Tsum Valley Trekking
Tsum Valley Trekking Overview
If you haven't heard of Tsum Valley before, don't feel bad. Until 2008, all foreigners were prohibited from entering this valley. Since then, it has been opened, and it is taste of what Tibet was like before it was annexed by China. Tsum Valley is 100% Tibetan Buddhist. There are 14 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, including those that allow visitors to spend the night. It is a valley surrounded by high, snowcapped mountains. There are only two ways to enter the valley: one by way of a pass into Tibet, the other by a deep gorge along the Syar River. Over 1000 years ago, this land was inhabited by warlike people. St. Milarepa, a Buddhist holy man came to the valley and taught the people here non-violence. Today, it is a place where the wild animals will come up to you, because no animal is killed here. The Tsum valley contains fertile fields along the Syar River. There are only 2,500 people living between the upper and lower valley. You will see the Dalai Lama's picture everywhere. The local people are very friendly and will welcome you into their homes. Children will look at you from a distance with shy smiles, as they are still not used to many visitors to this mysterious and wonderful land. The trip here is 18 days as you trek from Araghat to Tsum Valley. The views are magnificent, the mountains streams tumble down waterfalls, and the wildflowers blooming. The only way into the valley is on foot. You will meet donkey trains that carry things in and out of the valley or yak trains that move goods between Tibet and Tsum Valley. The number of visitors is limited by the Nepali government, but we can arrange all of the necessary permits for your entry into this wild and forbidden place.
Day to Day Itinerary
DAY 1 – Arrive Kathmandu : Upon arrival, meet assist and transfer to Hotel. After refreshment start sightseeing covering Kathmandu City &Swayabhunath.
DAY 2 – Kathmandu to Soti Khola (elev. 600 m) : The first day is one of travel. The journey to Tsum Valley begins at Kathmandu, moving westward and then to Dhading Besi, the district city of Dhading District. From here, the pavement is left behind as you travel by jeep to the municipality of Arughat and then from there to the starting point of your trek: Seti Khola.
DAY 3 – Trek to Machhakholagaon (elev. 1300 m) : The journey follows the Budhi Gandaki River northward as it spills its way down from the Manaslu and Tsum Valley region. The trek takes you along the river next to local villages as you make your way upriver. 6 – 8 hours trekking time.
DAY 4 – Macchakholagaon to Jagat (elev. 1410 m ) : The trail continues to rise, sometimes with high views over the river as you pass by Buddhist Mani Walls. The village of Jagat is a beautiful little village with its stone stepped streets next to the Budhi Gandaki River. Trekking time is 6 – 8 hours.
DAY 5 – Jagat to Lokpa (elev. 2040 m) : Today you finally come to the entrance of Tsum Valley. The trail crosses the Budhi Gandaki River as you rise high above its waters along the path to Tsum Valley. At one point, the waters of the Syar River join the Budhi Gandaki, it is here that you begin your journey toward Tsum Valley. Lokpa is the entrance to the hidden narrow valley that takes you into Tsum Valley. Trekking time 6 – 8 hours).
DAY 6 – Lopka to Chumling (elev. 2386 m) : Today's journey drops deep into the valley next to the Syar River and then back up to the first village in the lower VDC (Village Development Committee) where you will now be deep in the heart of the mountains of the Valley. Trekking time is 6- 9 hours.
DAY 7 – Chumling to Chhokang Paro (elev. 3031) : This day passes from the lower Tsum Valley to the Upper Tsum Valley. Chhokang Paro is the largest village in Tsum Valley, which is a farm village with beautiful stone buildings and narrow streets. Trekking time is 7 – 10 hours.)
DAY 8 – Chhokang Paro to Nile (elev. 3361 m) – Today you are walking the "highway" through the valley. This foot trail is the only pathway through Tsum Valley, going from village to village. The trail is what is called "Nepali level" (kind of up and down) with a gradual rise until you reach the village of Nile. Trekking time is 4 – 6 hours, with a visit to St. Milarepa's cave at Piren Phu.
DAY 9 –Nile to Mu Gompa (elev. 3700 m) : Today's trip is a short one (3-4 hours) as you make your way to the monastery of Mu Gompa. This monastery caters to visitors, where you can spend the night enjoying the hospitality of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the northern most point of the Tsum Valley journey. The trail does continue to Tibet, but there are very few villages north of Mu Gompa.
DAY 10 – Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (elev. 3240) : Lamagaon is a very pleasant little village which is your destination today. Nearby is the large Rachen Gompa, under the same lama as Mu Gompa. Rachen Gompa has accommodation for up to 113 monks. The trail returns along the same path (only one route in Tsum Valley). If you didn't have time to visit Piren Phu, then this is an ideal time to stop for a visit. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours.)
DAY 11 – Rachen Gompa to Gumba Lungdang : Today is a long trek (8 – 12 hours), but the journey through the pristine forests ends at Gumba Lungdang where you will spend the night. From this Gumba, it is in the shadow of Mt. Ganesh Himal I.
DAY 12 – Gumba Lungdang to Lopka (elev. 2240 m) : Return to Lopka, passing through the narrow entrance to Tsum Valley before climbing the hill to the village of entry where you will spend the night. 7- 10 hours of trekking time.
DAY 13 – Lopka to Jagat (elev. 1340 m) : The day is spent retracing steps back as you head to Jagat village. It is a downhill journey as you drop in elevation, as you rejoin the Budhi Gandaki River. Travel time is 6- 8 hours.
DAY 14 – Jagat to Lapu Bensi (elev. 900 m) : The journey continues downriver, ending in the pretty little village of Lapu Bensi. Trekking time 7 -9 hours.)
DAY 15 – Arughat Bazar (elev. 535 m) : This is the final day of trekking as you make your way to the village of Arughat Bazar. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours before picking up a short jeep ride to Arughat Bazar. The nice feature of Arughat Bazar is a hot bath and a nice hotel room.
DAY 16 – Return to Kathmandu : This is the return journey to the capital city. The journey makes its way through what is known as Lower Ruby Valley to Dhading Besi and then along the Trisuli River to Kathmandu. It's been a great journey into the forbidden valley of Tsum. This is not the only adventure you can have in Nepal. Be sure to talk to your representative of us about other treks and adventures in Nepal and beyond.
DAY 17 – Departure : Breakfast at hotel and drive to airport for your onward flight and wish you safe journey back home.