Annapurna region in the north central of Nepal covers a series of thirteen 7000m peaks and sixteen 6000m peaks, and the 10th highest peak in the world Annapurna I (8091m). The entire Annapurna region, the first and largest conversation area of Nepal, is protected by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). Its snow-capped peaks and tourist-friendly tea houses’ facilities has attracted many trekkers and climbers every year.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the classic, most diverse and stunning tea house trek in the Himalaya. The entire circuit can take more than 20 days to complete. We have specially designed a shorter Annapurna Circuit Trek to avoid the walk on recently build roads, as much as possible, yet keeps all the main highlights of the classic Around Annapurna Trek intact. The itinerary includes climbing over the challenging Thorung La Pass (5416m). Crossing the pass, while no doubt is tough, but rewarding. The view from the pass is spectacular. It spreads from the northwest wind eroded “Once Forbidden Kingdom” of Mustang valley to incredible mountain ranges of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the southwest. Thorung La Pass was originally used as a trade route by the people of Mustang and Tibet, herding agricultural products on yaks and donkeys.
About The Trek
Our Annapurna Circuit Trek starts from Bulbule (840m) after a drive from Kathmandu and ends at Jomsom (1400m) with a flight to Pokhara. This trekking itinerary keeps all the main highlights of the classic Around Annapurna Trek intact. It includes the Great Himalayan Trail from Dharapani to Kagbeni (Tibetan Buddhist dominated settlements), Chame Town (Administrative Center of Manang District), Braga Monastery (the oldest in the region at Manang) and the shrine of Muktinath (a famous pilgrimage site worshiped by both Hindu and Buddhist devotees). Along the trek, many of the Annapurna famous snow capped peaks come into view too – Annapurna II and IV (7525m), Chulu West (6630m) and East (6200m), Pisang Peak (6092m), Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Tukche peak (6920m), just to name a few.
The circuit trek start low, at Bulbule (840m), following the classic route along the Marchyangdi River, passing several waterfalls and suspension bridges. It then enters the higher parts, on a gradual ascend, through forest, fields of barley and buckwheat, apple orchards, many traditional Tibetan villages and valley to Chame Town (Administrative Center of Manang District) and Manang (3535m), before going further up, through yak pastures and meadows, to Thorung La High Camp (4700m) to cross the challenging Thorung La Pass (5416m). After crossing the pass, it is a steep descend to Muktinath (3700m), the first village on the other side of the pass. From Muktinath, the descend continues through Kagbeni (gateway to upper Mustang) and down the Kali Gandaki riverbed to Jomsom, where we take a flight to Pokhara to end our trek.
There are four main seasons in Nepal. The best seasons to visit Nepal are spring, autumn and winter. Trekkers can trek from March to early June in spring. The next trekking season starts in mid-September and goes up till March. During this period, the visibility is good and it does not rain usually. You can get excellent views of landscapes and mountain ranges in this season. After November the temperature in higher altitudes becomes very low and snowfall starts
Autumn (September to November): Autumn season is considered the best time for trekking in Nepal. It offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our trek. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes.
Winter (December – February): Winter is when snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas is a common occurrence. Though it gets colder in night, it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively less trekkers on the trail. However, not all treks are suitable to be done in winter especially those involving climbing and crossing high passes.
Spring (March – May): Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside a wild flowers paradise during the spring season. The temperature is warmer as compared to autumn and winter.
You should have above 4000m trekking experience. You will be trekking from 840m to above 5000m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 12 days. Days are filled with long hours of walking, going up and down the mountain route through villages. There will be suspension bridges crossings and a challenging Thorung La Pass (5416m) crossing, including spending a night at Thorung High Camp (47000m.) At altitude above 4000m, the air is thin and weather is more hash.
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. When at the teahouse and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
Overnight: Kathmandu hotel (1330m)
Half day city tour. Trek briefing & preparation. Welcome dinner.
Overnight: Kathmandu hotel (1330m)
Drive to Besishahar (760m). Trek to Manang.
Overnight: Teahouse at Bulbule (728m), Jagat (1341m), Dharapani. (1860m), Chame (2685m), Pisang Village (3300m), Manang (3535m)
Acclimatisation and rest day in Manang.
Overnight: Teahouse at Manang (3535m)
Trek to Jomson via Thorong La pass (5416m) on Day 12.
Overnight: Teahouse at Ledar (4200m), Thorong La high camp (4700m), Muktinath (3700m), Jomson (2720m)
Flight to Pokhara.
Overnight: Pokhara hotel (830m)
Drive to Kathmandu.
Overnight: Kathmandu hotel (1330m)
|16||Depart Kathmandu. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary)||B/-/-|
|20 Mar – 4 Apr 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|03-18 Apr 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|10-25 Apr 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|17 Apr – 2 May 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|01-16 May 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|08-23 May 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|15-30 May 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|25 Sep – 10 Oct 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|02-17 Oct 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|10-25 Apr 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|16-31 Oct 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|30 Oct – 14 Nov 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|06-21 Nov 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|13-28 Nov 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
|20 Nov – 5 Dec 2021||$2235 (SGD) / person|
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the trek:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local partner is the top 10 companies out of around 2000 trekking companies in Nepal, awarded by the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in all regions in Nepal, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in wilderness 1st aid and emergency rescue. They carry a portable oxygen cylinder, pulse oximeter and comprehensive first aid kit for emergency purpose.
Fair Treatment to Porters
Our porter to trekker ratio is 1:1. This is to ensure fair treatment to the porters that each porter does not carry an excessive heavy load for the duration of the trek. The 1:1 ration also helps to create more jobs for the locals who work as porters for a living.
A visa for Nepal can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on the Nepal-India border and Kodari on the Nepal-China border. Outside of Nepal, a visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission.
Nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan will need to obtain visa from Nepal Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries, as they do not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal.
For first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
Visa on Arrival Requirements
Tourist Visa Fee
Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currencies: Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen. Credit card, Indian currency and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee
For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa.
There are plenty of moneychangers located in Thamel in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Some moneychangers may ask for a photocopy of your passport to complete the transaction. Rates are very competitive and usually better than outside of Nepal. Currencies widely accepted for exchange include USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, SGD, etc.
ATM machines are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is advisable to take cash with you when travelling to the more remote areas of Nepal and when trekking as the nearest ATM may be only in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Major credit cards are widely accepted in hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Restaurants that cater mainly to foreigners accept credit cards too. However, many of the smaller and local restaurants and shops prefer or accept only cash payments. It is best to carry and make payment in cash. If paying using a credit card, do check if the credit card service fee is absorbed by the shop or charged back to the credit card holder.
Nepal’s electricity is 230V and 50HZ. There are three types of plugs used in Nepal. Two-pronged round pins commonly used in Europe (Type C), three-pronged round pins (Type D) and three-pronged large round pins (Type M).
Nepal does not produce enough electricity and energy distribution is poor throughout the country. In order to equally distribute Nepal’s limited energy throughout the country, the government plans power cuts in advance, especially in winter. Such power cuts, known as “load shedding” can last as long as more than 10 hours. In cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, the restaurants, cafes, shops and hotels catering to tourists mostly have their own power generators to continue electricity supply to sustain their business operations during the power cuts. The electricity, however, can still be intermittent. Voltage fluctuation and blackouts are common.
It is quite easy to get by with English in Nepal; most of the service staff in hotels, restaurants and shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara speak good English.
Along the main trekking trails, particularly the Annapurna and Everest regions, English are widely understood. However, it is interesting and advantageous to learn at least a little Nepali and it is quite an easy language to pick up. Nepali is closely related to Hindi and, like Hindi, is a member of the Indo-European group of languages.
There is one Nepali word every visitor soon picks up – Namaste. Strictly translated it means I salute the god in you, but it is used as an everyday greeting encompassing everything from ‘Hello’ to ‘How are you?’ and even ‘see you again soon’. Properly used, it should be accompanied with the palms pressed together, the Nepali gesture, which is the equivalent of westerners shaking hands.
It is strictly not recommended to drink water straight from the tap. It must at least be boiled first or treated with purification tabs. Bottles of mineral water can be easily purchased in hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Many hotels also provide a small bottle of complimentary mineral water per day to each guest.
Giving a tip to tour guides, drivers, and trekking crew such as guides and porters is a common practice in Nepal and an important part of their income. In major hotels and restaurants, service charges may already be included. For service staff in other smaller establishments and taxi drivers in general do not expect a tip from tourists. A tip of Rs20 is sufficient for the bellboy.
With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.
As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.
It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.
For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:
It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.
There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter Nepal. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.
Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:
Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.
Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.
For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.
For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:
Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website : https://www.ttsh.com.sg/Patients-and-Visitors/Medical-Services/Travellers-Health-and-Vaccination-Clinic/Pages/default.aspx.
The Kathmandu Valley often has air pollution. People with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, may suffer exacerbations in Kathmandu, particularly after a viral upper respiratory infection. Exacerbation of chronic respiratory disease has not been a problem for tourists outside Kathmandu.
Viral upper respiratory infections are extremely common, and the percentage of these that lead to bacterial sinusitis or bronchitis is high. Trekkers should consider carrying an antibiotic, such as azithromycin, to empirically treat a respiratory infection that lasts more than 7 days.
Khumbu cough – High Altitude Bronchitis
The Khumbu cough, also known as the high altitude cough, is named after the area in the Everest region, although it is not specific to Everest. Most cases of high-altitude cough have no obvious infectious etiology. Nearly all people who spend time at extreme altitude (over 5500m) will develop some degree of the Khumbu cough. The pathophysiology is thought to be due to the low humidity and sub-zero temperatures experienced at altitude combined with overexertion. The increased breathing rate at high altitude exposes the delicate lung lining to excessive cold air, which often results in dried out membranes and partially damaged bronchi. This causes extreme irritation that manifests itself in the form of a dry, persistent cough, which can restrict breathing. Eventually the cough can be so violent and put so much strain on the chest cavity that it causes its victim to tear chest muscles or break ribs.