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So, you have decided for Manaslu Trekking; now what?

Congratulations! You are half way to the adventurous and remote journey of Manaslu trek rich with staggering mountain vistas, diverse landscapes, dense forests, and cultural uniqueness. You might had few struggles to decide which trekking destination to choose before you decided for Manaslu trekking. Now, comes the important work—deciding ways, time, gears, etc. for the trek. Do not worry, we have attempted to fix these issues down below.

How to trek: Solo? Hire a local guide? Or chose a trekking agency?
The Government of Nepal has declared some of the regions of the Manaslu region as restricted areas. You cannot travel solo in these regions. You must be travelling in a group of two members at the least. Such two members can be either two trekkers, or a trekker and a porter, or a trekker and a guide. Lots of trekkers are seen to be trekking by hiring a local guide by themselves. You cannot choose any citizen of the region as a guide; a guide has to be registered, should possess an identity card, and should hold a license. Thus, a guide, who is registered and licensed is must for this trek. The best option to fix you worries about guide is to choose a trekking agency as your trekking partner. The agency shall manage the standard guide and required number of porters for you. This elevates you from the worries about where to find a reliable guide, how to ensure that his company would be safe, so on and so forth. An agency not only arranges the trekking crew but also arranges your accommodation and meals throughout the trek. The bottom-line is: choose a trekking agency to elevate all your worries about arranging accommodation, meals, and registered and honest guide.
manaslu trekking

When to trek?
June through to August brings wild rainfalls, and December through to February are miserably cold seasons. Thus, not only the Manaslu trek, in fact all the trekking in Nepal can be made during March through to May, and September through to November of the year. This is why October is the busiest month of the year with lots of trekkers ahead of your or following you. If you cannot enjoy the trek in the busy season, some other time can be suitable for you. In March, the climate isn't too cold in the high altitude area, and the low altitude areas aren't too hot either. You trail from Deng to Shyala shall be covered with beautifully blooming rhododendrons throughout the forest. In April, the lower region in the Budhi Gandaki Valley is little bit warmer, but still a great time to go for this trek. May brings hot climate in the lower region, but the high areas remain moderately cool. After the end of monsoon, September embarks the beauty at the Tsum Valley. The climate gradually gets colder during November, especially Dharmasala, Chule, Nile, Mu, Samdo and Sama Gaon. Thus, you may choose any season between March through to May, and September through to November for this trek.
Where to spend more time?
Sama Gaun is located at the foot of Mt. Manaslu, reaching where takes few days of trekking from the main road in Nepal, but could be reached within a day from the side of Tibet. Above the village, you can view the staggering view of Mt. Manaslu, and below you can see the glacial moraines. Despite being the busy area among the trekkers, Sama Gaun can still be remote to look at, especially to observe the lifestyle of villagers living here. You can find pens under the houses. Villagers also earn their livelihood by growing and trading potatoes and barley. You can explore this village, visit the Pung Gyen Monastery, Biendra Lake. At Samdo, you can have a close view of Tibetan side. Spend some time to view the Chortens and Mani Walls. The top of the Larkya La Pass offers you the magnificent views of valleys, moraines, mountains and rivers. Also spend some time here to enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views before you descend down to Bhimtang. You shall make through Arughat, Sati Khola, Labu Besi, Jagat, Ngyak, Ghap, all the way to Sama Gaon. From Sama Gaon, you shall head towards Samdo Village. You shall spend an extra day at Dharmasal, before making your ascend to Larkya La Pass.

What permits are required?
You need to take Restricted Area Permit, Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit, and Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit. The Restricted Area Permit costs you US$ 70 per week per person and after 7 days US$ 10 per day per person, if you go between September to November. It costs US$ 50 per week per person and after 7 days US$ 7 per day per person, if you go between December to August. The Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit might cost you NPR 2,000 or approximately US$ 30 or 20 Euro. Similarly, the cost of Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit might cost you NPR 2,000 or approximately US$ 30 or 20 Euro. The good news about taking the Restricted Area Permit is that you do not need to take TIMS card. You can get the Restricted Area Permit through your trekking agency. You can have the Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit on you own from the Nepal Tourism Board Office at Kathmandu. However, an agent can also avail you with these two latter permits. While taking the permits, you are required to give 4 passport sized photographs. The Restricted Area Permit facilitates the government to track down the trekkers and estimate the approximate number of staff being sent along with the trekkers.

Food and accommodation: what to eat and where to stay?
There are lots of teahouses throughout the trek, but not as much as the Everest base camp trail or Annapurna base camp trail. You might notice the hike in price of the food as you ascend higher due to complex landscape and difficulty to transport foods in the highlands. There are potatoes, eggs, pancakes etc. with tea and coffee for breakfast. The most ideal dish for lunch is to have Dal Bhat that contains rice, lentils, green vegetables, pickles, Papad, etc. You can ask for extra addition of the items in the dish within the same cost; you do not need to pay extra. You might not get to purchase much more items for your snacks other than cookies, biscuits, Wai Wai Noodles, and few varieties of candy bars. It is important to note that the cost of water increases as you elevate the altitude. It is important to bring a water bottle with few purification drops of tabs.
Some trekking areas in the Manaslu region have suffered devastating destruction during the earthquake in the year 2015. But much of the teahouses have been restored, and many new teahouses are growing tremendously in Manaslu region. The agency crew shall arrange your accommodations at the lodges, tea houses, and hotels.

Trekking gears: what to take?
Don't pack any unnecessary items for your trek; you shall overweigh your rucksack and also increase the cost on porter. Pack some light shirts, underpants, thick woolen socks, walking poles, rucksack, waterproof trousers, Icrebreaker jumper, hat, first aid kit, camera, poly top, gloves, mitts, sandals, sunscreen, water purification drops/tablets, toilet paper, toothbrush, comb, dental floss, headlight, sunglasses, kerchief, light towels, hand sanitizer, etc. Make sure that the water bottle you carry is lightweight and convenient to sip water; so that you do not have to take your bad off just to drink water—this might ruin your exploration enjoyment.  Unless the sun goes down, do not take your sunglass off your eyes, especially while trekking high on the snow; high quality sunscreen is recommended. Do not forget to add some extra batteries for your headlight. Also pack some nuts, chocolate bars, and candies for quick carbohydrate intake.

Any additional things to consider?
When you are at high altitude areas, eat potatoes; but when you are at the lower region, you can eat rice. Do not be intimidated by the yak burgers, no matter how tempting they might look. You can do some researches about the Manaslu region before you go for this trek. Reading The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen can be the best thing you can do before this trek.
For more information about the Manslu Trekking, feel free to contact us. We are the leading trekking agency in Nepal trusted by many domestic and international trekkers since years. Do grant us an opportunity to take you to this wild trekking and help make your moments more memorable. 
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