"Road Building on The Annapurna Circuit" Top 5 Page for this destination Trekking Tip by into-thin-air
Trekking, Nepal: 73 reviews and 165 photos
The Annapurna Circuit is Still an Excellent Trek - But the time to do it is now, before the road building gets any further up the Marsyangai valley, You will read all sorts of reports about this road building, a lot of people paint it as Much Blacker than it actually is, The road had got as far as Syange when I was there in the spring 2008, It does somewhat spoil the look of the valley, but you won’t hardly notice most of it as the trekking route is on the other side of the valley most of the way. Once above Syange then you are into Awesome Country – But unfortunately this road is due to creep all the way to Manang over the next 4 or 5 years.
There is now a jeep road down the valley of the Kali Gandaki all the way from Muktinath to Beni, again you can avoid most of it by careful route planning, Personally I wouldn’t trek the section between Jomsom and Ghasa as there is little choice here with alternative routes –– However more Good News is that there is No plan to build a road from Tatopani over Poon Hill to Nayapool – So that at least is one part of this Excellent trek that Will remain untouched !!
So hence my advice – Do it Sooner rather than Later !!
I would tackle Trekking AC as follows
Start your trek at Bhulbhule (The road continues up the left hand side of the valley and you take the old trekking route up the right side) – Walk across the suspension foot bridge and spend you first night at the small lodge my the waterfall about 20 minutes trekking from the road-head
The next days trekking is up to Bahudanda (Short day but uphill so if you have the time why kill yourself !!) –
You then rejoin the road ½ way through your next day at Syange and have to walk along it – I have heard that there still isn’t much traffic on it as there is still gaps in the construction but it does continue until above Tal.
Then after Pisang you are into pristine mountain country and you will love it
After crossing Thorung La don’t stay at Muktinath, 20 minutes further on is the often overlooked village of Jharkot – a real treat – see my Nepal travelogue of the same name on the link below ;-)
Don’t miss Kagbeni, Avoid Jomsom – Maybe take a bus / jeep down to Ghasa from Jomsom where you can leave the road and trek down the opposite side of the valley (Old trekking route on the left) until Dana – Then you have ½ hours trekking on the road to Tatopani.
After Tatopani no more roads as you head up and over Poon Hill – Spend the morning in Tatopani and enjoy the hot springs when they are at the cleanest and quietest and split the long uphill day to Poon Hill (Ghoropani) into two.
Spend your last night at Birithanti, less than an hours trek from the road-head at Naya Pul and a real gem of a village.
The next day walk to Naya Pul, catch a local bus and you should be back in Pokhara in time for lunch ;-)
2011 Transportation Update
There is now only a local bus to from Kathmandu to Bhulebhule, Personally I would be inclined not to use this as it will be very slow and by the time you have either gone to the bus station the day before to get your tickets or paid an agent commission to get them for you, paid for a taxi from Thamel to the bus station it will work out a lot cheaper to get a Pokhara tourist bus to Dumre and change there for the local bus to Bhulebhule.
When you arrive in Dumre, Ignore all the minibus / taxi touts that will inform you that there isn’t a local bus to Bhulebhule, walk to the Y junction in the middle of Dumre main Street and there you will pick up local busses both from Kathmandu and Pokhara.
However – Things can change Quickly in Nepal so it will still be worthwhile making enquiries to see if the direct tourist bus has be re-established
As the road building progresses a New Annapurna Trekking Trail is being established in an attempt to preserver the Annapurna Circuit as a worthwhile “Wilderness” trek – Details of these alternative trails can be found in the link below
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