Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek

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Starts at: Maccha Khola Ends at: Dharapani
Trek Region: Manaslu Transport: Public Bus
Duration: 20 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5167 m / 16752 ft (Larkya Pass) Accommodation: Teahouse / Homestay

Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek Highlights

  • Explore the less explored and hidden valleys of the Manaslu region
  • Walk to the Tibetan border on the northern side of the Manaslu region
  • Visit the antique monasteries, chortens, and gompas in the region.
  • Witness the wide-angle display of Mt. Manaslu, Hiunchuli, Ganesh Himal, & Larkye Peak
  • Navigate the novel trek routes to the typical Tsum Valley

This 20-day trek takes you through the Manaslu Conservation Area and into the hidden Tsum Valley, a different world close to the Tibetan border.  This area was occupied centuries ago when travelers came from Tibet and settled there.  Today, you will find a strange blend of Nepali and Tibetan languages, religion, and culture.

The conservation area has grown around Mt Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163 m (26,781 ft). It is a restricted area where few outsiders are allowed to go because it is so close to the Tibetan border and has flora and fauna unique to this area.  

The Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trek are reached by air and road.  It takes a whole day to get to the starting point of the trek, and the same is true on the return journey.

The other 18 days are taken up by hiking through some of the prettiest countryside in Nepal.  Pine forests and rhododendrons bring a peaceful feeling, whereas the gorges, rocky trails, and high mountains bring a feeling of awe and wonder. 

There is a high pass to cross, with views of ice falls and these mountains. A high-altitude lake, unique wildlife, and visits to Buddhist monasteries add to the excitement of this trek.

This is a strenuous trek with altitudes over 3,000 m / 9,842 ft and twice over 5,000 m / 16,404 ft. With long days of up to 7 hours of trekking, it is for serious trekkers who are interested in the lifestyle of the local people and in seeing the mountains in a remote setting. As you enter the Tsum Valley area, the landscape, villages, and people become even more Tibet-like, which is, we believe, an added bonus.

The trek itself takes in thundering waterfalls and rivers; challenging rocky trails clinging to cliff faces; Gurung villages with rice and millet terraces; long and mentally challenging suspension bridges; mani walls, chortens, and other Buddhist shrines, particularly on the Tsum Valley section.

Known as a hidden valley, the people, culture, and landscape of the Tsum Valley are closely related to that of Tibet.

The trek goes very close to the Tibetan border. On this part of the trek, you can meet Buddhist monks and nuns and visit Milarepa’s Cave.

Look for beautiful mountain birds like the Lophophorus, Nepal’s national bird.

As far as mountain views go, there are stunning views of Mount Manaslu and the Himalayan ranges of Simrang, Hiunchuli, Ngadi, Ganesh Himal, and Larkye Peak.

From Larkya La there are spectacular views of icefalls and frozen lakes, Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru, and the massive Annapurna II.

This is a trek for those who would love to experience changing landscapes and cultures throughout one trip. Stamina is required, but stunning views of snow-capped mountains and a unique experience reward this.

Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Macha Khola (Drive)

Maccha Khola – 930 m / 3,051 ft -19 hrs

Day 2: Maccha Khola to Jagat

Jagat – 1340 m /4396 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Jagat to Lokpa

Lokpa – 2240 m / 7349 ft – 5 hrs

Day 4: Lokpa to Chumling

Chumling – 2386 m / 7828 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Chumling to Chekampar

Chekampar – 3031 m / 9944 ft – 6 hrs

Day 6: Chekampar to Nile

Nile – 3361 m / 11026 ft – 6 hrs

Day 7: Day Trip to Mu Gompa

Nile – 3700 m / 12139 ft – 6 hrs

Day 8: Nile to Chekampar

Chekampar – 3031 m / 9944 ft – 5 hrs

Day 9: Chekampar to Chumling

Chumling – 2386 m / 7828 ft – 5 hrs

Day 10: Chumling to Deng

Deng – 1860 m / 6102 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Deng to Namrung

Namrung – 2630 m / 8628 ft – 6 hrs

Day 12: Namrung to Lho

Lho – 2957 m / 9701 ft – 4 hrs

Day 13: Lho to Sama Gaun

Sama Gaun – 3530 m / 11581 ft – 4 hrs

Day 14: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)

Sama Gaun – 4400m / 14435 ft – 7 hrs

Day 15: Sama Gaun to Samdo

Samdo – 3865 m / 12680 ft – 3 hrs

Day 16: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Tibet Border)

Samdo – 5000 m / 16404 ft – 8 hrs

Day 17: Samdo to Dharmasala

Dharmasala – 4460 m / 14632 ft – 4 hrs

Day 18: Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass

Bimthang – 3590 m / 11778 ft – 10 hrs

Day 19: Bimthang to Dharapani

Dharapani – 1970 m / 6463 ft – 7 hrs

Day 20: Dharapani to Kathmandu (Drive)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 10 hrs

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Plan Your Trip

Day 1: Kathmandu to Maccha Khola (Drive)

  • Drive time: 8 to 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 160 km / 99 miles

It’s a long road journey to Maccha Khola, the starting point of the Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek. The scenery may be captivating, but the road is bumpy and uncomfortable.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel. He has two options: he will bring your private jeep to meet you after your leisurely breakfast or he will come by taxi at around 5:30 a.m. to take you to the bus station, where you both will board a local bus.  

The jeep is definitely more comfortable and flexible, but the bus is cheaper (included in the price of the trek), if not very restful. Depending on your vehicle, it takes around 7 to 9 hours to reach the first overnight stop. The final few hours are over a bumpy road.

Day 2: Maccha Khola to Jagat

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles

The beauty of this trek is that you go up to a higher elevation but there is plenty of acclimatization time on the way.  Today, we start trekking at a low altitude where the weather will be warm and likely sunny.

Highlights of this first day are suspension bridges, forests, and perhaps a monkey or two since this is the Manaslu Conservation Area. The Budhi Gandaki River is crossed several times, and there are many trails to ascend, only to descend again sometime later. And repeat! This is trekking in the Himalayas!

The overnight stay today is in Jagat village, which mainly consists of Gurung and Tamang people.

Day 3: Jagat to Lokpa

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 17 km / 10 miles

Today, we follow the trail on the Manaslu Circuit Trek until we branch off to the Tsum Valley after lunch, and it goes something like this:

Hike through more cooling forests and along streams until we climb up to Salleri village and down again to Siribass village.  

The valley then begins to widen until we reach Philm village. We trek to a small settlement known as Ekle Bhatti, through a gorge, across the Budhi Gandaki River again, and into a bamboo forest within a valley.  

After lunch, we head off this main trail towards the hidden Tsum Valley, where we continue until we reach Lokpa village.

Day 4: Lokpa to Chumling

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 6 km / 3 miles

There is some hard climbing up today and great sights such as a deep gorge, the Lungwa River valley, and the now familiar rhododendron, pine, and juniper forests. Ganesh Himal is perhaps the most prominent mountain today.

When we reach Chumling village, we can visit the nearby Panago Gompa and Gurwa Gompa, both Buddhist monasteries, which are just two of the many you will see on this trek.

Chumling only consists of a few simple houses, and as we reach here by lunchtime, it is a great idea to explore these gompas before settling down for the evening.

Day 5: Chumling to Chekampar (also called Chokhangparo)

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

Shringri Himal is nearby, with a stunning sunrise.  Then, we are off to Upper Tsum Valley, where Ganesh Himal is in full view from a high ridge that we pass along. 

The settlements we pass today are more and more Tibetan-like.  Chekampar is situated in flat meadows and is not just one but two small settlements.  Before reaching the village, we must carefully pass over a landslide area.

Day 6: Chekampar to Nile

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 9 km / 5 miles

Leaving Chekampar, the trails head towards the last settlement in the Tsum Valley.   With the rising altitude, we must be aware of what is happening with our bodies. 

Highlights of the day include a Milerapa Cave – a meditation spot by an ancient (11th century) Tibetan guru.  This is not the only cave he stayed in Nepal, as he traveled extensively.  We are now very close to the Tibetan border; in fact, the Nile is the last settlement in the Tsum Valley. 

Before settling down in the teahouse that will be our home tonight, we can visit Rachen Gompa and interact with some Buddhist monks, if possible.

Day 7: Day Trip to Mu Gompa.  Overnight, if possible, or return to the Nile. 

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 8 km /4 miles

Today, we have another opportunity to meet monks at Mu Gompa, the most famous monastery in the region. With its painted murals of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara and its Buddhist artifacts, this is a very interesting place to visit. Once we have visited, we will return to the Nile for the second night.

Day 8: Nile to Chekampar

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

Today we must retrace our steps back to Chekampar as there is no other trail to hike! 

Day 9: Chekampar to Chumling

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 12 km / 7 miles

As we descend in altitude, it feels a bit easier to walk as the air is less thin. We really enjoyed the hike today, passing through forests, villages, and along rivers.

Day 10: Chumling to Deng

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 3 km / 1 miles

Despite being at low altitude today, the trail has the usual ups and downs to take our breath away! The views of Sringi Himal intrigue us, however, as do the areas of cultivated land—what crops are they growing? We meet the Budhi Gandaki River again, with another suspension bridge to cross and the, by now quite usual, rhododendron forest to wander through.

Day 11: Deng to Namrung

  • Trek time: 10 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 18 km / 11 miles

Today, we are back on the Manaslu Trek trail. Our day starts with a steep ascent and then a descent to the Budhi Gandaki river. We must pay attention to our feet and our guide as we cross a landslide area.

Finally, we reach Namrung, where some of the best tea shops and lodges are located. The village is situated in a beautiful location, perhaps.

Day 12: Namrung to Lho

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

Today, we meet the Nubri people, who also came from Tibet hundreds of years ago. They are recognizable for their Tibetan-style clothes and lifestyle.

Again, the altitude rises as we walk through the forests, and the wonderful Mount Manaslu keeps us company. 

Mani walls and painted gateways greet us as we reach Lho where we will spend the night. 

Day 13: Lho to Sama Gaun

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 7 km / 4 miles

Today, once we reach Sama Gaun, we have plenty of time to explore this interesting settlement. But first, we hike through more forests and a moss-filled gully. 

Sama Gaun is inhabited mainly by Nubri people, who are yak herders. The village is surrounded by yak pastures, and there is a monastery to visit if we wish. 

Interestingly, there is a heliport and a health port in this village, which is a huge bonus to the local and surrounding communities. It is likely that we will also be able to connect to WiFi here!

Day 14: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)

  • Trek time: 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 11 km / 6 miles

This is the perfect location for an acclimatization day before we ascend in altitude. The best way to acclimatize is to keep moving!

There are several choices: you can walk to Birendra Tal, a high-altitude lake, in only a couple of hours or be a bit more energetic. 

Hike to Pungyan Gompa, which takes 5 to 6 hours all in. The Nubri people believe Lord Pungyen is the guardian of Mt Manaslu and have dedicated this monastery to him.

There are murals to study and peace and quiet to be found. You can also hike to Manaslu Base Camp (4,880m / 15,748 feet), which is around 7 hours.

Manaslu Base Camp may be the more taxing option for the day, but the mountain views are fabulous and definitely make up for all the effort. 

Some of the mountains you will see there are Himalchuli (7,893 meters / 25,895 feet), Shringi Himal (7,187 meters / 23,579 feet), and Ganesh Himal (7,319 meters / 24,012 feet).

Day 15: Sama Gaun to Samdo

  • Trek time: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

From Sama Gaun, it’s a short hike to Samdo. Samdo is an interesting village home to a mainly Bhotia community that follows Buddhism.

From Samdo, you can visit Samdo Peak or neighboring villages. If you choose to visit the peak, you will follow the valley through the herds of grazing yaks and cross the Budhi Gandaki River to White Kani village.

Day 16: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Tibet Border)

  • Trek time: 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 12 km / 7 miles

Explore the Tibetan border again while acclimatizing for tomorrow’s climb over the Larkya Pass.  From the Tibet border,  Samdo Glacier and the huge serac at the top of the glacier can be seen, along with many peaks such as  Manaslu, Kang Gurung, Larkay Peak, and Hiunchuli.

Day 17: Samdo to Dharmasala

  • Trek time: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 3 km / 1 miles

Larke Bazaar is a main trading post, long used for trade between Tibet and Nepal.  If there is trade going on, we can spend a little time watching the transactions.  After passing Larke Bazaar, we cross the Budhi Gandaki River to Dharmasala, where we can see the Larkya Glacier.

Day 18: Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass

  • Trek time: 10 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 18 km / 11 miles

It’s 3 a.m., and it’s time to move out! Why so early? High winds rise in the late morning/ early afternoon, and it is important to cross any high passes before that happens. It’s those Himalayas again!

We take the pass slowly at 5,160m / 16,929 ft, particularly as the trail is made of rocky moraine.

The views at the top of the pass make that early morning start very worthwhile! From the top of the pass, we can see Himlung (7,126m/ 23,379 ft) and Annapurna II (7,937m / 26,040 ft). On the way down, we can see Pongkar Tal (lake), Salpu Danda Glaciers, and huge icefalls. Stunning!  

Day 19: Bimthang to Dharapani

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Distance: 21 km / 13 miles

This is the final day of the Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek—and what a trek it has been! As we descend, our breathing normalizes, and we feel the sun’s warmth as we pass through lush landscapes and agricultural lands. We register birdsong and are alert for wildlife as we make our final trek towards home.  

Day 20: Dharapani to Kathmandu (Drive)

  • Travel time: 12 hours

After breakfast, we head to Tilije to pick up a local jeep for Beshi Sahar. From Bishi Sahar, a local bus or a private jeep will wait to take us back to the city.   

Includes for Manaslu Tsum Valley trek

  • 20 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Guide for 20 days
  • Kathmandu Maccha Khola, Dharapani Kathmandu local bus
  • Manaslu and Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permits
  • 20 x breakfast, 20 x lunch and 19 x dinner while on the trek
  • One Porter for 21 days USD 483 (Optional)
  • Private Jeep USD 440 (Optional)

Equipment for Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trek

The checklist gives you an idea of the trekking equipment and clothing needed for the Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek.

Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek Map

Tum valley trek map

Arrival in Nepal for Tsum Valley Trek

After a long flight into a new country, it is often just one thing too far to negotiate for transport from the airport to your hotel.  Let us do this for you!  When booking, give us your flight details and say whether you want to be picked up, and we will be there.

No, hotels in Kathmandu are not included in the Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek. You can book your hotels in Kathmandu at your price.

Hotel Recommendations:

Take a look at or to choose your hotel.  We recommend Thamel,  the main tourist hub loved by our past clients. 

Plenty of budget and mid-range hotels there to suit a variety of tastes.  Also, many cafes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops exist.  If you forgot to bring something, this is where you will find it.  It is also close to our office!

Explore Kathmandu Before Tsum Valley Trek: 

if you arrive in Kathmandu before a trek starts the day. you will have a free day in Kathmandu. Use it to discover the city, its culture, rich history, and people.  Either explore yourself or take a private tour with us.  Did you know there are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu? Magical Nepal also organises the Kathmandu day tour.

Meals on the Tsum Valley Trek

Yes, on our treks, we include breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the package. Each of the trekking lodges, known as teahouses in Nepal, has very similar menus, and meals are served from the selection on the menu.

The food on this trek reflects the region in that there are a lot of Tibetan items as well as Nepali food.  Some Western items are also on the menu, such as potatoes, eggs, and porridge. 

Lunches are taken in teahouses along the trail except for the acclimatization days at Sama Gaun and Samdo when we take a packed lunch from the teahouse to enjoy while we enjoy our acclimatization day hikes. 

  • Soups
  • Tibetan bread  (deep-fried and delicious bread)
  • Nepali bread (like a chapati)
  • Momos (steamed packets of vegetables Tibetan style)
  • Fried noodles with vegetables
  • Fried potatoes – different varieties depending on the teahouse chef
  • Dal Bhat (Nepali curry and rice)
  • Fried rice with vegetables
  • Rice pudding or something similar for dessert although we will also bring fruit with us for our clients
  • Porridge (breakfast)
  • Eggs  (breakfast)
  • Soft drinks
  • Nepali tea
  • Tibetan butter tea (you must try it once, probably only once!)
  • Coffee (if available)
  • Beer

Tips on Food:

  • Due to a lack of refrigeration, please don’t eat any meat products on the Manaslu circuit Tsum Valley trek.  Your stomach will thank you!
  • Please also avoid alcohol on any high-altitude trek.  Your body absorbs alcohol faster at altitude, and a hangover could hide any altitude sickness symptoms.   It’s also difficult to concentrate on your feet or enjoy the scenery with a hangover!
  • Bringing snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, power bars, chocolate, etc. can help cheer you up at those trying moments or when you just can’t face lunch on the trail.  We will also be bringing fresh fruit with us for our clients.   
  • Lunch is taken on the trail, with limited choices: fried noodles, momos, curry, and the like. That power bar is looking good right about now!
  • Should you wish to order extra at the teahouse or on the trail, or if you order soft drinks, beer etc you pay for these yourself. Only Nepali rupees will be accepted so bring a supply with you!  Please note prices rise as we get further from the road head as goods such as soft drinks must be carried by porter or mule/ yak.
  • Stay well hydrated for your own good health and enjoyment.
  • Almost everything is plant based on the menu.  Vegans will just have to drink black tea as there are no non-dairy substitutes in these areas.

Sources of Water on the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Trek 

Do not drink water from any external source..  Add purification tablets or drops to the water, and wait 30 minutes, it will be safe to drink.  Bring these drops or tablets with you or buy them in Kathmandu.  They will not be available on the trail.  Something like a LifeStraw – a bottle which purifies water – is also a good buy. Bring from  your own country.

Tips on Water for Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek:

  • We at Magical Nepal believe in protecting the environment, so we request that you not buy water in plastic bottles. 
  • Imagine how difficult it is for locals to transport empty plastic bottles from the valley.  No doubt they do not do this regularly, and the number of bottles adds up.  Bottled water in remote, high areas is also very expensive as goods must be transported by porter or mule/ yak. 
  • Bringing a Stainless Steel bottle rather than a plastic bottle will also be beneficial, as there may be times when you wish to buy (hot) boiled water at the teahouse.
  • A plastic bottle won’t work in that situation. Natural spring water can be drunk after you purify it with the drops or tablets you bring. Remember to let the water sit for 30 minutes before drinking it.
  • We cannot repeat this often enough – stay hydrated!  Try not to run out of water during the day when you may be hours from the next teahouse. 

Accommodation on the Manaslu Circuit Tsum and Valley Trek

Two single beds and nothing else really is the norm.  On the Manaslu Circuit leg of the trek there are some teahouses with attached bathrooms. However, once we enter the Tsum Valley, the majority of teahouses only have bathrooms outside of the main building.    No attached bathroom either. Bring your own sleeping bag as the bedding will not be enough for the cold nights.

What are the toilets and showers like? In the Manaslu Circuit area, many of the teahouses do have attached bathrooms, but in the Tsum Valley expect  the toilets and shower to be  outside of the main building.  This is in the local tradition as village homes do not have inside toilets – it is considered dirty.   If you wish a hot shower you will have to pay for it. Usually between USD 2 to 5. 

Tips on Accommodation

The dining room is heated and it is the place to be before and after dinner!

It is possible to charge your equipment in most teahouses, but they will charge USD2-5 per item.

  • The dining room is heated – use this warmth to socialize in.
  • Bathrooms are normally outside of the main teahouse.
  • Hot water is available for the shower at an additional cost.
  • Electricity is available in most teahouses for lights and charging.  
  • Teahouses are more like large village homes than city hotels.  Viva la difference! 

Porters versus No Porter on the Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trek

A guide is included in the price of the trek, so is a porter also included?

No, hiring a porter is optional.  It depends on the clients’ requirements. 

Do I need to hire a porter?

It is up to the individual trekker whether they want to hire a guide or not.  The benefits are that it frees you up from carrying a backpack daily, making it easier to take impromptu photographs, or climb up for a better view.  And of course, not having to carry 15 or 20 kg every day for 18 days kind of speaks for itself. 

If you confident you can carry your own pack because you have done it before, and are very fit, then you can make an educated decision.  If you have not carried your own pack before, are unsure if you can, or just want the freedom of not having to carry it, then definitely hire a porter.

Aside from the physical aspect, by hiring a porter you are supporting his family and community through the money he earns.

Tips on Hiring a Porter

  • It is possible to share a porter with another trekker!  As long as both your bags are under the 10kg mark, two trekkers can share a porter and share the cost.
  • Do not expect a porter to carry more than 20kg.  It’s even better to ask the porter to carry less than that amount.
  • What you will be carrying is your day pack with daily essentials needed on the trail such as water and sunscreen.

Typical Day on the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek

Every day on the Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek brings something new to discover. It also follows a pattern where we breakfast in the teahouse we have slept in and hike to the next overnight teahouse where we take dinner and discuss the day’s adventure.

What does an average day in the Manaslu Tsum Valley look like?

This trek takes us into the Manaslu Conservation Area so that we can expect exotic wildlife. Red pandas and snow leopards are the most famous mammals in this area, although they are very hard to spot!  Blue sheep and yaks are much less elusive.  The mountains are some of the highest in the world. 

Mt Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain, with the neighboring mountains not being that much smaller.  The surrounding countryside ranges from cool forests and raging rivers to deep gorges and rough terrain. 

Entering the hidden valley of Tsum, the villages we pass through look more like those in Tibet than in other areas of Nepal. The people’s culture is Tibetan Buddhism, and there is plenty of evidence of that to see, including several monasteries.

We will be trekking at altitudes over  3,000m / 9,842.5 ft for around 6 hours per day, which is tiring, especially at high altitude.  However, the mountains, scenery and culture in this area are so rare they deserve all the effort we put in.

Tipping the Guide and Porter

Tipping your guide and porter at the end of the trek is normal.  This shows appreciation for their work for you while on this trek.

How much should I tip the guide and porter?

The standard rate is to tip the guide 10% of the cost of your trip, which is the amount you paid us for your trek. 

The standard rate for the porter is to tip him 10% of what you paid him for the duration of the trek.  Porters work on a per-day basis, so for 18 days on trial, you would pay him 10% of those 18 days’ wages.

Communication on the Trek

There is some WiFi on the Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek!  It is not reliable, and neither is it in every village.  Your phone data package may work in some locations, but not in others.  It’s best to tell those at home you will be out of touch for a while; then, it’s a nice surprise when you come online. 

Tips for Communication back home in Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek

  • At the airport, upon your arrival in Nepal, you can buy a sim card (NTC works better in this remote location), allowing you to connect to a local data internet package. Do remember the data package is more likely not to work than to work! 

Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek Difficulty

The Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek require great general fitness; some trekking experience is advantageous. This is because it is a tough and strenuous trek over a long period of time—18 trekking days—in a remote area with less-than-luxurious accommodation at the end of a long day’s hike.

On the plus side, the trek starts at a low altitude, which allows our bodies time to get used to the altitude before we go over the 3,000m / 9,842.5 ft mark.  This is the height where altitude-related problems could arise, so this trek allows us to gradually become used to the altitude.   

We recommend increasing your physical activity well in advance of coming to Nepal.  Cardio, weights, swimming, and the exercise of choice, hiking, are all great ways to get into shape.

Best Seasons to Trek in Manaslu and Tsum Valley

For this remote area, we recommend trekking in either spring or autumn.

Spring: (March to May) When skies are clear blue and the weather reliable. While it might still be a bit cold at the beginning of March, temperatures will quickly rise during the month. The rhododendrons will bloom, making the forests a colorful place to hike through.

Autumn: (September to November) The weather is similar to spring. That means warm at lower altitudes and not too cold higher up.  After the monsoon rain, the pastures and forests will be green and lush.

Monsoon: (June – September) We do not take clients to this area in the monsoon.  The trails are too difficult by the overflowing rivers, slippery trails, and potential landslides. Life is also cold and dreary when it rains.

Winter: Again, it is not recommended to trek in this area during the winter.  Trails may be hard to locate after snowfall and many teahouses will be closed as the locals go down to a warmer climate for the winter.

So, are the best times to trek in spring and autumn?

Yes.  Unlike other areas, this restricted area does not get overcrowded even in the best seasons, so you will still enjoy the relative peace and quiet, particularly in the Tsum Valley section of the trek.

Other Expenses for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek

The cost of the trek is a fixed amount, but there are some other expenses to consider when booking the Manaslu Circuit with Tsum Valley Trek.

Transport: a local bus ticket is provided for the cost of the trek.  However, a private jeep is available for hire if you wish for a more comfortable journey to the start of the trek.

Food: Three meals a day are included in the cost of the trek. If you want to eat something else, drink tea or coffee outside of meal time, or drink soft drinks or beer at any time, you must pay for that yourself.

In the teahouse, you are required to pay to charge any items, e.g., your phone, and it will be around USD2-5 each time. Likewise, a hot shower will set you back around the same amount per shower. Note that prices are higher the higher the elevation.

Tips: please calculate the tips for your guide and porter.

Others on the trail: It is normal to give a small donation (USD1-2) at a monastery, a little more if you are lighting the prayer lamps provided. If you are somewhere where local handicrafts are for sale, you might want to carry money to purchase a souvenir to take home.

We recommend you bring around USD15 per day in Nepali rupees, plus tips for the guide and porter, which can be in other currencies, e.g., Euro, USD, or Sterling.

Before you come expenses: You might want to join a gym or buy some weights before your trek to get fit at home. You will definitely need a pair of trekking boots (wear them a lot before you come) and some trekking gear, including the contents of your first aid kit, which will include water-purifying tablets/ drops.

Visa for Nepal

For citizens of most countries, you can obtain a visa on arrival to Nepal. These are valid for 15 days, 30 days, or 3 months. Fill in the form online at the Nepal immigration site, print it out, and bring it with you. You make payment at the airport in Kathmandu. Payment should be made in USD cash. Please use exact money only.

Don’t rely on filling out the form once you land in Kathmandu, as the necessary machine is often out of commission or very busy.  The same applies to the ATMs at arrival.

Currently, in spring 2024, the cost of a tourist visa on arrival is:

  • 15 Days – 30 USD
  • 30 Days – 50 USD
  • 90 Days – 125 USD

Your visa does not cover trekking. Separate permits are required for trekking, and the cost of these depends on the location you plan to trek in.

Travel Insurance for Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek

It is important to have travel insurance when trekking in Nepal.  Your insurance should cover you to trek to 5,000 m  /  16,404 ft and should cover helicopter evacuation.  Read the small print.

We will cover the insurance for our guides, porters, and other staff, but clients are required to purchase their insurance before arriving in Nepal.

Group vs Private Trip for Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek

The Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek takes place in a remote area that requires a Restricted Area Permit. Because of this, rules are in place to protect and conserve the area’s wildlife and people’s lifestyle. One rule is that foreign trekkers cannot enter the area alone or with a guide. 

There must be at least 2 trekkers with a properly registered guide from a Nepali trekking company. Therefore, a private group is not just you and a guide but you and a small group of your friends and the guide.

What is a group trek?

To clarify, a group trek can involve any number of trekkers, from 2 upwards, who did not know each other before the trek. They simply are people who all want to trek in this area at this time. This is a very good option if you are just one person. On the downside, you will trek with people of different abilities and ages.

 Is it better for me to do a private trek?

A private trek is good for you if you are with one or more friends.  There will be no unknown people in your group.  You can trek at your own pace and enjoy with your friends in the evening.

Does a private trip cost more? 

No.  The basic cost for the trek, guide, food and accommodation is the same.  The only difference is if you decide to take a private jeep at the start and end of the trek.  The clients pay for the private jeep so if your group is small then it will be more expensive than if your group has more people to divide the cost between.

Why Book with Magical Nepal

If you are looking for value for money, experienced guides, and a wonderful experience, Magical Nepal is for you!

We were established in 2015 because we wanted to improve the trekking scene in Nepal. Through personal experience, we found that it was difficult to get good, correct information about treks, even for us, two young Nepali guys! Now, we focus on providing a great experience for our clients, starting with personal contact and truthful information.

The reviews from our past clients speak for themselves.  We also guarantee to match the price of any trek should you find it at a lower price elsewhere.  Further, the guides for this trek are mainly local from this area.  This gives them a great advantage and allows us to provide 24/7 local support during this, and other treks.

FAQs For Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek

General Information

What is the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek is a challenging and remote trekking route in Nepal that combines the Manaslu Circuit with the hidden gem of Tsum Valley, offering stunning Himalayan views and unique cultural experiences.

How long does the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek take?

The trek typically takes around 22 to 23 days, depending on the itinerary and pace of the group.

What is the maximum altitude reached on this trek?

The highest point of the trek is the Larkya La Pass, which is at an elevation of 5,160 meters (16,929 feet).

When is the best time to do the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek?

The best times to trek are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons, when the weather is most favorable.

What type of accommodation is available on the trek?

Accommodation typically includes lodges and tea houses along the route. These are basic but comfortable, providing essentials like meals and a place to sleep.

Preparation and Permits

What permits are required for the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley Trek?

Trekkers need the Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP), Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (RAP), Tsum Valley Restricted Area Permit, and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP).

Is a guide required for the trek?

Yes, the trek is in a restricted area, so you must have a licensed guide and be part of a group of at least two trekkers.

How physically fit do I need to be for this trek?

The trek is considered challenging, so a good level of physical fitness and some prior trekking experience are recommended.

What should I pack for the trek?

Essential items include warm clothing, sturdy trekking boots, a first aid kit, a sleeping bag, trekking poles, and a good backpack. Don’t forget your permits, a map, and a GPS device.

Do I need travel insurance for this trek?

Yes, it’s essential to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking and emergency evacuation.

Trekking Experience

What kind of terrain will I encounter on the trek?

The trek includes a variety of terrains, from lush forests and river valleys to high mountain passes and alpine meadows.

Are there any cultural highlights on the trek?

Yes, the trek passes through remote villages inhabited by ethnic groups like the Tsumba, and you can visit ancient Buddhist monasteries, chortens, and mani walls.

What wildlife might I see during the trek?

The region is home to wildlife such as the Himalayan tahr, musk deer, and, if you’re lucky, the elusive snow leopard.

What are the daily trekking hours?

Trekkers typically hike for 5 to 7 hours a day, depending on the day’s itinerary and weather conditions.

Can I trek alone in the Manaslu Circuit Tsum Valley?

No, solo trekking is not permitted in this region due to its restricted status and the requirement for a licensed guide.

Health and Safety

What are the risks of altitude sickness, and how can I prevent it?

Altitude sickness is a risk above 2,500 meters. Preventive measures include proper acclimatization, staying hydrated, and ascending gradually.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

In an emergency, notify your guide immediately. They are trained to handle such situations and will arrange for evacuation if necessary.

Are there any medical facilities along the trek?

Medical facilities are limited in this remote region. It’s crucial to carry a well-stocked first aid kit and any personal medications.

What food options are available on the trek?

Tea houses typically offer basic meals such as dal bhat (rice and lentils), noodles, soups, and Tibetan bread. Vegetarian options are commonly available.

Is there any mobile network or internet access on the trek?

Mobile network coverage is sporadic and unreliable. Some tea houses may offer internet access, but it’s not guaranteed.

Cultural and Environmental Considerations

How should I behave in local villages?

Respect local customs and traditions, ask for permission before taking photos of people, and dress modestly.

What are some key cultural sites to visit on the trek?

Important cultural sites include Mu Gompa and Rachen Gompa in the Tsum Valley, and various chortens and mani walls along the route.

How can I minimize my environmental impact while trekking?

Follow the Leave No Trace principles: pack out all trash, avoid disturbing wildlife, and stick to marked trails to prevent erosion.

Is tipping expected for guides and porters?

While not mandatory, tipping is appreciated and a common practice. It’s a way to show gratitude for their hard work and support.

Can I use a drone to capture the scenery?

Drone usage is subject to local regulations, and permits are often required. Check with your trekking company before bringing a drone.

Tsum Valley Trek | Manaslu Circuit Trek

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