Transportation Guide For Tsum Valley

Hidden deep within the remote reaches of Nepal, you’ll discover the beauty of the Tsum Valley, a real treasure located in the majestic Himalayas. Exploring the lesser-known region reveals a captivating mix of natural beauty, fascinating cultural heritage, and an authentic glimpse into the traditional Tibetan way of life.

If you love adventure and are always looking for a unique trek, the Tsum Valley trek is a must-do in Nepal. Tsum Valley is in a remote region in northern Nepal that borders Tibet. It lies east of Manaslu. The Manaslu region has breathtaking trekking routes, including the Manaslu trek and the Tsum Valley trek.

Table of Contents

The Tsum Valley trek trail passes through beautiful landscapes, historic Buddhist temples, and traditional communities, providing a real Himalayan experience. Tsum Valley became only accessible to trekkers in 2008. While traveling there, it is important to have a transportation guide, as they can offer valuable insights into the area’s local culture, history, and geography. This blog is a complete guide to Tsum Valley.

Getting to Tsum Valley/Transportation Complete Guide for Tsum Valley

Traveling from Kathmandu to Soti Khola via Arughat

Traveling from Kathmandu to Soti Khola by Local Bus

If you want to experience the lively countryside of Nepal and interact with the friendly locals as you travel from Kathmandu to Arughat on a local bus. There are a few bus options if you are looking for the best way to reach your destination in the morning. One of the most popular routes is through Dhading Beshi, which typically takes 6-7 hours, including a quick lunch break. When you arrive in Arughat, there is an easy transport syndicate system that runs small jeeps or minibusses that make frequent trips to Soti Khola.

Traveling from Kathmandu to Soti Khola by Private Jeep

You can enjoy a more luxurious and easy journey to Solti Khola by traveling from a private jeep. Green-plated tourist jeeps will take you straight to your destination, avoiding any potential delay caused by protests or closures in Arughat. With this mode of transportation, you can control your itinerary and stop whenever you please. If you plan to travel in the red-plated jeep, you must stop in Arughat and switch to a local reserved jeep.

Traveling from Dharapani to Besisahar

Dharapani to Besisaharby Local Jeep

You can experience the thrill of exploring stunning landscapes as you hop on a local jeep and travel from Dharapani to Besisahar. This section, which is part of a larger road project constructed by the Nepali Army, provides breathtaking views of mountains. You can also experience the local drivers’ expert handling of these winding mountain roads, and thankfully, there have been no reported fatalities. It takes around 5 hours to reach.

Dharapani Village

Dharapani to Besisahar by Private Jeep

If you want to enhance your travel experience and make it more tailored to your preferences, it is highly suggested that you pre-book a private jeep with a local expert driver. A driver who deeply understands difficult road conditions can greatly improve your overall experience. 

Traveling from Besisahar to Pokhara

Besisahar to Pokhara by Local Bus

If you’re looking for an affordable and authentic way to absorb the local culture, consider taking a local bus from Besisahar to Pokhara. Many buses are available, from small 16-seater mini coasters to larger and more comfortable 40-45-seaters. With the well-maintained roads, you can enjoy a smooth 4-5 hour journey, immersing yourself in the stunning scenery and local ambiance. Some popular boarding locations are Dumre, Khairani, Mungling, Cable-Car Malekhu, and many more.

Besisahar to Pokhara by Private Jeep

If you want to enhance your travel experience and make it more tailored to your preferences, it is highly suggested that you pre-book a private jeep with a local expert driver. A driver who deeply understands difficult road conditions can greatly improve your overall experience. 

Traveling from Besisahar to Pokhara

Besisahar to Pokhara by Local Bus

If you’re looking for an affordable and authentic way to absorb the local culture, consider taking a local bus from Besisahar to Pokhara. Many buses are available, from small 16-seater mini coasters to larger and more comfortable 40-45-seaters. With the well-maintained roads, you can enjoy a smooth 4-5 hour journey, immersing yourself in the stunning scenery and local ambiance. Some popular boarding locations are Dumre, Khairani, Mungling, Cable-Car Malekhu, and many more.

Besisahar to Pokhara by Private Jeep

If you want a more personalized and comfortable journey from Besusahar to Pokhara, consider opting for a private jeep or car. Private jeeps are a great option if you are traveling with a small group.

Traveling from Besisahar to Kathmandu

Besisahar to Kathmandu by Local Bus

You can immerse yourself in Nepal’s vibrant culture by hopping on a local bus from Besisahar to Kathmandu. This budget-friendly choice allows you to experience the local culture and participate in daily activities. Buses run on a regular schedule, usually around 5-6 hours. Booking tickets in advance is highly advisable, particularly during peak season. 

Besisahar to Kathmandu by Private Jeep

If you want a comfortable and convenient journey from Besisahar to Kathmandu, consider choosing a private jeep. Traveling by private jeep offers the freedom to go at your speed and savor the beautiful surroundings at your own pace. The travel time is comparable to the local bus, typically taking 5-6 hours.

Tsum Valley Trek Route / Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

When you arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal, you’ll settle into your lodge, the starting point of your exciting journey. If you have some free time, make sure to explore the vibrant street of Thamel.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Soti Khola 

Your journey begins with an early morning trip from Kathmandu to Soti Khola, the entryway to the Tsum Valley. The drive is thrilling and offers beautiful views of Nepal’s countryside. It will take 8 to 10 hours. After reaching Soti Khola, you can find a comfortable inn where you can spend the night.

Day 3: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola (880m)

Your first day of adventure trekking begins along the Budhi Gandaki River. You’ll go through various landscapes, from small towns to suspension bridges, and immerse yourself in the beauty of vibrant forests. Your vacation destination of the day is Machha Khola, a beautiful village beside the river.

Day 4: Machha Khola to Jagat (1,410m)

Today’s adventure will take you through the twisting pathways of Budhi Gandaki. During your journey, you’ll cross multiple suspension bridges, hike through terraced fields, and pass through friendly Gurung communities. Your trek route ends in Jagat, a charming village surrounded by breathtaking mountains.

Day 5: Jagat to Lokpa (2,240m)

As you explore the valley of Tsum, the scenery gradually transforms. Your trek starts through the enchanting alpine forests, catching brief glimpses of the majestic Siringi Himal. You’ll arrive at Lokpa, where you can stay the night.

Day 6: Lokpa to Chumling (2,385m)

In today’s journey, you will immerse yourself in various Tibetan-influenced traditions. The trail is covered with prayer flags and Buddhist main partitions. As you go through the village of Gho, you will eventually reach Chumling.

Day 7: Chumling to Chokhangparo (3,030m)

Your journey continues to the village of Chokhangparo. Here, you’ll visit a small monastery and enjoy a peaceful environment. Throughout the trek with Tsum Valley, you can also see panoramic views of Ganesh Himal and other peaks. 

Day 8: Chokhangparo to Nile (3,361m)

Today, you will explore challenging landscapes and dense forests. One of the most remarkable experiences is going to Milarepa’s Cave. You will spend the night in the Nile.

Day 9: Nile to Mu Gompa (3,700m)

On this day, your trek is to Mu Gompa, one of the most prominent monasteries in the Tsum Valley. Here, you can enjoy the vibrant Buddhist lifestyle, explore the monastery and its surroundings, and see breathtaking views of the Himalayas. 

Day 10: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (3,240m)

As you return to the Nile, your next stop will be Rachen Gompa, another impressive monastery in the area. You’ll have a peaceful evening here, surrounded by a quiet surroundings. 

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Chumling (2,385m)

You will return to Chumling, where you will again experience the warm welcome of the locals and the region’s special subculture. 

Day 12: Chumling to Philim (1,570m)

On this day, you will trek to Philim, a traditional Gurung village renowned for its captivating cultural attraction. You will explore the village, interact with the locals, and immerse yourself in the fascinating Gurung way of life in the Tsum Valley region.

tsum valley trek

Day 13: Philim to Tatopani (990m)

During the trek, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Tatopani, a tranquil spot where you can relax and rejuvenate your tired muscles in herbal warm springs. It’s a wonderful treat in a lovely location, offering a chance to relax and recharge. 

Day 14: Tatopani to Soti Khola and Return to Kathmandu 

This is your last day of the trek. You will return to Soti Khola, where your adventure began. After your time in Soto Khola, it’s time to head back to Kathmandu. Your Tsum Valley trek ends here.

Day 15: Departure from Kathmandu

Depending on our flight schedule, you may have some free time in Kathmandu to shop or explore at the last minute. As you go back, you leave with your fond memories. 

Manaslu Trek Packages

  • Manaslu Circuit Trek – 14 days
  • Manaslu Tibet View Trek – 17 days
  • Tsum Valley Trek – 14 days
  • Rupina La Manaslu Trek – 22 days
  • Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek with Thorong La Pass – 32 day

Trekking permit for Tsum Valley Trek in the Manaslu region / Manaslu Trek Permit

Restricted Area Permit for Tsum Valley

Tsum Valley, located near the Tibetan border, is a region in Nepal that is strictly regulated for border security, tourism control, and cultural preservation. If you plan on trekking, you’ll need a Restricted Area Permit from the government-registered, licensed local trekking agency. You must obtain a permit to explore Gorkha Lower and Tsum Valley. The permit cost varies depending on the time of year you’re traveling and the duration of your stay in these restricted areas. 

Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP)

A Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit is necessary for the Tsum Valley trek in the beautiful Manaslu region. You’ll need to show the permit at either Jagat or Philim. The price varies depending on the Individual’s nationality.

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)

The Manaslu trek requires the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), as you have to cross the Annapurna conservation zone from Dharapani to Besi Sahar. You must show your permit at the Dharapani entrance checkpoint.

Advantages of Hiring Guide and Porter Manaslu Circuit Trek and Tsum Valley Trek

  • They offer in-depth knowledge about the region’s culture, geography, and history.
  • They will provide you with support and assistance in emergencies.
  • They will help you navigate challenging terrain and reduce the risk of getting lost.

Best time to trek in Manaslu Tsum Valley

If you plan to trek the Manaslu Tsum Valley, the ideal times would be spring and autumn. During these seasons, the weather is at its best, and the conditions for trekking are perfect, ensuring a truly enjoyable and memorable experience.

Spring Season 

Trekking in the Manaslu Tsum Valley becomes incredibly popular in spring, from March to May. This is the ideal season for trekking as the weather tends to be pleasant and peaceful and offers clear skies throughout the day. The trails turn vibrant and beautiful, and the blooming rhododendrons and lush greenery bring the landscape to life. 

Autumn Season

Autumn spans from September to November and is a fantastic time to embark on the Manaslu Tsum Valley. The clear and dry weather offers fantastic visibility and breathtaking mountain vistas. During this season, the trails are in excellent condition, with a reduced risk of landslides and slippery paths compared to the monsoon months. 

Trekking Difficulty for Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trek

Embarking on the Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley trek is one of the most challenging treks that requires physical endurance, mental strength, and thorough planning. When you start this trek, it’s important to acknowledge the challenging nature of the journey and properly prepare for the adventure. Some of the difficulties for the Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek are:

High Altitude Trekking:

One of the main difficulties of the Tsum Valley trek is the high altitude. During this incredible journey, you’ll explore remote regions of the majestic Himalayas, where the elevation varies from approximately 880 meters in Soti Khola to over 3,000 meters in certain parts of the trail. Proper acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. The significant symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, vomiting, and insomnia.

Difficult Landscape:

The Tsum Valley trek offers diverse and often challenging terrain. Prepare for a difficult adventure filled with steep ascents and descents, narrow and rocky paths, river crossings, and occasional slippery parts. Hiking in difficult terrain can be physically demanding, especially if you’re not used to it.

Remote and Limited Servies

The Tsum Valley is a remote region with limited infrastructure and offerings. Some basic tea houses are along the trail, but the services are not the same as in more well-known trekking destinations like the Everest and Annapurna Circuit.

Weather Fluctuations

The weather in the Himalayas can be quite unpredictable, even during the peak trekking seasons. You might encounter rain, snow, or sudden changes in temperature, particularly at high elevations. 

Accommodation Options

Teashouses and lodges are the typical accommodations along the Tsum Valley trek. They may be simple, but they offer a cozy spot to rest. Rooms usually have twin beds, simple bedding, and shared bathrooms. 

Teahouses often provide shared dining spaces where trekkers can relax, interact, and enjoy their meals. In these areas, wood-burning stoves are commonly used to keep warm, particularly at higher altitudes. Teahouses and lodges typically provide a variety of traditional Nepali and Tibetan dishes and few Western options.

Safety Precautions

The Tsum Valley is a challenging trek requiring some physical fitness and prior trekking experience. To have an enjoyable experience, you must invest in good-quality trekking boots, winter apparel, waterproof jackets, comfortable backpacks, and other essential gear. 

To be safe and travel properly, you must take a rest day and acclimate to a high altitude range with less oxygen supply. Preparing for the physiological challenges of high elevations is important to prevent altitude sickness.

Staying hydrated and nourished is essential for maintaining good health and fitness for trekking in high altitudes. You should also hire a local guide and porter. A trekking guide gives you valuable insights into the terrain and weather conditions, allowing you to make informed decisions and choose safer alternative routes. 

Tips for Traveller

  • You should ascend carefully to allow your body to adjust to the decreased oxygen levels.
  • Drinking water during the Tsum Valley trek prevents dehydration and avoids altitude sickness.
  • You should train your body for the trek by engaging in cardiovascular and energy-boosting activities. 
  • While trekking, you should take breaks. 
  • You should take the Tsum Valley restricted permit with you.
  • You should respect local customs and culture.
  • You should be prepared for unpredictable weather changes and have a plan in case of emergencies. 

FAQs

What is the altitude of the Tsum Valley?

Tsum Valley (Hidden Valley)’s altitude is 1905 to 5093 meters.

What is the elevation of the Tsum Valley trek?

The elevation of the Tsum Valley trek is  2,000 to 3,500 m (6,600 to 11,500 ft).

Is there a bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola?

Yes, there is a bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola.

In which district is Larkey Pass located?

Larkey Pass lies in the Manaslu region, west of Kathmandu.

How do I go to Manaslu from Kathmandu?

You can go to Manaslu Circuit by catching a local bus to Machha Khola. The Manaslu region of Nepal has trekking routes, such as the Manaslu and Tsum Valley Circuit trek.

How can I book the required transportation for the Manaslu trek?

You may reserve ground transportation for the Manaslu trek from the registered trekking agency in Nepal.

Conclusion

Exploring the Tsum Valley trek offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in Nepal’s remote and culturally vibrant region. For a smooth and enjoyable experience, you should know how to get there, the permit requirements, and other guidelines. If you are planning a trip, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the Tsum Valley trek route and transportation. The route to the Tsum Valley trek is less crowded than the Everest Base camp trek and Annapurna circuit.

The Tsum Valley trek is considered one of the most exciting treks in Nepal; it is more than just a physical journey. It’s a profound experience that will immerse you in spirituality and culture, creating lasting memories you’ll treasure forever.

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