree, to reach the ablation valley trail to Larcia Kharka. A further hour on a moraine ridge path leads to Tanbuche 3900m in pleasant forest.
DAY 14: EXPLORING FROM TANGBUCHE
The valley system here is huge and well worth exploring - or perhaps you want a rest day?
DAY 15: KARCHE
NEpal trekking VillageBelow us is Bimthang, a broad and level ablation valley with a number of Mani walls and deserted houses. Crossing this high pasture, we descend the valley of the Burdin Khola to the area of the Base Camp for the West side of Manaslu. From a ridge at 4150 metres, we have excellent views of Manaslu to the South East and Annapurna II to the South West. Beyond a bridge over the headwaters of the Dudh Khola, we descend into a rhododendron forests and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land in this valley at Karche, 2785 metres.
DAY 16: DHARAPANI
We climb through terraced fields to the Karche La (Pass), and can see ahead a green and heavily forested valley, dropping down to the distant Marshyangdi river. At Thonje village is our final restricted area check post. Here we cross the Marsyandi River and join the main Annapurna Circuit, and the hoards of trekkers. We stay at or near Dharapani.
DAY 17 : JAGAT
An initially tight gorge briefly opens to Tal, which means lake. The area here as formed when the valley was blocked by a landslide and a dam formed behind. the lake has long gone and now the village of Tal sits on the river flats. Over the nest day and a half we are passing through the main Himalayan range, between Manaslu and the Annapurna range, no wonder it is a steep-sided valley.
DAY 18: BAHUNDADA
Down from Jagat is Syange, where we cross a suspension bridge to the east side of the Marsyandi Khola and onto easier terrain. We have a short but stiff climb to Bahundanda. Then a beautiful descent to Ngadi and Bhulebhule. We are back into rice paddy country again.
DAY 19: BHULEBHULE- BESISHAHAR & KATHMANDU OR POKHARA
Today we have a beautiful descent to Ngadi and Bhulebhule to Basishar a capital city of Lamjung. We are back into rice paddy country again. With barely a hill in the way, this is an easy days walk. We might take the little-known east bank route from Bhulebhule to Besi Sahar. It is approximately seven hours drive to Kathmandu and to a wonderful hot shower. We will have lunch at a good roadside restaurant.
DAY 20: DEPART KATHMANDU
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc).
FIXED DEPARTURE DATES 2016/ 2017 : Email us at: email@example.com
- Warm welcome with garlands by our guest relation officer on arrival of Tribhuvan INT`l airport, KTM.
- Transfer from international airport to the hotel by AC/Non AC car/van/coach as per group size.
- Luggage van extra for large size group.( above 10 Pax) otherwise we Manage in roof of our Coach.
- A Cell Phone Sim is provided on arrival.( Pls drop with Guide at the time of Final Departure)
- Welcome drink (tea/coffee/juice) on arrival at Hotel.
- 03 nights’ KTM accommodation with bed & breakfast in 4 star deluxe hotels on twin sharing basis.
- Ground transfers according to the trekking itinerary ( KTM- Aryghat & Basishar or Bhulbhule-KTM)
- Day City tour in Kathmandu guided by experienced tour guide.
- TIMS, Manaslu Special Permit (4 PP size Photos required) & Annapurna Conservation Fees.
- 3 course of hygienic meals (tea/coffee, breakfast, lunch & dinner) each day as per the best availability throughout the trekking. (Veg. & Non Veg.)- ( Pls inform us at the time of Booking)
- Seasonal Fresh fruits as per availability in Trekking.
- Twin sharing TENTED CAMP accommodation in the trekking route. (If a group size consist 10+ one additional Sherpa on top of the entire Crews.
- Well trained & decades long Experienced local Travel crews include; Sherpa Guide & Normally 1 Porter= 2 Trekkers.
- Trekking equipments including two men tent, Dianning Tent, shower tent, kitchen tent ,toilet tent, sleeping bag, mattresses and pillows etc. (only for 2 days in high pass where we cannot find human settlements). We pick them from Lukla only.
- Food, accommodation, equipments, transfers, insurance and all necessary expenses of travel crews.
- First aid kit box & Maps
- Emergency rescue services by Chopper on trekkers expenses. (Insurance is Mandatory prior trekking)
- Trek memorial souvenir in Kathmandu.
- Farewell dinner (Typical Nepali Food with cultural show).
- Dep. transfer from the hotel to Kathmandu international airport.
- All government taxes including 13% VAT. (Subject to change) & No any Hidden Cost.
Cost does not include:
- Nepal entry & re-entry visa fees.( US$ 25 =15 Days and 49 US$ for 30 Days)
- Extra flight & Airport Taxes (Domestic & International).
- Entry fees for the sightseeing places in Kathmandu.( approx US$ 50-60)
- Personal equipments and clothing.
- Expenses of personal nature like; shopping, alcoholic drinks etc.
- Travel insurance, rescue expenses and medical expenses.
- Donations, Tips & Gratuities, expenses of Hotel and Food in case flight delayed / cancelled .
- Extra porters if required.( approx US$ 20 a day with his entire expenses)
- Expenses beyond our control i.e. landslides, natural disastar, road blockade, political disturbance, etc.
- Extra services not mentioned in trek itinerary.