Tsum Valley Trekking is less crowded wilderness trek in the northern Nepal near the Tibetan Boarder. Trekking in Tsum valley is full of remote culture with excellent views of high Himalayas. Tsum valley in Manaslu region offers best trekking experience with unique traditional cultural experience.
Highlights of Tsum Valley Trekking
- Fabulous views of Ganesh Himal,
- SringiHimal 7187m, Boudha Himal, Himalchuli,
- The fantastic hidden land where Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa visited for meditation in several caves,
- Both geographically spectacular and culturally fascinating,
- The inhabitants of the Buri Gandaki valley known as Tsumbas are of Tibetan descent and their speech, dress,
- Customs are almost exclusively Tibetan,
- Several Buddhist Mani walls,
- Ancient Buddhist monasteries and Nunnery,
- Picturesque villages with traditional houses,
- The challenging off the beaten trail on-wards to Ganesh Himal Base Camp.
Although trekking in the Manaslu and Larkey pass region was started in 1995, the Tsum Valley Trekking was opened for foreigners only In 2008. Thus the Tsum Valley is the newly discovered trekking route in entire Nepal. The Tsum Valley Trekking route was stimulated by local people with the support from Nepal Government. Not far from the Manaslu chain, at the foot of the snowy peaks of Ganesh Himal, the Tsum Valley sections from 1,800 meters to the wild peaks that mark the border with Tibet. At least one hundred and fifty kilometers from capital Kathmandu, this territory long forgotten today is a haven for Tibetan Buddhist culture. Similarly, the Tsum valley is also the gateway to the Ganesh Himal base camp, with wonderful views of Ganesh Himal and surrounding landscapes.
The trek to Tsum valley is incredibly less trodden Path. The Tsum region is naturally striking with rich culture and high mystical values. The traditional way of life is unique; a forgotten area that still keeps a people of precise traditions and some details of which have no comparable or north or south. An example would be the practice of multiple husband system or polyandry. Brothers from a family can marry a single woman. The Tsum Valley Trekking takes you to Tsum which is a world apart, where traditional villages alongside dazzling Buddhist gompa, where friendly people open the doors of their homes to visitors, and where modernity makes a timid appearance.
Tsum is the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage site in Gorkha. There are several Gompas you can explore in Tsum Valley Trekking, such as RachenGompa, Mu Gompa, Galdag Gompa, Milarepa cave, Nunneries Gompa and many more. Miles of mani walls, stone-carved and elaborate chortens dot the surrounding trails. The caravans of yaks and horses continue to be perpetuated heavy traffic between the lower valleys of Nepal and the Tibetan highlands. Most of the monasteries perpetuate the traditions of study and prayer of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.
Tsum Valley Trekking is categorized as moderate level trekking and can be completed buy all the avid trekkers throughout the world. Previous trekking experience in the high altitude will help you to complete the trek more easily. Tsum Valley Trekking route is recently opened for foreigners so there are not so many guest houses and lodges but the locals shows huge love and respect with great hospitality in Home-stay. Home-stay in Tsum Valley Trekking is a best chance to learn closely about the unique traditions, culture and lifestyle of the rural Himalayan peoples.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Our airport representative will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, located after passing out of the customs area. Look out for your name in play card outside of arrival hall. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes.
A scenic drive west through the middle hills to Malekhu, then a secondary road to Dhading Besi and a 35km dirt road to Arughat on the Budhi Gandaki River. This is a large Newar and Gurung village with many mango orchards. Then another 2 hrs drive upstream to Soti Khola.
Overnight in Soti Khola at Lodge
The trail undulates over ridges and passes waterfalls on a steep trail clinging to the side of a cliff. It then drops to pass rice paddies before climbing to the attractive Gurung village of Labubesi. Beyond, the valley opens out and the trail drops onto gravel banks along the river before rising to the village of Machha (Fish) Khola above the river – with good views of the 7,000m/22,950ft Ganesh Himal.
Overnight in Machha Khola at Lodge
The narrow trail follows minor ups and downs, often dropping to the gravel bar before crossing the Thado Khola and following a rocky ravine to Khorlabesi. After more moderate ups and downs there is a small hot spring at Tatopani. The trail then climbs a ridge before crossing the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge. A good staircase, leads to a landslide before a final ridge to Dobhan.
Overnight in Dobhan.at Lodge
Today’s trail follows the east bank to a 93m suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, then climbs stone stairs up and back to the river before climbing to Thado Bharyang. Here it crosses to the west bank of the Budhi Gandaki, climbs a ridge and follows the river gently upwards to the village of Jagat. Walk on to Salleri, via a cliff-side trail – with views of Shringi Himal (7,187m/23,580ft) to the north. Descend to Sirdibas; and the first signs of Buddhist culture. Another suspension bridge leads to the east bank, and a tiring climb up to Philim: a prosperous Gurung village, the Chholing Sandu Gompa and surrounded by fields of maize and millet.
Traverse north of Philim, through forest up the narrowing valley to Ekle Bhatti. The trail then drops through a steep gorge under pine trees to a junction at New Bridge which leads to the Larkya La. To the right (east) a well-graded, exposed, zigzag track leads up through pines and rhododendrons, to Lokpa and the narrow lower Tsum Valley.
Then descend through beautiful forest, cross streams and circle under a bluff on the river before climbing steeply on well-made but exposed steps. Later, traverse steeply up through pines and rhododendrons, past a rock fall and later drop to Gumling and the Siyar Khola that drains much of the valley. Cross the wooden bridge and finally ascend the steep, narrow and exposed track to Chumling. The houses are classic Tibetan with barricades of firewood on the roofs: but built with sloping roofs to cope with the abundant rain and snow. They farm maize and potatoes.
Overnight in Chumling at Lodge
An easier day today! Cross the suspension bridge and new forest growing over a recent landslide. Higher up, pass gompas and superb views of the Ganesh Himal. Beyond Rainjam the trail drops to cross the Sarphu Khola that drains the Syakpa Glacier off Shringi Himal (7,101m/23,298ft) to the north. The trail then climbs, for some 2,5 hours , on well-graded but exposed track, to the Upper Tsum Valley and the linked villages of Chhokang and Paro, generally known as Chhekampar.
Here the valley broadens but the stone houses nestle under cliffs to make full use of the spacious fields for barley, maize, buckwheat and potatoes. Herds of tahr frequently graze the wild cliffs to the north; and if not watched can cause havoc in the fields. Himal Chuli (7,893m/25,897ft) can be seen to the west.
Overnight in Chhekampar at Lodge
A fairly short day today. First explore the linked villages and perhaps climb north to a retreat where Lama Kongdhog died after 26 years of meditation: the friendly people speak Tsumba, related to Tibetan, but little Nepali and are unused to visitors.
The trail passes through small villages and a local school, then rises to a ridge with chortens before passing through Lamagaon (3,020m/9,909ft). From here the huge courtyard of the Rachen Gompa nunnery is visible across the river. This is the female equivalent of the main Kathmandu Dopan Monastery.
Beyond the village of Burji a trail to the north leads to Milarepa’s Cave (Piren Phu – Pigeon Cave): one of the many places where the bringer of Buddhism to Tibet is reputed to have meditated.
Later, the trail crosses the Siyar Khola to join the trail from Rachen Gompa to Nile. There is an unusual round stupa before the impressive entrance gate to the large village of Chhule: where the children wear chubas and yaks abound. Further upstream, a bridge leads to the final climb to Nile.
Overnight in Nile at Lodge
Make an early start for the walk up to Mu Gompa, through dry Tibetan countryside – with rows of chortens and broadening mountain vistas. The ancient monastery houses over 100 monks. On three sides are tantalising views of the Tibetan border – with three passes frequently used for trade by the Tsumbas just out of sight. There are extensive seasonal yak pastures, the Lungdang Glacier to the east and high peaks in all directions. If time, include a visit to the Dephyu Doma Nunnery (4,000m/13,100ft) to the west.
On the return route trek it is possible to visit the Rachen Gompa (the older sections are the most interesting) from Phurba and rejoin the trail to Chhekampar at Ngakyu Leru.
Overnight in Chhekampar at Lodge
Retrace the trail to the small gompa at Gho, then drop south to a wooden bridge over the river and continue to Dumje: which has a Tibetan herbal medicine clinic and school. The track then leads up steeply, through pines and rhododendrons to a mani wall, after which it traverses along an exposed route, before zigzagging up through huge silver pines to the gompa perched on a ridge. The mountain views in all directions are fantastic: this is likely to be a highlight of the trek.
This small gompa with 40 nuns: who each stay in a small cell, has an intense and engrossing puja from 18.00-19.30 each night. Visitors are invited to attend and permission may be obtained to camp in the gompa forecourt and use their kitchen and ablution facilities.
Overnight in Gumba Lungdang at Lodge
Circle from the gompa past the nuns’ housing, and zigzag down to a lower indistinct track: follow it through the forest and cross the wooden Lungdang Khola bridge. Climb steeply through pines and rhododendrons and across a kharka up to a ridge. Continue up a birch-lined creek-bed and emerge onto grassy flats east of the Torogumba Glacier’s lateral moraine. Continue past yak huts to a track up the moraine wall that gives superb views of the cirque of mountains. The Ganesh Himal Base Camp (4,200m/13,780ft) is about here (~4hrs). Return to Gumba Lungdang in time for the evening puja.
Overnight in Gumba Lungdang at Lodge
Descend the trail to Dumje, cross the Lungdang Khola and take the south bank trail down the Siyar Khola that climbs over deep gorges and cantilever bridges to the high fertile valley of Ripchet. Several chortens adorn barley and buckwheat fields that have been cut from surrounding pine forests. Steep stairs lead down to Gumling on the river before the trail climbs through temperate forest to Lokpa.
Overnight in Lokpa at Lodge
After breakfast, our trail returns to Philim for lunch. Continue downhill to the suspension bridge and river bank trail to Sirdibas while enjoying the reverse views.
Overnight in Sirdibas at Lodge
Our trail now descends from the alpine Buddhist region back to the greener subtropical biome via Jagat, Yaruphant, Dobhan, Tatopani and then undulates to Khorlabesi – with time to linger along the way.
Overnight in Khorlabesi at lodge
The trail crosses the Tharo Khola flowing in its rocky ravine. Drop down to the river and traverse to the village of Machha Khola. Walk along the Budhi Gandaki Nadi to reach the Gurung village of Labubesi. Pass the two waterfalls on the steep cliffside trail to Khursane. Then follow the ridge above the Budhi Gandaki, through Sal forests to the bridge before Soti Khola.
Overnight in Soti Khola at Lodge
From here we drive, down the Budhi Gandaki Valley to Arughat and on to Kathmandu; with lunch on the way. Transfer to your Hotel, and a free afternoon.
Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward flight to your next destination.
- Hotel in Kathmandu with B/B basic (One Night) (Centrally located, attach bathroom, hot and cold shower)
- TIMS CARD (Trekking Information Management System). We need two photograph each for permit.
- Manaslu Conservation Area Fee
- Annapurna Conservation Fee
- Manaslu Special Permit
- Tsum Valley Special Permit
- 15 days porter wages and his insurances/meals/accommodation/equipments
- 15 days guide wages and his insurances/meals/accommodation/equpipments
- 15 nights best Lodge accommodation during the trek on tea house services.
- Kathmandu to Arughat by Local Bus
- Arughat to Kathmandu by Local Bus
- Rescue arrangement in emergency situation & worst weather condition
- Trekking poles, sleeping bag, down jacket/duffle bag (we provide these if necessary).
- Trekking maps.
- Rubbish disposal.
- Our service charge and government taxes.
- Extra nights hotel stay in Kathmandu.
- Tips to guides and support staff.
- Additional costs in case of emergency (You must have adequate travel insurance to cover any kind of emergencies, such as ground transportation & Heli recue/medical/hospitalization. Medical etc).
- Your International flight ticket airfare
- Energetic chocolate/energy drinks/alcohol/mineral water/cigarettes/packing food snacks etc
- Additional medication for altitude sickness (Acetazolamide etc).
- Personal expenses and any other unforeseen expenses, such as Laundry/WIFI on trek/phone call
- Personal trekking equipment.
- Nepal entry visa fees which can get up on your arrival in Kathmandu airport
- Sightseeing tour and All the entrance fees of temple in Kathmandu
- Services not mentioned herein
Permit & Entry Fees:
It is compulsory to pay Everest National Park entry fee and TIMS card to trek in this area.
An emergency first aid kit is carried by the support staff at all times.
Accommodation and meals:
During tea house treks our guests pay for their food (breakfast/lunch/dinner) at the lodge while we provide guides/accommodation/necessary permit and transportation. It can be USD $25 per person each day for food (Lunch/dinner/breakfast)
Mineral waters are available at all stops during tea house treks. You can also use tap water if you choose to use water purification tablets.
Travel Insurance is mandatory for all clients who choose to trek or climb with us. The insurance should cover you in case of emergencies like accidents, altitude sickness and ambulance and helicopter rescue charges if required. Please carry a copy of your insurance papers while travelling in Nepal and do send us a copy as well. This will help us in making all the necessary arrangements in case of any sort of emergencies.
Best Season for Everest Panorama View Trek
- Spring : March – May
- Summer: June – August
- Autumn: September – November
- Winter: December – February
While there are no seasonal constraints on traveling to Nepal, different regions are best visited in different seasons. Once you inquire about any trekking itinerary we’ll email you regarding the best season for that particular trek.
Check-list of personal equipment:
- Good standard trekking boots
- Camping shoes/thongs
- Down Jacket
- Trekking trousers
- Shorts (both casual and for treks)
- Swim wear
- Sun Hat
- Woollen Hat
- Nylon Windbreaker
- Strong Rucksack
- Sleeping Bag
- Water Bottle
- Torch/headlamp (with spare batteries)
- Toilet paper
- Sun block
- Travel Towel
- Medication (cough medicine, throat soothers, water purification tablets)
- Camera & lenses
- Memory cards
- GPS Tracking Units may be helpful
- Book/music player/pack of cards
- A plastic bag for waste
- Energy/snack bars