Trek Overview

Tsum valley: the hidden treasure of Nepal is the valley of happiness that carries mystery, myth, and majestic beauty. The secret Tibetan Buddhist land is one of the world’s most remote Himalayan valleys. Trekking to such a valley is such a great idea to explore the culture and the natural surrounding that is entirely different from any part you have ever visited.

Trekking around the Tsum valley came into existence only after 2008. In comparison to other trekking regions in Nepal, the Tsum valley still falls on the list of very less-visited destinations in Nepal. The trek requires a serious hardship. Only a few numbers of trekkers make it up to the mysterious valley, which initially used to be the trading link to Tibet.

Originally, the name of the valley came from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’ which means vivid. The valley lies in the northern Gorkha, to the east of Manaslu, bordering Tibet. Against the majestic Ganesh Himal and Sringi Himal, and Boudha ranges, the valley is rich in ancient art, culture, and religion. The Shear Khola drains the Tsum valley, which originates from the western glacier of Ganesh Himal and the east and southern glacier of Sringi Himal.

The Tsum valley is also said to be a Beyul; one of the hidden valleys which were blessed by the Padmasambhava as refuges to be discovered back when the world is inclined towards destruction and almost forgot about the spiritual values. In ancient times, the Tsum valley was a separate geographical area with the name “Tsum Tso Chuksum”, meaning the territory that was ruled by the thirteen provinces. The remote valley still has many of the remains of the Tsum Kingdom and is far untouched by the development and infrastructure. Thus, the indigenous culture of the valley is still intact and undisturbed.

The untouched and hidden Tsum valley is a preservation of ancient Buddhism. According to the stories, a Buddhist saint named ‘Milarepa’ meditated in the caves in the mountains. The local people have a great faith to worship and pray Gautam Buddha, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), and some other Bodhisattvas. The installment of the prayer flags, Khata, and burning of the butter lamps in the monasteries all reflect the devotion of the people towards Buddhism. The people also strongly believe in the reincarnation of the Lamas.

Several Buddhist monasteries are giving life to the Tibetan culture. The colorful flags and the Mani walls encourage the trekkers to further follow the trail with courage. Walking through the beautiful shaded forest of pine, juniper, and Rhododendron, the trek will amaze the trekkers with the splendid views of the Lamjung Himal, Ganesh Himal, and Mount Manaslu (8,163 m)

Note: below trekking hours, altitudes and distances are approximate, and absolutely for general idea only.                                                                            

Map

Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu airport

    Accommodation: ***Hotel Tibet or similar

    On arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal. You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle.

    Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.

  2. Day 2: Cultural Introductory Tour and Trek preparation

    Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

    Tour Duration:  Approx. 8 hours

    Accommodation: ***Hotel Tibet or similar

    Meal: Breakfast

    9:00 AM: After breakfast, we start our guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. On this cultural tour, you will experience the numerous colors, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surroundings. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.

    Kathmandu Durbar Square

    You will head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

    The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.

    Swayambhunath:

    Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.

    PM: Boudhanath

    Then we drive towards Boudhanath.  From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupas in Nepal, built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. You can see the beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

    You can witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.

    Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.

    Pashupatinath

    Moving on, you will visit the Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of the Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.

    Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. You will get to witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burning at open-air cremation. Also witness elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel. 

  3. Day 3: Drive Kathmandu-Arughat -Soti Khola

    Altitude above sea level: Arughat (550 m), Soti Khola (597 m)

    Driving duration: 8-9 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast, you’ll drive west along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway towards the village of Soti Khola, turning off toward the hilltop village of Dhading. The drive traverses rural settlements, tiny towns, lush terraces, and green hillsides. The road will eventually become a bumpy, dirt path, and you’ll start to witness views of the southern slopes of Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang Himal. After a long scenic drive, you’ll arrive at Soti Khola, situated in the Buri Gandaki Valley, 

  4. Day 4: Trek Soti Khola to Macha Khola

    Altitude above sea level: (900 m) Macha Khola

    Hiking duration: 6-7 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast in Soti Khola, you will be trekking up and down through varied landscapes comprising forests, rice paddies, a cliff-face ridge, a ghastly rapid river, and many picturesque waterfalls. The trek starts by crossing a bridge before you trek through a forest. Then take an ascending trail onto a ridge above the Budhi Gandaki River (which is joined by the Tum Khola River in the Tibetan highlands). 

    You’ll then reach Khursane on a rocky trail, past two tropical waterfalls on a steep, rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff. You’ll finally descend past a few rice paddies, then continue up and around to the quaint Gurung village of Labubesi. 

    From here, you’ll further ascend near a rocky outcrop where the valley widens next to the river. Then you trek down to the river shore and walk along with rounded stones before climbing over a side ridge. Descend again to the river and cross another suspension bridge to reach the village of Machha Khola. 

  5. Day 5: Trek Macha Khola-Jagat

    Altitude above sea level: (1,440 m) Jagat

    Hiking duration: 6-7 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After breakfast in Machha Khola, you’ll continue the trek, which follows the canyon and continues up the river. The trail is narrow at first and gradually treks up and down, finally traversing the Tharo Khola to reach Khorlabesi where there is a small natural hot spring.  

    From here, you’ll make your way up over another ridge, then cross the Budi Gandaki via a suspension bridge. At this point, you will hike up a wide stone staircase all the way to the ridge of  Dobhan. Once you cross another suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, ascent a stone staircase and then hike down to the river and climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. 

    Crossing the west bank of the Budhi Gandaki, you’ll climb over a ridge, trek along the river and then hike up towards the village of Jagat. 

  6. Day 6: Trek Jagat-Lokpa

    Altitude above sea level: (2,240 m) Lokpa

    Hiking duration: 6 hrs. Approx

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast, your day starts with the entry of a trekking permit in the Jagat Police check post. Then you set off, your trek ascending over a rocky ridge that takes you to Salleri village. The trek from Salleri descends to Sirdibas. The valley then widens towards the route to the Ghatta Khola. You will walk along the riverbed and then cross a hanging bridge over the river to climb up to Philim. Philim is a big village mainly inhabited by the Gurungs. From Philim, you climb a gradual uphill, towards the settlement of Ekle Bhatti.  From here, the trail gets separated towards Tsum and Manaslu. Further, you hike up toward Lokpa, the first village as you enter the Tsum valley.

  7. Day 7: Trek Lokpa-Chumling

    Altitude above sea level: (2,386 m) Chumling

    Hiking duration: 4-5 hrs. Approx

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    You set off today’s trek with a hearty breakfast. The trek from Lokpa descends to the river valley and then up again to Gumling. There are no lodges and villages in between Lokpa and Gumling. The trail completely traverses through the serene tropical forest. You will pass through numerous up and down until you reach a small suspension bridge. The trail gets diverted from this bridge toward Ripchet and Chumling. Further, cross the bridge and walk past a small stone wall made by the side of the trail. Chumling is not that far from this point. There are few tea houses by the main trail. 

  8. Day 8: Trek Chumling-Chhokang Paro

    Altitude above sea level: (3,031 m) Chhokang Paro

    Hiking duration: 5-6 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    We start our trek early in the morning after breakfast. We take a gentle descent trail and traverse the river. From here we trek straight up for a few hours through a shaded forest of pine and deciduous trees, followed by opening up to the parched landscape of the high plateau with wide pasture land, and trek further will take you to the village of Chhokanparo which is situated on flat land. Chhokanparo name comes from its two settlements, Chhokang and Paro. From this village, we will witness amazing views of Ganesh Himal range.

  9. Day 9: Trek Chhokang Paro - Nile

    Altitude above sea level: (3,360 m) Nile

    Hiking duration: 4-5 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    With an early breakfast, we rejoin our trail. The trail is flatter as the valley opens up. Through the trail, we will come across many gazing land, Mani walls, chortens, and stupas. Nile is the last village heading north in the upper Tsum valley. The village is situated on the bank of the Shiar Khola and has numerous households.

  10. Day 10: Trek Nile -Mu Gompa

    Altitude above sea level: (3,700 m) Mu Gompa

    Hiking duration: 3 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast, you set off today’s trek to Mu Gompa. The morning hike begins on reaching the highest point at Mu Gompa. As you proceed to climb on high, arid terrain, you will see mesmerizing views of soaring peaks. The hiking trail is mostly inclined, but not close as it looks. But the views of the high Himalayas and mountainous terrain, peace breaking by high-frequency wind, and the beauty of the Monastery are surely worth the hiking.

    Once you arrive at Mu Gompa, you have enough time to explore around. About 30 minutes hike from here will take you to Dhephu Doma Gompa where several Buddhist nuns live here doing meditation. 

  11. Day 11: Trek Mu Gompa- Rachen

    Altitude above sea level: (3,240 m) Rachen

    Hiking duration: 4 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After breakfast, we leave Mu Gompa behind and descend to a lower altitude. After several days of trekking in high Tibetan landscapes, we finally trek back down along Shiar Khola crossing the valley to Rachen Gompa, a red-roofed Buddhist nunnery. It is a very old monastery established in 1936 where most of the nuns join the monastery at the age of 7. 

  12. Day 12: Trek Rachen-Dumje

    Altitude above sea level: (2,405 m) Dumje

    Hiking duration: 6 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After having a decent breakfast, we steeply trek downhill. As we trek further down the climate gets warmer, we trek passing Shiar Khola, Laudang and Ghaughung Khola until we finally cross a wooden bridge.

  13. Day 13: Trek Dumje- Lokpa

    Altitude above sea level: (2,240m) Lokpa

    Hiking duration: 6 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    We have an early breakfast and leave Dumje behind. Today we trek towards several ups and downs trails. We climb over some very deep gorges, and pass some cantilever bridges. Then we descend steep stairs to Ghumlong on the river. From here it’s a final gradual climb up through pristine temperature forest to Lokpa.

  14. Day 14: Trek Lokpa- Ghap

    Altitude above sea level: (2,160 m) Ghap

    Hiking duration: 7-8 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    Today is another long trek day, we will start trekking early. The trail from Lokpa will descend to the point until we meet another track that comes from Philim.

    We trek further, crossing the Buri Gandaki on a solid bridge and entering a loose track at a narrow gorge. The trail goes up and down till we cross to the east bank and soon back to the west bank.

    Further we traverse Nupri, Deng, and a dense bamboo forest, as we continue trekking we also cross Rana and Bhi as well. We trek all the way down to Serang Khola and after crossing we trek a final climb to Ghap.

  15. Day 15: Trek Ghap-Lho

    Altitude above sea level: (3,020 m) Lho

    Hiking duration: 4 hrs. Approx.

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After having breakfast, we start to trek to Lho. We will pass through villages like Namrung and Banjam, after crossing Banjam the trail steeps as we trek to Lihi.

    Lihi offers fine views of Ganesh Himal and trekking further from here we reach Sho then soon to the next village Lho. From here we will be able to view Manaslu and Kutang Himal. We will reach Lho early and will have time to explore the area. We can hike to Ribang Gompa as well as explore the stupas, mani walls and Kani. Furthermore, we will return to our camp and spend the night here

  16. Day 16: Trek Lho- Samagaon

    Altitude above sea level: (3,450 m) Samagaon

    Driving duration: 4 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast, you will leave Lho behind and head towards Samagaon. Today, you will pass through Shyala village, followed by a river originating from the glacier of Pungyen and several chortens and monasteries. As you traverse the ridge, you will reach the fields of Samagaon. 

    Once you reach Samagaon, you will see the potatoes and barley fields. Also, weaving is the main occupation of the people of Samagaon.

  17. Day 17: Trek Samagaon-Samdo

    Altitude above sea level: (3,860 m) Samdo

    Driving duration: 4 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast, you hit a trail to Samdo village.  You will trek down to the Budhi Gandaki River and follow it to a bridge over a sidestream. Then, past numerous mani walls as the valley begins to widen. The mountain views along this trail are incredible and get you close to the Tibetan border. The trail is rewarded with commanding views of Manaslu North, Nike peak, and Samdo peak. Along the way, you may come across with mountain goats and yaks grazing on the field along the way. 

    Further, take a gentle walk on a ridge above the river that passes juniper and birch forests to the stone huts at  Kermo Kharka. Thereafter,  you take a descending trail and cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge.  Then ascend steeply onto a cliff between two confluences of the river. You’ll come to a stone archway and keep on trekking all the way to Samdo. 

  18. Day 18: Acclimatization and rest day at Samdo

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    This is another day to take a break for proper acclimatization. You can either take a rest or walk towards Gya La (‘large pass’) to the north of Samdo.  Gya La Pass (5,300 m) is a frequently used trading route to Tibet. 

    Alternatively, you can take an easy trail up the valley directly behind Samdo to one of the trade passes headed for Tibet. This route has commanding views of Manaslu along with other Himalayan ranges comprising Simrang, Hiunchuli, Ngadi, Larkye Peak, Cheo, and Kang Guru behind the pass. En route to this vantage point, you will pass several seasonal herding settlements called doksas and witness some beautiful birds such as the Lophophorus (the national bird of Nepal), Lammergeyer, and Himalayan Griffin soaring above. 

  19. Day 19: Trek Samdo-Larkya Phedi

    Altitude above sea level: (4,460 m) Larkya Phedi

    Driving duration: 3-4 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a hearty breakfast, you’ll pass a seasonal Tibetan market called Larke Bazaar (ruin Tibetan market) and drop to the Budi Gandaki River. Further, traverse the wooden bridge and take uphill, crossing two streams while seeing the Larkya Glacier. Then, you’ll head up through Salka Khola valley and ascend again to Dharamsala, also called Larke Phedi. Witness Samdo Peak behind, the entire climbing route of the Manaslu summit on the left, and the Larkya glacier en-route.

  20. Day 20: Trek Larkya Phedi to Bimtang

    Altitude above sea level: (3,590 m) Bimtang, (5,135 m) Larkya La Pass 

    Driving duration: 8-9 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    Leaving Larkya Phedi, you will set out on a longer hike after a refreshing breakfast. Though it’s a more challenging trail, you’ll come across a number of rustic villages, clear glacier lakes, picturesque valleys, varied flora and fauna, and some remarkable snowy peaks.

    Your journey begins with a gradual uphill to a small valley north of Larkya Glacier. From where you can savor the mesmerizing sight of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Furthermore, walk across the moraines of the glacier, making a gentle ascent, which becomes steeper in the final section of the pass. From here, there is a breathtaking spectacle of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, and the massive Annapurna II. You’ll complete with a rewarding walk into misty low pastures in the early evening, with Mount Manaslu emerging in the distance. The trail then descends to the low pastures until you arrive at Bhimtang.

  21. Day 21: Trek Bimtang-Dharapani

    Altitude above sea level: (1,860 m) Dharapani

    Driving duration: 7-8 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    After a long day at Larkya La Pass, you start the day by trekking down the Budhi Gandaki river. After traversing the wooden bridge over the river, you’ll hike along the dense forest of rhododendron trees. Further, continue towards the narrow valley until you reach the highest cultivated land of the valley at Karche. Following a few hours of walking on the river banks, you’ll arrive in the village of Gho. Thereafter, keep on hiking all the way to Tilije. 

    Walking through the beautiful villages, you pass through the bridge over the Dudh Koshi River and hike up through a stupa-shaped arch, and past numerous Mani walls before you reach Thonje village. The trail further goes through a police check-posts before entering the route to Annapurna Circuit at Dharapani. Now, you have exited the Manaslu Conservation Area and entered the Annapurna Conservation Area of the trek.  

  22. Day 22: Trek Dharapani-Jagat

    Altitude above sea level: (1,440 m) Jagat

    Driving duration: 6 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

    Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    Today is the last day of our trek, as you exit the Manaslu Conservation Area and entered the Annapurna Conservation Area of the trek. You will trek on the descended path along Marshyangdi River. The trail then, further, passes through the steepest part of the Marshyangdi gorge, from where you descend all the way to Jagat.

  23. Day 23: Drive Jagat-Kathmandu

    Altitude above sea level: (1,302 m) Kathmandu

    Driving duration: 7-8 hrs. Approx. 

    Accommodation: *** Hotel Tibet or similar

    Meal: Breakfast, and Lunch

    After a hearty breakfast, you drive to Besisahar. Further, you pass all the way through the banks of Marsyangdi and Trishuli River. Along the way, enjoy the scenery and refreshing views of the hilly areas and mountains on the way back to Kathmandu. Once you reach Kathmandu, our representative will transfer you to your hotel.

  24. Day 24: Final Departure

    Meal: Breakfast

    It is time to fly back home, keeping all the wonderful experiences of Nepal in mind. The representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport, where you should check-in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.

Fast Facts

  • Max altitude: Larkya La (5,135 m/16,847ft)
  • Suitably designed itinerary for acclimatization
  • Accommodation in the best-selected lodges and tea houses along the trail and in Kathmandu
  • Visit Tsum valley (one of Buddhism’s sacred hidden valleys known as ‘Beyul’ ), ancient monasteries, and remote villages
  • Offers beautiful views of Ganesh Himal, Larkya peak, Mt. Manaslu, Ratna chuli, Cheo Himal, and many other snow-capped peaks.
  • Visit traditional Buddhist monasteries, experience remote Tibetan Buddhist culture
  • Less crowded and a chance to experience remote Nepali villages
  • Adventurous and challenging trek, trek over Larkya La
  •  Tibetan Buddhist culture 
  • Popular for herbs such as nirmasi, timur, etc. and farming is limited to potatoes, buckwheat, barley, vegetables, etc.
  • Sheep, yak, and langur monkeys are some animals found at this high altitude.
  • People practice polyandry system
  • Observe unique festivals like Lhosar, Dhacyhang, Saka Dawa, Faning and others. 

What's Included

  • Airport transfers,
  • Private transfer to/from trek point   
  • Guided Kathmandu Sightseeing tour with entrance fees
  • Hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast,
  • Tea house lodge during the trek on full board
  • Trek Permits & Restricted Area permit,
  • Staff insurance on the trek,
  • Trek guide & porter/s
  • Duffel bag

What's not Included

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu (approx. US$ 20 per day)
  • Beverages
  • Personal equipment, 
  • Personal bills, 
  • International airfare
  • Visa fee: US$ 30 for 15 days and US$ 50 for 30 days multiple entries
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects), Public liability insurance
  • Tips

Reviews