Manaslu Circuit Trek

Hey!

I’m planning to do the Manaslu Circuit Trek in 12-14 days, if all goes well. I’m 27, from New York (although I now live in Japan) and am a keen rock climber and trekker. I would like to do the circuit at a quick and steady pace. My time frame for the trip is from March 17-18th to April 4-5th. I would like to spend as little as possible on luxuries – preferring instead to stay with locals or the designated teahouses along the route.

At this point, I am undecided on whether or not I want to hire a guide. Actually, I don’t have enough information on the route to know if it can be navigated without one. If so, I’d rather do it on my own (and with another trekking partner or two).

It’s still a plan in the making, but I’m hesitating to purchase a flight ticket before I can find a partner for the trip. If you’re in a similar position and thinking to do the trek in mid-March, please send me a message and we can talk more about it.

Cheers!

Casey

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  1. Hi Casey!

    I am interested to do the Manaslu circuit as well, and I have not made any definite plans yet. I am a Dutch student currently, finishing my bachelor degree in Human Geography. After that is done I will visit Nepal for +-1,5 months.

    My plan is arrive in Kathmandu the 21st of March, so I could start the trip on the 22nd/23rd. I aim to return to Kathmandu the 5th or 6th of April, since I will take part in a small expedition to Mera Peak that will depart in the morning of April 8.

    I have plenty experience in hiking, mountaineering and alpinism, and a bit of rock climbing. However we are obligated to hire a guide trough an trekking agency. The Manaslu area is protected and only accessible to foreigners accompanied by a guide and at least one other trekking partner. This will increase the costs a lot, hopefully this doesn’t bother you.

    I am currently reading a lot about the Manaslu, and it is considered one of the most spectacular trekking options in Nepal. It is much more quiet than the dusty roads of the Annapurna circuit, however it is harder to plan as well. Nonetheless, I rather plan a trek with some other trekking partners than book a fully organised trip.

    Cheers,

    Joris

  2. Hi Joris!

    Thanks for your detailed message. Your degree of study sounds quite interesting – I presume that you’re traveling then to Nepal partly out of research as well as for personal adventure. That’s awesome!

    If you’re planning to start the trek on the 22-23rd, as you said, and finish on the 5-6th, then I imagine that we would be compatible trekking partners – in terms of fitness and anticipated number of days to complete the trek. I also haven’t made any definitive plans and this trip is still in the speculative/research stage, but my dates are rather fixed. Though, as long as we could finish by the 6th, I think that it could work.

    Regarding the costs of hiring a guide – Do you have an idea of how much that might cost? I’m sorry to be asking you, as you might be as unsure as I am. I’ve read that a guide will typically charge between $20-30 per day. I’m not sure if that would be divided between us, or if we would each have to pay that. Anyhow, my budget isn’t necessarily ‘shoestring’, though I’d rather keep it less than $50 a day. What’s your intended budget?

    From what I’ve read, it seems that the lack of foot traffic and relatively recent ease of access rewards the more adventurous with a truly authentic experience and interaction with the culture and natural surroundings. Indeed, the flip side is that logistical planning then becomes more complicated.

    Keep me updated with your plans and I’ll let you know more about my intentions as I continue to do some research and also, to watch flight prices – ha ha.

    Take care,
    Casey

  3. One more quick comment:
    Finding one or more trekkers to join us would decrease the cost a lot, as guides are by far the most expensive part of the trip. Guides are allowed to take five trekkers with them. Hence finding some more partners would be a good idea.

  4. Hi Casey!

    Past weekend I have done some research on the Manaslu Trek. Departing the 23rd looks like a solid option. I have found several itineraries that propose a 17-day trek from Kathmandu to Kathmandu, while still leaving enough space for acclimatization or unexpected setbacks.

    An example of such an itinerary is the one from Himalayan Leisure (http://www.himalayanleisure.com/nepal/trekking/adventure-trekking/manaslu-circuit-trek). Planning such an trip ourselves certainly sounds do-able. It will involve hiring a guide for approximately 15 days. Many travelers report that an average quality guide costs around 25-40 USD per day, including their food and shelter. In the worst case this would be 20 USD per person per day.

    Further, food drinks and shelter typically cost around 10-17 USD a day. Although the price increases along the altitude, so it averages around 15 USD.. The permits are 10 USD per day per traveler. So a quick estimation (20+17+10) leaves us at 47USD per day in the most expensive scenario. However I expect it to be much lower.

    Cheers,
    Joris

  5. I’ve posted this reply two days ago, however it is still pending moderation.

    Hi Casey!

    Past weekend I have done some research on the Manaslu Trek. Departing the 23rd looks like a solid option. I have found several itineraries that propose a 17-day trek from Kathmandu to Kathmandu, while still leaving enough space for acclimatization or unexpected setbacks.

    An example of such an itinerary is the one from Himalayan Leisure . Planning such an trip ourselves certainly sounds do-able. It will involve hiring a guide for approximately 15 days. Many travelers report that an average quality guide costs around 25-40 USD per day, including their food and shelter. In the worst case this would be 20 USD per person per day.

    Further, food drinks and shelter typically cost around 10-17 USD a day. Although the price increases along the altitude, so it averages around 15 USD.. The permits are 10 USD per day per traveler. So a quick estimation (20+17+10) leaves us at 47USD per day in the most expensive scenario. However I expect it to be much lower.

    Cheers,
    Jori

  6. Hey Joris!

    Good to hear from you. I was climbing and camping this past weekend and far from a PC, so sorry for my delayed response.

    Thanks again for all of the info! It’s clear that you’ve done some serious research into the logistics of this trip. You mentioned that you’ve found some itineraries online that suggest a 15 to 17 day trek to allow for acclimatization. For me though, I unfortunately can’t consider that option if we were to depart on the 23rd. You see, I’m an English instructor and my spring holiday is fixed from March 16 – April 4. I think it might be possible to extend it for a day or two, but that’s about it.

    So, at this point I’m considering whether the trip will be feasible at all. The budget that you mentioned is well within my comfortable range and, like you said, it might even cost less if we were to find a few other people. But, I first need to talk with my supervisor and see if I could extend my holiday dates.

    Best,
    Casey

  7. Hi Casey!

    Good to hear from you!

    I understand that a 15 or 17 day itinerary does not fit your plans. I hope the talk with your supervisor about extending your holiday goes well. I hope to hear from you soon!

    Best,
    Joris

  8. Hey Joris!

    Just an update – I’ve spoken with my supervisor and it seems to be okay if I were to return to Japan on April 6th. So at this point, I’m watching flights and deciding when the right time will be to buy a ticket. When were you thinking to buy yours?

    Hypothetically, if our ‘Day 1’ was to be on the 22nd/23rd, we would finish on the 3rd/4th – according to a 12 day itinerary. Are those the dates you more or less had in mind?

    Let me know! 🙂

    Casey

  9. Hi Casey!
    That is excellent news! I have booked an option on a flight trough the Dutch Alpine/Mountain association. They offered me a deal for a return trip. The deal includes extra luggage space for my alpine climbing gear, which I will need from April 8 onwards. Currently I do not have an idea where to get the cheapest tickets. Usually, when planning trips I daily check skyscanner . Often the best time to buy a ticket is three to five months in advance, in this period prices are lower.

    In the mean time I’ve been reading quite a lot about the Manaslu trek. Indeed those are the dates I have in mind. This is an itinerary I propose:

    Tuesday 21 March – My flight arrives in Kathmandu around dinner time.
    Wednesday 22 March – Arrange permits, check gear, possibly meet guide.
    Day 1 Thursday 23 March Drive to Soti Khola (710m 8-10Hours)
    Day 2 Friday 24 March – Trek to Maccho Khola (930m 8 Hours)
    Day 3 Saturday 25 March – Trek to Jagat (1370m 6 hours)
    Day 4 Sunday 26 March – Trek to Deng ( 18860m 6 hours)
    Day 5 Monday 27 March – Trek to Namrung (2540m 6 hours)
    Day 6 Tuesday 28 March – Trek to Samagaon ( 3390m7 hours)
    Day 7 Wednesday 29 March – Trek to Samdo ( 3890m 3 Hours)
    Day 8 Thursday 30 March – Acclimatisation (3890m Various Sightseeing’s)
    Day 9 Friday 31 March – Larke Base Camp (4460m 4 hours)
    Day 10 Saturday 1 April – Croos Larkya La (5125m 9 hours)
    Day 11 Sunday 2 April – Trek To Tilije (2300m 6 hours)
    Day 12 Monday 3 April – Trek to Chamje – (1410m 7 hours)
    Day 13 Monday 4 April – Drive to Kathmandu arrive in late afternoon
    Day 14 Monday 5 April – Leave in the morning or night before

    This itinerary is the most proposed itinerary on trekking forums, I removed one acclimatization day to comply to your time frame. Further, trekking above 3000m without proper acclimatization can be an rather unpleasant experience, therefore the walking times on day 7-9 are limited.

    Does this itinerary fit your schedule? Do you have any tips or adjustments?

    Cheers,
    Joris

    • Hello Casey and Joris,
      My name is Tyler. I don’t mean to poach on your trip or itinerary but after reading through your thread it I thought it would be wise to introduce myself. I to am an avid hiker, climber, and mountaineer from Washington state.

      I will be in Nepal at the same time with my girlfriend. We too are looking at doing the Manaslu trek but don’t want to go through and organized trekking company. I have been trying to find a guide for the two of us but it is proving to be quite challenging. (from what it seems, we all would prefer to give it a go without a guide but rules are rules, and I have no problem hiring a guide)

      I found this website while researching the trek. While in my efforts of keeping costs low and logistics ‘simpler’ I stumbled onto your thread. I don’t want to impose on your trek I was just wondering if you were still open to the idea of a couple more travelers joining to reduce cost and share in an experience.

      Our dates are flexible and could tailor or trip to meet your travel needs. We will be in India/Nepal from Feb 4 until some time in May.

      Thanks,
      Tyler

  10. Hello Casey and Joris,
    My name is Tyler. I don’t mean to poach on your trip or itinerary but after reading through your thread it I thought it would be wise to introduce myself. I to am an avid hiker, climber, and mountaineer from Washington state.

    I will be in Nepal at the same time with my girlfriend. We too are looking at doing the Manaslu trek but don’t want to go through and organized trekking company. I have been trying to find a guide for the two of us but it is proving to be quite challenging. (from what it seems, we all would prefer to give it a go without a guide but rules are rules, and I have no problem hiring a guide)

    I found this website while researching the trek. While in my efforts of keeping costs low and logistics ‘simpler’ I stumbled onto your thread. I don’t want to impose on your trek I was just wondering if you were still open to the idea of a couple more travelers joining to reduce cost and share in an experience.

    Our dates are flexible and could tailor or trip to meet your travel needs. We will be in India/Nepal from Feb 4 until some time in May.

    Thanks,
    Tyler

  11. Sorry for the double post. I typed my original message in the wrong reply box.

  12. Hi Tyler!

    Speaking for myself, hiking with some more trekkers gives the impression of being an enjoyable experience. Especially hiking the Manaslu circuit together with like-minded mountaineers/climbers seems great!

    Above I wrote down an itinerary that I’ve had in mind. In case we would follow that one, the departure date from Kathmandu would be March 23rd. However I am still waiting to hear from Casey, so I am not sure about the departure date nor the itinerary. Nonetheless, does this date meet your travel needs?

    Cheers,
    Joris

  13. Hey Joris!

    I’m sorry for having been silent for the last few weeks. The trip has been on my mind more or less regularly, though to be honest, I’ve been waiting to respond for a few reasons.

    The main reason being that I needed to get a true sense of whether my partner was genuinely keen or not on me doing this trip solo. She is, but with some reservation and concern about our savings and whether or not it’s possible with my work schedule (missing work for any reason is not looked upon favorably in Japan).

    So, without this message getting too personal, I feel it’s best to let you know now (sooner than later) that, regrettably – I’m going to have to put my trip on hiatus.

    Which of course, isn’t to say that I’m not super grateful for all of the info about the itinerary that you’ve shared and especially for how flexible you’ve been with dates and budget estimates. Seriously, you’ve been awesome.

    I’m sure that you can understand. It seems like now though you might have found two other partners for this trip (Hey, Tyler!), which would seemingly work out really well then.

    Thanks again for sharing the psych about this amazing trek and I hope that you’re able to find a few more partners soon. If anything changes with me, I’ll definitely let you know.

    Best,
    Casey

  14. Sorry to hear you won’t be making the trip Casey. I understand that something like this can’t be forced. Hope you will be able to do the trek sometime in the near future.

    With that Joris, I know your schedule is a bit more flexible, as is ours. What are your thoughts on keeping the same start day but maybe adding another acclimatization day? I have also been in contact with a private guide, I haven’t commited to anything just wanted to talk to him about costs and details. Get a feel for price and what is to be included and not.

    Tyler

    • Hi Tyler,

      I believe Im a good match with all the plans discussed on this post. I could replace casey 😉 Im flexible regarding the trek, dates, and budget. Check my profile and post for 12th of march. I send Joris a message, since we are both Dutch I asked him to call me so we can discuss some things. I could keep you posted if you would like!

      Peter

  15. Hi

    Casey, I am sorry to hear you’ve had to put your trip on hold. I do understand your reasoning and hopefully you will be able to do such a trek in the future.

    Tyler, that sounds like a great idea! Good to hear you’ve contacted a trekking guide, what did they offer? And what was their prize?

    A friend of mine has been to Nepal before, he is asking around to see if anyone knows a good guide that offers the Manaslu trek. One tip he gave was booking transport and permits through your guide. It only costs a tad more but saves you a lot of struggle in Kathmandu. I will let you know if I got more info.

    Thanks,
    Joris

  16. Hey Joris,
    I heard back from Ashok (the guide) I will just cut and paste his email so you can read it. It seems expensive and I’m wondering if we can’t find a cheaper option.
    If you would like here is our suggested itinerary for Manaslu trekking.

    14 days Manaslu circuit trek (Kathmandu-Kathmandu)

    23rd March = Day 01: Drive to Soti Khola (530m) 6-7 hrs
    22th March= Day 02: Trek to Machha Khola (890m) 5-6 hrs
    25th March= Day 03: Trek to Jagat (1,350m) 5-6 hrs
    26th March= Day 04: Trek to Deng (1,800m) 5 hrs
    27th March= Day 05: Trek to Gho (2,490 m) 6 hrs
    28th March= Day 06: trek to Lhogaon (3,180m) (5hrs)
    29th March= Day 07: Trek to Samagaon (3,520 m) 4 hrs
    30th March= Day 08: Rest day/Acclimatization Day/Hiking Day/Exploration Day/ hiking around the hill and visit the monastery
    31st March= Day 09: Trek to Samdo (3,875m) 3hrs
    01st April = Day 10: Trek to Larkya Bazaar/Dharmasala (44600m) 4hrs
    02nd April= Day 11: Dharamsala to Larkya la pass(5160 m)to Bhimthang (3,660m) 9hrs
    03rd April= Day 12: Trek to Tilije (2,300m) 5hrs
    04th April= Day 13: Trek to Chamcha (1,430m) 7hrs
    05th April= Day 14: Drive to Besisahar (760m) and Kathmandu (1,300m),

    The given itinerary is suggested an itinerary for your convenient and it’s flexible for your comfortable. and if you want we can follow your itinerary too.

    Costs include:
    Full Board Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) during trekking period
    Best available accommodations during the trek
    A government license holder guide
    Food, drinks, accommodation, insurance, salary, equipments, transportation and local tax for guide
    Kathmandu to Arkhet by Bus
    Chemcha to Beshishar by Jeep (Bus is not available over there)
    Beshishar to Kathmandu by Bus
    Hotel to bus park and Bus park to Hotel by Taxi
    First Aid Kit
    Required Entry fees
    Special Manaslu trekking permit
    Normal ACAP & MCAP Permit
    Emergencies rescue arrangement
    All government documentation charges & taxes

    Costs excluded in the package:

    Travel insurance
    Alcoholic, cold Drinks & Mineral water
    All items not listed in Cost included section

    Total cost Full Board Packages : 770$/Person

    The above cost is inclusive your food accommodation as well. and if you wish to choose another option about to self-pay of your food and accommodation during the trip then:

    Total cost : 450/Person(Without your food and accommodation but others things are same as in inclusive section)

    Our Recommendation(Read about me): https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293890-d9740825-Reviews-Himalayan_Recreation_Day_Tours-Kathmandu_Kathmandu_Valley_Bagmati_Zone_Central_Re.html

    Please kindly check our details and do not hesitate to ask me further question if you got any confusion on any topic. Glad to help you.

  17. Hi
    I did this trek a few years ago and was great. I have put some note together in this link if people are interested http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/cb9d8/#TL
    The local people on the trek are great and I would strongly recommend trying to fit the tsum valley in if you can. Our guide was great, he had good relationships with the lodge owners and came from the Gorkha area. Regards
    Andrew Morgan, Australia.

  18. Hi Joris.
    I am looking at trekking Manaslu/Tsum valley from around the second week of March. Dates are flexible but thinking after Holi and have another trip planned for the second week of April.
    In a similar manner am looking for partners/options to enable the Manaslu trip and Tsum Valley if I can..
    It may be, if push comes to shove, that I will have to see what the trekking agencies can come up with once I am in Kathmandu. Meanwhile am putting out feelers and hoping to find a good solution.
    Paul

  19. Hello,

    Just wondering if any of you are still planning on doing the Manaslu Circuit this spring? I’d be keen to join you if you’re still looking for partners. I’m 34, English and I’ve trekked the Annapurna Sanctury and The Three Passes in the Everest region 3 years ago so I know what I’m letting myself in for! 😉 Would be great to find some trekking partners for company and to keep costs down. Dates for me are flexible as I haven’t booked a flight yet. Let me know if this is still a possibility and happy travels!

    Juliet 🙂

  20. Hi all,

    I am 34 from Bangladesh, Market researcher by profession. I have done Annapurna Sanctuary, Circuit, and Langtang trails in past years and would love to join whoever of you guys are still planning on the initial dates (Mar 23 to Apr 4/5).

    Tyler, Peter, Joris, Paul, Juliet what’s your take on this. from the thread above, I understand Casey had to drop. are we all still on?

    Rathin

  21. Hello Joris Peter and Tyler!

    I’m interested in trekking and fitting into your itinerary if it suits.
    I’m flexible with dates and times for the trek and have been looking for a trek partner/s Max 4-5 for this region with a guide. I’ve previously trekked abc and the Everest region in 2014 and have maintained good fitness since.

    If you are interested in trekking with me please get in touch or see my profile please. I’m leaving for Nepal Early to mid March.
    Cheers
    Connie (31, Perth, Western Australia)

    • Hi Connie,

      The thread is pretty long, and haven’t seen anyone other than Juliet and you active in this for last few days. Looking at Paul’s last post, there is a hope that he might still be active.

      Do you think, we 3/ 4 of us could plan out trek the Manaslu Circuit? Juliet says she has flexibility on starting dates, so have I. what would be your preference for the beginning?

  22. Hi Connie, Rathin and anyone else! I’m definitely interested but haven’t booked a flight yet so I’m flexible on dates. 🙂

    • Hi Juliet,

      As far as date is concerned, I’m pretty flexible, and Connie sounds to have limited flexibility with a window of 7th – 15th as starting point. I can try to work out within this dates, what about you?

  23. I was hoping to tackle this route the first week of April. I would be looking to travel with at least one other person fro permit purposes. This thread seems to have gotten a little quiet, anyone still making plans?

    • Hi Jamie,

      Juliet, Connie and I are still trying to make a plan on this trail. While my dates are still open, let’s see how others are planning.

  24. Hi Rathindra, Yes I could aim to start somewhere between 7th and 15th March, if that suits you and Connie?

    Jamie, it would be awesome to have a group of four of us but I think April starts to get quite hazy in the afternoons. Any chance you could join us a few weeks earlier?

    Also is anyone on a really tight time frame for completing the circuit? Personally it would be nice to have a few days extra to do side trips or acclimatise if necessary. What are your thoughts on the duration of the trek? I was thinking of allowing about 18 days.

    • 18 days might be a bit more than I can do, looking at me schedule in the middle of the month. I could probably squeeze in a 16 day trek but that would include the days traveling to the start

  25. To anyone still interested-
    I may have more flexible dates than initially thought. A mid March date may be feasible but is coming up pretty fast Does anyone in this timeframe have an idea for an itinerary?. If I can’t find a partner or group I will probably switch to Annapurna Circuit.

    • Hi Jamie, Mid March would work for me but I’d like to fit in the Tsum Valley too. Are you still limited to 2 weeks or could you push it to 3?

  26. Hey guys!
    This is Ajay, an authorized tour and trekking guide. My last trek to Manaslu Base Camp, Larke pass and Tsum valley was in month of March 2016. I am enthusiastic to do it one more time this year. It’s really one of my favorite routes out of all other mountains I’ve trekked.
    Besides, I have other group of friends who are very well trained and experienced guides. I also can assist in permit documents, if need be.
    Swotah Trip Highlights: Tsum (Mu gumba), Manaslu Base Camp, Larke-Pass

    Guys!
    Cheers!!!

  27. Hi, I am also looking to do Manaslu circuit starting on March 18 for 14 days. Not sure who on this thread is still looking for partners or if you have decided on itenary but it would be good to hear. Tony

    • Hi Tony, I don’t think this thread is very active anymore. I’ve found a few people wanting to do a 3 week trek around Manaslu and the Tsum Valley or maybe part of the AC. Look under the 1st April thread for more info.

  28. hello sir/maam,
    Greetings, iam a professional licensed guide, and i can assist you with the whole trip. you can find me on whatssap +9779823498293

  29. Hey Casey and everyone else on this forum, i am leaving for Kathmandu on the 15th of March and plan to start hiking a few days after (although my plans are flexible). I would also love to do a side trip into Tsum Valley. If anyone has similar plans please message me!

  30. I there still people going around 21.03. – 06.04.?

  31. Hello everybody! What a lengthy thread, I hope somebody did manage to team-up.

    I would like to do the trek from around 20.03 to 5.04 (so yes, very similar to your dates Tatu, I will send you a private message!).

    It is going to be the first long distance trek for me, but I have done several 2-4 day treks in the past, including in the Annapurna region and in the Chinese Himalaya.

    I’d be keen to team up and share a guide and a porter.