Tsum Valley Trekking
The Tsum valley is still not as much exposed like other trekking destinations as it was restricted until the year of 2008. As the valley is rich in Buddhist culture, it comprises of many religious monasteries such as Rachen Gompa and Mu Gompa. Not just the culture, but the biodiversity is splendid as well with many forests, rivers, caves etc.
The journey heads off with a scenic drive to Arughat following to Soti Khola. We will climb the Budhi Gandaki valley upstream via the mix of green terrains and many villages. As we trek, we will pass through blooming rhododendron and pine forests. Continuing the trek, we will be heading from Jagat to Lokpa where the trail will further lead us to Tsum valley; a home to Tibetan locals. The route will have many prayer flags and mani walls that indicate the Buddhist culture. Along with it, we will pass by glacial rivers, beautiful waterfalls and the beauty of the nature within the valley. On the way, we will also be visiting the Piren Phu cave which is one of the most scared cave in the valley. While on the way we may see the local wildlife such as the blue sheep or the Himalayan thar. We will visit the monasteries on our way like the Mu Gompa then the Rachen Gompa. After crossing several suspensions bridges we will reach Gumba Lungdang where after an overnight we will trek to the Ganesh Himal base camp. This exciting trek to the camp is indeed a rewarding one. Then we head back trekking to Lokpa then further down to Jagat. On the following day, we cross many bridges and villages reaching the Arughat Bazaar and from there we drive back to Kathmandu.
The Tsum Valley Trek is indeed an adventurous one that takes you via the off beaten route where you will explore the Tibetan culture, witness the nature’s beauty and also give a pleasant trek. Trekkers may also wish to opt for other trekking packages we offer like
1. Manaslu Circuit Trek
2. Tsum Valley and Manaslu circuit trek
Day 1 : Drive to Arughat 5-6 hrs. then to Soti Khola (730m/2,896ft) 2hrs.
After an early morning breakfast, we will begin our journey with a scenic drive to Arughat, following to Soti Khola. Driving in the Prithivi Highway; west from Kathmandu, we will be passing by a beautiful river view of the Trishuli river. In the first few hours, we will reach Dhading Bensi which is the district headquarters of Dhadhing (1050m). In this long drive, we will be stopping for multiple breaks and for lunch as well. From Dhading Bensi, we will be driving to Arughat where the roads will be rough. Along the way we will see beautiful mountain scenery like Mt. Manaslu and Ganesh Himal range, small villages following the Budhi Gandaki river. Arughat being a large settlement, it is clustered on both sides of Budhi Gandaki river connected by a suspension bridge. The next two hours’ drive will take us to Soti Khola.
Day 2 : Trek to Machha Khola (890m/2,965ft) 6-7 hrs.
We begin our trek to Machha Khola. We will be crossing the Soti Khola with an attractive view of waterfalls and the river. Then we will be walking through the beautiful Sal forest, following the climb onto a ridge above the huge rapids of the Budhi Gandaki river on the way to Liding (750m). Passing through the rocky trails, we reach Khursane. Across Budhi Ganadaki are the views of Annapurna Circuit between Bahundanda and Syange that looks incredible. Soon after, we will be trekking down rice terraces taking us to Lapubesi; a Gurung village. The path takes us where the valley opens up and the Budhi Gandaki wanders among wide gravel bars. The trail follows down to the sandy river bed of the Budhi Gandaki and we trek down to Nauli Khola crossing a suspension bridge and eventually arriving at Machha Khola.
Day 3 : Trek to Jagat (1,400m/4,593ft) 6-7 hrs.
After an early morning breakfast, we will trek through a fertile landscape as there will be a few ups and downs. Crossing the Tharo Khola, we will reach Khorlabesi. We slowly begin to gain elevation. As we trek, we pass through a natural hot spring at Tatopani meaning ‘hot water’ in Nepali. Continuing the trek, we walk through the valley as it gets narrower but nature’s beauty does not cease to fail us in the attractiveness. We climb over a ridge, then we cross the Budhi Gandaki river via a suspension bridge. Witnessing picturesque villages, we climb on a wide well designed staircase across a landslide then over a ridge that takes us to Doban. As we ascend up to the Budhi Ganadaki river, we arrive at Yaru Khola that takes us further to a stone staircase with prayer flags hung on the way. We climb more stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Along the route, we pass through paved stones along with mani walls and high overlooks over rivers. Then we reach the appealing village of Jagat that lies on the west side of Budhi Gandaki River.
Day 4 : Trek to Lokpa (2,040m/6,692ft) 6-7 hrs.
Before heading to Lokpa, we will register our permits of Manaslu and Tsum valley at the entry checkpoint. Climbing a ridge over Sallery, we will walk along the river bank crossing the Budhi Gandaki river via a long wide suspension bridge. Continuing to trek, the valley opens up as we head towards Phillim. The trek through out is a very pleasant one. We will pass by Ekle Bhatti where the trail separates between Tsum and Manaslu. As we trek, we will notice the welcome board, so we head towards Lokpa. On the way, we will see a few villages and rivers. The rivers begin to narrow down as we meet the convergence of the Syar river from the Tsum valley. Taking a right turn, the trail takes us forward, eventually reaching the Lokpa village. This village is the first village in the Tsum valley that gives us the opportunity to view the beautiful Manaslu range. This village is isolated and is a hidden valley of happiness blessed by Padmashamva centuries ago.
Day 5 : Trek to Chumling (2,386m/7,828ft) 5-6 hrs.
The day begins with a trek from Lokpa village which is an entrance to a wild route to Tsum Valley. Although the actual entrance begins from a deep slender and a narrow gorge. Depending on the weather, if favorable, on the way we will be blessed by the amazing view of the Boudha Himal (6,672m) and Ganesh Himal. The route takes us descending down to the Lungwa river valley as we climb through the dense tropical forests of rhododendron, juniper and pine. The route takes us to Gumling where we only capture the serene nature. Shortly, we cross the Syar Khola again, arriving at the village of Chumling. As the day slowly comes to an end, we will have spare time to visit the monasteries of Chumling; The Panago Gompa, Mani Dhungyur and Gurwa Gompa. This village includes telephone service as well as health post.
Day 6 : Trek to Chhokang Paro (3,031m/9,944ft) 5-6 hrs.
The destination for today is Chhokang Paro and we begin our trek early in the morning. The upper Tsum valley opens from Chhokang Paro. It is a village that is situated on a flat land and is made up of two settlements which are Chhokang and Paro. As we cross the suspension bridge onto the opposite bank, we will see great views of Ganesh Himal and from the south, we can see spectacular views of Boudha Himal and Himalchuli peaks to the south west. We continue trekking pass Rainjam to Serpu Khola crossing another bridge, arriving at the Gho village. After another two hours climb, we finally make it to the village of Chhokanparo. In this village, we will be welcomed by hospitable locals welcoming us with Tibetan tea (butter tea) and local meals. If favorable weather, we will enjoy the views of Himalchuli and Ganesh Himal.
Day 7 : Trek to Nile (3,361m/11,026ft) 4-5 hrs,
The Nile village is on the western side and is the last village heading north in the upper Tsum Valley. It is on the sunside of the Shiar Khola and about twenty minutes’ walk from across Chhule. As we trek, we will pass the Piren Phu cave which is also known as the piegeon cave. This cave is one of the most sacred caves in the Tsum Valley. It is located at the foot of a rugged cliff near the village of Burji. The famous Tibetan saint called Milarepa was believed to have meditated in that cave as his footprint is imprinted on the cave. The route further is a very pleasant trek, as we will be walking pass green meadows and the landscape become fertile and narrow. The farmers will be busy farming. There are two separate monasteries that are attached to the rocky cave. It is abundantly painted with Buddhist murals, excellent artistic scripts carved on the stones and long prayer flags and Buddhist paper scripts are in it that makes it one of the most important socio cultural asset in the valley. Crossing the suspension bridge over the Shiar Khola, we will soon arrive at Nile.
Day 8 : Trek to Mu Gompa (3700m/12,139ft), visit Dhephyudonma Gompa (4060m/13,320ft) 3-4 hrs.
Followed by an early morning breakfast, we will head out of Nile as the trail gradually ascends to Mu Gompa. It is the largest monastery in the region. Mu Gompa is located at the highest and the farthest point in the Tsum Valley. It was established in the 1895 AD and includes many religious books including Kangyur, a life size statue of Avalokiteshwara and images of Guru Padmasambavya and Tara. The route takes us through yak pastures through typical dry and arid Trans Himalayan Terrain. The monastery has rows of Chortens and beautiful mountain views and houses. The historical Dephyudonma monastery connected with the dawn of Buddhism run by Lama, on the lap of the rugged mountains, is one of the oldest monasteries in the Tsum valley.
Day 9 : Trek to Rachen Gompa (3,240m/10,629ft) 3-4 hrs.
Shortly after breakfast, we will head from Mu Gompa to rachen Gompa; a nunnery following the trails. It is situated in the Shiar Khola valley in the footills of the mountains that border between Nepal and Tibet. We return down valley through Chhule, and continue down as far as Phurbe. Walking on the east bank of the Siyar Khola and crossing flat boulder-covered plains following the power lines to Rachen Gompa. Rachen Gompa was established on the year 1905 AD and is one of the largest nunneries in the Tsum valley. The interior of the Gompa is richly painted with murals about Buddhism and its history.
Day 10 : Trek to Gumba Lungdang (3,200m/10,498ft) 5-6 hrs.
After trekking south, we cross a bridge to the west bank passing through the Chhokangparo again. We descend down the old trail towards Chumling and approximately two hours later we will witness a small white gompa on the left at Gho (2,458m). We decsned down a narrow trail that passes through a Gompa then onto a wooden bridge over the Siyar Khola. Soon, we will be crossing the bridge to Domje which has a Tibetan herbal medicine clinic and a school. Further with a steep climb through pine, juniper and rhododendron forest, the track starts to traverse at a mani walls with many prayer flags hung. This sight of the Tibetan culture is absolutely beautiful. Finally, in the forest, there is a prayer flag that marks the uphill trail and makes a zigzag climb though a big silver pine to reach the Gompa in Lungdang. Rhododendrons will be seen blooming everywhere. If this trek is done during the spring season, the view will be definitely be breath taking seeing the nature capture our eyes and mind. This small gompa has forty nuns and an intense puja from 6:00-7:30pm every night unless the nuns are on holidays which could be for some months in a year. From the gompa, beautiful and astonishing views of the mountains can be seen.
Day 11 : Trek to Ganesh Himal Base Camp (4,200m) 7-8 hrs.
Today is an exciting day as we will be trekking to the Ganesh Himal Base camp. On the route, the forest wilderness and the views make it an enjoyable and an adventurous trek even though the altitude rise may cause difficulty in breathing and hiking. The route crosses through two small valleys dropping on the muddy meanders on a shortcut to regain the lower track and continue up the valley via a thick and dense forest. We will cross a small pasture, taking a right turn, we decsned the track and down to the river. The suspension bridge takes us to a bank. The trail becomes slightly challenging but we will manage to cross the forest with many winds thrown trees crossing the Laudang Khola on the west bank on top of an unbalanced wooden bridge. Yet again, we climb through steep rhododendron and pine forests eventually reavhing on to a ridge and stone huts besides a large stone in Kharka. Shortly, we will reach a landscape with greenery. Flat grassy lands and the lateral moraine of the Torogumba Glacier. As we continue climbing up, in a couple of hours we reach the Ganesh Himal Base Camp. After appreciating and admiring the effort to reach up here, we will then return back to Gumba Lugdang as it is a short trek.
Day 12 : Trek to Lokpa (2,040m/6,692ft) 6-7 hrs.
Today we will be returning back to Lokpa. We will decsned down to Domje by trekking in the upper track crossing the Laudang Khola. Crssoing an unstable swing bridge between the lowest two houses in Domje, we will stay on the south bank of the Siyar Khola. As we walk by, we will come cross a new trail via a beautiful dense forest that will take us yet to another deep gorge and swinging bridges to Ripche (2,470m). We walk down the stairs to the Bhatti Ghumlong which we had walked through several days ago. As we climb up again through a pine forest, we will reach Lokpa.
Day 13 : Trek to Jagat (1,400m/4,593ft) 6-7 hrs.
As we descend down to Jagat, we will be rejoining the Budhi Gandaki river. As we trek, we will get a few glimpses of the mountains. Walking through forests and terrains, gives us an easy pleasant trek. Taking breaks in between, we will reach Sirdibas. After crossing a few suspension bridges, we will finally reach Jagat.
Day 14 : Trek to Lapu Bensi (900m/2,952ft) 7-8 hrs.
After an early morning breakfast, we will be descending to Lapu Bensi. The trek today will be at ease and pleasant as we will walk through terrains and cross severela bridges. Trekking down to Machha Khola we will yet again cross a suspension bridge over the Nauli Khola. As we trek on the sandy river bed of the Budhi Gandaki, we will finally reach the Lapu Bensi; a small beautiful Gurung village.
Day 15 : Trek to Arughat Bazaar (535m/1,755ft) 4-5 hrs.
Today we will have a short trek back to Arughat Bazaar. Firstly we will be trekking a couple of hours following the Budhi Gandaki river that will take us to Soti Khola. From Soti Khola we will be taking a jeep to Arughat Bazaar. After a couple of hours of drive, we will reach the Arughat Bazaar. In this town, there are small cafes and shops where we can explore. Trekkers may wish to rest at the lodge or explore this town.
Day 16 : Drive back to Kathmandu
Followed by an early morning breakfast, we will be driving back to Kathmandu. The drive will be scenic as we will be passing by the beautiful Trishuli river. Also, the greenery of the hills will be eye pleasing. We will be driving west towards Kathmandu via the Prithivi Highway. Shortly, we will reach Kathmandu, where you will be escorted to your respective hotels. After wards, with spare time in hands, trekkers may wish to rest at their hotel or explore the Kathmandu city.
Permits and entry fees
Tsum Valley is a restricted area, meaning a trekking permit should be issued by a registered trekking agency and a guide should be accompanied to the travelers. A minimum of 2 travelers is needed for a group.
Permit price for Tsum Valley is 35$ for 8 days.
Since the access to Tsum Valley is through the Manaslu region, a permit for Manaslu is needed as well at a cost of 10$ per day.
In addition, there are conservation area fees needed to be paid:
MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Project) fee of 2000 Nepali Rupees (~27$).
If you go to Tsum Valley and then continue to circle Manaslu you will als need to pay ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) fee of 2000 Nepali Rupees (~27$), as the Manaslu Circuit ends in the Annapurna region.
Tea House/Home Stay vs. Full Camping trek
The Tsum Valley trek can be done as Home Stay / Tea House trek, meaning you don’t have to carry your own accommodation facilities (i.e. tent) or bring any catering services with you. This has some major pros:
Trek logistics are quite easy.
Consumption of accommodation and eating services from the locals meaning paying directly to them and contributing to local economy. Better interaction and experience with locals.But there are some cons:
A compromise on food quality and quantity – While some travelers may enjoy local food (i.e. mainly Dal-Bhat and Tsampa) others may find it not satisfactory / enough for such a trek.
A compromise on accommodation conditions – In Tsum Valley, accommodation is available mainly within premises of locals’ houses. This means that sometimes you may sleep in a shop entrance, share your room with a monk, or get up in the morning with tiny red dots on your legs…
The situation in Tsum valley can get tight if more than two tourist couples are arriving to the same village at the same day, since locals are still not ready to cater more than a few travelers together.
- A Guide price is 30-40$ per day.
- A Guide cum Porter price is 20-30$ per day.
- A Porter price is 10-20$ per day.
Expenses during the trek – Lodging and Food
Expenses for lodging and food in Tsum Valley are currently low relatively to what you pay in lodges in Manaslu Circuit Trek. Generally we paid about 10$ per day per person in Tsum Valley. This is based on home stay accommodation with basic local food such as Dal Bhat and Tsampa, Chapatis, tea and noodle soup.
How Many Days?
Our recommendation is to have at least 7 full days in Tsum Valley, meaning 7 days from Lokpa (the “Entry” village) to Lokpa.
sleeping places: (Lokpa), Tsumling, Chhokang Paro, Nile, Nakyu, Gumba Lungdang, Domje, Lokpa
General description of Tsum Valley
Tsum Valley is stretched along the Syar Khola. Its lower part joins the Budhi Gandaki Valley north of Philim. Its upper part reaches north towards the Nepal-Tibet border.
The 4000 people inhabiting the valley belong to an indigenous ethnic group known as “Tsumbas”. They maintain a Tibetan – Buddhist way of life, and due to the geographical characteristics of the area, their bonds with Tibet are in some aspects stronger than with Nepal. The Tsum Walfare Committee (“TWC”) is an NGO which was founded in order to promote the welfare interests of Tsum Valley people. Part of its activities is to promote tourism to the area and assisting visitors in arranging a trek to the area.
Geographically Tsum Valley can be divided to 6 sections
- The “Entrance” – from the branching from Budhi Gandaki Valley through the village of Lokpa till the tea house in Gadhkhola. Altitudes 1800 to 2100 meters.
- The “Lower” part – that includes the villages of Tsumling and Ripche up to Domje and Gho. Altitudes 2300 to 2500 meters.
- The “Upper” part – the relatively wide and flat area of the valley, from the village of Chhokung Paro till the villages of Nile and Chhule. Altitudes 3000 to 3400 meters.
- Mu Gompa area – where the Syar Khola becomes narrow and steep, and Mu Gompa is located. Altitudes 3400 to 3700 meters.
- The Wilderness – the mountains, valleys and passes north of Mu Gompa, where no settlements exist. It is a mountain area and domain of convoys trading with Tibet. Altitudes 3700 to 5100 meters.
- Another section which is relevant to this trek is the branch from Domje towards Ganesh Himal range, Torogumba Glacier and Gumba Lungdang. This is actually the domain of Ganesh Himal Trek, but many trekkers add at least one day to visit the Gompa at Gumba Lungdang and enjoy Ganesh Himal views.
Detailed description of each section
Tsum Valley is very interesting to be explored on your own pace. Therefore, instead of suggesting a day by day itinerary, we shall suggest the number of days recommended for each section.
Arrival to Tsum Valley: to Lokpa
Lokpa (2240m) is a convenient starting point for the Tsum Valley trek. It is located one and a half hours climb from the trail branch to Tsum Valley from the main Manaslu trail. We walked to Lokpa on a single day from Jagat. The village of Lokpa is located high above the trail. On the trail itself there is one lodge with 2 rooms, each one with 4 beds. Food was very good.
The “Entrance” to “Lower” Tsum Valley (one day)
From Lokpa the trail goes through a thick forest down, up and down again to the lonely tea house at GadhKhola. It takes half a day to reach this tea house, where you can have a basic meal but no accommodation facilities.
From here the trail branches and you can continue to the “Lower” part in two trails: One goes directly up to the village of Ripche. The other crosses the Syar Khola on a suspension bridge and climbs to Tsumling (also spelled Chumling). We recommend to proceed to Tsumling, and return via Ripche.
When you climb to Tsumling (2380m) the trail splits – go left to reach the old village center, or right to get quickly to Tsumling family lodge. It is recommended to go directly to the lodge, settle down, and then go for a tour in the village. In total, the walk from Lokpa to Tsumling is an easy walk day.
On your way back from Domje, it is highly recommended to take the trail through Ripche, on the southern side of the Syar Khola. The trail climbs gradually from Domje to Ripche through the lovely forest. The village of Ripche is located along a small plateau high above the Syar Khola, with dramatic views to the surrounding mountains. It is highly recommended to walk up to the old Gompa for a view of the village, surrounding fields and mountains. We could not trace the home stay which is supposed to exist in Ripche.
“Lower” Tsum Valley to “Upper” Tsum Valley (one day)
The trail from Tsumling continues east conveniently above the Syar Khola. It gets to Rainjam in less than 2 hours, where you can get a meal and very simple accommodation. The trail then crosses the Sarpu Khola on a suspension bridge and climbs up. The picturesque village of Gho is reached after less than half an hour. From Gho the trail continues to climb, and reaches the first village of Upper Tsum Valley, Chhokung Paro (3030m), after almost 3 hours.
“Upper” Tsum Valley (at least two days)
“Upper” Tsum Valley is interesting to explore. It is relatively wide, with several settlements, abundance of cultivated agricultural land, spiritual places and hospitable residents. Since you go and return through the valley, it is recommended to allow at least two days for this part. When you go up, it is recommended to stay at the western side of the river. As mentioned before, Chhokung Paro is recommended as a first station in “Upper” Tsum Valley. There is a convenient Home Stay in a relatively large room for guests and delicious local meals. Children of the village will be happy to show you around.
Pass the village of Nakyu and reach Lamagaon. After the village you can visit the Milarepa Piren Phu cave. It is believed that a footprint located in the cave actually belongs to the famous Milarepa. The climb to the cave which is located on the cliff takes about an hour, and the views to the valley and surrounding mountains is spectacular. Entrance fee to the cave is 300 Rupees per person which are dedicated to its preservation. The trail then goes through the villages of Phurbe and Pangdun and reaches the neighboring villages of Chhule and Nile.
It takes a day walk to reach Nile from Chhokung Paro. In Nile accommodation is available at one family house. We were 4 travelers there. Two of us shared a room with a monk, and the other two slept in the entrance of the family store…
It is highly recommended to climb to Chhule Gompa or to the hills above Nile, to get a bird-eye view of the twin villages and surrounding scenery.
Going back from Chhule – Nile, it is advised to continue on the east side of the river after passing Phurbe. It is an easy walk through flat Lar, followed by a visit to Rachen Gompa – a large monastery for nuns. Continuing back south it is recommended to sleep in the home stay at the village of Nakyu. The family will open a very nice tent for you in their yard and cook delicious food.
Mu Gompa (at least half a day)
Mu Gompa is located dramatically above the Syar Khola, less than 2 hours walk from the village of Nile. The atmosphere in this remote location is highly inspiring and the monks are hospitable. You can stay overnight in the Gompa, and make short walks to the ridges above it if weather permits and visibility is clear. It is possible to walk from Nile to Mu Gompa for a short visit, and then go back to Nakyu / Chhokung Paro on the same day, but it is recommended to allow at least a full day for exploration of Mu Gompa and its surroundings starting from Nile.
If you like to enjoy pure mountain environment, this area is for you. But as this area has no settlements, you will need to be self supported with tent and catering services in order to pass a night out there. In two days you can camp at Bhajyo, make a day trip to the Nepal-Tibet border at Nueladajyen Bhanjyang at 5093 meters and return to Mu Gompa. Longer trips include a circular camping trip that goes through the mountain scenery in Kalung, Chhekya, Dhaldang, Yamdro, Bhajyo and back to Mu Gompa. This will add several days to your itinerary. Note that if you are keen on visiting the Nepal-Tibet border, and continue to the Manaslu Circuit anyway, you can make a day trip to another border point starting from Samdo, without the need to carry camping equipment.
Gumba Lungdang and Ganesh Himal Base Camp (at least one day)
- A highly recommended trip is a side trip to Gumba Lungdang and Ganesh Himal Base Camp. The trail starts from the village of Domje. It is recommended to do this trip on the way back from “Upper” Tsum Valley. From Nakyu or Chhokung Paro you can descend to Gho in 2-3 hours, continue to Domje via a narrow beautiful trail, have lunch in Domje before you start the long 3-4 hours climb to Gumba Lungdang.
- The trail from Domje to the Gompa is an attraction of its own – its first part zigzags steeply and then levels a bit as it goes high above the Langdang Khola on an exposed slope towards the Gompa.
- Visiting the Gompa is a touching experience. The Nuns and teachers at the Gompa are most welcoming. Meals are available in the Gompa kitchen, and usually your guides will join the effort preparing them. The nuns will find you a place to sleep somewhere in the Gompa premises. We were offered the entrance to the Prayer Hall as a sleeping place, and had one of the best sleeps we had during the trek…
- The mountain scenery from the Gompa is truly spectacular, with Ganesh Himal peak dominating the view.
There are two recommended day trips from the Gompa:
- Ganesh Himal Base Camp – This is the more popular day trip by visitors. It goes through the forest up the Langdang Khola towards the Torogumba glacier and the Ganesh Himal Base Camp.
- Langdang Danda View Point – We did not have time to do it, but I feel it has a potential to be the “Poon Hill” of this area. There is a narrow trail that goes high up above Gumba Lungdang to the Langdang Danda ridge. This ridge separates between Upper Tsum Valley and the Ganesh Himal Valley at an altitude of over 4000 meters. Views from the ridge must be outstanding. Locals claim you can get to the ridge in 2-3 hours from Gumba Lungdang (…and then continue to Chhokung Paro in another 5-7 hours of steep descend). We know that the Tsum Welfare Committee is planning to promote a “shortcut” trail from Tsum Valley to Gumba Lungdang probably through this demanding trail. In any case it is highly recommended to take a local guide with you if you attempt to visit the ridge as a day trip.
Services along the trek
In most villages along the trek you can find a satellite or cellular based phone for making phone calls to anywhere in the world. The satellite phones are highly reliable as they work independently based on solar power. Price for an international call is 1-2$ per minute. Internet service is not available.
In many villages 220v electricity is available thanks to local micro hydro plants. Light and power sockets are available, although in some places you will be asked to pay a bit to charge your batteries. Villages with 220v electricity include: Tsumling, Chhokung Paro, Lamagaon, Nile. Villages without 220v electricity usually have led lights charged by solar panels.
Package Price: US$ 1400.00 P/person
- Arrival and Departure transfers on both domestic and international flights.
- Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu on a twin share BB basis for the nights asin itinerary.
- ull board meals while on camping trek to TSUM valley.
- Accommodation on 2 men tented camp.
- Welcome dinner with ethno-cultural program as listed in the itinerary.
- Half day guided city tour as listed in itinerary.
- Tsum valley trekking map.
- Private transportation to and from the starting and end points of the trek
- All camping equipment including th member, staff and kitchen tent.
- Free use of quality trekking gear – sleeping bag, fleece inner liner, insulated mat, sleeping pillow, down jacket, duffel bag etc during the trip.
- Professional local trekking group leader trained in Wilderness First Aid.
- Portable Altitude Chamber / Gamow Bag (A life saving device in case of Acute Mountain Sickness) along with the comprehensive First Aid Kit.
- Trekking Cook, guides and other support staff.
- Porters to carry all personal gear and group equipment.
- Insurance of all staff including porters.
- Warm clothing and other required trekking gear for porters
- Mountain Monarch T-shirts and other seasonal gifts.
- Comprehensive pre-departure information and trip dossiers.
- Trekking Permit, national park / conservation entry fees.
- Nepal Visa fees and Travel Insurance of any kind
- International Airfare
- Drinks and main meals in cities
- Tips and items of a personal nature like
A special Restricted Area permit is required for Manaslu and a separate one for Tsum. These permits require that you have a registered guide and a party of two or more.
The Manaslu fees are:
September – November $US70 $US50 for the first week (then $US10 per day) or December – August $US50 for the first week (then $US7 per day). For Tsum the same periods apply but the fee is $US 35 for the first week.
so you’ll need 8 photos for all this. In addition, you will need to pay both the Manaslu Conservation Area Park (MCAP) fee (Rs2000) and the Annapurna Conservation Area Park (ACAP) fee (Rs2000) for the section from Dharapani to Besisahar after you join the round-Annapurna trail. So you might as well farewell tour guides in Dharapani and add the round-Annapurna leg, exiting down the Kali Gandaki as we did, making it a 35 day trek in total.
Trekking route Map:
Shangri-La Maps have just released a 1:100,000 map of the Tsum Valley, available in Kathmandu, which covers the Manaslu trail from Arughat Bazar to Ghap and all the Tsum Valley, although with some mistakes (eg there are no hot springs at Lokpa).
Lodges are often local bhattis with only dal bhat on offer and hard beds above the smoky kitchen, although you can raise porridge, tsampa, noodles, omelette and roti at most places.
While simple, they are clean and friendly for the most part. There are small shops in most villages with limited stock (soap, toilet paper, batteries, bottled water, biscuits, noodles, beer, whisky). Fleas can be an issue.
There are signs in most villages pointing Awards to Larkya La, with times to the next village that are usually accurate. The Tsum is similarly marked. Since many people don’t know where there are lodges, and since there were neither maps nor track notes for Tsum before, here is some current information which we hope will make the route more popular and so help improve the number and standard of the lodges.