Annapurna Vs Manaslu Circuit Trek: Which Trek is Right for You?
9 Oct 2023 Chandra Gurung
Nepal is a natural paradise and is home to the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest. Most of the world’s highest peaks, 14 over 8000 meters peak. Heavenly Nepal offers numerous Trek destinations, and it is important to choose one based on your preference for difficulty, length, altitude, and scenery of the trail. To conquer the trek in Nepal, you need to have a decent fitness level, interests, and purpose to reach the top.
Unlike any other, your Trekking experience can be magnificent in Annapurna and Manaslu Circuit Trek. In this blog, we will be comparing two of the popular Trekking destinations in Nepal and help you choose one.
Comparing Annapurna Vs Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a trek around the World’s eighth-highest Peak, Mount Manaslu (8,163 m), which is around 170–kilometers. Whereas, Annapurna Circuit Trek is the tour and trek around Mt Annapurna (8091), which is the 10th highest in the World. Located in the Annapurna Massif, the trek route around Annapurna is about 210 km long.
Relatively, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is shorter. Both the trek journeys are amazing through remote villages, lush vegetation, greenery, alpine meadows, and rich culture. They also offer picturesque views of the Mystic Himalayas like Mount Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Lhotse, and others.
Which Trek is Right for You? Annapurna Vs Manaslu Circuit Trek
On each Trekking trail through the Himalayas, you will have unique and memorable avenues and adventures. For trekking and adventure enthusiasts like you, you will have the opportunity to glance at beautiful sunrises from serene viewpoints like Larkye La Pass, Annapurna Base Camp, Poon Hill View Point, and others.
Manaslu Circuit Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek give you unforgettable challenges and rewards at the same time. Embarking on a successful trekking experience is possible when you correctly assess your needs, preferences, and the experience you want to have before signing up for the Himalayan Adventure.
Above all, the remoteness and tranquil ambiance of Manaslu Circuit Trek are more appealing, this is why you may consider choosing it. Find detailed comparisons on both treks based on trek duration, permit requirement, difficulty level, and other criteria.
|Comparison||Annapurna Circuit Trek||Manaslu Circuit Trek|
|Start-End Point||Besisahar to Nayapul||Soti Khola to Dharapani|
|Trek Duration||15 to 18 days||10 to 14 days|
|Tibet Border||No Access||Access|
|Permits||ACAP and TIMS||ACAP, MCAP, and MRAP|
|Distance||210 kilometers||170 kilometers|
|Difficulty||Moderate difficulty Trek route||Challenging Trek route|
|Mountain Passes||Crosses one high pass (Thorung La, 5416 meters)||Crosses two high passes (Larkya La, 5105 meters, and Thorung La, 5416 meters)|
|Location||Less remote trek route||Comparatively, more remote|
|Cost||Relatively costly||Relatively less expensive|
|Development||More Developed Trek route||Less Developed Trek Route|
Talking about Mountain passes, you need to cross only one mountain pass, Thorong La Pass in Annapurna Circuit Trek. That’s why the Manaslu Circuit trek with two passes, Larkya La (5105m) and Thorong La Pass (5416m) is more challenging to conquer.
Major Attractions of Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek starts from Soti Khola, and the duration will be based on the Itinerary plans of your agency, usually between 10 to 14 days. The trail days can be exhausting with 6 to 7 hours of walking between Machhakhola to Jagat, Deng, Nemrung, and high-altitude passes like Larke La Pass.
- High-altitude Trek destination with amazing views of Mount Manaslu (8,163 m)
- Unique Tibetan culture in the remote villages of Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Less crowded, challenging, and peaceful trekking experience
- Diverse and uneven terrain and slopes offer stunning alpine location
- Rich historical and cultural values of Ancient monasteries like Rachen Gompa
- The trail through pine and bamboo forests, vibrant rhododendrons in the spring
- Challenging passes like Larkya La Pass and lesser known rugged passes like, Sam Do pass, Deng Pass
- Suspension Bridges, and crossing of BudhiGandaki River
Major Attractions of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek begins from Besisahar and extends to Annapurna Base Camp. The flexible journey to Annapurna, spending time in this highly demanded Himalayan expenditure may take between 15-18 days on average.
- Offers tranquil ambiance and amazing views of Mt Annapurna I, Annapurna II, and Annapurna III
- Crossing Thorong La Pass and witnessing the Tibetan Plateau, and Dhaulagiri Mountain Range
- Several stunning viewpoints, traditional Nepali villages, Marpha village, Kagbeni, Manang Valley, and Buddhist Monasteries, like Braga Monastery
- Visit the sacred Muktinath temple, hike to Poon Hill, and relax session at Tatopani
- Visit Tilicho Lake surrounded by glaciers offering a magnificent view
- Rich floral and fauna diversity in the protected area of Annapurna Conservation Area
- Enjoy the charming yak pastures in high elevations
Location and Accessibility of Both Treks
Manaslu Circuit Trek begins from the central-west part of Nepal in the Gorkha district. It is accessible by road. The local bus ride to Gorkha takes about 7-8 hours. Earlier there was Palungtar Airport( Gorkha Airport) which is not in operation now. For arriving at Gorkha you may as well hire a jeep, taxi, or tourist bus for your convenience.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is closer to major cities than the Manaslu region, and it is relatively advanced. You can begin your journey after reaching Pokhara, either by 20-30-minute flight, or by road through micro buses, jeeps, or taxis. As Annapurna is developing roads might be challenging because of undergoing construction and maintenance.
Trekking Permits of Annapurna Vs Manaslu Circuit Trek
If you are ascending to the most awaited adventure to the Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit trek, obtaining the necessary trekking permits is mandatory. For Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will be requiring an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and a TIMS Card.
To conquer the Manaslu Circuit Trek, you need a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) as the trail falls in a specially preserved region. To acquire an RAP, you need to have a licensed guide with you in your trekking. You also will be requiring the ACAP, Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP) to follow through the uneven trail and ascend in the Manaslu region. Upon paying the prescribed fees of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), you will be allowed to explore the integral natural beauty of the Manaslu and Annapurna trekking regions.
When to Go? Annapurna Vs Manaslu Circuit Trek
The best time when you can find better weather, temperatures, and clear views of snow-capped mountains is around spring (March to May), and fall (September-November) seasons. Throughout this time, you can have the convenience and additional benefits of conquering Annapurna and Manaslu Circuit Trek. Roads are more friendly and relatively easy to ascend around the slopes in the weather. Still, chances of unexpected rain and weather fluctuations may take place at higher altitudes. Nights can get colder, and days can be mild during this time of the year.
Accommodations: Manaslu Vs Annapurna Circuit Trek
Accommodations in Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trek include your night stay at lodges, and tea houses, in the lower region. However, as you ascend upward, you may need to camp at a higher altitude, hence, be prepared with essential gear, and camping items, and make yourself for the coldest night in the Manaslu and Annapurna regions.
Local Homestays, guest houses, and some mountain shelters can be expected on the trekking routes. You can have electrical outlets, local cuisines, some international dishes, and shared bathroom facilities in this region. Booking accommodation early is suggested considering the remoteness of the Trek area.
All in all, both the Manaslu Circuit Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek can be physically demanding. But as you ascend with good spirit, you can observe true natural beauty, pristine lakes, glaciers, and snow-capped peaks in this region. The remote trails through Annapurna and Manaslu Circuit trek allow you to pass through villages and interact with people with different transitions, cultures, and belief systems.
Upon exploring both regions, you can have a unique trekking experience each time. If you want to trek any one of those, we will recommend Manaslu Circuit Trek, for a more local and remote experience, and scenic beauty alongside the villages, where you can taste authentic local cuisine and traditional flavors. Contact Manaslu guide if you want to book for new challenges and create epic memories in the heart of the Himalayas.