Trekking Guide Regd. No: 293, License No: 205
(26 Years of Experiences in Himalaya)
We Are A Full Local Mountain Guide & Porter Service in Himalaya Since: 1997
  • Trek Duration
    18 Days
  • Max Altitude
    5416m.
  • Trip Grade
    Moderate/High Pass
  • Group Size
    Min : 02 Trekkers
  • Accommodation
    Hotel/Tea House
  • Start/Ending
    Jagat to Pokhara

Trip Overview

“The Ultimate Himalayan Adventure: Exploring Annapurna and the Mystical Tilicho Lake”

The Annapurna Tilicho Lake Trek is a popular hiking trail in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is a challenging trek that takes you through diverse landscapes and offers stunning views of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes. As you ascend, the landscape becomes more rugged and barren, with rocky terrain and alpine vegetation. The highlight of the trek is Tilicho Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world at an altitude of 4,919 meters (16,138 feet). The turquoise-colored lake is surrounded by towering mountains and is considered a sacred site by the local people.

The trek is generally considered a challenging one and you need to be in good physical condition to complete it. The altitude can be a significant factor, and it is essential to acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness. The best time to do the trek is from March to May and from September to November when the weather is dry and the skies are clear. This Lake Trek is an unforgettable experience for those who love adventure and want to immerse themselves in the stunning natural beauty of the Himalayas.

Highlights of the Tilicho Lake Trek

  • The Tilicho Lake Trek is a challenging and rewarding trek through the stunning Annapurna region of Nepal.
  • The trek offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including Annapurna II, III, and IV, as well as the beautiful Tilicho Lake, which is one of the highest lakes in the world.
  • The trek also takes you through charming mountain villages, where you can experience the unique culture and traditions of the Nepalese people. One of the highlights of the trek is the challenging ascent to Tilicho Lake.
  • The trail is steep and rocky, and the altitude can make the trek even more difficult. However, the reward for reaching the lake is well worth the effort.
  • The crystal-clear blue waters of the lake are set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks, creating a truly magical and unforgettable experience. Another highlight of the trek is the opportunity to visit the ancient monastery of Braga.
  • The monastery is over 500 years old and is home to some of the most beautiful and intricate Buddhist artwork in the region.
  • The monastery is also a great place to stop and rest, as it offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Best Time to Go for Tilicho Lake Trek

The best time to go for the Tilicho Lake Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer the most favorable weather and optimal trekking conditions in the Annapurna region.

In the spring, the weather is mild, with clear skies, blooming flowers, and rhododendron forests in full bloom. The temperatures gradually rise, and the days become longer, allowing for enjoyable trekking experiences.

During the autumn season, the weather is stable and dry, with clear visibility and pleasant temperatures. The landscapes are beautifully adorned with vibrant colors as the autumn foliage sets in. The trails are less crowded compared to the peak tourist seasons.

Accommodation Options During Tilicho Lake Trek

During the Tilicho Lake Trek, there are a variety of accommodation options available, ranging from basic teahouses to more comfortable lodges. The teahouses are typically small, family-run establishments that offer basic accommodation and meals.

The lodges, on the other hand, offer more comfortable accommodation, with private rooms and attached bathrooms. The lodges also offer a wider range of food options, including both Nepalese and Western cuisine.

It is important to note that the accommodation options on the trek are limited, and it is recommended that trekkers book in advance to ensure availability.

Food and Drinks During Tilicho Lake Trek

During the Tilicho Lake Trek, trekkers will be provided with three meals a day, typically consisting of rice, lentils, and vegetables. Meat is also available, but it is recommended that trekkers stick to vegetarian options to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

Trekkers should also bring their own snacks and energy bars to keep them fueled throughout the day. It is also important to stay hydrated, and trekkers should drink at least three liters of water a day to avoid dehydration.

Packing List for Tilicho Lake Trek

The following is a suggested packing list for the Tilicho Lake Trek:

  • Warm clothing, including a down jacket and thermal underwear
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • First aid kit, including altitude sickness medication
  • Water purification tablets
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sleeping bag

Details Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu

Upon your arrival at Kathmandu airport, you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day to explore the city or rest.

Day 02: Drive to Jagat Via Besisahar (1400m / 7hrs)

Start from Kathmandu and head towards the Prithvi Highway. Follow the Prithvi Highway and drive towards the west. Pass through the towns of Naubise, Mugling, Dumre, and Besisahar. At Besisahar, turn right towards the Marsyangdi Highway. Follow the Marsyangdi Highway and drive towards the north. Pass through the towns of Bhulbhule, Ngadi, and Chamje. Finally, you will reach Jagat.

Day 03: Walk to Dharapani (1700m / 6 to 7hrs)

Start from the main road in Jagat and follow the trail that leads towards Chamje. You will cross a suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River and then continue walking on the other side of the river. From there, the trail climbs up through a forested area and you will come across several small villages along the way.  After walking for a few hours, you will reach the village of Tal. From Tal, the trail continues towards Dharapani.

Day 04: Walk to Chame (2660m / 6hrs)

From Dharapani, follow the trail that heads north towards the river. You’ll cross a suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River and then head up a steep ascent. After a while, the trail will level out, and you’ll reach the village of Bagarchhap. From Bagarchhap, the trail heads uphill again, and you’ll pass through several small villages before reaching the town of Chame. Finally, after around 6-7 hours of walking, you’ll reach the town of Chame.

Day 05: Walk to Upper Pisang (3185m / 5hrs)

Start early in the morning from Chame. The first part of the trek takes you through dense forests and along the Marsyangdi River. After about 2 to 3 hours of trekking, you will reach the village of Dhukur Pokhari. From Dhukur Pokhari, the trail starts to ascend steeply, and you will have to climb up a series of switchbacks to reach Upper Pisang. Along the way, you will be rewarded with some stunning views of the Annapurna Range, including Annapurna II, III, and IV, as well as Gangapurna and Tilicho Peak. After a few hours of trekking, you will reach Upper Pisang

Day 06: Walk to Ngawal (3600m / 6hrs)

From Upper Pisang, follow the trail that leads towards the northeast. You will reach the village of Ghyaru after a few hours of walking. And from Ghyaru, continue walking towards the northeast. You will pass through the village of Ngawal after about an hour and a half of walking. The trek involves some steep ascents and descents.

Day 07: Walk to Manang (3540m / 5hrs)

The trail starts with a steep descent for about an hour until you reach the village of Braga. Once you reach Braga, take some time to explore the ancient Gompa (monastery) located on a hilltop. The Gompa offers panoramic views of the valley below. After exploring Braga, continue your trek toward Manang. The trail now gradually ascends, and you’ll pass through several small villages and yak pastures. Along the way, you’ll cross the Marsyangdi River via a suspension bridge and pass through the village of Mungji. Finally, after a few hours of trekking, you’ll reach the village of Manang.

Day 08: Rest day in Manang

Today, we will take a rest day in Manang, you can explore the village, which has a rich cultural heritage and offers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayas. You can visit the local monasteries and gompas, which are steeped in Tibetan Buddhist traditions and adorned with intricate wall paintings and statues.

Day 09: Walk to Khangsar (3734m / 4hrs)

From there, follow the main trail that leads to Khangsar. The trail will pass through a series of small villages and settlements along the way. After about 2-3 hours of walking, you will reach a village called Tanki Manang. From here, the trail starts to climb steeply uphill. Cross the stream and follow the trail as it leads you to a plateau. You will see Khangsar village in the distance. Walk down the plateau and cross another small stream. Continue along the trail until you reach the village of Khangsar.

Day 10: Walk to Tilicho Base Camp (4150m / 6hrs)

The trek begins with a steady climb out of Khangsar, passing through a series of small villages and terraced fields. You will gradually gain elevation as you approach the high alpine meadows of Shree Kharka. And the trail from Shree Kharka to Tilicho Base Camp is steep and challenging, but the views are spectacular. You will follow a rocky, narrow trail that winds its way up the mountainside, passing through a series of switchbacks and steep ascents. Along the way, you will pass several small streams and waterfalls, and the scenery will become increasingly rugged and dramatic.

Day 11: Hike up Tilicho Lake (4919m) and back to base camp (7hrs)

Very early in the morning, first of all, we will hike up Tilicho Lake. The hike to Tilicho Lake is a steep and rocky climb. As you approach Tilicho Lake, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the turquoise waters of the lake. Spend some time exploring the area and taking in the natural beauty of Tilicho Lake. After exploring the Tilicho Lake, we will trek back to Base Camp.

Day 12: Walk to Yak Kharka (4200m / 7hrs)

From Tilicho Base Camp, follow the trail towards the west, passing through the scenic valley and a series of steep ascents and descents. Cross the stream carefully and continue walking on the trail, which will gradually ascend towards the north. After another hour or so of walking, you will reach a plateau area known as “Khangsar Kharka.” From Khangsar Kharka, the trail gradually descends towards the west. After about an hour of walking, you will reach a suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River. After about 2-3 hours of walking, you will reach Yak Kharka.

Day 13: Walk to Phedi (4450m / 5 to 6hrs)

To start your journey, you will need to leave Yak Kharka and follow the trail to the west, which will lead you downhill toward the river. You will cross a bridge and then follow the trail as it winds uphill through a forested area. As you approach Phedi, the trail will become more gradual and you’ll pass through several small villages along the way. Eventually, you’ll reach the town of Phedi.

Day 14: Walk to Thorong La Pass (5416m) and walk to Muktinath (3750m / 7hrs)

Very early in the Morning, we will start our trekking because, on this day, we will hike up Thorong La Pass first of all before entering Muktinath. The trekker can experience the stunning views of the Annapurna range and other surrounding peaks from the pass. After reaching the top of the pass, the trekker descends to the village of Muktinath. The trek leads through dense forests, past waterfalls, and rock formations, and through traditional Nepalese villages.

Day 15: Walk to Marpha (2670m / 6hrs)

Follow the trail downhill towards the Kali Gandaki River, and cross the river via a suspension bridge. After crossing the bridge, you’ll reach the village of Jharkot. From Jharkot, the trail ascends towards the village of Khingar. Continue walking through apple orchards and fields of buckwheat and barley to reach the village of Jomsom. From Jomsom, follow the trail along the Kali Gandaki River and cross a metal bridge to reach the village of Chhairo from Chhairo, the trail then ascends to the village of Marpha.

Day 16: Drive to Tatopani (1100m / 4hrs)

From Marpha, head south towards the Kaligandaki River and follow the main road that runs parallel to the river. After driving for about 15 kilometers, you’ll reach the village of Ghasa. Continue driving through Ghasa and continue on the main road. After another 15 kilometers or so, you’ll reach the village of Dana, where you’ll need to turn left and cross the river through a suspension bridge. Once you cross the river, continue on the road and follow the signs toward Tatopani.

Day 17: Walk to Ghorepani (2800m / 7hrs)

From Tatopani, cross the suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki River and begin walking towards Ghara. The trail will take you through beautiful rhododendron and pine forests, passing through small villages such as Shikha and Chitre. You will also cross a few small streams along the way. After about 4-5 hours of walking, you will reach the village of Ghorepani.

Day 18: Hike up Poon Hill (3210m) and drive to Pokhara

Very early in the morning, we will hike up Poon Hill. From the top of Poon Hill, trekkers can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges, including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. After enjoying mesmerizing views of the mountain and sunrise, we will back to Ghorepani. And from Ghorepani, we will take a local bus and slowly drive toward Pokhara. As you drive towards Pokhara, you will pass through several small towns and villages. Once you arrive in Pokhara, you will find a range of accommodation options, restaurants, and activities to enjoy. The city is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the famous Phewa Lake, and is a popular destination for adventure sports such as paragliding and trekking.

Day 19: Drive back to Kathmandu

To drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you will need to follow the Prithvi Highway. Continue driving on the Prithvi Highway for about 126 km until you reach Mugling. This is the point where the Narayangadh-Mugling road connects with the Prithvi Highway. Once you reach Mugling, you will need to take a left turn and cross the bridge over the Trishuli River. After crossing the bridge, continue driving on the Prithvi Highway for another 25 km until you reach the town of Naubise. At Naubise, you will need to take a right turn towards Thankot. From Thankot, continue driving toward Kathmandu until you reach your destination. 

Day 20: Final Departure

This will be your last day in Nepal and on this day at the hotel lobby, there will be a guide who is with you in the trekking period. From the hotel, you will drive toward the international airport and see you take off from Nepal and also hope that you will give a chance to serve you again.

Cost Details

Cost Includes

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up and Drop by private car/van/bus.
  • Kathmandu to Besisahar Express Bus to Jagat Local Jeep and Pokhara to Kathmandu by Tourist bus
  • Hotel In Kathmandu: 2 Nights of ***3 Star Category Hotel in Katmandu BB Plan.
  • 1-night hotel in Pokhara includes Breakfast.
  • You’re Meal in During the Trekking as Your standard meals (3 times a day Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with a cup of tea or Coffee).
  • All Trekking Permit and Paperwork as Annapurna conservation entry permits (ACAP) and Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) Permit.
  • Local Transportation Sharing Jeep or Van.
  • All accommodations in lodge/tea houses during the treks.
  • Trekking Guide: Government License holder Trekking Guide An experienced, helpful, friendly, and English-speaking Trekking Guide. His well-paid salary, meals, accommodation insurance, etc.
  • Trekking Porter: porters (1 porter for 2 people). Salary, Food, Drinks, Accommodation, Transportation.
  • After the Success Trip, Everest Trekking Routes will Provide Adventure Certificate.
  • Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service which will be paid for by your Travel insurance company.
  • Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
  • All government taxes and service charges.

Cost Excludes

  • Meals and Extra Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Private Car, Jeep, Van, or Helicopter
  • personal expenses (bar bills, beer, coke, a bottle of water, hot water, phone call, laundry service, Helicopter rescue, Electronic device recharge such as Mobile, Camera, etc.)
  • Tips for guide, porters, and driver.

Trip Map

FAQ

Cost & Date

Departure Date Duration Availability Cost Booking
09-11-2021 12 Days Available USD 1299 Per Person
01-11-2021 12 Days Available USD 1499 Per Person

Client Reviews

Sebastian

Deutsch

Breathtaking! - in every possible way Everest Base Camp

My once-in-a-lifetime experience with colleagues from Everest Trekking Routes Pvt. Ltd. started in the early season in 2023 in mid-February. After planning the trip without any problems and answering all the necessary questions via email or WhatsApp, I was met by Rabin (the boss of the trekking agency) at the airport in Kathmandu and then taken to the hotel, where I was finally able to meet my guide for the 12-day tour to Mount Everest Base Camp. Su Sil is an ideal hiking companion who, in addition to his profound knowledge of the region around Mount Everest, has a friendly and cheerful manner. The hotel, where I stayed the first night, left nothing to be desired and corresponded to an upper class hotel by Napalese standards.

The next morning, the flight left for Lukla at 7am as planned, Su Sil -my travel guide- had all the necessary documents for the flight ready and the adventure towards Mount Everest began…

My booking included an all-inclusive service, so you got 3 meals a day plus a fruit plate to cover your vitamin needs. The accommodation (tea houses) was chosen by the guide in a sensible and appropriate way along the way. In addition, Su Sil always had all the necessary documents for entering the national park at hand. From an altitude of 5000m above sea level, the altitude slowly began to affect me and I suffered extremely badly from altitude sickness, which manifested itself in headaches, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. However, Su Sil had all the necessary medication with him to reduce the effects of altitude sickness to a minimum. Su Sil could speak and understand English without any problems and could also respond to deep thought processes and follow other conversations without any problems. I also came into contact with other trekking groups, as the open-hearted nature of the trekking guides, often in the evenings by the fireplace in the tea house, led to conversations with people from all over the world, which were intensified by the positive mood of the guides among themselves.

At the end of the almost 2-week trek and after successfully climbing the first base camp of Mount Everest and Kala Patthar (5644m), I was again accommodated in the hotel from the first night for one last night. The hotel also has a spa and wellness area, which was logically used directly. The trekkers’ massage is highly recommended!

All in all, the 12-day trip was an absolutely incredible experience. After having been around the world a lot, my expectations were initially a bit low, but in the middle of the trip they were completely fulfilled by the friendliness of the people, the Nepalese culture and the incomparable beauty of the mountain ranges. I was also able to build up a very friendly relationship with my guide, in which we support each other, talk positively to each other and use every conceivable minute for the most diverse conversations.

Thank you for this experience and I will definitely be back!

Email: bastikunath@gmail.com

Soren Dorfhoff

Denmark

Island Peak, Everest Base Camp and Lobuche Peak Climbing (October 2022)

I have now used Everest Trekking Routes for two trips to Nepal. I can’t put my finger on anything that needs improvement. The initial communication part is spot on. They are quick to respond and I usually my questions answered on the first reply. Both times I have been greeted at the airport by a super polite guide. I’ve felt welcome and gotten all my needs tended to.
On my second trip, we could not fly to Lukla, because of bad weather. Instead of waiting for the weather to clear up, they arranged alternative transport to the mountains, to avoid wasting precious days in Kathmandu.

The whole city experience has been an absolute pleasure. Except for the hard work, summiting a mountain

Best recommendations to the guys from Everest Trekking Routes

Source: Tripadvisor

setsuna1101

Hongkong, China

EBC + Island Peak Trek

A professional guide with passion brought us going to EBC, Kala Patthar and Island Peak Summit. He can manage all the matter letting us trek with no worry. There were three days no flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu due to bad weather, but we can still on schedule. Thanks for his help and made this trip memorable. He is Rabin Gurung.

 

Tift Lars

Denmark

Mera Peak, Island Peak and Lobuche Peak Climbing

My brother and I had the pleasure of having Rabin as our guide on the trip to Mera Peak Expedition.
Everything was planned to perfection and we had a great time with Rabin, who is friendly, funny, and always helpful.
Last but not least, we reached the summit.

Source: TripAdvisor

Jasmin H

Germany

Gokyo Lakes with Gokyo Ri

The trekking was an extraordinary experience. Breathtaking views of Everest and the surrounding 8000s. Rabin Gurung always made sure we have a nice accommodation, enough for eating and drinking, warm and comfortable. He is a really caring guide. I would do another trip with him right away. He organised everything so that we could totally focus on the hiking.

Antonia Carol Suning

Sabah, Malaysia

Everest Base Camp & Lobuche Peak with Rabin

It was such a hard fight to join this trip. Because I had to work hard to find funding for this training. It is the first summit I attended team NOBAT ( No Boundary Adventurers Association Sabah ) to the Himalayas with AMG (Adventure Mountain Guide Rabin Gurung), I gained a great experience, which Mr. Rabin Gurung was very friendly and kind as a mountain guide who experience he made this trip so enjoyable, and build a better friendship.

I would like to thank him for giving the best service to us, this is the first time I walk for 21 days hahaha. In every step, he remained faithful to accompany and not leave us, even though there are 2 people in our group who did not succeed, and he sent us back to our high camp Lobuche to support the spirit reaching the summit of Lobuche Peak Climbing.

Nice trip and good services such as tents, food, and stories you tell about your family, it is good, and I enjoyed the trip because you protected me and my team so much.

Keep up the good work you AMG! I am happy to see and to know you! Good luck! * extra bonus able to speak Bahasa Melayu! hehe

Jasen Moore & Helen Kerrandjas

Toronto, Canada

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

While Rabin is a very knowledgeable and cabable guide it was his kindness, Warm smile, and Constant eagernessto help that made our trip truly memorable. Rabin quickly earned our trust and friendship and would be an exlcellent campanion on any trek ! we would very happily Recommend Rabin to any one who is making a trip in Nepal. He is is a wonderful person, and a good friend.

Email : helen.karrandjas@maclaren.com
Details Address : 191 Millwood Rd, Upper Toronto, ON M4S 1J6 Canada

Jaistin Tamin

Sabah Malaysia

Everest Base Camp, Island Peak, Lobuche Peak & Chulu West Peak

Sewaktu saya ditugaskan oleh persatuan NOBAT untuk mendapatkan khidmat ‘trekking guide’ bagi ekspedisi NOBAT Himalaya 2013, saya telah menghubungi beberapa ‘trekking agent’ di Kathmandu melalui emel. Saya tertarik dengan laman web Rabin Gurung dan ‘testimonial’ dari beberapa individu yang penat mendapatkan khidmatnya. Rabin memberikan tawaran kos yang paling berpatutan. Dari raut wajahnya saja saya yakin dia adalah orang yang jujur dan’friendly’. Satu kelebihan lain ialah dia boleh berbahasa Malaysia.

Apabila bertemu dengan Rabin buat pertama kalinya di Kathmandu, memang sah bahawa kami telah membuat pilihan yang tepat. Sepanjang trekking, Rabin sangat professional dalam khidmatnya. Beliau flexible dan mudah diajak berunding. Kami tidak lagi menganggapnya sebagai pemandu jalan tetapi sebagai sahabat..kepada sesiapa yang ingin trekking di Himalaya, sila dapatkan khidmat Rabin. Saya percaya anda bakal membuat pilihan yang tepat.
Email: cliffhanger_08@yahoo.com

Amy Cheung

Hongkong, China

Island Peak Climbing Via Everest Base Camp

I’m so grateful that I finally finished the trekking, and this must be credit to our professional guide, Rabin! He is so nice! He cared us so much, greeted us with his big warming smile during the whole journey! Before this trekking, the highest place I had ever been was only 934 meters, I was so worried about high altitude problem. But In fact, my adaptability was pretty good, cuz Rabin’s trekking plan was so suitable for me that I finally reached EBC and Kala Pattar under the snow and strong winds! When we backed to Island Peak Base Camp after summit, he brought hot drinks and biscuits and waited for us on the way, that was so sweet and we were really really exhausted and hungry at that time, he just like an angle showed up to us!

It’s a great trekking journey and I really thanks Rabin’s guiding and accompany with us! We shared the precious moments on this journey!

Jan Erik & Camilla Hedborg

Switzerland

Helambu Circuit Trekking in Nepal

This is the second time that we go to Nepal, and both times Rabin has been our guide while trekking. First time we did a 4 day trek in the Annapurna region and the second time a 6 day trek in the Helambu region. We enjoyed both our treks very much and are so happy to have been able to trek with Rabin on both occasions, who is not only a knowledgeable and experienced guide, but also a very nice person and good company. Both of us a re happy to recommend you contacting Rabin if you are planning a trip to Nepal – whether you are going for a short hike or longer trip that needs more planning.

Email : camilla.hedborg@hotmail.com

Jeff Tucker & Wanida Tucker

USA

Manaslu Circuit & Tsum Valley with Rabin Gurung

Recently my wife and I visited Nepal for the eighteenth time and enjoyed a wonderful trek, one of the best treks ever, and this was largely due to our guide, Rabin Gurung (Trekking Guide in Nepal), with whom we also trekked around Manaslu in 2010.

If you come to Nepal with the idea of doing ‘your own trek’ with a small party, I highly recommend hiring Rabin. Not only does he have many years of experience but he is very honest and humble, so much so that one woman at a very basic lodge on our recent trek, impressed by his honesty, told my wife that “this man is a very good man, honest man, all other guide-man say lie to customers, say them that price is higher than the real price, so they can get more money.”

Rabin is always in good humor and friendly and gets along well with the local people and the porters too. Furthermore, his varied experience from his earlier years as a porter and cook helped to make him a better guide. I can’t remember how many times during our treks, when we stopped at a new or very basic lodge, or even at a tea house for lunch, when the owner’s cooking skills were at most primitive, Rabin tactfully volunteered to move into the kitchen and some amazingly delicious food would come out, made from the most simple ingredients.

Three years ago, in March of 2010, the Manaslu trek was not what it is now. Along the entire trek from Arughat (where we had to start walking), until we reached to Annapurna circuit route, there was at that time only a single lodge with what could be called a ‘menu’, and that was the one and only lodge in Sama village at that time. All other villages either had nothing but dal bhat and perhaps chapatis, or nothing to eat and no lodge at all. We had to camp some places, but when we could, we stayed in the simple lodges that existed and he often improved our diet by cooking foods that the proprietor did not know how to cook, sometimes even such a basic menu item as an omelet, to be rolled up inside a chapati for breakfast.

This year, again in March, we decided to return to the same area, with the desire to explore the newly opened valley of Tsum. This is a lovely, beautiful valley populated by some 4000 Tibetan people, who have lived for nearly a thousand years in that inaccessible ‘hidden valley’, connected by easy passes to Tibet but until not so many decades ago, without any reasonable connection to Nepal through the truly stupendous canyons of the lower section of the valley. Indeed, many inhabitants could not speak any Nepali, only Tibetan, which made it difficult at times. We had a double permit, which if you ever want to see Tsum Valley thoroughly, I highly recommend. Most people try to do a quick one-week detour to Tsum Valley as a kind of bonus side trip on the way around Manaslu. They never know what they have missed. Some of the most interesting villages and friendliest people, and some truly awesome scenery, can be visited in Tsum valley if you have time. One week is too little time to see more than a quick glimpse of the Valley.

I and my wife have been trekking in Nepal for years, myself since 1981, and our trek to Manaslu was the first time we had ever used a guide (because it was required on that trek), despite having visited some very remote areas such as crossing the Trashi Labtsa Pass from Khumbu into Rolwaling with friends in 1982. I had doubts about using a guide, I had seen how so many of them control their clients and take a commission from lodge owners to fill their pockets, I have seen many guides from Kathmandu who knew less about the local people and places than I did. I say this not to boast but as a word of caution: there are all too few honest, humble, helpful, and experienced guides out there, and many of those who are have moved into the higher levels of trekking management and no longer guide. But from the first days, on our 2010 Manaslu trek, we were impressed by the level of experience Rabin has, and also his sensitivity in allowing us to make our own itinerary day by day. He never was angry, never showed irritation, always explained patiently what was going on, and was always in a good mood. We were a group of five at that time, and by the end of the first week, we all agreed that if we returned to Nepal for another trek requiring a guide, we would try to get Rabin again.

This is what we did in March 2013 on our visit to Tsum Valley. Using more porters in order to have tents and extra food, we planned to visit the highest area of the upper end of Tsum Valley and ascend to one of the high passes overlooking Tibet. This year was plagued by poor weather and too much snow in March, however, and we were unable to do that, as were all the people who had set out to trek around Manaslu this March: the deep snow at higher elevations did not allow anyone in the first weeks of March to cross the Larkya La and go around Manaslu. But we had time, and because of the tents and food we had, we also had more options. The tents and food we used in a wonderful visit to the nunnery at Gumalungdang, up a steep side valley surrounded by the huge peaks of Ganesh Himal. We camped there for two nights, as there is no accommodation yet, and enjoyed incredible sunrise views of the nearby Ganesh Himal and also the distant great Peaks of HImalchuli, Ngadi Chuli, and Manaslu.

Tsum Valley is developing rapidly, as is the Manaslu circuit. However, particularly if you are new to Nepal trekking, don’t believe the hype that many agencies will tell you, that the Manaslu trek is the “new Annapurna circuit”. The Annapurna trek, over a period of three decades, developed a huge infrastructure for trekkers, with scores and scores of hotels, often equipped with deluxe menus and services, hot showers, laundry service, spring mattresses, etc. I think it will be some time yet before these things appear on the Manaslu trek, and if you find them in some places, don’t expect them at the next place. Tsum Valley is one step back in development yet.

One problem to watch out for is this: Manaslu Tsum Valley’s popularity and this can be said for Manaslu too, is growing much faster than services can be built–may be large because the road around Annapurna has grown so quickly and has put people off from that once glorious trek. We were there both times in March when there are fewer trekkers than in April or especially during the high season in October and November. In Tsum, as of March 2013, there was only one real lodge with rooms, and that was just a bit beyond Lokhpa at the foot of the valley. The other ‘lodges’ were basically beds in a side room of a local house, the largest such able to sleep ten people but others only four or five. Most villages had only one such place for trekkers to sleep, some villages had no place. When we reached Mu Gompa, in March all but one of the 80 monks were away from the valley for the winter, and furthermore, there was no food available at all. Only because we had our tents and stove and food for going higher up the valley (which we were unable to do because of snow), were we able to stay there e and eat our own food, instead of returning to Nile village the same day. The same goes for Gumbalunddang, where no food was available. if you are going o visit Tsum valley, and perhaps Manaslu too, during the busiest season, think seriously about hiring at least one EXTRA porter and having a tent, stove, and food, in case of accommodation is full! It might be worth it! Also, think of the porters: we saw many groups of two or three with a guide and a single porter carrying an enormous load, who was trailing far behind the others during the day. Many of them were unhappy with the arrangement.

In conclusion, this time with four people in our group, and with several porters and with Rabin as our guide again, we once more enjoyed what all agreed was one of the best treks we’ve ever done in the Himalayas, out of a total number of over thirty now, in Nepal and India. Rabin is an excellent choice for a guide. He is honest and will help you save money instead of trying to find ways to squeeze more for himself, he is fun and funny and friendly and all along the trails, he makes new friends with the people we meet along the way. He is experienced but doesn’t try to tell the customers what to do, he asks what they want to do, and then explains the options. If you are the type of trekker who is truly interested in Nepal, in the places, the culture, and religion and people and villages, and like to understand what is happening around you, hire Rabin as your guide, you won’t be disappointed. Indeed, like us (except for one, the same group that went around Manaslu with Rabin three years earlier), perhaps you will want to return to Nepal and go on another trek with Rabin Gurung!

Email: jefftckr@s8.dion.ne.jp

Alex Lim

Singapore

Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp Trek with Rabin Gurung

This is my second trip with Rabin and I am already looking forward to a third trip with him soon. That shows how much I value his services, his extensive experiences with the treks, his honesty, and of course, the great supporting staff he have.

I feel safe and well taken care of with Rabin as my guide. He is a man with integrity and deal in a most honest way with us. This is unlike lots of horror stories you read about guides and tea-house owners collaborating to fleece hikers. We pay exactly what we consumed at the tea houses based on the published menu prices, no more and no less. With Rabin, there is no hidden cost.

With more than 20 years of trekking experience, he gave good advises on the route and safety measures to take. For example, he insisted that we started off early on a particular day so that we will reach a section with an ice sheet before the ice started to melt and traversing the ice-sheet becomes dangerous and difficult.

We have a large team of porters and assistant guides to take care of our team of 12 hikers and everyone on Rabin’s team have been extremely helpful and friendly. My teenage son enjoyed playing Uno and sliding down the ABC  Trek icy slope with a teenage porter, a fellow hiker who has walking difficulties was supported all the way by assistant guides and porters and our meals were all ordered in advance so the group don’t have to wait long for food to be served.

Singapore

Sources from: TripAdvisor

Rechard Boston

California, U. S. A.

Annapurna Circuit Thorong La Pass Trek

After reading online reviews we contacted Rabin and several other “Trekking companies” inquiring about trekking the Annapurna Circuit. This was our first visit to Nepal so we were a little apprehensive about selecting a guide via web endorsements and email. After receiving several quotes and descriptions of the trek we focused on Adventure Guides. I had done some research on where to stay in Kathmandu and when I asked Rabin where he recommended he suggested The International Guest House. The very same place i was interested in. He met us at the airport and had a vehicle to take us to the hotel. Rabin and porter Suk were great to travel with. They took care of all the tedious details so that we could enjoy Nepal and the trek. It was a fabulous journey and we are planning to come back next year and trek with Rabin. Visited October 2016
Email: rkboston@comcast.net

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