Annapurna or Everest trekking in Nepal? It’s like asking whom do you love most, mom or dad? Well, it’s been most common question with easy answer. Attempt both! or Love both I must say. Yes, these two trekking region hosts some of the most popular trekking trips on globe. But still if you have to choose one, here are some differentiating factors that might help you in taking your decision.
Everest base camp trek is an accomplishment in itself as it lets you to be at the base of top of the world which is still a dream for many. On the other hand, Annapurna region lets you to be one step closer with Mother Nature, rich vegetation, spectacular Himalayan scenery at much below elevation from sea level. These are some of the astounding factors that Everest and Annapurna region has in store:
First of all let us see which region’s trek best suits your fitness level?
Everest region treks are more physically demanding compared to Annapurna region treks on the basis of altitudes. You will be gaining more elevation while trekking on high altitudes around Everest region as you will reach at 3420 meters at only second day of the trek. While on Annapurna region treks there is gradual elevation on altitudes and takes around six days to reach the same. The maximum altitude gained at Everest region is 5545 meters at Everest base camp while on Annapurna region, maximum altitude gained is 5416m at Throunlga pass while on Annapurna ciruit trek and an altitude of 4130m at Annapurna base camp. Therefore the chance of getting affected by altitude sickness is negligible around Annapurna region compared to high altitudes around Everest region treks.
Then what about getting there?
First of all you have to land on Tribhuwan International Airport in capital city Kathmandu to embark on any trekking regions of Nepal. Then the most popular way for Everest region treks is fly 35 minutes from Kathmandu to Lukla airstrip followed by trek to Phakding on same day. However there is an alternate to embark on classical way (Tenjing and Hillary way) which is 6 hours drive from Kathmandu to Jiri and trek 7days to arrive at Phakding.
On the other hand, getting to Annapurna region is 20 minutes flight or 200kms drive from Kathmandu to scenic lake city of Pokhara. The best place to embark and end any trek, surrounded by Annapurna Himalayas, lakes, waterfalls, touristic place with lots of adventurous activities to put your hands on.
What about comparison on scenery?
Sceneries from both Everest and Annapurna regions are incomparable. Both of these trekking regions offer the best Himalayan views like never seen before. Regarding Everest region, Kalapathhar is the best sunrise or sunset view point of grand Himalayas including Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Amadablam and other neighboring peaks. Also if you are on for Gokyo lakes trek with EBC then view from top of the Gokyo ri is simply out of this world. The pristine glacial turquoise lakes along, snow capped mountains keeps you captivated in every possible way. You will see mountaineers preparing for summiting Mt. Everest on rocky, icy Everest base camp.
Annapurna region trek takes you through forests, valleys, small and big settlements, with awesome backdrop views of Annapurna Himalayan range from day one. Early morning hike upto Poonhill after couple of days trek offers the best panoramic views of snow capped Annapurna Himalayan range including, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Machhapuchre and other snowy peaks. On reaching Annapurna base camp; if you turn 360 degree then you will be surrounded by grand Himalayas from every side.
Cultural differences in Everest and Annapurna region
Everest region is famous for traditional Buddhist tribe of Sherpas known for their mountaineering skills and easy adaptation to high altitudes. While visiting Buddhist monasteries around the region, watching the prayer flags and mani walls constantly gives us an insight to their culture, tradition, rituals and lifestyle.
Annapurna region hosts majorly small and large Gurung settlements along the trekking trail. Majorly around Ghandruk, you will get an opportunity to explore local culture and tradition. Gurung are also known as brave ‘Gurkhas’ as majorly they are tented towards British Gurkha Army.
And what about the cost?
On direct comparison, Everest region treks is slightly expensive than Annapurna region treks. However there are different factors like days in the trip, domestic flights that takes part in cost. The best thing of all is that these both Annapurna and Everest trekking trips are priceless.
Finally, the decision is all yours. Either you embark for Annapurna or Everest region first; you would definitely get back for the second. Happy trekking!