Nepal, the land of Himalayas has many prodigious trekking routes. Each of them is equally adventurous and thrilling. One of such beautiful trekking trail in Nepal is The Upper Mustang Trek.
This 15 days trek takes you to naturally blessed, culturally unique, and historically important sites of Nepal. The kingdom of Mustang is geographically unique and termed as “land beyond the Himalayas”.
Nepal has many trekking trails that takes you closer to the massif Himalayan Vistas. But with Upper mustang trek, you will be walking beyond those Himalayas. Instead of sub-alpine vegetation, you will be walking in a mostly deserted land.
Tourists were permitted to trek in Upper Mustang only after the year 1992. The region was isolated from the world for a long time. Therefore, it has perfectly preserved its virgin Tibetan culture. Even now, it’s a restricted region and requires a special permit for the trek.
Geography, Upper Mustang lies in the shadow of the massif Dhaulagiri range. The region is very dry with prominent rugged and barren rocky landscapes. You can enjoy the magnificent views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri along the way. In the entire trek, you witness 35 mountains (over 6,000 meters).
Mustang, also called Lo Manthang, used to be a part of the Tibetan empire. Even now, the culture, language, and traditions of this region are similar to that of Tibet. The classic villages across the way provide us with the opportunity to witness the classic village landscape. Lo Manthang, our ultimate destination is home to various alleys, wonderful prayer wheels, chortens, and different animals. You must visit the royal palace of Upper Mustang where the king and queen still reside.
Upper Mustang trek is equally prodigious throughout the year. During September to November, it is flooded with internal and foreign tourists. It’s equally beautiful from June to August when the rest of the county is flooded in monsoon. Spring, March to May is also a beautiful time for the trek. Trekking in winter (December to February) can be quite difficult due to heavy snowfall.
The trek can be accomplished by the trekkers of any experience level. Even beginners can complete it easily-if they move slowly. All you need is sound health and strong physical condition. With the right Itinerary, the Upper Mustang trek is a blessing.
The Journey to Upper Mustang begins as you land in Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you will be driving to Pokhara, the city of Lake. The trek begins from Kagbeni. To reach Kagbeni, you can either drive or fly to Jomsom and then take a private Jeep. From Kagbeni, the path follows the classic trail used by in the past for trade between Tibet and the lower regions. After a few days of the trek along places such as Chele, and Syangboche, you crash in the kingdom of Lo Manthang. As you enter Lo Manthang, it feels like stepping in a completely different world altogether. You can visit places like Thugchen Gompa, Amchi museum, Amchi school, etc before travelling downwards. As you walk down to Jomsom, you pass along various villages such as Ghiling, Drakmar, and Chhuksang. Then you can drive or fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and then finally get back to Kathmandu.
A panoramic and thrilling flight brings you into the city of Kathmandu. On a clear day, the views of snow-capped Himalayan ranges sprawling below your feet is almost ecstatic. This is the beginning of whole new memorable experiences that’s going to stay with you for a long, long time. Upon landing, our representative will greet you at the airport. After welcoming you to Nepal, they will escort you to the hotel. The drive of about 30 minutes takes you to the hotel. After checking into the hotel you can have some rest or explore the nearby areas. In the evening, you will be briefed about the entire journey. We will enjoy our welcome dinner together. Then, you can enjoy the nightlife of Thamel. Overnight in Kathmandu
We will start the day with a delicious breakfast at our hotel. Then, we will catch a tourist bus that drives us to Pokhara. The drive of about 8 hours begins at 7 in the morning. As we drive along the bank of Trishuli River, we can enjoy the view of small cities, hills and mountain peaks. We will also get the occasional glimpse of Ganesh, Annapurna and Manaslu range along the way. Pokhara, a Lakeside City is famous for its serene lakes like Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa. The city is clean, charming, and vibrant with remarkable natural beauty. If we reach the destination early, you can enjoy boating in the Phewa. Otherwise, you can just stroll around lakeside. Alternatively, you can take a flight to Pokhara. The flight from TIA is about 25 minutes long. The scenes of massif Himalayan Vistas below your feet will make the trip the thrilling. If you take a flight, you will get a long time to explore the beauty of Pokhara. You can visit places like Devi’s fall and Bindabashini Temple. (additional charges may apply) Overnight in Pokhara
Early in the morning, we take the spectacular flight to Jomsom. Jomsom, the centre of Mustang is famous for apples. After being introduced to the rest of the crew and some initial preparation, we begin our trek. Our destination for the day is the pretty village of Kagbeni. As we leave Jomsom, we cross a suspension bridge as we continue walking along the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. The trail is mostly flat with craggy rocks and sands. As we walk, the huge peaks like Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Tukuche will accompany us. To the South, we can witness the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni welcomes us with its narrow tunnels, alleyways, irrigation canals, large red Gompa, and farm fields. This is your preview of scenes from Upper Mustang. At the police check-post at the North end of the village, we will complete some paperwork. Then, we are officially permitted to visit the forbidden region of Nepal. Overnight at Kagbeni
Today we leave Kagbeni as we walk towards Chele. The trek continues on the East bank of the Kali Gandaki River. Initially, we come across the village of Tangbe. This is a picturesque village with fields of barley, apple, and buckwheat. It is a labyrinth of narrow alleys having houses of a white-washed mud and stone. From Tangbe you continue the hike to the village of Chhusang. This is about 2 hours of easy walk. After some rest, we cross the dwindling water and then climb the huge mass of Conglomerate. After crossing the Valley, you continue the uphill climb to Tiche Chele. Here, you can feel the transition in culture. Jomsom has the Manangi culture, while Chele has typical Tibetan culture. Overnight at Chele
The trek climbs on a steep barren land as we walk on the unique copper-ed landscape of Mustang. We hike downhill to the village of Samar. You stop in this beautiful settlement for the lunch. As we continue to walk out of the village, we pass a 4 coloured Chortens. The trail then continues uphills and downhills as we pass the sparsely populated villages. Then, we cross the pass of Yamada La at 4,010m. The view from the peak is mesmerising. A final descent then takes us to the village of Syangboche. The village is filled with tea houses of flat roofs, whitewashed walls, and wood stacked neatly in the perimeter of the roof. The doors are adorned with different colourful curtains and other religious symbols. Tea house at Syanboche serves you with a delicious dinner. Overnight in Syanboche
Today’s trek can be tough, so keep your shanks prepared. You need to walk through the wavy terrains with two different passes. Initially, you ascend the Syangboche Pass (3,850m). From the top, you can enjoy the stunning landscape of Upper Mustang. Then after, we trek down to the place called Gelling. Passing different Chortens and prayer flags, we continue to trek. A slow ascent takes us to Jaite. We then continue to Nyi La Pass suited at 4,020m. The strong gusty wind of Mustang can be felt at the top. After some rest in the top, we descend to a trail junction. After 5 hours of trek, we reach Ghemi. Ghemi is a small village with different Chorten at its entrance. Ghemi is our destination for the day where we will stop at a tea house. Overnight in Ghemi
On the outskirts of the village of Ghemi, you pass the longest mani walls of the region-1000ft. On the way out, you pass a group of chortens. We make our climb over a pass at 3,820 m. From the top, Mustang appears as a desert land with barren hills and no vegetation. The walk then takes you to the village of Charang where the red-painted stupa welcomes you. Further along, you witness a palace and a Monastery. The stunning view is like a feast to your eyes. Charang is the 2nd largest village in the region. This used to be the capital of Mustang even before Lo-Manthang. Overnight in Charang
Today is the most important day of our trek as we get to Lo-Manthang. Lo-Manthang is the major attraction of all Upper Mustang Trek. We leave Charang after a delicious breakfast. Initially, we trek via a Monastery called Tsering Thupten Shedrub Dhargyeling. This is a very old monastery that houses about 50 monks. From here, we cross a river that separates Cherang village and Lo. Then we walk along a pass called Lo. A descend takes us to Lo-Manthang. Lo Manthang is the capital of Mustang. The descendants of King still reside in the King’s palace over Mustang. The biggest festival of Mustang i.e “Tiji Festival” is celebrated here. Once you reach Lo Manthang, you can get enough rest. We will have a whole day to explore the region. Or, you can hire a horse to ride you in the beautiful valley. Overnight in Lo Manthang
This mystical town has so much to offer. We will take a full day to explore the beauty of Lo-Manthang. Some of the places we must visit during the stay in Mustang are King’s palace, Namgyal Gompa, and Jampa Lhakhang. We will visit the five-story palace of the king. The king of Mustang still lives in the palace with his family. Then we visit Namgyal Gompa that is situated right on a hilltop. The Gompa holds religious, social, and legal importance. Still, it works as a local courthouse of the village. Then, we visit Tigkar village that has about 40 households, beautifully decorated. We will also see Jampa Lhakhang that has a large Buddha statue. If we have enough time, we go for a Chosar excursion. You get to explore Nyphu Cave monastery and Jhong Sky cave. This 2,500 year old cave has over 44 compartments. Overnight in Lo Manthang
After a wonderful day in Lo Manthang, it’s time to walk downwards. The journey commences after a delicious breakfast in a tea house. We take the upper highland trail as we walk outside Lo Manthang. This trial bestows us with stunning views of both Charang Valley and Lo-Manthang. You can witness the beautiful snow-capped mountains. On the way, visit the old Tibetan monastery named Ghar Gompa. Then, we cross the last passes of the journey i.e Dhi Pass at 4,100m. After some rest at the top, we trek towards Dhamkar. The path to Dhamkar is mostly downhill-it's an easy walk. Dhamkar has some beautiful guesthouse where we can stop for lunch. Overnight in Dhamkar
After the wonderful morning view from Dhamkar, our trek for the day begins. We retrace our path back to Syangboche. The path is equally uphill and downhill. You can slowly stroll along as you explore landscapes you missed. You can also take some time to visit Rangchyung chorten. It is among the most important and sacred places in Mustang. Small clay figures and prayer flags left by pilgrims fill the place. Overnight at Syangboche
Today, we continue the trek back. After delicious breakfast in Chhusang, we begin our walk for the day. If you have missed any attractions as Chungsi Cave monastery, you can explore the. After some hours of walk, we stop at the place called Samar for lunch. From here, we descend to Tetang. Tetang is the upper village of Chuksang that lies between two giant hills. The high hill protects you from the fierce wind. We further trek to Chusang. This is a beautiful village where we can spend the night. Overnight at Chhusang
Today we trace our way back on the same trails. As we head south, we follow the path to Jharkot village. Here, we can explore Jharkot Monastery. We can also visit the ancient fortress and the Tibetan Herbal Medicine Centre. This fortress at Jharot was once a palace. On the way downwards, we get awesome views of Nilgiri. We walk along the wide stretch Kali Gandaki Valley. Here, leaving the restricted region, we trek towards Kagbeni. You can take some rest in Kagbeni and feast yourself on the delicious apple of Mustang. Then we further trek down to Jomsom for a couple of hours. Jomsom has some fine lodges and restaurants. Usually, guests prefer to spend the night dancing and drinking. Or you can just let your shanks rest in the hotel room. This is the last night for the crew to be together. Overnight in Jomsom
If the weather supports, we catch an early morning flight to Pokhara. It is a fantastic way to finish off your Upper Mustang trek. The thrilling flight along the Gorge of Kali Gandaki between the massif Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges takes you to Pokhara. As we reach Pokhara within half an hour, we can drive back to Kathmandu. The scenic route along the bank of Trishuli River will keep you refreshed. Or, it’s better if you take another flight to Kathmandu. The flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu is only about 25 minutes long. Then you will drive to the hotel in a Private Car. In Kathmandu, after checking in, you can do some souvenir shopping. Thamel sells many classic arts and craft pieces that can be a gift to yourself and your loved ones. In the evening, we will together enjoy our farewell dinner. We will celebrate the wonderful journey we accomplished. Then you can enjoy the night time of Thamel. Overnight in Kathmandu
In the morning you can enjoy the last meal in Kathmandu. We ensure that you leave Nepal with much-cherishing memories that will always be with you. As per your flight schedule, you can check-out from the hotel. Our representative will drop you at the airport three hours before the flight. Waving a final goodbye to Nepal, you can proceed to your next destination.
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