Travel Notes: DIY Solo and Self-Guided Trek to Annapurna Base Camp

Categories Information, Itinerary
Annapurna Base Camp

My first journey to Annapurna Base Camp of Nepal in December of 2014 was a kind of test. A test if I can really pull off a solo do-it-yourself and self-guided trek to the base camp of the great Annapurna. There were already some who went ahead of me on the same journey as narrated on few blogs that I have read. Enough assurance that it can be done… it was proven doable.

Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp

There wasn’t really a concrete plan nor detailed itinerary. I was only armed with courage and little information that I have researched four days prior to my outbound flight from Manila. From application of trekking permits in Kathmandu, the night bus to Pokhara, the transfer to the trailhead, planning of the trek route and the actual route itself, everything would be on my own.

My original plan was to finish the entire journey for six days, starting on Phedi and exiting in Phedi with overnight stay in ABC on the fourth day. But the actual execution was different, you can read the details here.

Kathmandu
Kathmandu

I didn’t hire a guide, there’s really no need as the trail to ABC is easily navigable and readable even without a detailed map. More importantly, I didn’t hire one since I find the 20 to 25 USD per day guide fee expensive. I was alone and it means shouldering the whole cost if ever I hired one.

So how did the trek went? Here’s my notes. 🙂

Phedi
A beautiful day in Phedi

Actual Itinerary

Day 0: Manila to Kuala Lumpur
2100H Departure from Manila to Kuala Lumpur | Overnight in Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu to Pokhara
1150H – 1400H Departure from Kuala Lumpur
1400H – 1500H Arrival in Kathmandu | Immigration
1500H – 1540H Walk to main road | Catch a bus to Ratna Park | Get off at Bhrikutimandap
1540H – 1615H Walk to Nepal Tourism Board Bhrikutimandap | Process ACAP and TIMS Permit
1615H – 1630H Walk to Thamel
1630H – 1720H Free time in Thamel | Taxi to New Bus Park
1720H – 1820H New Bus Park
1820H Bus Departure from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Landruk
Mornings in Landruk.

Day 2: Pokhara to Pedhi to Landruk
0430H Arrival in Pokhara
0430H – 0635H Check-in at nearby hotel | Rest
0635H – 0730H Call time | Proceed to Lakeside
0730H – 0835H Breakfast at Lakeside | Shop/rent for gear and supplies | Taxi to Baglung Bus Park
0835H – 0900H Baglung Bus Park
0900H – 0950H Bus Departure from Pokhara to Pedhi
0950H – 1125H Phedi to Dhampus (steep steps up)
1125H – 1253H Dhampus to Pothana (moderate)
1253H – 1350H Lunch break at Pothana
1350H – 1435H Pothana to Bhichuk Deureli (easy to moderate) | Trekkers’ Checkpoint
1435H – 1507H Deureli to Bhedikarka (easy to moderate)
1507H – 1525H Bhedikarka to Tolka (moderate)
1525H – 1645H Tolka to Landruk (moderate) | Check-in at Hotel Hungry Eye and Restaurant
1645H – 1800H Rest | Fix up
1800H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

Chhomrong
The Rice Terraces of Chhomrong

Day 3: Landruk to Upper Sinuwa
0700H Call time
0700H – 0808H Breakfast | Checkout
0808H – 0923H Landruk to New Bridge (easy to moderate)
0923H – 1030H New Bridge to Jhinu (hard)
1030H – 1105H Break
1105H – 1220H Jhinu to Chhomrong (hard)
1220H – 1255H Lunch break
1255H – 1423H Chhomrong to Lower Sinuwa (moderate to hard)
1423H – 1435H Short break
1435H – 1525H Lower Sinuwa to Upper Sinuwa upper (hard – steep descending steps from chhomrong + steep ascending steps to sinuwa) | Check-in at Hilltop Lodge
1525H – 1730H Rest | Fix up
1700H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

Deurali
Sunset scene in Deurali.

Day 4: Upper Sinuwa to Deurali
0700H Call time
0700H – 0730H Breakfast | Checkout
0730H – 0905H Upper Sinuwa to Bamboo (moderate to hard – ascend to Kuldhi + descend to Bamboo)
0905H – 0945H Break
0945H – 1041H Bamboo to Dhovan (moderate)
1041H – 1054H Short break
1054H – 1210H Dhovan to Himalaya (moderate)
1210H – 1300H Lunch break in Himalaya
1300H – 1410H Himalaya to Cave (moderate to hard)
1410H – 1455H Cave to Deurali (easy to moderate) | Check-in at Shangri-La Deurali Lodge
1455H – 1745H Rest | Fix up
1745H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp finally!

Day 5: Deurali to ABC to Deurali
0630H Call time
0630H – 0710H Breakfast
0710H – 0912H Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (moderate)
0912H – 1000H Break
1000H – 1203H Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp (moderate)
1203H – 1235H Annapurna Base Camp | Rest
1235H – 1415H Annapurna Base Camp to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (moderate)
1415H – 1628H Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Deurali | Back at Shangri-La Deurali Lodge
1628H – 1830H Rest | Fix up
1830H – 1930H Dinner
1930H Lights off

Chhomrong
The bridge that separates Chhomrong and Sinuwa

Day 6: Deurali to Chhomrong
0600H Call time
0630H – 0717H Breakfast | Checkout
0717H – 0757H Deurali to Cave (moderate)
0757H – 0845H Cave to Himalaya (moderate to hard)
0845H – 0800H Short break
0900H – 1030H Himalaya to Dhovan (moderate)
1030H – 1043H Short break
1043H – 1155H Dhovan to Bamboo (moderate)
1155H – 1230H Lunch break at Bamboo
1230H – 1415H Bamboo to Upper Sinuwa (moderate)
1415H – 1445H Break
1445H – 1545H Upper Sinuwa to Lower Sinuwa (easy)
1545H – 1730H Lower Sinuwa to Chhomrong (hard) | Check-in at Excellent Lodge
1735H – 1800H Rest | Fix up
1800H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

Ghandruk
The trail to Siwai

Day 7: Chhomrong to Siwai to Pokhara to Kathmandu
0630H Call time
0630H – 0730H Breakfast | Checkout
0730H – 0845H Chhomrong to Jhinu (hard)
0845H – 1000H Jhinu to New Bridge (moderate to hard)
1000H – 1010H Short break
1010H – 1100H New Bridge to Kalchane, Modi Khola (moderate)
1100H – 1130H Modi Khola to Kyumi | Short break, snacks
1130H – 1240H Kyumi to Siwai
1240H – 1340H Lunch at Siwai
1340H – 1640H Bus from Siwai to Pokhara Rotunda
1640H – 1700H Walk from Pokhara Rotunda to Bus Park
1700H – 1855H Purchase night bus ticket to Kathmandu | Early dinner | Free time | Rest
1855H Bus departure

Kathmandu
Wandering in Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Day 8: Outbound Kathmandu
0430H Arrival in Kathmandu
0430H – 0700H Waiting time in Bus Park
0700H – 0730H Microbus from Bus Park to Ratna Park
0730H – 1130H Free time | Breakfast | Walk around Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Thamel
1130H – 1215H Taxi from Thamel to Airport
1215H – 1430H Pre-departure
1430H Departure from Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur | Kuala Lumpur to Manila

Deurali
Approaching the village of Deurali

Trek Expenses (in Nepali Rupees – NPR)

20 – Bus fare from Airport to Bhrikutimandap
2032 – TIMS Permit
2200 – ACAP Permit
1050 – Fleece
150 – Gloves
25 – Water
250 – Taxi to New Bus Park
425 – Night bus to pokhara
250 – Dinner (Dahl Bat)
214 – Breakfast (Cinnamon + Coffee)
300 – Taxi to baglung
80 – Coffee at Lower Dhampus
450 – Lunch at Pothana (Tuna Cheese Spaghetti + Lemon Tea)
70 – Water
850 – Bill at Hotel Hungry Eye (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)
150 – Lemon Tea Pot at Hotel Evergreen Jhinu
120 – Lemon Tea Pot at Fishtail Guesthouse Chhomrong
150 – Danish Pastries at Chhomrong
150 – Pain Reliever
790 – Bill at Hilltop Lodge (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)
250 – Lemon Tea Pot in Bamboo
330 – Lemon Tea Pot and Vegetable Soup at Himalaya
1090 – Bill at Shangrila Deurali (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)
300 – Lemon Tea Pot in MBC
1020 – Bill at Shangrila Deurali (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)
1280 – Bill in Excellent Lodge Chhomrong (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)
70 – Water at New Bridge
50 – Snacks in Kyumi
350 – Bus fare from Siwai to Pokhara
120 – Dinner in Pokhara
425 – Night bus fare from Pokhara to Kathmandu
420 – Breakfast in Himalayan Coffee Thamel
110 – Postcards + Flag Patch
300 – Taxi from Thamel to airport
275 – Coffee + snacks at airport
——
15,066 NPR (Approximately Php 7000)


Airfare Expenses (in Nepali Rupees – NPR)

30,336 – Kuala Lumpur – Kathmandu – Kuala Lumpur
6,346 – Manila – Kuala Lumpur – Manila
——
36,682 NPR (Approximately Php 16,100)

Annapurna Base Camp
The snow-covered trail between MBC and ABC

Tips

Visa

  • Visa on arrival is available for tourists except those holding passports of Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. A single-entry visa valid for 15, 30 and 90 days and costs US$25,US$40 and US$100 respectively. Two (2) passport size ID pictures are required in immigration upon arrival.

Trekking Permits

  • For Annapurna Base Camp trek, ACAP and TIMS permits are required. Both permits can be obtained at Nepal Tourism Board beside Bhrikutimandap Park, open daily from 9AM to 4PM. To get here from the airport, catch a local bus at the main road outside the airport to Ratna Park and ask the busboy to drop you off at Bhrikutimandap. Bus is cheaper at 20 NPR compare to 400 NPR taxi .There are trekker’s checkpoint at ABC so permits are necessary, if you have none, you will pay double.
  • They say you can also get one in Nepal Tourism Board in Pokhara.
  • Bring 4 ID pictures for the permits (any size).
  • Permits are payable only using Nepali Rupees (NPR). TIMS permit costs NPR2000 while ACAP permit costs NPR2200 ACAP.

Gear Rental

  • You can rent sleeping bag, jackets, trekking pole, etc. in Pokhara.

Training / Fitness

  • Be ready for long walks and for steep and very long stone steps specially from New Bridge to Jhinu to Chhomrong and Sinuwa. You will be walking/trekking for at least five to six hours a day.
  • Anyone with reasonable amount of fitness can trek ABC.

Where to Stay and Eat During the Trek 

  • Lodges or tea houses as well as restaurants, are available in every town.
  • Every town is around one to two hours apart.
  • During peak season, lodges/tea houses sometimes get fully booked.
  • November and December are good months to trek, not too crowded but it is very cold since it’s winter. During these months, it usually snows from Himalaya all the way up to ABC.

 

Follow @thelakwatsero on Instagram:

Facebook Comments

11 thoughts on “Travel Notes: DIY Solo and Self-Guided Trek to Annapurna Base Camp

  1. Hi! Heading there at New Year’s! Anong gears ang essential? lamigin ako mygaaahd.. pero titiisin alang alang sa pangarap. Thanks.

  2. nasa bucket list ko rin to kaso medyo hesitant mag solo. anyone here gusto sumama? think 50K is good enough for this.??

  3. very great. I really want to join this itinerary. and it is also nice to hear that I can obtain a visa on arrival. However, there is only one difficulty for me here, which is to understand your time format. 🙁

  4. Di ba prone sa avalanche pag ber months, once in a lifetime adventure yan ah. Safe ba ang solo traveller na babae in general?

  5. Wow! Parang hanggang sa panaginip na lang talaga ang pagakyat akyat ko haha chos! Good post!👍🏻

Comments are closed.