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Everything You Need To Know Before Doing The 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 fell in love with the region, and I knew that one day I would return.

Nepal

From the Annapurna Basecamp Trek

If you got limited days in Nepal and still want to do a hike, so are Poon Hill an excellent hike to do either if you are a beginner or have limit time. Check out this post for a complete guide to Poon Hill.

The Annapurna Basecamp trek is a 7-9 days trek that will get you close to the Annapurna mountains within a few days after you leave the tourist hub & Pokhara, the second biggest city in Nepal. Click here to read this post, the ultimate budget guide to Kathmandu.

If you want to relax in Nepal after you are done hiking, and want to do some Yoga, check out this post.

Here´s a short video from the hike to Annapurna Basecamp that I filmed with GoPro4.

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 as most people do. The only downside is that you start climbing stairs right from the start.

Daily Itinerary to Annapurna Basecamp Trek.

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

The starting point of the Annapurna Basecamp trek is Phedi which is 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 is 90% walking upstairs. The only flat section on this day is when you walk through 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 through the jungle before you get to a very steep descent (steps all the way) to a small car road that you will have to follow to reach Landruk.

From Landruk to New bridge are 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 5 pm). 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 descent 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 the 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 lunch break 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 acclimatised.

It is crucial to turn around and head down if you show any symptoms of altitude sickness.

There’s a significant 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 (Fishtail 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. I could easily have walked for another hour or two to reach Shine, but I 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 – Pokhara 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, three meals a day, plus a few cups of tea.

Permit for the Annapurna Basecamp

You need to get both a 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 usually’s free in the guesthouses you stay in, but some places charge 100 – 200Rps.

Every village/guesthouse has electricity where you can charge your phone/camera, but the voltage 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 significant danger when going to Annapurna Basecamp; It commonly occurs above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). With the symptoms off.

Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
Fatigue or weakness.
Dizziness or lightheadedness.
Peripheral oedema (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.

Want to do another hike? Check this post from the Mount Everest Basecamp Hike.

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Dil Gurung

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

It is a beautiful post of details of Annapurna base camp trek. I'm sure it will help a lot for the newly trekkers.

Harsha

Friday 4th of May 2018

Dear Christian, what is shown as Annapurna base camp is a cluster of lodges? Where do the actual climbers start their climbing from? Does anybody go the real base of the mountain?

Christian L.

Saturday 5th of May 2018

Normal hikers can no visit the tent basecamp for the mountain, you will have to will have to have technical gear for that.

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Friday 20th of April 2018

[…] You walk 4 to 8 hours a day for 12 days, with a resting day or two for acclimatization. If you are reasonably fit you should be able to do this carrying your own backpack. Having porters make it even easier. If you’re looking for more walks in Nepal Annapurna Base Camp is another great hike to do.  […]

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Thursday 12th of April 2018

[…] is what I had in my backpack during me hikes to Mount Everest basecamp, Annapurna Basecamp trek and Langtang Valley […]

Somesh Baidya

Sunday 21st of August 2016

we too are following this route..