If you’re wondering if you should do the Annapurna Base Camp or the Everest Base Camp, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a breakdown of my personal account of both the Base Camps. My review might differ from others and could be complete different than what someone else would say but this is my personal view of the two different regions. I hope that this will be helpful to you guys!!
Let’s start the breakdown from how to get there.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek can have multiple gateways but the classical one is through Ghandruk (Or Landruk). The extended ones can be connected through the Annapurna Circuit or the Ghorepani-Ghandruk circuit. In either cases, except the circuit part, the gateway is Pokhara/Nayapul. Getting to Pokhara/Nayapul is quite easy. Depending upon your interest and budget you can either take a flight up to Pokhara and then a bus/taxi up to Nayapul or take a microbus directly to Nayapul. Even then if you don’t feel like walking, you can take a bus/jeep up to Kyumi, from there a short 45 minute walk will take you to Ghandurk. But basically, getting in and out of the route isn’t much of a torture, it’s quite easy.
The gateway to Everest Base Camp is Lukla Airport. The so called “World’s Most Dangerous Airport”. Getting there is quite scary and expensive as well. An alternative gateway into Lukla can be a trek from Salleri, which would take at least 3 4 days get you to Lukla, in turn the cost of living for 3 days on that trial would be equal to the cost of the plane ticket. The only problem that lies in getting into Lukla is the flight itself, the danger involved, which isn’t risky all the time, just when the weather is bad. And the worst part is getting stuck at Lukla airport for few days. You’d not want to get stuck in Lukla because of flight cancellation.
Getting there: Winner- Annapurna Base Camp
While talking about the accommodations there are plenty of lodges/teahouses in both the regions. Depending upon the ranges of price and how you want to stay there are plenty of options.
The lodges and houses in Annapurna are pretty good. They don’t usually charge you for the room and even if they do it’s not much. But the availability for the local tourists depends upon the time of the year. During the peak trekking season it might be hard to get the rooms, but at other times there’s no need to worry about staying at all. If the hotel owners around the trails could be a little nicer to the local tourist then that would be good.
Compared to Annapurna region, the Everest has fairly good accommodation facilities. But again the availability during the “Trekking season” could be a major problem in the Everest region as well. If not, the rooms are pretty cheap as well. Options wise I would say Everest has more options than Annapurna, it obviously should, but on the overall setting, I guess both are equal when it comes to Accommodation.
The most important part of the trek- Food! How you eat will define how you will walk and perform during your strenuous trek. The quality of food is quite an important factor.
As per my experience in both the places, the food in Annapurna region as a whole, not just the Base Camp, comes second to the food in Everest region. Not only do you have tons of options to choose from in Everest region but the quality of food is good as well. Even when it comes to taste, the food that I was served in Everest was almost as good as one we’d get in Kathmandu. The Daal Bhaat, Pizzas, Burgers and Spaghettis were pretty good all-around in Everest compared to Annapurna Base Camp.
Pizza (Annapurna Base Camp)
Yak Steak (Everest Base Camp)
Food: Winner- Everest Base Camp
The hospitality part depends up on the place you stay in and the season you decide to do the trek in. But while I was there, i.e. during the trekking season. The hospitality wasn’t that bad even for a Nepali. There was no problem at all while doing the Everest Base Camp Trek. But on my trek to ABC, I couldn’t get a room just because they were expecting a “Foreigner”. They said, you’ll have to wait till 5 Pm in the evening to know if you’ll get a room or not. They didn’t tell me why but I knew why, they were waiting for foreigners to come in and if they didn’t I’d get the room.
But like I said, there are plenty of options and I opted for another lodge. I didn’t face such problems in Everest though I was there during the season. But I bet that will surely be a problem during the peak tourist season, but they will manage it anyways! The people are quite nice in both regions.
Finally! The most important part of the whole comparison. Because most of the things I have described above depends upon how you do the trek and when you do the trek and could be different for different individuals. I could be wrong about those things because I was at that “instant” could have been different if I was there some other times. But this is where I can make a sound comparison, it would still be my opinion of the trail and my view could be different from that of others.
Let’s start with the Annapurna Base Camp
The trails to Annapurna Base Camp is fun, starting from either Ghandruk or Landruk, the trail goes on to meet at Chhomrong. The only thing I was bothered most by the trails of Annapurna Base Camp was the fact that it goes up and down for way to many times. You climb up a hill and then go down to the river, climb up another hill then again drop down to the river then repeat the same thing over and over again at least for 4 times. That was something I didn’t enjoy as well.
And for most of the parts the view isn’t that great as well. Personally, I didn’t enjoy the trail and the views until I left Deurali and headed to Machchapuchhre Base Camp. Apart from that the trails from Sinuwa to Bamboo and up to Dovan was quite fun. It’s proper “Trekking” trails through the jungle, still not with a good view but the ambience is quite good. But the views and mountain wise, it’s not that good until you reach Machchapuchhre Base Camp.
Trails: Winner-Everest Base Camp
Difficulty and Length !
Between the two base camps, the difficulty level of trails might be more on Annapurna Base Camp because of the ups and downs, specially for the people who can’t walk on a quick succession of ups and down, before their knees starts giving in. But on the over all scenario, due to altitude you will gain and for the places you have to sleep at Everest Base Camp definitely beats Annapurna Base Camp on difficulty. Depending on how you do the trek, you’d have to sleep at the altitude of at least 4400 meters or above for at least 4 5 days, and at an altitude of 4900 meters and 5100 meters for one day each.
When it comes to the length of the trek, it again depends on where you start your trek when it comes to the Annapurna Base Camp, unless you do the Ghorepani-Tadapani-ABC trails, Annapurna Base Camp trek won’t be as long as Everest. On the context of traditional and conventional trail for both treks, Everest Base Camp is few days longer than the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Difficulty and Length : Winner- Everest Base Camp
Trail to Annapurna Base Camp
Trails to Everest Base Camp
The trails to Everest Base Camp is quite amazing. Before I was there, every time I heard someone saying that Everest is Awesome I thought how different could it be? Its trekking trail and most of them are similar for most of the part. But I knew the difference as soon as I started my trek from Lukla.
The trails of Everest Base Camp are quite refreshing and lively. It gets you into the Alpine setting quite early and the views, the forest the ambiance is pleasing. It doesn’t go up and down as much as the Annapurna trails. The first few hours of the trail does go down the altitude and from there onward its just a gentle climb everyday, except some steep climb for not more than 2 hours. The only “Drop Down and Climb” (DDCs) section of the Everest trail being the hike from Namche to Kyanjuma- Descending down to the river and climbing up to Tengboche. Apart from that there aren’t too many DDCs! And let’s not forget the mountains! If you love mountains and that is what drives you to trek along the trails, then Everest Base Camp trek is the trek for you. Not a single part of the trail is boring at all, it is just energizing and beautiful.
But…but!! The view from Annapurna Base Camp is quite amazing. On the other hand, the view from Everest Base camp is quite bland compared to Annapurna, in terms of what you see. But the thrill of being at Everest Base Camp might have a different effect on you but personally, I’d pick Annapurna Base Camp to Everest Base Camp on just the Base Camp part. But for most of the part of the trails and the whole Base Camp and Himalayan experience, I don’t think Annapurna Base Camp would beat Everest Base Camp. But hey! The view from Kalapatthar is quite amazing!
Base Camp: Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp
The whole Vs part came out to be a draw I guess, but both trails are amazing in their own way! But personally, for me Everest Base Camp stands out to be the better of the two trails.
P.S. Any foreigners (Any non Nepali nationals) travelling to any of those destination will require trekking permits and need to get the National Park/Conservation Area permit.
For more information on how to go to Annapurna Base Camp: Click here