Manasalu Circuit with Tsum valley Trek

Trip cost Contact us
Duration 22 Days
Trip Grade  (Moderate)
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Style: Trekking and Tour
  • Accommodation: 3 Star standard hotel in Kathmandu and Teahouse during the trek
  • Food: Breakfast in Kathmandu & set meal (BLD) during trek
  • Transportation: Private Vehicle
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About Trip

Manaslu also known as Kutang is the eighth highest mountain in the world at 8,163 meters above sea level. It is located in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, which means "mountain of the spirit". Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of Japanese expedition. The mountain's long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions, and culminate in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape, and is a dominant feature when viewed from afar. The Nepalese Government only permitted trekking of this circuit in 1991 with Restricted Area Permit  and that trekkers travel in a group of two with a registered guide. In route, 10 peaks over 6,500 meters are visible, including a few over 7,000 meters. The highest point reached along the trek route is the Larkya La at an elevation of 5,106 meters. As of May 2008, the mountain has been climbed 297 times with 53 fatalities. This trek would appeal to anyone who is looking for a challenging trek in a remote region of the Nepal Himalaya. After Samdo village we start the approach towards the Larkya La pass, crossing this high Himalayan pass is a challenging day although would be a good objective for a fit hill walker with no previous mountaineering experience. The view from the Larkya La is superb where we will see Himal Chuli, Manaslu, Cheo Himal and Himlung Himal mountains.

Tsum Valley Trek -an offbeat trekking in the foothill of Manaslu & Ganesh that caters the unexplored landscapes and authentic Tibetan culture in the monasteries dotted in remote highland villages. Tsum Valley was a restricted area until it was opened for trekking in 2008. The Tsum Valley is a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley. Literally “Tsum” means vivid, this serene Himalayan valley is rich in ancient art, culture and religion. The Tsum Valley has long history of Buddhism. The Buddhist saint Milarewa is believed to be meditated in the caves of these mountains. Traditionally, the valley was a culturally distinct geographical called “Tsum Tso Chuksum”, which means thirteen provinces ruled as a single territory. The ancient remains of the Tsum Kingdom are still visible today. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, this sacred valley and its people have been bypassed by mainstream development for centuries. As a result, the unique culture of this valley has remained intact. The valley is uniquely rich in wildlife, especially the Himalayan Thar and Blue Sheep which congregates in herds of 50 to 200.

Trip Highlights

  • This is a geographically spectacular and culturally fascinating trek passing from the Gurung villages of the lower hills to the Tibetans of the upper Budi Gandaki. The area is highly diverse, being home to Brahmin, Chhetri, Tamang, Magar, Tibetan and Gurung peoples
  • The mountain views are sensational including Himalchuli (7,893m), Shringi Himal (7,187m), Ngadichuli (7,871m) and of course Manaslu (8,163m)
  • Larkya La at 5,213m is an impressive Himalayan pass to cross, it is a long day however would be a good objective for most hill walkers.
  • Manaslu Circuit with Tsum Valley Trekkking would appeal to anyone looking for a challenging trek in a remote region of Nepal visited by relatively few other trekkers.
  • Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi from Japan and Gyalzen Norbu of Nepal
  • The region shelters endangered animals such as the snow leopard and red pandas – especially in the northern reaches as Buddhist Lamas prohibit the killing of animals.
  • A hidden gem here is the Tsum Valley. Really worth a visit
  • Walking through tropical green hills covered with pine and oak forests in the beginning of the trek

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01:Kathmandu arrival
  • Day 02:Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trip Preparation
  • Day 03:Drive to Soti Khola (700m) - 8 to 9 hours driving
  • Day 04:Trek to Machha Khola (930m) - 6 hours walking
  • Day 05:Trek to Jagat (1440m) - 7 hours walking
  • Day 06:Trek to Chumling (2386m)- 8 hours walking
  • Day 07:Trek to Rachen Gompa (3240m)- 7 hours walking.
  • Day 08:Trek to Mu Gompa (3700m) - 5 hours walking.
  • Day 09:Explore Mu Gompa
  • Day 10:Back To Chhokang Paro (3030m) – 6 hours walking
  • Day 11:Back to Lokpa (2240) – 7 hours walking.
  • Day 12:Trek to Ghap (2400m) – 7 hours walking.
  • Day 13:Trek to Lho (3180m) – 7 hours walking.
  • Day 14:Trek to Samagaon (3,450m)- 4 hours walking.
  • Day 15:Trek to Samdo (3,860m)- 3 hours walking.
  • Day 16:Day walk from Samdo (3,860m).
  • Day 17:Trek to Larkya Phedi (4,460m)- 3 to 4 hours walking.
  • Day 18:Cross the Larkya La (5,135m), trek to Bimtang (3,590m)- 7 to 8 hours walking.
  • Day 19:Trek to Dharapani (1,860m)- 7 to 8 hours walking.
  • Day 20:Trek to Jagat (1,430m)- 6 hours walking.
  • Day 21:Jeeps to Besisahar then by private vehicle to Kathmandu.
  • Day 22:Departure day

Cost Includes:

    • All accommodation as specified in the itinerary
    • All domestic flights and transportation as stated in the itinerary
    • Arrival and departure airport transfers
    • Trekking fees and permits
    • Set meals during trekking (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
    • One porter per 2 people and local mountain guide for your group
    • Insurances for porters and guides
    • Farewell dinner and cultural show

Cost Excludes:

    • International flights to Nepal
    • Visa costs
    • Meals other than those listed in inclusions (this includes additional tea or coffee, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and water)
    • Laundry, towels, hot showers where optional, internet access, recharging of batteries and other items of a personal nature
    • Donations to enter monasteries, museums etc
    • Tips for porters and guides

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 1Kathmandu arrival It’s arrival day today and you will be picked up by our representative from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Tonight we will have a tour briefing and make final preparations for our trek.Overnight in Kathmandu.
  • Day 2Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trip Preparation We have a day of sightseeing in Kathmandu today visiting some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites here. We will start the day with a visit to PashupatinathTemple which is one of the most sacred Hindu sites and the location of the cremation ghats. From here we visit BoudhanathStupa which is a large Buddhist Stupa and an important pilgrimage place for Buddhists. We then visit Patan Durbar Square and the surrounding area, famous for it’s temple square, golden temple and metalwork that are crafted here. We finish the day at SwayambhunathStupa (the Monkey Temple) located on a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley it features a pretty Buddhist Stupa and Hindu Temple with incredible views over the city of Kathmandu. On completion of our sightseeing we will have a trip briefing to prepare for our trekking and you will have time for some last minute shopping for supplies. Overnight in Kathmandu. Included Meals - Breakfast.
  • Day 3Drive to Soti Khola (700m) - 8 to 9 hours driving We leave Kathmandu early in the morning by private vehicle. It is a scenic drive with several picturesque gorges and occasional glimpses of mountain peaks. After exiting the Kathmandu valley we drive along the Pokhara road following Trishuli River until we turn off to heading north following Budi Gandaki to Arughat Bazaar. After Dhading Besi the road is not sealed so it is likely to be quite dusty in the bus so it is a good idea to bring a buff or scarf along with you. The road has recently been built beyond Arughat so these days we continue the drive in the bus or change to local jeeps for the drive to Soti Khola. This village is a better trailhead than Arughat and it saves a day walking along the dusty road. Overnight at Soti Khola, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
  • Day 4Trek to Machha Khola (930m) - 6 hours walking Our route heads northwards following the Budi Gandaki river passing through terraced fields and forests with troops of monkeys. After Soti Khola the trail ascends on the valley sides and then descends later to walk along the river. There is an ascent to the village of Macha Khola. During the months of both April and October it will very hot and humid with temperatures often more than 30 Degrees Celsius for the first three days of the trek. These dates have been chosen for optimal conditions in crossing the high passes however please be aware of the hot start to the trek. It is important to bring plenty of water, wear a sun hat and apply sun cream. Overnight at Machha Khola, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 5Trek to Jagat (1440m) - 7 hours walking You follow the Budi Gandaki river climbing up and down a number of ridges passing through the villages of Khorlabesi and Tatopani. After crossing the bridge over to east bank of Budi Gandaki you continue through forest to Dobhan. Further along you cross the bridge over Yaru khola (river) then shortly after cross another bridge over Budi Gandaki over to Jagat village. Overnight at Jagat, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 6Trek to Chumling (2386m)- 8 hours walking After Jagat you cross a bridge over Dudh Pokhari khola (river) then pass through the villages of Salleri and Sirdibas. The trail then descends to cross the bridge over Budi Gandaki to the larger village of Philim. At Philim there is a check point to enter Tsum Valley where our permits will be reviewed. We continue onwards to Lokpa and then to Chumling. Overnight at Chumling, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 7Trek to Rachen Gompa (3240m)- 7 hours walking. Cross the suspension bridge just east of the hotel and traverse through rich farming land of maize and potatoes. Cross a huge slip then Cross the Serpu Khola and climb for over 2hrs on well-graded but exposed track to upper Tsum and the joined villages of Chhokang-Paro. Then head east through small villages and past a local school, climb over a ridge of chortens and stay at Rachen Gompa. Overnight at Rachen Gompa, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 8Trek to Mu Gompa (3700m) - 5 hours walking. Today is a shorter day as we need to limit our increases in altitude in order to have time to acclimatise. We pass through hamlets of Phurbe and Pangdun and pass an unusual round stupa before reaching the larger village of Chhule through an impressive entrance gate (kani). Children here all wear the Tibetan dressing gown called chubas and there are many yaks. Head upstream to cross the bridge and climb to Nile (3361m). Then the final climb up to the large Mu Gompa through dry Tibetan country, with rows of chortens and widening mountain vistas. This is a large monastery with over 100 monks and an ancient gompa visited by David Snellgrove (Himalayan Pilgrimage) in 1956. Overnight at Mu Gompa, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 9Explore Mu Gompa We spend two nights at Mu Gompa to help acclimatisation and explore wonderful Mu Gompa. We climb to Kalung (3820m) or Bhajyo (4030m) as a daytrip to the passes for a view into Tibet. It is quite close to Tibet and gets a good view of the Tibetan peaks as well as the Ganesh Himal range. Bhajyo is a remote area there is not any local houses. Only we can see some yak farm house. Overnight at Mu Gompa, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 10Back To Chhokang Paro (3030m) – 6 hours walking Return down valley through Nile and continue down as far as Phurbe, Lamagaun and then Chhokang Paro. Overnight at Chhokang Paro, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 11Back to Lokpa (2240) – 7 hours walking. Descend to Domje and follow the lower trails then we cross some very deep gorges on new swing bridges to picturesque Ripchet where there is a homestay and we can get lunch if we ask around. Descend on steep loose stairs to the deserted bhatti Ghumlong then climb again through the pristine temperature forest to Lokpa.Overnight at Lokpa, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 12Trek to Ghap (2400m) – 7 hours walking. Continue from Lokpa down then cross the Buri Gandaki on a solid bridge and a last look up the Tsum Valley. Enter a very narrow gorge with loose tracks, up and down, up and down. Cross to the east bank at one point and then back again to the west bank on a new suspension bridge. We reach Deng through bamboo forests then recross to the east bank and climb to Rana. Then we pass Bihi Phedi with the trail up to the stone-carving village of Bihi and cross the Serang Khola and climb steeply again before finally circling into Ghap. The Mani walls here and onwards as far as Bimthang often display intricate quality carvings of various Buddhas in meditation. Overnight at Ghap, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 13Trek to Lho (3180m) – 7 hours walking. Enter a beautiful forest of fir and rhododendron with many birds and grey langurs we reach Namrung. We pass Mani walls, fields and houses through Banjam and climb to Lihi then onto Sho. A leisurely walk onwards, in and out of gullies to Lho. Overnight at Lho, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 14Trek to Samagaon (3,450m)- 4 hours walking. After leaving Lho the next village is Shyala located on a plateau then you cross a bridge over Numla khola. After crossing a boulder field, the trail emerges onto the extensive pastures and fields near Samagaon village. There is a lot to explore, it is a little piece of Tibet with many gompas and a traditional Tibetan village. In the afternoon you can walk up to Phung Gyen Monastery located on a ridge above the village. Overnight at Samagaon, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Day 15Trek to Samdo (3,860m)- 3 hours walking. Follow the Budi Gandaki northwards to a bridge over a side stream where the trail forks: the left leading towards the Manaslu Base Camp, the other passing several mani walls heads for the Larkya La. The valley widens along an easy trail past juniper and birch forest to the stone huts at Kermo Kharka, then drops off a shelf to cross a wooden bridge and climbing between a fork in the river to a promontory. From this vantage point, we can see white stone kani marking entrance to Samdo. Overnight Overnight at Samdo, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 16Day walk from Samdo (3,860m). We spend two nights at Samdo to help acclimatisation. There is a good day walk towards Gya La which is the trading pass with Tibet. Overnight at Samdo, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 17Trek to Larkya Phedi (4,460m)- 3 to 4 hours walking.Today we start the ascent to the pass by descending through fields to an old mani wall and stone arch before dropping to the river and crossing on a wooden bridge. This place shows up on maps as the mythical Larka Bazaar, which used to be a flourishing market, but there is nothing remaining there now.
    Another mani wall marks the beginning of ascent to the pass where the trail starts climbing through tundra and juniper; the huge Larkya Glacier coming from Manaslu can be seen from here. Stay on the ridge to the right to find a trail that crosses over the top of two ravines. The trail grows steeper, climbing up the side of a gorge to a viewpoint at the edge of a huge gorge at 4000m. Nearing the Larkya Glacier, we reach Larkya Phedi, where there is a small lodge, built to serve travellers crossing the Larkya La which lies now just ahead. Overnight at Larkya Phedi, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 18Cross the Larkya La (5,135m), trek to Bimtang (3,590m)- 7 to 8 hours walking. The trail starts as a long gentle climb across moraine, it descends a little to a lake and then becomes rough and indistinct as it crosses to the south of steep grassy slopes. The trail stays on the moraine to a ridge marked by two cairns, from here the prayer flags marking the pass are visible. Descend to the four frozen lakes then make the final steep climb to the pass. On the descent from the pass the trail follows the top of the moraine to the west and makes a set of steep, rough switchbacks as it crosses the moraine then descends more gently on loose gravel to another grassy moraine at 4,450m. The conditions for crossing the pass vary depending on time of year however in case it is icey we should have micro crampons. Please take a look at our kit list in the Appendix. The trail now becomes easier to follow and reaches a small meadow and spring at 4,080m. The valley becomes wider as the trails heads down to a large meadow, past a mani wall and a small rest house that marks Bimthang at 3,590m. Overnight at Bimtang, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 19Trek to Dharapani (1,860m)- 7 to 8 hours walking. The trail drops to a glacial stream, the headwaters of the Dudh Khola, and crosses a wooden bridge and descends into pine and rhododendron forest to Hompuk at 3,430m. The trail improves as it descends to a fork in the river and then follows the river to a stable at 3030m. Not far from here you reach Karche's fenced fields, then cross a landslide before making a steep climb to a ridge decorated with prayer flags. It makes a descent to the river bank at Gho. The trail continues through fields and intermittent stands of rhododendron and oak to arrive at Tilje, a large Gurung village. Exit the village through a stone arch, cross the Dudh Khola and follow along its embankment descending through scrub forest. The walls of the Marsyangdi Valley loom larger and finally the houses of Dharapani appear in the distance. Pass through Thonje via a wooden bridge and through a chorten-shaped arch, and Dharapani lies across a long suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi. Overnight at Dharapani, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 20Trek to Jagat (1,430m)- 6 hours walking. From Dharapani you are now on the more popular Annapurna Circuit and the trail now follows this classic trek in reverse as you pass through the steepest part of the Marsyangdi gorge. We follow Natural Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATT) on the west bank of Kali Gandaki away from the road on the other side of the valley. Our trek ends in Jagat as it is now possible to take jeeps from this village along the road to Besisahar. Overnight at Jagat, Included meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Day 21Jeeps to Besisahar then by private vehicle to Kathmandu. From Jagat we take jeeps along the road to Besisahar then switch to our private vehicles sent from Kathmandu to collect you. You will get back to Kathmandu in later afternoon. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu, (Meals: B).
  • Day 22Departure day You are free to depart at any time. Transfer to the airport will be arranged for you. Included meals – breakfast.

Trip Note

This itinerary may differ slightly during your tour. Occasionally itineraries need to change to allow for weather conditions, transportation , travellers desires etc. It is recommended that you allow an additional 1-2 days before your international flight to allow for mountain airport delays and other unforeseen circumstances.

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