The Manaslu Trek is an ode to the world’s eighth highest mountain, the ‘Manaslu‘. The Manaslu trek offers trekkers a wonderful experience with incredible scenery and takes through different vegetation including the subtropical forests, river gorges, alpine forests, and eventually the bleak and striking snowscapes.
Manaslu sits immediately next to the Annapurna range within a closely managed conservation area. The Manaslu Circuit shares many of the great views and panoramas that you see trekking around Annapurna. The big difference is that while the Annapurna Circuit is in nearly every collection of great treks, Manaslu is relatively unknown so it is a lot quieter than its famous next door neighbour. And now that the latter part of the Annapurna trek has been spoiled by roads, this is a great alternative.
As well as the change in scenery as you rise higher, there is also a distinct change in culture. In the lower farming areas the people are Nepali of Indian origin but as the trek progresses you move into the Nupri Region, where villagers are descendants of Tibetan immigrants.
The high point of this trek is the crossing of the Larkya La, a high remote and challenging pass. From here there are fantastic views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru and Annapurna II. From just after the pass you take a side trip to visit Manaslu Base Camp before following the trail round to meet with the outbound leg of the Annapurna Circuit, ending your trek at Besi Sahar.
Manaslu region is still under development for tourism business. In the past, visiting the remote parts of Nepal was only possible by camping trekking for adventure holidays. Due to the increasing number of travelers, small lodges in the major places are being developed. So, now you can trek by staying on local lodges (tea houses) without camping in this famous trekking area. Manaslu trekking can be done either way – staying at lodges (tea-houses) or camping.
The principal danger is altitude, specifically going too high too quickly. Taking a day for acclimatisation at Samagaon, Samdo, or Larkya Phedi may be helpful. Follow these instructions for altitude sickness prevention.
Another serious danger is being pushed off the trail by donkeys, which has resulted in the deaths of some trekkers. Be alert for the bells of approaching donkeys and make sure you are on the inside of the trail, out of the way of donkeys, and wait until they have passed before proceeding. There are also cases of trekkers being blown off of trails by wind.
Cold and wind can be dangerous, so suitable clothing is essential. Snow and ice may be a problem at the Larkya Lal Pass, and some trail sections and stream crossings may be icy, especially in November or later. Trekking poles and light crampons (aka minispikes) can be very helpful in reducing the risk of slipping, particularly on the steep descent after crossing the pass. Gaiters may be helpful in deep snow or blowing snow.
Himalayan Rescue Association is an organization arranging / planning for emergency evacuations in the mountains.
Finally take a bus from Besisahar to return to Kathmandu, or continue onward to Pokhara. Another option, if you still have time and are interested in the Annapurna Circuit Trek (Thorong-la Pass, 5416 m), rather than coming back to Besesahar, you can start your trek to Annapurna from Dharapani right away. But do not forget to bring your TIMS Card permit because your restricted permit will not valid any more. However, your ACAP permit will still be valid. You will already have the ACAP due to the fact that you end the Manaslu Circuit in the Annapurna region. So why not if you have time for another adventure. Maximum in 1 week more and you will reach Pokhara. If you are an independent traveler, you could simply carry on without your guide or porter from Dharapani and head towards Thorong-la on your own. The Annapurna region does not require a guide to be with you as long as you have necessary the documents with you.
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