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Annapurna Circuit Trek Day 1

Annapurna Circuit Trek Day 1 Chame

Thorang La Pass
Thorang La Pass sign

Welcome to day 1 of trekking on the Annapurna Circuit trail.  We travel to Chame in this post.  But, we will not start trekking today.  You will learn about the cost of day 1, the route to get to Chame, how long the drive takes, and other information.  You can also learn how to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit trek by reading this article.  My blog post “everything you want to know about the Annapurna Circuit” has a lot of the gritty details and facts about the circuit trek.  Kick back relax and and enjoy the trek.

You can skip ahead to day 2 Annapurna Circuit Trek Chame to Upper Pisang.

Leaving Pokhara 6:45 am for Annapurna Circuit trail

Map of the Annapurna Circuit
Annapurna Circuit Trek Map

The Annapurna Circuit can be accessed from Pokhara and Kathmandu on the Prithvi Highway.  You will want to get off the bus at the Bandipur Bus Stop in Dumre.  It takes about 2 hours to get from Pokhara to Dumre.  From Kathmandu, it takes 4 hours.  From here I caught a bus north to Besisahar for $3.  Besisahar is small city where you can stock up on supplies, and spend the night.  From here, I took a jeep to Chame for $20.

On the way to Chame you will pass over a few rivers, and have some phenomenal views of the mountains.  You can also see some incredible waterfalls, and a few beautiful rhododendron groves.  You will have a really amazing view of Manaslu and Lamjung Himal.  When I went, it was cloudy and I couldn’t see them.

Annapurna Circuit Trail waterfall
Waterfall on the Annapurna Circuit Trail

I arrived in Chame at 7 pm.  I do have one regret about taking the jeep.  It went by too fast.  I would have liked going a little slower and living in the moment a little longer.  But I didn’t have the time, or the capital.  I am really happy I did take the jeep, because I didn’t have to walk behind motorists kicking up clouds of dust, or get honked at.

As you may have calculated, the length of time it takes to get from Pokhara to Chame is about 12 hours.  This does include food stops, pit breaks, and checking in at tourist check points.  My total cost for transportation was just under $50.  And my total cost of food was about $11.  And finially, from Pokhara to Chame, we gained about 4,000 ft in elevation to rest at 8,694 ft.

Lodging

There are a lot of great inns, and tea houses in Chame.  I, unfortunately did not stay in one of them.  When you stay in a village, try to get there early, so you can walk around, and talk to the managers for a great deal on a room.  Also, make sure to check your bill at the end of your stay.  Some hotel managers will add items to the bill you didn’t order or ask for.  If you are going with a guide, your guide can work out a great deal for you.

Food

Most of the food items listed on the menus are not what you expect.  Read my blog post on what to expect before coming to Nepal to see what I mean.  My advice is to stick to the Nepali dishes, which are dal and bhat.  When they are combined you get the national dish of Nepal.  The things I like the most about dal bhat are it is filling, and you get extras.  Most of the time, I was too full to eat a second plate of dal bhat. But, it is nice to know its there, if you want it.

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