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Upper Mustang Trek

The name Mustang is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Montang’ which means fertile plain. It is believed that the place was a green fertile land dating back to 8-10,000 BC. According to fable, the place used to fall under the rule of Tibetan King Songtsengampo. Mustang unlike any other places in Nepal features arid ridges, mountain desert landmass, multicolored rocks, Moraine Valley, deep gorges, glaciers, snow capped mountain peaks, alpine valley and various aged caves under rocks. Upper Mustang trek visualizes you with a mysterious world of ancient Buddhist monarch of Mustang. Since Upper Mustang was more associated with Tibet in the ancient era it adopts all their tradition, rituals, culture and belief. A person who undertakes this trek will enjoy discovering several stone caves, clay-walled palaces, and Forts, scenic Kaligandaki valley and the Tibetan Plateau, deepest gorge on earth etc.

  • Best Season:

    January - May

  • Price:

    1000

  • Difficulty:

    Extreme

  • Trip/Group Size:

    3

Upper Mustang formerly named as the Kingdom of Lo/Mustang as a separate isolated village in Himalayan district of Nepal.  The place lies with an average elevation of 4000m and is positioned from Kagbeni to Trans-Himalayan region till Tibetan borders. Previously, Lo Manthang was the capital of forbidden kingdom and later it was changed to Jomsom. The place used to be ruled by former King, His Holiness Jigme Dorjee Palbar Bista who lost his title in 2008, after Nepal turned to Republic. Hence, it became the last forbidden kingdom in Nepal. The region lies on the far side of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massif and was little known until 1992. The place was not acquainted with outside world and among the adventure traveler protecting its hidden beauty so in the later era the place became famous as the most famous trekking trail all over the world. The trail became successful to renowned itself as the most daring adventure on the high plain desert. In ancient time, this region was Silk Road of salt caravans who used to carry salt from Tibet to Nepal.

Apart from its natural resources, Upper Mustang is one of the richest kingdom sharing Tibetan Buddhist culture, architectures, languages which has remained unchanged from the 14th century. Numerous monasteries like Lo Gekar Monastery, Thungchen Gompa built in an 8th and 15th century has preserved the uniqueness of the place. Even the Royal Palace located in the urban square of Lo Manthang resembles the beauty and attributes of Tibetan culture and architect. Similarly, different dance, folk songs are being popular including Tiji Festival.

Upper Mustang Trek emerges from Jomsom to the steep hills of Kagbeni to the upward slope of Upper Mustang. It is one of the famous monsoon treks and can be accomplished any time of the year.

During winter the temperature here will be very low with snowfall in most of its part. So the settlement and herds with being shifted to lower altitude like in Jomsom. However, the best climatic condition to undertake this trek is from March to Early November. Tea house and small lodges throughout the trekking route is an advantage for accommodation. Even the homestay in this localities are being famous and the people are gaining a good source of income. 

Many adventure tourist and traveler has a very good review about this trek. Moreover, Michel Peissel who visited Upper Mustang in early centuries in around 1964 has written on his book “Mustang, a Lost Tibetan Kingdom”. From his positive lines, one should definitely make his/her mind to explore this wonderland and open the secrets of Nepal to outside world. Let’s Make Upper Mustang trek as the amazing holiday experience.

Upper Mustang Trek Overview

Price:

Difficulty: Modest

Activities: Trekking and Sightseeing

Best Season: September to December, March to May

Modes of Transportation: Privately owned Car, bus or Flight

Trip/Group Size: 1-10 Private Trip on request and above

Trip Route: Kathmandu-Pokhara-Jomsom-Lomanthang-Jomsom-Pokhara-Kathmandu

Meals: Breakfast package on Kathmandu and Full board meal during the Trip

Accommodation: Three-star Accommodation in Kathmandu and Teahouse and lodge in trekking route

Maximum Elevation: 3806 m at Lo Manthang

Trip Specialty and Features

A mystic view of Annapurna mountain range (Machhapuchhre, Mardi Himal, Hiun Chuli, Fang, Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri) and Sunrise view of this Panorama.

The localities, lifestyles of Gurung and Magar People along with their culture and traditions

Amazing Rhododendron and Oak Forest, Green bamboo bushes and coniferous pine trees

Mesmerizing Jomsom and its Natural hot spring

The Lake City ‘Pokhara’

Lo Manthang - Ancient capital of Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang

Upper Mustang Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu Valley and Trekking preparation (1,300m/4,264ft)
Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft) 6 to 7-hour drive
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (30 min flight) and hike to Kaagbeni, 3 hours walk (2800m/9186 ft)
Day 05: Kaagbeni to Chele, around 5 hours of walk
Day 06: Trek from Chele to Geiling, 5 to 6 hours of walk, (3440m/11,286 ft)
Day 07: Trek from Geilang to Charang, 5 to 6 hours of walk, (3490m/11459 ft)
Day 08: Charang to Lo Manthang, 5 to 6 hours walk, (3730m/12,237ft)
Day 09: Tour day at Lo Manthang - Rest day to acclimatize - (3700m/12,136 ft)
Day 10: Lo-Manthang to Drakmar, 6 to 7 hours (3942m/12933ft)
Day 11: Drakmar to Ghiling, 5 to 6 hours (3806m/12,484 ft)
Day 12:  Ghiling to Chhuksang, 5 to 6 hour (3050 m/ 10,004 ft.)
Day 13: Chhuskang to Jomsom, 6-7 hours walk (2700m/8856ft)
Day 14: Jomsom-Pokhara Flight, 30 min (820m/2,690 ft) 
Day 15:  Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, 7 to 8 hours’ drive (1,300m/4,264 ft)
Day 16: Departure / Farewell day

Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)

Heartily welcome to you in Nepal. Our company Personnel will pick you up from Tribhuvan International Airport you will be transferred to three-star category hotel in a privately owned car. Hotel Check-in, resting time, freshen up time will be provided and you have to get ready for the meeting in the company office. The meeting includes the brief explanation of the activities, do and don’ts, and details description of the itinerary. Also, you will receive your permits to enter Upper Mustang. After the completion of the meeting you will be taken for welcome dinner accompanied with Nepali music, dance and cuisines in best typical Nepali restaurant with Nepali Themes. 

Day 2: Explore Kathmandu Valley and Trekking preparation (1,300m/4,264ft)

The sightseeing features some of the main landmarks and UNESCO world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley including Pashupatinath Temple, Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa. This trip will freshen up your mind and will provide the opportunity to come across the culture and tradition of Nepal. Similarly, you will also experience the ancient royal lifestyle. You will come to see the rituals, belief, and lifestyle of people around the Kathmandu valley. After the trip, all of you are requested to gather in our office for the remaining trek preparation like finalizing your clothing and training to handle the trekking gear if necessary.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft) 6 to 7-hour drive

The day will begin after your breakfast in the hotel. Total driving duration to Pokhara is around 6 to 7 hours in tourist bus and the distance is 200 km. You will get a chance to see the villages of Nepal, terrain farming, landscape hills and mountain on your way. You will see even Trishuli and Marsayndi River on your way. Your bus will stop for the lunch around one in highway hotels. After few hours you will reach Pokhara and our company representative will transfer you to a three-star hotel. Evening time will be utilized moving around lakeside and pubs and restaurants. Overnight at Pokhara.

Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (30 min flight) and hike to Kaagbeni, 3 hours walk (2800m/9186 ft)

Normally the flight operation from Pokhara to Jomson will be early morning because there will be no flight after 12 because of aggressive wind. Your breakfast will be either in Pokhara or in Jomsom depending on your flight schedule. Flying above the world deepest gorge you will be having a bird's eye view of tallest peaks like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) and magnificent Annapurna.

On arrival to Jomsom, you will meet your guides and porters and start exploring the surrounding and start your walk to Kaagbeni following the suspension bridge of Kaligandaki River. The journey offers the amazing view of snowcapped mountains like Dhaulagiri to the north, Tukuche, and Nilgiri where the south side shows the artistic view of Annapurna range. You will reach to the gateway of upper Mustang after few hours of walk penetrating intersecting the meeting point of two rivers called Kak Khola and Mustang Khola. The Meeting point of this two river is called Kaagbeni and the river gets its name as Kaligandaki thereafter. Numerous Gompa, Monasteries and ethical Buddhist society and some Hindu temples on its way resemble the true beauty of Upper Mustang Pathway. Overnight stay at the lodge in Kaagbeni.

Day 05: Kaagbeni to Chele, around 5 hours of walk

Trekking to Chele begins after your fabulous breakfast at Kaagbeni from where you climb up towards north facing to Tangbe and then to Chhusang Valley. The trail has a number of colored Chortens, monasteries and red and whitewashed houses which will lessen your tiredness and boost your synergy to climb the steep slopes. Moreover, you will appreciate the apple orchids, barley, and buckwheat farming on the way, a white snowcapped mountain range on your backdrop will make you feel as if you walking on heaven. You will reach Chele after passing some natural streams and ridges.This place is the dominance of Tibetan localities and presents the beauties of Tibetan culture associated with Kingdom of La. Tonight stay at a lodge in Chele.

Day 06: Trek from Chele to Geiling, 5 to 6 hours of walk, (3440m/11,286 ft)

The day will begin same like your previous day. First, you will have your breakfast in Chele and will put your step forward trekking to Taklam La Pass, observing Yakawa kang, Tilicho peak, and Damodar Hill. From there reaching Samar and passing through Chorten you will make your journey towards Shyangmochen village. You will encounter juniper trees along your way till you reach the village. This is the tiny human settlement with limited tea shops and is the ideal place of rest to hikers and travelers. You will also be able to locate the holy cave in a place called Rangbyung and the same trail leads you till Geiling. The night stay will be in Geiling.

Day 07: Trek from Geilang to Charang, 5 to 6 hours of walk, (3490m/11459 ft)

The trail will direct you west from Geilang and follows to the driest part of Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang. Passing through Tama Gaon, Nyi la the path steep down to Ghyami. This is the third biggest human settlement of the Lo region. Just after you cross Ghyami River, the paths will lead you towards the Mani wall. Mani wall is the holy wall made up of prayer stones. You have to take east direction to reach the Charang Village. This is also a large locality which is bordering Dzong Village. The Village specialty is Red Gompa and the Thangkas. The night stay will be in Charang.

Day 08: Charang to Lo Manthang, 5 to 6 hours walk, (3730m/12,237ft)

The day is the most exciting day of our entire trip as we are going to figure out the ancient capital of Lost Tibetan Kingdom. But before that, we will explore some monuments in Charang Village like Red Gompa. We will come to see the Chorten, which divides Charang and Lo Manthang . As you climb up the steep way towards the pass, you will gaze the first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city only can be accessed from the northeast side, and we have no option left other than to encompass that wall for the entryway.

Day 09: Tour day at Lo Manthang - Rest day to acclimatize - (3700m/12,136 ft)

The day will encircle the Lo Manthang periphery finding its specialties and scenic beauty. The day we will explore around popular monasteries and Gompa. Namgyal Gompa, Champa Lakhang, Thugchen Gompa and Chyodi Gompa are the prime attractions of the region including the Palace of a Ceremonial king. Similarly there lies a village in the northwest of Lomanthang counting almost 40 houses named as Tingkhar. Most amazingly, the panoramic beauty of snow capped mountains and the settlement reflecting the pure Tibetan touches not only lure your heart but also provide added zeal in your trek.

Special Note: The Gompa and monasteries will be accessed only after you pay an entry fee. These fees will be utilized for the reconstruction and renovation of the Gompa, welfare of the monks like education, food, and health. The charge will be very minimal and you are solely responsible for paying these fee from your own pockets.

Day 10: Lo-Manthang to Drakmar, 6 to 7 hours (3942m/12933ft)

It is a very wise idea to start your trek as early as possible just after your breakfast because the place will be so windy at noon. The route heads southwest crossing from the irrigated land prior to Gekar and slowly step up to Cairn on the break of rugged terrain. This is the highest point of our trek and from here our trail climbs down to Ghar Ghompa, a prominent attraction on the way. The Gompa features the stunning Thankas and local artifacts along with some pictures and paintings. Just finishing quick look on Gompa we now head to Drakmar for our overnight stay.

Day 11: Drakmar to Ghiling, 5 to 6 hours (3806m/12,484 ft)

The paths reaching to Ghiling mostly comprise of sands and is an arid dessert. So, it is a good idea to start as early as possible so that the wind will not affect our journey. On our way, we will be blessed to view some of the major attractions like Nilgiri, Tilicho peaks along with some mountain caves. Following our way from Ghami village we will reach our destination to stay overnight in Ghiling.

Day 12:  Ghiling to Chhuksang, 5 to 6 hour (3050 m/ 10,004 ft.)

After having breakfast in Ghiling, we now start trekking forward to Chhuksang which is about 5 to 6 hours walk. The journey leads ahead by the amazing view of Tilicho, Nilgiri and its neighboring mountain range will drop us till the village of Chhuksang. The village is loaded with artistic beauty and full of Tibetan culture.

Day 13: Chhuskang to Jomsom, 6-7 hours walk (2700m/8856ft)

This is the most difficult walk within our trek as the journey will not be stopped at Kagbeni but rather will continue till we reach Jomsom. The celebration starts to continue as soon as we reach Jomsom for the victory over Upper Mustang. We will stay the night in Jomsom discussing and sharing the experience and thrills.

Day 14: Jomsom-Pokhara Flight, 30 min (820m/2,690 ft)

After the heart healthy breakfast in Jomsom, we are now flying Jomsom to Pokhara. The last mesmerizing flight (estimated flight of 25-30 minutes) with a view of gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri adds a bonus to the trip. You will be transferred to the hotel in Pokhara. You can spend your time alone or interact with group sharing your feelings and experience.

Day 15:  Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, 7 to 8 hours’ drive (1,300m/4,264 ft)

You will be transferred to the nearby bus station for your departure to Kathmandu. The bus will leave early morning to Kathmandu in Prithivi Highway. You will be getting one last opportunity to see the terrain, beautiful landscapes, fields, hotels, and motels each side of the highway. You will be stopped twice for your refreshments breakfast and Lunch. You will arrive Kathmandu in around 7 hours. And then advised taking hotel transfer. After freshen up we will pick you up to enjoy the traditional authentic Nepalese Style Dinner. It will be hosted by the company as a Farewell dinner celebrating our success over Annapurna base camp.

Day 16: Departure / Farewell day

This will be your last day in Kathmandu and our company staff will pick you up from hotel to airport depending on your flight schedule. If you wish to add some more days to your trip or want to explore more about Nepal we are ready to help you in every matter 24/7.

Trek Inclusive and Exclusive

What is Included?

Airport Pick up and Drop in privately owned Vehicles

Complimentary 3 nights stay in three-star Hotel in Kathmandu

Complimentary 2 Nights stay in three-star Hotel in Pokhara

Tea House Accommodation or Hotel/Lodge accommodation during trek

One full Day Kathmandu Valley trip in privately owned Vehicles

Welcome and Farewell Dinner hosted by Company in Nepalese themed restaurant

Paper-works like permits and documentation for Upper Mustang

Tourist Bus (Deluxe A/C) Transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara and vice versa

Government Licensed trekking guide with fluent English language proficiency along with his all expenses

All meals during the Trek (Include only for Breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara)

Tea/Coffe (served in a cup)

Seasonal Fresh juice during dinner (Upon Availability)

Porters (1 porter for 2 trekkers) with all his expenses

Insured Guide and Porter

Necessary Local and government taxes

Down Jackets/Duffel Bag and Sleeping bag

Trekking map/official T-shirt with company Logo

Hygienic Drinking water

What is not included?

Nepal Arrival Visa

Only Breakfast is included in City and only Special Dinner mentioned

Travel Insurance that covers cancellation and helicopter evacuation

Extra Porters, battery charging, and hot shower during trek

Tips and Appreciation and any other forms of extending trips and accommodation

Monuments Entrance Free will not be applicable during City Tour

Personal Expenses: Like Coke, Beer, Cigarettes

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