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Chapter 8: Manaslu Trek Ground Transportation

manaslu trek transportation

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In Himalayan adventure, transportation is a major challenge. Nepal with more than 75 % mountainous area, where 45 % population lives around high hills. Many verdant fertile valleys where motorable have been constructed to make the trek more accessible.

The road has reached the upper mid-hills around Manaslu trekking Nepal, where trekkers can cover the trek in a short time.  

Most of the main popular trekking regions like Everest, Annapurna, and Manaslu areas where motorable have reached 20 to 60 percent.

For trekking in Manaslu over the years, the motorable road has reached beyond Arughat town to Soti-Khola and Machha-Khola. In near future, the road will extend as far as Jagat or Philim village, but at present most trek begins from Soti-Khola.

Details of Ground Transportation for Manaslu Trek

From Kathmandu, you start the trek for the Manaslu region. Taking a drive on the main highway either taking a private vehicle or a local bus to Arughat town is easily available. After reaching Arughat, trekkers need to change to off-road vehicles because of the dirt road.

The mud and dirt tracks follow the Budhi Gandaki River upstream to Soti-Khola and beyond.

The dirt motorable trail from Arughat town to Soti-Khola is about 15 km, an enjoyable drive on the dirt road through several farm villages to Soti-Khola.

Several ways to reach the starting point of the trek Manaslu circuit: one can drive to Gorkha town located in Nepal Mid-West. From the main town, the drive continues downhill past many farm villages to Khan-Chowk, and then to Arughat town.

 Arughat is located 550 m high on the shelf of Budhi Gandaki River, a moderate size farm town. The other route from Kathmandu is via Malekhu town and across Trisuli River to Dhading-Besi and then reach Arughat.

At Arughat one needs to shift on local vehicles, suitable for the rough dirt road. It’s a few hours’ drives to Soti-Khola which is at the height of 700 m / 2, 296 feet.

Journey via local bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola

Riding on a local bus might be overcrowded upon leaving Kathmandu, but an interesting journey for the Manaslu Nepal trek. But, it takes a much longer drive. As the bus needs to stop at certain points to pick up or drop off passengers, as well for refreshing local restaurants.

As the ride continues reaching around the district of Gorkha, located in Nepal Mid-West in between Mt. Manaslu and Ganesh Himal.  

 The local bus ride is the cheapest way to enjoy a long journey among a mass number of Nepalese. This allows you to learn and merge with local customs and culture during the drive for the Manaslu circuit, one can witness the various change in landscapes.

Journey via private jeep from Kathmandu to Soti Khola

It will be quite expensive but reaches you on time to your destination in a luxurious way. The private Jeep will be at your disposal, as you can stop and click your camera at any time.

 Where you can stop in a nice restaurant along the way of Manaslu Nepal trek region, as a private jeep will reach you on time. Private Jeep with spacious seating arrangement accompanied by an expert driver and can drive on any type of road condition.

Riding on a car best with four-wheel drive, to encounter rough roads as a drive after the main town of Arughat. Where tracks can be quite bumpy on dirt trails but comfortable on 3-4 seating.

The journey from Dharapani to Besisahar on a local jeep or private jeep

Since the motorable has reached as far as Manang and on route to Manaslu till Dharapani village. A great ride taking a private jeep ride from Dharapani or Chamje village, an enjoyable drive on comfortable seat arrangement.

Trekkers during their Manaslu circuit Nepal trek can enjoy a few hour’s journeys taking a local jeep to Besisahar. However, the ride can be quite bumpy on winding dirt hilly tracks, but an exciting drive from Chamje village.

The overland journey takes you downhill past Jagat farm village and further down to Syange. Drive continues following the Marsyangdi River downstream through Bulbule and Khudi village to Besisahar town. You may enjoy the drive on a private jeep, rather than in a local jeep as it reaches your destination on a given time of 1-2 hours journey.  From here onward on a good road to Kathmandu or Pokhara as per your respective destinations.

The journey from Beisahar to Kathmandu on a local bus

From Besisahar the headquarter town of Lamjung district to Kathmandu a local bus departs in the morning till late afternoon time. A distance of 186 km or 115 miles takes more than 5 hours, as the local bus frequently stops. That is to pick and drop some passengers as well for a refreshment stop and might take time.

There are several buses from simple to deluxe coaches while returning back from the Manaslu circuit trek. The seat arrangements in the vehicle are number-wise. Front and behind the driver seats are more comfortable with enough legroom than in the middle row.

The journey from Besisahar to Kathmandu on a private jeep

Staying overnight in Besisahar after the end of trekking can have a leisurely breakfast. As the private vehicles will be at your disposal, where you can choose your own time in comfort.

 Private Jeep will be spacious seating enough leg rooms and can stop whenever you feel or need as per your requirement.

 In a private Jeep or car, a journey of great comfort and much faster than on local buses. Such a drive leads you on a good time to Kathmandu from the Manaslu circuit Nepal trek.

If you are looking for information regarding the routes of the Manaslu trek read the Routes and Maps of the Trek chapter.  The best Manaslu Trek Time chapter explains in detail the best time to trek in the Manaslu region. If you are wondering how to choose the best trek operator, find detailed information from this How to Choose the best Manaslu Trek Operator chapter.

The cost chapter Cost of Manaslu Trek explains all types of cost and fees of Manaslu trek. If you need information regarding visa and permit of Manaslu trek read Visa and Permit for Manaslu Trek chapter. The packing list chapter explains the main items to Packing for Manaslu trekking.  Learn in detail about the food and lodging during trekking Manaslu in the Accommodation and Food chapter.

In other chapters of this Manaslu Trekking guide, we have explained in detail of  Internet and Telephone Facility in the Manaslu region, how and where to find the Trek Guides and Porters and how much dangerous and safe is Manaslu Trek.