Upper Mustang Trekking – 17 Days
The hidden world of the ancient Buddhist kingdom, Upper Mustang is a remote area in Nepal with highly preserved Tibetan culture. Due to military unrest in the late 80s, it was not until 1992 that this region was reopened to foreign trekkers. Tucked and hidden from the outside world, the culture, mostly of Tibetan origin, has been well preserved. The region boasts of unspoiled nature with a landscape unlike any other places in Nepal. Although it lies in the Himalayas, the terrain is a mixture of snow-capped mountains and desert lands.
The people of Mustang strive to preserve the beauty and culture of the place, and hence, trekking in this region is a privilege. The local government has imposed very strict policies, and expensive fees to limit the entry of the outside world to this secret kingdom in Nepal. And therefore, this place is not very known to many tourists and very much less traveled.
Surprising this Upper Mustang trekking is one of the best treks to do even in the monsoon season in Nepal. Hence it lies in the rain shadow, north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, completely sheltered from the monsoon. We take return Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight to avoid the lower rainy section hike in the Annapurna region.
The best advantage of upper mustang trekking in monsoon time is that the village is full of local people busy at their every day works. Furthermore, the whole region is in bloom which makes really a fabulous contrast with the wind-eroded hills, red cliffs, and snow-capped mountains on the background – a great vista. Thus upper Mustang trekking a is once in a lifetime destination to explore the fascinating medieval walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.
Upper Mustang Trekking Highlights
- Scenic drive or flight to and from Jomsom.
- Exploring the Kali Gandaki River valley.
- The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang.
- Experience ancient Tibetan culture and astounding Tibetan landscapes flanks.
- The oldest monastery in the world.
- The rich culture of Nepalese -Origin of Tibetan lama Buddhism.
Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,428ft)
Day 2: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and trek Preparation
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (827m/2689ft): 5-6 hours
Day 4: Fly to Jomsom (2,700m/8898ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,216ft): 3-4 hours trek
Since there is no direct flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom you are required to travel to Pokhara and the following day fly again to Jomsom. Jomsom is where you would want to start Upper Mustang trek. Today we will walk about 4-5 hours and spend overnight in Kagbeni. Based on history Kagbeni was abandoned by the demon, was the ancient capital of Mustang. Late in the afternoon, we will go for a walk around the abandoned area and visit Buddhist monasteries. Kagbeni is the border that splits between the upper and lower part of the Mustang. Up to Kagbeni, you can visit without a special permit but above then that you have to issue a restricted permit to enter upper parts of the Kagbeni.
Day 5: Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours
The actual upper Mustang hike starts towards the bank of the river of Kaligandaki. Today you will pass by villages Tangbe and Chusang. Made with mud and white painted narrow alleys, you will pass through apple garden and colorful buckwheat field.
Day 6: Chele to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft): 6-7 hours
Day 7: Syanbochen to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft): 5-6 hours
Day 8: Ghami to Tsarang (3,620m/11,873ft): 5-6 hours
Day 9: Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,234ft): 3-4 hours
Day 10: Explore Lo Manthang/ Acclimatization
Day 11: Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar (3810 m/12,500ft): 6-7 hours
Day 11: Drakmar to Ghiling (3,806m/12,484ft): 5-6 hours
Day 13: Ghiling to Chhuksang (3050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours
Day 14: Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,700/8,856ft): 6-7 hours
Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara
Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 17: Final departure