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DIY Solo and Self-Guided Trek to Annapurna Base Camp

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to 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.

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to 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.

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

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. 🙂

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

A beautiful day in Phedi

Annapurna Base Camp Trek 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 Lumpur1400H – 1500H Arrival in Kathmandu | Immigration1500H – 1540H Walk to main road | Catch a bus to Ratna Park | Get off at Bhrikutimandap1540H – 1615H Walk to Nepal Tourism Board Bhrikutimandap | Process ACAP and TIMS Permit1615H – 1630H Walk to Thamel1630H – 1720H Free time in Thamel | Taxi to New Bus Park1720H – 1820H New Bus Park
1820H Bus Departure from Kathmandu to Pokhara

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

Mornings in Landruk.

Day 2: Pokhara to Pedhi to Landruk

0430H Arrival in Pokhara0430H – 0635H Check-in at nearby hotel | Rest0635H – 0730H Call time | Proceed to Lakeside0730H – 0835H Breakfast at Lakeside | Shop/rent for gear and supplies | Taxi to Baglung Bus Park0835H – 0900H Baglung Bus Park0900H – 0950H Bus Departure from Pokhara to Pedhi0950H – 1125H Phedi to Dhampus (steep steps up)1125H – 1253H Dhampus to Pothana (moderate)1253H – 1350H Lunch break at Pothana1350H – 1435H Pothana to Bhichuk Deureli (easy to moderate) | Trekkers’ Checkpoint1435H – 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 Restaurant1645H – 1800H Rest | Fix up1800H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

The Rice Terraces of Chhomrong

Day 3: Landruk to Upper Sinuwa

0700H Call time0700H – 0808H Breakfast | Checkout0808H – 0923H Landruk to New Bridge (easy to moderate)0923H – 1030H New Bridge to Jhinu (hard)1030H – 1105H Break1105H – 1220H Jhinu to Chhomrong (hard)1220H – 1255H Lunch break1255H – 1423H Chhomrong to Lower Sinuwa (moderate to hard)1423H – 1435H Short break1435H – 1525H Lower Sinuwa to Upper Sinuwa upper (hard – steep descending steps from chhomrong + steep ascending steps to sinuwa) | Check-in at Hilltop Lodge1525H – 1730H Rest | Fix up1700H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

Sunset scene in Deurali.

Day 4: Upper Sinuwa to Deurali

0700H Call time0700H – 0730H Breakfast | Checkout0730H – 0905H Upper Sinuwa to Bamboo (moderate to hard – ascend to Kuldhi + descend to Bamboo)0905H – 0945H Break0945H – 1041H Bamboo to Dhovan (moderate)1041H – 1054H Short break1054H – 1210H Dhovan to Himalaya (moderate)1210H – 1300H Lunch break in Himalaya1300H – 1410H Himalaya to Cave (moderate to hard)1410H – 1455H Cave to Deurali (easy to moderate) | Check-in at Shangri-La Deurali Lodge1455H – 1745H Rest | Fix up1745H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

Annapurna Base Camp finally!

Day 5: Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp to Deurali

0630H Call time0630H – 0710H Breakfast0710H – 0912H Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (moderate)0912H – 1000H Break1000H – 1203H Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp (moderate)1203H – 1235H Annapurna Base Camp | Rest1235H – 1415H Annapurna Base Camp to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (moderate)1415H – 1628H Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Deurali | Back at Shangri-La Deurali Lodge1628H – 1830H Rest | Fix up1830H – 1930H Dinner
1930H Lights off

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

The bridge that separates Chhomrong and Sinuwa

Day 6: Deurali to Chhomrong

0600H Call time0630H – 0717H Breakfast | Checkout0717H – 0757H Deurali to Cave (moderate)0757H – 0845H Cave to Himalaya (moderate to hard)0845H – 0800H Short break0900H – 1030H Himalaya to Dhovan (moderate)1030H – 1043H Short break1043H – 1155H Dhovan to Bamboo (moderate)1155H – 1230H Lunch break at Bamboo1230H – 1415H Bamboo to Upper Sinuwa (moderate)1415H – 1445H Break1445H – 1545H Upper Sinuwa to Lower Sinuwa (easy)1545H – 1730H Lower Sinuwa to Chhomrong (hard) | Check-in at Excellent Lodge1735H – 1800H Rest | Fix up1800H – 1900H Dinner
1900H Lights off

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

The trail to Siwai

Day 7: Chhomrong to Siwai to Pokhara to Kathmandu

0630H Call time0630H – 0730H Breakfast | Checkout0730H – 0845H Chhomrong to Jhinu (hard)0845H – 1000H Jhinu to New Bridge (moderate to hard)1000H – 1010H Short break1010H – 1100H New Bridge to Kalchane, Modi Khola (moderate)1100H – 1130H Modi Khola to Kyumi | Short break, snacks1130H – 1240H Kyumi to Siwai1240H – 1340H Lunch at Siwai1340H – 1640H Bus from Siwai to Pokhara Rotunda1640H – 1700H Walk from Pokhara Rotunda to Bus Park1700H – 1855H Purchase night bus ticket to Kathmandu | Early dinner | Free time | Rest
1855H Bus departure

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

Wandering in Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Day 8: Outbound Kathmandu

0430H Arrival in Kathmandu0430H – 0700H Waiting time in Bus Park0700H – 0730H Microbus from Bus Park to Ratna Park0730H – 1130H Free time | Breakfast | Walk around Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Thamel1130H – 1215H Taxi from Thamel to Airport1215H – 1430H Pre-departure
1430H Departure from Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur | Kuala Lumpur to Manila

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

Approaching the village of Deurali

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Expenses (in Nepali Rupees – NPR)

20 – Bus fare from Airport to Bhrikutimandap2032 – TIMS Permit2200 – ACAP Permit1050 – Fleece150 – Gloves25 – Water250 – Taxi to New Bus Park425 – Night bus to pokhara250 – Dinner (Dahl Bat)214 – Breakfast (Cinnamon + Coffee)300 – Taxi to baglung80 – Coffee at Lower Dhampus450 – Lunch at Pothana (Tuna Cheese Spaghetti + Lemon Tea)70 – Water850 – Bill at Hotel Hungry Eye (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)150 – Lemon Tea Pot at Hotel Evergreen Jhinu120 – Lemon Tea Pot at Fishtail Guesthouse Chhomrong150 – Danish Pastries at Chhomrong150 – Pain Reliever790 – Bill at Hilltop Lodge (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)250 – Lemon Tea Pot in Bamboo330 – Lemon Tea Pot and Vegetable Soup at Himalaya1090 – Bill at Shangrila Deurali (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)300 – Lemon Tea Pot in MBC1020 – Bill at Shangrila Deurali (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)1280 – Bill in Excellent Lodge Chhomrong (Accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast)70 – Water at New Bridge50 – Snacks in Kyumi350 – Bus fare from Siwai to Pokhara120 – Dinner in Pokhara425 – Night bus fare from Pokhara to Kathmandu420 – Breakfast in Himalayan Coffee Thamel110 – Postcards + Flag Patch300 – Taxi from Thamel to airport275 – Coffee + snacks at airport——
15,066 NPR (Approximately Php 7000)

Airfare Expenses (in Nepali Rupees – NPR)

30,336 – Kuala Lumpur – Kathmandu – Kuala Lumpur6,346 – Manila – Kuala Lumpur – Manila——
36,682 NPR (Approximately Php 16,100)

explore, travel, diy solo and self-guided trek to annapurna base camp

The snow-covered trail between MBC and ABC

Tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Visa for Nepal

  • 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 Annapurna Base Camp 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.

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