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Manaslu Tsum valley trek - FAQ
Unlike popular trekking regions like Everest and Annapurna, not much information is available for trekking in Manaslu region. We get regular queries where trekkers are always asking about Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek cost, accommodation, map, trekking route, itinerary, difficulty and other details. So, we have decided to answer all of the Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek FAQ in a single blog. If you need other details, you can contact us at info@nepalhimalayastrekking.com

Where is Manaslu Mountain?
Manaslu Mountain exists to the northwest of Kathmandu near to Annapurna Mountain. Thus, it is possible to enter Annapurna region from Manaslu region by crossing Thorongla Pass via Dharapani. Manaslu stands tall with 8156m and it is the world’s eighth highest mountain.

Do I need permits for Manaslu Trek?
Yes, you will need permits for Manaslu Trek unless you are Nepali. Along with Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit, you will also need special Restricted Area Permit to do trekking in Manaslu.

Is there any special Manaslu Trekking permit price for Indians?
 Special Restricted Area Permit cost is same for Indians and other foreign trekkers. But you will get discount in ACAP permit and MCAP permit if you are an Indian.

How much does the Manaslu Trek Permit cost?      
Well, as you know that there are 3 different permits that you should acquire before visiting Manaslu, let us break the price in 3 different heads. Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu is USD 70 per week and you should pay extra US$ 10 per day if you stay longer than a week.  Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit fee is US$30 and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit fee is US$30. 

Where can I get Manaslu Trek permit? Can I get it on my own?
Yes, you can get Manaslu Trek permit all by yourself from Nepal Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu. But remember that you cannot go alone in Restricted Manaslu Area. So, it is better to let Government Registered Trekking Agency handle the task of obtaining trekking permit as trekking must be organized through a government registered trekking agency for entering restricted area.

Do I need to pay TIMS fee for Manaslu Trek?
No, you do not have to pay TIMS Fee if you choose to trek in any restricted areas including Manaslu.

What is the starting and end point of Restricted Area in Manaslu?
Restricted Area in Manaslu begins from Jagat and ends at Dharapani. Your restricted area permits will be checked at Jagat and Dharapani. 
 
How much does Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek cost?       
There is not uniformity in price for Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek. But expect to pay around US$3000 if you choose a local travel agency. This is an all-inclusive price. Price may be higher if you choose Internationa; Travel Agencies.   
 
Can I go for Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek alone?
No, the recent change in Government policy has made it mandatory that there should be a group of minimum two persons and they should compulsorily be led by a government registered guide.
 
What to do if I am alone and still I want to go for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
If you are alone, you can ask for as permission from another group to join them. Alternatively, you can buy an extra permit for a ghost trekker. But remember that you will still need a guide and you will also need a real passport from another person to obtain permit for ghost trekker.

Is Manaslu trekking difficult?
Manaslu received significant number of tourists only since 2010. Previously, there was no proper trail and camping was the only possible form of accommodation. However, there has been lots of changes since then. These days, tea house trekking is possible in Manaslu. If you have high level of stamina and will to explore the rich cultural aspects of highland, Manaslu Trek is not an impossible activity for you. Difficulty of any trek can be calculated based on average walking hour per day, maximum altitude that you will reach, the terrain that you will pass through and the remoteness of the area.
Expect an average walking hour to be in between 6hrs to 8hrs a day. You should be prepared to walk for up to 10 to 12hrs in a day to cross Larkya La Pass. Number of days depends on the itinerary that you follow. Trek will be easier if you have enough acclimatization days in your itinerary. Larkya La Pass (5169m) is the highest altitude that you will reach in Manaslu Trek. The trekking trail will be mix of easy to rough to rocky exposed sections. You need to go through series of ups and downs and some part of the trail may be permanently covered in snow. So, this trek is not for people with knee problem.
 
Can I know about Manaslu Circuit Trekking Route?
You will drive to Soti Khola via Arughat Bazaar from Kathmandu. Manaslu Circuit Trekking Route begins from Soti Khola. It continues through alpine lands to Samdo via Samagaon. Samdo is located close to Nepal- Tibet border. Larkya La Pass (5169m) is the highest point for Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek. Crossing Larkya La is also the most difficult part of this trek. However, you can prevent Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) by including enough acclimatization days in your Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek itinerary. You will walk through Bimthang to Dharapani from where the trail continues to Besisahar. Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek ends at Besisahar as you will be driving back to Kathmandu.

Can I go for Manaslu Circuit Trek with Kids?
You can go to Manaslu Circuit Trek with kids if your kids are fond of traveling, rejoice outdoor experience and has previous trekking experience. Climbing Larkya La is the most difficult part of trek and there is possibility that your child might suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). So, it is most important that your child can communicate well with you if in case he faces difficulty. Also, consult with your family doctor and make sure that your child is free from heart and lungs problem.
 
Which is the best season for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek?
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are considered the best season for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek. Monsoon season continues from June to August while chilling cold and mist makes visibility poor during winter days that continues from Late November to February. October is the busiest month for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek and you can encounter with many trekkers in this month while you will meet only few trekkers if you visit Manaslu at another period.

Manaslu Trek in September
Sky is clear and most of the local festivals begin from this month. You will also find atmosphere amusing and there will be blooming flowers.

Manaslu Trek in October
October is the peak month for Manaslu Trek. Most of the trekkers visit Manaslu in October. The Monsoon will have just ended and the trail is decorated with ripen oranges in trees.
 
Manaslu trek in November
November is also the busy period. You can cross Larkya pass till the end of November. However, from December, locals living in Samdo and Samagaon prefer to use another trail that continues from Arughat so that they do not have to cross Larkya La Pass.

Do I need insurance for Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek?
Yes, you need insurance for Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek. Your insurance should cover medical evacuation in case you need an emergency rescue. You should read their terms and conditions carefully and know about the highest elevation limit for coverage by insurance. Also, make sure that the insurance provider cover cost of medical evacuation from Manaslu if necessary so that there will be no complications later. Given below are some of the popular insurance companies according to country.

Insurance Company for Canada
https://www.tugo.com/
https://www.ab.bluecross.ca/

Insurance Company for America
http://www.europassistance-usa.com/
http://www.axa-assistance.us/services/travel-insurance.html

For Australia and New Zealand
https://buymembership.internationalsos.com/compare/
https://www.scti.co.nz/travel-insurance

For British Tourists
https://buymembership.internationalsos.com/compare/
http://www.europassistance-usa.com/

For Europe and Slovenia
http://www.europaeische.at

For Germany and Switzerland
http://www.eurocross.com/

For Netherland
https://buymembership.internationalsos.com/compare/

For Tourists from Asia and South-Africa
https://buymembership.internationalsos.com/compare/
http://www.ms-ins.com/english/

What is the standard Manaslu Circuit Trekking itinerary?
 Usually Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary continues for 14days while Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek itinerary can be around 20days long. Nepal Himalayas Trekking offer custom tailored Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek itinerary to our valued clients. If you are not satisfied with our standard itinerary, you can contact our travel expert and he will help you plan the itinerary according to your choice.

Is Manaslu still the least crowded area?
Yes, it is still one of the least frequented off-the beaten treks. Statistically, where more than 10,000 trekkers visited the nearby Annapurna region, only 2000 trekkers had visited Manaslu last year.

What will be lodging and food like in Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek?
With the increase in popularity of Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek, many new teahouses and lodges have been opened in the trail. So, accommodation is available in tea houses if you follow the standard trail. Although, if you like, we can arrange for accommodation in camps. Lodging and food cost in Manaslu and Tsum Valley is never constant. The rate differs from one tea house to the other and the price is also different according to season. Also, you will find the price of food to be higher with increase in the altitude. It is because mules and yaks are the only means of transport available at these high-altitude areas. The staple food- Dal Bhat is cheapest in lower altitude areas while potatoes and tsampa (a local food) is cheapest at high altitude areas. It is because rice is not locally grown at these high-altitude areas.

Is there internet facility in Manaslu Trek?
You will get better experience of internet browsing till Arughat Bazaar while you can also get internet facility at Samagaon. You can also find satellite wifi in Samdo. However, cell phones from NCell GSM Network and Nepal Telecom will work only as far as Arkhet which is near Soti Khola. However, if you have a CDMA sim card, your cell phone will work up to Dharmasala. However, if you need to communicate, it can be managed through V-SAT landline phone.
  
What is the packing list for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Weather remains cold for most of the year in Manaslu area. So, always remember to bring on warm clothes.  It is best to have 2bags. Include all heavy items that will be in rare use during trek in one bag and pack your personal belongings like money, camera, toilet paper and tooth paste in another bag. The heavy bag will be carried by porters or mules.
However, since this is a teahouse trek, you do not need to bring technical gears with you. Having micro spikes will help help you while lowering down from Larkya La Pass as you will walk down through the icy trail.

You can add following items in packing list for Manaslu Circuit Trek. Note that you do not need to
General
Sleeping bag
Rucksack bag
Down Jacket
For Head and Neck
Hat to keep heat of sun off from your ears and neck
Lightweight Balaclava
UV protection Glacier glasses
Headlamp with extra batteries
A neck warmer
Hand
1 pair liner gloves
1 pair warm gloves (preferably woollen)
1 pair shell gloves
Body
Light thermal tops
Fleece jacket or pullover
Waterproof shell jacket
2 women sports bras (Synthetic)
Legs
2 pairs nylon hiking shorts
4 Underwear
2 pairs lightweight long underwear
1 pair soft shell pants
2 pairs trekking pants
1 pair cotton pants
Feet
4 pairs of liner socks
3 pairs heavy weight socks
1 pair light weight socks
1 pair water proof trekking boots
1 pair light trekking shoes
Medicines and First Aid Kits
Excedrin for headaches
Ibuprofen for general aches and pains
Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for diarrhoea
Diamox 125 mg for altitude sickness
Miscellaneous
Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
Airline ticket
Lip balm
Sunscreen
Pocket knife
Water purification Iodine tablets
Toiletry kit
Toilet paper
Hand wipes
Liquid hand sanitizer
Towel

Can I book Manaslu Tsum Trek 2016 from Nepal Himalayas Trekking?
Yes, we are providing different trekking options in Manaslu. You can choose from Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek, Tsum Valley Trek and Manaslu Circuit Trek. We provide full board service and you will be led by a highly-experienced guide. There will be 1porter for 2trekkers but we can arrange for other porters if necessary.       
If you have any other queries about trekking in Manaslu that is not answered in this blog, please ask your question in comment section and we will be happy to answer your queries.