Discover Nepal in the secret Tibetan Buddhist land lying at the edge of one of the most secluded Himalayan valleys of Nepal with Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trekking package. Tsum Valley of Manaslu trail is one of world's remotest Himalayan Valleys which is also a restricted trekking trail, Tsum valley has pristine lifestyle to explore. The trek to Tsum Valley takes you into the majestic surroundings of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal, and Boudha Himal ranges in the near sight.
Lifestyle and culture of Tsum valley
The region once being part of Tibet looks completely different from what you will find elsewhere inside Nepal. Saying that, this valley is like Nepal in landscape but culture and tradition of the resident is similar to Tibetan people. The people of Tsum Valley or the Tsumbas belong to Tibetan origin with their own ancient form of dialect, art, culture and religion.
Restricted trekking trail - Tsum valley
Very few adventure travelers have made it to this high and mysterious valley, which used to be an important trade link with Tibet. In the initial days, we trek the route for Around Manaslu Trek or the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The Tsum Valley lies on the northern part of Manaslu and used to be a only restricted area in the region until 2008. The region is less exposed in comparison to other touristy areas, with relatively virgin and less beaten paths in comparison to the more popular regions of trekking in Nepal. The Tsum people have their own way of family life, which may be quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry.
Larkey Pass - A longest pass of the world in Manaslu
Manaslu is famous for its wild pass called Larkey pass. Larkey pass top is at an altitude of 5106 meters above the sea level. After doing trek of Tsum valley trek, we will reconnect the trekking trail of Manasluu Tsum Valley near Nyak village. After getting to the trail of larkey pass the narrow trail suddenly gets wider till we get to the village of Samdo. After Samdo we will meet few tea house and the route to the right from these tea houses at Larkey Bazzar is way to Tibet. Whereas, following the route towards Bhimatang takes us to the larkey la. Larkey pass can be done from Samdo with approximate 12 to 15 hours of trek and from Dharmashala around 8 to 10 hours of walk.
Larkey pass can be dangerous in the winter month as the chunk of snow on the narrow passage of the pass might be troublesome. There are few rivers we need to cross while trekking over the pass of larkey la, so it is better to avoid in case of heavy snowfall and bad weather.
Frequently asked question for Manaslu Tsum Valley Trekking
1. Where is Manaslu circuit trek located?
Manaslu circuit trek is approximately 64 kilometers east of famous Annapurna circuit trek. As Annapurna circuit trek is spoiled with road construction along the trekking trail, trekkers are choosing Manaslu circuit as an alternative to APC trek.
2. How long is manaslu trek?
Manaslu circuit trek is generally 14 days trekking programme, however Manaslu has different option on number of trekking days. Depending on where you start trekking and where you stop, determines the number of days for trekking in manaslu circuit. If you are fit and will be fine in altitude; above 4000 meters, you can finish manaslu circuit trek in 12 days.
Manaslu circuit trek starts from Soti Khola till 2020 AD, however Nepal government has planned to construct road all the way to Samdo village. This will change Manaslu circuit trek to a tour destination, as the road goes all the way to Larkey Bazzar. Larkey pazzar is 5 hours away from the top of Larkey pass of Manaslu circuit trek. With this being informed, it is better to trek soon in Manaslu than later.
On the other side of the pass, Manaslu circuit trek connects the trail of Annapurna circuit. If you want to do a part of Annapurna circuit trek with Manaslu then the number of trekking days might go more than 20 days.
3. Does it worth to trek a part of Annapurna Circuit after Larkey pass of Manaslu circuit trek?
If you love waterfall, syange waterfall and few other water fall will be interesting things to see in another side of Manaslu circuit trek. For waterfall lovers, other side of trek for waterfall and village like Bahundanda will be nice and it worth trekking a part of Annapurna circuit trek.
4. How many miles is manaslu circuit?
There is not any precise length but manaslu circuit trek is 110 miles or 177 KM approximately. You will be trekking for 14 days with an average daily distance of 8-12 Km per day, however on the day of larkey pass; trekkers need to walk more than 14 Kilometers.
5. What is Manaslu trek itinerary?
14 days manaslu circuit trek is a common trekking itinerary for manaslu circuit over larkey pass; however there are 12 days Manaslu trek, 21 days manaslu circuit trek (it is with flexible itinerary & hotspring). But any of these trekking itineraries can be customized for longer than stated timeline, shorter than 12 days manaslu circuit trek is not possible till 2022 AD. But after 2022AD the scenario might change, as there is rapid development of road from Soti Khola to Samdo village. Government has already opened road track till Tatopani village, however bus goes regularly till sotikhola.
6. How high is manaslu circuit?
If you consider the highest altitude of Manaslu circuit trek, the top is larkey La at 5106 meters or 16645ft above the sea level. This top of manaslu circuit trek is a narrow passage towards Annapurna circuit in between larkey peak and Shringa Peak.
The height of Mt Manaslu is 8156 meters or 26590 meters above the sea level.
7. How much does it cost to climb manaslu?
Manaslu is one of the 8thousander 8th highest Mountain. Mount Manaslu is famous as a killer mountain. Among many 8thousander, manaslu has its hanging glacier, which can be seen in Manaslu circuit trek (at Birendra taal) on the way to Manaslu base camp.
8. Do we trek to Manaslu base camp in Manaslu circuit trek?
We do not trek by manaslu base camp on Manaslu circuit trek. But on the rest day at Samagaun, trekkers hike to the base camp of manaslu. The hike to manaslu base camp from Samagaun is steep uphill and has narrow trail, it takes 4-6 hours to get to the base camp of Manaslu.
On the trail towards the manaslu base camp trekkers pass by a glacial lake called Birendra taal. This glacial lake of Manalasu circuit trek is just below the hanging glacier of Manaslu.
9. How deadly is manaslu?
Manaslu circuit trek is not deadly at all. If you are fit and have stamina to walk multiday for longer hours; then you can easily do the trekking of manaslu circuit. However, expedition to the top of Mt Manaslu is considered as a technical climbing and mount manslu is a tough mountain. Manaslu is famous as a killer mountain since the death rate while climbing Mt Manaslu is high.
However trekking of Manaslu circuit over Larkey pass is not hard as you would imagine.
10. Do you need a guide for manaslu trek?
Yes, you need a guide to trek to Manaslu. Government of Nepal has declared manaslu circuit as a restricted trekking trail that is why manaslu circuit trek must need a guide and a special permitTo get the permit for manaslu circuit trek, you need to go through an agency and trek with a guide.
Permit for Manaslu needs Nepal visa of trekkers; saying that you need a day in Kathmandu before manaslu trek starts, for special permit preparation for manaslu circuit.
Along with special permit, both ACAP and MCAP permit are necessary for trekking to Manaslu circuit.
11. Is it possible to trek to Manaslu circuit trek without guide?
No, you can not trek in the restricted trekking region of Nepal without guide. Upper mustang region , Upper Dolpo region, Narphu trek, Tsum Valley trek, Kanchenjunga trail are similar to Manaslu circuit trek which can not be trekked without a local trekking guide. The guide needs to be registered with Nepal government and an agency need to process for your trekking permit to Manaslu circuit. All permit to manaslu, guide and agency are inter related.
But you can trek without porter if you think you can carry your bag pack yourself. However, regarding more than 10 hours of walk on the beautiful Larkey pass day (generally it is 8 to 14 hours of trekking over the pass of larkey pass); I recommend you to take a porter to have yourself an ample of time so as to soak in the beauty in the entire Manaslu circuit trek.
12. How is Manaslu trek difficulty level?
Manaslu circuit trek is not hard but it is a challenge. As you must hire a guide to go in this trek, s/he will take care through the entire trek, so you just need to have a good physical stamina and a better health to tackle the high altitude situation.
The pass day of manaslu circuit trek is literally, walk over the glacier, this makes trekking little bit tough. Apart from glacial walk, Manaslu circuit trekking is not hard.
13. Help me choose; Manaslu or Annapurna circuit Trek.
People say manaslu is similar to Annapurna circuit from 15 years ago. With saying that, the famous Annapurna circuit trail has been modernized, however there are lots of alternative trail to skip the roadway trail. The road in Annapurna circuit trek has certainly made the local’s life easy, but also decreased the charm among trekkers.
In contrast, the trail of manaslu circuit is still remote and unspoiled. People, culture and tradition of this place are amazing and comparatively nicer than Annapurna Circuit. Annapurna Circuit has road all the way to 2 nights before Thorongla pass. Whereas; in case of Larkey pass; end of the road is the starting of the trek. Manaslu circuit has remote villages in the narrow valley and many of the households are isolated. If you trek towards the Tsum valley side of Manaslu the life is even simpler with Tibetan culture prevailing on their life.
The view of the mountain in AC or MC is similar, but for your information Manaslu circuit has the longest pass of the world. It take approximately 8 to 14 hours to cross the larkey pass of manaslu, where most of the walk is over the glacier and the trail during the winter is unimaginably hard.
On top of the manaslu circuit trekking trail view and difficulty, Manaslu circuit connects with Annapurna circuit at the end of its restricted zone. That means, automatically the Manaslu circuit trek gives taste of trekking in the Anaapurna Circuit as well. So, if fitness and money (Manaslu trekking permit is way more than Annapurna circuit trekking permit, as MC is a restricted trail) is not a problem; I would definitely do Manaslu circuit.
14. Where can I get Manaslu trekking information?
Trekking to Manaslu is trek in the restricted region so, you can not trek alone. You must get a guide and join a group to trek. Trekking agencies in Nepal has frequent group leaving to Manaslu Circuit. As you already need to have a trekking company in Nepal for all arrangement, that will be your complete information center.
15. How much does Manaslu trek cost?
Trekking to Manaslu circuit cost will be around 1000USD to 2500USD. The price is minimal if you just hire a guide and service package from a trekking company & maximum with everything included. There are many freelance guides who can take you to manaslu, but at the end; you must go through a registered trekking company for Manaslu circuit trekking permit preparation, so better to consult trekking agencies.
And for your kind information, local travel agencies in Nepal have half the price of international companies like Gapadventure with more inclusion in the package.
16. Which one to choose Manaslu circuit vs Everest base camp?
Manaslu is an adventure in the remote Nepal with very basic food and accommodation. Whereas, Everest base camp trek can be a basic trek to luxurious trek. With saying that; the choice is yours, as they are best trekking destination with distinct character.
If you want to go into the wild, Manaslu circuit trek is recommended. If you are looking for scenery of the mountains and you do not care much about the remoteness and basic life – Everest trek will facilitate you more. As a Nepali trekking guide, I prefer Everest trek over Manaslu Circuit trek.
17. What to choose among Manaslu circuit vs Annapurna base camp?
Manaslu is not comparable with Annapurna base camp. People looking for a base camp trek must look in between EBC and ABC; not Annapurna base camp and Manaslu circuit trek. Manaslu circuit trek is way tougher than ABC base camp trek.
These two trekking are completely different from each other.
18. Can I do a part of Manaslu circuit trek?
Indeed, it is possible to do a part of Manaslu circuit trek. For this type of trekking, my suggestion is to do trekking from Bensisahar to Bhimatang. This trekking route will take you to the other side of Larkey pass. From trekking till Bhimtang you will not see complete Manaslu circuit trek but the scenery is amazing.
Bhimtang village has great view of the mountain and you will be able to see Mt Manaslu north face, very close. There are glacial lakes in 3 hours walking distance from Bhimtang village, so this side of Manaslu circuit trek till Bhitang village is recommended for them who want to see a part of Manaslu trekking region.