This Manaslu trek with the Tsum Valley is perfect for lovers of Buddhist culture who like to walk a less traveled but challenging trail. During this trekking you will enjoy green fields, dense forests and clear mountain rivers along the way. Of course you will also see the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, including the eighth highest mountain in the world, the Manaslu (8156m) and the Ganesh Himal.
Before you’re in the Tsum Valley, you’ll hike part of the Manaslu circuit. From Arughat you will trek slowly up along adventurous paths. Afterwards, during this Manaslu trek into the Tsum Valley and walk along ancient villages that feel very Tibetan.
The Tsum Valley is also called the hidden valley of happiness. This is a side valley of the Manaslu region. ‘Tsum’ is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means lively. In the past, the Tsum Valley was geographically and culturally a separate area. This valley is so untouched that it still has many intact religious and archaeological remains. That is why you will find many ancient Buddhist monasteries, chörtens and stupas.
The inhabitants of the Tsum Valley are also called Tsumba’s. A nice fact is that many of the so-called sightings or encounters with the ‘Yeti’, originate from this region. The Tsumba’s still have a polyandric system. Besides that they have a very unique culture with their own traditions and language. Colourful local festivals that are celebrated here include Lhosar, Dhacyhang, Saka Dawa and Faning.
So this region is steeped in Tibetan elements! Once you’re in Ranchen Gompa, you’ll even look all the way to Tibet! This Manaslu trekking with the beautiful Tsum Valley is one of the most beautiful and authentic regions in Nepal!
Would you like to customize your Nepal trip?
Let yourself be inspired by this trip. You can adjust the trip to your individual preferences and wishes.
- Cross the magical Tsum valley with its ancient Buddhist monasteries and culture
- Hike to the Base Camp of the Ganesh Himal
- View from Rui La to the Tibetan high plateau
- Enjoy stunning views of the eighth highest mountain in the world, the Manaslu.
- Long tropical forests, over suspension bridges to picturesque villages where time has stood still
Namaste and welcome to Nepal!
At the airport one of our staff is waiting for you. He has a sign with our logo on it so you can easily find each other when you leave the airport.
After a warm welcome a private car with driver will bring you to your hotel. Our employee will help you with the check-in at your hotel.
If you arrive early in the day, you can explore the area today. The small streets of the old part of Kathmandu are within walking distance of your hotel. Walk on to the beautiful Place Royale!
You also have a short `meet & greet` with Maaike and/or Chuda. Besides some tips we give you, you can also ask questions. Your guide for the next few days will also drop by to get acquainted.
Overnight stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is a vibrant city, where you will find a temple or altar around every corner. It is also a city with several beautiful world heritage sites. Some highlights not to be missed are:
On a green hill on the western side of Kathmandu lies the mighty Swayambunath stupa. You climb to this Buddhist complex via 300 steps and under the watchful eye of a colony of monkeys. This temple is therefore also called the `Monkey temple`. Once you reach the top, you enter a leafy park surrounded by stone statues of birds and other animals, the riding animals of the gods. At the foot of the hill are prayer wheels built, you can walk here until you reach the Amideva Buddha park. A Tibetan monastery, where there are 3 impressive statues gilded in gold.
The giant white dome in Boudhanath is the largest Buddhist stupa in Asia! You can walk around the base of the stupa and join the praying pilgrims. There are prayer flags everywhere. Around the stupa lives the largest community of Tibetans in Kathmandu. Near the stupa there is always a lot to see! A lunch under the watchful eyes of Buddha is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience!
Half an hour walk from Pashupatinath is the most important Hindu temple complex of Nepal. As a non-Hindu you are not allowed to enter the temple, but you can walk around the rest of the large domain. Follow the ritual cremation ceremonies along the river and get acquainted with the colorful Saddhus, the followers of Shiva who live on the domain.
You will spend the night in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.
After breakfast you drive west along the highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. You bend down to the village of Dhading and continue along small villages, green terraced fields and overgrown slopes.
The road turns into a bumpy, unpaved road and you pass Arughat. From here you also start to see the mountains: the Annapurna, the Ganesh Himal, the Langtang Himal and of course the Manaslu!
In the evening you will arrive in Soti Khola, situated on the banks of the Bhuri Gandaki River.
You will spend the night in a teahouse in Soti Khola.
After breakfast in Soti Khola you start your trek! The landscape today is already very varied: you walk up and down through forests, past rice fields, rock ridges, raging rivers and clattering waterfalls.
Today you first cross a bridge and walk through a dense forest. Afterwards you climb a ridge above the wild Budhi Gandaki River. Did you know that this river is connected to the Tibetan highlands?
A rocky path takes you to Khursane. You follow a very adventurous path where you walk along two waterfalls on a steep path on the side of a cliff. You descend further along the rice fields until you arrive in the Gurung village Labubesi.
Here you climb along rocks until you reach the valley, the river flows calmer here and the valley becomes more wide. You descend to the banks of the river and then walk on a side ridge. You walk further to the river and cross one last suspension bridge before you arrive at Machha Khola.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Machha Khola.
After breakfast you start your walk. First you follow the gorge and walk upstream next to the river. The path starts narrow and goes up and down. At the end you cross the river Torah Khola and reach Khorlabesi. A little further you come in Tatopani where there is a natural hot spring. Take a short break here!
You climb over a ridge and cross the Budhi Gandaki river via a suspension bridge. You climb a flight of stairs over a ridge to Dobhan. You enter the Manaslu Conservation Area here! Afterwards you cross another suspension bridge, this time over the Yaru Khola River. Climb a stone path again and then descend to the river. Afterwards you climb the stone steps to Tharo Bharyang. This is the habitat of the Languraps, so look up into the trees and you will undoubtedly see them hanging around.
Continue along the west bank of the Bhudi Ghandaki River. You climb over a ridge and continue along the river. Finally you make one last climb and you arrive in the village of Jagat. Jagat is a picturesque village with small cobbled streets.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Jagat.
Today you will walk over several suspension bridges! You walk quietly up along beautiful waterfalls. You pass the village of Philim, situated in a beautiful wide landscape.
From there you climb up again along the path and split off into the Tsum Valley. The impressive Ganesh Himal and Shringi Himal show themselves along the way. Today we end our day in Lokpa, which lies above the path and is surrounded by barley fields.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Lokpa.
You walk along the river for about an hour until you reach a fork in the river. You take the left path and cross the suspension bridge. Here you walk into the Tsum valley. Today you cross two other suspension bridges. On a clear day you see the snowy peaks of Baudha Himal (6672m) and Ganesh Himal VI.
The path leads through a gorge with high pine trees and green grasslands around the mountain side. After a last steep climb you arrive in Chumling. Chumling is also called `lager Tsum`. The rest of the day you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You can also visit some small monasteries.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Chumling.
We continue our trip through the valley to Dumje, where we stop for the afternoon. In the southeast runs a path where you have a spectacular view of the peaks Baudha and Himalchuli.
Chhokangparo is part of Upper Tsum. This village is located on a plain and consists of the settlements Chhekam and Paro. In this region there is polyandrie in some families.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Chhokangparo.
You walk past the village of Lamagaon. Afterwards you climb further up to the cave of Milarepa. You walk further and cross the Shiar river.
You pass the villages Phurbe, Pangdun and Chhule. After this last village you walk up along the river and cross a bridge after which you arrive in Nile.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Nile.
We are now not far from the border with Tibet. Today we continue to Mu and pass beautiful landscapes that give you the feeling that you are in Tibet. You walk along the western side of the valley and then climb to the most remote part of the valley, Mu. You will spend the night in Mu.
Mu Gompa is located at the top of a spur. The surroundings are breathtaking with a view of the snowy peaks. The monastery is very isolated, the next settlement is a few hours walk away.
If you still have a lot of energy left and would like to hike some more, you can hike today (about 2 to 3 hours) to the Dephyudonma Gompa. This monastery is one of the oldest in the region and of great importance for Buddhism. Afterwards you walk back to Mu.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Mu.
You will return through the valley to Chhule and continue to Phurbe. You walk on the eastern bank of the Siyar Khola River and cross the cobbled plains to Rachen Gompa (3240m).
Thanks to this nunnery the girls from this area can also enjoy education. The monastery is located in the valley of the Shiar, in the rugged mountains between Tibet and Nepal.
By the way, did you know that in the Tsum area all families have at least 1 family member who is a nun or a monk?
You spend the night in a teahouse in Rachen Gompa.
You cross a bridge and walk down to Gho (2485m). You walk past a small white gompa and cross a wooden bridge. You pass Dhumje (2460m) and follow the path up.
After a steep climb through pine & rhododendron forests you walk to a beautiful mani-wall with prayer flags. You follow it further uphill and arrive at Gumba Lungdang (3200m) via a zigzag climb through a forest of silver pines.
In this monastery live about 40 nuns. The view of the mountains from this location is breathtaking.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Gumpa Lungdang.
You’re following a less-traveled path today. Because of the altitude it can be more difficult to walk, but the dense forests and great views make up for it. You walk through rhododendron forests and pine trees again. Once in a while you cross the river on a wooden bridge.
It takes about 4 hours to reach the Ganesh Himal Base Camp (4200m). You will return to Gumba Lungdang in time for the evening puja (prayer ceremony).
You will spend the night in a teahouse in Gumpa Lungdang.
You start early today and start a descent to Dumje. You cross a bridge and walk through a beautiful forest. Before you arrive in Ripchet (2240m) you cross some deep cliff over new bridges.
In this high fertile valley barley and buckwheat are grown and there are chortens in the fields, surrounded by pine trees.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Ripchet.
Today you leave the magical Tsum Valley with its incredibly hospitable people.
After crossing the Budi Ghandaki river, you will have a last look in the Tsum valley, which you will leave today. You follow the path through a narrow gorge, the path goes up and down. You cross the river a couple of times via a suspension bridge up to Sirdibas (1860m).
You walk through bamboo forests to Deng (1800m), which is inhabited by the Buddhist Gurung people.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Deng.
After breakfast you cross the Budhi Gandaki river and climb to the bridge. You climb further until you join the path to Bhi. You walk to the west of the valley through dense forests with various vegetation. You pass some picturesque villages where indigenous communities live. In the distance you catch a glimpse of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas.
You walk through the village of Prok. A great place to take a break, with a view on the snowy top of the Siringi Himal. Today you will cross the Budhi Gandaki river several times. You will also come across some beautiful Buddhist gompa’s. The path continues through a dense forest next to the river until you reach a narrow gorge.
You climb steeply one last time until you arrive in Namrung. It was a beautiful hiking day today, where you could fully enjoy the beauty of nature that the Manaslu Conservation Area has to offer.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Namrung.
From Namrung you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Ganesh Himal, the Siring and also the Himal Chuli in the south. First you climb slowly and walk through the woods to the village of Lihi. After you have admired the authentic stupas here, you descend on the path through a side valley of the Simnang Himal.
You slowly ascend above the tree line and the landscape changes from lush green to brown and grey shades that contrast beautifully with the blue sky. You pass several villages. First you walk through Sho, then through the village of Lho. In picturesque Lho you have a beautiful view of the Manaslu and you can explore the famous Ribung Gompa on top of the hill. The next village you will encounter today is the equally authentic Shyala and the view is spectacular! On the left you see high mountains including the Himal Chuli and the Ngadi Chuli, on the right other peaks including the Ganesh Himal and if you look straight ahead there is impressive Manaslu and large glaciers.
After you have enjoyed this breathtaking view, climb on to Sama Gaon.
You will spend the night in a teahouse in Sama Gaon.
Today you have an extra day, to let your body acclimatize to the altitude. You can either choose to take it easy and rest in Sama Gaon or take a nice day walk.
A day hike to the base camp of the Manaslu (4800m) is highly recommended. You hike about 5 hours to base camp and about 3 hours down. The Manaslu basecamp is the first of a series of camps used for climbing expeditions to the top of the Manaslu. During the climbing season the base camp is packed with tents, equipment, guides, porters and expedition members who are either worried about the climb or exhausted after a climb. By the way, did you know that at 8,163 metres above sea level, the Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain in the world!
An alternative day hike takes you to the old Pungyen Gompa (4070m). From here you have a beautiful view of the Manaslu and its surroundings. Definitely worth the effort! The daytrip starts along a side trail between Shyala and Samagaon. From the beginning of the sidewalk you reach after about an hour green meadows where the yaks graze. After another hour and a half you reach the Gompa. It lies at the end of a vast grassy plateau surrounded by a dramatic mountain landscape. The Gompa has a small prayer hall and some dormitories built in the mountain for the monks.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Sama Gaon.
Again an easy and short trekking day, where you have all the time you need to get used to the altitude.
You hike to the ice covered Birendra Tal lake (3450m) near the Manaslu glacier. It is a quiet walk through meadows with grazing yaks. You walk through a wide valley along long mani-walls. Once you reach the tree line you only see some juniper bushes.
You climb to a mountain ridge and descend again to the Budi Gandaki river which you cross over a wooden bridge.
A little further you ascend again until you reach the village of Samdo. This picturesque village is a real yak village: there are more yaks here than people.
After lunch you can make a nice walk to a side valley and to the top of the Samdo peak. Be sure to bring a jacket, because in the afternoon there is often a cold wind.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Samdo.
Today you have an acclimatization day in Samdo.
A hike to Rui La is a great day trip that will help you to acclimatize further. Rui La is a mountain pass at 4.998 meters and is located on the border between Tibet and Nepal.
This route is a much used and ancient route to Tibet. From Samdo it takes about five hours to get to Rui La. You walk to the north and follow the Athahra Saya Khola River. You follow the river to the west and the path goes up to the east.
Along the way you enjoy a beautiful mountain landscape and pass colourful yak caravans coming from Tibet with fresh goods.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Samdo.
You leave Samdo and follow a wide path that descends to the narrow Budhi Gandaki at 3850m.
You pass the path that leads to Tibet and continue walking. In spring you can see marmots, in November they are hidden from hibernation. On a narrow path you cross two ravines and continue walking until you reach Dharamsala.
Merchants from Namche Bazar used to come through this area on their way to Tibet to trade and perhaps some of the scattered stone hiding places you pass will remind you of this past. Nowadays there is no longer a market in Dharmasala.
Dharmasala (4480 m) is now a seasonal village. The view is amazing. A large flock of blue sheep walks on the pollen covered hills. Snow leopards live in this region, if you’re lucky you’ll find some footprints in the snow. The animals themselves are very shy, so the chance of seeing one of them is very small.
You spend the night in a teahouse in Dharmasala.
You leave very early in the morning to avoid the heavy mountain winds that start in the afternoon and are so strong that they are dangerous.
From Dharmasala it is a difficult and strenuous climb to the glacial lakes just before the Larkya La pass.
The beautiful view from the pass makes the climb worthwhile. You have views of the Himlung Himal, Kangurru and Annapurna ll.
After crossing the pass you walk on at high altitude until the path descends quickly for a steep descent to the plain of Bhimtang.
You will spend the night in a teahouse in Bhimtang.
You start the last day of your trip south and cross the Bhimthang Glacier. Afterwards you walk on a ledge in a beautiful forest.
In spring the different shades of the rhododendrons are breathtakingly beautiful! The colours contrast beautifully with the large pine trees and it alternates with beautiful views of the Manaslu.
You descend steeply to the bank of the Dudh Khola and pass the Hompuk branch (3420m) on a clearing in the forest. Then you walk along the river to Karche (2700 m). You then climb over a ridge to Gho (2560m), the first real village you encounter since Samdo.
The valley becomes more rural and you walk along several fields and forests to Tilije (2300m). After crossing the Dudh Khola river again, you descend steeply through bushes to the Marsyangdi valley. Then you cross the river again in Thonje (1900 m), climb up and cross the Marsyangdi Khola via a long suspension bridge.
A little further on you arrive in Dharapani (1860m).
You spend the night in a teahouse in Dharapani.
Together with your guide and porter you go in a private jeep to Kathmandu. This adventurous ride lasts all day. You will arrive in Kathmandu in the late afternoon/evening.
You still have some free time in Thamel the many shops where you can buy nice souvenirs. In Nepal there are many artisans who sell their handmade goods here.
If you want to relax your stiff muscles, go for a massage in eg. Seeing Hands, a social enterprise where blind people are trained as masseurs.
You will spend the night in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.
The end of the journey has come. We hope you had a fantastic trip and will bring home a lot of great memories! If you fly later in the day, you still have some free time to say goodbye to Kathmandu!
At least 3 hours before the departure time of your flight, a private car with driver will pick you up and take you to the airport for your departure flight.