This circuit was once considered one of the best treks in the world. Though road construction is threatening and it reputation and its future as a classic trek. Yet no one disputes that the scenery is outstanding. 14 days long, this trek takes you through distinct scenery of rivers, flora, fauna and above all – mountains. The trek goes counter-clockwise and reaches its summit in Thorung La (pass) at the height of 5416m, or 17,769 feet.
The route goes past the following mountains: Manaslu (an 8,000-plus meter peak), Langtang Himal, Annapurna II and IV, Annapurna III and Gangapurna, and, of course, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri — passing through the world’s deepest gorge in between those two 8,000-plus meter peaks. Poon Hill, at the end of the trek, affords views of those two mountains, as well as South Annapurna and Macchupucchre, the “Fishtail Mountain.” The trek also goes through Buddhist villages and Hindu holy sites, most notably the village of Muktinath, a holy site for both Buddhists and Hindus.
The eastern portion of the trek follows the Marsyangdi River upstream, to its source near the village of Manang. To get there several days of up-hill hiking are required. Then the route goes over the pass, a grueling day of hiking, and back down. The other side, where it meets up with the Kali Gandaki River. The trek follows this river downstream. At the end of the trek, several options are available. Following the river further to the road proper and catching a bus to Pokhara. Where one hike up to Ghorepani and Poon-Hill, or adding on a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp, known as the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.
This is a “teahouse trek,” meaning there are villages with lodges and restaurants to eat and stay in along the entire route. You are expected to eat in the same lodge where you are spending the night. Prices of rooms are seemingly inexpensive because of this — lodge owners tend to make more money on the food and drinks they are selling you than on the room where you are sleeping.