Things to do in Manang

Things to do in manang

There are different best things to do in Manang, a small town in Nepal’s Manang district that is 3,519 meters high. Manang is a must-visit spot while you are trekking in the Annapurna region. Manang has the lowest population of minors in Nepal. This location is ideal for trekkers starting on the Annapurna Circuit and needing time to acclimate.

Manang lies in a big valley, with the Marshyangdi River to the east, Thorong La Pass to the west, and Chulu East Peak to the north. It’s dry because the high mountains around it block the rain clouds. This makes it like a desert in Nepal. It is rich in natural beauty and medical herbs. Manang even has precious stones despite the dry climate. The region is also home to many monasteries, reflecting the early Tibetan Buddhist traditions. 

Best Things to Do in Manang

1. Exploring Manang Town

Local Markets

You can wander through the lively markets in Manang Town. Fresh fruits, vegetables, handmade crafts, and local snacks can be found. Local markets are a great place to buy souvenirs or talk to friendly sellers. It is also the best place to experience the local culture and maybe even bargain for a good deal.

manang town

Traditional Architecture

You can admire the traditional Tibetan-style houses and buildings. The houses and buildings’ distinct designs, made of stones and wood, reflect the rich heritage and history of the area. You can also see ancient monasteries and stupes, which are important to the local Buddhist community. 

2. Trekking and Hiking around Manang

Annapurna Circuit Trek

The Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you through the breathtaking mountain ranges of central Nepal. The overall distance of the Annapurna Circuit Trek spans between 160 to 230 kilometers. It all depends on the availability of motorized transportation and where the walks end. You can see the incredible sight of the majestic Annapurna Massif (Annapurna I-IV), Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, and Paungda Danda, and other peaks. The Thorong La Pass, at 5,426 meters, is the trek’s highest point. 

Ice Lake Hike

Ice Lake is another beautiful trekking destination from Manang. Ice Lake, also known as Kilcho Tal, is 4,620 meters and offers breathtaking views of the Manang Valley and snow-covered surroundings. It takes around 7-10 hours to reach Ice Lake. You can also camp around it, sing, and enjoy lunch. Aside from natural beauty, Ice Lake is also known for the spiritual and cultural traditions of the surrounding people.  

Gangapurna Lake Trek

Manang is known for its beautiful lake. In addition to Kilcho, Gangapurna Lake is also close to Manang Valley. Gangapurna Lake is located at the foot of the beautiful Gangapurna Peak, which stands at a height of 7,455 meters. One of the lake’s most spectacular vistas is the peak’s reflection in the lake, which makes the surrounding landscape seem pure. You can relax on the side of the lake, put your feet in the cool water, and enjoy the area’s peace. The lake is considered holy, and pilgrims often visit to conduct rituals and seek blessings. 

3. Cultural Experiences of Manang

Visit Ancient Monasteries

In the Manang region, you can visit old monasteries that are filled with history and spiritual vibes. These holy places have stood for centuries, showing you the region’s deep religious roots. Here, you can admire the beautiful buildings’ detailed artwork and enjoy a calm space that’s perfect for quiet reflection. 

Local Festivals and Events

Manang is lively, and it hosts local festivals and events. In the upper regions of Manang, a festival called Yartung is celebrated during the monsoon season. For five days, young people ride horses without saddles. Another well-known festival in the area is Metha, also called Lajyang Dhajyang. The Metha festival features archery contests to test the local’s shooting skills. Kaanso festival is another special event in Manang, held in October-November. During this festival, religious leaders perform traditional dances, and young people carry wooden poles and dance all day to ward off bad luck. Some of the other festivals and events are the Tiji festival, Loshar, and Buddha Jayanti.

Traditional Handicrafts

In Manang, traditional handicrafts are handmade items created with skill and creativity passed down through generations. Local artisans craft beautiful things like woven fabrics, pottery, and intricate jewelry. These crafts are not only artistic but also hold cultural significance. By buying these handicrafts, you support the local economy and take home a unique souvenir from your visit to Manang. 

4. Adventure Activities in Manang

Paragliding

Paragliding in the Manang region allows you to enjoy the spectacular Himalayan vistas from a different perspective. You can experience panoramic views of the Annapurna range, Manaslu, and Dhaulagiri while flying high over the snow-capped peaks and deep river valleys. Paragliding in Manang can be challenging due to the high altitude, so fly with experienced pilots who are aware of the local weather patterns and terrain. Paragliding in Manang is still limited and less developed than in Pokhara.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking in the Manang is one of the best things to do. It is an exciting and unique way to explore the mountain terrain, traditional communities, and various ecosystems. Biking paths in the area range from easy rides through lower-altitude forests to difficult high-altitude singletracks. One popular mountain biking trail is the lower section of the Annapurna Circuit, starting from Besisahar. It goes through the Marsyangdi River Valley and passes charming villages like Chame, Pisang, and Manang. 

5. Natural Attractions in Manang

Tilicho Lake

Tilicho Lake is one of the main attractions of Manang. Tilicho Lake lies in Nepal’s Manang district, about 88 kilometers from Pokhara. It stands 4,919 meters tall in the Annapurna range of the Himalayan mountains. Tilicho Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world. It is the final point of one of the Annapurna Circuit’s most popular side trips. It takes an extra 3-4 days to trek. The Tilicho Lake trek must travel across the challenging Thorong La Pass, so you should have a positive hiking experience. From the Tilicho  Lake hike, you will see the breathtaking views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Nilgiri, and Himchuli. 

Pisang Peak

Pisang Peak is another attraction in Manang. It lies just north of the Manang Valley, which the famous Annapurna Circuit passes through. Pisang Peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. It is known for its relatively moderate climbing difficulty, making it accessible for trekkers who want to experience mountaineering in Nepal.

Hot Springs at Chame

Chame is a small village on the Annapurna Circuit trek that is famous for its natural hot springs. These hot springs are like warm, natural baths where you can relax and soak your tired muscles. After hours of walking through the rugged trails, the hot springs offer a perfect way to unwind and recharge. The warm water feels lovely and is said to have healing properties. 

6. Wildlife and Nature

Bird Watching

Bird watching in Nepal is delightful, especially in places like Manang. There are more than 400 kinds of birds in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Some special ones to look for are the colorful Himalayan monal, the large lammergeier (bearded vulture), the mighty golden eagle, and the tiny white-throated tit. 

Flora and Fauna Exploration

In the lower parts of Manang, you’ll find lush forests filled with rhododendrons, oak, and pine trees. The rhododendrons bloom and cover the area with vibrant colors in spring. As you climb higher, the landscape changes to grassy alpine meadows and scrublands. Trekkers can also see a variety of wildflowers and medicinal herbs.

Manang is home to many different types of wildlife. Some of these animals are hard to see, like snow leopards, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, and musk deer. The Annapurna Conservation Area protects these animals. You can also find red pandas, grey wolves, and smaller creatures like marmots and pikas. 

7. Historical Sites

Braga Gompa

Braga Gompa is a well-known Buddhist monastery situated near Manang village. While walking up the stone-paved route, you’ll see prayer flags waving in the mountain breeze. Inside Braga Monastery, you’ll find stunning murals, intricate statues, and a very spiritual atmosphere. Resident monks warmly welcome visitors and are often happy to share insights into their spiritual practices and beliefs. You can relax, meditate, or enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks. 

8. Manang Local Cuisine 

Traditional Nepali Dishes

In Manang, you can enjoy traditional Nepali dishes that people loved for a long time. Popular dishes include dal bhat (lentils and rice), momos (dumplings), and thukpa (noodle soup). The traditional Nepali dishes are hearty, comforting, and a great way to taste Nepal’s rich culinary history. 

You can find several popular restaurants in Manang. The Manang restaurants are known for their friendly atmosphere and delicious food. Whether you want to try local dishes or enjoy international cuisine, you’ll find a restaurant in Manang that suits your taste.

Street Food Delights

You should try Manang’s street food for a quick and tasty snack. Vendors sell a variety of delicious snacks and treats right on the street. The street food of Manang is affordable and delicious, from warm, savory pastries to sweet delights.

Practical Information

Best Time to Visit Manang

The best time to visit Manang is Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). The weather in spring is often consistent and moderate, making it suitable for higher-elevation trekking. The landscape comes alive with vibrant rhododendrons and other wildflowers blooms, providing a lovely touch to your hiking. 

Autumn is another ideal time to travel to Manang. In this season, the sky is usually clear, providing spectacular vistas of the surrounding mountains. The weather stays dry and steady, making it ideal for hiking in the higher elevations around Manang. Furthermore, traveling to Manang in autumn immerses you in Nepal’s festival atmosphere, as significant Hindu festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and Chhat are celebrated around this time.

Accommodation in Manang

Teahouses are the most common accommodation in Manang. Locals run teahouses and provide basic rooms and home-cooked meals. You can meet other trekkers by staying here and also enjoy local hospitality. The rooms are simple, with shared bathrooms and few amenities.

You can also get guest houses in Manang. They have private rooms with attached bathrooms. Guest houses also have extra facilities, such as hot showers and Wi-Fi. You can choose the luxury lodges in Manang for a more luxurious stay. These lodges have well-furnished rooms with private bathrooms and amenities like heating, hot showers, and Wi-Fi. 

Nearby Destinations

Side Trips from Manang

You can take several side trips from Manang to discover more of the region. Manang has plenty of options if you want to hike to a higher altitude, see hidden valleys, or explore different landscapes. Each side trip offers a unique experience and a chance to see something new and exciting.

Day Trips and Excursions

If you have a day to spare, you can go on day trips and excursions from Manang. These shorter trips can be completed in a day and are perfect for seeing more without staying overnight. You can trek to scenic viewpoints, visit nearby cultural sites, or enjoy nature walks, all while returning to Manang by evening.

Conclusion

There are several best things to do in Manang in 2024. Manang is a great place in Nepal to explore beautiful hiking trails, visit ancient monasteries, and see stunning mountain views. You can enjoy the local culture, try delicious food, and relax in the peaceful surroundings. Whether you love adventure or want to enjoy nature, Manang has something special for everyone. Manang is the perfect place for acclimatization. 

FAQs 

What is Manang famous for?

Manang is famous for its breathtaking Himalayas scenery. You can enjoy in Manang by trekking and hiking. Manang is also well-known for its rich Tibetan Buddhist culture, with ancient monasteries and traditional villages to explore. Manang is more developed than other villages. 

Does it rain in Manang?

Manang can receive some rainfall during the summer monsoon season. Manang experiences a dry and cold climate for most of the year. 

How high is Manang Ice Lake?

Manang Ice Lake is located at an altitude of approximately 4,600 meters above sea level. It is a high-altitude lake situated near Manang, Nepal. 

Is there Internet in Manang?

Yes, Manang has internet access. But, it can be limited and unreliable compared to urban areas. Many teahouses, lodges, and guesthouses offer Wi-Fi to other guests, but the speed and reliability of the internet connection can vary depending on weather conditions. 

Which zone is Manang?

Manang is located in the Manang district and the Gandaki zone of Nepal.

Puru Founder of My Everest Trip

Puru Thapaliya

My name is Puru (Purushottam Thapaliya). Since completing the Government Guide Training from Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (KEEP and HRA), I have been a specialist in mountain trekking and peak climbing. With specific expertise in the Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan regions, I have now been a trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal, and across the Himalayas, since 2012.