Manaslu circuit, Tsum, Annapurna circuit, Naar Phu, Tilicho Lake, ABC

I am planning a big trip to follow the Manaslu and Annapurna circuits with side trips. I expect it to take about 50 days plus a few extra rest days.

However, I am looking for a one or more people to share a guide for the Manaslu, Tsum Valley, and Naar Phu Valley. After this a guide isn’t essential.
So. If you just wanted to join me for the Manaslu, Tsum Valley, and Naar Phu Valley sections and then go down to the ‘start’ of the Annapurna Circuit such as Besisahar that would be OK. I guess that would take just over a month (hence listing duration as 33 days on the stats).

UPDATE 28 jan: We are now a group of three (Hurray!) for doing the Manaslu and Tsum sections. Planning to set off from Kathmandu on 5th March. I am still looking company for at least the Naar phu section. We should get to Darapani where Manaslu Circuit and Annapurna Circuit meet on around the 29th March to 2nd April. I plan to keep on the AC and then to Naar Phu whist the other two head back the other way to Besi Sahar.

UPDATE 14th Feb
Looks like we are now a groups of five. There are also about another five who have shown an interest. Therefore, there may be a second group leaving a couple of day later. Feel free to contact me if you want me to put you in touch with them.

Please contact me if you would still like to join my group and go on to NAAR PHU.

Budget calculations: I’m guessing half a guide and permits will cost about $500 and then $20/day costs so 33days will cost about $1200 and the full 50+ day trek would be about $1600 or more, depending if we hired the guide for the whole thing.

I am particularly interested in visiting monasteries/gompas. I might be be willing to sacrifice the ABC section if extra little side trips delay reaching the end of the Annapurna circuit section. I am still planning/researching a more detailed itinery.

I am planning this as a lodge/teahouse trip and so I don’t expect to include any camping.

I’m thinking a small group would be best.

I arrive in Kathmadu on Thursday 3rd March and want to get going ASAP (5th March) after sorting permits etc. I leave KTM 7th May.

Open to general suggestions.

I went rafting in Nepal several years ago. Also, I attempted the Annapurna Circuit a few years ago with my partner. I got as far as Tilicho Lake and Yak Karka (not long before the Thorong La) but had to bang out due to smoke inhalation/bronchitis from sleeping above the kitchen at Tilicho Base Camp lodge. So I have some experience of trekking in Nepal. I’m determined to get over the Thorung La this time!

I’m the one not wearing glasses in the picture by the way.



12 replies
  1. Hi Tim, have you find anybody for your trip yet? I’ve been posting on some website but didnt find anybody now. I have much less time than you ( 2nd march to 30) . I don’t know if there could be a way to join you only for the Manaslu with Tsum or With Naar part of the trip. Let me know

  2. Hi Tim,
    great plan, looks exciting!
    The timing is good for me (I am leaving KTM April 11). I would like to see Manaslu circuit and Tsum and have some time to trek the eastern part of Annapurna circuit. Have you made any tentative itinerary?
    All the best

  3. I did the Manaslu-Annapurna (with Tsum V but not Naar Phu) combo in 2014 – 50 days is quite generous (‘particularly if you’re a fit, keen walker) but if that’s your time budget, then definitely throw Tilicho Lake into the plan.

    • Thanks for your comment Rick. I went to Tilicho when I attempted the AC several years ago. It was possibly the most beautiful place that I have been to and included seeing snow leopard tracks!

      I want to allow enough time on the trip to maybe spend a couple of days up at Mu or maybe go to Himal Ganesh BC, extra time for Gompas etc. I don’t get to do this sort of thing very often so want to make the most of it.

      Is there anywhere else on route or off route that you would recommend?

  4. Ah – should have read the whole intro – sorry! Tilicho Base Camp Hotel was basically breeze blocks when I went up that way in 2002. I didn’t get sick, but I didn’t sleep a wink either – memorable place!
    I think you’ve covered all bases already to be honest, Ganesh B.C. is an option, there’s enough to see Gompa and Flora-wise in the Tsum valley, Naar Phu’s on your agenda – to save on costs, insist on meeting the guide in Chame – it may even be possible to hire a local guide in Chame these days?! Lho and Lho Gompa are worth some extra time – I rather regret heading straight through there – both the town and the Gompa are magnificently situated and nicer than Samagaon (imo)
    One possible route addition would be to start the walk form Gorkha and not Arunaghat? It’s lowland trails and qiute hot going too but interesting terrain nonetheless. This variantwas suggested to me in 2014 but as you know, this was almost the epicenter of last April’s earthquake. In short – I think you’re looking good – best of luck!

  5. BTW – I just hired a guide without the package ($25 per day) – that’s an option too. It was no hassle at all – worked out cheaper as well, including a healthy tip for the guide. They will charge you for the onward leg from Daraphani on the MC-ABC junction back to Kathmandu though (my guide got back in 1 day – I paid for 3, my mistake really)

    • Thanks for the advice Rick. Much appreciated.

  6. Most welcome. One last thing – on the MC, rather than staying at Bihi Phedi, I ducked over to the southern side of the valley and stayed in Prok – you’ll vertainly earn an exta dhal bhat getting up there but it was a lovely village on a high plateaux with a different perspective on the valley. There was only 1 tea house there but more were being knocked up.

  7. Hi Tim,

    I’m very interested in the Manaslu/Tsum Valley/ Naar Phu part of the itinerary, and can quite easily spare 33 odd days (or possibly more) in March and April. I’m already in Nepal and planning to complete the Annapurna Circuit before the end of February, and would be more than ready to start trekking again by early March. I’m also quite interested in Tibetan culture and religion, so an emphasis on gompas would be fine by me. Let me know how the planning is going 🙂

  8. Hey Tim,
    did you already gather enough persons or can I join at least for the Manaslu part?
    Please let me know, I’ll be in Nepal from Wednesday onwards but farming around Ilam, so would be best to get this organized before I leave.

  9. Hey Tim, and all,
    I arrive in Khatmandu on the afternoon of March 2nd and leave on the 24th. I’m hoping to do the Manaslu Circuit for sure, with the Tsum Valley or other side trips depending on how the pace and schedule shakes out. Im pretty open to everything except missing my flight on the 24th.

    Tim if this works with your trip, or anyone else’s I’d love to talk about it.


  10. Hi Justin.
    I will take our trip until nearly the end of the month to get to Dharapani so you wouldn’t be able to get back in time for you flight. Sorry.

    I think Wouter is planning to just do the MC without Tsum. You could ask him.