The Annapurna Circuit trekking route is one of the best in the world. It’s not widely known that until 1977, the main Annapurna Circuit trekking route was not open to tourists due to its proximity to Tibet. In fact, Manang had a well-earned reputation for being inhospitable to tourists. In 1950, French mountaineer Maurice Herzog became the first person to climb an 8000m peak – Annapurna I (actually one of the most difficult and dangerous of the 14 8000m mountains). Desperate for food and supplies he made an epic trip down to Manang from the mountain only to be turned away starving and empty handed.
This author has spent time in Manang and today it would have to be one of the friendliest villages I have ever encountered in all of Nepal. With lovely modern lodges and even a movie theatre, Manang is perfectly positioned on the Annapurna Circuit trek for an acclimatisation break in the lead-up to crossing the famous Thorong La pass at 5416m. Not unique to the lodge owners in Manang is the fact that nowadays – in many of the busier trekking regions of Nepal – the lodge owners are constantly trying to be bigger and better than their neighbour. The winner is of course the trekker who is spoilt for choice in villages such as Manang. Whilst still a long way from earning a “luxury” rating, many of the lodges in this region are extremely “comfortable” with hot showers, clean bedding and modern dining rooms par for the course.
Manang and the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route
From Manang, those undertaking an Annapurna Circuit trek are also spoilt for views. Directly south of Manang are uninterrupted views of Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV and Gangapurna. These spectacular 7000+m Himalayan giants clearly visible from all the better lodges in Manang.
Manang is also the ideal place for final preparations for any one of a number of challenging climbs in this region. With Pisang Peak (6091m) directly to the east and Chulu East (6200m) and Chulu West (6419m) to the north-west, Manang is well located for a rest break before the climbing begins. Visit our Annapurna Circuit trek photo gallery.
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