Is Manaslu Circuit Trek Alternative to Annapurna Circuit?
30 Mar 2023 Chandra Gurung
Many people consider the Manaslu Circuit Trek the alternative to the Annapurna Circuit Trek because it provides the same level of challenge and natural beauty.
Recently, domestic and foreign tourists have become increasingly interested in the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Manaslu circuit trek provides an unusual blend of breathtaking mountain beauty, real cultural experiences, and rigorous high-altitude trekking. As a result, the Manaslu Circuit trek is a popular alternative to the Annapurna Circuit trek.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Everest Base Camp Trek have long been Nepal’s top hiking routes. While walking to the base of the tallest mountains in the world is an unforgettable experience, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is even more amazing due to its variety of climatic zones, greenery, cultural communities, high passes, and hilly valleys.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek, on the other hand, is a fantastic alternative if you’re searching for a trek that incorporates characteristics of both the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks. With its stunning mountain vistas and strenuous high-altitude trekking, the walk delivers a unique experience. It also allows travelers to see various cultural villages and learn about their cultures and traditions.
Similarly, trekkers can tour the historic Buddhist temples and local villages along the path, including the Gurung and traditional Tibetan societies. Visitors can learn about these communities’ distinctive way of life and observe their daily routines as they’ve managed to preserve their traditions and practices over the years.
You’ll indulge in the breathtaking mountain scenery and strenuous high-altitude trekking while fully immersing yourself in the regional culture. Hence, it’s not surprising that the Manaslu Circuit Trek is becoming increasingly well-liked among daring tourists seeking a singular and memorable trekking experience in Nepal.
Is Manaslu Circuit Trek The Alternative To The Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The Manaslu circuit trek is the best alternative to the Annapurna circuit trek. Many people think of the Manaslu Circuit Trek as an alternative to the Annapurna Circuit Trek because it provides the same level of challenge and natural beauty. Annapurna and Manaslu circuit trek provides breathtaking Himalayan vistas in Nepal’s central area.
Hence, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is an excellent alternative to the Annapurna Circuit Trek if you’re an adventurer looking for a journey that provides:
- A distinctive and authentic cultural experience.
- Stunning Himalayan views.
- The chance to explore unknown areas.
Why is Manaslu Circuit Trek an alternative to Annapurna Circuit Trek?
- Less Crowded:
Nepal’s popular and well-liked Annapurna Circuit Trek is renowned for its scenic views and difficult terrain. Yet, during the busiest trekking seasons, it can get very congested, with several trekkers vying for rooms in the teahouses and space on the trail.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek, on the other hand, is a relatively undiscovered path that provides a more isolated and tranquil experience. This walk has fewer fellow hikers on the trail, taking you through remote communities and stunning scenery. Fewer people present allow you to fully appreciate the surrounding mountains’ glory and experience a sense of tranquility that may be difficult to obtain on more crowded routes.
2. Cultural experience:
You travel through a region rich in cultural diversity on the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The trip travels through several traditional villages where a trekker can observe people’s distinctive way of life and traditions. Moreover, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is more authentic and less marketed than the Annapurna Circuit Trek while offering a comparable cultural exchange.
Both treks provide spectacular scenery with breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas, including snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and cliffs. Meanwhile, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is more rural and undeveloped, with fewer communities and infrastructure along the way, which allows for a more sincere and unique perception.
Both the Annapurna circuit trek and the Manaslu circuit trek provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for trekkers. They require walking in steep ascents and descents, high-altitude conditions, and challenging terrain. Similarly, it is also essential to have proper acclimatization skills and physical fitness.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is less difficult and daring than the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Trekkers must be physically healthy and emotionally ready for the trek because it requires crossing high-altitude passes.
How Is Manaslu Circuit Trek Different From Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The following points explain how the Manaslu circuit trek differs from the Annapurna circuit trek:
1. Length Of The Trek:
Generally, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is shorter than the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The Manaslu Circuit Trek usually takes 14 to 16 days, but the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes 18 to 21 days.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a less popular and newest trekking route in Nepal that covers a distance of about 177 kilometers. The journey begins at Soti Khola and ends in Besisahar. The journey leads to Larkya La Pass, 5,160 meters above sea level and the trek’s highest point.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek, on the other hand, is a well-known and renowned trekking route in Nepal, covering a distance of about 230 kilometers. The trek begins in Besishahar and finishes in Pokhara. It leads you to Thorong La Pass, the trek’s highest point at 5,416 meters.
2. The Wilderness And Remoteness Of The Location:
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is less explored and secluded than the Annapurna Circuit Trek. An exclusive permit is necessary to access the hike because it is in a remote region of Nepal. The journey offers breathtaking views of Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world (8,163 meters), as it travels through some of Nepal’s most isolated and untamed terrain. The walk is more difficult due to the less maintained track and the lack of teahouses and lodges along the way.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek, on the other hand, is more well-trodden and developed than the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The route travels through more populated and developed areas. The walk is more comfortable because many developed communities have teahouses, lodges, and guesthouses. The Annapurna Circuit Trek provides a greater variety of scenery and topography by crossing rich subtropical woods, forests, and high mountain passes.
3. Hiring Trekking Guide
Hiring a guide for the Annapurna Circuit trek is not mandatory. But, it is a good idea that solo trekkers join a group of at least three people for safety reasons. However, for the Manaslu Circuit trek, it is mandatory to hire a registered guide, as per the rules of the Government of Nepal. A trekking guide ensures the trekkers’ safety and helps them navigate the remote and less developed areas along the trek.
4. People And Culture In The Trek
The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers an authentic cultural experience that the Annapurna Circuit Trek has lost over the years. The Manaslu region is predominantly inhabited by the Gurung and Tibetan ethnic groups, each with distinct cultures and languages.
Trekking through this region allows you to visit traditional Gurung and Tibetan villages and interact with locals to better understand their day-to-day lifestyle and culture. For instance, Lho Village and Sama Gaun are peaceful Tibetan villages nestled high in the Himalayas, offering a glimpse into their unique way of life.
Likewise, there are several ethnic groups living in Annapurna, including the Gurung, Magar, Thakali, and Brahmin, all of whom have their own cultures and traditions. While trekking through this region, you can learn about their cultures as you pass through their villages. Muktinath is a significant cultural site in the Annapurna Circuit.
In conclusion, while the Annapurna Circuit Trek remains incredibly popular, the Manaslu Trek offers a unique alternative combining both worlds. The Manaslu Trek is a great option if you’re looking for an amazing trekking adventure in Nepal. You can explore the country’s unspoiled beauty as the Manaslu Trek takes you through isolated and less-traveled parts of Nepal.
You’ll travel through traditional villages, cross high-altitude mountains, and enjoy breathtaking mountain views, including Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world. Furthermore, the Manaslu Trek also provides a unique opportunity to experience the culture. You’ll run into several ethnic groups, such as the Gurungs, Tamangs, and Tibetans, and you’ll get to see their distinctive customs and traditions firsthand.
Q. Which is an alternative to the popular Annapurna circuit trek?
The alternative to the popular Annapurna circuit trek is the Manaslu circuit trek.
Q. Is the Manaslu circuit trek the alternative to the Annapurna circuit trek?
Yes, the Manaslu circuit trek is the alternative to the Annapurna circuit trek. It is an unexplored trekking route less crowded than the Annapurna circuit trek. You will experience the same natural beauty and challenges in the Manaslu Circuit as in the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Q. What are the highlights of the Manaslu circuit trek?
The highlights of the Manaslu circuit trek include stunning views of Mount Manaslu and other Himalayan peaks, a remote and less crowded route, Larkya La Pass, and a great chance to experience remote Nepal’s culture.
Q. What mountain range can we see from the Manaslu circuit trek?
We can see mountain ranges like Mount Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Himalchuli, and Ganesh Himal range.
Q. What is the distance of the Manaslu circuit trek?
The distance of the Manaslu circuit trek is 177 kilometers (110 miles).
Q. Is it necessary to hire a guide for the Manaslu circuit trek and Annapurna circuit trek?
Hiring a guide for the Annapurna Circuit trek is not mandatory. But, it is a good idea that solo trekkers join a group of at least three people for safety reasons. However, for the Manaslu Circuit trek, it is mandatory to hire a registered guide, as per the rules of the Government of Nepal.