Bimthang trekking is an unexpected highlight of the Manaslu Trek crossing the last stages of the Larkya La at 5 160m and being confronted by a new and stupendous view: a curve of mountains and ice to the north. Below your feet appear three glaciers coalescing into one which curves out of sight to the south. Also around this southern curve is the summer gracing settlement of Bimthang (Tibetan for ‘Plain of Sand’) – with several new and comfortable lodges. Trapped between the three glaciers are the Ponkar and Nayamlo lakes; summer home to ducks.
Our seven day trek to Bimthang, Manaslu offers to know about the Nepal Trekking to you and the opportunity to experience the majesty and power of this mountain basin from the serenity of the lakes –at 4 000m/13 000ft. Fitness is required but the route is not difficult and is accomplished in three 1 000m/3 300ft stages up the village trails of the busy Marsyangdi and quiet Dudh Khola Valleys in the Annapurna region. The scenery changes from settled Hindu agricultural villages to Buddhist communities who move to high pastures in the summer months. The route from Goa to Bimthang is through magnificent and pristine oak and rhododendron forest before rising to the stark alpine grandeur of the lakes. Teahouses all along the route are welcoming and comfortable.
Day 01: Arrival: Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport (1 300m/4 260ft). We will meet and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 02: A Day in the City: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour OR A day at leisure. Trek preparation.
Day 03: Kathmandu – Besi Sahar (7 60m/2 500ft) – Tal (1 700m/5 580ft), 9-10 hrs drive
Day 04: Tal – Suti Khola (2 700m/8 860ft), 6-7 hrs
Day 05: Suti Khola – Bimthang (3 720m/11 780ft), 5-6 hrs
Day 06: Bimthang – Ponkar Tal exploration (3 970m/12 990ft) – Bimthang
Day 07: Bimthang – Goa (2 560m/8 400ft), 5-6 hrs
Day 08: Goa – Chamje (1410m/4 630ft), 5-6 hrs
Day 09: Chamje – Besi Sahar (760m/2500ft) – Kathmandu (1 300/4 260ft), 8-9 hrs
Day 10: Final Departure: Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your onward destination.
Day 01: Arrival Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (1 300m/4 260ft)
After completing passport, immigration and visa requirements, we will meet you outside the terminal building (look for your name board) and transfer you to your hotel: afternoon free. Evening: a welcome dinner, introduction to your guide and a briefing on the trek with a check on necessities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: In the City, Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing OR A Day at Leisure
Take a day tour to five of the Kathmandu Valley’s cultural world heritage sites: Swayambhunath, known as the monkey temple; the city’s historical Durbar Square with ancient temples, unique art, architecture, and the chance to see the Kumari (living goddess); Patan’s Durbar Square; the Hindu temple Pashupatinath and the world’s largest stupa, Bouddhanath, (Despite the earthquake damage, there is still much to explore.)
A car and driver will take you to each site-entrance and wait for you. (Entry tickets and lunch are not included.)
Day 03: Kathmandu – Tal (1 700m/5 580ft), 9-10 hrs drive
The westward journey to Dumre (400m, 4½hrs) winds over the forested Middle Hills that separate the High Himalaya from the Nepali and Indian lowlands. The road links Hindu villages and terraced farming communities, crossing several important rivers that flow from the ice fields to the north. At Dumre we turn north into the Marsyangdi Nadi Valley. A secondary road leads to the commercial centre of Besi Sahar (760m, 2hrs). A minor road then heads into the hills (2-3hrs), passing a new major hydro electric scheme, before climbing to Syange (1 080m).
The road then enters a canyon and climbs above the river to a ridge: and Jagat (1 330m, a former salt-route toll depot to Tibet). Continue, through Chamje (1 410m) to a ‘bus stop’ at a pedestrian suspension bridge to the east bank and a short walk to Tal. This attractive village is set in a flat valley behind which is an impressive waterfall (and palm trees). The Marsyangdi flows placidly between gabions. Overnight in Tal.
Day 04: Tal – Suti Khola (2 700m/8 860ft), 6-7hrs
The old trail hugs the east bank of the Marsyangdi Nadi which has its source on the North Annapurna Glacier. Pass barley, wheat and potato fields before a long steady climb, through pines. Cross to the dusty road on the west bank near Karte (1 850m) and walk up to Dharapani (1 960m): a bustling Tibetan town, at the confluence with the Dudh (Milk) Khola.
In the linked village of Thonje, turn northeast (away from the crowds), cross the Marsyangdi Nadi and head up the narrower Dudh (Milk) Khola Valley to a suspension bridge; and the eastern bank. Later, re-cross to the attractive, stone paved Gurung cluster-village of Tilje (2 300m) for lunch.
Continue up the valley through fields and stands of oak and rhododendron to Goa; with lovely views of the river. To the east, Manaslu, Nadi Chuli and Himal Chuli come into view; Annapurna II rises to the south. Beyond, the oak and rhododendron forest becomes denser and shady. The trail later climbs to flags on a ridge below which the river has cut an S bend. Drop down from the ridge pass the hamlet of Karche and cross a landslide to reach attractive Suti Khola. Overnight in Suti Khola.
Day 05: Suti Khola – Bimthang (3 720m/11 780ft)), 5-6 hrs
The river rises from the Suti Glacier NW of the hotel and is but one of the numerous glaciers that flow south from the huge curve of ice giants along the Tibetan border that tower over the the Ponkar Lake region. Today’s trail zig zags up the Dudh Valley through magnificent mixed forest. The walking is easy with some steep sections; including the final rise to Sangura Kharka (a yak pasture, 3 020m) for lunch at their new lodge.
Continue up the forest trail to Hompuk (3 430m), a rock shelter and goth (herder’s hut). Ahead is the lower end of the Bimthang Glacier. Exit the forest onto its moraine and drop on loose gravels to cross the glacier. The ascent on the far side is easier: the trail then follows the eastern bank as it rises gently to Bimthang (Plain of Sand). Ice walled views behind are framed by forest and ahead barren rock and ice peaks rise tantalisingly above the brown wall of the glacier. Overnight in Bimthang.
Day 06: Bimthang – Ponkar and Nayamlo Tal exploration (3 970m/13 025ft) – Bimthang
Enjoy a fairly early breakfast; then set out to explore the stupendous rock and ice world behind the glacier wall. Cloud often forms from late morning and may obscure the views. Follow the gentle trail north of the dwellings to a ‘T’ junction. To the right is the 3km trail to Dangboche Kharka at the foot of the Larkya La (Victory Peak) and Manaslu region. Ahead is a tough slippery track over loose dust and gravels that climbs the steep side of the moraine, then leads to the confluence of three glaciers: clockwise the Kechakyu, Ponkar and Salpudanda. (The Suti glacier is hidden behind the western Tibikle Panlemu Danda.) The medial Nayamlo Tal is trapped between the first two moraines and the track works its way to and around the larger Ponkar Tal between the central and third moraine. Thrill to the majesty, silence, and glacial power.
Peaks (clockwise from the west) include Kang Garu (6 981m), the Chombi cone (6 704m), the Kechakyu pinnacle (6 358m), Gyalji Kang to the north (7 074m) and Nemjung (7 140m). Then from the SE, Larke (6 249m), the northwest faces of Manaslu (8 163m), and Phungi Himal (6 538m) in the south. Return to Bimthang for the night
Day 07: Bimthang – Goa (2 560m/8 250ft), 5-6 hrs
The return journey to Goa is almost all downhill, dropping 1 150m for a lower and warmer night. Take time to enjoy the richness of the forest and its fauna.
Day 08: Goa – Chamje (1 410m/4 630ft), 5-6 hrs
Beyond Goa, the last views of Manaslu, Nadi Chuli and Himal Chuli will be seen; Annapurna II and its satellite peaks will continue to be visible to the south. Trek back to Thonje and Dharapani on the Annapurna Circuit. Follow the road down to Karte (1 850m) then cross the suspension bridge to the dust free old trail back to Tal. Continue down to Chamje for the night.
Day 09: Chamje – Besi Sahar (760m/2500ft) – Kathmandu (1 300/4 260ft), 8-9 hrs
After an early breakfast, take a jeep down to Besi Sahar (for lunch), then transfer to a bus or car for the tarred road return journey to Kathmandu – and your hotel. Rest of day free.
Day 10: Final Departure
Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination
I have always dreamed of trekking in the mighty Himalayas and witness its beauty. Landmark Discovery Treks made my first trekking experience in Nepal very unforgettable. The arrangement they made in terms of the choices of hotels, food, lodges (throughout the trek), transportation etc made my journey comfortable yet still adventurous at the same time. Badri was an experienced, reliable and knowledgeable guide. I was so glad to have him as my guide! Ganesh, the happy-go-lucky porter was very helpful to us as well. I would definitely recommend Landmark Discovery Treks to those who wish to experience the wonders of Nepal!
Trip Name: Bimthang Trekking
Duration: 10 days
Trek Days: 07 days
Region: Manaslu Region
Altitude: 3800m (Bimthang)
Difficulty: Easy grade
Highlights: Mountain Views of Manaslu I, Manaslu North, Nike Peak, Larkya Peak, Ponkar Mountain Bimthang valley, Himlung Himal etc
Activities: Trekking, Sightseeing,
Accommodation: Hotel/Guest House
Transportation: Private Car/ Van/ Bus all the ground Transport
Best month: February-May/ September- December
Cost: make inquiry with Landmark Discovery Treks
Group Member Min: 2 Maximum -10