The world famous Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

The world famous Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

The trek typically starts in the village of BhuleBhule.

Buses will get you from Kathmandu to Besishar in a drive that is quite spectacular in itself for the Middle Hills scenery you pass through and the narrow, windy road. From Besisahar to BhuleBhule you will have to take a jeep or an even older local bus. Tourist and local buses are available.

But don't let the "tourist" label fool you.

Chances are good you'd be the only Westerner on the tourist bus, since they are also popular with the locals who can afford them. They tend to be more comfortable (though it's still a jolting ride), and faster. Local buses take much longer, are much less comfortable, carry very few tourists, but are cheaper, if you're pinching pennies. The ride on a tourist bus takes five or six hours.

Though not required, porters and/or guides can be easily hired in Pokhara or Kathmandu at many travel agencies. As a classic "tea-house trek," which goes from village to village and does not require trekkers to bring along food or camping equipment, porters and guides are far from necessary, though many trekkers still like to use them.

If you do hire a porter or a guide, Nepali tourism officials ask that you make sure you pay a fair wage, limit the weight you require them to carry, and ensure they are properly clothed. Pay attention to their health when you get up in elevation, since some porters may not tell you if they feel ill. Altitude sickness is potentially fatal if ignored.

Depending on where you end your trek, buses and taxis are available to take you to Pokhara, a great place on a lake to spend a few days unwinding and relaxing. Kathmandu is about a six hour bus ride from Pokhara, easily arranged once you're ready to leave the lakeside town.

You can try and walk the lower stages at a faster pace maybe combining two of them into one so that more time can be spent on acclimatization on the higher stages. For example a couple of extra days can be spent at Manang and utilized by climbing to one of the many peaks around it and coming back down so as to increase the production of red blood cells. You can also see the origin of the Marsyandi river in Manang. The best part about this trek is the varied scenery it has to offer. You start from tropical forest in Besisahar, see terminal moraine near Manang and then move past the snow line across the Thorung La and then to the barren landscape of lower Mustang and Muktinath.