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Upper Mustang Trek (18 Days)

Mustang can be termed “Fertile Plain” literally; former kingdom of Lo and now it is a part of  Nepal, bordering the Tibetan plateau which was opened for the tourist in March 1992. Upper mustang is a barren valley with Trans Himalaya. Mustang was once an important route for crossing the Himalaya between Tibet and Nepal, and many of the old salt caravans passed through Mustang. This is an area where we will trek to, discovering the wonders of the architecture, language, their interesting culture and traditions which are almost purely Tibetan.

Trekking in Mustang region is a unique experience which takes you to an arid region beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The route entails traveling across desert like landscape, barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and moraine valleys. Trekking in Mustang is truly one of the most rewarding experiences in Nepal. So, through this trek you will have a close up view of the primitive society that has remained unaffected by modernization for centuries.

Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu International Airport and transfer to hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.) which takes about six hours.

You depart for the six hours drive to Pokhara (915m,), 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. As you climb out of the Kathmandu valley, only to quickly descend again to the Trisuli River, you follow upstream to its junction with the Marsyangdi River. You follow the Marsyandi gently up through heavily terraced fields and small hill towns to the Seti River that takes you directly into Pokhara. Having pleasant weather, Pokhara is tourist's paradise with full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves, temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with mountains. You can observe views to the north across the hills and Phewa Tal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon to fall in love with its beauty. You can also fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara which takes about 25 minutes.

Day 03: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2700 m.) and it takes about 25 minutes and trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni (2810 m.)

which takes about four hours. You take the early morning flight which again will give close-up views of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri and nearby satellites, 20 minutes flight in a small aircraft. Directly north of Jomsom is the pretty village of Kagbeni, There are about 80 families living here, most of them traders who are the link in the chain between modern Nepal and the Tibetan-type people of Mustang. Just out of Jomsom you cross a small hanging bridge and then walk along the banks of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is quite barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat, which makes it very easy going.

This very easy, enjoyable start is at the same time picturesque, with views of big peaks all around such as Dhaulagiri (26,794ft), Tukuche (22,703ft) and in the west the awesome mountain above Kagbeni, Nilgiri (22,769ft)

. Over to the south and south-west can be seen the entire Annapurna Massif. You are more than likely to meet Indian pilgrims on their way to and from Muktinath on this stretch, and other Europeans for an hour or two who will be on the world-famous Annapurna Circuit. Upon reaching Kagbeni there is a taste of scenes to come in Upper Mustang, what with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and a large red gompa. At the police check-post at the north end of the village there is a sign saying ‘Restricted area, tourists please do not go beyond this point’. Here you will complete your paperwork formalities for you to enter this long-forbidden region of Nepal. ACAP have set up a very interesting information post here with displays of Mustang artifacts and photos.

Day 04: Trek from Kagbeni to Chuksang (2900 m.) which takes about five hours.

You trek right up the river valley, but you 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. You stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you come across the first black, white and red chortens that typify Upper Mustang.

Day 05: Trek from Chuksang to Samar (3150 m.) and it takes about three and half hours.

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 do practice agriculture, but because of the lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is in sheltered plots of land, scattering the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, you reach a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows.

Day 06: Trek from Samar to Geling (3510 m.) which takes about five hours.

You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you 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 chortens and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.

Day 07: Trek from Giling to Ghami (3490 m.) via Ghami La (3520m.)

it takes about five hours. 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. You 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.

Day 08: Trek fram Ghami to Tsarang (3620 m.) which takes about five hours.

Today's walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of your energy will be spent negotiating 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, are a source of inspiration. Finally, you come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village is a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.

Day 09: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (Mustang) (3730 m.)

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

Day 10: Rest day at Mustang.

Today is free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang, untouched since the 14th century. 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 and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout the kingdom.

Day 11: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghami (3490 m.)

which takes about six hours. You continue your journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded alley to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, you walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami.

Day 12:  Trek from Ghami to Chuksang (2900 m.)

and it takes about six hours. You trek through wide and gentle path with some ascends and descends. The trail passes through desert like places though you can see some small thorny bushes. On the way, your trail goes along the river. You come across with some small streams. To reach from Ghami to Chuksang, you cross Kali Gandaki river.

Day 13: Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3795m.)

which takes about seven hours. The trail follows gently ascend and winding path passing through almost desert like places. On the way, you see at a distance some agricultural fields, apple orchard and some human settlements. You can enjoy beautiful deserted landscape, Caves, old Tibetan Style Villages, apple Garden, Yaks Herds, Sheep Herds, straight up to the Muktinath, visit Monastery believed to be built in 15th century, walk about twenty minute to Muktinath Temple, where you can enjoy a holy bath of 108 Taps, Visit Monastery, Natural flaming and Hindus Temple. The people of Muktinath are close to the life style,culture, religion and idea of Tibetan people.

Day 14: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2713 m.)

and it takes about five hours. Easy day, trail gradually ascends to Eklebhati at Kali Gandaki River valley, walk another two hours along the wide sandy and windy valley. The way moves between two hills.

Day 15: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara

which takes about 25 minutes and stay overnight at hotel in Pokhara. The flights are available during the morning time. The strong breeze blows during the after and frequent change of the weather prevent the flight being landed and taken off in the afternoon. During the flights in morning, the sky looks very clear which makes you able to enjoy the splendid views of different mountain peaks.

Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu

by tourist mini bus and stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu. While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Muglin and  Kurintar where the Nepal's first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 17: Day at leisure. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 18: Fly out from Kathmandu.

Cost Includes
Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
Teahouse accommodation during the trek
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
Welcome or farewell dinners
All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara flight
An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek Guide and assistant trek Guide (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, Local Municipality Permit, TIMS)
Medical kit (carried by your trek Guide)
All government and local taxes

Cost Excludes
Nepalese visa fee 
Excess baggage charge(s)
Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu if early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
International flights
Travel and rescue insurance
Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge,wifi,  extra porters, mineral or boiled water, hot shower, etc.)
Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)

Fitness Level 
Group Size 2 to 16 people
Max Altitude 3730M
Duration 18 Days
Walking Days 16 Days
Activity Trekking
Best Period MAR | APR | MAY | JUN/JULY/AUG/SEP | OCT | NOV
Price $$$$
Country                                                             Nepal