Upper Mustang Trek,
where walk follows on ancient Trans Himalaya Salt Trade and Caravan Route of Nepal to Tibet
border. A classic adventure to the old and former walled kingdom of Lo-Manthang, where you can experience the medieval time era period. The area around Upper Mustang is geographically an extension of a wide and vast plateau within the Ngari province of South West Tibet.
An exciting trek that leads you into a great wall canyon and eroded red hills within a dramatic landscape location. As the journey takes you around lovely farm villages festooned with prayer monuments of both Buddhism and old Bon religions. Upper Mustang
is truly an outstanding trip, exploring the wild country of Nepal Far West remains a restricted region. For foreign travelers, where a special permit is necessary to enter this magical lance of Upper Mustang.
Our 17 days trip to Upper Mustang Trek, begins from the capital city and commercial hub of Nepal in Kathmandu. On first arrival a tour of world heritage
sites steeped with great historical and religious interest as an introduction to local culture. Then heading towards beautiful Pokhara, a city adorned with the natural beauty of high Annapurna Himalayas
and serene lakes. From Pokhara, an exciting scenic flight
to land at Jomsom, headquarters and administrative town of Mustang district. Where our adventure starts following a wide plain of windy Kaligandaki River valley to reach Kagbeni.
The entrance village to Upper Mustang leads towards Nepa
l and Tibet border, which separates the frontier by Kora-La Pass. At 4, 660 m / 15, 290 feet high, the last end of Upper Mustang and the final limit for outside visitors. Walk from Kagbeni entering the pure wilderness, on a dry and windswept country, with few trees of Poplars, Willow, and juniper. The only surviving tree lines around the village’s guards against the strong wind, usually from mid-day till late afternoon. The route leads to cross a few lesser passes overlooking grandeur vista of surrounding magnificent country landscapes, heading through nice villages. Overnights in a village lodge and guest-house, of simple and clean rooms, as trek progress past Chusang, Ghami, and Charang villages.
An interesting place with long rows of prayer wheels and impressive monasteries, then finally reach the destination at Lo-Manthang. Once a forbidden kingdom, where Mustang Raja / King ruled the province of Mustang till the last past decades. At Lo-Manthang, with time to explore around the town like the village in earlier days considered a city. Visit places of great interest as well as the famous monasteries, and the fortress-palace of the late former Raja of Mustang. After a most wonderful experience, head back to Jomsom for a scenic flight back to Pokhara
, and then to Kathmandu. Where our ever-exciting adventure on Upper Mustang concludes on reaching hustle and bustle of the city life of Kathmandu.
The spring festival of Tiji (or Tenche) is a three-day event in Lo Manthang in which masked dancers recreate the battle between the Buddhist god Dorje Jono and his demon father to save the Mustang from a terrible drought. The monks burn the idol of the demon to rid the city of evil spirits, and a huge Tondrol (traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting) is hung from the palace walls. The main dancer (known as Tsovo) completes a three-month retreat before the festival, in which members of the Mustang royal family also join in the sacred dance.
The weather of the Upper Mustang Trek:
Like other parts of Nepal, Mustang has four different seasons throughout the year. At different times of the year, there are different weather conditions and temperatures. Mustang has a cool, semi-arid climate that is typical of the Trans-Himalayan region. During the day, the average annual temperature in this region is about 11.9 degrees Celsius.
Mustang falls in the shadow of the Annapurna region. The average annual rainfall is about 308 mm. This is one of the lowest rates in the country. As a result, trekking in the region is easy and convenient even in the heart of Nepal. The weather is perfect for apple orchards and rhododendron groves. Both of these can be found in abundance in this area.
Best Time for Upper Mustang Trek:
Upper Mustang's best time for a visit
is from April to mid-June and from September to early November month. Springtime of April to May, is the best with longer sunshine during the day, colder in the shade and from afternoon time till next morning.
Next Autumn season is also a good time for the Upper Mustang trek from mid-September till the first week of November months.
Days are crystal clear for views and pleasant walks can be much cold during morning and late afternoon till night-time. Upper Mustang can be visited during the monsoon wet months of June and August time as well. The area around
Upper Mustang falls within rain shadow, where dark rain monsoon clouds are blocked by the great Himalayas range. Mustang gets less moisture and lights rains sometimes which is why the country is dry and arid.
Accommodation and Food for upper Mustang Trekking:
Kathmandu and Pokhara we provide Three-star hotels according to your schedule. Tea houses or basic lodges serve local and international cuisine and also provide basic accommodation. Most tea houses and lodges offer basic foods such as lentils, rice, and seasonal vegetables. If you like lentils, rice, and vegetables, you can add food that you can eat at the same price. Also, Western foods like pizza and other desserts are available on the menu.
Due to the increasing number of pedestrians, the arrangement of the tea houses, guest houses, and accommodation has become comfortable. The cost of accommodation depends on the type of room you choose. A shared room costs less than a single, double or triple sharing room.
A permit is required for Upper Mustang Trekking:
Upper Mustang is considered a restricted area due to its proximity to the Tibetan border. This means the cost of permission to enter the area is as high as $ 500 per person for 10 days, then $ 50 per day.
This Restricted Area Permit (RAP) lasts from the time you leave Kagbeni (on this trek) until you re-enter Kagbeni. So in this magical Nepal Upper Mustang Trek, you only need 10 days RAP.
Restricted permission cost: $ 500 per person for 10 days. $ 50 per day if trek longer than 10 days (suitable for upper Mustang area)
Additionally, each hiker must pay $ 30 for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). This permit is valid for long journeys.
Note: Please note that you cannot do this trek alone. You need to have at least two trekkers traveling with an authorized trekking company and a necessary license holder trekking guide.
Equipment & Packing List for Upper Mustang Trek:
This list outlines the required things to bring during the Upper Mustang Trek The weight limit for your luggage is 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by our porter. However, you are required to carry a small day- pack with your valuables or anything important. We advise you to pack only what is necessary.
Important Items: Airline tickets; Valid passport; 2 extra passport size photos; Photocopy of your passport; Insurance paper; Dollars, Pounds, or Euros in cash for purchasing a Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying at restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks and to purchase your own drinks and gifts; Credit Card (Visa/ Mater Card) for withdrawing cash from cash machines if needs.
For Head: Sun Hat; Bandana or head scarf; Headlamp with extra batteries; Sun Glasses with UV protection.
For Upper Body: Shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves); Lightweight thermal tops; Fleece Jacket or Wool Sweater; Wind Cheater jacket; Down Jacket
For Lower Body: 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms; 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers; 1 pair of waterproof shell pants and 1 pair of hiking trousers.
For Hands: 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves and 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
For Feet: 2 pairs of thin inner socks; 2 pairs of poly or wool socks; 1 pair of Hiking boots (sturdy soles, water-resistant, ankle support); 1 pair of running shoes and/or sandals.
Other Useful Items: 1 sleeping bag (good to -20 degrees C or 28 degrees F); Rucksack and Travel Bags; 1 large duffel bag, A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables; Small padlocks for duffel- bags; 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional).
Medical: Your daily taking medicine if any; small personal first aid kit; Aspirin, plasters (band-aids); Sunscreen; lip balms; Anti-diarrhea pills; Anti-headache pills; A cough and/or cold medicine; Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide; Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin.
Digital camera; 2 water bottles (1 liter each); disposable rubbish sacks; Toiletries: 1 medium-sized quick-drying towel; Toothbrush/paste; Multi-purpose soap; Deodorants; Nail clippers; Face and body moisturizer; Tissue /toilet roll; hiking poles, snack food (chocolate/ biscuits); umbrella; reading book or pack of cards (for leisure time during trekking).
Note: If any items are not available in your hometown you can buy them in Trekking Store in Kathmandu before you on trekking
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu via respective airlines:
You will be picked up from the Tribhuvan International Airport. After a warm welcome, you will be transferred to your respective hotel in Kathmandu. You can have authentic Nepali meals and drinks on that day.
Day 2 : Sightseeing at Kathmandu:
This day has been set aside for preparation and sightseeing around Kathmandu valley. After breakfast, you will be briefed about the trek for the coming days by your guide. After which you will head on a sightseeing tour. You can visit the various cultural heritage sites like Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath. If you like ancient arts and crafts, then you can visit the courtyards of Kathmandu Bhaktapur and Patan or can even visit the Narayanhiti Museum.
Day 3 : Drive to Pokhara (860 m) 220 km from Kathmandu-06 hours:
This is the day when you will head to Pokhara. You will take a tourist bus to Pokhara which will take around 6 to 7 hours. The drive is exhilarating since you will get views of mountains, green hills, and waterfalls. After reaching Pokhara, you will be transferred to your respective hotel. You can enjoy Fewa lake and try local meals and drinks at the hotels near Lakeside.
Day 4 : Flight to Jomsom (2,715 m) and trek to Kagbeni (2858 m) -04 hours:
On this day, you will get closer to Mustang. You will board a domestic flight towards Jomsom. The flight is extremely enticing with the views of the Nilgiri and Annapurna Range. The landscape changes drastically as the air gets drier and arid. You will begin the trek hereon and head towards Kagbeni.
Kagbeni is an old settlement that can be seen from high above the road. The village is ancient with tin roofs and mud houses. Kagbeni is perhaps one of the highlights of the Upper Mustang trek and the Mustang region as a whole.
Day 5 : Trek to Chele / Tsele (3,050 m) -06 hours:
On this day, you will head to Chele which is a long trek day. You will be taking the trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River. The Kali Gandaki river flowing swiftly will give you a sense of self as you pass the narrow alleys of Tange village adventure will come to life, and as you head to the paddy and buckwheat field, you will come back to reality. The lifestyle of the settlement in Chele will bring you closer to this region. Stay overnight at Chele.
Day 6 : Trek towards Syangbochen (3,475m) -05 hours:
After breakfast, you will take a hike uphill, and then cross the Taklam La Pass at an elevation of 3624m. This is a relatively challenging day due to the two passes that you will have to traverse along the way.
Since these passes sit at an elevation above 3500 m, you need to take extra precautions not to fall victim to altitude sickness. After taking a quick descent, you can head to Samar Village and then take a steep path to Syangboche. Stay overnight at a lodge in Syangboche.
Day 7 : Trek to Ghaymi (3,520 m) from Syangbochen -06 hours:
On this day, after breakfast, you will head to Syangboche. At first, you will take a sharp ascend to the Yamada La pass (3850 m). The path is very green since you will be walking through thick forests, and fields of barley. You will also observe chortens, mani walls, and lovely villages with warm-hearted people. Eventually, you will reach the Nyi Pass where you will take a descent to Ghami. Ghami is a large village, most significant in the region inhabited by Sherpas.
Day 8 : Trek to Charang / Tsarang (3,500 m) -05 hours:
This is the day when you will be heading towards Charang. Marked at an elevation of 3500 m, it might be difficult physically. Thus, it is advised to take smaller steps and not rush to avoid altitude sickness. The trail is pretty slippery. You will cross a large suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola and then finally reach the Tsarnag La Pass which can be counted as a highlight due to it falling at an altitude of 3870m. You will then enter the Tsrang Village which is situated high in the Charang Chu Canyon.
Day 9 : Trek to Lo-Manthang (3,700 m) from Charang -05 hours:
This is the day when you will be reaching Lo-Manthang which is the highlight of the entire trek. The popularity of Lo has also been amassed for being one of the oldest known civilizations in Nepal and also because it represents the long-running and high-standing kingdom of Lo in Nepal. The trek is particularly tiring and challenging.
On the way, you will hike upwards to the Lo La Pass at an altitude of 3950m. The views of the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains are almost too real to be true. Stay overnight at a lodge in Lo Manthang.
Day 10 : Lo-Manthang for local exploration and excursion:
On this day you will take a rest at Lo Manthang, Since Lo is the highlight of the entire trek, you can excurse around the areas nearby to get even more exciting and thrilling views of the ancient land of Lo The age-old monuments, Gompas, Chhodea, Thupchen, and Jhampas in Lo will keep you busy throughout the day.
This day is also essential for acclimatizing your body against any altitude sickness. You can also hike to the Tinghar village in the northwest. Stay overnight at Lo Manthang.
Day 11 : Trek from Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3810 m) -05 hours:
On this day, you will trek towards Darkmar following the trail that walks through an old Gompa. The Gompa has some cultural significance and is almost a century old. The beautiful rock paintings will keep you astounded. You will stay overnight at a lodge or homestay at Drakmar.
Day 12 : Trek to Ghiling (3,806 m) from Drakmar -06 hours:
On this day, after some light breakfast, you can head towards Ghiling. You will pass through a dry plateau and fields along the way. The trek gets more challenging due to the dry sand blowing along with the strong winds. Ghiling is a village that is very dry but still has up close and mesmerizing views of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri.
Day 13 : Trek towards Chhuksang / Tsusang (3,050 m) -05 hours:
On this day you will be heading towards Chhuksang from Ghiling which is a relatively more comfortable trek. You need to drink plenty of water throughout the day since the land is arid and dries out your throat. You will observe the views of majestic mountains and pass through small villages.
Day 14 : Trek towards Jomsom (2, 715 m) -04 hours:
You will head to Jomsom from Chhuksang on this day. Along the way, you will most likely spot many apple farms with lush green and red apples growing. It is particularly windy in Jomsom. If you like, then you might as well buy some dry apples on the way. You will stay overnight at a lodge in Jomsom.
Day 15 : Flight to Pokhara and transfer to hotel:
After breakfast, you will be taken to the domestic airport for a flight towards Pokhara. On a beautiful day, you will see the views of the majestic Mount Annapurna and Mount Macchapuchrey along with some green hills and waterfalls from high above in the air. Upon reaching Pokhara, you can head to the Fewa lake for boating and roaming around. The evenings and nights near the lakeside are especially fun.
Day 16 : Drive to Kathmandu - 06 hours:
This is the day when you will be heading toward Kathmandu valley after an incredible Upper Mustang Tour. The ride will follow the same route as before. You can take some rest at your hotel and then head out to the streets of Thamel for some souvenir shopping as well. Enjoy your last day in Kathmandu by taking some Nepali dishes and drinks.
Day 17 : International departure:
After the spellbinding Upper Mustang Trek, this marks your last day here in Nepal. You will be taking home, the beautiful memories of Upper Mustang. You will be dropped off at the Tribhuvan International Airport by our staff for homeward bound. On the way, you can also make preparations for your next adventure tour in Nepal.