Trekking Manaslu and Tsum Valley eventually take you to the heart of the Tsum Valley, a land of mystification, Buddhist religion and rough living terrain. It is located to the north of Manaslu on the Nepal-Tibet border. It is termed as the hidden valley and has recently been opened to the world in 2008, before which it was a restricted area. The inhabitants had the fortitude to evolve into burlesque villages, monasteries and rough sustenance peacefully – taking what little their land had to offer gracefully with content. This region is heavily influenced by Buddhism. Once, Tsum used to be a different part of Nepal or Tibet. In comparison to other areas, Tsum is a less exposed destination. So, there are many untrodden paths left to explore. The way to Tsum valley takes you past mountain peaks, deep passes and gorges, ancient monasteries, Chortens and Mani Walls. On the way to destination Tsum valley, your trek takes you past majestic peaks like Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal and Boudha Himal Ranges.
At Breakfree Adventures, we take you on a trek of a lifetime to the Tsum Valley in our twenty-five day package tailored specially to this remote mystic valley. It starts with a drive to Arughat and further up to Soti Khola (Large Stream in Nepali). The hike initially tackles the Manaslu region to get to Tsum in which, you get to explore the Budhi Gandaki Valley with its mixed forests, terraced fields and mountain settlements. On leaving the Manaslu Valley, you get the feel of the excitement of entering into the hidden valley, like being the first to explore King Solomon’s Mines. You are greeted by Alpine forests, glacial rivers, and the warm hospitality of the local people. A total transformation to the surprise of you takes hold as if being thrown into a world where one finds it hard to believe, that civilization exists in a historic state. In Tsum, you get to feel, taste and take part, in the lifestyle back then and the evolution of the Buddhist religion and visits to monasteries built locally in the distant past such as Rachen Gompa and Mu Gompa. Returning only leaves memories of such a harsh but yet peaceful world. Making the trek, makes you feel, it is worth the effort. You conquer your inner soul both physically and spiritually.
Why is this trek worth taking?
This trek worth taking as it takes you to the centre of what Buddhism is all about. From the harsh but beautiful terrain, it sends out the message, that man can coexist with the bounties of nature whatever the circumstances can be and get gratification from it. This trek takes place in a world apart from the world in which we humans are now used to living. The terrain is beautiful in an isolated way, it gives one the peace of mind. And when the trek is finally over, you come out somewhat different and you begin to see life from a broader perspective. There is much more than the materialistic world from which we have come. You turn out both physically and mentally stronger and you get to see our environment from a different set of eyes, so much so, you would look forward to another one of our treks to Mustang.
Outline Trekking Itinerary for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek
Day 01 : Arrival at Kathmandu
Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation
Day 03 : Drive to Soti Khola (710m) via Arughat (695m) 8-9 hrs drive
Day 04 : Soti Khola to Macha Khola (900m) 5-6 hrs
Day 05 : Macha Khola to Jagat (1410m) 6 hrs
Day 06 : Jagat to Philim (1590m) 3 hrs
Day 07 : Philim to Chumling (2363m) 6-7 hrs
Day 08 : Chumling to Chokhangparo (3010m) 5-6 hrs
Day 09 : Chokhangparo to Nile (3361m) 6-7 hrs
Day 10 : Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) 3 hrs
Day 11 : Explore around Mu Gompa (3700m)
Day 12 : Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (3240m) 6 hrs
Day 13 : Rachen Gompa to Chumje (3230m) 5-6 hrs
Day 14 : Chumje to Bihi (3130m) 4-5 hrs
Day 15 : Bihi to Namrung (2540m) 6 hrs
Day 16 : Namrung to Lho (3180m) 4 hrs
Day 17 : Lho to Samagaon (3530m) 5-6 hrs
Day 18 : Rest Day at Samagoan (3530m)
Day 19 : Samagaon to Samdo (3860m) 4-5 hrs
Day 20 : Samdo to Dharmashala 5-6 hrs
Day 21 : Dharmashala to Bimthang (3890m) via Larkya La Pass (5213m)
Day 22 : Bimthang to Dharapani (1860m) 6-7 hrs
Day 23 : Drive Dharapani to Besisahar (1100m) 7 hrs
Day 24 : Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu (1330m) 7-8 hrs
Day 25 : Transfer to airport for your onward destination
- Enjoy sightseeing at the UNESCO Word’s Heritage sites
- Hike past gushing rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers
- Witness majestic view of Mt. Manaslu (8163m) including Himalchuli (7,893m), Shringi Himal (7,187m), Ngadichuli (7,871m)
- Explore varieties of floras & faunas while walking by remote Manaslu conservation area
- Cross the impressive Himalayan pass - Larkya La Pass at 5,213 metes
- Visit ancient monasteries & remote villages
- Get along with ethnic people and their culture
What is Included
- Airport pick up/drop by a private vehicle.
- Three night’s accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast as per the itinerary.
- Guided Kathmandu city tour at 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with private vehicle and guide.
- Kathmandu – Arughat & Besisahar - Kathmandu transfers by a private vehicle.
- Arughat - Soti Khola & Dharapani – Besisahar by a local jeep.
- All accommodations during the trek at lodges/Teahouse.
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
- Experienced Government licensed English speaking trekking guide and necessary porters (1 Porter for 2 trekkers) on the trek.
- Trekking staff costs like their transportation, food, accommodation, wages, and insurance.
- Manaslu special permit fee.
- Annapurna & Manaslu conservation area entrance permit fee.
- Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card fees. (Please bring 3 passport size photos for TIMS & Permit)
- First Aid medical kit (carried by your trek guide).
- Trek gears like duffle bag, down jacket, sleeping bag and walking pole. (To be returned after the trek)
- Our souvenir to you - Breakfree Adventures T-shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate.
- Farewell dinner in Authentic Nepali Restaurant after the trek completion.
- All government and local taxes, VAT.
What is Not Included
- Lunch or Dinner in Kathmandu.
- Monuments entrance fees while sightseeing in Kathmandu.
- Nepal visa fee (bring accurate USD cash, US$30 per person for 15 days, and two passport photos)
- Extra accommodations in Kathmandu if required.
- International airfare and travel insurance.
- Any kinds of drinks or personal expenses (tea/coffee, hot chocolate, boiled water, bottled water, soft drinks, beer, phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, hot shower etc.)
- Tips for guide and porters.
Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain in the world located in the west-central part of Nepal. Trekking into the Manaslu region is an off-the-beaten-path trekking and goes to Manaslu Conservation Area Project also involves crossing the Larkya La Pass at an altitude of 5,213 meters.
Tsum Valley is located in northern Gorkha in Nepal considered as a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley. One can witness spectacular views of mountains like Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal and others. Tsum means vivid and the valley is rich in age-old culture, traditions and art.
Manaslu and Tsum valley trekking is trekking into the remote Manaslu region and the scared Tsum Valley. You get to witness it’s unique culture resembling to Tibet n the upper Budi Gandaki river. On the course of the trek, you have to cross Larkya La (5100m) with great view of Mt. Manaslu.
Manaslu permit cost is US$30 per person for both Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation Areas and there’s another special permit is required since Manaslu is the restricted area.
Yes, special permit required for Manaslu trek is required since Manaslu is the restricted area where during high trek season (Sep till Nov) the cost is US$100 per person for a week and US$15 per person per day beyond a week. On off-season (Dec till Aug), the cost is US$75 per person for a week and beyond a week is US$10 per person per day. All of these permits and fees are already covered your tour cost.
You can’t go alone or get a Manaslu permit since it being a restricted area. The permit must be issued via a registered government trekking agency and the trek organized by a trekking agency.
No, TIMS card isn’t required when the special permit for Manaslu is being issued including the entrance permit for Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation Area projects.
Looking into the number of trekkers visit each season Manaslu region is less crowded than Everest or Annapurna regions and since it’s being remote and restricted area, so you will get to witness the pristine nature and less crowded trails and lodges.
Manaslu Tsum valley trekking itinerary starts with a drive to Arughat via Dhadig Besi from Kathmandu which takes about 8-9 hours. Kathmandu to Dhading Besi road is smooth but from Dhading Besi to Arughat is off-road. The trek ends at Besisahar and drives back to Kathmandu which is 7-8 hours road journey.
Manaslu circuit and Tsum valley trek difficulty falls under the category of strenuous trek involving crossing high mountain pass over 5000 meters with trekking trails from easy to rough to rocky exposed sections. There are series of ups and downs and some parts of the trail may be covered in snow. You need to have a good level of fitness with the average walking hours of 6-8 hours.
The best time for trekking around Manaslu and the Tsum valley is Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). Monsoon (Jun-Aug) will be rainy and muddy trails while during winter (Nov-Feb) is too cold and misty making visibility poor. October is the most preferred and busiest month where you will many other trekkers on the trail.
Trekking guide to Manaslu and Tsum valley is definitely required since it’s the remote and restricted area where an experienced guide who knows the area well must be taken where he shall take care of everything including leading the way and will help for any emergencies like altitude sickness.
Accommodations on Manaslu and Tsum trek is very basic but with good and comfortable lodges. Toilets are usually shared. Lodges will provide you blankets but it’s important to carry your own extra sleeping bag for extra warm especially crossing Larkya la pass at high altitude. The camping option is also available for this trek depending upon your wish.
All kinds of food including continental and Nepali cuisines are available during Manaslu circuit via Tsum valley trek food. Vegetables served are organic and usually locally produced. For non-veg, please check with your guide if the meat is fresh as it may have been stored for a long time. Basic food will be dal, bhat, noodles etc. Also at some points, you can’t find lodges en-route (only during morning and evening for night stays) so taking along dry fruits, granola bars for a quick energy boost is suggested.
Wifi on trekking around Manaslu and the Tsum valley isn’t much available and some lodges in Samagaun and Samdo have wi-fi and costs extra. Mobile phone service network is available only at 40% of the Manaslu area. If you are buying 4G sim card in Nepal then Ncell, the local company, is suggested.
Drinking Water in Manaslu is available which will roughly cost Rs. 200 (US$2 approx.) per bottle at lower elevation and Rs. 400 (US$4 approx.) per bottle at higher elevations. Purification tablets can also be used which can be bought in Kathmandu before trek. Water resource is available en-route and usually water at the mountain isn’t polluted as in the cities.
Travel insurance for Manaslu circuit via Tsum valley trek is definitely required. It should cover helicopter rescue costs and medical expenses. In case of altitude sickness or other medical conditions, helicopter rescue may require. You are recommended to get travel insurance that covers even at higher altitudes i.e. up to 6000m. The insurance policy usually doesn’t cover over 3,000 meters of altitude. So, make sure these things while purchasing travel insurance.
You can charge all your things during the trek except at Gum. pa Lungdang and Dharmasala. The charging cost is extra more or less a couple of dollars as per the locations.
Altitude sickness on Manaslu circuit and Tsum valley trek can occur as this trek goes to higher altitudes, the highest point being Larkya La Pass (5213m). To avoid altitude sickness, drinking plenty of water and walking slowly is recommended besides the itinerary is specially planned with enough acclimatization days. With good preparation before trek and mental preparedness, altitude sickness can be avoided.
Your hotel where you stay in Kathmandu will store your luggage that you don’t want to take to trek without any charge. Later on, you can pick up your luggage after the trek.
We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.
When to go:
Spring (February, March, April, May) and Autumn (October, November) are the best seasons for the Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.
Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use 3 stars hotel with breakfast but can upgrade upon request. During the Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking, we provide the best available lodge which is called Tea house(lodge). Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). Some guesthouses are basic with shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a room with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. Keep in mind that there are several places which do not allow single accommodations during peak season, but we will try our best to accommodate your preferences if possible. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route. Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.
We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from guesthouses chosen from a menu. While Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking, your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive due to the extreme locations. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy bottled mineral water from local lodges and shops en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.
Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 25 days Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking is moderate to strenuous trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 25 days Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip are good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.
The Trekking Group:
For Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (6 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porter for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as we’ve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you’d like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid – KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
- Trekking Guide Training – Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
- Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet
- TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
- English Language – KEEP (Kathmandu environment education project)
- Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association
Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.
Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.
Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.
Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel, that you should consider before booking .Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.
Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.