Moreover, the second phase of lockdown is implemented from August 19 mid-night until September 2 mid-night.
Amidst the Corona crisis and second phase lockdown, Civil Aviation Authority Nepal released a notice regarding the resumption of long-distance flights from 1st of September. After plenty of long meetings and discussions, the Government has finally lifted the international flights suspension and granted permission for eight countries. The flight schedule has been finalized via press-release. Keeping the crisis on focal point the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has implemented emergency flight resumption from 1st of September for a month.
According to the notice, two Nepalese airlines company have been granted permission for conducting 29 international flights. Nepal Airlines will conduct a total of 17 flights and Himalaya Airlines will conduct 12 flights. Having said that, a total of 32 flights are granted for International airlines.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation selected eight different countries to be connected with Nepal directly via flights. The designated domestic and international flights will be flying to and from China, Hongkong, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Qatar and Turkey.
International flights from China were the first prohibition in Nepal as Corona pandemic hauled from there. Now, Tribhuwan International Airport will be opened for Chinese airlines from three cities. Chongqing, Guangzhou and Chhendu are the cities with less Corona cases. Respected cities will be connected with Nepal via China Southern and Air China.
Meanwhile, Catha Dragon from Hongkong, Korean Air from South Korea, MalaysiaAirlines from Kuala Lumpur got permission for flights to Nepal. Etihad and Fly Dubai from Abu Dhabi and Dubai and Turkish Air from Istanbul will connect to Nepal.
Besides International flights, Nepal Government has given permission for 27 Nepalese chartered flights throughout the September. The main objective for domestic chartered flights is to rescue Nepalese nationals stranded in those eight countries. The flights are scheduled for three cities in Saudi Arabia; Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah. Also, Nepal Airlines and Himalaya Airlines will travel to the Maldives, Japan, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar in September.
Who can come?
Keeping the emergency step on implementation, the government has banned on-arrival visas. Now, one has to obtain visas from the embassy of Nepal of their respected countries. The Government has allowed the following people to entry Nepal according to the situation demands.
Employees of Diplomatic Missions
Employees of Development Partnership Administration
Representatives of International Organization invites by Nepal Government
What are the protocols to be followed?
As Corona cases are increasing rapidly, people entering from foreign countries can be dangerous to the present scenario. However, the Government has published vital protocols to be followed mandatorily by every incoming people.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test negative report obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival in Tribhuwan International Airport is required.
14 days quarantine is mandatory after arrival in Kathmandu.
People must stay 7 days quarantine in designated hotels in Kathmandu and rest 7 days can be quarantined in the outside valley.
Nepal is the Himalayan country that offers diverse varieties of the trekking route to the trekkers around the world. Trekking in Nepal rewards the trekkers with enticing views of the Himalayas, diverse landscapes, rich biodiversity and gives insights on the diverse culture and traditions of the locals. Amongst many treks in Nepal, Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal.
Hiking around the Annapurna Circuit is a lifetime experience in the breathtaking landscapes of the Annapurna region. Considered as the best long-distance trek in the world, Annapurna Circuit is a moderate level trek that fits well for trekkers with any skill levels.
However, preparing for the trek is a very crucial part of any trekking journey. Most of my clients bombard me with many inquiries about “what if”s and “but what about”s regarding the Annapurna Circuit Trek. So, in this article, I’ll try to answer all the questions as well as describe how to prepare and plan for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Read the detailed description below on how to prepare for Annapurna Circuit Trek for a lifetime trekking adventure!
Major Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek
One of the famous trek in the world that covers a large number of Himalayan Ranges.
Explore the varieties of communities, vegetation, landscapes, rivers, food, culture, etc of Annapurna Region.
Crossing Thorong La Pass (5416m), one of the highest pass of the world, which is an achievement in itself.
Opportunity to socialize and share experiences with travelers from all over the world as it is a very famous trekking package.
Experience a remote life of people living in the Annapurna Region from a close distance.
Relax your body at the hot spring in Tatopani.
Witness the breathtaking sunrise view over the Annapurna Massif from Poonhill.
How long does it take to hike the Annapurna Circuit?
The Annapurna Circuit Trek usually takes from 18 to 20 days to complete. But the duration of the trek depends on the physical ability of the trekker along with the trekking experience. If you are a new hiker or of average fitness, 18 to 20 days sounds about right. For experienced trekkers, they tend to complete the trek much quicker.
Furthermore, the duration also depends on the acclimatization days you take during the trek. If you are short in time and want to complete the trek quicker then it is also possible. Due to the recent road construction, jeep roads are passing through many of the villages along the trekking trail. So, you can directly take the jeep up as far as Manang Village. After crossing the legendary Thorong La Pass, you can get the jeep as soon as you reach Muktinath or even hike down to Jomson to catch a bus. Although you can complete the trek in a shorter time, you will miss a lot of good stuff and not acclimatize well.
Brief Itinerary of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport
Day 02: Drive to Chamje
Day 03: Trek from Chamje to Dharapani
Day 04: Trek to Chame
Day 05: Trek to Pisang
Day 06: Trek to Mangng via Ghyaru
Day 07: Acclimatization day in Manang
Day 08: Trek to Yak Kharka
Day 09: Trek to Thorong Phedi (4650m) or High Camp (4800)
Day 10: High camp to Muktinath via Thorang pass (5416m)
Day 11: Jeep driving to Tatopani (1100 m)
Day 12: Trek all the way to Ghorepani (2800m)
Day 13: Early morning hike to Poon hill, descend to Tikhedhunga and drive to Pokhara
When is the Best Time for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Hiking through the Annapurna Circuit is doable throughout the year. However, to get the best of the Annapurna Circuit, autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are the best time to trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Spring season (March-May)
Spring offers clear blue skies that rewards the trekkers with unobstructed views of the mountain peak. Vegetations are at full blossom during the spring season. Thus, the hills are covered with colorful wildflowers blossoms including the rhododendron flower, which is the national flower of Nepal.
The temperature is moderate which are perfect for trekking in the daytime but the nighttime temperature drops pretty low but it is bearable. There are no heavy rainfalls during spring and the sky remains mostly clear.
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn (September to December)
The months of September to December are the autumn months in Nepal. The Annapurna region looks beautiful in the autumn season. Moreover, the post-monsoon period means that the clouds are clear and you can observe unobstructed views of the mountains.
Furthermore, the higher elevation zone is colder whereas the lower elevation zone remains warmer in Autumn. The festive atmosphere around the region is also the major attraction of the trek as major festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and Holi fall in the autumn season. The lively culture exploration during the trek will make you fall in love with the place.
Besides these, the offseason treks are also possible in the Annapurna region. In these seasons, the risk of landslides and avalanches in the monsoon season and the freezing conditions in the winters also pose a threat. However, with proper preparation, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is doable all round the year.
How Much Does Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost?
While planning for the trek, you must find estimate the budget that you will be spending during the Annapurna Circuit Trek. There are lots of factors that determines the Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost such as duration of the trek, means of transportation you take, trekking permits which we will discuss below, whether you are hiring a guide or porters, and many other factors. Depending up these factors, you can get a rough idea about the budget you will require for the trek.
Usually, if you hire a local trekking agency then, it can cost you around USD 1000 to USD 1500 for 15 days trekking in Annapurna Circuit. However, if you book the trek from international travel agencies then, it will be much expensive. Generally, it can cost you form USD 1500 to USD 4500. Thus, it is better to choose local agency in compared to international agencies, as it will be much cheaper and also helps to grow the local economy.
However, if you don’t want to hire any trekking agencies then here is the general cost of each services and facilities that you will be spending during the trek. This will help you plan the Annapurna Circuit Trek as per your budget.
Visa Cost: USD 30 for 15 days, USD 50 for 30 days and USD125 for 90 days
Transportation Cost: USD 6 to 7 via local bus (one way), USD 120 to 150 if you hire private jeep (One way)
Food Cost: USD 5 to 10 per meal depending up on the altitude
Accommodation Cost: USD 1 to 3 per night
Travel Insurance: USD 150, on average (based on 30 days cover)
Cost of Guides and Porters: USD 30 to 35 per day for guide and for a porter USD 18 to 20 per day
Cost of Trekking gears: Depends on you. If you are low on money then, you can easily hire them from thamel or Pokhara for USD 1 to 5 for each item per day.
Trekking Permits: we will discuss in the following topic.
Required Permits for Annapurna Circuit Trek
You will require two permits to trek in the Annapurna region. You will have to show these permit at a various checkpoint along the trail. The Annapurna Circuit Trek permits and its costs are as follows:
Trekkers Information Management System Card (TIMS)
SAARC personals: NPR 600, about $6 for individual trekker and NPR 300, about $3 for groups.
All other personals: NPR 2,000, about $20 for individual trekker and NPR 1000, about $10 for groups.
Annapurna Conservation Area or ACAP
SAARC personals: NPR 200, about $2
ALL other personals: NPR 3,000, about $30
Note: You can get these permits at the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in Kathmandu. Take your passport along with you.
The cheapest way to travel to the starting point of this trek i.e. Besi Sahar is to take a local bus from either Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can also ride further till Bahundanda. It will take around 7 to 8 hours to reach the trailhead which will cost you around $10.
You should get the bus ticket a day before you will leave as the bus will leave very early in the morning. This will also give you the time to know from where the bus leaves and at what time.
If you are in Kathmandu, then you can get the ticket from Gongabu Bus Station, also known as New Bus Park. And if you are in Pokhara, ask for the local bus station because the tourist buses leave from a different location.
During trekking in Nepal, you will be trekking in the remote areas of Nepal where there won’t be any ATM facilities. Thus, you won’t find any ATMs in the Annapurna Circuit Trail except in Jomsom. However, the ATM in Jomsom is not reliable so, don’t get fully depended on it.
The last reliable ATM you will find while going for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is at Pokhara. So, take out all the money you will need for the entire hike. Since ATMs are not dependable in Nepal and VISA cards are also not accepted during the remote trek, you must have all your money in cash. You will require about $25 to $30 per day. So, take the money according to the duration of your trek.
Do I need to hire Guides and Porters for Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Hiring guides and porters for the trek entirely depends on you. The Annapurna Circuit trail is quite busy in most time of the year so, you will find many fellow trekkers along the trail. Since the Annapurna region is filled with friendly local, there won’t be any problems even if you are trekking Annapurna Circuit solo.
However, hiring guides and porters is pretty common for Annapurna Circuit Trek, especially for the beginners. Hiring a guide will help in many ways such as finding accommodation, navigating through the trail during the trek, especially in emergencies. Whereas, a porter will help you carry your luggage so that you can have a comfortable walk.
If you have money then you should definitely hire the guides and porter as it helps in the local economy. But if you don’t, it really doesn’t matter as the local are very friendly and you won’t have a problem to find people who speak English.
How Fit do I Need to be for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
You will require an average level of physical as well as mental fitness for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. During the trek, you will be walking for around 6 – 8 hours a day on average, gaining around 600m of altitude. Moreover, you will be covering the walking distance of 15 to 20 KM per day and you will also have to carry your backpack.
This may seem pretty challenging task which it is but with right determination and training you can complete the trek. One thing you have to understand is that this is not a race. So, you should not push yourself too hard. Also, since Annapurna Circuit is a high altitude trek, you need to take proper acclimatization during the trek to avoid the risk of altitude sickness. Along with that, you need to keep your body hydrated.
So, start a training routine at least two weeks before the trek. The training should include cardiovascular activities like hiking, swimming, cycling, etc. Besides that, eat a balanced and nutritious diet with high carbohydrate and protein intake.
Preparation and Training for the Annapurna Circuit Trek
You can start the physical training process by physically evaluating yourself or visiting the family specialist for a professional evaluation. You can then set up a training routine and activity schedule for the preparation of this Annapurna Circuit Trek. You must start this process around three to four months before the trek if not earlier.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a 266 km journey with a maximum elevation of 17,000 feet. This taxing journey in the foothills of the Himalayas is not a walk in the park. Your leg muscles including calves, quads, and hamstrings are under extensive pressure over three weeks.
The exercises you need to concentrate on are squats, deadlifts, thrusts, back exercises, and crunches. These strength training exercises can get scheduled on every alternate day or at least three times a week.
The Annapurna Circuit Trail is full of ups and downs. Thus, aerobics or cardiovascular activities like strolling, hiking, cycling, swimming, etc should get included in your training routine. These aerobic exercises are essential at least 5 times each week for an hour.
You should also perform some climbing exercises with your climbing boots and a backpack. The backpack must have similar weights to the one you plan on carrying to the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
However, you can start with minimal weight and gradually increase the weight over time. This way your body gets used to the trek. Also, these climbing boots will get enough time to break in for the actual trekking adventure.
Accommodations And Meals In The Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular teahouse treks in Nepal. Thus, you will find many teahouses along the trail. The cost of the accommodation ranges from $1 to $3 depending upon the altitude. If you are trekking in offseason then, you can get free accommodation if you have the food from the same teahouse.
The teahouses are pretty basic that provide basic rooms on twin sharing basic. You will have a bed with a pillow, a mattress and a blanket. There won’t be an electric socket in the rooms as the major source of electricity is from solar power. Thus, if you want to charge your phones, then you have to charge them in the common area at a certain cost. Hot showers generally cost around $1 in the teahouses. WiFi is available at lower elevation but you do not expect these facilities as you move up the trails.
Furthermore, the foods offered by the teahouse are pretty basic as well and you will get served the Nepalese meal of “Dal Bhat” on most teahouses. Besides that, they also offer other varieties of food such as pizza, pasta, spaghetti, and so on. You need to book these accommodations early especially in the offseason to be safe from any hassle.
The Final Say
Annapurna Circuit Trek offers an incredible trekking experience with its magnificent natural and cultural beauty. That is why this trek is famous among the trekkers from all around the world. Anyone with a basic level of fitness can complete this exciting trek.
Many trekkers are not sure about how to prepare for Annapurna Circuit Trek. I hope this blog will help you prepare and plan the trek in advance. Furthermore, if you have any more questions or queries please feel free to contact us.
Mardi Himal Trek is a hidden gem of the Annapurna region, which has been recently famous among trekkers. This Mardi Himal Trek blog tries to give some fact about this trek.
As we know prevention is better than cure, you should always make a list of things that can give hand to make your trip enjoyable and easier. You must carry maps, torch, etc.
As modern technology is developing day by day, you may download maps in your device/smartphones, which makes the navigation routes easy for you.
Synopsis of Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trekking is a moderate level trek and situated on the eastern side of Annapurna Base Camp Trek, which is a new trekking route in the Annapurna region. These trials were opened in 2012 for the trekkers. Then after, trekkers’ choose this trekking to escape the crowd of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. This 10 days trekking but it can amend as per our requirements. We can finish this trek within 5 days too.
Mardi Himal Trek is a 10 days package that takes you through thrilling voyages and ventures in a short period.
Day 1 –As you land in the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in the Kathmandu, the particular person will drop you at your hotel and help you check-in at the reception. You can spend the rest of the day by roaming the local markets or stay in your hotel room.
Day 2 –On this day you can explore the Kathmandu city by visiting many eye-catching scenarios situated at different places.
Day 3 -This day you will travel to Pokhara via tourist bus. You may reach there quite early so you can visit different eye-catching places like Phewa Lake and many attractive places for the rest of the day.
Day 4 –This the day when your excitement level goes up. Yes, it’s the trekking day. On this day, the trekking journey starts. You wake up early in the morning and travel to Kande and you trek towards Deurali passing Annapurna Base Camp. You’ve to spend that night in Deurali.
Day 5 –Leaving behind Deurali you further move towards forest camp and walk through dense forests occupied with innumerable species of flora and fauna. You reach Low camp after walking the paths and spend your night there.
Day 6 –This day you will move towards High camp walking through the lush green forests. You will see the mesmerizing view of the beautiful mountain peaks, along the way. You will spend the night there watching the beautiful views.
Day 7-This is the day when you will head towards the climax of this trip i.e. Mardi Himal Base Camp. The seventh day is the most important day of the trek. You’ll reach there by walking through rough trails.
As soon as you reach the Base Camp you stay there for some time and start trekking towards Sidhing. You’ll spend your night in one of the tea houses in Sidhing because on that day you’d walked a lot.
Day 8 –On this day, you’ll drive back to Pokhara after having a delicious breakfast. That night you’ll spend in Pokhara.
Day 9 –This day you’ll head back to Kathmandu. This will be your final day so you can roam in the local markets and enjoy the night view of Thamel.
Day 10 –Last day in Nepal and you will return to your land after this exciting trek.
Mardi Himal Trek Cost
The trekking cost totally depends on our spending habit, group size, and trekking season. Generally, the Mardi Himal Trekking Cost starts from USD 800 and this cost includes your hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara, meals during the trekking, Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu bus, Pokhara to the trekking start point and trekking ending point to Pokhara taxi, Permit fees, TIMS cost, Guide cum porter fees, tea house accommodation during the trek etc. You need to pay separately for Nepal visa fee, meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara, international flight fare, travel insurance and trekking equipment.
Essential Trekking Equipment for Mardi Himal Trekking
This is a moderate level trekking so you do not need to pack more things. The trekking equipment totally depends on the trekking season. For winter you need to carry warmer clothes and for the rainy season, you need to carry water resistance trekking equipment.
For head, you must carry one pair ear covering cap, sunglasses, and suns cream. For the upper body, warm jacket, few pairs of t-shirts, a fleece jacket, etc and trousers, half paint, good shoes, warm shocks etc for the lower body.
Join on a deliberate journey of Nepal- Bhutan Trip Package with Peregrine Tour and Travel. This package allows you to discover two fabulous country Nepal and Bhutan. Nepal- Bhutan Trip Package offers you a great opportunity to explore the most peaceful and beautiful places. Nepal and Bhutan are simultaneously rich in its culture, natural resources and mountains. Alongside, you will explore the ancient heritage sites, some of which are listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During the fourteen days of your Nepal-Bhutan Trip Package, you will have enduring experience of your life. Open your eyes wide and let the heart gain the spiritual significance through the Nepal- Bhutan Trip Package.
Overview on Nepal and Bhutan Trip
The Nepal- Bhutan Trip Package starts in the capital city of Nepal. Nepal is a small landlocked country. It is sandwich state in between two large countries, India and China. However, Nepal is always magical and undisturbed. From the lush forest to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, Nepal never stops amusing its visitors. During your stay in Nepal, you will explore the capital city Kathmandu. Kathmandu is famous as city of Temples. Then, you will fly over to highest peak cross the national park situated there. After two most important part of Nepal, it is the time to pamper you with rest day. On this day we will reach the city of lakes, Pokhara. The weather and ambiance of Pokhara is just incomparable with any other cities. You can walk around and explore the city and enjoy.
Further, we will take you to the first national park of Nepal, Chitwan National Park. Leaving behind the temples, mountains, lakes, now you are on the land rich in wild flora and faunas. Without any doubt, you will encounter endangered wild animals and birds which are endemic to Nepal. Ascending to next destination of the trip, Nepal will fill your heart with joyous experience whereas, Bhutan awaits to welcome with an open arm.
As the second destination of our Nepal- Bhutan Trip Package, we reach the secret country of Asia, Bhutan. Bhutan is an exquisite country, rich in both natural and cultural aspects. Bhutan opened its isolated doors to tourists and created a strategy to maintain sustainability in tourism. The Government only allows limited tourists to retain the high standard and low impact of tourist on the land. Considering yourself a valued and wealthy tourist being able to visit Bhutan, you will gain experiences accordingly. Landing on western Bhutan, Paro, we will then head towards the capital city of Bhutan, Thimpu. Thimpu and its surrounding areas have major attractions for tourists.
After exploring the significant cultural sites, it will surprise you, that those attractions are not listed in World heritage Sites. However, Bhutanese people and their tradition will fill your soul with delight as gross national happiness is the goal of Bhutan Government. Bhutan is the country where gross national happiness is most essential than gross national product.
Nepal and Bhutan Tour Highlights
Visit Thimpu, Paro, Punakha Valley
Visit Heritage historical center, Traditional School of Arts and Crafts, Punakha National Park, JigmeDorji, and National Library
Visit old Tibetan Buddhist culture
Appreciate the grand excellence of the nation and watch the nearby way of life
Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing (Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swoyambhunath and Kathmandu Durbar Square)
City of paradise — Pokhara sightseeing and sunrise view from Sarangkot
Jungle Safari in Chitwan National Park (Jeep Safari 3-4 hours, canoeing at Rapti River, Tharu Cultural Dance Show
Nepal and Bhutan Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2: Mountain Flight to Mount Everest and Kathmandu return
Day 3: Flight/Drive to Pokhara
Day 4: Pokhara: Exploration day
Day 5: Drive to Chitwan National Park
Day 6: Jungle Activities in Chitwan National Park
Day 7: Return to Kathmandu
Day 8: Kathmandu – Paro – Thimphu
Day 09: Exploring Thimphu
Day 10: Drive to Punakha
Day 11: Exploring Punakha
Day 12: Return to Paro
Day 13: Tiger’s Nest Monastery: Challenging but worth taking trail.
Day 14: Farewell from Paro
Essential Information Regrading Nepal Bhutan Trip Package
Requirements for Entry:
Minimun six months validity of the passport is necessary at the time of entry.
One blank page for a visa should be available for a visa in passport (not endorsement page)
Entrance is allowed generally by Nepalese authorities on an emergency passport printed overseas.
Visa should be appropriate for travel.
Regular Tourist Visas:
Those who arrive by air; visa should either be applied at The Nepalese Embassy or consulate before entry or purchase directly upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. Note: Obtaining permission upon arrival may take time.
You can also apply for a visa via online at https://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa.
Those who arrive by land; both the visa obtaining and necessary immigration formalities should be completed.
During the entrance of Foreign citizens by land into Nepal via Belahia Indian border, one should pay The Nepalese visa fee in U.S dollar. The original bill no older than 2003, in good condition, should be shown at checkpoints before entering Nepal. Twenty-four hours services are provided at the border to individuals on foot.
Entry to Nepal without a visa and proper entry stamp from an immigration officer is restricted, resulting in additional consequences.
These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid – recommended, normally 2 weeks before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Hepatitis A – recommended, normally 2 weeks before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Cholera – recommended, normally 2 weeks before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Tuberculosis – recommended, normally 3 months before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Hepatitis B – recommended, normally 2 months before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Meningococcal meningitis – recommended, normally 1 week before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Japanese B encephalitis – recommended, normally 4 weeks before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Rabies – recommended, normally 4 weeks before travel to Nepal and Bhutan
Are you planning to trek Annapurna Circuit in Nepal?
Before going for the Annapurna Circuit trek, few things that you need to know including trekking permits, going single or in a group, items required to pack, time to trek, and other financial matters. Hiking the Annapurna Circuit could be on the bucket list of your diary. The trek is amazingly beautiful as well as it gives you a life-changing experience. I am pretty sure that the trek would capture your attention from the very beginning of your trek.
Travelling through most of the world’s tallest mountains and in diverse climatic zones from tropical alpine to freezing alpine elevations is always challenging. Moreover, you need to vigorously walk on your foot, enjoying the natural beauty, and the hospitality of the Nepalese people, learning their culture and traditions. After spending 16 days on the trek going through the most challenging trails, the departure from such a place can make you overwhelming. And arrival at the Pokhara makes you feel rewarded.
Apart from that, it is super luring to book a flight, pull up your shock, lacing up your boots, and then heading into huge lushes. In brief, it would take transit you into a different world. Frankly, this is not the regular walk in the park. Nevertheless, before you even take a few steps, preparing for your permits and accommodation, high altitude sickness; there require vast knowledge and planning. Earlier, even you should go in a group or solo? What time of the year should we go for vivid visibility? Will there be snacks on the route?
From the people who successfully trekked Annapurna circuit may they share few tips before you jump into the trek without any knowledge? Here is significant knowledge before you tackle the epic, long-distance and amazing Annapurna circuit trek.
22 Things to Know Before Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
The Annapurna Circuit Fast fact
Before jumping into the nitty-gritty, the things you need to know about the Annapurna Circuit. And here are some fast facts about the trek.
The Annapurna circuit trek is situated in central Nepal, generally takes about 16 to 20 days for the complete round; the total Annapurna Circuit Trek distance is about 170-230 km. The height of Annapurna 1(highest Mountain in Annapurna Massif) is 8091m. Whereas, the highest point of the trek is Thorong La pass- 5416m (17,769ft)
Time to trek The Annapurna circuit
The Annapurna trekking isn’t the trek that you can hike up as per your interest. The change in weather has a significant impact on how what and where you can walk. The best time for trekking the Annapurna Circuit is in September, October, and November which is an Autumn season. Whereas March, April, May is also a suitable season as you can. More the weather is neither hot nor cold. Adding on, this is also the time for the expedition. June, July, August is the rainy season which benefits you can get to see the significant stream, more greenery, less crowd, in clear weather you can experience the stunning view. December, January and February is the winter season, you can also trek at this time too as there will be less traffic of people. More importantly, We provide you with a sleeping blanket that withstands negative 30-degree Celsius.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is an Anti- Clockwise
Since 1997 most of the trekkers started following the anti-clockwise circuit that begins in Besisahar and over the Thorong La pass and down to Jomsom valley. The Annapurna Trek going clockwise is completely hazardous because of the steep mountains; it’s challenging to gain altitude.
Furthermore, the foremost reason for this is acclimatization. If you go clockwise, you only get two days to acclimatize more, 1700m+ incline would become challenging. Whereas, preferring anti-clockwise provides you with almost two whole weeks of acclimatization plus leg training!
As a result of going clockwise, you would encounter very few tea houses; speaking of which if you are low immune then altitude sickness will catch you. Which means you would struggle for help.
Trekking Annapurna Circuit with group
If you are a solo traveller and you have to trek in a group, then even the thought of going along with the group and your pre-planned list would be daunting. But, going alone means you can go according to your plans.
Whereas travelling in a group has more safety and security. There is always a cheerful squad, a local well-trained guide also shares up-to-date info and sometimes cracks jokes to make the trip fun. In brief, both have their benefits in their way.
The pros of trekking Annapurna Circuit with a group
All the arrangements including permits, teahouse accommodations are well ordered by the trekking company. You can bring some snacks and chocolate bars and some money for tips/ meals.
Travelling with a prestigious company also prefers that your guides and porters; are exceptionally highly experienced in local knowledge, first aid, quick reaction to the emergency.
Your porter will carry your heavier luggage, so you have to keep you one step in front of others with your regular daypack.
Having a local guide is always on hand to share expert and beneficial knowledge.
A local is always helpful to gain expert knowledge
There will be other people to support you, which can enhance your journey a long way when you are thoroughly tired and out of breath.
The cons of trekking Annapurna Circuit with a group
If you are an independent traveler, then being with a group and going through their itineraries could be surprising to you.
It could be a little bit more expensive than going alone; however, you will feel its worth in the very instance.
Trekking the Annapurna circuit solo
It’s not infrequent to see people self-navigating the Annapurna Circuit. Given that the trek is one of the notable routes, where you will encounter many trekkers following the same path. So, you can walk with them or go solo again but get together at the same teahouses for the cards later that night.
The pros of Trekking the Annapurna circuit solo
Get the privilege to do what you want, when you want and go wherever you want.
It is less expensive than booking a company.
You will find the better of the two-dimension; solo trekking at day and group atmosphere at night in the teahouse.
The Cons of Trekking the Annapurna circuit solo
Solely responsible for your gear, finding accommodations, carrying your heavy bags on you back, organizing your permits, itinerary and etcetera.
Moreover, when you arrive at the tea house, you have to arrange everything by yourself, and for the worse, you need to have backup plans in the busy days.
In the absence of a trained guide to help and protect you from the hazardous areas, symptoms of altitude sickness or to monitor your speed becomes difficult.
It’s worth bearing in mind that safety comes first, whereas trekking alone can seriously put you in huge trouble.
Lastly, for the female trekkers, we would recommend trusting the culture and tradition of Nepal, where women are hugely respected.
You have to have fitness but not super fitness for trekking
You don’t have to gain the fitness level of the runner to complete the Annapurna Circuit trekking. However, it’s still notable going to the gym, giving you a hard time. Even a small hike is worth it before you go trekking.
The few days of the trek are adjustable like 5 to 6 hours of walking and covering 10 to 15 km of distance walking with enough rest, elongated lunch breaks and fewer rest days.
Whereas, you have to walk for 16 hours at high elevations for some days. Sometimes over 20 km too but that’s normal as you have already digested the high altitude after walking for many days. Finally, there comes the day from Muktinath to Jomsom, which upholds the magnificent beauty for the trekkers.
For further information, we recommend you to have general cardio which is best for your cardiovascular activities — also, a few successive days of walking for long distances.
Adding on, get used to wearing boots every day and walking for long hours. If you wish to try altitude training before leaving. In any case, you will thank yourself fifth day in a row when the time comes to lace up those boots again.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek requires a permit.
You need to organize the permit from both Trekking Information Management System (TIMS), and an Annapurna National Permit, also known as Annapurna conservation area entry permit, if you are trekking the Annapurna Circuit.
According to the law of 2019, the TIMS permit is $20 (NPR 2000) per person, whereas the APC permit is $30 (NPR 3000) per person. And this permit is checked at different checkpoints. As we have talked earlier; if you are travelling in a group, a guide is likely to manage it all for you. While if you are trekking solo, then you have to manage it all by yourself, at Nepal tourism office based in Kathmandu or Pokhara, which is a little discomfort. Note: bring a minimum of 4 passport size photo for trekking permit as well.
“It is always further than it looks. It is always taller than it looks. And it is always harder than it looks.”
Above quote is “the three rules of mountaineering”. We don’t know who came up with this quote, but they were exact, but it is entirely worth it.
The Annapurna trek is long, tiring and challenging for which you need to have both physical and mental condition in good health. Depending on the route of the trek, it takes more than 13 days to arrive back to the capital. The days on the trek would become exciting and fun, while some days are physically tiresome and energy draining. As you have taken things with you is very limited soon you will be out of stock.
Now there are safe drinking water stations on various checkpoints and villages. These days there is internet access everywhere, but after Manang, until you cross Thorong la pass, there is no wifi accessible. It sounds daunting but believes in yourself, standing in the peaks which you have never imagined, grouping with your friends for a cup of tea and lunch at teahouses is a different story. Moreover, when you celebrate after crossing the challenging Thorong La pass you wonder how you were even able to do it at first place and on the second hand, you wonder why you left that place and came down.
You understand this feeling when you see a beautiful girl at the party for the first time, right? Your hair stands up from the back of your neck, your heart starts pumping like a piston, and you start feeling a crisis of your existential being small in this universe. How even in this world this amazingness can exist.
Well, these magical moments happen every single day in the Annapurna region. With every footstep, the scenarios of the region changes and the mountains always have something new for you to offer. The breathtaking terrain, the rolling clouds, the wooden suspension bridge, the towering mountains or the simple smile of the local people everything is magnificent up there.
With every footstep, the scenario in front of you changes and the mountains reveal something; passing clouds, the breathtaking landscape, the tall mountains or the smiling face locals. Those mountains are the definition of beauty with the awe-inspiring moment.
The altitude sickness is not a joke
You may have gained a super fitness level. Gymnasium, a Marathon runner, won the triathlon but it’s of no use when it comes to altitude sickness. It can affect anyone which includes the fittest athletes. Therefore, equip yourself with all the necessary precautions after 3000m. This means, taking Diamox, staying hydrated, taking adequate rest and don’t miss your meals. If you sense the symptoms, then inform your guide and take immediate action.
Tea houses and lodges on the Annapurna circuit more than a decade
There is a complete guide to accommodation in Nepal so if you are expecting to stay at a 5-star hotel then you are going to disappoint yourself as you can imagine it for yourself that it’s a remote place away from the touch of the roads. You will be satisfied with the necessary accommodations provided with at that altitude.
Generally, the tea houses and guest houses are spotted everywhere along the trek from Besisahar to Jomsom valley. And these houses are made up of stone and wood which provides you with relief in the long trekking days. Most of the tea houses are generally twin share, enough space to open out.
Furthermore, as the elevation increases, the accommodation turns up into more basic. Soon you will be ok with any form of bedding as you start gaining altitude. All the tea houses are inbuilt with the furnace in the dining hall. Moreover, it is where you spend most of your time, and you can also meet other fellow travelers talking, eating and sharing their experience.
The tea houses make their living by selling food and snacks. It is likely to be a little more expensive than the capital. You can buy snacks, food and drinks at a tea house to support them. Doing this firstly you will lighten your bag packs, and second, it offers a required flow of money which helps to sustain their livelihood.
As the flow of dollars supports their livelihood, you spend up there, which means your bargain can disturb their financial situation. However, anyone travelling up there we request to pay fairly for both food and accommodation as people on the trail entirely rely on the dollar you spent for the survival.
Most of the tea houses have the necessary facilities. Until you reach Manang you will find a hot shower; you don’t have to pay for it. You can also charge your electronic devices for a small cost. For the alternatives, you can carry a solar charger to keep your device active all the time.
Take a few mandatory things
There are legendary people in Nepal who are super active and go up and down the mountains carrying your heavy luggage on their back, and we call them Porters. They do this so that you can focus on your journey without any discomfort. While they possess superhuman strength, they are quiet and shy in nature with real muscles.
By the way, you can help them out by bringing what is needed around 10 to 15 kg. Avoid all you make up kits, extra pair of jeans and other auxiliary things which leads to an increase in the weight of your bags.
Having a well equipped medical equipment for an unanticipated situation
Imagine this, you are enjoying your meal sitting near the fire, and you also played a few rounds of cards with your friend that night before going back to your bed. Suddenly, at midnight you suffer from diarrhea, and need to fetch a toilet every 2 minutes. So, if you haven’t carried Pepto-Bismol with you, then the possibility of continuing with your trek would become rare.
Likewise, you may suffer from cold, fever, headache, stomachache, and so on. If only you didn’t have a medical kit, then you have to discontinue your trekking. At higher elevation, the chances for getting altitude sickness are very high, so you need to carry Acetazolamide with you.
Walking with those boots for long hours may cause blisters that you need to carry band-aids, blister plasters. You may also need water purification tablets as well. Antibacterial cream is also essential for scratches and cuts. Antihistamine tablets for allergic reactions. Anti-nausea tablets for motion sickness, Paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever and pain relief. Finally, taking some toilet paper with you will come in handy, which later you thank yourself for carrying it along. So, for precaution, you need to carry a fully equipped medical kit which has everything that supports to give first aid during an emergency.
Four seasons in one trek
Going through the pleasant weather in the first early days, you probably doubt using those warm clothes. As the altitude increases, then you would realize why you pack those clothes above 3000m. You will face various kinds of weather as the Annapurna circuit trek covers all the climatic zones from alpine to tropical. For some days you will trek in shorts and t-shirt whereas other days you will cover your whole body as it is mercilessly cold at a higher level.
At Annapurna, the range of climatic zones is terrific, which surely gives you some grand view. That is why be ready then ask your guide; what kind of picture to expect, and what type of temperature to face.
Best quality and approachable price
While lumbering through the snow on the way to Thorong La pass, you might wonder how the food would be. But, your thoughts end when you get to see the food menu. You would still be confused after seeing the food you ordered on your table. All kinds of food including Italian, Chinese, Continental, Indian cuisine and of course famous Nepali dal bhat is available everywhere you stay.
You don’t need to fret about your taste buds as the cuisine found in the Annapurna region is amazingly superb. As the altitude increases the pricing of the food increases, so the price of the food is around 35 to 40 dollar per day. Conversely, the cost of the food decreases with a decrease in elevation. At the height of 3000m in Manang, you can treat yourself with the famous Yak Burger as well. In Nepal, the Dhal bhat is more popular than any other meal as the saying goes by “Dal Bhat power 24 hours”.
The Annapurna circuit trekking is cost-effective.
You may break your leg while trekking, it surely shouldn’t break your bank balance. As we have talked earlier, all your expenses including breakfast, meal dinner and permits are included in the amount which you paid more first. If you are trekking solo, then think of paying around 1300 USD which will cover your permits, food and lodgings.
On the matter of food, the expenditure around $40 per person in a day is sufficient to experience everything which includes your breakfast, lunch and dinner. We suggest you stock up on huge snacks, drinks and chocolate on your haversack for long walking days.
Furthermore, you won’t find any ATMs on the trail until you reach Jomsom. Therefore, stock up on Nepalese currency before you start the trekking. To keep the money safely, hide it in your kit bag and keep it with you all the time.
All over in Nepal, tipping is not mandatory, but when it comes to porters and guides, it’s reasonable to expect tips. Most of the trekking agencies here are set up depending upon the tips they gain from carrying our heavy luggage and leading groups. Generally for your leader, you should separate $10-15 per person in a day accordingly, for your porters $7 per traveler in a day.
Add about USD$200 in cash to your cost, and make sure to put it separately from the rest of your amount. In the case, if you spend everything in flow and forget about the tips.
Unambiguously require 100% travel insurance
After reading this blog for a while, you might have noticed already that we do nothing without travel insurance when you are trekking at a high altitude in the Annapurna Circuit. Likewise, either it is altitude sickness, sprained ankle or a natural disaster (2015 Nepal earthquake) the unanticipated can occur at any time. Thus, it is always better to prepare yourself.
Esteem the local culture
For most people, trekking is all about finding yourself, acknowledging yourself and breaking through your limit. But, the Annapurna circuit is not only filled with natural beauties as well as enriched with culture and tradition. The trail is upheld with the magnificent culture and sacred path by the Nepalese. Therefore, as a visitor, it is important to act accordingly and show respect to their learning along the way. In which, proper dressing, not littering and no criticizing are essential. Further, take some time to talk with locals and try to understand their beliefs and way of their life. In conclusion, the foremost part of travelling is to engulf you into another culture.
Dare not to pollute the Annapurna Circuit region
As we all know, the Annapurna region is remote, and due to its altitude reason, most of the villagers don’t have enough method for getting rid of waste materials. Alternatively, they have to carry it off the mountain region themselves, which is not absolute. And burning waste materials is not the best possible thought.
In the busy season, more than a thousand trekkers cross over the routes of the Annapurna Circuit. However, if you pause for a while to think about the effect that many people across the world come to visit the Annapurna region unmistakably bring waste products with them. And the waste (plastic bottles, sunscreen bottles, food wrappers etcetera.) materials left behind are for sure to burn or stay there on the other side.
You must be a responsible traveler on the Annapurna Circuit. Thus, you can reduce the trail from pollution using reusable products. And not littering plus taking all the trash out of the National parks along with you.
There will be enough spare time in the evening
After you arrive at your teahouse, there is plenty of free time in which you can do things which satisfy you. Moreover, you can prepare yourself for the coming day. The evening becomes dearest as you get to catch with your group, spend good time with them. There is WiFi connection as well; you can talk at your home and share them with your whole day experience. For the most part, you can chat with the locals who know about their livelihood. If you are a book lover then reading books which introduce you about the places you are travelling; night is the perfect time to explore in your fantasy about the travel.
Celebratory summit chocolate means a lot
Day to day, our group has always talked about the experience of the celebratory summit chocolate. So, when we reach the top Thorong La Pass (5416m), it seems mandatory to have a jollification of your success.
The celebration is the ultimate because reaching the highest point of your trek in good condition is not less than winning a war. It seems like kid stuff but enjoying a victory at the top is incomparable.
Annapurna Circuit is one of the best trek to witness the nature and culture of Nepal. Considered as the best long distance trek of the world by many, Annapurna Circuit is a bucket-list trek in the Himalayas of Nepal for most of adrenaline junkies. Before going to the trek, you must know about the ins and outs of the trek. Thus, I hope this blog on “Essential Things to know before Annapurna Circuit Trek” will help you plan your trek better and make your trip a successful one.
Furthermore, if you have any more question or want to book this trek with us then please feel free to contact us. To explore more trekking in Nepal, you can visit Nepal Trekking Packages.
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