The Manaslu Circuit Trek is an outback roughshod trail with pure wilderness and baffling beauty. This is a trek for serious walkers and the sublime experiences you enjoy in this region are unlike any other you’d ever imagine. All this venture needs is a brawny pair of lungs, strong legs that have done a lot of hiking around, especially in mountainous regions and some detailed preparation that leaves out nothing. So if you choose ‘Trekking through wilderness on the Manaslu Circuit’, hiking these gritty trails will reward you with experiences that will be non-fiction fables for you to write about when you get back home; a story to remember for a lifetime. Just get them bags packed with all your necessary gears and board your jet for the Himalayas in Nepal… this is an odyssey through some of the most arduous routes on the planet amid raw punishing beauty in the Himalayan region; it defies the mind, body and soul…it can change you for good…
Our Manaslu sojourn begins with a cultural tour warm-up of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu before we hit the trails to the beautiful Manaslu region. Manaslu is a legendary trail and is known for its natural diversity of landscapes that it traverses. However, the sceneries we witness hereabouts don’t come easy; the paths are rock-strewn and sometimes steep, and includes rickety bridges and slippery rock faces – this is all part of adventurous forays into the unknown wild. We get some awesome views of Mt. Manaslu at [8163m], the 8th highest peak on earth. The wealth of biological diversity in this blessed region stuns the imagination and the gripping, peculiar culture and lifestyles of the local folks, who represent much their neighbours in Tibet gives us wonderful opportunities to witness traditions that are ancient in nature and the chilling superstitions the folks believe in down here may raise the hair on your body and stir your imaginations to the core. Despite the tough and bitterly cold and harsh conditions these people live in, they will welcome you with warm hearts.
The peaking point in this trip is the ‘Larkya La Pass’ which most hardcore trekkers consider to be one of the most striking passes when crossing the Himalayas. Mandatory as it is with all ‘Incentive Holidays’ itineraries, this trek also makes sure that you get ample time for proper acclimatization so your body adjust with the thin air at the higher elevations, and you feel comfortable when treading the heights on the trail. Due to its isolation and far-flung geographical nature, ‘Trekking through wilderness on the Manaslu Circuit’ is meant for those who blend in and become one with Mother Nature…and on achieving this special feeling; you will have enjoyed the trip of a whole lifetime.
Trip Duration: 17N / 18D
Trekking Code: STE/MAN/01
Grade: Strenuous Trek
Activity: Sightseeing & trekking
Starts and ends in: Kathmandu
Trek type: FOT (Fully Organized Trek or Camping Trek)
Transportation: Private car or tourist coach
Accommodation: Hotel & camping
Maximum altitude: 5160m…we peak at Larkya – La…and then its all heaven on earth!
Day 1 : Arrive in Kathmandu at Tribhuwan International Airport
Day 2 : Free at your own leisure
Day 3 : Drive to Soti Khola
Day 4 : Trek to Machha Khola
Day 5 : Trek to Jagat
Day 6 : Trek to Deng
Day 7 : Trek to Namrung
Day 8 : Trek to Samagaon
Day 9 : Trek to Pungyen gomba and back to Samagaon [explore and acclimatize]
Day 10 : Trek to Samdo
Day 11 : Rest day at Samdo
Day 12 : Trek to Larkya lodge [Dharamshala]
Day 13 : Trek to Bimthang
Day 14 : Trek to Tilje
Day 15 : Trek to Tal
Day 16 : Trek to Syange
Day 17 : Drive down to Kathmandu [trek concludes]
Day 18 : Final departure
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and after you’ve refreshed, your trek leader will brief you about your trip in the lobby of your hotel in the evening. Get familiar with your surroundings by taking a walk down the street, don’t make it too late, get back to your nest for a good night’s sleep. The first overnight at your hotel in the valley of temples and cows – probably the most in the world
Day 2: Free at your own leisure
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about what to do in your next free day.
The choice is yours: either you can stroll around the nearby market on your own or you can opt for a half/full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. The cost for this extra tour is not added in the trek cost and you have to pay extra depending on the places you choose to visit. This extra tour gives you deep insights into Nepal’s iconic monuments that have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. Sansui Treks will give you an orientation on your program & you will also get the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have regarding our upcoming adventure. When this is done, you might find time to shop around the city in the evening time if you need any gears for the trek. Overnight at your hotel
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Sotikhola [710m] 8 - 9 hours
After breakfast, it’s an early drive today for Sotikhola. In the course of the drive, we enjoy views of Nepal’s colorful rural landscapes along with the mountain scenery that’s evident throughout our journey. We will be driving on a well tarred road from Kathmandu to Dhading Bensi, district headquarter of Dhading (1050m) but the drive from Dhading Bensi to Arughat will be on a roughshod road. on reaching Arughat, a major town in the region, we drive further down to Sotikhola. Overnight in Soti Khola
Day 4: Soti Khola - Machha Khola [900m]: 6 - 7 hours
The land seems to change as we hike on, the broad valley narrows and at some places the trail is slit into the steep valley sides, which has thick foliage forest. We pass a few dotted small villages, tucked into the hillside, until we reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large branch stream enters the Buri Gandaki River. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapbesi. We descend once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follow a route which runs below the steep, rocky valley side. At length, we have to climb up once again on a trail to Machha Khola, a settlement which has a number of teashops. We bunk out at Machha Khola
Day 5: Machha Khola - Jagat [1410m]: 6 - 7 hrs
The slender trail makes some minor ups and downs and eventually crosses the Tharo Khola, reaching Khorlabesi. After some ascending and descending we come across a small Hotspring in Tatopani. From the hot spring, we climb over another ridge, then cross the Budhi Gandaki on an airy suspension bridge. At this juncture, we climb on a wide, well-crafted staircase, then across a landslide and over a ridge to Dobhan. Upon crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, we climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Crossing the west bank of the Budhi Gandaki, we climb over a ridge, trek along the river and then climb towards the village of Jagat. This is where we haul up for the night
Day 6: Jagat - Deng [1,804m]: 6 - 7 hrs
After descending a chain of stone steps to the river, we climb a terraced hill to Saguleri, from where we can see the impressive Sringi Himal (7187m). The path splits, with the right-hand branch heading off towards the Ganesh Himal while crossing the river at Gata Khola. Our route continues upstream, through a gorge with tall walls. We cross the river thrice 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 where we crash out for the night.
Day 7: Deng - Namrung [2630m]: 6 - 7 hrs
After a short walk beyond Deng, we cross the Budhi Gandaki and climb to Rana at 1910m. From the bridge, we climb a bit to join a trail from Bhi, then head west up the Budhi Gandaki valley. The trail also passes through forests and mani where we turn towards a corner that contours to Ghap. Despite an alternative route, we take the route through Prok village. Prok village has a viewpoint for a beautiful sight of Siringi Himal. We further cross the Budi Gandaki several times today and come across several gompas en route. The trail follows the river upstream through a dense forest. After crossing the river at an impressive spot where it gushes down a narrow gorge, the forest becomes less dense and the trail is all right again. The pleasant walk continues and after a last steep climb we reach Namrung for an overnight
Day 8: Namrung – Samagaon [3530m]: 6-7 hours
On leaving the village of Namrung behind, 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 reach Sama Gompa, 20 minutes beyond the village and Samdo, which is close-up to the Tibetan border. This is where we bed down for the night.
Day 9: Samagaon - Pungyen gompa - Samagaon: 6 - 7 hours
This is a day to chill out at Samagaon for rest and acclimatization. It’s good for our bodies. Today we get to discover some interesting things about Sherpa culture. We enjoy the sight of thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts and pictures and Sherpa women clad in traditional clothes and ornaments. On a little hill near Sama village is an old Gompa (Pungyen Gompa), a monastery with great views of the glacier. It is named after Manaslu; Pungyen means bracelet, a good description of the two peaks. It was destroyed a year after the first unsuccessful Japanese attempt to climb Manaslu. The locals believed that the climb angered the gods, and when the Japanese came back a year later they met with a lot of resistance that they had to give up their attempt. They were finally successful in 1959. We do an overnight at the village of Samagaon.
Day 10: Samagaon - Samdo [3860m]: 4 - 5 hours
After breakfast we begin our day by descending to the Budhi Gandaki River, that has turned north and follow it to a bridge over a side stream. The trail to the left leads to the Manaslu Base camp. The Larkya la Trail passes several mani walls as the valley begins to widen. It is an easy trail on a shelf above the river passing juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We drop off the shelf, cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge and climb steeply onto a headland between two forks of the river. From a stone arch we can view a large white kani. Finally passing through the kani we reach the village of Samdo where we haul up for the night.
Day 11: Rest Day in Samdo
This is another day to acclimatize your body for the thin air as you go higher. It’s important that your body blends in with the heights as this will prevent mountain sickness of any kind; perhaps what’s more essential is you will feel more comfortable at higher altitudes. We have two options today. The first option we much recommend is a hike up the valley directly at the back of Samdo village. This walk will take us to one of the trade passes to Tibet for excellent views of Mt. Manaslu along with other Himalayan peaks that include Simrang, Hiunchuli, Ngadi, Larkye Peak, Cheo and possibly Kusum Kanggaru behind the pass. En route to these vantage points we pass many seasonal herding settlements called doksas and will get to see some beautiful mountain birds like the Lophophorus (the national bird of Nepal), Lammergeyer and Himalayan Griffin soaring high above us. The 2nd option for today could be a trip to the Gya La ('large pass') to the north of Samdo, a more often used trading route to Tibet. But, this is a rather lengthy hike (almost the whole day) and may tire us out of our boots. We bunk out in Samdo.
Day 12: Samdo - Dharamsala/Larkya B. C. [4460m]: 4 - 5 hours
The thundering Buri Gandaki River trickles to a stream as we cling to its course as hike high up. This rewards us with amazing mountains from all sides. Manaslu stands in a league of its own. After crossing to the east bank of the river, we reach the last permanent settlement in the valley, which is called Sumdu. High Above the village we cross a stream, which runs down from the Gya La (Pass), the pass to Tibet. We come to the wreck of an abandoned village, known as Larkya Bazaar. We assume this village thrived as a trading point, with Tibet lying over the Gya La. The exchange seems to have dried up leading to the migration of the settlers. Nearing the Larkya Glacier, we reach a lodge at 4450m, which has been built to cater to travelers crossing the Larkya La. We spend the night at the Dharamsala.
Day 13: Dharamsala - Larkya la [5160m] - Bimthang [3720m]: 8 - 9 hours
After a brief climb, we reach a glen on the north side of the Larkya Glaciers from where we can enjoy great views of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section of the pass. From the pass, there are fantastic views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kusum Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. It is a pretty lengthier day than usual to Bimtang, but to walk into these lower pastures with the eventide fog setting in and with Mt. Manaslu looming close by is an irresistible experience to remember before the night sets in as we haul up in the village of Bimthang.
Day 14: Bimthang - Tilje [2300m]: 5 - 6 hours
Today, from a crest at Bimthang, we get to savor lovely views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Himlung Himal and Cheo Himal. We descend further and cross a high meadow (Sangure Kharka) followed by a bridge over Dudh Khola. We walk through rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land of the valley at Karche, at 2785 meters. We pass across fields before making a steep climb over a ridge. The trail comes off the ridge in a big, sweeping circle to a river bank at 2580m. A brief distance beyond is the village of Gho. Due to yesterday's fatigue we might take an overnight rest at Gho but better lodges are available at Tilje to rest our weary bodies in some comfort, so ‘Incentive Holidays’ recommends we bunk out for the night at Tilje.
Day 15: Tilje - Tal [1700m]: 5 - 6 hours
We climb over a small rim and take pleasure in the stone paved trail as it passes through a charming colorful village. We then cross the bridge over Dudh Khola and climb up through a chorten-shaped arch, pass a mani wall and reach Thonje village. At the village, we pass through a police checkpoint and continue to Dharapani. Incase we are not aware; we have just entered theAnnapurna Circuit route from Dharapani. Further down, we come across Kharte village and after some brief hiking we cross a bridge over the Marshyangdi Khola. We also come across some mani walls before reaching the village of Tal, situated at the foot of a pretty large waterfall and this is where we get set for the night.
Day 16: Tal - Syange [1080m]: 6 - 7 hours
We stick on the trail to Chyamje village by crossing the Marsyangdi Khola once again. The Marsyangdi valley opens up with its terrace fields and villages seem to be hanging very high to the hillsides above. The trail then descends through rhododendron and pine forests to the pretty village of Syange and this is where we hang out for the night.
Day 17: Syange - Kathmandu: 8-9 hours
Our drive from Syange to Kathmandu via Besi Sahar is a lovely cruise as we get to relish both hill and mountain landscapes. The drive takes us by the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers. We also drive by some fine-looking vibrant villages with farming terraces on both sides of the road. We will be dropped right to our hotel. This is your free day in Kathmandu; you can use it by either chilling out in some café or bar or perhaps we do some last minute shopping for the folks at home or maybe catch up on some exotic spots we missed during our first day in Kathmandu. At eventide, we will relish a farewell dinner to celebrate your successful completion of the ‘Manaslu Wilderness Trek.’ While enjoying our supper, we will also be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles. Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu
Day 18: Depart Kathmandu for home sweet home: Farewell Buddies, it’s truly been nice knowing you!
Our office support team will be on standby at your hotel to take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking, etc - please don't hesitate to let us know). We would be glad to help you. Thank you for doing this venture with us; it’s been wonderful knowing you over the weeks. Please do stay in touch in the months ahead. Bon Voyage and take care!!!
Please Note: that although we will go the lengths to follow the itinerary given above, at times local trails or unpredictable weather patterns may necessitate slight changes if necessary. The trekking itinerary may also sometimes vary slightly depending on our trekkers' acclimatization rates. This adventure goes into wild territory above the timberline, so we seek to request maximum flexibility if and when required for the success and safety of your trip and your life.
A ‘TH [Teahouse Lodge] is a term used for sleeping in teahouse lodges on the trails. These teahouses are pretty basic but provide all the comforts that you would expect when hiking in remote conditions, they are cosy and warm – you’d like the homely environment. We crash out in single rooms wherever available, but often times we sometimes have to adapt to sleeping out in dormitory type rooms for a night. Generally, it’s just a bed with a pillow and blankets. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, and this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better. We accommodate our trek groups in local lodges available each day. Our porters hike ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please note, that some of them are very basic and a spirit of adventure is the call of the day. It is cheaper to stay in lodges rather than organizing a camping trek.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3-4-5 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
At ‘Incentive Holidays’ – its zero tolerance on cutting of cost when it comes down to feeding our trekking guests, because we know how tough it is on the trails; we ensure that the lodges provide three tasty, bountiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Don’t be surprised if the delectable ‘apple pie’ lands on your plate, it’s literally‘yummy’’, even better than the ones you come across in Thamel.
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. The lodges always use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with focus on personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain extremely high standards of health over many years of planning treks - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for. ‘Gluttony is a sin’ but there are no restrictions on the grub we serve to our guests on the mountains; we leave it up to our trekking guests who are the best judge of their own appetites…Bon Appétit!!
Popular Sightseeing places in Kathmandu:
Half day sightseeing includes visit two of these places and full day sightseeing includes three of these places inside the ring-road of Kathmandu. Besides the above mentioned places, the charges will apply depending on the distance accordingly.
The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn. It is wonderful during this time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime.