Annapurna Massif Teahouse Trek
Breathtakingly beautiful One of the top ten treks in the world, doesn't disappoint! The Thorong La pass at 5,400 meters is among the most challenging and rewarding in Nepal. The two or three week trek encircling the Annapurna Range passes through country inhabited by a wide range of people and offers spectacular mountain scenery. Starting in the tropical Pokhara Valley, you climb from lush lowland forest to the arid valley of Manang. The high pass of Thorong La at 5,400m offers a breathtaking view of the entire mountain range. On either side of the pass are fascinating Tibetan villages built almost entirely of stone. The trail descends to the Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage site at Muktinath joining up with the Jomsom trek. Due to the high altitude pass the best time for this trek is October to November and April to May. This trek is considered to be quite strenuous. However, if you allow yourself enough time the circuit is suitable for the moderately fit.
A 5- hour bus ride takes us to the starting point of the trek: Besisahar (900 m), the capital of Lamjung District. Two and half hrs gentle walk will take us to Ngadi, to avoid the crowded town of Besisahar. Also, it is a nice walk and a better way to experience village life in Nyadi from the first day. Great mountain views!
Following Ngadi the trail rises steep to Bahundanda. Dropping steeply, we will continue walking thru the terraced rice field until we reach Ghermu (1100 m) and drop down to the river and cross the suspension bridge of Marsyandi river and half an hour further to reach in our today’s destination Syange. Hiking hours: 5.5
Trail slowly rises uphill to Jajat. The trail drops almost to the riverbed and rises up to Chamje. After crossing one more suspension bridge, the trail rises up to Tal. Tal means lake in Nepali. The village was once a lake, and therefore it is called Tal (1700 m), first Manang village and Buddhist region. Hiking hours: 6
Tal is the first village of Manang district. A paradise along the Marsyandi River. We can see beautiful waterfalls from the hotel. A Buddhist shrine called chorten is located in front of the waterfall and according to the villagers the shrine protects the villages from natural disasters. Today's destination is Danagyu (2300 m). Hiking hours: 5
We continue to follow the river and reach Chame (2670 m). This village is famous for its hot springs – perfect for soothing our aching limbs! The village of Chame is the districts headquarter of Manang district. Many administrative offices are located in Chame. The trail continues thru pine and rhododendron forests with spectacular view of Manaslu. The lower route is faster, but is not as scenic as the higher route. Hiking hours: 5
We walk through Juniper and pine forests and reach Pisang (3200 m). We can visit the Tibetan monastery from where we have a beautiful view of Annapurna II, III and IV, Pisang and Tilichu. Hiking hours: 5
A steep climb up through a desert-like landscape takes us to Ghyaru (3673 m). Following along the ridge we have a magnificent view of Pisang, Annapurna and Chulu and avalanches can be seen. After Gyaru we reach Ngwal from where the trail drops down to the river. The trail now continues to Braga, a very old and traditional village with a historical monastery. Hiking hours: 6
Manang day hike those who want to do easy hikes for acclimatization in Manang. We continue the trail through the desert-like landscape to reach Manang (3536 m), the district’s capital. At 03.00pm we visit the HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) for a lecture on how to recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness and to take appropriate action. We take a side trip to Gangapurna Glacier and hike around the crystal clear lake. We can then visit Bhraka Gompa; here the lama sometimes conducts puja for trekkers for a safe crossing of the Thorung La pass. Hiking hours: 4. For adventurous we recommend Ice Lake for 6 hours walk for panoramic mountain views. This is strenuous trek; there is no teahouse along the route so pack lunch is needed.
We now leave the Marsyangdi River and follow an easy trail to Yak Kharka (3968 m). Yak Kharka means ‘yak pastures’ and we will for sure spot many grazing yaks in this area. Hiking hours: 4
Today we climb up to Phedi (4400 m) at the foot of the Thorung La pass. We might be lucky to spot a herd of blue sheep. Afternoon stroll to a higher altitude and return to stay in Phedi for well acclimatization. After an early supper we retire to our sleeping bags – full of anticipation for the next day. Hiking hours: 5
An early rise at 04.30am. After 4 breathtaking hours we reach the Thorung La pass (5416 m), one of the worlds highest passes. An exhilarating moment! We then start our steep-down descent to Muktinath (3800 m), a pilgrimage centre for Buddhists as well as Hindus. Hiking hours: 8
Muktinath is one of the pilgrimage sites for Hindus & Buddhist – we can visit the Buddhist gompa and the Vishnu temple of Jwala Mayi. Every year many pilgrims make a visit to Muktinath especially in spring season. Mountain on the other side such as Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche peach, etc can be seen. The trail to Kagbeni (2800 m) is all the way downhill, crossing the authentic village Jharkot. Kagbeni (2895 m), a Tibetan-influenced settlement surrounded by a patchwork of fields and fruit trees. Hiking hours : 4
The trail follows the Kali Gandaki river bed. It is a relatively easy walk. However, after 10:00am serious winds blow from the north making the hike difficult at times. Marpha (2665 m) is a very traditional and fascinating Thakali village which is known as the kingdom of apples. Marpha is famous for its apple brandy and apple pie. In the afternoon we can visit an old Tibetan monastery, Hiking hours : 5
The trail is similar as the previous day until Kalopani. Kalopani is also a very beautiful village. Mountains such as Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri glacier can be seen. Hiking hours: 5
After crossing the bridge in Tatopani, we will continue to climb steep uphill until we reach Ghara. We will now see tropical vegetation along the way. We begin our day with an early climb to the summit of Poon Hill (3210 m) to watch the sun rise across a spectacular Himalayan panorama. After breakfast back at the lodge we begin our trek. Rhododendron and Magnolia forests give way to the terraced fields of Shika. (1935m). Hiking hours: 4
Shika to Ghorepani (2855 m) we will pass thru several small villages up to Chitre. After Chitre we pass thru Rhododendron and Oak forests. Ghorepani is a beautiful village settlement of Poon tribe. Hiking hours: 4
Early morning a steep hike leads to Pun Hill for sunrise. Pun Hill is famous for its 360 degree panoramic mountain views. We decent back to the hotel. After breakfast a gradual downhill hike leads to Banthanti thru Rhododendron and Oak forests. From Ulleri to Hille (1475 m) the trail drops steep down. Today we leave the mountains behind us. An easy downhill hike to Nayapul via the village of Birethanti. A 7-hour hike and one and half hour taxi drive take us back to the relaxing Lakeside of Pokhara. At the Chhetri Sisters guesthouse we will share an evening of food, fun & laughter with the trekking crew.
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