Tsum Valley is one of the remote area and is hidden gems of Nepal. Tsum Valley is known as the Beyul Kyimolung, the holy hidden valley of happiness, first described by Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) in the eighth century. Milarepa meditated in the caves of Piren Phu and there are centuries old nunneries.The Tibetan Buddhist culture is still very widespread in Tsum valley and the scenery is very stunning, with beautiful forests and countryside, with Ganesh Himal towering above the valley. Tsum comes from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means vivid and after visiting Tsum, you can only agree.
Tsum Valley Manaslu trek is combination of our Tsum Valley and Manaslu Circuit trek. We start low walking through green countryside and passing small villages. You enter the Tsum Valley going right from the main trail and soon enter to a beautiful forest with pines and rhododendrons. Heading eastwards, the valley opens up to reveal a beautiful countryside and small Tibetan-style villages. Then retrace our route back to Manaslu circuit trail finally ending in Besisahar via crossing Larkye la pass.
Welcome to Nepal! Ramdung Expedition representative will meet you at the airport and bring you to your hotel in Kathmandu. You can take a rest or if you are arriving earlier, can visit around the city.
In the evening we will hold a briefing session regarding your trip and get to know your Nepali trekking companion. We’ll be happy to answer any question you may have. O/N Hotel.
Kathmandu valley is has fantastic UNESCO world heritages all around. Today after the breakfast, you’ll be visiting Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings). The lifestyle of the Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, the fascinating history and the awe-inspiring architecture will be the highlight of this day. You can also buy or rent any needed gear or clothing from trekking/mountaineering shops. O/N Hotel (B)
Your Trekking staff will come at your Hotel in the early morning at around 8.00 am to pick you up, from there we’ll have an 6-7 hour depending upon road condition driving journey to Arughat. O/N Tea house (B,L,D)
After the morning breakfast, we’ll start our journey following the Budhi Gandaki River toward its point of origin. We’ll be passing the village of Morder and Simre to reach at Arkhat River. Then we ascend slowly towards Kyoropani. Camp today nears the confluence of Seti River - an ideal place to take a fresh water bath and clean the cloths. O/N Teahouse (B,L,D)
The trail star descending slowly until you climb again to mountain ridge to Almara. Then Pass forest trail to arrive at the village called Riden Gaon. The valley here cuts into another side of the river to enter Budhi Gandaki. Then at Lambesi, the trail follows down to the sandy river bed of Budhi Gandaki. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
The trail from MachaKhola is some steep ascents and descents often dropping down to the gravel bars beside the river. After crossing the Tharu Khola river, you’ll reach a valley which contains many fields of wheat and buckwheat on either side. After two hours on the trail you get to the small village of Tatopani which has a natural spring. A further climb across a well crafted staircase brings you to our today destination Doban. This village lies at the confluence of the Shiar Khola, which flows from the east, and the Sarpu khola, which flows from the west. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we start our trek today. The route climbs on further across rugged rocky terrain, up and down ravines and notched trees. We pass Jagat which is where the official Police check post is located otherwise the village is exceptionally clean and well organized. We spent some time here meanwhile officers check our permits. We get good views of Sringri himal as we continue up to the village of Philim. This is a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
Continuing along the river for about one hour we get to a diverge in the river system. Taking the left hand trail across the suspension bridge will take you to larke pass on the Manaslu circuit route. We stay to the right which takes us into lower Tsum Valley and our main destination of this trek. In Philim the landscape was very spread out but now you are trekking through a canyon with some exceptionally tall pine trees and beautiful grasslands hugging the mountain side. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
We continue our trek up the valley to Dumje where we stop for lunch at afternoon. There is a trail leading us South Easterly that takes you to the Ganesh Himal Base Camp. From here we can see spectacular views of the Baudha and Himalchuli peaks to the south-west. Chhokangparo which is part of the Upper Tsum valley (part of the Inner Himalaya) is a village situated on flat land and made up of two settlements Chhekam and Paro. Some households in this village sill practice polyandry. Overnight at Chhokangparo. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
From Chhokangparo, we continue North east as we make our way to Nile/ Chulle. Two hours into the journey we visit the MilarepaPirenPhu Cave. PirenPhu (pigeon cave) is one of the most sacred caves in the Tsum valley. The great Buddhist Yogi ChyuchinMilarepa, the famous Tibetan saint, was believed to have meditated here. There are two separate gumbas attached to the rocky cavewhich houses the life size statues of Avaloketishvara, Budhha, Tara and Milarepa.. Richly painted Buddhist murals, excellent artistic scripts carved on stones, long prayer flags and significant Buddhists paper scripts make this cave one of the most important cultural assets in the valley.Beautiful views can be had of the ShiarKhola, RachenGumba, the mountains and settlements amidst vast agricultural land. Trekking further up the valley will bring you to Nile / Chulle. Chulle is on the Easternside of the ShiarKhola while 20 minutes further upstream is Nile. These are the last villages heading north in the upper Tsum Valley. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
Walking two hours further along the old Nepal-Tibet caravan path leads you to Mu Gompa. Close by is the oldest monastery in the valley-DephyudonmaGumba at 4060m height, founded about 700 years ago.The history of this monastery is directly associated with the dawn of Buddhism in the valley. The monastery houses religious books, including Kangyur, a life sized statue of Avalokiteshwara, and images of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara.The landscape is dotted with mani walls, chortens and kaanis (gateway chortens). Chortens are Buddhist religious monuments, also known as stupas, which are distinct features in Tsum Valley. They are erected to ward off evil spirits from places that are identified as thresholds such as confluences and bridges or to commemorate the visit or death of historic figures, lamas or even relatives. Kaanis are also called gateway chortens placed before the entry of any village which travellers are supposed to walk through. Mani walls are long walls made of mani stones i.e. stones with carved mantras. The main purpose of these mani walls is to ask the help of the gods for the wellbeing of travelers. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
You will see a trail that leads North from our camp. This trail is used by many local people as they take caravans of yaks every two months to get the necessary food supplies for the monks at the monastery. The journey takes 6-7 days and crosses the high pass NgulaDhojhyag (5093 m). We don't walk further North but instead hike to the base of Pika Himal (4865m) where views of glaciers, Tibetan peaks, the Ganesh Himalsand other surrounding mountains can be seen.The area is home to fauna such as Blue sheep, Yaks, Naks, Chauris and the rare sighting of Pika. After the day's excursion we return to our camp site at Mu Gomba. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
Upper Tsum Valley is a separate world where nature, people and spirit co-exist in harmony. The people here never slaughter animals, not even as sacrifice to the gods as is customary in many parts of the world. Every single family sends a child to the local monastery to become a monk or a nun. Heading back down the valley we arrive at RachenGompa, the biggest nunnery/monastery in the valley and houses nuns belonging to the Ngak-pa sect. Established in the year 1905 AD, it houses one thousand clay moulded statues of Avalokiteshwara, Guru Padmasambhava, Tara and Buddha Amitabha. The interiors of this monastery are richly painted with murals depicting Buddhism and its history as well as a brightly coloured carved throne and pillar, and a large prayer wheel. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
Today continue walking south then cross bridge to west bank. Then descend to Chhokangparo dropping previous trail for almost 2 hours. There appears small gompa of Gho (2485m). We now take northern route of lower valley finally reaching Chumje via Yaju. O/N teahouse (B,L,D)
From Chumje, we continue northern route to lower Tsum Valley. We pass village of Dorjon Kharka before reaching Rana. Cross the large suspension bridge in the main valley of Budhi Gandaki River. Then we reach to Deng. O/N Teahouse (BLD)
We walk sometimes in flat terrain. Then the route moves uphill to the forest path. Further, we arrive at Namrung village enjoying the magnificient views of Manaslu and other mountains. O/N Teahouse (BLD)
We climb through the forest to Lihi enjoying the magnificient Ganesh Himal. Descending to Sho and ascending steeply bring us to Lho. Then we follow small tributary of Budi Gandaki walking in shady fir forest. A little climb to plateau bring us to Shyala village. We see panoramic view of mountains usch as Himal Chuli, Peak 29, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal etc. At far end of village, there is well known monastery of Sama. At afternoon we hike up to this gompa and to wander the streets of the fascinating Sama Gaon village. O/N Teahouse (B,L,D)
Another day of incredible mountain views during the walk up to Samdo, an easy three hours trekking. En route we pass the long mani walls at Kermo Kharka, after which we spot the entrance chorten of Samdo high on a bluff. We descend back to the Bhudi Gandaki and cross a small bridge before another short climb to the 'kane' entrance of Samdo; look back down valley for great views. The villagers of Samdo came across the border from the village of Riu after 1959 ad and built their new village here, at their old herding settlement. Samdo village is a collection of houses and lodges at 3850 m, and most trekkers miss the heat of a week ago as we huddle around the stove and a wind from Tibet batters the windowpanes. Get out and take a walk around the village, where the inhabitants live an essentially Tibetan lifestyle, herding their yaks, sheep and goats, training their horses and planting barley. There is a small home Gompa in a house mid-village which we visited during our last village, a puja being held by several of the reincarnated lamas living in the Samdo. O/N Teahouse (B,L,D)
O/N teahouse (BLD)
We leave on the trade route to Tibet and climb through the ruins of Larkya bazaar, one of the trade markets that flourished years back. After two hours of climbing passing glaciers, with increasingly awe-inspiring panoramas, we come to the campsite at Dharamsala, where we have lunch and gaze out at the views. You'll really feel the altitude and the cold here, so enjoy a more leisurely afternoon and keep warm. We'll have an early dinner in preparation for our pass crossing tomorrow. O/N Teahouse (B,L,D)
we have views of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. We continue across the moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass, which take us about three hours to summit. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge mountain Annapurna II. If there is fresh snow, we may see Snow Leopard prints from the evening before; it's also blue sheep (Bharal) and Tibetan Snow Cock territory.
The views from the top of the pass are truly astonishing. After hanging our Tibetan prayer flags, and yelling 'Ki ki so so lha gyalo' (may the Gods be victorious), get ready for a steep, ankle straining drop to a trail following the glacial moraine, very slippery if covered in snow so have your 'Yak tracks' ready if you've brought them, and definitely use trekking poles. It is a longer day then usual to our campsite at Bimtang, but to walk into these low pastures with the evening mist coming in and Manaslu; it's an experience of lifetime not to be missed. A boulder-strewn descent brings us, finally, to Bimtang, where the three sisters of the 'Three Sisters Hotel' are on hand with Himalayan chilled beer. O/N at Teahouse (B,L,D)
The route gets easier from today onwards. We start with a gentle climb through paddy fields towards the small Karcha La pass and descend through fig tree and rhododendron forests to Tilje. O/N at Teahouse (B,L,D)
Follow the trail downstream of Marshyangdi River, passing through the scattered villages to reach Chamje village. O/N at Lodge (B,L,D)
We take local jeep ride to reach Besisahar. O/N Lodge (BLD)
You’ll return to Kathmandu from Besisahar by Bus. You can spend time resting/buying souvenirs back to home. In the evening, we will host farewell dinner in traditional restaurant with cultural dance performances in celebration of your amazing trip. O/N Hotel (BD)
O/N Hotel (B)
The journey in the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today ! At last approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from Ramdung Expedition will drop you to the airport. (B)
Normally, we use following 3 star standard hotels in Kathmandu depending on availability in our trekking package.
Hotel Manang. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.hotelmanang.com
Hotel Utse. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.utsehotel.com
Hotel Manaslu. Located in Lazimpat near to Thamel area. www.hotelmanaslu.com
while on trek, the lodges are fairly basic but perfectly adequate for the mountain type service. Two people will be accommodated in each room mostly in twin beds with foam mattresses. If you prefer private accommodation, you can choose “single supplement” option. It is important to consider that some places in the trek do not have sufficient lodges and rooms; in this case you’ll have to share room. Some lodges now have showers (charged at $3-$5).
it is mandatory to have travel insurance for the trekking and please submit us photocopy before departure to mountain. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure it covers up to 6000m.
You are expect to trek about 5-7 hours covering distance of 10-15 kilometer daily depending on trial conditions and state of the weather. You’ll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside and high elevations. Trekking with a guide is not only safer but also for more enjoyable experience. Our guides and porters are expert in Himalayan treks and have more than one decades of experience in average.
It is recommended that you prepare for trek with suitable training such as climbing hills/stairs, jogging, exercise and gym to improve your stamina few months prior to trek. The trek will be more enjoyable if you are fit.
MEALS AND DRINKS
There are plenty of excellent restaurants to serve food and drinks in Kathmandu such as Rum doodles, Fire & ice, La Dolce Vita, Ktoo Steak House, Everest Steak, New Orleans, Gaia etc. Breakfast is provided at your hotel every morning. It will cost $ 3-7 per meal depending on meals item chosen and restaurant.
While on trek, the lodges or teahouse provide good quality food in sufficient quantities. Meals whilst on trek are included in the package which is breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks. You can choose your meal from hotel menus. Meals in lodges are varied ranging from traditional Nepalese daal bhaat to pizza, apple pie, steak, pasta and so on.
It is safer to drink bottled, boiled and filtered water. A reasonable variety of both hard and soft drinks are available in cities and while on trek. You can purify your own water if you carry a canteen or water bottle and iodine drops or tablets.
Spring starts from March until May where temperature fluctuated between 20°c to 30°c. From June to August is summer season which is also time of monsoon with occasional thunderstorms and hot temperatures. From late September to end November is autumn and is best for trekking activities. Winter is from late November to February.
The trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the elevation and time of the particular day. In the mountains between 1000m-3500m, the night generally will be cool around 5°C and during the day temperatures every so often rise to 20°c. At the higher altitudes, temperatures range from 15° to -15°c.
Tips is not mandatory but generally after hard work something extra is expected. We recommend a tip for guide and porter as at least $70 (more will be appreciated).
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST
The following are what we recommend to bring as clothing and equipment needed for the trek. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper price; we can assist you with necessary arrangement. Except for your day pack, your luggage will be carried by porters. You’ll have strong and hospitable porter for two people. The weight limit for trek is 10-13kg per person. One porter can carry 20-25kg weight. Before the trek, you can store all your excess baggage in Kathmandu at hotel or at our office and take only which is required for the trek.
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sun Hat or scarf
Cotton tees or thermals
Gloves for hand
Lightweight cotton pants (long)
Thin inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Comfortable Trekking boots
Sleeping bag rated to -20
Trekking bag or duffel bag
Large plastic bags (keeping items dry inside trek bag)
Trekking poles (recommended, optional)
Lonely Planet Nepal: A guide book of Nepal.
Annapurna: A book by Reinhold Messner about his expedition experience in the dead zone of Annapurna.
Trekking in Nepal: Written by Stephen Bezruchka is an nice book for all treks with and bibliography of additional books.
Trekking and climbing in Nepal: Written by Steve Razzetti, this book gives comprehensive knowledge of major trekking trails and climbing peaks.
Nepal Handbook: By Kerry Morgan. Recommended specially for Kathmandu Valley sightseeing’s.
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya: By Stan Armungton. This book has detailed trek descriptions including restricted areas of Mustang, Manaslu, Dolpo and kailash.
Into Thin Air: By Jon Krakaur. A personal account of the Mount Everest disaster.
Travelers Tales: Edited by Rajendra Khadka, Traveler’s Tales, and San Francisco.
Mustang: A lost kingdom by Michel Peissel.