Mustang Trek

Arrival City

Kathmandu

Departure City

Kathmandu

Lodging level

Accommodation: Hotel & Lodge (Tea House)

Meals

3 Course Meals

Trip Grade

Moderate to fairly challenging

Maximun Altitude

3730m

Attractions

Ancient Buddhist cave art

Monasteries and Buddhist architecture

Traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture

Activity

Trekking & Sightseeing

Overview

A trek that takes you along the Kali Gandaki Valley to the ancient Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang.

The word ‘Mustang’ conjures up ideas of remoteness and seclusion, a region lost amongst the mountains. This was an independent country until it was closely consolidated into Nepal just a few decades ago. The region of Mustang lies north of the main Himalayan range in the area known as the Trans-Himalaya. A vast, dry and arid high valley, it has a barren desert-like appearance similar to the Tibetan Plateau and is characterized by eroded canyons and colorful stratified rock formations. It was once an important route for crossing the Himalaya between Tibet and Nepal, and many of the old salt caravans passed through Mustang.

Known to its inhabitants as Lo, Mustang was only opened to trekkers in March 1992, and you will be part of a small, privileged minority to visit this remote outpost of Nepal. The capital of the Mustang district is actually Jomsom but the Tibetan influenced area, north of Kagbeni is known as Upper Mustang. It is the area which we will explore fully, discovering the wonders of the architecture, language, culture and traditions which are almost purely Tibetan in this once-upon-a-time mystical kingdom.

The kingdom of Mustang lies in the rain shadow formed by the Annapurna & Nilgiri Himalayas and thus gets very little rain which fortunately, makes the area ideal for trekking even in the mid monsoon while the other areas of Nepal remain unsuitable for trekking due to heavy monsoon rains. The Trek to this mystique kingdom which requires a special permit that costs US$ 500 per person (valid for 10 Days) begins at the airstrip of Jomsom after flying up early from Pokhara. Mustang Trek is rather easy as most of the route goes along the bank of Kali Gandaki River and eventually leads you to Lo Manthang, the capital of Mustang at 3840 meters, which is the highest point on this trip.

Fascinating areas, culturally and historically picturesque villages, monasteries, unique landscapes with easy access and very few trekkers going to this area are the major highlights of Mustang Trek. This is among the very few adventure trips in Nepal which can be done throughout the year.

Itinerary

You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.

Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Boudhanath- the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath- most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. At Patan Durbar Square, you will delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. Overnight at Hotel.

You drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara for 6/7 hours along the scenic highway. After reaching Pokhara you will be transferred to your hotel. If time avails, you may go for a boat ride in the tranquil Fewa Lake in the evening.

We take a spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom (famous for its apples) where we meet our trek crew at a tiny airstrip. After some initial preparation of loads, we begin our trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom we cross a small suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is flat and quite barren, with craggy rocks and sand littering the trail. This makes it very easy going. We will get magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, fields of wheat and barley and a large red Gompa, give us a preview of scenes that we would come across in Upper Mustang. At the north end of the village is the police check-post. Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this long forbidden region of Nepal.

It is possible to trek right up the river valley, but we use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where we come across the first black, white and red Chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among whitewashed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chhuksang village is only about 2 hours’ walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chhuksang are some spectacular red eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves.

There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang practice agriculture. But due to lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is limited to sheltered plots of land. This spots the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, we reach the river. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of a tunnel and north from here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable on foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to the village of Chele. Watch out for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs here, which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major place to stop for horse and mule caravans.

We climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of Chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.

From Geling, the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. We then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La (3840m). The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large, white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.

Today’s walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of our energy will be spent negotiating the loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, more than compensates for the hard climb. Finally, we come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.

We spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance, so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner.

Today, you are free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues. It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys, but this short tour will incur extra costs.

We begin our return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route. This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley, with snow clad peaks in the background. Just past the settlement of Lo Gekar, we reach the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghar Gompa.

We continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, we walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami.

Now we must retrace our route back to Jomsom, where we end our trek. In the evening, we celebrate with the Sherpas and porters, whom we have come to know so well over the last 2 weeks.

You take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara you will have city tour and boating in Phewa lake.

You take a thirty-minute flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara airport. During the flight, you get to savor the most mesmerizing views of glorious Manaslu and the snow-capped Annapurna Mountain range.

Our Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. If you prefer to stay longer, you can go on short tours such as game drives at national parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.

General Information

TRIP GRADE: moderate to fairly challenging

This is a long Upper Mustang trekthat goes right into the remotest corner of high mountain country and over a high pass. Physically quite tiring, it involves approx. 6–8 hours of trekking along rocky ridges. No previous experience is required. You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.

 

TREKKING TYPES

Trekkingin Nepalis categorized in three different types based on their way of organization (Camping Trek, Tea House Trek and GAP Trek). Mustang Trek is organized in two ways (Tea House Trek and GAP Trek) due to the abundance of accommodation facilities available in the region.

  1. Tea House Trek: This trek includes services like guide, food, accommodation in local Tea Houses and porters.
  2. GAP Trek: This trek includes services like Guide (G), Accommodation (A) in the Tea Houses, and Porters (P). Food bills are to be paid directly by the client.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Upper Mustang Trekkingdoesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail.

You often have to share rooms but you can also stay in single rooms where possible.Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. The Guide coordinates with the local lodge owners to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).

Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.

 

FOOD

LODGE TREK: Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali (rice, curry & lentil, momo, noodles, chapatis etc.) and Western food (pizza, pasta, sandwich, chips, porridge, toast, pancake, soup etc) as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer). The Guide suggests you the best option as per the availability.

GAP Trek: You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25-$30 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.

 

WATER

On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. However, you can also buy bottled water in tea houses. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps.

 

PERSONAL EXPENSES– MONEY TO TAKE ON TREK

Money requirement depends largely on type of trek style, duration and trekking region.
For a two-week Upper Mustang trek, you can take about $200-300, more if you intend to get more table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas), souvenirs, battery charge, internet, hot shower (available in some places) etc. If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. Approximately $25-30 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (teahouse) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staffs assigned by us, plus extra bar bills, snacks, hot shower, battery charge, internet etc.

 

CHANGING MONEY

You can change money at a bank or the money exchange counter in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. Many Tourist class Hotels have money exchange facilities. These days, there is availability of ATMs everywhere in Kathmandu, Pokhara and some major trekking hubs.

 

TIPS

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the completion of your trekking in Nepal. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.It is recommended that you talk to the members and hand it over individually as per the hierarchy on the last day of the trek.

 

GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE

If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 people and the maximum is 15 people.

For a Private Booking, any number size from 1 pax to 20 pax is acceptable and can be comfortably organized. We go for special planning for handling group size bigger than 20 Pax.

 

GROUP LEADER AND CREW

We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

1) Western leader

2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)

3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. We provide 1 porter for 2 members.

 

FLIGHT AND LAND TRANSFERS

You will fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and from Pokhara you will further take a flight to Jomsom. The starting point of theUpper Mustang trek isJomsom. On your return, you will fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. You can choose between flying or driving back from Pokhara to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu). There will be a price reduction if you choose to travel between Kathmandu and Pokhara by private car or tourist bus.

 

COMMUNICATION

There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Upper Mustang trek.You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request). 

 

LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING

During the Upper Mustang trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgsfor flight safety and porter welfare as per IPPG standard. You simply carry a daypack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu/Pokhara while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping.

 

TYPICAL DAY ON TREK

Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek

A typical day while trekking in Nepal consists of about 7-8 hours of activity. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.

 

TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT

You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

 

GEARS AVAILABLE IN KATHMANDU

There are numerous suppliers of trekking gears in Kathmandu supplying genuine branded items or imitations depending on your choice and price. You can get anything from down jackets and sleeping bags to socks or thermal wears that you need for your trek. They might not be the best but good enough for the trek considering the price.

 

TREK SECURITY

Security of our clients is our foremost priority. All our guides are licensed by Nepal Government. Our guides and support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. They will ensure your safety and security throughout your trip.

During your Upper Mustang trek, you will be sleeping in local teahouses. You have to take precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.

 

MEETING AND GREETING AT AIRPORT

 You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the customs desk and come out of the terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.

 

TREK DURATION

We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.

 

CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO

 The best seasons to trek in the Mustang region are autumn (from mid-September till November) and spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. At high elevations, the nights are cold (between -10 C and 5 C), but the days are sunny and hot (between 10 C and 30 C).The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon and disappearing at night. March, April, October, and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. As Mustang is located in the rain shadow area, it is possible to trek during the early monsoon, but flights between Pokhara and Jomsom are usually disturbed by heavy monsoon clouds. Trekking during the winter is also possible. However, it is much colder than in the autumn and spring.

 

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itinerary for this Upper Mustang trekis a standard itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situationwhile on trek, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.

 

HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

The main health consideration during the Upper Mustang trekis Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you to consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.

 

FIRST AID KIT

We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.

 

VISA

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. For doing Annapurna Trek, you can come with a 30 day visa which costs US $ 50. You should have a passport size photo to get it at airport upon arrival. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.

 

JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP

Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this Upper Mustang trek, please check our ‘Fixed Departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 20 at a time).

If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.

 

RESCUE / EVACUATIONS

We take your safety and security very seriously, and make sure that nothing untoward happen to you. However, if anything serious like sickness or a casualty occurs, we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. As you are responsible for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it.

 

INSURANCE

Before joining this short Upper Mustang trek, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.Our staff will collect your insurance details before you leave for the trek.

 

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

We are among the few companies in Nepal to receive Travelife Certificate Award https://www.travelife.info for our long-term efforts in sustainable practices.

 

1.Care for porters and staffs

We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions during Upper Mustang trek are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. All our porters carry less than 30 kg and underage porters are strictly prohibited in our operations. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG – www.ippg.net).

 

2.Environmental Responsibility

Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.

As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use LPG gas or kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We don’t use plastic bottles. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. Our staff carry garbage bag with them all the time and collect our garbage and other litters they find on trail, and dispose them on the designated area. We also volunteer to bring garbage down to Lukla while returning back. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.

 

3.Social Responsibility

Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.

Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agro practices and culture preservation. A certain amount of your trip money goes to these projects. For more details on our CSR initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/

    The Trip Cost Includes
  • Lodge trek with guide, accommodation & porters only (Standard rooms on sharing)
    All meals during Teahouse trek only
    Transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara by private vehicles
    Pokhara/Kathmandu Airfares
    Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara Airfares
    English speaking local expert guide, porters (2 members= 1 porter: 15 kg only per member)
    Annapurna Conservation Area Permit fees (ACAP)
    Upper Mustang restricted area permit
    3 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (3*) on twin sharing with breakfast
    2 night hotel accommodation in Pokhara (3*) on twin sharing with breakfast
    Sightseeing tour with English Speaking local guide
    Entrance fees to sightseeing monuments
    Airport transfers and tour transfers in private vehicle
    Insurance for all staff & porters
    Equipment & clothing for all staff & porters
    First aid kit (carried by guide)

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal Visa fees
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara
    • Personal expenses (like, communication, laundry, bar bills, internet, camera/mobile battery recharge, hot water/shower on trek, extra meals, snacks while walking etc.)
    • Personal gears & clothing
    • Tips for guide, porters, drivers, local staff etc.
    • Personal insurance and medical expenses
    • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/rescue due to any unforeseen reasons
    • Any other services other than mentioned under “Price Includes”

    For more information, please contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com

     

Pay Now

BOOKING PROCEDURE:

Your booking of this Upper Mustang trek will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of $500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

TRIP EXTENSIONS

In addition to this Upper Mustang trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan etc. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.

DISCLAIMER:

It is fundamental to acknowledge that Mustang trekking is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives whichwill be decided upon mutual agreement. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours

MUSTANG REGION

Mustang “The forbidden kingdom” lies in Gandaki province in northern Nepal. Mustang is bordered by Tibetan plateau, and the tallest mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, including several other peaks above 7,000 meters are also situated here. Mustang, spread in an area of 3,573 sq. km, is one of the districts of Nepal, and the entire district is within Annapurna Conservation Area, which is the largest protected area of Nepal. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang. Mustang is known as the lost Kingdom of Tibet because in old time it used to be long to Tibetan Empire. Mustang trekking is possible in every season.

 

CLIMATE, FLORA AND FAUNA

The climate experienced in Mustang trekking is cool and semi-arid (dry but having slightly more rain than an arid region or climate). The average annual temperature of the region is about 10.9 °C during the day. Mustang lies in the rain shadow area of the Annapurna region. In this climate we find unique animals like; snow leopard, musk deer, and Tibetan gazelle. In this region we mostly find medical herbs. Above the elevation of 5,000 meters, there are rhododendron anthopogon, potentilla biflora, and saxifraga. Above the elevation of 5,800 meters, there is almost no vegetation because of extreme cold. Near the area of Jomsom, the forest covers end, and it is very limited in the Upper Mustang region, which falls in the Alpine climatic area.

 

PEAKS

Dhaulagiri (8167m)
Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8167 meters (26,795 ft) above sea level, and the highest mountain within the borders of a single country (Nepal). Dhaulagiri came from the Sanskrit word “dhaula” (dhawala) means dazzling, white, beautiful and “giri” means mountains. It was first climbed on 13 May 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.

Nilgiri (7061m)
Nilgiri is a range of three peaks in the Annapurna massif in Nepal. It is composed of Nilgiri North (7061 m), Nilgiri Central (6940 m) and Nilgiri South (6839 m). It was first climbed in October 1962 by The Netherlands Himalayan Expedition; the team leader was a famous French climber, Lionel Terray.The first ascents on Nilgiri South and Nilgiri Central were made by Japanese climbers in 1978 and 1979 respectively.

Tilicho Peak (7134m)
Tilicho peak is a mountain near the Annapurnas. The peak was first discovered by Europeans in 1950.
The first ascent was made in 1978 by the French climber Emanuel Schmutz using the northwest shoulder.

Yakwakang Peak (6462m)
Yakwakang peak is the nearest peak from Muktinath. It is also the pass way to upper Mustang. Yakwakang peak gives stunning view of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna.

Tukuche (6031m)
Tukuche peak lies in the western part of Nepal. Entire Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range is divided by world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge and the peak Tukuche. It is exactly standing in front of Annapurna Massif and Mt. Dhaulagiri I – just above from beautiful hidden valley.

Damodar Himal (6004m)
Damodar Himal on the northern edge of the Annapurna Conservation area. It is a small section of the Annapurna Circuit across the Thorang La Pass.

 

PLACES

Jomsom
Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang. It is the major gateway for Upper Mustang. It connects both banks of the Kali Gandaki River. It is mainly occupied by the native Thakali people. Maximum people start their Upper Mustang trek to Lo Manthang from Jomsom. There are a monastery and a museum in Jomsom. Mountain Biking is famous as a daily activity for tourist in Jomsom.

Marpha
Marpha is popularly known as “the town of apple”. The village name Marpha is made of two words “mar” and “pha”, in which “mar” means hardworking and “pha” means people. Mainly Thakali people live in this Place. The place is famous for apples, people do farming of apple and they produce different varieties of apples.People enjoy apple dishes on the to Upper Mustang trek.

Muktinath Temple
Mukitnath temple is one of the popular and religious temples in the world. It situates on the lap of the Thorong la mountain. The temple is especially for Hindus as well as Buddhists. It is a holy place among four Dhams of Hindus. It is the temple of Lord Bishnu. People take both from 108 water spouts and two kundas (ponds) with the hope of fulfilling their wishes. Buddhists believe it to be a place where Guru Rimpoche came to meditate. This is the religious place of Mustang trekking.

Damodar Kunda
Damodar Kunda is a holy and religious place to Hindus, which is located in Upper Mustang. People believe that when they bath in the Kunda they will be free from their sins. The kunda has awesome views, lush valley, stunning landscapes, monasteries, and natural beauty of Damodar Himal. Many people visit this place during the full moon of August every year to enjoy a big festival.

Thubchen Gompa
Thubchen Gompa is a popular monastery in Mustang. It is located in Upper Mustang. It is beautiful monastery with many gorgeous painting on walls and roof. There is several terracotta (brownish-red clay) figures of various gods and goddesses.

Chhertosum (Marpha Hill)
Chhertosum is a short hike from Marpha; it takes 4-5 hours walk to reach there. The main attractions are the numerous yaks and high-altitude pastures (land covered with grass). It is a gateway to Dhaulagiri Base Camp. There are many monasteries like Nyingma monastery. Nyingma monastery is painted onto the cliff face, some small stones chortens on the ledges below.

Lo-Manthang
Lo-Manthang is the preserved destination, and it is the capital of Mustang. In past it was restricted for tourists to travel. Lo Manthang is mainly known for its former Royal place, monasteries, and tall whitewashed mud-brick walls. This region is all about barren landscape and wonderful scenery. Lo-manthang is the highest point of Upper Mustang trek.

 

PEOPLE

People and culture
Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions: the southern region, with five villages inhabited by people related to the Mananges; and the northern region (the ancient kingdom of Lo), where the language, culture, and traditions are almost purely Tibetan. Despite their isolation, the people of Lo are worldly, well-traveled, and resourceful. They are essentially Tibetans and are skillful traders, travelers, and merchants. The people of Mustang are peace-loving and generous. Buddhism has flourished here for a thousand years and has been the main religion of the people of Mustang ever since. The main festival celebrated by the people of Mustang is Tiji festival. It is a three-day ritual known as “The Chasing of the Demons” that centers on the Tiji myth. The myth tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who defeats his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this ancient myth. It also signifies the end of the dry winter/spring season and welcomes the monsoon season (the growing season for Mustang).

Thakali
Thakali lives in the Thak Khola region of Mustang districts. Thakalis were Buddhists, who followed the Bon culture. Thakalis outside their homeland have been following a distinct form of Tibetan Buddhism, while Thakalis in southern Nepal practice Buddhism with bit of Hindu flavor. Mustang trekking trail is followed by Thakali village. Those in Mustang remain much more traditionally Buddhists. Thakalis have their own Thakali Languages and own culture with distinct rituals during birth, marriage and death.

 

FESTIVALS

Tiji
Tiji Festival is one of the main festivals celebrated every year, in the month of April or May, by the people of Mustang. Tiji Festival is influenced by the Tibetan Buddhism and has an important role in the culture of Mustang. All festivals of Mustang are celebrated according to Tibetan calendar. Tiji is held normally in the month of April or May.

Lhosar
Lhosar is a New Year festival. Lhosar Festival in Nepal is often called the festival of highlanders as most of the communities which have ethnic belonging to the mountains such as Sherpas, Gurung, Tamang, Thakali etc. celebrate it. The festival is celebrated on the month of January and February.

Duk Chu 
Duk Chu is a festival of highlanders where monks perform and play ‘Nha’ or hand-drum. In this festival, monks dance and pray for a prosperous next year in Lo Manthang.  It is celebrated on the month of November and December.

Saka Lugka
It is also one of the main festivals of Mustang’s inhabitants.  Saka Lugka is celebrated on the month of February and March. Saka Lugka means “Rise for timely rains and a good harvest”.

 

TALK WITH EXPERT

Anuj Pandey

+977 9801024990

sales@explorehimalaya.com

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