Upper Mustang Trek - 18 Days
Table of Contents
The district of Mustang was once an independent kingdom. Until the early 1950s, it was closely tied to Tibet in terms of culture. The people here remained isolated from Nepal from hundreds of years and even to this day, the true mountain folks of Upper Mustang still retain their Tibetan language and heritage. Explore the lost hidden kingdom on Upper Mustang Trek.
History – King’s Rule
The king of Mustang enjoyed titular kingship till 2008 when Nepal was declared a republic in the wake of a massive political shift in Nepal. The king was still allowed to hold the title of king, along with petty kings in the former states of Bajhang, Salyan and Jajarkot. Mustang’s capital is Lo Manthang and is still home to the last raja of Mustang.
Tiji Festival 2020 – A Cultural Event
Tiji Festival is the famous Tibetan cultural annual event held in May. Experience the mystic culture of Lo-Manthang in 19, 20 and 21 may 2020.
It is because of the regions recent addition to Nepal and a long history of isolation, Upper Mustang still retains its culture and virgin natural beauty.
The population of Mustang, based on the 2001 consensus, was roughly 14,981 distributed over three larger towns. Scattered throughout the barren district are also some 30 or so smaller settlements. The inhabitants of this region are primarily Gurungs and Thakalis, while some boast a purely Tibetan lineage.
Mustang was located on a very strategic trade point between India and Tibet and hence this region saw a thriving population. The trekking route that is used today is still the same route that was used during the trade since the 15th century.
Although, this region became a part of Nepal from the 1950s, it was only opened to foreigners until as recent as early 2000s. Access is still restricted, however, as travelling further than Kagbeni would require special trekking permits and travellers to be accompanied by a government official.
Explore the Historic Mountain Caves
The most alluring attraction of Upper Mustang are the Mustang caves or Sky Caves, so called because of hundreds of man-made caves carved into the sides of the cliffs. There are said to be about 10,000 caves in this region. Exploration of these caves have led to the discovery of various Buddhist artifacts, some dating back to the 12th century even. The collected artifacts are Buddhist paintings, sculptures and manuscripts. These along with a 55 panel depiction of Buddha’s life make the Mustang Sky Caves, one of the world’s greatest archeological mysteries.
Upper Mustang Trek is particularly not a difficult one with the highest point reaching only 3,800m but the conditions can be harsh. During the winters, most of the population migrate to lower regions of Nepal due to the harsh conditions, so winter treks are best avoided. The summer months and also the monsoon time is the preferred season for travel.
Best for Monsoon Trekking
Since Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow region of the Himalayas, this place receives scarce rain. This trek generally requires a minimum of 14 days and fairly easy walk through the Kali Gandaki valley with occasional climbs above the valley walls. There is little that grows in the desert of Upper Mustang, but it’s arduous conditions test the travellers’ grit and make them a tougher individual. Here, the journey is the part of the experience, something you will realize when your grit is tested by the harsh cold Mustang winds.
- Jomsom bazaar- Located at an altitude of 2800 meters, Jomsom bazaar stretch over the river bank of kali Gandaki.It is famous for its local market and apples.
- Packed mud and brick houses, dark alleys and chortens of the quaint Kagbeni village.
- The deepest gorge in the world that is the Kali Gandaki Gorge.
- Lo-Manthang is the ultimate highlight of this trek. This used to be the capital of the former Mustang kingdom that now has numerous chortens and monasteries. Several smaller villages scattered in the region also is the highlight.
- The 12th century Mustang Sky Caves still conjure up mysterious allure to every travellers that visit.
- Price Details
Arrival in Kathmandu
- Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
- Nepal Tour Guide team will greet you and drop you at your hotel.
- Half day visit of major world heritage sites in Kathmandu such as Royal Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Syambhunath, and Boudhanath stupa.
- Preparing for the next day's trek.
- Overnight stay at your hotel.
Flight Kathmandu - Pokhara or drive 6-7 hrs.
Breakfast at your hotel in Kathmandu.
We take an early flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara then drive to Pokhara Airport for 25 min flight to Jomsom.
Jomsom is the district headquarter of Mustang.
The short 20 minutes flight has great views on clear days.
Close view of both Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from the flight is spectacular.
Jomsom is where your actual trek begins.
Overnight at a local guesthouse.
Pokhara to Jomsom (2725m)- Kagbeni (2810m)
Breakfast at Pokhara.
On this day we will fly to Jomsom 20 min flight and 4 hrs of walk.
From flight we can clearly see snowcapped mountain of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range.
After landing we will trek towards Kagbeni.
Overnight at Kagbeni.
Kagbeni (2810 m) - Chele (3050 m) 6 hrs
The trek continues towards the east bank of the Kali Gandaki through many ridges and reach north to the Tangbe village. The picturesque Tangbe village is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amid white-washed mud and stone houses.
From here, you continue your 2 hr hike to Chhusang village. After crossing the dwindling waters of Kali Gandaki, you climb up the huge red mass of Conglomerate.
After crossing the Kali Gandaki Valley, you continue your uphill climb to Tiche Chele.
The culture transitions from Manangi culture in Jomsom, Kagbeni and proceeding to Tibetan culture.
Overnight at Chele.
Chele (3050 m) - Syangbochen (3800 m) 7-8 hrs
The trek goes along a steep barren land, alongside the copper red canyon. The copper red landscape makes Mustang unique.
Hike down to the beautiful village Samar and stop for lunch.
After a final descent, you will reach Syangboche. Here, almost all the tea houses look similar to each other with their whitewashed walls and wood stacked neatly around the perimeter of the roof.
Syangbochen (3800 m) – Ghami (3560 m) 7 hrs
On the outskirts of Ghami, you will pass one of the longest many walls of Mustang.
You will also pass a group of chortens on the way out.
After this, you make your way uphill over a pass at an altitude of 3,820m. From here Mustang looks like a desert with barren hills.
And we enter in the valley.
Overnight at Ghami.
Trek to Charang (3560m) Via Ghar Gompa (3950m)
Breakfast at Ghami.
On this day our trail will ahead towards Charang.
The red-painted Charang stupa welcomes you to Charang.
Further below is the palace and monastery of Tsarang.
A broad pathway leads you to the 2nd largest village of Mustang, ‘Charang’. Charang was the capital of Mustang before Lo-Manthang.
In this trek Ghar Gompa also a another adorable place.
Overnight at Charang.
Trek to Lo-Manthang (3810m)
You trek to Lo-Manthang. It is one of the major highlights of any Upper Mustang Trek.
You start your trek via Tsering Thupten Shedrub Dhargyeling Monastery.
From here, you pass the Cherang river which separates Cherang and Lo. After crossing the pass Lo, you will reach Lo-Manthang.
Lo Manthang was the capital city of the forbidden kingdom of Mustang. It still houses King’s impressive palace. The descendants of the kings still reside here.
Once here, you can rest and hire horses on lease to explore the beautiful valley.
Overnight at Lo-Manthang.
Lo Manthang (3800 m). Rest day and explore heritage sites.
This beautiful mystical town of Lo-Manthang has a lot to offer. Some of the must-visit places is the five storey palace of the Mustang King.
Namgyal Gompa: Situated on a hilltop, it holds social, religious and legal importance.
Jampa Lhakhang: Houses a large Buddha statue and walls painted with intricate Mandalas.
You can explore Nyphu Cave monastery.
You can also explore Jhong Sky cave. The 2500 yr old cave has more than 44 compartments.
On this day we will do rest because it will be difficult if we continue the trek.
For our Physical health we need to take rest.
Trek to Yara (3650m) 6-7hrs
Breakfast at Lo-Manthang.
On this day after finishing our rest days. We will start our trek towards Yara.
On this way we can see interesting valleys and one of the best village. DI village is way with descends.
Overnight at Yara.
Trek to Tangye (3240m) 4-5 hrs of walk
Breakfast at Yara.
On this day our trek will continues by crossing forest and rivers. This walk will take you to the small village Tangye. Where we can see only 30 houses.
Overnight at Tangye.
Trek to Tetang/Chossang (2980m)
Breakfast at Tangye.
On this our trail we will cross the hills and get in the Tetang village.
Tetang village found between 2 hills. This trek will go along Kaligandaki.
Overnight at Tetang.
Trek to Kagbeni (2810m) 4-5hrs
Breakfast at Tetang.
On this day we will trek back to Kagbeni.
Overnight at Kagbeni.
Trek to Jomsom
Trek to Jomsom
You continue tracing your way back to the village of Jharkot.
You can explore Jharkot Monastery, Tibetan Herbal Medicine Center and ancient fortress.
You can feast on the delicious Mustang apple and witness the local culture.
Overnight in Jomsom. The night before your flight back to Pokhara, there is usually some grand feasting and dancing with fellow travellers and locals.
Fly to Pokhara.
You catch an early morning flight to Pokhara.
In Pokhara, you can choose to spend the rest of the day by booking a massage, bicycle ride around the city, boating , or just slumbering in your hotel room. You deserved it.
Drive Back to Kathmandu.
Breakfast then a bus or private car back to Kathmandu.
In Kathmandu, you can choose to go souvenir shopping for your family and friends back home or just relax.
Our representative will take you to the airport and will assist you with procedures there.
- Airport Pick Up & Drop in a private Car.
- All Ground Transportation as per above itinerary.
- Accommodation on local lodges in the Trekking area.
- 2 night's accommodation in Kathmandu in a 3-star category hotel with breakfast
- 2 Night accommodation in Pokhara in a 2-star category hotel with breakfast
- Experienced English Speaking Guide.
- All Government local Taxes
- Annapurna conservation fees
- (TIMS)Trekkers information Management System
- Flight ticket (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara).
- ACAP Permit for entry in Manaslu.
- Farewell Dinner with typical Nepali culture
- First Aid Kit.
Price Not Includes
- Trekking equipments
- Any type of personal expenses such as Alcoholic Beverage drinks,phone and Laundry.
- Tips (Not mandatory)
- Lunch and dinner during the trip
- Meals in trekking area.
- Arrangement of emergency helicopter service which will be paid by your travel insurance company.
- items not included in cost includes.
- Porter in Trekking area.
What is the best time of a year to do Upper Mustang trek?
For this trek spring season (March, April and May) is best time to trek. In this time, you can see the beauty of blooming flowers like rhododendron and orchids and clear panoramic view of Himalayas. Apart from this season, you can trek in other seasons too for the same adventure
What are the trekking equipment’s required for this trek and where do I get them?
For trekking equipment’s, we have mentioned them below. We recommend you be equipped with these for the trekking: Day pack Duffle bag Sun glasses Towels Water bottle Washing soaps Moistening lotion Spare batteries Spare Warm clothes And most needy things like: Hiking boots, Flip-Flop slippers, wind proof jackets which will keep you warm, trekking suits, sun hat, water proof gears. These equipment’s are important for you while trekking and you will get these stuffs in trekking shops in Thamel area in Kathmandu or in lake side Pokhara. Our representatives will be happy to help you with the hiring of the materials.
Are the foods and water hygienically standard?
Yes, the foods and water in the trekking region are hygienical standard as our representative will take care of foods that are provided to you on the region.
What kinds of foods are available during Upper Mustang trek?
Typically, different kinds of ethnic foods like Dal- Bhat are best served in the area. One can also get western and continental foods however the taste might not be up to the usual standards. And please inform our guide if in case you are allergic to any kinds of food.
How fit do I need to be for this trek?
You have to be healthy and fit for this trek. People of underage or overage can also do the trek if they have no any health issues. We recommend you to consult your medical practitioner if you have any health issues. Also, it is better to have travel insurance that covers high altitude medical insurance in case of any emergency.
Do I need any medical insurance for this trek?
Medical insurance is highly recommended for this trek because it will be easy for you in case of any medical emergency. The trek to Himalayas is itself a challenging task so it is better to be prepared for circumstance.
Do I need guides and porters for this trek and how can I get them?
Trek guide is necessary for this trekking while you can choose to have a porter if you feel necessary who will carry 15 kgs of your luggage. The price of the porter is not included in our packages. You can get one in the trekking area and our guides will help you in the matter.
How can I pay for this trek?
You can choose to pay via credit cards, Bank transfer or IME/ Moneygram/ Western Union. For more information regarding the payment please follow our payment information.
What happens in-case of medical emergency during the trek?
In case of any medical emergency our guide will be there to help you. You could be transferred to any nearby health post or health clinic or you could be rescued via chartered Heli from the trekking region in case we need to. Having a travel insurance that covers the high-altitude medical insurance could be helpful in this situation.
Can I get the guides who speak languages other than English?
Yes, you can get the guide that speaks other language if you need one. The price however will be extra.
What if I cancel the trip?
For any trip cancellations clients will have to inform 30 days prior to the departure. While 20% Booking amount is fully nonrefundable any extra amount received above that shall be refunded however the expenses incurred for the transfer of the refund amount shall be charged by the company. Any trips cancelled within 30 days of the date of departure shall be fully nonrefundable.
How difficult is to do Upper Mustang trek?
Upper mustang trek is a strenuous trek which involves 5 to 6 hrs of walk per day to reach an altitude of 3820 m so clients with altitude sickness might face the difficulties.
How experienced are your guides/porters for this trek?
You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable and experienced guide licensed by the Government of Nepal. Our team has the members serving more than 10 years in the industry.
Are there ATMs on the way of this trek?
No there are no ATMs on the way so you have to carry extra cash with you.
Do I have to pay extra for the mobile, camera charging, hot shower and internet use and how much is it?
Yes, you have to pay extra charge 2 to 4 Dollars for charging, camera, hot shower or internet use.
What are the safety measures during my trip?
You might want to have a travel insurance. Also please be equipped with all the necessary trekking gears. Further please inform about any health issues to our representative before the start of the trek as a safety measure.
Do I need to tip guides and porters and how much is it?
It is not mandatary but recommended to tip the guides and porters. It is usually 10% of trip amount.
What is the highest altitude reached of Upper Mustang trek?
The highest altitude is 3820 m at Ghar Gumba.
How long do we walk every day during this trek?
We will walk up to 5 to 6 hrs in this trek in average every day. Throughout the trail there will be plenty of time to rest and enjoy the scenic beauties.
What kinds of transportation are available during Upper Mustang trek? Do you book transportation or I need to book the transportation by myself?
We will provide air transportation Pokhara- Jomsom and Jomsom- Pokhara. Other surface transportation will be in private vehicle. Local buses and shared jeeps are also available for the transportation.
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Memorable 4 Days With Tour Guide
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Two Nights Was Awesome
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18th September, 2018
AMAZING NEPAL EXPERIENCE WITH Nepal Tour Guide Team
We had the privilege exploring KTM valley with Kumar. He has a way of showing you all facets of Nepal as nobody else will. Not only does he know his country like no other, he also has a special way of connecting you with his culture , people, customs and more like a real tour guide can only do. He is a humanitarian, a good spirit, with a great sense of humor and a heart of gold, someone who CARES about his country and people. You will love the way he guides you and shows you his country. Anything from local foods, to extensive history or just small talk about politics and social issues, Kumar is happy to discuss all. He showed us a side of Nepal, we would have never experienced with a larger bus group. He customized our program to our liking, the way we wanted it, patiently answered all of our questions always friendly , attentive and genuine. We can highly recommend Kumar as your private guide. I have traveled the world extensively (please see my other reviews on tripadvisor) and know the difference between ‘just a guide’ and a true tour director who LOVES his job and connecting with people from all walks of life. Kumar is great in what he does and his personality will make you like him the day you meet. We are still friends and should we return to Nepal, there is no doubt in our minds that we will see him again, not only as our guide but also to reunite with a great friend and human being.
Two Weeks In Nepal
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