Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the amazing trekking destinations Nepal has to offer. It is an epic walk around Mt. Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world. Trekking to the Manaslu region opened for foreigners only in 1991 and it is still a restricted region.
Manaslu Trek gives you a lifetime opportunity to witness the remote wilderness of the Manaslu region.
Is trekking to Manaslu in your mind? Do you have doubts about whether to opt for this trek or not? With this article, we will help you clear some of the Manaslu Circuit trek FAQS.
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Is Manaslu Circuit Trek doable?
Manaslu Circuit is a moderately strenuous trek. Having some trekking experience can serve as an advantage to go for the Manaslu Circuit trek.
With proper packing list as per the varying season and physical as well as mental preparedness, the trek is absolutely doable.
In this trek, you should be comfortable walking 6-8 hours per day at high altitude with a light backpack. Walking at a higher altitude is more difficult than walking in the lower elevation.
The itinerary designed for Manaslu trek allows proper acclimatization. However, it is important to be physically and mentally prepared for the trek. Also, you can read Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty to know more.
When to Plan Manaslu Trek?
The best time to plan Manaslu trek is during autumn i.e from September to November. During this time the views of Himalayas are clear with fewer chances of rainfall.
Similarly, Spring months i.e from March to May is also a good time for trekking to Manaslu. This is the time when the beautiful floras cover the dense forest. It offers you a magical experience while trekking.
Winter months like late December, January, and February are the less preferred time for Manaslu Circuit trek. Because the Larkya La pass is dangerous during extreme snow conditions.
What is Special at Manaslu? How is it Different from Everest and Annapurna?
Manaslu Circuit trek includes crossing of the Larkya La pass (5213m). Here you will get excellent views of the Himalayas like Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna range, Kangaru, Choe Himal and various other snow-capped peaks.
You will also witness the stunning views of landscapes. Also, you will get to explore Tibetan influenced Buddhist cultures and traditions.
The less crowded trails and off-the-beaten-path make this Manaslu Circuit different from other treks in Nepal.
Moreover, on this circuit trek, you will not follow the same path again. Thus, every day you will be seeing new things, meeting new people, and exploring new places.
Can I Trek Solo?
No. You cannot take the Manaslu Circuit trek alone. According to the government of Nepal, there should be at least two trekkers to trek in this region. Also, you need to trek with a licensed guide while embarking the Manaslu Circuit trek.
A professional and experienced guide will help you in route navigation. Plus, they are very helpful during emergencies. They are also great negotiators.
You can also hire a porter who can carry the baggage for you. Doing this will allow you to enjoy the long walks without having to carry a heavy burden.
How to Prepare for Manaslu Trek?
To take the Manaslu trek you should first prepare physically. This means working on your stamina. You need to be able to walk for 6 – 8 hours per day through rough terrains, uphill and downhill.
You can develop your strength and stamina with some cardiovascular exercises like swimming or cycling. Also, you can go for short hikes and even climb stairs.
If you prepare well then there are fewer chances of AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) and other illnesses.
And without these problems, you will enjoy more and the trekking experience will be worthwhile.
Where is the Starting and Ending Point of the Trek?
The Manaslu Circuit trek starts from Soti Khola and ends at Besisahar. You can drive from and to Kathmandu on a local bus or private jeep.
It takes 8 to 9 hours drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. And while returning it takes 6 to 7 hours from Besisahar to Kathmandu.
A private jeep for this journey is, however, a better option than the bus for those who don’t want to compromise on comfort. Also, the bus journey takes longer.
Also, in a private jeep, you have safe storage for your luggage.
Do I Need Permits to Trek to Manaslu?
The Manaslu route is in a remote and restricted area that remains protected under the Manaslu Conservation Plan. Hence you need special permission to trek in Manaslu.
September, October, November are the best time and the cost of the permit is higher during this time. The cost in other months is, however, less. The permits you will need are:
- Restricted Area permit
- Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit
Since you will obtain the restricted area permit, you do not need a TIMS card for this trek.
How much does the Manaslu Trek Costs?
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Manaslu trek is its cost. Here is what you should know about the Manaslu trek cost.
- Local bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola- USD 10 per person
- Private jeep from Kathmandu to Soti Khola – USD 150 to 200 each way. (The cost can be less if you share i.e USD 30 for 7 people). On return from Besisahar to Kathmandu – USD 10 for tourists and USD 6 to 7 for locals
- Restricted Area permit: USD 70 per person for the first week and extra USD 10 per person per day thereon for September to November. And USD 50 per person for the first week and extra USD 7 per person per day for December to August.
- MCAP: NRS 200 for SAARC nationals and USD 20 or NRS 2000 for foreign nationals.
- ACAP: NRS 200 for SAARC nationals and USD 20 or NRS 2000 for foreign nationals.
Cost of Guides: USD 20 to 25 (This includes guides accommodation, food, and insurance)
Cost of Porters: USD 15 to 20 (This includes porters accommodation, food, and insurance)
Cost of Accommodation: USD 6 to 9 for one twin sharing room.
Cost of Food: USD 5 per meal which is USD 15 to 20 on a daily basis.
Paying some money for charging your gadgets or a hot bucket shower falls under this. Also, it includes tips for your guide and porter at the end of the trek.
As a rough estimate, the Manaslu package for 17 days would range approx USD 1000 to 1250.
What Type of Accommodation to Expect During the Trek?
Manaslu Circuit trek offers accommodations that are usually basic in terms of facilities. The facilities include twin sharing beds in a room, meals, and shared toilets, etc.
The tea houses will provide you with a blanket. But it is important to carry a sleeping bag along with you for the extra warmth especially while crossing the Larkya La pass at high altitude.
Camping trekking can also be another option for Manaslu Circuit trek. Our company staffs will arrange all the accommodation and meals.
Why is Tea House Trekking Better than Camping?
Teahouse trekking is better for the local economy and also for you. By doing tea house trekking you will be helping with the locals economy by bringing jobs into the area. There is more local interaction as well.
Camping, however, brings very little work for locals other than porters.
Tea houses trekking employs fewer porters (2 trekkers-1 Porter for tea house trekking ) (1 trekker-2 porter for camping). But in tea house trekking more money is spent locally on food and accommodation.
Teahouse trekking is more hygienic. Camping leads to littering whereas in tea house trekking it is the responsibility of the landlord to keep the area clean.
However, it is totally up to your preference whether you want to do tea house trekking or camping.
What Food and Meal do We Eat on the Course?
Each teahouse offers continental food, which you can choose from the menu.
Normally every vegetable served in the tea houses is locally produced. This is usually organic which is good for your health.
For those who prefer non-veg, make sure to check with the guide if the meat is fresh before you place the order. Because of the altitude and weather, it is sometimes difficult to raise the animals for consumption.
Storing meat could also be challenging. The best way is to avoid meat consumption during the trek because it is better safe than sorry.
The basic food items like Dal Bhat, soups, porridge, noodles, etc are some of the best meals you can have.
Also, you won’t find teahouse anytime you are hungry so you can carry a few packets of dry fruits and granola bars for that quick boost of energy. This helps in re-energizing by retaining your blood glucose level.
Telecommunication and Wifi Facilities in Manaslu Region
Only 40% of the area in Manaslu has a cell phone signal. However, most of the camp has a satellite phone for emergency contact. Some lodges in Samagaun and Samdo also offer wifi for an extra charge.
If you want to bring 4G sim card with an internet package, we would recommend having Ncell.
Less than USD 10, you can buy an internet package in Kathmandu. Make sure you have one of them before departure.
How is Drinking Water in Manaslu Region?
You can get bottled water in each tea house and this will cost roughly NRS 200 which is USD 2 in the lower elevation. And NRS 400 i.e USD 4 in the higher elevation.
You can also take a water purification tablet or drop to filter water to save money.
The water source is normally available in every one or two hours of walking distance where you can refill water.
Relatively the water in the mountain is not as polluted as in the city and are usually drinkable. You will probably see the locals and the guides drinking this water with no issues.
Yet if you want to try please make sure you use water purification drop.
It is very important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated while trekking esp at high elevation. Hence, drink as much as you can. This way you can reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
What Should My Insurance Policy Cover on Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Your insurance policy should cover the helicopter rescue operation. This is useful in case of medical emergencies.
Your trekking leaders are well trained for high altitude. They have the ability to take the right decision on right time. In cases where he encounters altitude mountain sickness symptoms, you will be first taken to lower altitude.
In a severe case, helicopters will airlift you to a hospital in Kathmandu.
Hence your insurance policy should cover all these medical expenses with Helicopter charges.
What to Pack for Manaslu Trek?
It is always wise to check the weather condition prior to the trek and pack accordingly. However, we can arrange all the trekking gears and equipment after your arrival at Kathmandu.
The weight of the luggage should range between 15 to 20 kgs. This is for both you and porter to avoid overburdening.
Is it Possible to Customize the Trip?
Yes definitely! We can arrange the Manaslu Circuit trek as per your needs and requirements. From the costs to the number of days to sightseeing, we can plan your trip that fits in your budget and convenience.
The Manaslu trek is for adventurous trekkers who want to witness the unexplored and untouched beauty of the Manaslu region.
This trek serves great for travelers who want serenity and enjoy the peaceful trekking experience.
It is more remote than the other trails so prepare yourselves as you travel and give up comfort for at least 2 weeks.
For further questions and queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you in planning the trip for you and making sure it is successful.