Upper Mustang Trek

upper-mustang

Trip Overview

“You cannot create experience. You must undergo it”

Upper Mustang is a restricted area and up till 1992 it was forbidden for foreign visitors to enter the kingdom. Located above 4000m, with Tibetan influenced cultures, traditions, you will explore variation in topography from deserted lands to tropical and excellent landscape sceneries. The whole area gives us an isolated feeling which enchants and inspires any visitors. The regions isolation from the outside world has contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature.

Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif creating a ruggedly arid land surrounded by rocks in all kind of colors and impressive formations. This barren landscape is dotted with settlements of white washed houses, barley fields and chortens festooned with prayer flags which add a splash of color to the landscape. The most suitable way to reach Mustang is to take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and start the trek from there. The flight shall go through the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki, which runs between the Dhaulagiri and the Nilgiri mountains. You follow the famous Kali Gandaki River upstream, partly walking in the river bed itself, to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni the restricted area of Upper Mustang starts. During this exciting Upper Mustang Trek, walk through the land of canyon vistas. Upper Mustang Trek takes you to trans-Himalayan region at northern Annapurna region of Nepal. The Upper Mustang trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang also called Lo. Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire and is therefore closely tied to Tibet in culture, language and geography. Crossing the rugged land where people have saved their century’s old culture in Buddhist chortens, small stupas, and top hills, on pathways leading into villages and even inside caves. Even though Nepal is a federal republic democratic country, Mustang still even have a king, and local Mustang is respect him as the head of their tribe. These days accommodation in guesthouses is possible along the whole trek. These surround and revolve around the enormous valley of the Kali Gandaki. Entering Lo Manthang through the town gate is like stepping into a different world. A world of narrow alley ways, hidden chortens, long walls of beautiful prayer wheels and herds of farming animals sauntering in from the fields in the afternoon to adjourn to their sheds inside the city. As we reach the end of our trek we shall head back to Jomsom via Ghiling and then take a flight back to Pokhara.

At Upper Mustang Region, we see mostly dry and rough terrains spectacularly beautiful rock formation with highlighted cave at the cliffs. Except late December to beginning of March, rest other months, including October and November are considered as the favorable & recommended seasons for trekking in this region and even during the monsoon months (June-August) trekking can be done in Mustang as the region lies in the rain shadow. Contact Adventure Master Treks & Expedition and join us on this thrilling adventure through the magnificent Mustang Region.

Itinerary Overview

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel[1300 m]

Day 02: Kathmandu to Pokhara [823m]: 6 hrs drive

Day 03: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,810m]: 3-4 hrs

Day 04: Kagbeni to Tsele [3100m]: 5-6 hrs

Day 05: Chele to Samar [3600m]: 6-7 hrs

Day 06: Samar to Tsarang [3500m]: 5-6 hrs

Day 07: Tsarang to Lo-Mangthang [3700m]: 5-6 hrs

Day 08: Explore Lo-Mangthang

Day 09: Lo-Mangthang to Yara [3810 m]:6-7 hrs

Day 10: Visit Luri Gompa,and trek to Tangye [3540m]: 4-5 hrs

Day 11: Tangye  to Chhuksang [2980m]: 5-6 hrs

Day 12: Chhuksang to Jomsom [2720m]: 6-7 hrs and Fly back to Pokhara

Day 13: Pokhara to Kathmandu by Tourists bus and rest

Day 14: Final Departure

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel [1300 m]

Your journey in Nepal begins today. Our representative shall be receiving you at the Tribhuwan International Airport who shall have a signboard displaying name of our company outside the airport terminal. You shall then be transferred to the hotel of your stay in a private vehicle. With the remaining day at your disposal, if you arrive earlier you may stroll around the streets of Kathmandu. Explore the area during the day and in the evening savor the cultural dinner. Stay overnight in the hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Kathmandu to Pokhara [823m]: 6 hrs drive

After exploring the culturally rich cites in Kathmandu valley, we shall head for the beautiful Pokhara valley which is the start point of this trek. We shall leave early in the morning for Pokhara after you being picked up by your guide and transferred to the tourist vehicle. We drive on the winding road along the torrential rivers and past the waterfalls, rural settlements, glimpses of the mountains to the far which comes closer as we approach the destination. Drive to the Lakeside of Pokhara along with our representative who shall be picking you up from the Pokhara Bus Park and taking you to the hotel of your stay. Explore the scenic and ever buzzing Lakeside in a walking tour around the beautiful Phewa Lake. Stay overnight in Pokhara.

Day 03: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,810m]: 3-4 hrs

Today we shall start the trek after our flight to the beautiful Jomsom. We fly northwest from Pokhara towards the gateway between the snow-clad mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The lofty massif of above 8000 meters and the deep gorges en route is sure to give chills to the travelers. Our trek starts from Jomsom. Starting from the banks of Kali Gandaki River, we reach to the settlement of Ekle Bhatti after a couple of hours’ trek and an hour trek leads us to Kagbeni. Kagbeni is an interesting village at the ancient trade route to Tibet and also serves as the entry point to the restricted Upper Mustang Trekking. Stay overnight in Kagbeni.

Day 04: Kagbeni to Tsele [3100m]: 5-6 hrs

We proceed to our overnight destination from Kagbeni passing through the settlements of Tangbe, Chhusang and reach to the Tibetan culture dominated Tsele village. Towards the east bank of Kali Gandaki River we traverse ahead over ridges, towards the north and reach to the Tangbe village. This village is marked by the complex trails amongst the whitewashed settlements, cultivations and apple orchards. We are looked over by the Nilgiri Mountain all along our way. After the village we move further along to Chhusang village then cross the river to move ahead, out of the Kali Gandaki valley we climb up to Tsele village. Stay overnight in Tsele.

Day 05: Tsele to Samar [3600m]: 6-7 hrs

After a good breakfast and freshly brewed coffee we head off further into Mustang. The scenery is awesome, the classic high altitude desert of the Tibetan high plateau, and in back of us a chain of Himalayan peaks: Thorung Peak, Khatung Kang, Kangsar Kang, Annapurna l, Tilicho & North Tilicho Peaks and the Niligiri Peaks. Our trail continues to ascend as we trek past the river valleys leading into the Kali Gandaki River to reach Samar. Stay overnight at Samar.

Day 06: Samar to Tsarang [3500m]: 5-6 hrs

Today we shall have a shorter trekking journey as compared to the previous day. We start with paying visit to Mustang’s longest Mani wall, adorned with the carvings, accompanied by the group of chortens that mark the end of the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche destroyed a demon whose intestine landed at the present location of the Mani wall, its lungs near the red cliffs behind and its heart at the spot of current Lo Gekar monastery, the oldest monastery in Mustang. Along the broad road, we reach to the destination of today’s overnight stay, the settlement of Tsarang (Charang). Stay overnight in Tsarang.

Day 07: Tsarang to Lo-Mangthang [3700m]: 5-6 hrs

Our destination for today will be the famous settlement of Lo Mangthang. We pass through the Caharang Chu canyon initially and climb steeply after we cross the river as we leave the palace and gompas behind. We trek for few hours along the barren lands, through valley bed, past the ruins of ancient fortress and monasteries and have the famed walls of Lo Mangthang ahead in the trail and before that we cross the windy pass of Lo. Trekking along the southern walls of the surrounding city we reach to the small bridge and walk into the closely guarded town. Stay overnight in Lo-Mangthang.

Day 08: Explore Lo-Mangthang

Lo-Mangthang is a beautiful, culturally rich and architecturally sound settlement with well preserved legacy since the 14th century. Inside the walled city, we can explore four major ancient shrines, brick-red Jampa Lhakhang (the oldest gompa), 50 foot large clay statue of Buddha, 15th century old /thubchen Gompa and Choprang Gompa. Besides the Royal Palace of the Mustang King, Mustang has an interesting village with unique cultural values and lifestyle that may be of alien natured to the outsiders. Besides the cultural richness, we can also explore to the cave village of Chosar with deep red Nyhu Gompa, reached past two bridges. White-washed villages, old fortress, ruins of ancient palaces and monuments and the most famous palace of Mustang King are the other highlights in the valley. Stay overnight in Lo-Mangthang.

Day 09: Lo-Mangthang to Yara [3810 m]:6-7 hrs

Leaving Lo Manthang, the trail steadily climbs two small passes before plunging through a spectacular canyon to Dhi village. Leaving Dhi, we shall continue along the river bed to Yara and thence to Tashi Kabum, a not easily accessible cave housing a beautiful stupa and some paintings in Pala idiom. There’s a possibility of fossil hunting in the riverbed below the cave. Stay overnight in Yara

Day 10: Visit Luri Gompa, and trek to Tangye [3540m]: 4-5 hrs

We start the day by walking uphill to Ghara (3800m), where we will make a tea break and continue to the extraordinary cave-complex of Luri Gompa. Luri houses an exquisitely painted stupa and some rare 13th century Pala style images of unorthodox Buddhist masters. We shall start trekking and head down the same route down to Yara and then across the southerly plateau towards our first river-crossing in Mustang – on Damodar Khola known for the abundance of ‘Shaligrams’, the ammonite-fossils. Then the trail goes uphill to a ridge and descends to another plateau and on to Tangye. Stay overnight in Tangye.

Day 11: Tangye to Chhuksang [2980m]: 5-6 hrs

Today we have a long hike to Chhuksang which shall take about 6 hours of walking. Our trek shall begin with a crossing over the Tangye Khola and then long steady climb to Paha and then follows a fantastic trail along an exposed ridge top. On this day some of the oddly eroded mountainsides look straight out of Gaudí’s imagination. On our way to the village of Chhuksang we have breathtaking views of the Himalayas, scenic diversity and interaction with the locals that makes you ponder on the resilience and hospitality of the locals along the trail. You shall see Dhaulagiri (‘white mountain’) and Nilgiri (‘blue mountain’) dominating the horizon from Chusang. Stay overnight in Chusang.

Day 12: Chhuksang to Jomsom [2720m]: 6-7 hrs and Fly back to Pokhara

Today is another day that takes us further towards the end of our trekking experience through these unique and desert-like landscapes decorated by cultural legacies and glorious mountains as we head towards Jomsom. From Jomsom there is an early morning flight due to heavy wind occurring during the mid day. The short scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara takes only 22 minutes with awesome views of snow capped mountains. On reaching Pokhara you shall be transferred to your respective hotels near the serene lake Phewa, with rest of the day free for your own individual activities. Stay overnight in Pokhara.

Day 13: Pokhara to Kathmandu by Tourists bus and rest

After a great time in the high mountains and at Pokhara, our morning starts with a scenic interesting drive to Kathmandu. On reaching Kathmandu you shall be transfer to your respective hotels in the hub of Kathmandu at Thamel area, with afternoon free for your own individual activities or please inform our staff for any trip extension in and around Kathmandu or beyond for few days or for another great trip with us. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 14: Final Departure

This is the official end to our 14 day enthralling and exciting trek to the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. A representative of Adventure Master Treks & Expedition shall escort you to the Tribhuvan International Airport for the flight to the onward destination at least three hours prior to the flight. We thank you for being a part of the trekking team to this off-the-beaten trail and hope that you shall be back for some other adventurous activities in this Himalayan nation. If you cherish the memories of this adventure, trekking and adventure is sure to become a habit to the daredevils like you.

Includes

  • Airport transfer pick up and drop
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast
  • Transfer Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu by Tourist Bus
  • Transfer Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokahra by flight
  • Teahouse accommodation during the trek
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide), Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
  • Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (ACAP, TIMS, Special Permit for Mustang)
  • First aid Medical kit
  • All government and local taxes (including 13% VAT and 10 % service charge)
  • Transportation on private vehicle as agreed on the itinerary

Excludes

  • Your Nepal entry visa fee
  • Travel insurance and emergency evacuation expenses
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu and extra baggage charges in domestic and international flight
  • ­­­­­­­­­­­­Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • All personal expenses (including the gears and clothing taken on hire by the participant, phone calls, battery charge, shower, etc)
  • Tips for guides and porters

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