Upper Mustang (formerly Kingdom of Lo) is an upper part (Northern area) of Mustang District which is located in Nepal. The Upper Mustang was a restricted kingdom and demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetan Languages. Tibetan culture has been preserved by the relative isolation of the region from the outside world. Life in Mustang revolves around tourism, animal husbandry and trade.
UPPER MUSTANG TREK
The region is also known as the ‘Last Forbidden Kingdom’ (organised treks only started visiting the region in 1992, and numbers are restricted with an average of less than 1,000 visiting each year) and it is steeped in undisturbed Tibetan Buddhist culture with ancient monasteries, traditional villages and cave dwellings high up on the cliffs, as well as the stunning architecture on view at the walled city of Lo Manthang (capital of Mustang region).
The Upper Mustang trek in to the remote Trans-Himalayan Region of this semi-independent Tibetan Kingdom offers an adventurous 14 day itinerary with spectacular trekking through striking semi-arid desert with colourful rock formations, deep ravines and snow-capped peaks surrounding you. The history, culture, myth and legend blends perfectly with the stunning scenery.
In common usage, the name Mustang refers to the arid Tibet-like region at the northern end of the Kali Gandaki (known to its inhabitants as Lo). Mustang has a long, rich and complex history that makes it one of the most interesting places in Nepal. The early history of Lo is shrouded in legend, myth and mystery, but there are records of events in Lo as early as the 8th century. It is quite likely that the Tibetan poet Milarepa, who lived from 1040 to 1123, visited Lo. In Lo itself the countryside is similar to the Tibetan plateau with its endless expanses of yellow and grey rolling hills eroded by wind. There is more rain in the lower part of upper Mustang and the hills tend to be great red fluted cliffs of tiny round stones cemented together by mud. Villages are several hours apart and appear in the distance almost as mirages; during the summer season, after the crops are planted, they are green oasis in the desert-like landscape.
Below is a short clip from independent traveller and film maker Yannick Calonge which perfectly captures the essence and beauty of the people and region.
Included In The Cost
Not Included In the Cost
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft).Welcome to the Himalayan country of Nepal. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan intl. airport our representative welcomes you with the garland of flower and assists to transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu. After time to get refreshed, evening you'll meet and transfer for welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu and briefing about your trip and overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing tour of UNESCO World Heritage site in Kathmandu and trek preparation (1,300m/4,264 ft).After breakfast the day will start to our guided trip to cultural world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley; the pilgrimage sites of Hindus temple Pashupatinath, the world biggest Bouddhanath stupa and visit Swoyambhunath Stupa also known as monkey temple. After exploring the surrounding areas visit historical Kathmandu Durbar Square . Evening pre-trip discussion and introduce with our fellow trekking staff for your adventure trip.
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft)/ 7 hours drive.Our guides will come to pick you up at your hotel and escort you to the bus station from where we catch our bus to Pokhara. From the bus station, we head towards the west of Kathmandu valley to catch Prithvi Highway and then continue the journey towards west till Pokhara. The bus will stop twice on the way; once for the breakfast and then for lunch. This winding highway along the Trisuli River offers a spectacular view of mountains, rivers, jungle, waterfalls as well as hamlets situated higher up on the hills and amphitheater-shaped terraced field flaunting different seasonal crops. On reaching Pokhara, you check into the hotel, freshen up, explore the city and in the evening stroll around the lakeside. We stay overnight at a lodge in Pokhara.
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (25mins) and trek to Kaagbeni.After having breakfast, you will be transferred to Pokhara airport to board an early morning flight to the district headquarter of the Mustang - Jomsom. Passing through the world’s deepest gorge, this scenic flight to Jomsom offers a spectacular view of mountains like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) and the Annapurna range. (2,800m/9,186ft)/ 30 Minutes flight and 3 hours walk. On arrival to Jomsom, you will meet the rest of the crew awaiting your arrival. The necessary pre-trek preparation is done at Jomsom. Shortly after this, the ultimate walk starts on crossing the suspension bridge at Jomsom which further leads towards the northern valley of Kaligandaki following the trail along the Kaligandaki River. The trail offers a stunning views of snow capped mountains like Tukuche, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri to the north, while the southern part of the trail features the entire Annapurna range. After 4 hours of walking we finally reach the Kaagbeni village (a gateway to upper Mustang), which is located at one of the major, era-old Trans-Himalayan salt trade path to Tibet. Kaagbeni is also located at the junction of two rivers - Kak Khola (descending from Muktinath) and Mustang Khola, and from here the river is named Kali Gandaki. In the evening you can take a stroll around the interesting clustered settlement of people, Buddhist monasteries and some Hindu temples in Kaagbeni. The night is spent at a lodge in Kaagbeni.
Day 05: Trek to Chele (3,050m/10,006ft)/ 5 hours walk. After having breakfast the trail ascends towards the northern valley of Kagbeni and heads towards Tangbe and the towards Chhusang valley. Along the trail you can enjoy a network of narrow lane among the traditional red and whitewashed houses, Buddhist monasteries, red, black and white colored chortens, beautiful apple orchards as well as wheat, barley and buckwheat fields. You will also be blessed with a glowing view of Nilgiri. After crossing several ridges and a stream along the trail, we now leave both Kali Gandaki valley and Manangi culture behind and enter Chele and the Tibetan culture of Lo. This place offers a perfect picture of Tibetan settlement. The night is spent at a lodge in Chele.
Day 06: Trek to Geling (3,440m/11,286ft)/ 5-6 hours walk.After having breakfast, we start our usual day trek, which first hikes up to Taklam La Pass, goes through even terrain to observe Yakawa Kang, Tilicho Peak and Damodar hill. We further walk towards the village of Samar from where the ridge descends into the large gorge, passes chorten and make our way towards Shyangmochen walking through the beautiful valley crossing cool streams and juniper trees. Shyangmochen is a small settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby Shyangmochen, you can also enjoy Rangbyung which is a cave that contains stalagmites in the form of Chorten. This is also considered one of the holiest places in Mustang. From here the trail descends to Geiling, which offer the pleasant view of the extensive barley field. The night is spent at a lodge in Geiling.
Day 07: Trek to Charang (3,490m/11,450ft)/ 5-6 hours walk.After having breakfast, the trail turns west and continues through the driest part of Mustang, which further passes through the fields that are below Tama Gaon. From here we take a turn towards north to reach Nyi La. Here, the trail steeply descends to Ghyami. Ghyami is the third largest settlement surrounded by large barren fields in the Lo region. On crossing Ghyami River, the trail makes its way along the Mani wall (a sacred wall made by prayer stones) and from the end of the wall the trail takes an eastward turn towards the village of Charang, which is a large spread village situated on the top of the Charang Chu canyon. On the eastern side of this village lie Dzong (fortress) and a Red Gompa (monastery) that exhibits an assortment of exceptional statues and Thangkas. The night is spent at a lodge in Charang.
Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,237ft)/ 5-6 hours walk.Before heading toward Lo Manthang, we spend some time exploring the Charang village and the Red Gompa. Then we climb up the valley to explore isolated Chorten, which separates the area of Charang and Lo Manthang. As the trail climbs up to the windy pass of Lo, the trail broadens eventually allowing you the very first glimpse of the walled city of Lo Manthang. This city has only one entrance on the northeast corner of the city; therefore, following the only option we circumambulate the wall to get to the entrance. The night is spent at a lodge in Lo Manthang.
Day 09: Explore day at Lo-Manthang (acclimatization day).(3,730m/12,237ft). After having breakfast, without wasting our time we start exploring the Lo Manthang. We visit 4 major Gompas like Namgyal Gompa (situated on the hilltop and also used as a local court), Champa Lakhang (God House), Thugchen Gompa and Chyodi Gompa. Other attractions of this area are the ceremonial King’s Palace (a 4 storey building at the center of the city), Tingkhar (a settlement of around 40 houses and the last village to the northwest of Lo Manthang) as well as the panoramic view of towering mountain and pure Tibetan culture. If you are lucky, you can also get an audience with the king or the queen. The night will be spent at a lodge in Lo Manthang.
Day 10: Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar (3,942m/12,933ft) 6-7 hrs walk.The trail becomes very windy during the day. Therefore, after breakfast at Lo Manthang, without wasting much time, we start the day earlier than usual. The trail heading southwest passes through the irrigated field before Gekar and then climbs towards the cairn on the pass. At this point you can experience the highest altitude of this trek. From the pass the trail descends to Ghar Gompa, which is another major attraction of this trekking. In the Gompa, we spend some time enjoying the exhibition of paintings and artifacts. After exploring the area of Ghar Gompa, we finally head towards Drakmar for overnight stay.
Day 11: Trek to Ghiling (3, 806m/12,484ft), 5-6 hrs walk.Trail during the day gets very windy and dusty; therefore, we start early continuing our southward walk. The landscape around feels like a desert. We pass a number of caves during on the way, long Mani wall and the pass before descending to the Ghami village. From here, we first walk up to the Ghiling hill and then down to the Ghiling village. Along the way, we also enjoy very beautiful views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. In the evening, we can spend our time exploring the settlement of Ghiling. The night will be spent in a lodge in Ghiling.
Day 12: Trek to Chhuksang (3050m/10,004ft), 5-6 hrs walk.Leaving Ghiling in the morning, the trekking resumes. Enjoying the amazing view of Nilgiri, Tilicho and other peaks and now walking on the spectacular landscape, we continue all the way down to Chhuksang. You can also enjoy villages influenced by Tibetan culture. In the evening, if you have energy, we take a stroll around the settlement of Chhuksang, where you can enjoy the settlement and lifestyle of people in Chhuksang. The night will be spent in a lodge in Chhuksang.
Day 13: Trek to Jomsom (2700/8,856ft), 6-7 hrs walk.Today is the last day of our trekking. This day’s walk will be the longest walk during the entire trek as we do not stop at Kaagbeni but walk till Jomsom. On reaching Jomsom, you will be we celebrate the success of our trek with other crew members. You can also demand for solitude to reflect upon the journey made during the past few days. You will be loaded with pleasant memories, stories and experiences ready to share and cherish your entire life. The night will be spent at a lodge in Jomsom.
Day 14: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft).After breakfast, we check into the Jomsom airport to fly back to Pokhara. This 25-30 min flight between the gorge Annapurna and Dhaulagiri is a bonus to feed your soul with thrill and adventure. On reaching Pokhara we check in to the hotel where you can freshen up and then you can explore the lake area. The night is spent at the hotel in Pokhara.
Day 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, 7-8 hrs drive.Exactly at 7 am we start our journey from Pokhara to Kathmandu through Prithvi Highway. We stop twice – once for breakfast and the other one for lunch. Once again, you will get a chance to enjoy the pleasant view of Trisuli River, hamlets, and terraced farm on the way to Kathmandu. On reaching Kathmandu, you will be escorted to the hotel (tourist standard). In the evening we host a farewell dinner at one of the best Nepalese restaurants where we will share your experience while having dinner. The night will be spent at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 16: Farewell dayDeparture.Your last day is free until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you'll be transferred to the International Airport. “End of our Services”
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