• Tsum Valley Trek

Tsum Valley Trek

Trip Overview

Tsum Valley is yet another hidden gem of Nepal lying behind the mountains, mostly untouched and rarely visited. Reaching this valley also demands international trekkers to carry a special permit unlike in Manaslu Circuit.

The name 'Tsum' has come from the Tibetan word "Tsombo" which means vivid. In ancient times, this valley was quite a distinct place, both culturally and geographically. Hence, this valley was called Tsum Tso Chuksums, meaning "Thirteen provinces ruled as a single territory". People here, being of Tibetan origin, still follow the polyandry system, meaning single women can have multiple husbands. The locals, known as Tsumbas, have unique cultures, traditions, and language of their own.

The lowest point of Tsum valley is Lokpa and the highest point is Ngala Dhojhyang Pass (5094m) on the Tibetan border. Bordered by beautiful mountains like Baudha Himal and Himal Chuli at the west, Ganesh Himal to the south and Singri Himal to the North, this place is a heaven to a nature lover.

Highlights

  • Explore the untouched valley of Tsum and witness the Tibetan Buddhist culture with locals.
  • Enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Bouddha Himal, and Singri Himal.
  • Feel the remoteness of the hidden valley and walk the rugged trail of the Tsum valley area.
  • Visit numerous monasteries including the Mu Gompa, the most popular destination of the area.

Itinerary


Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu.

Welcome to Kathmandu. You will be received by one of our office representatives at the TIA exit section and escort you to your hotel afterward.

Depending on your arrival time, you will have the chance to stroll around the places nearby your hotel on your own.

  Hotel

Day 02: Permits preparation and trip briefing day.

Today you will have a free day in Kathmandu while your specialist will take time to arrange permits for your trek. You will have time to explore around the Kathmandu valley on your own or enjoy the cultural tour with an experienced tour guide arranged by Trek Guiders.

In the evening, you will be met by your specialist in your hotel lobby. S/he will introduce you to your guide for the trek and brief you shortly about your trek, things to do/ not to do, and any optional activities you may enjoy during the trip. You can ask any queries or share feelings with your specialist during the briefing.

  Hotel

  Breakfast

Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Sotikhola (720m).

After breakfast in Kathmandu hotel, get prepared for a long way drive to Sotikhola. The drive follows the route of Prithvi Highway (road to Pokhara from Kathmandu) at first giving wonderful views of Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang. After reaching Dhading, the drive leaves the highway to move ahead to Gorkha Bazaar. From here the road starts getting rough. Driving slowly and safely will take you to Sotikhola after around 8 - 10 hours from Kathmandu.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 04: Trek from Sotikhola to Machhakhola (900m)

After breakfast, the trek begins with crossing a bridge and continues with walking a trail of beautiful Sal forest climbing onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. Few hours of walking will take you to Khursane where the rocky trail has way up and down eventually making its way down passing few rice paddies, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. From here walking a few more hours will cross a suspension bridge before reaching Machhakhola.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05: Trek from Machhakhola to Jagat (1410m)

Today's trail is a bit narrow at first making some minor ups and downs, eventually crossing the Tharo Khola which leads to Khorlabesi. After a few more ascends and descends, you will arrive at a small hot spring where you can take a short break.

From here you will be climbing yet another ridge and cross the Budhi Gandaki river and climb on a wide and well-crafted staircase before you reach Dobhan. Upon crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, you will climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Crossing the west bank of the Budhi Gandaki, you climb over a ridge and trek along the river finally climbing towards the village of Jagat.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 06: Trek from Jagat to Philim (1590m)

After breakfast in Jagat, start walking along the left bank of the Budi Gandaki River. You will climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri enjoying the view of Singri Himal and then descend to Sirdibas. You will see the valley starting to widen up as the trail continues to Ghatta Khola. 

From here, continue walking upstream to a long simple suspension bridge and cross the river heading forward towards Philim, which is a large Gurung settlement village. Philim valley is well known for Japanese made school and police station.

 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 07: Trek from Philim to Chumling (2360m)

From Philim, start walking north across a forest with the views valley getting narrower ahead. Passing through the beautiful pines and rhododendron forest you will walk zigzag steps crossing the small Ekle Bhatti village towards Lokpa, where you will be resting for the lunch.

From Lokpa, you will descend towards the Lungwa Khola and climb up the difficult zigzag trail towards Gumlung. You will then cross the Shiar Khola on a small wooden bridge and finally reach Chumling, lower Tsum area from where a spectacular view of Shingri Himal can be seen. 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08: Trek from Chumling to Chhokangparo (3010m)

For your next destination, start your trip crossing the suspension bridge and continue walking through the farmland enjoying the great views of Ganesh Himal. Upon reaching Rainjam, stop for lunch.

From Rainjam, cross the Serpu Khola bridge to reach the Gho village. The valley opens up into the spacious fields leading you to your destination of the day, Chhokongparo, which is also named "Chhekampar" due to its location on a flat land made up of two different settlements - Chhekam and Paro.

 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09: Trek from Chhokongparo to Nile/ Chule (3361m)

Today, you can visit a cave to pay homage to a saint Milarepa who is believed to have meditated here in the cave for several years. This cave is also popular with the name of 'Piren Phu' which means Pigeon cave and you will need to pay an entrance fee to explore this cave if you want. Watch out for the signs of Altitude sickness while climbing above Chhokangparo and take rest if needed.

Continue trip passing through several villages like Ngakyu and Lama Gaun, you can place a visit to Rachen Gompa by crossing a suspension bridge. Afterward, cross Shiar Khola and move ahead towards the village of Chhule passing through Burji, Phurbe and Pangdun villages. 

Chhule is a large village located at an altitude of 3347m where you will see the people in Tibetan costumes. Continue climbing upstream and cross the bridge above Shiyar Khola to reach Nile where you will be staying overnight.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Trek from Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) and return back to Chhokongparo.

After an early morning breakfast, start the trip for a visit to Mu Gompa which is considered to be Tsum valley's highest and the last permanent settlement. Walking through an obvious trail with rows of chortens, you will reach Mu Gompa after walking approximately 5 kms. If you have more time, you can also make a visit to Dhephyu Dongma Gompa located west at an altitude of 4060m.

Return back to Nile to grab your stuffs from the lodge and walk back to Chhokangparo via Rachen Gompa. If you did not get chance to make a visit in this Gompa, you can do it now.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Trek from Chhokongparo to Lokpa (2240)

After breakfast at Chhokangparo, retrace back the same path towards the village of Lokpa passing several suspension bridges and through lush green forests via Chumling.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Trek from Lokpa to Jagat.

From Lokpa, you will trek down to Ghumpul through the green forest and join the Manaslu trail again. You will continue to walking down to Philim passing through Ekla Bhatti village area. After crossing the Budhi Gandaki river from Philim, you will further continue to Jagat passing by Sirdibas village.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Trek from Jagat to Tatopani (990m)

Continuing your back return trail from Jagat by descending to Bagar and walking along the cantilever bridge that was build after the Manaslu trail was severely destroyed by 2015 earthquake. Passing through the villages of Yaruphant and Dovan, you will reach Tatopani. You should have got tired of walking for several days. Hence, at Tatopani, you can take a warm dip at a natural hot spring to relax your muscles.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Trek from Tatopani to Sotikhola (720m)

Today is the last day of walking in the Manaslu area. After enjoying your breakfast at Tatopani, walk back the same route you had taken to before to reach Tatopani from Sotikhola. 

 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Drive from Sotikhola to Kathmandu.

After breakfast, bid goodbye to the Manaslu area and ride the 4X4 vehicle waiting for you to drive back to Kathmandu. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you will be dropped at your hotel. The evening is free for you to do any last minute shopping or relaxing in your room before your departure day.

  Hotel

  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Depart Kathmandu.

You will be picked up from your hotel 3.5 hours prior to your international flight time by one of our office representatives to escort you to the TIA. Trip concludes !!

Commencing this trip

The trek starts from Kathmandu initially walking along the Manaslu Circuit trail starting walk from Sotikhola until you reach Lokpa. Lokpa is the lowest point of the Tsum valley but the restricted area permit will be active from the day you enter Jagat. You will get to see the remote valley rich in Tibetan culture untouched and unspoiled from the external world. People here wear traditional Tibetan dress and have their own dialect for day to day communication. You will get to see the lifestyle in the remote settlements and also visit the ancient Mu Gompa which is the top attraction of the Tsum Valley. 

If you are organizing a camping trip instead of tea house trekking in this area, you can add few more days to add visit up to the Ganesh Himal Base Camp too. As the Tsum valley area was opened since 2008 AD only for trekking, still this area has just basic lodging facility and if you wish to visit some new places, you will need to organize a camping trip with full camping crew and camping equipment.

The return will be via the same route up to Sotikhola from where you will be driving back to Kathmandu in the assigned private vehicle.

Best time to do this trip

If you wish to make the most out of this trip then the best time to visit here will be during Spring and Autumn season in Nepal. However, there will be separate permit cost fees in both seasons. The permit fees during Autumn (September - November) will be USD 40.00 per person for the first 7 days and USD 7.00 per person afterward. Whereas the permit fees for the rest of the months will be USD 30.00 per person for the first 7 days and USD 7.00 per person afterwards. 

Traveling in these areas during monsoon is highly discouraged due to the risk of sudden landslides. The views of the mountains too gets limited due to thick clouds and the trail will be quite muddy and slippery. Hence, best to plan out your trip from either March-May or September-November.

What is included?

  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast on twin sharing basis.
  • 12 nights accommodation in standard tea houses during the trek on a full board twin sharing basis (Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner with tea/coffee).
  • Experienced English speaking trek guide and porter/s for the trek (1 porter assigned for 2 travelers).
  • Kathmandu to Sotikhola & Syange to Kathmandu transfers in private vehicle.
  • 2 International Airport transfers in private vehicle.
  • All required trek permit fees include Restricted area permit for Manaslu area.
  • Equipment allowances, salary, and insurance for the trek staffs.
  • Kit bags/duffle bags for the trek (size 55L).
  • A first aid kit with basic supplies.
  • All government taxes.

What is not included?

  • Single room supplement charges during Hotel stay in Kathmandu.
  • Lunches and Dinners in Kathmandu.
  • Soft Drinks and Alcoholic beverages like Coke, Beer, etc. and cigarettes.
  • Any sort of guided/ unguided city tours and transfers for the same.
  • Entrance fees for monasteries and museum (if any).
  • Nepal entry visa fee
  • Hot shower and hot drinking water during the trek.
  • Your personal trekking gears and equipment like the sleeping bag, trekking poles, down jackets, etc.
  • Personal nature expenses related to the phone, wifi, gadget charging, laundry, gratitude/ Tips, snacks expenses, extra meals, tea, and coffees etc.
  • Your travel insurance and emergency rescue evacuation if any.
  • Any activities or services not mentioned in "Service included section"

Important points to be noted:

- Mentioned trip price is per person price for an open trek based on minimum two travelers basis. The trip price will vary depending on the size of the group.

- Single Room Supplement charge will be USD 90.00 net added above given price for the traveler willing to use a single room for 3 nights stay in Kathmandu Hotel.

- Single rooms will not be available in the tea houses during the trek due to the limited number of lodges on the trail. In the case of availability, traveler need to pay supplement charges (if any) directly to the lodge owner.

*Open trek refers to the trek opened for all interested travelers from around the world to join.

16 days

Trip at a Glance

  •    Country: Nepal
  •    Trip grade: Challenging
  •    Destination: Manaslu Region
  •    Activities: Trekking
  •    Accommodation: Hotel, Tea Houses
  •    Meals: City (B), Trek (B,L,D)
  •    Group size: 2 - 12
  •    Best Season: March - May/ October - November

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