Manaslu Circuit Trek

Hello all!

My name is Suzanna. I’m a 27-year-old from the US, planning to trek the Manaslu Circuit (maybe with Tsum and/or Ganesh Himal – still undecided) starting around Oct 8th.

I’m currently finishing a yoga teacher training program in Rishikesh, India, and I will be leaving here as soon as I can get the train to the Nepal border after Oct 3rd (I’ll know the exact date of my crossing/arrival this week). I have to start in pokhara as I’ll be storing my larger suitcase at a friend’s place there while I’m out trekking. I need to do more research about the possibility of obtaining permits/guides in Pokhara vs. Kathmandu, but I’m flexible and open to meeting a partner in Pokhara or Kathmandu, then doing the guide/permit process wherever makes most sense.

I’m relatively experienced and independent on the trail so I would make a great choice for travelers looking to trek Manaslu with little to no assistance (guides/porters, etc). Obviously I think it’s a great idea to know someone else out there while you’re trekking, but I’m not worried if my permit partner wants to keep a different pace or stay in tea houses while I camp (I want the option to do both), etc etc. I’d like some freedom and flexibility on the trail – if my partner wants to stick with the guide more that’s fine. For me, since you have to have a guide, I’ll take advantage of that fact – but probably will only be using him for emergencies and checkpoints (that’s why I checked “Independent” instead of “guide only” below). Again – I’m flexible with everything! I have time as well and would be open and eager to add some side trips and destinations.

Hope to hear from some like-minded travelers with the same rough itinerary. I definitely can’t do this on my own so I look forward to connecting! Thanks all.

Suzanna

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15 replies
  1. Hey Suzanna – I’m also looking into doing Manaslu around that timeframe. I’m a 27 y/o American but I’m living in Australia currently and I’ll be flying into Kathmandu on the 2nd of October. I’d likewise prefer to do the trek solo, but apparently that’s against the rules 🙂

    • Hey Jon,

      Sounds like we have the same kind of plan! I’m actually arriving in Kathmandu on the 2nd now as well. Do you know where you’re staying that night? I’ve found some other groups but their time frame and group size is not exactly ideal. We could keep it small (2-3 people max) and maybe aim to do the permits on the 2nd or 3rd (depending what time we both arrive on the 2nd), with the goal of leaving to start the trek on the 4th (?) what do you think? Like I mentioned, my schedule is fairly flexible so we can see how things go once were in KTM. I will have a lot of research done upon arrival but not planning much or booking anything until I get there in person. This could work out well! Looking forward to talking more.
      Suzanna
      Ps. I also used to live in Australia 🙂

    • I am afraid to inform you that getting permit for restricted area like Manaslu takes little time. They may take upto 1 week depending on the amount of trekkers. I am also leaving for Manaslu and I am from Nepal. I also love solo travel but its better to have friend in some difficult parts.

    • I am afraid to inform you that getting permit for restricted area like Manaslu takes little time. They may take upto 1 week depending on the amount of trekkers. I am also leaving for Manaslu and I am from Nepal. I also love solo travel but its better to have friend in some difficult parts. So I want to join if you guys have no problem

  2. Cool, that works out perfectly. I don’t know where I’ll be staying in KTM, last time I was there I stayed at a place called “Yellow House” on Freak Street and it was decent (but I got quite sick from staying in the city too long… *cough* the fumes!) So the 4th sounds like a good tentative date to set out. And yeah I agree that its wise to not plan too much in advance.

    Where did you live down under?

    • Hey guys! I don’t live in Australia but other than that I think we’re all doing just about the same thing :). I think sharing the guide between the three of us would be ideal, they cost 20 a day so with three people its pretty affordable. I also have a good deal of solo trekking experience and am looking forward to getting my feet wet in nepal. I’m down to set off any day, sooner the better! Like I said in the other thread I’ve talked to a few agencies in town and got the best vibe from a place called essence treks. 3 sisters also seemed good and it would be super interesting to have a female guide and get her perspective on the industry here in nepal. Also open to any other suggestions of companies and i can help u guys get the ACAP permit (it’s probly easier to get here than in Katmandu because the office is a pleasant 10 minute bike ride around the lake) and the other permit the guide agency has to get for us through the immigration office (can also be done here in pohkara). If u guys want to talk I have a lot more info since I’ve been here over a week already doing research and checking maps and what not. Haha sorry for being so long winded, I promise I’ll shut up once we get on the trail :p

  3. Hey Alaitz,

    Nice to meet you! Living in Australia is definitely not a prerequisite 🙂

    It sounds like you would be a great 3rd person for the Manaslu trek. What do you think Jon? Maybe the three of us can start a Facebook chat group to discuss further? My Facebook link is Facebook.com/Suzanna.lourie.

    Alaitz, I would prefer to start in pokhara as well. That was my original plan… But then I read somewhere that the restricted area permit had to be obtained in Kathmandu… That was the only reason I was thinking of heading there instead of just starting in pokhara. Is the restricted area permit the one you obtained already? I think it’s great for Jon and I that you are already there and have done so much research! Will definitely be a big help for me coming in.

    I’ll be crossing the border at saguali junction on Sunday the 2nd (after a 20 hr train ride leaving from haridwar, India on the 1st). From there, I plan to hire a taxi / bus/ car share or something and head to pokhara. I think pokhara is on the way to Kathmandu anyway so I could at least stop there and meet up with Alaitz on the night of the 2nd to discuss plans and then we could rendezvous with Jon once he arrives wherever makes most sense. Where are you staying in pokhara Alaitz ?

    Jon, would you be interested in making a group of 3 (maybe 4?) for this trek? Sounds like we are all like-minded as far as independence out there on the trail. I am open to 3-4 people if we find someone else with a similar mindset/itinerary and vision for the trek – mainly to lower the cost since I assume we will have to follow the rules and hire a guide. I might have connection to a guide my friend traveled with – not sure yet, but either way, it would be good to split the cost since the law requires we have a guide out there on the trail even if they aren’t walking with us.

    Getting excited! Talk soon.

    Suzanna

    • The permit I have right now is not the restricted area one. What I understood from asking at the immigration office and the guide agencies is that the restricted area permit can be obtained here in pohkara, but only by the registered guide himself, and then he gives it to us. I’m guessing this is to help ensure noone does the trek without a guide.

      For the record the one I have is ACAP, and it’s for the Annapurna conservation area, which the trek also passes through, and it costs 20 dollars for a one time entry but you can stay as long as u want. The restricted area one is called MCAP and it’s for the manaslu area proper and it costs 10 dollars for each day u spend in the manaslu area. Also just so u know Suzanna, one other option is to take a 5 hr bus from hardiwar to bambassa and then walk across the border and hop a 20 hr bus from there to pohkara or Katmandu. Not sure if that helps u at all but thought I’d let u know the option.

      I’m staying at a place called panchase, reall nice place, north lakeside 5 minute walk from town to quite and surrounded by nice greenery 🙂 also clean rooms, nice solar showers, wifi etc etc. I will try adding u on Facebook.

  4. Hey guys! Everything sounds splendid, I’ll just relax and let y’all figure out the logistics (hah!) No but seriously, I’m stoked! Glad to have you on board Alaitz.

    Suzanna, agreed about the group size and getting a guide and all that. Enjoy the (long) bus ride and see you soon-ish 🙂

  5. hello Suzanna and all !!
    i have 12 people in this trips manaslu we want start 8 oct so if u like we can in this time in nepal big hindu festival s0 we can enjoy and make more fun trekking in this time we want big group as big group our trip cos low so please if any friends join contact me .. i see your profile u say u wan meet guide in pokhara but its no possible trekking start from kathmandu to arughat so u have to com ktm . we need manaslu permit with your nepali visa and passport with out this cant give permit .

  6. Hey guys,

    Looks like I’m too late for the party but will post just in case. I’m Tom from New Zealand and im in Kathmandu now.
    Keen as to do manaslu and potentially Tsum valley.
    Essentially I’m in the same boat in regards to getting a guide/group to do the trek.
    If you haven’t already left yet id be keen to jump on board.
    If you’re in ktm currently we could meet up.
    Cheers,
    Tom

    • Hey Tom, did you see Alaitz’s reply? We are three in pokhara with a plan set to leave on the morning of the 6th. If for any reason you come here, let us know. We would consider adding one more if everything aligns. Otherwise, best of luck and maybe we will see you on the trail!
      Suzanna

    • Hi Tom

      I am looking to start from Kathmandu and tak a jeep to Arughat on 9 October. The big holiday of dasain starts soon and it will mean permits will be hard to acquire after 8 October for 4 to 5 days. I will hire a guide and a porter, but if anyone wants to carry theirpack, thats fine by me.I am in Thamel until Sunday 9 October if anyone wants to meet up. cheers

  7. U have to talk with the rest of the group but I’m down to add a fourth. We have one member arriving ti Katmandu tonight if I’m not mistaken. U could try and contact Jon or head over to pohkara where I’m at to discuss

  8. Hello All !!

    Manaslu trekking start from Arughat not from pokhara so please now a days there landslide so be carefull .. take spical guide . we are starting 8 october in this treks if any friends joind please kindly asked or call me + 977 – 9841100123