Trekking Nepal’s Manaslu Circuit: Part 1

In February 2012, Alexander Rose and several friends flew from Frankfurt Airport to Kathmandu, Nepal, to trek the 110-mile (177-kilometer) Manaslu Circuit. Often compared to the Annapurna Circuit for its sheer beauty and variety, Manaslu sees few trekkers, although that is predicted to change, now that there are guest houses along the entire route and camping is no longer necessary. Manaslu is part of the Great Himalaya Trail, winding its way through Tibetan and Hindu villages, circling the eighth highest mountain in the world (26,759 feet, 8,156 meters) and crossing the Larkya La Pass (17,103 feet, 5,213 meters).

This is Part 1 of Rose’s video diary.






Alexander Rose is a Visual and Motion Designer, traveler and filmmaker based in Germany. Traveling is the key to recognize the real values in life. Recent travel-projects in Nepal and Papua New Guinea can be seen on Vimeo, Facebook and Youtube.


  1. I have just completed this trek. I am not going to make a detilaed trip report, just a few points.1. I started in Ghorka and walked to Arugat via Garempesang. I would NOT recommend this option, unless you have a tent. The accommodation was dire.2. The tea houses have adopted standard menus, which have increasing prices as you head upwards. Checking my diary I paid from 1,400 to 2,200 for two people (no beers, cokes, chocolates) but around double that at Daramasala.3. I hated having the guide. He knew far less than I did about the trek, and cost me USD 18 each day. The route is easy to follow, and I saw no conceivable advantage to having him. This is the single reason why I would NOT do this trek again, or indeed, any other trek, if I have to use a guide. I only took the guide from Arugat to Bimtang.4. Wild dogs. In Samagoan and Samdo wild dogs come into the villages and bark constantly from around 01:00 am until 04:00 am. Bring ear plugs or sleeping tablets. They are a massive nuisance.5. The local shops charge much more than the locals pay. Several times I asked the shop owner how much for say a couple of hard boiled eggs. Instead of being given a direct answer, there seemed follow some huge discussion with the guide and other locals before a price was announced. I had the impression it was along the lines, how much can we charge? . I did not like this.6. If you can stand the taste, drinking Tibetan tea is by far the cheapest hot drink. In Samagoan I had a large thermos bottle for 60 rupees. Even hot water was more expensive.7. There is a lot of lodge construction, they are clearly hoping that this route will become more popular.8. Checkpoints are at Arugat, Jagat, Phillim and Samagoan (although the guy here did not seem too bothered, we walked past, but the guide insisted on showing the paper)9. The following additional costs would put me off next time.- guide (USD 18/day)- restricted area permit (USD 80 per person, there is some sort of scam here, as I asked for 10 days but only got 8, so I suppose the trekking agent pocketed the other USD 20 which I paid him). I don’t mind paying either for a restricted area pass or the MCAP pass (2,000 Rupees), but not both, thank you very much)- Annapurna region pass (2,000 Rupees) (Need this because the exit is through Annapurna)- TIMS is not necessary because the Restricted Area pass covers it. (I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of TIMS in tracking trekkers)10. My favourite place was Samdo. I recommend you stay a couple of days here and walk through the village and up to a ridge about an hours walk. Great views of the glacier and Manaslu. The walk up to the top of the hill at 5,000 meters is tough but worthwhile too.On the whole I would rank this trek behind trekking in the Khumbu and Annapurna regions.If you are doing the Annapurna circuit I can recommend taking a side trip up to Bimtang. I would take two days to get up and two to get down. Very few other trekkers and great views of Manaslu.Your Mileage May Vary

  2. Yes. Although the teahouses are very basic compared to Everest and Annapurna Region they have made Manaslu trail easier to trek. No more camping and herds of carriers.

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