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How to Obtain Tsum Valley Trek permits?


Tsum Valley lies in the eastern parts of Nepal's secluded Manaslu trekking region, which requires a special permit to trek. You would need to obtain two Tsum Valley Trek permits; Tsum Valley Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit (MCAP). This hidden gem was open to trekking only in 2008 and since has held the status of a restricted area, which is why a RAP is a must.

You can apply and obtain the MCAP on your own from the designated offices in Kathmandu. However, the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) can only be applied for and collected by a registered Nepali trekking agency on your behalf.

Tsum Valley offers a fantastic experience of witnessing ancient villages, traditions of the Tsumba people, Buddhist and Tibetan cultures, and more. Heading to the Tsum Valley villages of Chhokang, Paro and Nile is a distinct experience. The mythical arid valley is also one of the best summer trekking destinations in Nepal as it falls in the rainshadow area blocked by the gigantic Manalsu and Ganesh Himal range. Hence trekking to Tsum Valley is best in the Autumn, Summer, and Spring seasons.

As you have decided to go on this trek, below, we've listed all the essentials of obtaining an Tsum Valley trek permit:

Permits For Tsum Valley Trek and its cost

1. Restricted Area Permit for Tsum Valley

Tsum Valley is classified as a restricted area because it is located close to the Tibetan border. For border security reasons, control of tourism and other activities, and protection of the culture and landscape, it is designated a restricted area by the government of Nepal.

Due to this reason, a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for trekkers to enter this region. This permit covers the areas of Gorkha lower and Tsum Valley consisting of Sirdibas, Lokpa, Chumling, Chekampar, Nile, Chule, and Chumnubri Rural Municipality (including all areas of ward number 3,6 and 7). Before entering the area, you should show this permit at the entry point of Jagat.

This permit can only be acquired by a government-registered, licensed local trekking agency. Hence they will collect it on your behalf. Restricted Area Permit (RAP) costs depend on the travel season and the days you stay in the restricted areas of the Tsum Valley trek.

Permit Cost

(As of July 2022, issued by Department of Immigration, Nepal):

  • September to November (Autumn Season) is US$ 40 for the first week and then US$ 7 for each additional day spent in the restricted area.
  • December to August (Winter, Spring, and Summer Seasons) is US$ 30 for the first week, then US$ 7 for each additional day spent in the restricted area.

2. Manaslu Conservation Area Project

Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit is required for the Tsum Valley trek because the trail is located in the Manaslu region. The permit fees support the development and protection of the Manaslu conservation area, which encompasses an area of 1,663 sq. km. The permit needs to be shown at Jagat or Philim. The cost depends on the nationality.

Permit Cost:

  • Fee for SAARC nationals is NRs. 1000 per person (US$ 10 approx.)
  • The fee for other nationals is NRs. 3000 per person (US$ 30 approx.

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Required Documents For Tsum Valley Trekking Permit

The Tsum Valley Trekking permit requires you to show the following documents during the application process:

  • 1 Passport-size photo (For MCAP permit)
  • One scanned photograph (to be uploaded for Tsum Valley RAP's online form)
  • Photocopy of your passport (with at least six months validity)
  • Travel insurance papers (includes helicopter evacuation of up to 6000m)
  • Nepal tourist visa

The travel agency that you hire to collect the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) will assist and ensure that you prepare these documents and apply for them, as well as collect the permit for you.

Tsum Valley Trekking Permits Terms and Conditions:

There are certain terms and conditions, as well as considerations for acquiring and using the Tsum Valley Trekking permit, mentioned below:

  • A permit fee is not required for a child under ten years of age, so it is free.
  • The permits are non-refundable, non-transferable, valid for single entry only, and for individual trekkers only.
  • Entry permits can only be issued from designated offices in Kathmandu and not from any checkpoints along the trekking trail.
  • While entering the Manaslu Conservation Area, you must abide by the regulations of the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 2029 B.S. (1973)
  • You must carry the entry permits with you throughout the trek and show them to concerned officials at the checkpoint as and where required.
  • Both the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and MCAP costs are inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT) and other government taxes.
  • Permit holders cannot enter anywhere beyond the designated areas inside the conservation area and restricted area.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Tsum Valley Trekking Permit

Question Answer

1. Where and how to obtain the Tsum Valley trekking permits?

The details below show where to obtain the Tsum Valley Trekking permits:

Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit: MCAP can be acquired from Kathmandu. It is issued by Nepal Tourism Board, Pradarsani Marg, which is open from Saturday to Sunday except on public holidays from 9 am to 5 pm. It will take no more than an hour for them to issue it.

Tsum Valley Restricted Area Permit: RAP cannot be obtained by trekkers, so it must be applied for and collected by a valid Nepali trekking agency on their behalf. The travel agency you hire will ask you for relevant documents and apply for this permit online while you are in Kathmandu, which will take no more than 2-3 hours. They will collect the permit from the Trekking Department of Nepal Immigration office in Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. Unlike other permits, Nepal Tourism Board or TAAN does not issue Restricted Area Permit (RAP).

2. Do you need a TIMS card for the Tsum Valley Trek?

You do not require a Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card for the Tsum Valley Trek. This is because the mandatory Restricted Area Permit (RAP) already has all the information of the trekker along with the route, emergency contact, and more.

3. Do you need a guide for the Tsum Valley trek?

A licensed professional guide is required for the Tsum Valley trek because it is a restricted area. The off-beaten trail is still not well defined, so that it can get confusing and dangerous. Taking a guide is always beneficial because through them, you get to communicate with the locals and understand the area's history, ethnicity, and traditions. It also contributes to their livelihood and the Nepali economy by uplifting their living standard.

4. Can you do the Tsum Valley trek solo?

As suggested earlier, it is mandatory to have a minimum of two trekkers (including one guide) for the trek, so you can't do a solo trek in the Tsum Valley. If you are solo and don't have a trekking group, your hired travel agency can pair you up with a guide or a bigger group.

5. How difficult is Tsum Valley Trek?

Tsum Valley is classified as an easy to moderate trek in terms of difficulty level. The trail passes through a maximum elevation of 3,700m/12,139ft at Mu Gompa, which is not as high as other restricted area treks. There is minimal chance of getting altitude sickness. A standard Tsum Valley trek itinerary takes 18 days for the trip, with 13 days of trekking. You have to walk an average of 5 to 6 hours per day with a maximum of 8 hours and a minimum of 3 hours some days. Due to less rain, the terrain is arid and dusty, but it is not physically demanding. It is excellent for both professional and novice trekkers.

6. What is the Tsum Valley weather like?

The Tsum Valley weather is pleasant most seasons of the year. However, the best season for clear skies, subtle climate, blooming flowers, and vivid views is Autumn, the months from September to November. Moreover, as Tsum valley is located in the rain shadow area, it is also regarded as one of the best summer treks in Nepal. There is minimal chance of monsoon clouds in the higher altitude, the weather is good, and the temperature is relatively warm, so the overall experience is phenomenal.

The Conclusion

The Tsum Valley Trekking permit can be acquired with the help of a trusted professional trekking agency based in Nepal. A trusted agency will ensure that all your documents are in place and the required permits are obtained in time to make the trek successful. Moreover, companies like Third Rock Adventures are experts in planning and organizing trips in the Tsum Valley area and getting you access to the required two permits promptly and effortlessly. Reach out to our representatives to explore this rare gem of Nepal.

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