Annapurna region, known as the world’s best trekking destination is situated in north western part of Nepal. From the lake city of Pokhara, popular treks lead to Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp, Manang and Mustang as well as around the Annapurna Mountain. Short treks to Sikles and Ghandruk are just as popular. The Annapurna region is an area of contrasts comprising the wettest, driest and windiest places in Nepal. Annapurna Region Trekking is the most popular and requires a minimum of about three weeks to go around the Annapurna massif. What makes this trek so special is that you can look up to something new in scenery every day.
The Annapurna Conservation Area starts from the height of 790 m and ends high at 8091 m which the world’s 10th highest mountain peak, Mount Annapurna I. The trail goes to the summit and when you move to the north, you meet across high Himalaya, forested Middle Mountain and trans-Himalayan desert plateau that is similar to the landscape in Tibet. To the lower elevations lie different ethnic groups such as Magar, Brahmins, Gurung and Thakali while as you go north, Tibetan culture influence becomes apparent. The trail goes revolving from Besi Sahar, off the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway then Naya Pool and reaches it’s high point at Thorong La pass (5,416 m). During the trail, you come across to gorgeous mountain scenery that includes Langtang Himal, Manaslu, Annapurna II, III and IV, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I. Between these two peaks lies the amazing Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge of the world.
MUSTANG: Mustang is one of the popular destinations that offer trans-Himalayan landscape and fascinating Himalayan culture and tradition. Muktinath (3,749 m) is famous among trekkers and pilgrims to the region. It is the holy place for Buddhists and Hindu. Now, there is a travelable road from Muktinath to Beni and you can also catch bus to Pokhara and Besi Sahar to Sanghe at the beginning of the trek.
Lo-Manthang: Upper Mustang is a remarkably amazing destination. At this ancient capital township lies a home of the last king of Mustang. Most of the tourist or visitors visit Lo-Manthang during Teej festival that is usually celebrate in the month of May. Upper Mustang is favorable to visit in any season even in rainy as it is in the rain shadow area. Visitors requires special permit to visit this region as it falls in protected area.
MANANG: The trek in the east part pursues the Marsyangdi River till Manang which carries seven villages that form the upper arc of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trail. This area consists rocky terrain that is similar to the Tibetan plateau, stark and is spotted with turquoise lakes, that includes the world’s highest Lake Tilicho (4919 m).
Annapurna region lies at the high altitude so the temperatures are usually low. During winter season the temperature gets extreme low and snowfalls in the higher altitude while in summer season it gets cool and temperate when the sun rise respectively gets cold and chilly after the sun sets. The best season to visit this place is March- May, September- November and even Monsoon months are favorable to visit upper Mustang as it falls in the rain shadow area. You can find teahouses with well service at most of the trekking routes in Annapurna region.
Pokhara known as resort city located 200 km west of Kathmandu is the departure point that takes you to Annapurna region in the western Himalaya. If you are going Mustang, there is an airport in Jomsom and Chame that takes you to Mustang. During the trail, you can find lodges, resorts, hotels and teahouses. You can also get chance to experience camping site and options.
To enter the Annapurna region, you must obtain TIMS Card and Park Entry Permit from the Tourist Service Center located at Bhrikutimanda, Kathmandu. As Upper Mustang is listed as Restricted area so o trek there, visitors should take the Trekking permit from Immigration Department located at Kalikasthan Kathmandu.