Annapurna circuit - the plan

Trekking

Here is the initial plan for Annapurna Circuit, segment by segment with highlights, notes and everything that is interesting along the way. Updates as I do more research.

Schedule

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Cost

Exchange rate (Sep 6th 2022)

  • 100 NPR = 3.81 RON
  • 100 NPR = 0.78 EUR
  • 100 NPR = 0.78 USD

Overview

  • food: 2000 NPR/day
  • drinks: 500 NPR/day
  • room: 500 NPR/night
  • misc: 500 NPR/day

Note: daily cost: 3500 NPR/day or around 27 USD/day, give or take

Food & drinks

  • dal bath meat: 600 - 875 NPR (with free refills)
  • dal bath veggie: 350 - 575 NPR
  • boiled eggs: 140 - 350 NPR
  • bread: 150 - 315 NPR
  • croissant: 70 NPR
  • snack: 100 - 200 NPR
  • tea: 70 - 150 NPR
  • coffee: 90 - 250 NPR
  • beer: 400-600 NPR

Note: The higher you go the more expensive it gets, hence the price range is quite big

Accommodation

  • tea house - double room: 250 - 500 NPR/night
  • hotel - double room: 1500 NPR/night

Note: if you eat dinner+breakfast at teahouse and ask for it you can get room for free but I personally find this unfair for local people, it's only $5/night folks !!!

Transportation

  • bus Kathmandu to Besi Sahar: 1000 NPR
  • taxi Nayapul to Pokhara: 2500 NPR
  • bus Jomson to Pokhara: 1200 NPR
  • bus Pokhara to Kathmandu: 1000 NPR

Visa & permits

  • ACAP: 3000 NPR
  • TIMS: 2000 NPR
  • Visa on arrival: ~40 USD (30-day)

Internet and ATMs

  • WiFi access: 200 NPR
  • SIM card: 500 NPR (1GB, 30-day)
  • ATM fee: 250 - 500 NPR (limits between 10k - 35k NPR)

Segments

1. Annapurna Circuit trek

Bus from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (760m): ~7h

  • notes: Gongabu Bus Park, a station around 2.5km north of Thamel (30-45 mins walking) but are often parked a few minutes walk away on the Ring Road, outside BG Mall.

Besi Sahar to Khudi (790m): 7 km, 30m, 2.00 hrs

Khudi to Bhulbhule (840m): 2 km, 50m, 0.30 hrs

Bhulbhule to Ngadi (930): 4 km, 90m, 1.15 hrs

  • trail: road only
  • highlights: hydro dam

Ngadi to Bahundanda (1310m): 4 km, 380m, 1.45 hrs

  • highlights: Ngadi has good views of the snow-capped mountains in the early morning

Bahundanda to Ghermu (1130m): 5 km, -180m, 1.30 hrs

Syange (1100m): ???

Ghermu Phant to Jagat (1300m): 3 km, 170m, 1.30 hrs

  • note: Ghermu sits in an open valley and is therefore a more pleasant place to spend the night than Jagat. Jagat is a dirty, congested village that sits in a narrow chasm.
  • highlights: nice terrace at Rainbow Restaurant
  • trails:

    • walking trail marked blue/white markers to Jagat (longer 7km vs. 4km on road)
    • road variant is marked with red/white markers

Jagat to Chyamche (1385m): 4 km, 85m, 1.00 hrs

Chyamche to Tal (1700m): 5 km, 315m, 2.30 hrs

  • highlights:

    • stunning waterfalls, boulders, rock formations along the way
    • Tal is a nice place to stay, sitting in an open valley on a naturally dammed section of the river

Tal to Karte (1870m): 4 km, 170m, 1.30 hrs

Karte to Dharapani (1900m): 2 km, 30m, 1.00 hrs

  • highlights: excelent side trek to Bimthang
  • note: Dharapani is a good place to stay with good views up both canyons
  • ACAP checkpoint so make sure to check in with the authorities.

Dharapani to Bagarchap (2160m): 2 km, 260m, 1.00 hrs

  • trail: suspension bridge at the end of the Dharapani village way to Thoche

Bagarchap to Danaqyu (2200m): 2 km, 40m, 0.45 hrs

Danaqyu to Koto (2640m):

  • highlights: Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, great mountain vistas
  • trail:

    • a bit confusing: after waterfall, sign for Manang and stairs up to Timang
    • checkpoint in Koto
  • note: Koto is small, clean and quiet as compared to the hustle and chaos of Chame.
Upper trail:
Danaqyu (2200m) to Thanchowk (2570m): 6 km, 370m, 2.15 hrs
Thanchowk (2570m) to Koto (2640m): 4 km, 70m, 1.00 hrs
Lower trail:
Danaqyu (2200m) to Latamarang (2400m): 1.5 km, 200m, 1.00 hrs
Latamarang (2400 m) to Koto (2640m): 5.5 km, 240m, 2.00 hrs

Koto to Chame (2710m): 2 km, 70m, 0.45 hrs

  • facilities: big village with farmacy, hot showers, many guesthouses, hot springs, ATM

Chame to Bhratang (2850m): 7 km, 140m, 2.00 hrs

  • highlights: cider/apple farm, sauna, cafe

Bhratang to Dhukur Pokhari (3240m): 6 km, 390m, 1.30 hrs

Dhukur Pokhari to Humde (3330m):

  • highlights:

    • views along the upper trail are the best of the whole circuit (MUST DO)
    • Upper Pisang: Tibetan Buddhist Monastery for the Sunset and Sunrise chants
  • facilities:

    • many guesthouses along the trail
    • Upper Pisang: large selection of guesthouses, some are well-insulated with attached bathrooms
    • hospital
  • trails:

    • blue/white trail: drops directly to Humde
    • red/white: high plateau, nicer
    • a trail between Lower and Upper Pisang.
  • notes:

    • many of the tours go by jeep to Lower Pisang then start the circuit from here
Upper trail:
Dhukur Pokhari (3240m) to Upper Pisang (3310m): 1.5 km, 70m, 1.30 hrs   SLEEP
Upper Pisang (3310 m) to Ghyaru (3730m): 4.5 km, 420m, 1.45 hrs
  • trail: Ghyaru is high (3700), long and steep 420m climb
  • note: might experience first altitude sickness
Ghyaru (3730 m) to Ngawal (3680m): 5 km, -50m, 1.45 hrs
Ngawal (3680 m) to Humde (3330m): 2 km, -330m, 0.45 hrs
Lower trail:
Dhukur Pokhari (3240m) to Lower Pisang (3240m): 6 km, 0m, 1.00 hrs
Lower Pisang (3250 m) to Humde (3330m): 7 km, 80m, 2.00 hrs

Humde to Bhraga (3450m): 6 km, 120m, 1.45 hrs

  • facilities: hospital, old bakery, sauna @ Himalayan Lodge

Bhraga to Manang (3540m): 2km, 90m, 0.30hrs   SLEEP

  • highlights: main centre on AC, Tilicho Hotel with bakery, real coffee, Yak Burger
  • facilities: medicine, doctor, high altitude sickness class, laundry, ATM
  • trails: acclimatization side treks to either Tilicho lake (4920m) or to Ice lake (4000m)

Manang to Gunsang (3950m): 4km, 500m, 2hrs

Gunsang to Yak Kharka (4050m): 6km, 300m, 1.30hrs

  • facilities: 3 guesthouses?

Yak Kharka to Letdar (4200m): 1 km, 150m, 0.30 hrs

  • WARNING: landslide area marked with signs before Phedi

Letdar to Thorang Phedi (4450m): 5 km, 250m, 2.30 hrs   SLEEP

  • facilities: high and low camp
  • highlights: bakeries and real coffee, Windhorse restaurant and lodge to socialize

Thorang Phedi to High Camp (4850m): 1 km, 400m, 1.00 hrs

  • highlights: very steep up, sunrise viewpoint
  • facilities: only one lodge?
  • note:

    • leave at 2am and reach the pass at sunrise, breakfast at High Camp
    • single-file affair, limited space to pass people
    • marked by yellow/white metal poles and flags

High Camp to Thorong Pass (5416m): 5 km, 600m, 2.15 hrs

  • highlights: little trail at the top that leads to stunning views
  • facilities: two teahouses along the way that serve hot drinks: one after 45min, one at the top of the pass???

Thorong Pass to Charabu (4230m): 6 km, 2.45 hrs

  • trails: very steep descent, might be snow
  • facilities: teahouses at the bottom

Charabu to Muktinath (3800m): 4 km, 1.15 hrs

  • facilities: hospital, hydro power all the way to Pokhara
  • highlights:

    • few Hindus/Buddhist temples
    • otherwise desolate place, no stay
  • notes:

    • celebratory drinks is Hotel Bob Marley
    • road starts from here

Muktinath to Kagbeni (2800m)

  • facilities: hospital
  • highlights:

    • Kagbeni is charming, in a medieval Tibetan fashion
    • hidden alleyways and European like charm
    • high trail: fantastic views of the surrounding mountains
High trail: Muktinath to Jhong: 3 km, 1.30 hrs
High trail: Jhong (3540 m) to Kagbeni: 6 km, 1.45 hrs   SLEEP
Low trail: Muktinath to Jharkot: 1 km, 1 hrs
Low trail: Jharkot (3550 m) to Khinga: 3 km, 0.45 hrs
Low trail: Khinga (3355 m) to Kagbeni: 6 km, 1.45 hrs

—-

Kagbeni to Ekle Bhatti (2740m): 2 km, 1.00 hrs

Notes:

  • hike windy valley (all the way to Kalopani) and jeep traffic
  • maybe get a jeep?

Ekle bhatti to Jomsom (2720m): 7 km, 2.00 hrs

Facilities:

  • ATMs to get money - fee: 400 NPR, max 10k NPR

Notes:

  • flights to Pokhara: 20 mins for $100
  • multi-legs drive to Pokhara: 6h-10h for $20

Jomsom to Marpha (2670m): 6 km, 1.30 hrs

Facilities:

  • hospital

Highlights:

  • monastery worth visiting.

Notes:

  • 3h via NATT

Marpha to Tukuche (2590m): 6 km, 1.30 hrs

  • facilities: hospital

Tukuche to Kobang (2640m): 4 km, 1.00 hrs

  • facilities: hospital

Kobang to Larjung (2550m): 1 km, 1.00 hrs

Larjung to Kokhethanti (2525m): 3 km, 1.00 hrs

Kokhethanti to Kalopani/Lete (2535m): 3 km, 1.00 hrs

  • facilities: hospital

Kalopani/Lete to Ghasa (2010m): 7 km, 2.30 hrs

  • facilities: hospital

Ghasa to Kopochepani (1480m): 4 km, 1.30 hrs

  • trails: route to the left (red/white, NATT??) to steep inclide away from the road

Kopochepani to Rupsechhahara (1500m): 2 km, 0.45 hrs

Rupsechhahara to Dana (1400m): 3 km, 1.00 hrs

Dana to Tatopani (1200m): 4 km, 1.30 hrs

  • highlights: hot springs - 150 NPR

Tatopani to Ghara (1700m): 5 km, 2.15 hrs

Ghara to Sikha (1935m): 6 km, 1.00 hrs

Sikha to Chitre (2350m): 1 km, 1.45 hrs

Chitre to Ghorepani (2870m): 2 km, 1.15 hrs

  • facilities: hospital

Ghorepani to Poonhill: 3km, 1.30 hrs

  • highlights:

    • Poon Hill viewpoint (might be crowded)
    • alternative viewpoint, other on the other side, stone marker and shop snacks/drinks

Ghorepani to Chomrong: ABC side trek

Ghorepani to Ulleri (2010m): 2 km, 1.00 hrs

Ulleri to Tikhedhunga (1500m): 2 km, 1.00 hrs

Tikhedhunga to Birethanti (1025m): 6 km, 2.00 hrs

Birethanti to Nayapul (1070 m): 1 km, 0.30 hrs

Bus to Pokhara (820m): 2h

Bus to Kathmandu: 6h

2. Tilicho lake side trek (d:41km, h:3500m)

Manang to Khangsar (3740m): 5 km, 300m, 2.30h

  • trail: some maps will show a path along the south side of the valley, but this path is old, unused and wrecked by landslides, stick to the northern side.

Khangsar to Shree Kharka (4060m): 3km, 320m, 1h

  • trail: take the upper path 40 minutes to a monastery and a further 20 minutes
  • highlights: two teahouses, another teahouse about 20 minutes after Shree Kharka

Shree Kharka to Tilicho BC (4150m): 7km, 90m, 2h   SLEEP

  • highlights: 2 teahouses

Tilicho BC to Tilicho Lake (4990m): 5km, 840m, 3 hrs   TOP

Tilicho lake to Tilicho BC (4150m): 5km, -840m, 2.30 hrs

Tilicho BC to Shree Kharka (4060m): 7km, -90m, 2h   SLEEP

  • highlights: 2 teahouses + another one after 20 mins

Shree Kharka to Yak Kharka (4050m): 10km, 510m, 4hrs

  • facilities: hydro power
  • note: 3 guesthouse but better than Letdar

Trekking Permits

Others

sim card

  • NTC has better coverage
  • Ncell works in major centres

wifi

  • very scarce, mostly after Thorong La
  • places: Birethati, Ghandruk, Tatopani, Ghandruk, Jomsom, Muktinath

power charge

  • most teahouses have solar power
  • some places with hydro power
  • queue to get charged, cost: sometimes 200 Rs / charge or hour

banking

  • good exchange in Himalayan bank
  • ATMs in Manang, Chame and big towns
  • Nabil Bank ATMs

Updates

  • 2022-08-22 - initial schedule as Gantt diagram
  • 2022-09-06 - cost per items, milesone schedule
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