The journey from Kathmandu to Manaslu Circuit or Tsum Valley/ Soti Khola/Machakhola is a popular trekking route in Nepal. The journey starts from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, where you can either drive or fly to the starting point of the Manaslu and Tsum valley circuit trek in Soti Khola. The drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola takes around 8-10 hours and passes through picturesque villages and towns. It covers a distance of 126 km/ 80 mi.
There are two primary transport options for traveling from Kathmandu to Soti Khola/ Machakhola private jeep and public bus.
Hiring a private jeep is the most popular option for travelers. You can easily find a jeep rental service in Kathmandu that will take you to Soti Khola. The journey takes 8-10 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. Private jeeps are comfortable and allow you to stop along the way to stretch your legs. A land cruiser / Scorpio jeep is normally hired for the travel as the roads are bumpy.
The journey takes 8-10 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. It costs around USD 300 to hire a jeep to Soti Khola. The vehicles can easily accommodate a group of 7. The cost can be higher during peak tourist season and lower during the off-season.
Hiring a private vehicle to travel to Soti Khola has many advantages. Private cars and jeeps are more comfortable than public buses.
- You have more space to stretch your legs and can adjust the temperature and air conditioning according to your preferences.
- Private cars and jeeps offer more convenience and flexibility than public buses.
- You can choose your own departure time, stop whenever you want to take photos or rest, and take a direct route to your destination.
- Private cars and jeeps are generally safer than public buses.
- You can choose a reliable, experienced driver who knows the road well and can drive safely in challenging road conditions.
- Hiring a private car or jeep offers more privacy than public buses.
However, there are also disadvantages,
- Hiring a private car or jeep is more expensive than taking a public bus. It may not be the best option if you’re on a tight budget.
- Likewise, private cars and jeeps may only sometimes be available, especially during peak tourist season.
- You may need to book in advance to secure a vehicle.
- If you’re traveling alone or with a small group, consider sharing a ride with other travelers. This can reduce the cost of the trip.
- Choose a driver who is experienced and has a good track record.
- Likewise, before you embark on your journey, ensure the vehicle is in good condition.
Local buses are available while traveling from Kathmandu to Soti Khola/ Machakhola. However, local buses have a transit in Arughat where you need to take another vehicle – locally operated small jeeps or local vans. The local bus ticket costs USD 15-20.
Local buses are the most common and cheapest option for travel. These buses are usually crowded and uncomfortable, but they offer an authentic experience of traveling with locals. These buses are normally operated from Gongabu, about a 15 min taxi ride from Thamel.
While traveling on a local bus, be prepared for a crowded journey, especially if you’re traveling during peak season. They also don’t have a fixed time to operate and leave when full. Hence, arrive early at the bus station to ensure you get a seat. Besides, local buses may make frequent stops along the way.
Traveling from Kathmandu to Soti Khola/Machakhola is an adventure in itself. There are mainly two ways to travel to Soti Khola/Machakhola from Kathmandu: by private vehicle or bus. While hiring a private car or jeep can be more comfortable and convenient, it can be expensive. On the other hand, traveling by local bus is a more affordable option, but it can be crowded. Regardless of the mode of transport you choose, it’s important to be prepared for the journey and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.
Hence, hiring a private car or jeep can be a good choice if you’re looking for a more comfortable and convenient option. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind the discomfort, traveling by local bus can be a more affordable option.
For both journeys, essential items such as a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat should be brought. Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended. A jacket or sweater may also be needed as the mountain temperature can be cool.
Once you reach Soti Khola, you can start the Manaslu circuit trek/Manaslu tsum Valley trek, which usually takes 14-20 days. The trek takes you through picturesque villages, dense forests, terraced fields, and challenging mountain passes, offering stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks and diverse landscapes.
How to go from Kathmandu to Manaslu/ Soti Khola/Machakhola?
Kathmandu to Soti Khola can be traveled in two main ways: by private jeep and public bus. The journey by private jeep takes around 8-10 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. Private jeeps are comfortable and allow you to stop to take photos and stretch your legs. At the same time, a more budget-friendly option is the local bus.
How much is the bus from Kathmandu to Manaslu/ Soti Khola/Machakhola?
Depending on the bus type and the time of year, the price of a bus trip from Kathmandu to Manaslu/ Soti Khola can change. A local bus fare can cost approximately USD 12 on average. For the most up-to-date prices, verifying with the travel agency is preferable.
How long is the bus from Manaslu/Soti Khola/Machakhola to Kathmandu?
The time to travel by bus from Manaslu/Soti Khola/Machakhola to Kathmandu will depend on traffic and the weather. The trip typically takes 8 to 10 hours. This can change and take longer during the busiest travel times, though. Road closures resulting from unanticipated landslides or other unanticipated natural disasters can also result in delays.
Can I drive from Kathmandu to Manaslu/ Soti Khola/Machakhola?
The road from Kathmandu to Soti Khola/Machakhola is a rough and winding mountain road, and it can be challenging to navigate for inexperienced drivers. However, if you have experience driving on mountainous roads and are comfortable with the driving conditions in Nepal, it is possible to drive yourself to Soti Khola. It is important to note that road conditions can be unpredictable and change due to weather and natural disasters such as landslides. Therefore, hiring a reliable and experienced driver who knows the road well is advisable. Alternatively, hire a private jeep with a driver to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.