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The Around Annapurna trek, or Annapurna Circuit, takes about 18 to 23 days to finish.
It all depends on your pace, and the time you want to spend in each place on the way.
The advice is - do it easy and slowly - it is good for your health (acclimatization to the heights should be done gradually) and the places are so beautiful - take your time to enjoy every moment.
The trek is almost fully round, and the best way to do it is "anti-clock-wise". The first part of the trek takes you up the Marsyangdi river, then you cross the amazing "Thorung-La" mountain pass (5416 meters high) and complete the route while descending through the Kali-Gandaki river.
During the trek you actually surround the Annapurna ridge, which includes very high peaks, some reach over 8,000 meters!
Crossing Thorung-La pass is probably the hardest day of the trek.
The day starts by climbing about 900 meters (from 4500 m to 5400 m) to the mountain pass, and then descending 1600 meters on the other side - all in one day!!
The good thing about this is that it is also the most amazing day of the trek, and - it is practically the only really difficult day in the whole trek.
But - you should still remember to maintain basic safety rules.
It is really dangerous to cross the pass in a bad weather. During the winter and sometimes even in the spring when the trekking season brings many tourists to the area, it can snow there, and the pass closes.
The altitude you reach on the trek is really high - most of the trek you'll walk above 3000 meters. 5416 meters is the highest point you reach on this trek. In these heights you should ascend gradually in heights, drink a lot, and rest as much as you can.
Mountain sickness is something you really don't want to have.
You also have to take the right equipment, especailly warm clothes.
There are some important things you have to take care of before "hitting the trek".
- ACAP fee - Entrance fee to the Annapurna region can be paid in ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project ) offices in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
- Hiring equipment - You can hire all the things you need for the trek - warm sleeping bags, coats, jackets, gloves, and so on. In most of the stores the equipment is in really good condition, and it will be a waste of money to buy those things solely for the trek. It is recommended to hire equipment for the Around Annapurna in Pokhara. There are plenty of shops that rent trekking gear in the "lake side" of Pokhara.
- Porters - It is highly recommended to take Nepali porters with you. Knowing the way isn't much the problem as carrying your stuff, and this is the job of these people. Porters that speak english can help you more - to communicate with local people on the way, to tell you things about the trek, and to teach you Nepali. It is advisable to hire porters through a proper office. Most of the tourists agencies in Pokhara can provide you porters. Hiring them through an office give you a kind of insurance, so you have an address to apply to if you encounter any problems. Of course you can also find them by yourself.
- Cash money - It is almost impossible to exchange money during the trek. Take enough rupees with you, and take some spare rupees also.
- Prepare the things you will not find on the trek, or find them very expensive - such as films for the camera, sun-glasses, warm clothes, map of the trek (buy it in Kathmandu or Pokhara)
- Goodies - You'll be surprised to know, that during the trek you get an unexplained desire to eat sweet things. Chocolates on the trek are quite expensive, so take some sweet things with you before you start the trek.
- Other important things to take: "health kit" with some important medicine, a good flash-light, pen, notebook.
There are two possible starting points for the Around Annapurna trek.
First is Besi Sahar and the other is Begnas Bazar, (marked Sisuwa in some maps).
Most of the tourists start the Around Annapurna (the walking) from a village called "Besi Sahar".
The way to this village is done by taking a bus (tourist bus or local bus) from Kathmandu or Pokhara to a town named Dumre, which is on the main Kathmandu-Pokhara road, and then taking a terrible local bus to Besi-Sahar. This starting point isn't recommended, due to the bad condition of the road to Besi-Sahar, and the always very very crowded bus taking you there.
The second starting point, and the recommended one, is to start near Pokhara, at Begnas Bazar (or Sisuwa). It is a 20 minutes ride form Pokhara by a local taxi, and the village is located just south to a lake called Begnas lake.
Starting the trek there will add two more walking days to the trek, but it's worth it!
You'll reach some really beautiful calm places.
After two walking days you'll join the "main trek route".
Day 01: Drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then follow the narrow road by the Marsyangdi River to Besi Sahar (823m.). It takes about 6 hours.
Day 02: Trek from Beshishahar to Bahundanda (1305m.) and it takes about 6 hours.
Day 03: Trek from Bahundanda to Chamje (1410m.) which takes about 6 hours.
Day 04: Trek from Chamje (1410m. ) to Dharapani (1960m.) and it takes about 6 and half hours.
Day 05: Trek from Dharapani to Chame (2675m.) which takes about 6 and half hours.
Day 06: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3100m.) which takes about 5 hours.
Day 07: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3440m.) and it takes about 5 and half hours.
Day 08: Rest day at Manang and hang in and around town.
Day 09: Trek from Manang to Thorong Phedi (4420m.) and it takes about 7 hours.
Day 10: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3850m.) via Thorong La (5416m.) Pass and it takes about 7 hours.
Day 11: Trek from Muktinath to Marpha (2650m.) and it takes about 6 hours.
Day 12: Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2013m.) which takes about 6 hours.
Day 13: Trek from Ghasa to Tatopani (1189 m.) which takes about 5 hours.
Day 14 : Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (2853 m.) for about 7 hours.
Day 15: Trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani which takes about 4 and half hours.
Day 16: Trek from Tadapani to Ghandruk and it takes about 3 hours.
Day 17: Trek from Ghandruk to Birethanti-Nayapul- pokhara (car) 5:00hr
Day 18: Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus.
- Pick up from airport and transfer to hotel
- Accommodation in kathmandu as your Budget.
- Kathmandu valley sight seeing and prepare for trek
- An professional Sherpa Guide with Government License
- Sherpa porter who will carry your baggage(2 person 1 sherpa porter)
- Food in Trekking(Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner )
- All Accommodation during Trekking(Tea House/ Camping)
- Necessary Trekking permits
- TIMS (Trekkers Information Management system card)
- Necessary Equipment( sleeping bag and Down Jacket)
- All programme as per Itinerary
- Necessary flight Ticket/ Land Transport(Domestic only )
- Food , salary Transport, clothing for Guide and Porter
- Insurance for Guide and Porter
- Rescue Help
- Lunch and dinner in kathmandu and Pokhara
- Any kinds of Drinks( soft and Hard Drinks)
- Visa, international flight ticket
- Personal Nature expenses
- Tips for Staffs
- Rescue and Evacuation cost
- Annapurna Base Camp / Sanctuary Trek - 12 Days
- Annapurna Circuit Trek / Round Annapurna Trek - 18 Days
- Annapurna Circuit - Jomsom Trek - 15 Days
- Ghorepani Trekking - 08 Days
- Jomsom Muktinath Treks (Fly In Trek Out) - 12 Days
- Royal Trekking - 07 Days
- Manang Tilicho Pass - Tilicho Lake Trekking - 16 Days
- Manang Tilicho Pass - Tilicho Lake Trekking (In Details)- 21 Days
- Panchase Trekking- 06 Days
- Ghale Gaun Trekking - 06 Days
- Sikles Trekking - 07 Days