About Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek
The Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek explores the remote northern part of Nepal and leads you to the hidden & exotic Tsum Valley, which is a habitat of numerous species of flora and fauna. Tsum Valley Trek is one of the less-visited trekking trails in the Himalayas. The remoteness and limited availability of tourist infrastructures have kept the overflow of tourists away from the region. Our 23-day on-the-road trail is adventurous and offers an off-the-beaten trekking experience. All of the above factors have played a huge role in keeping the entire region unspoiled and preserved.
Nestled between Boudha Himal and Himal Chuli in the west, Ganesh Himal in the south, and Shringi Himal in the north, Tsum Valley boasts spectacular scenery and tempting views of the Himalayas. The Manaslu Tsum Valley Trekking trail opened in 2008, so it is more like a new trekking trail in the Himalayas. It used to be a camping trek however basic lodge and home stay are available these days.
The region that was once a part of Tibet has a radically distinct appearance from other locations. The Tsumbas, also known as the residents of Tsum Valley, are of Tibetan descent and have their unique ancient dialect, art, culture, and religion. This high and enigmatic valley, which once served as a crucial trading route between China and Tibet, has only been reached by a select few daring adventurers. We first trek the conventional Manaslu route followed by other trekking trails and then move towards the more unique trail of Tsum Valley.
The region is still less established than other major tourist destinations, with fewer built roads and more unexplored terrain. Many visitors might be quite surprised by the Tsum people's unique approach to family life. It may be said that polyandry is practised in the family because each of the brothers is married to just one girl.
It is important to note that foreigners are not allowed to travel solo in the Manaslu region. It is a requirement that you have a guide with yourself. Likewise, there should be a group of at least 2 trekkers. A solo trekker cannot get any permits to trek in the Manaslu Tsum Valley Region.
The Tsum valley was once a distinct geographical region known as "Tsum Tso Chuksum," which refers to the region governed by the thirteen provinces. Many of the Tsum Kingdom's remnants can still be found in the secluded valley, which has largely escaped infrastructure and urbanization. Thus, the valley's native culture is still there and unaltered.
The 'Abominable figure' or 'Yeti' has been sighted throughout this isolated terrain, to begin with, the Tsum valley is home to the great Buddhist Guru Milarepa who was once reflected inside the valley's mountain retreats.
The isolation of the region has increased the level of thrill and excitement of the overall trek. On the way, you pass by fine villages surrounded by superb snow-capped mountains and lush forests. You get to meet and interact with locals. Likewise, many stupas, monasteries, chortens, prayer wheels, and prayer flags can be seen throughout the trail.
Through a mixture of lush woodland, terraced fields, and hill communities, the trek ascends through mesmerizing Budhi Gandaki. We suddenly have the impression that we are entering the Tsum valley, which is genuinely hidden, as we depart the main Manaslu Trail for it. Along the way, we pass through glacial rivers, and alpine woods, and enjoy the friendly welcome of residents. Pass via the Liding, Machhakhola, Jagat, and Philim sections of the lower Budi Gandaki. We also go to several of the region's historic Gombas, including Rachen Gompa, Mu Gompa, and Dephyudonma Gompa. If you've ever read this popular book 'Into the wild' or maybe watched the movie, prepare yourself for the same adventurous experience plus a happy ending!
At Outfitter Nepal, we have designed our 23-day Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek itinerary adding adequate acclimatization days in between the trek. The ample rest days keep you away from altitude sickness and give you more time to spend with locals and explore villages. Likewise, during the trek, you are guided by our professional guide and porters. We make sure, you are enjoying every moment of the journey with us. For more information regarding our package read below or contact us anytime. Find the things you will get to see & experience during the Tsum Valley Trek.
Experience off-the-beaten Trekking in the Himalayan Terrain
Tsum Valley Trek involves several trodden paths. The trail includes numerous steep climbing on a rugged path. The trail is a part of the Himalayas that is more on the tough side and tests your physical endurance. It can get tricky for some time. Make sure you follow the lead of your guide.
The Manaslu Tsum valley continues to rank among Nepal's less-travelled destinations compared to other trekking areas. Thus, some level of serious suffering is necessary for the trek. Few trekkers get it to the secret valley, which was once the commerce route to Tibet.
Trek through Adventurous Lush Forests and Picturesque Villages
During the Tsum Valley Trekking, you pass by numerous dense forests, which are home to several species of flora and fauna. You get to see a range of vegetation and wildflowers. You can also spot some rare animals such as Blue Sheep and Himalayan Tahr. The trail similarly passes through charming alpine communities. Every community you travel through has something unique to offer.
The Manaslu Conservation Area, under the control of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, enveloped the whole Tsum Valley in 1998. The National Trust for Nature Conservation, a conservation organization established by a unique law in Nepal, is charged with managing this Area. Similarly, in the sacred valley, Tsumba adheres to a spiritual commitment that includes protecting nature and culture. Thus, you get to enjoy nature in its rawest form, here at the Manaslu Tsum Valley trek.
Explore Wonderful and Hidden Tsum Valley
Tsum Valley is a secret and revered Himalayan valley of Manaslu pilgrimage. The valley has a lengthy, rich cultural history. People in this area are allegedly descended from Tibetans. They are called Tsumbas and speak a distinct dialect. The valley as a whole has an abundance of flora and fauna. The region has remained pristine and unspoiled by travelers due to its isolation.
If you don't mind being a little "rough" and far from civilization, the trek to the Tsum valley is the ideal excursion. The journey will offer doors to opportunities for beautiful travel as well as the discovery of the distinctive local culture.
Get to Experience a Strong Cultural Heritage and Unique Life of Locals
The locals here are kind, humble, and friendly. Residing far away from modern society and advancement, people here are highly committed to their family, community, and faith. Buddhism is the main religion followed by the locals in this region. A very famous Buddhist saint called Milarepa is believed to be mediated in one of the caves in mountains here.
On the trail, you come across many monasteries, stupas, Mani walls, and prayer flags. The Tsumba people's spirituality, cultural traditions, and conservation are maintained through a variety of social and cultural gatherings, such as the Shyagya Festivals, which foster neighborhood cohesion and commitment.
In addition to upholding Tsumba cultural values, beliefs, and practices of nature-culture conservation, these festivals also impart them to future generations. Due to the steadfast collective acts of Tsumba and their leaders, biocultural preservation and peaceful practices flourish in the Tsumba domain of life.
Visit Ancient Monasteries like Rachen Nunnery and Mu Gompa
The Tibetan culture is being brought to life by several Buddhist monasteries in Manaslu Tsum Valley. The vibrant flags and Mani walls give the hikers courage to continue on the trail. The trek's breathtaking views of the Lamjung Himal, Ganesh Himal, and Mount Manaslu will astound hikers as they pass through a lovely shaded forest of pine, juniper, and rhododendron.
In 1936, Dukpa Rinpoche who meditated in the caves of the valley established Rachen Nunnery and Mu Gompa. Later, his incarnation took care of the monastery till 2002. These monasteries offer an ancient and rich culture and tradition of the region.
Witness stunning sceneries and tempting views of the Himalayan Mountains throughout the journey
During Tsum Valley Trek, you get to see the outstanding views of the Himalayan mountains like Ganesh Himal (7,422 m), Mt. Manaslu (8,156 m), Boudha Himal (6,672 m), Shringi Himal (7,161 m), Himalchuli (7,893 m), etc. Likewise, you get to see the breathtaking landscape and lush green hills.
The Tsum Festivals are bound to leave you in Awe
When it comes to visiting a new location, the trip is only worthwhile if every aspect is investigated. Trekkers may well be fortunate enough to witness the festivals that the Tsum valley celebrates, which are a significant component of the culture. Numerous festivals and mask dances are among the long-held rites in the region.
The Tibetan New Year is symbolically represented by the premier festival known as "The Lhosar." The celebration is observed earlier by the locals of the lower Tsum valley than by those of the higher valley. Another significant festival in the valley is called "The Horse Festival." The daytime horse race is attended by the male population of the valley. The women perform singing and dancing with them in the evening.
"Happy Saka Dawa," observed on the Saka Dawa full moon day, commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha, his enlightenment, and the attainment of Nirvana. In the Vinaya scripture, the Lama Zopa Rinpoche states that any ceremony performed on this particular day will be magnified 100,000,000 times. Hence, the worshippers execute rituals with tremendous confidence in nearby nunneries and monasteries. Some people even observe a daylong fast. With our ultimate 23-day trek in the hidden valley of Tsum, we hope you get to explore the Tsum culture!
Best Time to Embark on a Manaslu Tsum Valley Adventure
The best times to trek Manaslu Tsum Valley, according to trekkers, are in the spring and autumn. It is worth visiting Nepal in the spring and autumn because of the weather and temperature.
In Nepal, spring is referred to as Basanta Ritu. The underlying greenery of the hills and woodlands is brought by the first season of the year. The forest roads are now lined with flower buds, signalling a fresh beginning for nature. Avalanches, landslides, and floods are not likely during this time of year. The spring season includes the months of March, April, and May.
The autumn months are the busiest for trekking in the Manaslu region. In Nepal, it is commonly named Sharad Ritu. The end of the monsoon has caused new flower species to bloom along the forest trail during autumn. October to November marks the welcoming of spring in Nepal and the weather highlights the bright sunny weather and crystal blue skies. Trekking the Manaslu Tsum Valley during autumn is warm, cozy and among the most sorted destinations!
You can also embark on your trekking journey during winter (December to February) and Monsoon (June to August). However, the weather can get extremely chilly during winter and you are going to have to pack a lot of layers. Another plus side is that the trail is not as busy as during spring and autumn. Thus, you get to enjoy a calmer atmosphere. Similarly, during monsoon, it is going to rain a lot and the trails are going to get slippery. Sometimes, you even have to travel soaking in rain. That’s the beauty of monsoon. But, it can also create some discomfort. Though, the Manaslu Tsum Valley trek is doable during both monsoon and winter.
Route to Manaslu Tsum Valley
For your 23-day of Tsum Valley trekking, first, you have to go on an 8-hour drive to Soti Khola. Your trek journey starts from Soti Khola the next day. You trek towards Machha Khola, Jagat, Lokpa, Chumling, and Chhokang Paro on consecutive days. By then, you have already descended an altitude of more than 3000m. From Chhokang Paro, you move towards Mu Gompa. Mu Gompa is home to the region’s largest monastery. From Mu Gompa, you traverse towards Chumlung, Deng, Namrung, Lho and then Sama Gaon. You have an acclimatization day at Sama Gaon. From Sama Gaon, you move further up towards Samdo and then Dharmasala. After Dharmasala, you need to cross the famous Larkya la Pass to reach Bimthang. From Bimthang you traverse down Dharapani. On the last trek day, you move towards Jagat from Dharapani. From Jagat, you return to Kathmandu via drive. In this way, you end your Tsum Valley and Manaslu Trek.
Difficulty during the trekking in the Manaslu and Tsum Valley Region
The trekking in the Tsum Valley Region of Manaslu has been rated to be fairly strenuous. This trek can be completed by anyone, even those with no prior experience trekking at higher altitudes. As this is an off-the-road restricted trekking trail, the trail is going to be rugged and far more isolated compared to other commercialized trekking destinations. Thus, be prepared for some unusually difficult trekking trails. One should also be constantly vigilant and watch out for threats associated with altitude. We do not advise our guests to walk faster or consume alcohol to prevent altitude sickness. The way a person's body reacts to altitude changes is unpredictable. However, altitude sickness can be avoided by hydrating well, moving more slowly, and taking regular breaks along the way.
Food during the Manaslu Tsum Trek
Contrary to other well-traveled trekking routes, food options are few in remote locations such as Tsum Valley. On the trekking trail, each teahouse has its restaurant with presumably a small menu. You can follow a completely organic diet when traveling if the vegetables are most likely farmed nearby by locals. At higher altitudes, it is not advised to consume meat products because their freshness cannot be assured and they may have been transported from the lowlands. Only tiny settlements where you will spend the night have teahouses, so it is best to bring some chocolate or energy bars in case you get peckish while trekking.
The menu can have options such as Pancakes, corn flakes, sandwiches, pizza, spaghetti, and other western dishes. Dal Bhat is typically served as the main course in locations near the Manaslu region. It is the Nepalese people's all-time favorite recipe. Additionally, every household is adept at making it because it is a beloved dish.
Typically, a meal of Dal Bhat consists of steamed rice, lentil soups, pickles, green salads, and either a vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry. The cuisine includes a good number of minerals, vitamins, proteins, fibre, and carbohydrates. Thus, it is among the most well-liked meals consumed while journeying to the Tsum Valley Trek.
Accommodation during the Tsum Valley Trek
Overnight stays in lodges and teahouses are part of the Tsum Valley Trek. At a lower elevation, lodges are approachable. You will largely find teahouses on the higher portion of the trail. There are frequently accessible twin shared beds and a bathroom. We can set up a single room for you if you'd like, but the cost can be high. It's not usually possible to get a single room. The accommodations are cozy enough for one or two nights. However, you must spend the night in the shelter that Gumba provides at Mugumba, and Gumba Lunging is an unforgettable experience.
Drinking-Water Facilities during the Manaslu Tsum Valley Journey
Although mineral water in bottles is widely accessible at lower altitudes, we advise our guests to use boiling water instead. We engage in responsible tourism and do not wish to destroy the environment or leave behind trash. Every store and teahouse you pass along the route provides hot water, however, they might just charge you a small amount. We advise all of our customers to double-purify boiled water before drinking by using water filtration systems or chlorine pills; this practice also saves money. Since there are many water sources available during the day to replenish your bottle, it is always a good idea to bring one litre of water with you.
Washroom and Toiletry Services during the Trek
On the Manaslu Tsum Valley trek, the majority of the teahouses have hot showers; some may charge an additional fee for that. In higher elevations where there is a water deficit, there might not be enough hot water for all trekkers. We usually advise our clients to use less hot water, unless the water is heated by solar energy or firewood, strictly for environmental reasons. Normally, the chilly temperatures make it nearly impossible to take a shower at higher altitudes, especially during the winter.
Along the trekking trail, the majority of the teahouse restrooms are Asian-style squats. Finding a bathroom or toilet that is connected to your room is practically impossible. Due to the lack of water, there are many differences in cleanliness outside the chamber.
Communication on the off-road Tsum Valley Trail
The Manaslu and Tsum Valley regions still have terrible communication. The route has very weak cell phone coverage. For an additional fee, trekkers can access Wi-Fi at some teahouses with spotty or restricted coverage. We advise carrying the NCell or NTC 4G SIM if you want to use internet services wherever phone signals are received when traveling in Nepal.
Permits for trekking in the Manaslu Tsum Valley Region
To begin with, you must obtain special authorization from the Nepalese government to trek in the Manaslu region because it is a restricted area. Additionally, there are guidelines that trekkers must adhere to trek. You must trek as a foreigner with a local travel company that has a minimum of two other trekkers (excluding the guide and porters) in the group. Similarly, you cannot obtain your Nepal Trekking Permits from a private guide.
Tsum Valley Trekking Permits
From September to November, the first seven days are US$40 per person, while the eighth day and subsequent days are US$7 per person per day.
From December to August, US$ 30 per person for the first seven days; then, starting on the eighth day, an extra US$ 7 per person per day.
- Manaslu Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Fee
- NRP 3000 for foreigners, NPR 1000 for SAARC Nationals
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Fee
- NRP 3000 for foreigners, NPR 1000 for SAARC Nationals
Trekking in the Himalayas is a risqué adventure. Thus, you must be insured! You must have travel insurance to engage in any of Outfitter Nepal's excursions. We hope you will be adequately protected, and we advise you to purchase insurance to cover any accidents or medical expenses. Physical wounds, air ambulance use, lost things, legal obligations, helicopter rescues or emergency evacuations, and medical conditions should all be listed.
Things to Pack for your Trek to Manaslu Tsum Valley
What to pack for your Tsum Valley Trek is one of the most important things to think about. Without the proper tools, getting about might be challenging.
Here's a general idea of what you can include in your equipment list:
- Trekking Boots
- Few pairs of undergarments
- High-quality down jacket and pant
- Thermal wears
- T-shirts and trousers
- Trekking pole
- A pair of gloves
- Woollen hat
- Energy bars