"Trekking Paradise" Top 5 Page for this destination Annapurna Himal by Robmj

Annapurna Himal Travel Guide: 218 reviews and 519 photos

Annapurna Circuit

I had wanted to do this renowned circuit for some time. The scenery and diversity this trek offers is just superb.

The trail is connected by a series of small villages with "teahouses" which provide basic accommodation, meals and drinks. The friendly owners will make you very welcome.

The circuit follows the Marsyandi valley to the north of the main Himalayan range with a number of 7,000+ metre peaks in view and a few over 8,000m. The high point is the 5,416m Thorung La Pass and then you descend into the upper Kali Ganaki Valley.

Independent walking is completely do-able, but many support the local economy by hiring local guides and porters. These can be arranged in Kathmandu or from local villages around the trail if needed.

The Circuit Trail

The full circuit takes nearly 3 weeks, but we shortened that missing out the trek past Jomsom as that is where the road on the Western side runs.

Most people do the circuit east to west or counter clockwise, as this allows you to acclimatise building up to the Thorung La Pass at 5,416 metres. Be prepared for all weather and conditions, we had a real mix on our trip.

Our trek went as follows:
Day 1: Kathmandu to Bhulbhule via a 7 hour local bus ride
Day 2: Bhulbhule to Jargot, about 15kms or 6 hours
Day 3: Jargot to Dharapani (1,960m) which was another 15kms or 6 hours
Day 4: Dharapani to Chame (2,710m), some steep sections and great views
Day 5: Chame to Pisang (3,250m) this is where you really see the big peaks
Day 6: Pisang to Manang (3,540m) via the Upper route
Day 7: Manang - acclimatisation day visiting local Monastery
Day 8: Manang to Yak Kharkha (4,200m)
Day 9: Yak Kharha to High Camp (4,800m) big day with lots of snow and ice
Day 10: Over Thorung La Pass (5,416m) and down to Muktinath
Day 11: Jeep to Jomson and Tatopani
Day 11: "Taxi" to Pokhara

Highlights

The trek was great with many memories, these include finding the advertised "hot shower" at teahouses was in fact a cold tap at waist height with a bucket of water beside it through to the feeling of being up on the Thorung La Pass after a 5am start in the dark and snow.

The local village people were just great and many stops at places for something to eat or a cup of tea were rewarded by enjoyable hospitality from these people. The trail contained some very steep sections, beautiful valleys, rivers, pine forests and after a few days in, great views of the huge peaks. I would certainly recommend taking the high (upper route) trail from Pisang to Manang. While a lot harder than the flatter lower trail, the scenery and views of the Annapurna ranges couldn't be beaten.

I also recall the local bus trip from Kathmandu. A 7 hours ride jammed packed full of people and produce winding along narrow mountain paths. Unforgettable.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pretty much everything
  • Cons:The road
  • In a nutshell:One of the World's great walks
  • Last visit to Annapurna Himal: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (13)

Comments (3)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    Hello, Robert! Thanks a lot for sharing your memories and advice! Happy trails to you!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2016 at 2:59 AM

    This sounds like quite an adventure! Thanks for sharing and all your photos of the wonderful scenery.

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Great report. At Pisang i was nearly injured by an arrow as i arrived in the village during an archery competition and came out of an alleyway and the arrow flew straight past me.!

Robmj

“make a loose plan, but then don't be afraid not to follow it”

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