My Name is Dan from Spain. I am a regular traveller whenever I have time I like to explore a different part of the world. In 2013 I trek Annapurna Round by myself, exactly one year after on 2014 July I had recently trekked Manaslu Circuit with my friend Suni and we are from Spain. We wish to trek in Nepal in-season time like September, October but both of us being a teacher in Spain we get long holiday only in July so we decided to trek Manaslu during monsoon time in Nepal
. I was looking on Internet for information about Manaslu Trekking and I found a site operated by someone foreign guy (Richard) with all information about trekking in Manaslu, (www.manaslucircuittrek.com)
As Suni is good in administration I ask her to contact with them for organizing our trek in Nepal, and after a couple of email exchange the owner of this website forward our email to his local friend in Nepal operating Manaslu Trek and we make a deal with them, name of company was NEST Adventure.
Pradeep came to pick up us in the airport early morning as per our schedule, we hadn’t booked any hotels Pradeep show us some hotels in Thamel according to our budget, and we choose Hotel Visit Nepal that is very close from his office too. In afternoon we go to his office with all necessary documents and discuss with Raj .our trek operator for Manaslu in Nepal.
Before I dive into a deep story about us, here is some key point that might help you plan Manaslu trek if you are also planning to trek in Monsoon.
Highlights of Manaslu Trek in Monsoon
⇒ The first 3 days of our trek, moves through the small village called Machhakhola Tatopani and Jagat by the Buri Gandaki river remote and moves through the authentic Hindu and Buddhist culture. Homes to the different flora and fauna, surrounded by green dense forest and many waterfalls along the side of river.
It was very quiet the trail most of the time we were walking only me and my friend with a guide. This is why we choose to trek Manaslu somewhere not so commercialized.
⇒ It was not raining as much as we thought. We noticed that the morning sky was so clear and nice, the dramatic view floating mountain on top of the clouds was the best we enjoyed on this trek.
⇒ High towering mountain right above us with extreme elevation mountain pass alongside spectacular scenery and classic Himalayan peaks
⇒ Living with local Buddhist teahouse owner who practices with its own ancient Tibetan dialect and culture.
In the most of villages, the tea houses were closed this is probably due to the less tourist but we found at least one lodge opened in each village and most of the day we were the only tourist.
⇒ Amazing food and mostly it was vegetable fresh and organic. We didn't have much chance to eat chicken or any meat as our guide told us this is the vegetable season! so lot's and lot's of vegetable and of course with rice.
Lowlights of Manaslu Trek in Monsoon
⇒ We decided to take the local bus from Kathmandu to Sotikhola, the road between Sotikhola and Dhadingbeshi was so dangerous, muddy, and slippery. We were told it is just 6-7 hour drive but miraculously it took us 11 hours to get Sotikhola.
⇒ We encountered multiple landslides along the way, in some cases, we had to detour in order to avoid the danger zone.
⇒ A lot of bugs and leeches, but we survived our guide knows the best idea. We had to shower with salt before we start our trek so the leeches can't get in.
⇒ The Hiking trail and suspension bridge were quite slippery, Trekking pole would tremendously help you not to sleep off don't forget to bring them. some part of the trail we had to walk on a water due to the water level in Buri Gandaki river was so high.
⇒ In Manaslu area, most of them use solar power, so charging is slow and expensive. Due to the less sunlight, most of the power went off quickly but enough to survive. It is better if you bring your own portable solar charger or power bank.
⇒ An umbrella might be useful in low altitude because the waterproof raincoat might be too hot. We were not prepared to do so but our guide was equipped with both.
⇒ Quick drying cloth would be an idea, as the humid in low elevation is so high and someday you will not see sun sign for the whole day.
⇒ Waterproof high ankle boots and garter is a must, as you need to walk through the puddle of water, and the muddy road throughout the day.
⇒ After few days of the trek, we realised that the weather in morning before noon time is the best, the sky was very clear and the cloudless view in the morning was breathtaking. So, after midday, it is usually cloudy which obstruct the view as well as brings potential rain. We start our day early in the morning and finish during lunch hour, This idea gave us more time to mingle with local people visit their town and do a small side trip lunch onward.
⇒ Wifi and 3G network is partly available, but my 3G didn’t work after Jagat (I used Ncell).
⇒ The view from Manaslu Base Camp was unbelievable; we cannot take our eyes off the scenery. You can enjoy 360-degree panorama of grandeur of nature
We hire a trekking guide for Manaslu trek
from NEST Adventure, took transport service and all necessary arrangements from there, so we leave our passport, photo in office and return back to hotel. As it was my second time in Nepal I was like leader from my friend Suni and three other Spanish people whom we met in flight and they are about to leave for Annapurna Circuit Trekking
. We explore Kathmandu as I took them to Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath and Bouddha, in evening we go to NEST again where all our permits are arranged accordingly and our guide Prem who is originally Gorkha too somewhere near Arughat, we discuss for a while and then he said he will be in hotel next morning to pick us up and we go back to hotel.
Our guide Prem who is leading our trekking in Manaslu comes exactly on time he had mentioned, then we take a taxi and go to bus station it was fun packed local bus from Kathmandu to Arughat, on the way we had Dal Bhat as our lunch and spend our night in Manaslu Guest House in Arughat Bazar. Next day we take a jeep from Arughat to Soti Khola and start our Manaslu Trekking from Soti Khola. As it was rainy season plenty of lush green vegetation can be seen through out the trail it is really green everywhere, river was really big with some cascading series of waterfalls on the way. We are having very good time on our Manaslu Trek; our first rest day was in Samagaon. We had spend our rest day in proper way as early morning after breakfast we go to Manaslu Base Camp all the way through ridge of Birendra Lake, it was really good view of Manaslu as well as Samagaon looks very tiny from Manaslu Base Camp with clam blue Birendra Lake near it. Later in afternoon we visit monastery near Samagaon where our guide Prem says all climber who are leaving for Manaslu Expedition attend special prayer ceremony with lots of Lama from Manaslu Region. Next day we hike toward Larke Pass one of hardest day of Manaslu Trekking, and spend a night in Samdo, where people usually spend one more acclimatization day and pay visit to Tibet border but I was really not interested as it was long trip and no tea houses on the way, need to carry pack lunch so was my friend Suni we spent most of the time in guest house but let afternoon we walk for a while toward shed area where local sim card does work, we contact in Thamel too at NEST, although there was Wi-Fi in most of the place it is different experience to make a phone call after long days in Mountain with out any connection. We were is keep in touch with our friend and family through Wi-Fi which was good way to be connected with, updates on social media posting picture was really good. Next day we head to Dharmasala and spent a night there, very basic and isolated lodges where people don’t get enough accommodations during peak season time but it was completely off-season time so there are just few other trekkers. We plan to leave the lodges quite early next day because according to our guide Prem trail is very long no teahouses, might be windy if late and we are ok with that, similar to us there are other trekkers who are also starting trip quite early.
It was really a long day and little difficult when descending from top, I remember Annapurna Circuit that was quite easy in compare to Larke Pass that we encounter during Manaslu Circuit Trekking. Finally we managed to reach Bimthang after a long walk and enjoyed bit there with local wine. Next day we start descending down very early and quite steadily as we are planning to reach Dharapani passing through downhill trail, with couple of settlements on middle through dense forest. Although it was a long day walk it was good cause we feel like we are back to civilization in Dharapani. We meet lots of trekkers on the way toward Annapurna Circuit who were completely unaware about Manaslu Trekking and we think it need some promotion as Manaslu Trek far better than Annapurna Round. After returning at Dharapani we try to get local jeep but because of monsoon there was no availability of jeep, so next day we descend toward Chyamche and get a jeep back to Beshi Sahar, from where we grab a local micro bus and drive back to Kathmandu. Next day our guide invite us for dinner, his room was like twenty minutes walk from Thamel where he offer us some dal bhat and we really enjoy his company. Again day before our final departure from Nepal we join Pradeep and Raj for dinner in Thamel in some local restaurant where dal bhat was good but bit spicy that is according to local people taste but it was ok for us too. I am always looking forward to return back to Nepal at any time when possible but not sure may be in 2015 or 2016 but July for sure. Here are some of things we found that is better than Annapurna.
The first things are unexplored beauty of Manaslu as compare to its close competitive neighbor it get less visitor and almost untouched by modernization.
It is culturally rich as there are monasteries in every village almost, unique style of housing above village of Philim small house with stones and piles of firewood, water driven prayers wheel.It is perfect blend of culture and beauty with Lama schools too where one can found lots of kids reading lama courses, apart from that people encountered on trail looks amazingly different in term of face, dress and behavior.
Here are some of the picture we had taken during our trip to Manaslu Trekking, hope all of you enjoyed it while reading this our experience and viewing the pictures from trip, for more information you can contact us at our email firstname.lastname@example.org
any time or consult with NEST guys at email@example.com
for more accurate information about Manaslu Trek.
For more information about Manaslu Trek browse a blog www.manaslucircuittrek.com
or Manaslu Page of NEST Adventure