The mystical and remote Tsum Valley is one of the hidden gems of Nepal. This high valley sits wedged between towering mountain ranges to the north and south. The people here are of Tibetan origin and devotees of a distinct brand of Buddhism.
The Tsum Valley Trek offers commanding views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains but the real highlight is its culture and Buddhist monuments with monasteries, chortens and mani walls dotting the landscape. Tsum is a Tibetan word meaning “vivid” and after a visit you will realise why. Fields of buckwheat, barley, mustard, winter wheat and potatoes add a colourful patchwork pattern to the countryside.
Most supplies to the valley are brought over a long distance, some coming from Tibet on yak caravans, a two day horse ride away. Other supplies come up the valley from the lower area of Gorkha, which is a five day walk with pack horses.
Highlights of the trek include the caves of Piren Phu where the great Buddhist Yogi Milarepa meditated. A footprint in the cave is said to belong to him and is highly venerated. The high altitude and extremely remote monastery at Mu Gompa is home to around 20 monks and sits in an extremely harsh environmentat an altitude of almost 4000m and should not be missed. A visit to Rachen Gompa where around 80 young and old nuns meditate, pray and study at the fascinating nunnery is a must.
The trek starts at Soti Khola and follows the Manaslu trek along the steep sided Budhi Gandaki river before deviating into the narrow steep valley of the Siyar Khola about 2 hours north of Philim. The trail continues on through Lokpa and Chumling to Chhokang Paro where the valley opens into spacious fields and the trail is much flatter. Further on is Nile and Chhule and eventually Mu Gompa, the higest point of the trek. The return trek is via an alternate route on the south side of the river and a visit to Rachen Gompa before continuing back to Chumling and on to Soti Khola nad the end of the trek.
The Tsum Valley trek has only recently opened to foreign trekkers and therefore, only a handful of people have visited. Until recently, camping was required but now teahouses or homestays are available for the whole route. Two permits are required, one for the Manaslu restricted area and another for the Tsum Valley. Trekkers must be in groups of two or more and be accompanied by a registered guide.
This is a fascinating trek and offers great opportunities to explore the untouched and unique culture of the valley and its people. You will not be disappointed.
The trek starts and finishes in Kathmandu. To keep cost as low as possible, we offer the flexibility for you to arrange your own accommodation in Kathmandu however we are happy to arrange this for you if you wish.
Day 1: By road from Kathmandu to Arughat (600m) 6 hrs
Day 2: Bus to Soti Khola (700m) then trek to Machha Khola (930m) 7 hrs
Day 3: Trek to Jagat (1440m) 6 hrs
Day 4: Trek to Lokpa (2240m) 6 hrs
Day 5: Trek to Chumling (2360m) 4 hrs
Day 6: Trek to Chhokang Paro (3010m) 5 hrs
Day 7: Trek to Nile (3360m) 4 hrs
Day 8: Trek to Mu Gompa (3900m) and return to Nile 5 hrs
Day 9: Trek to Chhokang Paro (3010m) 5 hrs
Day 10: Trek to Lokpa (2240m) 7 hrs
Day 11: Trek to Dovan (1070m) 6 hrs
Day 12: Trek to Soti Khola (700m) 6 hrs
Day 13: By road to Arhugat Bazaar then by road to Kathmandu 8hrs
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