“When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top.” - Anonymous
And sometimes that view is all the reason you need for trekking. For a lot of people, trekking is a break from their mundane life, a break from the bleak reality. Trekking is an excuse to take a break from their everyday life and go back into the bosom of Mother Earth. But where do you choose to go?
If you are really up for it, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the best ones out there. And we will talk all about it right here. Do you want to know about it? well if you clicked the link, you probably do. So let's get started!
The main destination of Annapurna Base Camp Trek is, unironically Annapurna Base camp. This trek is named after its destination. Your journey doesn't begin there. In fact, your journey begins in Kathmandu - The capital city.
You start by booking the ticket and some guides through your choice of Travel Agency. After you are done with the booking and payment, you will be called for a meeting. Now depending on whether you chose a solo trek or a group trek, you will be debriefed on what will happen during the trek in that meeting. You should be prepared to take some notes in the meeting. It is because the meeting will provide you with valuable information such as things you should bring, the trekking route, and the possible scenarios in the trek.
There are a lot of routes taken on the Annapurna base camp trekking. Some of these routes are shorter while others are longer. As for what route you will be traveling on- it depends on a few factors. These factors are:
Season and weather
Your physical condition
The travel agency
Your own choice
Among all of these, a travel agency and your own house are some of the key factors. The agency usually has a few routes they cover and you will be given a choice among them. Some of the most popular ones are as follows.
1) Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek from Pokhara – 5 Days
Day 1- Pokhara to Matque (1,070m/3510ft) to Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 2- Himalaya (2,920m/9,578ft)
Day 3- Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft)
Day 4- Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 5- Bamboo to Matque (1,070m/3510ft)
2) Annapurna Base Camp Trek from Pokhara Helicopter Return – 6 Days
Day 1 Pokhara to Kimche (1,610m/5,281ft) and trek to Ghandruk (1,940m/6,365ft)
Day 2 Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 3 Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 4 Deurali (3,230m/10,597ft)
Day 5 Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft) via Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3,700m/12139ft)
Day 6 Back to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) by Helicopter
3) Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek – 7 Days
Day 1- Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Day 2- Matque (1,070m/3,510ft) and trek to Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 3- Himalaya (2,920m/9,578ft)
Day 4- Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft)
Day 5- Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 6- Matque (1,070m/3,510ft) and back to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Day 7- Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft)
4) Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Returns Helicopter from Pokhara – 8 Days
Day 1- Pokhara to Hile (1,480m/4,855ft) to Ulleri (1,970m/6,463ft)
Day 2- Ghorepani (2,874m/9,429ft)
Day 3- Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft) /Trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani (2,600m/8,530ft)
Day 4- Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 5- Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 6- Deurali (3,230m/10,597ft)
Day 7- Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft)
Day 8- Back by Helicopter from Annapurna Base Camp to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
5) Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Returns Helicopter – 10 Days
Day 1- Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Day 2- Ulleri(800m/2,625ft)
Day 3- Ghorepani (2,874m/9,429ft)
Day 4- Tadapani (2,600m/8,530ft)
Day 5- Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 6- Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 7- Deurali (3,230m/10,597ft)
Day 8- Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft)
Day 9- Back to Pokhara via chopper (800m/2,625ft)
Day 10- Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft)
6) Annapurna Base Camp and Mardi Himal Trek – 13 Days
Day 1- Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Day 2- Pokhara to Kimche (1,610m/5,281ft)
Day 3- Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 4- Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 5- Deurali (3,230m/10,597ft)
Day 6- Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft)
Day 7- Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 8- Jhinu Danda/Hot Spring (1,760m/5,774ft)
Day 9- Forest Camp (2,600m/8,531ft)
Day 10- High Camp (3,600m/11,810ft)
Day 11- High Camp day 2 (3,600m/11,810ft)
Day 12- Kande (1,706m/5,596ft) and drive to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Day 13- Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)
7) Annapurna Base Camp and Circuit Trek – 18 Days
Day 1- Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Chame (2,660m/8,725ft)
Day 2- Trek to Upper Pisang (3,300m/10,824ft)
Day 3- Manang (3,540m/ 11,612ft) via Ngawal
Day 4- Manang: Acclimatization Day
Day 5- Yak Kharka (4,050m/13,284ft)
Day 6- Thorong Phedi (4,525m/14,842ft)
Day 7- Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft)
Day 8- Marpha (2,670m/8,758ft)
Day 9- Kalopani (2,530m/8,299ft)
Day 10- Tatopani (1,190m/3,904ft)
Day 11- Ghorepani (2,874m/9,429ft)
Day 12- Poon Hill (3,210m/10,529ft)
Day 13- Chhomrong (2,170m/7,119ft)
Day 14- Himalayan (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 15- Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m/13,550ft) through Machhapuchhre Base Camp
Day 16- Bamboo (2,310m/7,579ft)
Day 17- Bamboo to Matque (1,070m/3,510ft)
Day 18- Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft)
These are 7 of the most popular Trekking routes that you can take while going on an Annapurna Base Camp Trek. But as we mentioned earlier it will heavily depend on your travel agency as well as what you choose. Within all of these routes, you may have seen some intriguing names of locations as well as some familiar ones. By this point in time, you should have built up some expectations on what you will be seeing and experiencing during this trek, right?
Things to Expect During the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
While the scenes you imagined in your head will indeed come true, you should also know that this is a trek lasting multiple days and on the remotest areas of Nepal. So there are a few things you need to prepare before going on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
1) Lack of Networks
As we mentioned a bit before, Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you through some of the remotest parts of Nepal. So it would be dumb to expect cell services everywhere. This means no Facebook, no youtube, and no internet. There are even some places where your sim may not even work as well.
2) Long Walks
Along with this, you should warm up physically and do some walking training before you head on to this trek as well. This is because once you start the trek, you will be walking 4 to 8 hours per day for a few days. This cannot be done without some physical fitness. So if you don't feel like you can walk this much, you should prepare your body for a few weeks before continuing on with your Annapurna Base Camp Terk. Also, did we mention that it won't be just a straight walk but an uphill climb in a lot of places?
3) Altitude Sickness
Besides having to walk for an extended period, you should also note that this camp is located at a pretty high altitude. At those heights, altitude sickness is not uncommon. For those who are unaware of what altitude sickness is - it is basically your body not adjusting to high altitude. The higher you go, the lesser the oxygen. And along with this, the air pressure around you changes as well. Some people adjust to this rather quickly but others can't. And it will be a big problem for those who can't.
Symptoms of altitude sickness include nausea, headache, shortness of breath, and execution. This is not exactly a good feeling. So regardless of who you are, you should be prepared for this.
4) Lack of Lodging Facilities
Did we tell you that Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes place through extremely remote routes? We did? Well, then you can guess how much accommodation and lodging there will be. For most parts of this trek, you will be staying in a basic house with bare minimum needs. The lodges will have a bed and a toilet but that's about all you should expect. Don't expect electricity- a lot of Nepal still doesn't have access to it. Don't expect a running shower - people shower in the open river in the rural areas. And don't even think about delicious foods.
If these things scared you don't worry, that's about all of the things you should worry about if you chose to go on this trek at the right time i.e between February and May. If you are dumb enough to pick a bad time, then you should be prepared for extreme weather as well as a possibility of an avalanche as well. But if you are an adventure junkie, then the bad time is just the perfect time for you to go on Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
Now that you know the risks in Annapurna Base Camp Trek, some of you may be discouraged. But there are still plenty of reasons to take this journey
Reasons to go to Annapurna Base Camp Trek
For every reason not to take the journey of Annapurna Base Camp Trek, there is an equally valid reason to go and take this plunge. A lot of you probably clicked on this link because you want to go on this trekking adventure. But regardless of whether or not you know them, it is still fun to talk and read about why Annapurna Base Camp Trek is well worth the risks.
1) Stunning Beauty Everywhere
The beauty of Mother Nature - is the primary reason for many to go on this treacherous trek. Once you leave the city area of Pokhara, you will enter the wilderness. There your view will be filled with the raw untouched nature. The mountains in the background look like a Quartz neatly cut, the snow on top of it like a soft blanket. When the sunlight is reflected by that show - it will turn into a majestic golden crown, sitting on top of a warm green blanket of trees beneath.
But before you even reach here, you would already be greeted by the fresh smell of nature and surrounded by clean pristine sounds. Sometimes there will be sharp sounds. Sometimes the smells will be strong. The fresh feel and the serene ambiance that surrounds you will be enough to make you forget your tiredness.
2) Remote Villages
Alongside the breathtaking view of the majestic mountains and flourishing forests, you will come across many rural villages as well. Here, you will get a glimpse at how our ancestors lived before the cities became a concrete jungle. You will get the chance to interact with these people from rural areas of Nepal and learn their unique culture while on the trail. They are wise. They are innocent, but they know what kindness is. And everyone will show you a kind smile.
If you are lucky enough, you might just get to see some of the rarest festivals in Nepal and indulge yourself in some of the unknown local delicacies. These delicacies of the remote villages may not carry the spices as those from cities. They will have flavors that you will want to remember forever.
3) The View from the Top
Who are we even kidding here, by the time you reach the top, you would have long forgotten your primary goal - the view from the top of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. But as soon as you reach there you will be immediately mesmerized. You will see the barren lands, untamed by humans. The wild Himalayas of Nepal.
This view that consists of nothing but rocks, solitude, and the calm feeling of being one with nature- will be all the reason you need to go to Annapurna Base Camp Trek
4) After Trek Relaxation in Pokhara
Yes, this is part of every trekking deal.
Once you take on the tiring but pleasant journey of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will be greeted by a long relaxing break at some of the best hotels in Pokhara. There you will get the chance to experience city life again after days of wilderness and remoteness. We can guarantee you that after you reach back into the Pokhara - still unable to get the views off your mind, you will feel a different sense of euphoria.
That being said, these are all the reasons you need to go for Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
This one is for all of you out there who are worrying about the cost despite having all the will and strength to go. This trek is not cheap at all. On average, you will have to spend somewhere around 50,000 to 80,0000 in Nepalese Rupees for this trek.
While this will cover everything from your flight tickets to your hotel stays, it is still quite a large sum of money. This is from a perspective of a young adult with fluctuating income. If you are someone who has a stable job and decent income, the price should be manageable for you. Sure you may have to save for a few months. The experience will be worth every paisa you spend.
Few Trivias about Annapurna Base Camp
Q: Where will the journey start?
Q: Where will the journey end?
Q: How physically difficult is the trek
A: The general consensus is "quite difficult". If we are to represent this in a star rating with one star being easier and 5 stars being highest - it would be 4. 25 stars.
Q: What is the Minimum agreement requirement?
A: You should be 15 years of age at the bare minimum.
Q: What are the group sizes?
A: You can take this trekking journey alone but should not have more than 12 people in your group.
In the End,
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a breathtaking journey - both figuratively and literally. it will take your breath away with all of the strenuous walks and climbs. But at the same time, it will also take your breath away through its beauty - making you mesmerized with mother nature.
Whether or not you take this trip will depend on you. But if you want to hear your opinion, as long as you are physically fit and can afford the price, it should be on your bucket list "Must Do Before I retire" list.
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