Is the Manaslu trek the new Annapurna Circuit?
The Annapurna Circuit trek is legendary. It has a little of everything: a deep river gorge, beautiful traditional villages, the desert-like landscape of Lower Mustang , of course, mountains in abundance. But these days it is increasingly offering more roads.
Is the Annapurna circuit still worth it? There are differing opinions naturally. Some will say the road building from the traditional start at Besisahar up to Dharapani spoils the walking. The same applies to Lower Mustang where a road reaches up to Muktinath. Others will just try to find new trails, like Prem Rai with his New Annapurna Trekking Trail.
Now many people are taking a Great Himalaya Trail route which combines the Manaslu Trek with Annapurna Circuit trek. American super-hiker Shawn Lichter, who walked the GHT in 2011 said: “I felt like the link up of the Annapurna Circuit and Manaslu Trek had the perfect balance of Nepali culture and mountain scenery while also being logistically easy to get to and from the trail.”
You can find more up to date debate about road building on the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum. Meanwhile, do some research about the Manaslu Tea-house Trek, starting with some pictures of what you can expect!