Annapurna Basecamp Trek

Nepal

Annapurna Basecamp Trek

This was my second visit to the Annapurna region of Nepal.

I hiked the famous Annapurna Circuit trek some years ago and I felt in love with the region and I knew that one day I would return.

The Annapurna Basecamp trek is a 7-9 days trek that will get you close with the Annapurna mountains within a few days after you leave the tourist hub & Pokhara.

We decided to start from the other end of the Trail, Pedhi. This meant a shorter bus ride, only 30 minutes from Pokhara instead of taking a 3-hour bus to Naiapol like most people do. The only downside is that you start climbing stairs right from the start.

Day 1. Pokhara – Pedhi – Phothana (1900m/6233ft). 9,4km.

The starting point of the trek in Phedi is no more than a bunch of stairs next to the highway with two small road cafes and a guesthouse.

It’s absolutely nothing to brag about here.

The first day of the hike are 90% walking up stairs. The only flat section on this day is when you walk trough the Town “Dhampus”, where you also need to register your TIMS card when you reach the end of town.

The view from Phothana towards Fishtail mountain
The view from Phothana towards Fishtail mountain

Day 2. Phothana – Jinhu (1710m/5610ft)  25km.

Day two starts off with an easy hour walk trough the jungle before you get to a very steep decent (steps all the way) to a small car road that you will have to follow to reach Landruk.

From Landruk to New bridge is another hour and a half through the caterpillar filled jungle which will make this section very itchy (powder or any lotion helps with the rashes). You will cross a couple of suspension  bridges and find some fascinating waterfalls.

If your legs still got some power left you can continue to Jinhu and relax at their amazing hot springs (Closes at 5pm) the path from New Bridge to Jinhu it’s hard if you’re already tired,  the last climb to Jinhu will take you close to an hour.

Annapurna 1 is getting closer
Annapurna 1 is getting closer

Day 3. Jinhu – Bamboo (2335m/7660ft) 12km.

This day starts off with an hour and a half of stairs to reach Chromrong,  one of the biggest villages on the trek. Numerous restaurants and guesthouses can be found here.

Chromrong is located on a ridge top,  so the path towards Annapurna Basecamp is going all the way down the north side of the ridge to the bottom of a gorge before you start your climb up the other side to the small village of Shinu.

Shinu offers a great way around the valleys but I would recommend you walk for another 1.5 hours until you reach the village of Bamboo. The path is easy with a steep decent in the end.

Bamboo had by far the best showers I experienced during the hike.
HOT electric shower,  with guesthouses offering bonfire outside in the evening.

Day 4. Bamboo –  Deurali (2920m/9580ft) 9km.

A short day that offers nothing but steps. Himalaya is a great place to stop for lunch.

The road towards Deurali, the places i celebrated new year 2015/2016
The road towards Deurali, the places i celebrated new year 2015/2016

Day 5. Deurali – MBC – ABC( Annapurna Basecamp) (4130m/13549ft) 8km.

It’s just about 4 hours from Deurali to ABC with a fast lunchbreak at MBC.

The day is surprisingly easy, with a few longer climbs but also some fairly flat and easy sections. It is actually not a long hike but it’s recommended to take it slow and let your body get used to the lack of oxygen while you climb. Some trekkers even choose to spend a night at MBC to get acclimatized.
It is important to turn around and head down if you show any symptoms of altitude sickness.

There’s a big change that the Annapurna 1 is covered in clouds in the afternoon, so it’s worth spending a night in one of the guesthouses at ABC to see the sunrise the next morning.

Last steps befre reaching Annapurna Basecamp
Last steps before reaching Annapurna Basecamp
Annapurna 1 from basecamp early in the monring
Annapurna 1 from basecamp early in the morning.
Close up at Machapuchare (Fish tail mountain, seen from ABC)
Close up at Machapuchare (Fish tail mountain, seen from ABC)

Day 6. Annapurna Basecamp  – Bamboo (2335m/7660ft) 17km.

A full and easy day downhill as you get more oxygen the more you descend, left ABC around 8.30 AM and reached Bamboo around 3 pm. Could easily have walked for another hour or two to reach Shine, but decided to stop at Bamboo to take advantage of the hot shower there.

Day 7. Bamboo – Jinhu (1710m/5610ft)  12km.

Another easy day, with a big climb back up to Chromrong, here you can decide if you want to walk towards Gandruk (5 hours walk) from where you can get transportation back to Pokhara or continue your trek to Poon Hill.

Or go the same way you came up back towards Jinhu.
We decided to head back to Jinhu to enjoy the hot springs and rest.

Day 8. Jinhu – Shiwu 9km.

An easy 4-hour hike to Shiwu (the locals will tell you it’s 2 hours) where you can either take a jeep or bus back to Pokhara.

Additional information about Annapurna Basecamp.

Money / Cost.

There’s NO ATM during the hike so bring enough cash from Pokhara before you start the trek.

Accommodation on the trek is 100 – 150 Rps per person
Food 300 – 500 Rps
Tea 50 – 150 Rps
Beer 400 – 600 Rps

I spent around 1000 –  1500 Rps on the trek each day,  that includes accommodation,  3 meals a day plus a few cups of tea.

Permit.

You need to get both TIMS card and an Annapurna trekking permit.  2000rps each and can easily be obtained in either Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Internet / Electricity. 

Almost every village on the way offers WiFi on the trek now,  but don’t expect anything fast or stable. It’s normally free in the guesthouses you stay, but some places charge 100 – 200Rps.

Every village/guesthouse has electricity where you can charge your phone/camera but the electricity is not very good so it will take time.  Some places will charge your stuff for free while others will charge you.

Getting there. 

There are local buses from Pokhara to Phedi and takes only 30 min and leaves Pokhara every 30 minutes during the day, the ticket price is 150 Rps.
The bus back from Shiwu will set you back 500 Rps while a jeep will cost you 1000 Rps (7 people required)

Safety.

Altitude sickness (AMS) is a big danger when going to Annapurna Basecamp, It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet). with the symptoms off.

Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
Fatigue or weakness.
Dizziness or lightheadedness.
Peripheral edema (swelling of hands, feet, and face).
Insomnia.
Pins and needles.
Shortness of breath upon exertion.
Nosebleed.
Persistent rapid pulse.

And the only thing that helps is to go down to a lower altitude.

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Annapurna,Nepal

10 Comments
  1. This trail has been a dream of mine. Did you go through a tour company and booked a package tour or did you just show up on your own and carry your own gear?

    1. Hei Doria.

      I did the trek on my own (with a good friend), there’s absolutely no reason to use a guide on this trek, the trail is easy to find, with signs. And there’s always locals to ask for direction if you are not sure about the way.

      You only need to get a TIMs card and permit (4000rps /40usd) that you can get on the spot in both Pokhara and Kathmandu.

      Christian

  2. Hi Chrisitian,

    Your post revived my memories of Annapurna base Trek, which I had done in Oct 2014.
    It is one of the beautiful trek and one can experience amphi theatre effect on reaching the base camp.Thank you for your post and superb clicks

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