Tsum Valley Trek takes you to a remote area of Nepal hardly frequently that just been opened to the outer world to hike to. Tsum Valley lies to the north of the Gorkha District. The valley of Tsum is adorned by tall and wonderful mountain peaks and ranges such as Buddha Himal, Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal, Srinji Himal, and Manaslu. Tsum Valley is a pilgrim destination, mostly by the Buddhist as it believed that the great Buddhist teacher, Milarepa, meditated in the mountain caves in the valley. In fact, it is the eight sacred place in the inner Himalayas, known as Beyuls for the Buddhists. The place is abounding with Mani Walls, Chotens and Kaanis (Gateway Chotens), all around. Vivid is what Tsum stands for in the Tibetan Language for the valley seems to be blessed with enchanting forests, unique Buddhist culture, old historic monasteries, rich wildlife and collusive Ganesh Himal looking over the valley. The local population has its own unique dialect originating from Tibet. The valley is also home to a few endangered species like the Himalayan Thar and the Blue Sheep, and hunting and fishing are prohibited in the valley. The Valley of Tsum is a beautiful place with a great view of the Himalayan Mountains that is still untouched by the modern consumer world which has made it possible for its culture and environment to be in the state it was. It is a different trekking experience hiking into the Tsum, it is off the trodden tracks.
There is much that one can take away from this trek into the Tsum Valley. The first among them is being able to trek in a more isolated part of Nepal is where the terrain looks different from what you might have encountered before. Then the culture, tradition and language spoken by the people who habitat this valley, derives from a form of Tibetan Buddhism. Then you have some of the rarest species that live in this area of the world, hardly or not found elsewhere on earth. Then there are the caves in which once people of the valley built their spiritual homes and some lived as troglodytes. Besides this, in the trek, you get to view the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, especially of Western Nepal. The trek begins and ends in the lush green hills of the Mid-Himalayan range.
Is this a difficult trek?
You could hardly call this a difficult trek for the hiking enthusiasts, cause the beginnings and the endings of the trek will have some climbing and ascents till you get to the higher levels where there is not much of it. Yes, you would need to acclimatize, and the walking would be over some rough terrain. After all, trekking is the business of walking in the nature of the earth and this is exactly what you find here. With a fit body, you will be fitter still in all ways, spiritually, mentally and physically. So much so, you would feel that this was a trip that was worth all the effort.
Outline Trekking Itinerary 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 Machha Khola (900m) 5-6 hrs
Day 05 : Machha 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 : Rest Day in 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 Philim (1590m) 5-6 hrs
Day 15 : Philim to Tatopani (975m) 6 hrs
Day 16 : Tatopani to Macha khola (900m) 5-6 hrs
Day 17 : Macha Khola to Arughat (695m) 5-6 hrs
Day 18 : Drive back to Kathmandu 7-8 hrs drive
Day 19 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination
- Enjoy Kathmandu Sightseeing with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Witness majestic views of Ganesh Himal (7,422m) & Mt. Manaslu (8,163m)
- Explore the exotic Tsum Valley
- Visit age-old and historic monasteries
- Discover Tibetan Buddhist culture with locals with Tibetan origin in the Tsum Valley
- Trek into the remote areas of Nepal
On your arrival at the International Airport in the Kathmandu Valley, you will be met by a representative of Break Free Adventures and taken to your hotel by vehicle. If time allows it, you can either use the time to see around the city or freshen up from you flight in. You stay for the night at the hotel
You sightseeing in Kathmandu begins in the morning. On completion of breakfast, we go to Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square, which is a heritage site and houses cultural monuments. Later, you are taken to Pashupatinath Temple. A Hindu Temple devoted to Lord shiva that is always crowded with Hindu pilgrims. Lunch being completed, it is onto Swoyambhunath (also goes by the name Monkey Temple) is a Buddhist Stupa atop a hillock, frequented by Buddhist and others alike. On finishing you sightseeing trip, it is a seminar on your upcoming hike to Tsum Valley. You stay for the night at the hotel.
Early morning on finishing breakfast, we drive from Kathmandu to Arughat which takes about eight hours. It is a smooth drive to Dhading Besi for 4 hours and then turns rough 4 hours to Arughat. Reaching Arughat, you drive for an hour and a half and reach Soti Khola. You stay for the night at a lodge.
The first trek of trekking begins with breakfast being had. We follow a path that goes up and down for a while, then into a forest and out continuing upstream along the Budhi Gandiki River. Then going downwards to a sandy beach and continuing on winding trails away from the river, we finally Machha Khola. We stay for the night at a lodge.
Today, passing over Machha Khola and then Khorla Besi, it’s onto Tatopani (hot springs) where you can a dip in the hot spring waters. Then through a forest, till you cross Dovan Khola and make you hike into the Budhi Gandiki Valley. There is a change in the landscape with the increase in elevation. All while you see the sandy beaches of the river below. On reaching Jagat, you stay for the night at a lodge.
Being just three hours of walking, it turns out to be the best day. Initially it is a gentle uphill levelled path. Then you cross a suspension bridge over the Budhi Gandiki River and enter Philim. It is a big village of the Gurung Community. You stay for the night at a lodge.
Today, you head north through a thick forest getting scenic views of the mountain. Six to seven hours on the trails gets you to Chumling. Here you can visit the Gompa, the oldest monastery in the village. You stay for the night at a lodge
Crossing a suspension bridge, we get to the other side of the bank. On walking on you begin to enjoy the view of Ganesh Himal. Getting past Rainjain to Serpu Khola, you cross another suspension bridge and arrive at the village of Gho. Another two hours of climbing upwards, you arrive at chhokang Paro. On the weather being clear, a lovely view of Ganesh Himal and Himalchuli can be seen. You stay for the night at a lodge.
Having had breakfast, it is a continuous trek over Chhokang Paro – caution to altitude must be taken here. The path is to Lama Gaon and crossing a suspension bridge, it is Rachen Gompa, also known as Nunnery Gompa. After visiting the Gompa, we cross Shiar Khola. It is a continuous walk to Lar that has a micro hydro power project for Phurbe and Pangdun as well. On the way, we come across an historic Buddha Stupa for Buddha on way crossing Chhule Village. Going upstream and finally over a bridge, it is Nile. We stay for the night at a lodge.
In today’s trek, you almost reach the Tibetan border. Following the west bank, we get a nice view of the Tibetan landscape and climb to Mu Gompa. It is home to a very old monastery. The trail here, used be a trade route to Tibet and Back again. You are sure to come across caravans of yaks supplying goods to villages. We visit the nunnery and the pond. Here the view of the mountains are beautiful. We stay a lodge for the night.
We rest for the day here and go exploring the village and Gompa. We stay for the night at the lodge.
It is onto the nunnery of Rachen Gompa, the largest in the Tsum valley. It is precisely in the Shiar Khola Valley at the foothill of the mountains. This monastery has a thousand clay moulded statues of Avalokiteshwara, brightly coloured carved thrones, pillars and large prayer wheels. Inside, the Gompa, is richly painted with Buddhism history. You stay for the night at a lodge.
The trek begins early in the morning after breakfast. We cross Gho, then Yaju and reach Chumje. We stay for the night at a lodge.
We set off to Lokpa and on having lunch, we move south on a flat path. We pass the wonderful Samba Falls and on a 6 hrour hike reach Philim. We stay for the night at a lodge
We get to to Tattopani from Philim. Here, you can bathe in the hot springs and relieve your aches and pains. We stay for the night at a lodge.
The path to Machha Khola crosses villages along a river and terraced farms. Get to move past waterfalls and follow the Budi Gandiki most times. Then passing some GUrung Villages, you arrive at Korla Besi and then Machha Khola. You stay for the night at a lodge.
We get to Lapu Besi following the trail along the Budhi Gandiki River, passing a few villages on the way. We then cross the Soti Khola and arrive at Arughat Bazaar. We house for the night at a lodge.
Having had breakfast, it’s a drive back to Kathmandu. Along the Rivers Marshyangdi and Trishuli, we pass green hills, mountains, terraced farms and villages on both side. At Kathmandu, we check into a hotel for the night.
As for the time of your flight, a representative will drop you to the Airport three hours ahead of time for check in for your flight back home.
We at Break Free Adventures go out of our way to ensure you have a secure and comfortable adventure to out tailored made itinerary package.
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 - Kathmandu transfers by a private vehicle.
- Arughat - Soti Khola - Arughat 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.
- Tsum Valley special permit fee.
- 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.
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.
Tsum valley trekking is hiking the sacred Tsum Valley located in the northern Gorkha district. You get to witness unique culture resembling to Tibet including witness majestic Himalayan panorama of peaks like Buddha Himal, Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal, Manaslu.
Tsum permit cost is US$30 per person for both Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation Areas and there’s another special permit is required since Tsum is the restricted area.
Yes, a special permit for Tsum valley trek is required since Tsum 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.
Looking into the number of trekkers visit each season Tsume valley 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 Arughat Bazaar and drives back to Kathmandu which is 7-8 hours road journey.
Tsum valley trek difficulty falls under the category of a strenuous trek 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 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 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 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 warmth. 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 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.
Drinking Water in Tsum valley 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 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 rescues over 3000 meters. The insurance policy usually doesn’t cover over 3,000 meters of altitude. So, make sure these things while purchasing travel insurance.
Altitude sickness on Tsum valley trek can occur as this trek goes to higher altitudes. 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 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 Tsum Valley Trekking, we provide the best available guest house 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 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 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 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 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.