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Upper Mustang Trekking 18 Days

Trip Overview

As the Last Forbidden Kingdom, Mustang was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announced its opening in October 1991. The Mustangis or people of Mustang call themselves Lobas, and they have their own King or Tribe-leader, Jigme Palbar Bista. After Nepal was declared a republic in 2007, Nepal Government took back the official recognition of Bista as the Mustangis King. However, people there still respect him as their King or tribe-leader.  Bista also grants audience the visitor upon request. There is also strict control in obtaining a special permit from department of immigration to protect their tradition from outside influence as well as to protect their environment. The Kingdom of Mustang preserves some of last vestiges of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. Situated on the border of Nepal and Tibet, it is open to only a few select trekking groups each season.

Upper Mustang trek is one of Nepal's most mysterious and least known kingdoms. The landscape of Mustang is a barren moonscape of eroded sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, together present a colorful mosaic made up principally of earthen reds, yellows and brown. It is relatively easy trekking along the permitted route to Lo-Manthang, which lies in very heart of Mustang. The trek to Mustang is through an almost treeless barren landscape. Strong winds generally howl across the area in the afternoon, generally subsiding at night. Being in the rain shadow of Himalaya, Mustang has much less rain then the rest of Nepal. Mustang trek lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas is perhaps the last enclave of pristine Tibetan culture. Forbidden & isolated from the rest of the World it was able to evolve its own distinctive culture and traditional which is so rich and unique. Lo-Mustang, the capital is walled city ruled by religious king. Untouched by modern civilization, life in Mustang goes on as it has for centuries in unhurried pace. As everywhere in the Himalayas, this area provides spectacular mountain scenery highlighted by Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Annapurna I (8091m).

The high desert region of Tibetan influence, Kaligandaki, from Tibetan border south to Kagbeni is generally referred as Upper Mustang. You will explore the thousand years of old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of different landscapes. The adventure starting from world's deepest gorge Kaligandaki Region into world's highest regions of Lo-Manthang Valley that passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and down hill and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage remain unchanged for centuries and to this date. The houses in Mustang are mostly made from stone and sun baked mud bricks. The city walls and the four story palace in Lo-Manthang are some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang region. Another attraction in the Mustang region is the Tiji Festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring). The Mustangis people have their own family life way, which is quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry.

This trek begins from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang Region. Follow the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream to get to Lo-Manthang, the ancient capital of the upper Mustang, and back to Jomsom.

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu arrival (1,350 m) – overnight at hotel

Pick up by our office representative from the airport and then transfer to the hotel. Our staff will give a brief explanation about the program. Stay at the hotel or a night out in Thamel after welcome dinner.

Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing – 6 hours -  overnight at hotel

Today, visit world cultural heritages sites including Pashupatinath, Swyambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath stupa and much more. Shop for Nepalese cultural items.

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara – 7 hours – overnight at hotel

After breakfast, we will leave for Pokhara. Enjoy the scenic views along Prithivi highway or the 6–7-hour tourist bus ride, or take an optional flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara for 25 minutes.
We will visit beautiful places in Pokhara like Davis falls and Phewa Lake.

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom and then Trek to Kagbeni (2,800 m) – 4 hours – overnight at guesthouse

We fly to Jomsom in early morning after your breakfast. It is about 30 minutes’ beautiful flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. Here we will start our trek. Leaving the Jomsom village, follow the trail left leading to Kagbeni along the left bank of Kali Gandaki river. See Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world. Kagbeni is famous for the ruins of its medieval castle houses. It takes about three hours from Jomsom to Kagbeni (2,900m). We will overnight at lodge.

Day 5: Trek to Chhuksang (2,980 m) – 5 hours – overnight at guesthouse

The trail leads along the right bank of the Kali Gandaki River as you approach crosses riverbed farm field irrigating oasis. After three and a-half hours walking it is better to take a lunch break in Chhuksang village. You will see some dwelling houses, which is built by mud and whitewashed outside. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 6: Trek to Samar (3,660 m) – 5 hours – overnight at guesthouse

The trail enters the area from the right bank crossing the riverbed you will find very interesting turquoise (a shaped piece of a precious greenish blue mineral). The Kali Gandaki River is running under the tunnel of reddish erect mountain. As the pedestrian must follow that way the trail climbs up around another 45 minute to Tsele village. The steep path in middle both side stands about 18-20 houses. From the village can see the north face of Nilgiri 6,940m. The trail continues to climb up through the cliff to Samar pass. There is a crystal line mountain with reddish rock and some long ranges visible gorges. There is a long suspension bridge to the left side across the gorge go to Gyaker village. Some beautiful Himalayan plants can be seen nearby Samar village from the Samar pass. We will be reaching there at lunch time. It looks like greenery colorful. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 7: Trek to Gheling (3,570 m) – 6 hours – overnight at guesthouse

Beyond this Samar village there are two ways to get Syangboche village. If you have planned to visit Chhugsi Monastery cave you have to follow the right bank of the trail. The narrow way lined up with unpleasantly burning suns brings hit cover your body by the sweats. It takes to summit approximately one hour. Through the Samar hill your step goes down to the left precipitous path. Let it down the cliff, it is better to careful when the fallen dry sweep. The magnificent view of dipping down gorge soon it reaches the famous Chhunsi Kangchung monastery cave (3,400 m). The Chhunsi Kangchung cave monastery appearance the most important place of pilgrimage for Buddhist who interest on it. It says many year ago Yogi Padmasamvab (Guru Rempochen) choose the peaceful place for meditation job. Therefore, this place is made defiant (openly and fearlessly) popular. Now, it climbs again through the narrow path between two lines of hills. It takes time about one and a-half hour to Syangboche where will be our lunch break. Then after climb little cliff with pass you will be seen towards valley of Gheling and back sight some mountain views. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 8: Trek to Ghami (3,520 m) – 5 hours – overnight at guesthouse

After crosses the village there is an unreasonable hill to ride up on the top of Nyi La pass 4010m. This is the good view point of the Mustang landscape as well as Annapurna, Nilgiri ranges. The trail descends to down just move left site when your eyes approach the beautiful green valley. Exact that is Ghami village where we stop for night but we are already at lunch time. After lunch, next sight of the Ghami where you can find Japanese Hospital, primary school, longest Mani wall of the Mustang with prayer wheel & apple garden. Or you may hike to the up valley of Ghami which trail leads to Dolpa. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 9: Trek to Charang via Ghar Gompa - (3,560 m) – 6 hours – overnight at guesthouse

We head towards Dhakmar through colorful cliffs and green scenery. Immediately leaving Ghami trail follows little descend & ascend which takes approximately 45 minutes. Then we get the valley of Dhakmar. There are lots of cliffy caves above the village with colorful hills. After the Dhakmar will be a chance to see blue sheep during climbing the Mui La pass 4170m. Ghar Gompa is the oldest monastery of Nepal which is built before than Samey Monastery of Lhasa {Tibet}. This monastery is Ngyinmapa sect where found the hidden scriptures of Padmasambhava. Then we follow the Tsarang Khola {stream} via Lo Ghekar reach to Tsarang. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 10: Trek to Lo Manthang (3,809 m) – 5 hours – overnight at guest house

Finally, leaving Tsarang descends to Tsarang river then climb step by slowly up then almost follow towards scenic valley. Before entering the Lo-Manthang you able to be seen the South face of Nilgiri Himal(6,940mtr.) then continue the steps through the desert area to historical wall city. The walk takes 3 to 4 hours normally. You can stay at the hotel or camp site in the desert dust garden of the Lo-Manthang. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 11: Lo-Manthang excursion day - overnight at guesthouse

In the wall city the houses stand against one another in a line to from small street(alley)sometime tunnel like, if you have no idea you will lose end in that passes-ways. It is mostly, built their mud houses with flat roofs white washed painted outside. The interior of a house is very large and spacious behind it is the main living room with long benches lining one wall and a large ornamental(iron) fire place at the end. Lo-pa people grow wheat, barley buck- wheat and some potatoes. Lo-pa people like business they want to do some business from Tibet like Chinese goods. During the winter the Lo-Pa people come down to lower part the temperature falls down its in minus. This day visit to Chode Gompa, Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen Gompa & King’s palace. Overnight at lodges on full board meals.

Day 12: Hike to Chhosser caves and back to Lo-Manthang – 6 hours – overnight at guesthouse

We will visit the Chhosser ridding by horse and carry self-packed lunch. Chhosser is a mysterious, by its beauty of architecture. This cave looks like cliff but inside it there are step by step floor with 44 rooms. This cave is so amazing that it gives the feeling of being in Alien place and returned back to Lo-Manthang for overnight at lodge with full board of meals.

Day 13: Trek to Ghaami (3,490 m) – 6 hours – overnight at guesthouse

After breakfast, we trek down back to Ghaami. You can also find some alternatives routes as well but we follow the easy and short way to get Ghami along with beautiful views of mountains and landscapes. Overnight at Ghaami.

Day 14: Trek to Chhuksang (2,900 m) – 6 hours – overnight at guesthouse

Today we depart for Chhuksang via same route which went through by crossing suspension bridge and Kali Gandaki river. Overnight at Chhuksang.

Day 15: Trek to Muktinath (3,795 m) – 7 hours – overnight at guesthouse

After breakfast, we hike towards the Buddhist and Hindus sacred temple called "Muktinath". Muktinath is the famous holy temple in Nepal where thousands of Hindu and Buddhist deity visited the temple every year. Explore temple around and overnight at lodge.

Day 16: Trek to Jomsom – 6 hours – overnight guesthouse

From Muktinath, there are two trails to get Jomsom. First trail leads to above Kagbeni & the second trail goes via Lupra. Lupra is an interesting and scenic trekking trail to catch Jomsom. We will get the chance to see spectacular mountains view including Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri before descend to Lupra rivers (Pangda Khola). Lupra is an isolated village with legendry. There are two Bonpo monasteries with the big settlement. It is windy day so far. After following Pangda River about half an hour more trail will be joined to high way trekking route or Kaligandaki from Lupra village, reach to Jomsom. Overnight at lodge on full board meals.


Day 17: Fly back to Pokhara then drive back to Kathmandu – 7 hours – overnight at hotel

Early morning, we go to airport for Pokhara flight (flight will be depending on weather). After arriving Pokhara then take a drive back to Kathmandu. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.


Day 18: Departure Day

Today is your departure day, we will drop you to international airport to catch your flight back to your home and we pray for your safe journey. Namaste

Cost Includes

  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • 4-star hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • All accommodation and meals during the trek
  • A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley
  • Tour guide and entrance fees
  • Domestic flights and airport departure taxes
  • An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging, Trekking duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map
  • All necessary paper work and permits (National park permit, TIMS )
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes

Cost Not Included

  • Travel insurance / rescue and evacuation service
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for guide & driver
  • Any additional cost due to natural calamities and unforeseen circumstances

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