A newly opened trek area fascinated by Tibetan Buddhism and cultural heritage
Manaslu Tsum Valley trekking Itinerary
Day 01: Drive From Kathmandu to Machekhola (900 m) Duration: 8 Hours
Your travel adventure begins with a dot road drive to Soti Khola and Machekhola. The first four hours to Dhading Besi, the district headquarters of Dhading (1050m), are on paved roads, but for the section to Machekhola, we will be driving on a rougher surface. This is a scenic drive with a diverse landscape.
Day 02: Machekhola/Jagat 1340m
After crossing the Machha River and Khrolabesi, we will pass through the hot springs at Tatopani. The trail follows a forested area until we cross the Dovan Khola from where we will make our way to the Budhi Gandaki Valley. With white sandy areas along the riverside, the scenery undergoes a drastic transformation as the elevation increases until we reach Jagat.
Day 03: Jagat/ Lokpa, 2240m/6 Hours Walk
In Jagat, we have to complete the MCAP/ACAP procedure. In the early part of our trek, we ascend over a rocky ridge to Salleri and then descend down to Sirdibas through a flat level path. The valley widens a bit as the trail continues up to Ghatta Khola. Continue upstream to a long simple hanging bridge and climb up to Philim. Philim is a big village mainly inhabited by the Gurungs. Philim valley is well known for its Japanese-made schools and police stations. Walk past Philim to the north across a forest with the views of the narrowing valley we reach Chisopani and Lokpa.
Day 04: Lokpa/ Chumling, 2,386 m/ 6 Hours Walk
Chumling is a small beautiful Buddhist village with a great Himalayan view. The Monastery is so beautiful with a colorful prayer flag and stone carved Mantra. The path is quite zikjaking with up and downhill walking.
Day 05: Chumling trek to Chokhangparo (3,010 m) – Approx. 5/6 Hours Walk
After breakfast at Chumling, we carry out our walk towards Chokhangparo by crossing the suspension bridge on the opposite bank of the river. The scenic views of the valley and views of Ganesh Himal amply compensate today’s walk. Then we traverse through the rich farming land of maize and potatoes. The houses are classic Tibetan with barricades of firewood on the roof, but without flat roofs, as it rains and snows here. Cross a huge slip where rocks and flood cleared the area even up onto the opposite bank, killing five in 1999, but is now covered with a forest of new trees. Up the valley to the east are superb views of several of the 7000-7400m Ganesh Himal, of long suspension bridges on the opposite bank, and far above the perched village of Ripchet (2468m). Passing through Rainjam and crossing Serpu Khola we climb for over two hours on well-graded but exposed track to upper Tsum and the join villages of Chokhangparo, stone houses with a few iron roofs nestled under cliffs. Chokhangparo is situated on flat land and consists of 2 settlements, Chokhang and Paro. If the weather permits, enjoy the views of Himalchuli (7893m) and Ganesh Himal (7140m). Some households practice polyandry down here. This area is prominent for its Tibetan Buddhist heritage.
Day 06: Chokhangparo trek to Nile (3,361 m) – Approx. 5 Hours Walk
Ascending from Chokhangparo, you might get symptoms of Altitude sickness. So, we recommend you to take precaution for it and drink plenty of water in order to keep yourself hydrated. We head east through small villages and pass a local school. The magnificent view here pauses our trekking and stop for the honor of the amazing nature. Gradually climbing over a ridge of Chortens, we pass Lama Gaon (3202m) through the flat fields, looking across the extensive crops and river to the huge courtyard of the Rachen Gompa/ Nunnery Gompa (3240m) with excellent pilgrim accommodation. Thar is often sighted near here. The friendly people speak Tsumba, related to Tibetan, but often little Nepali and are quite unused to visitors. We can also make a small visit and then cross the Shiyar Khola, pass through hamlets of Phurbe (3251m) and Pangdun (3258m) and pass an unusual round stupa before reaching the larger village of Chhule (3347m) through an impressive entrance gate. Then we continue walking through the well-managed villages Lar (micro hydropower), Phurbe and Pangdun. We leave old historic Stupa of Buddha in a way crossing the village of Chhule. The children here all wear the Tibetan dressing gown called chubas and there are many yaks. Heading upstream to cross the bridge and climb to Nile (pronounced Nee-lay). The Nile is the last village heading north in the upper Tsum valley. This area is massively deforested. This village is situated on the banks of the Shiar Khola and it consists of a large number of households. Both villages are in traditional style with the inclusion of livestock compounds into the houses and sheltered verandahs for drying crops.
Day 07: Nile trek to Mu Gompa (3,700 m), and back to Nile. duration 7 hours
Today we make the day hike to Mu and back. We are now almost close to the Tibetan border. Walk to the west bank of the valley through the Tibetan landscapes. Climb up to the Mu Gompa. This Mu Gompa is the largest monastery in the region. The Gompa lies at the highest and most remote part of the Tsum Valley.
Day 08: Nile Trek Back To Chumling
We retrace back to Chumling, 7-8 hours.
Day 09: Chumling Trek to Deng (1,860m/6,100 ft) Duration: 7 to 8 Hours
Today we trek to Deng in the Manaslu valley. Tsum Valley is over.
Day 10: Deng trek to Namrung (2,900 m/9,512 ft) Duration: 5 Hours
We scramble steeply up onto a spectacular trail and descend to cross the river. We pass through some small settlements and then ascend to an impressive valley. There we encounter Mani stones (prayer stones) carved into wayside rocks, a sign that we are entering a Tibetan territory. In the afternoon, we make an excursion to the small settlement of Prok, a two hour round trip.
Day 11: Namrung trek to Lho Gaun (3,180 m/10,430 ft) Duration: 4-5 Hours
Continuing from Namrung the trek climbs steadily into the alpine where you’ll see a first stunning glimpse of Manaslu North and Manaslu. From this point on many of the locals dress in traditional Tibetan clothing called chubas.
Day 12: Lho Gaun Trek to Sama Gaun (3,500 m) Duration: 5 Hours
We pass the stone gate and the long Mani stone wall of the village after Lho, with a full view of Peak 29 ahead. You can make a side excursion to Pungen to get a very close up view of Manaslu from here. The trail follows a lateral moraine of Pungen towards Sama. It takes another 20 minutes to reach Sama Gompa from there for a night halt.
Day 13: Acclimatization Day at Sama Gaun
This day has been set aside for acclimatization. An option for full or half day walks has been set aside. The full day walk is towards Manaslu Base Camp (approximately 6-7 hour round trip). Alternatively, there are half day walks either to the across the valley or to Birendra Kale.
Day 14: Samagaon to Samdo (3,690 m/12,103ft) Duration: 4 Hours
We cross pasture areas and gradually ascends to the valley. Fantastic views of the mountains, especially Manaslu, are ahead of us as we reach Samdo (3860m), a Tibetan refugee village. This remote village is only a day’s walk from the Tibetan border. In the afternoon we will explore the village and the surrounding hills.
Day 15: Samdo trek to Dharmashala (4,450 m) Duration: 4 Hours
After crossing a couple of streams, we’ll reach the Larkya Bazaar. This is a village which thrived from trade with Tibet years ago. After a steady climb, we will arrive at our lodge at 4450m.
Day 16: Dharmasala trek to Bhimtang over Larkya La Pass (5,220m/17121ft) Duration: 8 Hours
We climb Cho Chanda and then slowly head uphill towards the steep snowed-up pass. The panorama from the top is magnificent: Himlung Himal (7126meter), Cheo Himal (6820meters), Gyagi Kung, Kang Kuru (6981meters) and the Annapurna II (7937meters). The descent is steep, through moraines to Bhimphedi.
Day 17: Bhimphedi trek to Tilje (2,300m) Duration: 5 Hours
With a gentle climb through paddy fields, we head towards the small Karcha La pass. The trail descends through fig trees and rhododendron forests to Tilje.
Day 18: Tilje trek to Dharapani then Drive to Kathmandu,
Morning 2 Hours Hike and 8-9 Hours’ Drive to Kathmandu from Dharapani.