Hidden within the pristine beauty of Gorkha, the TSUM valley lies before the Manaslu range of Nepal. Manaslu is the world’s eighth highest mountain and lies in the central north of Nepal. This pristine mountain harbors many beautiful valleys that lie a few hundred kilometers away from Kathmandu. And one such remote valley of Nepal is Tsum valley. Tourist has just recognized the unbelievable natural beauty and the rich culture of Tsum.
And we can claim that the Tsum valley trek is the most underrated adventure of Nepal. Tsum Valley lies in the northern part of Manaslu. The name Tsum represents a Tibetan word that marks “Tsombo”; meaning is Vivid. Even the name reflects the diverse culture, unique lifestyle, and myth/ mystery of this village. From the insight into the polyandry system (off-course illegal) to the tales of Yeti or Abominable snowman, the valley has so much to uncover.
Tsum Valley Trek With Manaslu
You can see the Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Himalchuli, and dozens of other peaks in the journey. This hidden Jewel homes many old monasteries/ gompas, Mani walls, rotating wheels, and prayer flags along the route. The rich Tibet culture will surely give you salvation and peace. Recently, upgraded to a tea house trekking trail, you can now conquer Tsum’s beauty while enjoying the comfort and luxury of newly built tea houses.
The 12-days Tsum valley trek begins with an exciting drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola and then to the Nile via Jagat. Walking via the thick tropical forest, cascading rivers, and pristine lakes, you will soon be wandering in the deserted land of the mountain. On the 8th day, you reach Mu Gompa, the major highlight of this trek, and get back to Soti Khola via Lokpa. The victory over Tsum comes with a life-long lesson of happiness and peace- a purely rejuvenating experience.
So, Are You Ready To Explore Tsum Valley?
Highlights Of Tsum Valley Trek
- A delightful experience of high altitude trekking, i.e. our final destination Mu Gompa at 3700 meters above sea level
- Avoid the crowd of other popular base camp treks and enjoy the solitude of nature all by yourself.
- Visit many century-old monastery and dive to the core of Buddhist religion
- Experience of unique Tibetan culture of Gurung and Tamang people, including polyandry
- Discover the truly hidden settlement likes Philim, Gao Samagaon, Shambo
- Wander through the rich sub-tropical forest and encounter many rear and endangered Himalayan wildlife- a jungle safari-like experience
- Comfortable accommodation in the newly built tea houses of Tsum.
Required Permits For Tsum Valley Trek
Along with your Nepal visa, you need three other permits for this trek. Tourist Visa to Nepal is available upon arrival at the airport and costs $50 for 30 days. Indian Manaslu trekkers do not need a visa, and a visa is free for a citizen of SAARC country.
Tsum Restricted Permit
Tsum valley lies within the restricted region of Nepal, so you will need a restricted area permit. This permit is necessary to cross Jagat (there’s a check-post). This restricted area permit is only issued to group trekkers (more than two) accompanied by a licensed trek guide. The trekkers need to get this permit from the Department of Immigration, Kathmandu, and require a long list of documents. Your travel agency (Himalayan masters) will assist you in getting the restricted area permit. The cost is:
September – November: USD 40 per person/week, and USD 7 per person/day (beyond one week)
December – August: USD 30 per person/week, and USD 7 per person/day (beyond one week)
Manaslu Conservation area permit
The Manaslu conservation area starts at Philim. You can get this permit from Kathmandu or even at the entry point. Only your passport size photo and passport are needed to issue the permit and cost about USD 30 (Rs 600 for people of SAARC country).
Annapurna Conservation area permit
This permit is only needed if you take route three mentioned above. This permit is not needed for our Itinerary. The cost and rules are similar to those for the Manaslu Conservation area.
Tsum Trek Difficulty And Fitness
The fact that Tsum valley was closed for many years and lies within a restricted region make it sound scary. However, the fact is, it’s among the most leisurely trek in the Manaslu region. Firstly, the trek’s highest point is 3,700 meters, which is very low compared to other big tours of Nepal.
If you drink enough water and give yourself enough rest, the chances of altitude sickness in Tsum are almost till. You will be walking for ten days, 15 to 20kms each day in the trek. The overall Tsum valley hike is about 150kms. Trekking such distance is not a big deal. However, walking in the rough mountain terrain demands fit physical fitness.
So, if you are not a professional climber, you need to train your body with a few cardio exercises before then trek. Running, Jogging, Swimming, and cycling two months before the hike can be helpful. You will not need trekking gear and climbing skills for this trek.
Note: Travel Insurance covering high altitude trek rescue/ evacuation and Medical treatment is compulsory for this trek.
Tsum Valley Accommodation
For a long time, this region of Manaslu was a popular camping trek destination. The Tsum valley Nepal trek has recently been upgraded as a tea house trek destination. There are only a handful of tea houses, and you need to book them in advance—the cost of a room in tea houses is minimum, i.e. $5 to $6.
Tea houses are small hotels owned by the locals with centrally heated restaurants. The room has 2 to 3 single beds, a mattress, a pillow, and a small blanket. It’s not very luxurious, but comfortable enough. The bathrooms are usually Indian style and available on sharing basis. The hot shower is available for an extra cost ($2- $3).
Internet/ Wi-Fi in TSUM trek: Most tea houses now have a wireless network connection, but the speed is prolonged. It cost an additional $2.
Electricity in TSUM trek route: The electronic devices can be charged in reception, which will also cost a few extra dollars. Having an extra battery, power banks, and solar-powered charger is handy. We don’t suggest you carry a laptop.
Food Available At Tsum valley Trek
The tea house also provides you with a warm breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The choice in menu is quite versatile, and the cost is $5 to $7 per meal. For breakfast, Tibetan Breads, dry bread with Cheese, Oatmeal, and toast with jam/ honey/ peanut butter are common. Hashed brown potato, boiled eggs, pancakes, porridge/ muesli with milk is available. Coffee/ tea and lemon drink are also included. Thukpa (noodle soup), (dumplings), bread, fry rice, and soup are famous in Nepal.
There’s also international cuisine like Macroni, Spaghetti, steaks, Sandwiches, Pizza, and spring rolls. Some desserts are also available- Rice Pudding, Apple pie, and fruits snicker. Dal/Bhat set is the most popular option for the food. You can try some yak steak and cheese. Local food like Dhindo, Butter tea, Sel roti is also a must-have. Water bottles cost 1-3 USD per litter. To save money, you can carry your water bottle and fill it in natural taps. However, it would help if you carried purification tablets.
Climate And Weather Of Tsum Valley
Four major seasons are observed in the Tsum valley. Each season has its perks and drawback. Learning about the weather of Manaslu right before the trek is very useful.
Tsum in summer (June, July, and August): Summer has the hottest day, i.e. 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. The nighttime temperature is about 5 degrees. Frequent rain (about 500mm/ month) might block your view and make the path slippery. So make sure you have prepared your Itinerary to skip the heavy rain.
Winter in Tsum valley (December, January, and February): December in Tsum is still warm and fun. Although the temperature starts to drop, the sun heats the valley well. January and early February might experience some snowfall above 3000 meters. If you like snow, the trek in winter is even more thrilling. Otherwise, you can trek in late February. The temperature in winter is -3 to -8 degrees Celsius at night and about 2 degrees Celsius in the daytime.
Autumn in Tsum valley (September, October, and November): Autumn is a great time to be in the proximity of mountains. The sky is clear, the mountains are shining, and the temperature rises. The temperature of TSUM valley is about 12 degrees Celsius during the day and 3 degrees Celsius at night. Also, you will not be distracted by the snowfall and rainfall.
Spring in Tsum valley (March, April, and May): Spring is the time for new blooms and colors. The temperature of Tsum in spring is 15 degrees Celsius in the daytime and about 3 degrees Celsius at night. Early March is an excellent time for a trek when the snow in the mountain is still shining. The sky is clear in the morning and cloudy in the evening.
Best Season For Tsum Valley Nepal Trek
You might have already guessed this from the description above. Travel experts in Nepal claim that autumn is the best season for the trek. The sky is often clear, opening up the best view of the mountain. Spring is the other best season. The sky might not be evident in the evening, but the colorful blooms of Rhododendron make it a lovely time to trek.
However, if you seek to witness the mountains at their best, aim for the winter trek. There might be some snow around Mu Gomba, and it’s a cold month. However, the mountains blanket in thick snow layers is just mesmerizing. The summer trek can be a bit challenging, but it is absolutely possible with proper preparation. In short, being a low altitude trek, this TSUM valley trek is possible throughout the year.
Tsum Valley Trek Map
Route 1: Our Itinerary here is only 12-days long. This is a rather short route and goes via the places mentioned here in the Itinerary section.
Route 2: If you have a few more days in your holiday, you can take another route from Chekampar (Day 09 in Itinerary) and then walk to Gumba Lundang and visit Ganesh Himal Base Camp. This gives you the true experience of the base camp trek. From Gumba Lundang, you walk to Lokpa and Jagat, joining the same route.
Route 3: You can also join the Annapurna Circuit Route from the Domje village (above Chumling). For this, you first walk to Bihi, Namrung, and then to Sama Gaon. Joining Samdo and Larkya Phedi, you walk to Dharmsala, Bhimthang, and Dharapani. From Dharapani, you can drive to Besisahar and then to Kathmandu. This makes your Tsum valley trek about 20 days.
Related Content:- Manaslu circuit trek
Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary Detail
Day 1: Drive to Soti Khola
Drive duration: 7-8 hours
Initially, we drive from Kathmandu via Trishuli River and join a different route from Dhading Besi. In the next part, we pass via Arughat Bazaar along Budi Gandaki Riverside. From, Arkhet we drive to Soti Khola for an hour.
Overnight in Soti Khola
Day 02: Trek to Machhikhola
Trek duration: 6-7 hours
Today, we walk north via Soti Khola and get into Buddhi Gandaki valley to stop at Lapubesi. From here, we descent to a wide river and then reach MachhiKhola for dinner.
Overnight in MachhiKhola
Day 03: Trek to Jagat
Trek duration: 6 to 7 hours
Today, we cross the suspension bridge and then walk to Kholabesi. After another river, we get to Tatopani and reach the beautiful village of Dovan. Next, we walk to Thulo Dunga and to the Jagat Village.
Overnight in Jagat
Day 04: Trek to Lokpa
Altitude: 2020 m
Trek duration: 5/6 hours
Here, we cross an entry point: the registration post for the permit. After paperwork, we climb to Salleri village. Crossing Budhi Gandaki River, we explore the Phelim village and Ekle Bhatti. We walk closer to the mountains towards Lokpa.
Overnight in Lokpa
Day 05: Trek to Chumling
Trek duration: 3/ 4 hours
Here, the actual wild route to TSUM valley commences. We can see Siring Himal, Buddha Himal and Ganesh Himal before ascending to Chumling village. Here, we visit the ancient Buddhist monastery in the evening.
Overnight in Chumling
Day 06: Trek to Chhekampar
Trek duration: 5/6 hours
First, we cross the Syar River in Domje and ascend into Gho, the largest village of TSUM Valley; we visit a typical local Monastery and then slowly walk to Chhekampar.
Overnight in Cheekampar
Day 07: Trek to the Nile
Altitude: 3362 meters
Trek duration: 5/ 6 hours
Today’s a short walk in the west of the Nile, i.e. Shikhar Khola. Then, we get to Chhule and then rest at Lamagaon. After that, we stop at Milrepa to visit the Pire Phu cave. The Pigeon cave lies on the side of a rocky cliff mountain with two monasteries attached. From here, we walk to the Nile.
Overnight in the Nile
Day 08: Trek to Mu Gompa
Altitude: 3700 meters
Trek duration: 5/6 hours
It’s the final destination of our trek. We walk closer to the Tibetan border from the Nile and stop at Mu Gompa. This historical Buddhist monastery with beautiful Chortens lies beyond the Yak pasture, just before the Rocky Mountains. We stay at this very important pilgrim site at Tsum valley.
Overnight in Mu Gompa
Day 09: Trek to Chumling
Trek duration: 6/ 7 hours
On a very familiar path, we walk to Chumling via Nile and Chhekampar.
Overnight at Chhekampar
Day 10: Trek to Dovan Village
Altitude: 1150 meters
Trek duration: 6/7 hours
From the TSUM valley, we walk down to Lokpa via Ekle Bhatti and Philim Ghaun. We will also stop at Jagat before finally getting to Dovan Village.
Overnight in Dovan
Day 11: Trek to Soti Khola
Trek duration: 6/7 hours
From Dovan, we cross a river to Tatopani. Then, we trace back the route to Khorlabesi and Machhikhola via Soti Khola.
Overnight in Soti Khola
Day 12: Drive back to Kathmandu
It’s time to drive back to Kathmandu