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The Tech What

Manaslu Circuit Trek
Travel Ideas

How to Get to the Manaslu Circuit Trailhead

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of Nepal’s most breathtaking and less crowded trekking routes, offering trekkers stunning views and a rich cultural experience. However, reaching the trailhead requires careful planning and consideration of various transportation options. This guide will help you navigate the journey to the starting point of the Manaslu Trek efficiently and cost-effectively.

Step 1: Arriving in Kathmandu

International Flights

The first step in your journey to the Manaslu Circuit Trek is to arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is the main entry point for international travelers. Major airlines offer direct flights to Kathmandu from cities across Asia, the Middle East, and even Europe.

Accommodations in Kathmandu

Before embarking on your trek, spend a night or two in Kathmandu to rest and prepare. Thamel is a popular area for trekkers, offering numerous hotels, guesthouses, and trekking gear shops.

Step 2: Obtaining Permits

Manaslu Trekking Permits

To trek the Manaslu Circuit, you need the following permits:

  • Manaslu Restricted Area Permit: USD 70-90 per week, depending on the season.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): NPR 3,000 (approximately USD 30).
  • Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP): NPR 2,000 (approximately USD 20).

Permits can be obtained through a registered trekking agency in Kathmandu.

Step 3: Transportation to Soti Khola

Option 1: Private Jeep

A private jeep is the most convenient and comfortable way to reach Soti Khola, the starting point of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The journey takes approximately 7-9 hours, depending on road conditions. A private jeep can cost between USD 150-200, which can be split among a group of trekkers.

Option 2: Public Bus

For budget-conscious travelers, taking a public bus is a viable option. Buses to Soti Khola depart from Kathmandu’s Gongabu Bus Park. The journey takes about 8-10 hours and costs around USD 10-15. While less comfortable than a private jeep, it is an authentic experience of local travel.

Option 3: Shared Jeep

A shared jeep combines the comfort of a private jeep with the affordability of a bus. Shared jeeps can be arranged through trekking agencies or guesthouses in Kathmandu and cost approximately USD 20-30 per person.

Step 4: Alternative Routes

Drive to Arughat

Some trekkers choose to drive to Arughat first, which is another potential starting point for the Manaslu Trek. From Kathmandu, a bus or jeep to Arughat takes about 6-7 hours. From Arughat, you can take a local jeep or start trekking to Soti Khola, adding an extra day to your itinerary.

Step 5: Preparation and Packing

Essential Gear

Ensure you have all the necessary trekking gear, including sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, a sleeping bag, and trekking poles. Thamel in Kathmandu is a great place to rent or purchase gear if you need anything last minute.

Health and Safety

It’s crucial to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking and emergency evacuation. Also, carry a basic first-aid kit and any personal medications you might need.


Getting to the Manaslu Circuit Trek trailhead involves multiple steps, from arriving in Kathmandu and obtaining permits to choosing the best transportation method to Soti Khola. By planning ahead and considering your budget and comfort preferences, you can ensure a smooth journey to the start of one of Nepal’s most spectacular treks. Embrace the adventure, and enjoy the journey to the heart of the Himalayas on the Manaslu Trek.