Upper Mustang trek which offers a spectacular trekking into the remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area with Tibetan influence culture. The high desert region of the Tibetan influence, Kaligandaki, from the Tibetan border south to Kagbeni is generally referred to as Upper Mustang. Explore the thousand years of old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. Make an adventure starting from world’s deepest gorge Kaligandaki Region into world’s highest regions of Lo-Mangthang Valley that passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and down hill and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek passes through high peaks, passes, glaciers, and alpine valleys. The thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage remain unchanged for centuries and to this date. The houses in Mustang are mostly made from stone and sun baked mud bricks. The city wall and the four storey palace in Lo-Manthang are some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang region. Another attraction in the Mustang region is the Tiji Festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring)..
The Transhimalayan Mustang Region is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, since the region was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announced the opening of the restricted areas in October 1991. The Mustangis or the people of Mustang call themselves Lobas, and they have their own King or Tribe-leader, Jigme Palbar Bista. After Nepal was declared a republic in 2007, the Nepal Government took back the official recognition of the Bista as the Mustangi King. However, the people there still respect him as their King or tribe-leader. Bista also grants audience the visitor upon request. There is also strict control in obtaining a special permit from the department of immigration to protect their tradition from outside influence as well as to protect their environment. The Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang Region. Follow the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream to get to Lo-Mangthang, the capital of the upper Mustang.
Itinerary for Upper Mustang Trek
DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu [1400 m / 4264 ft]
Arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative from Kumar Adventure . After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Kumar Adventure display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to your hotel which you had order already or a similar category hotel on BB
DAY 02: Sightseeing around Kathmandu World Heritage Sites
After pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Kumar Adventure briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventurewe then start a Culture tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks include the World Heritage Sites: the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world.
DAY 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara [823m/2,700ft]: 25 minute of flight
Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, five peaks of Annapurna and others. Pokhara is city of lakes and has numerous beautiful lakes. We can explore the most accessible and beautiful, Fewa Lake during the afternoon -enjoy boating too. Explore, relax and dine by tranquil Lake Fewa. You can even do some shopping during evening hours. Overnight in Pokharaon BB.
DAY 04: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,858m/9,375ft]: 3-4 hrs
After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom, a super scenic flight of 20-25 minutes over the mountains with views of 8,000ers such as Annapurna & Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. This is a large town, headquarter of the Mustang region; it is also a major village on the Kaligandaki area linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards it is very windy in the afternoon, Continue on the gradual path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hrs and finally reaching at Ekley-bhatti village. After good stop here an hour of easy walk takes us to Kagbeni, which lies at the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni is an interesting windswept villages situated on the main age old Trans-himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a major tributory, Kak Khola, coming from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 05: Kagbeni to chele [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
Our journey starts with a special permit check up and onwards to the riverbank of Kaligandaki up stream. During the walk we have scenic picturesque place to stop through the sandy and windy trails. This trails follows the up and downhill. Firstly we reach Tangbe village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. From there we trek forward to Chhusang and after crossing the river head up to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki follows. We head on to small ridges reach at Chele village. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 06: Chele to Syanbochen [3475m/11,398ft]: 6-7 hrs
Today, we start our trek again and walk further to Eklo Bhatti. We climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Further descend a little to the village of Samar. Climb the trail that goes above Samar village to the ridge then descending steeply to a stream. Another 3 hrs similar walk takes us to Syanbochen. On the way, we relax along the surrounding of cool streams and juniper trees. Locals use the dried leaves of junipers as incenses to invite deities and start any auspicious work. We also pass by a cave famously known as Ramchung Cave. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 07: Syanbochen to Ghaymi [3520m/11,546ft]: 5-6 hrs
After breakfast we trek uphill to the Yamda La (3,850m /12,667ft) passing a few teahouses, chortens and local villages which is like Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda. We cross mountain passes, and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley. The climb to Nyi Pass (4,010m/13,193ft) would be a little longer. Descend to our overnight stop at Ghaymi. the third largest village in the Lo region, Ghayami is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 08: Ghaymi to Charang [3500m/11,480ft]: 4-5 hrs
Start the trek after breakfast with a pleasant walk. After crossing Ghaymi Khola, the trail climbs to a plateau and passes beside a very long Mani wall, a sacred stone wall made by the followers Buddhism. From the end of the wall the trail heads east to the village of Charang with a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Tsarang Chu canyon. There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa to get to our teahouse for tonight’s stop. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 09: Charang to Lo-Mangthang (3700m/12,136ft): 5-6 hrs
Today, we trek to Lo-Mangthang with a magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Charang Chu Canyon and then climbs steeply after crossing the river. Further the trail ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the Lo-Mangthang Valley. While descending to Lo-Mangthang, views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. We stay at hotel for the overnight stop. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.)
DAY 10: Sightseeing around Lo-Mangthang
Today we explore the surrounding areas. Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa situated on a hilltop serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, the last main village to the northwest of Lo-Mangthang and stroll back to hotel. Or you may have another option to visit the Tall Champa Lakhang “God house” the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall which are the main attraction of this town. Another attraction is the four- storey building of the Raja’s palace as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 11: Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar [3810 m/12,500ft]: 6-7 hrs
While returning from Lo-Mangthan, we take a different route than that we came by. Trek to Drakmar via Gyakar with more than 1200 years old Ghar Gompa with Guru Rinpoche as the primary figure. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes one wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is fulfilled. explore the local area. Likelihood of dusty wind, so suggested to walk in the morning. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 12: Dhakmar to Ghiling [3806m/12,484ft]: 5-6 hrs
Today, we get back to Ghiling as our journey for our overnight stay after a long walk takes 5-6 hrs. After arrival and lunch enjoy the day exploring the area, but it will be dusty wind in the afternoon, better to walk in evening time. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 13: Ghiling to Chhuksang [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
We re-track back to Ghiling for the overnight stop after 5 hrs walk. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view. Enjoy your trip and overnight at teahouse. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 14: Chhuksang to Jomsom [2700/8,856ft]: 6-7 hrs
Our last day of the day would be a long one. Better to walk early start as before and trek to Kagbeni. Finishing the upper Mustang trails and we join the normal Annapurna circuit trek. After lunch at Kagbeni will head on to Jomsom for the overnight stop. Overnight in Local Guast house on B.L.D.
DAY 15: Fly back to Pokhara
after morning breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. A 20-25 min dramatic flight to Pokhara between gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara will transfer to the hotel. Rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at hotel on BB.
DAY 16: Fly back from Pokhara to Kathmandu
After breakfast, we start 25-30 min flight to Kathmandu. Better to hold on the left side seat to enjoy the sceneries through the route. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Kathmandu on BB
DAY 17: Departure
you are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We hope you enjoyed the tour with us, and are sure you`ll be back in your trip somewhere in the Himalaya again. Approximately 2.5 hour before your scheduled flight a representative from Kumar Adventure will transfer you to the airport. On your way home you’ll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Included in the Cost
- All airport transfers before & after the trek.
- Three-nights hotel (3 star level) in Kathmandu (twin sharing B & B only)
- Two-nights hotel (3 star) in Pokhara (twin sharing on B & B only)
- Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu with a tour guide all world heritage site & entrance fees.
- All accommodation and meals during the trek
- Airfare from Kathmandu to Pokhara
- Airfare from Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara
- English-speaking trekking guide, Sherpa & porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight/Transportation, food and lodging
- All necessary paper work as per rules Government of Nepal
- Upper Mustang Special permit fees (US$ 500 for 10 Days)
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) entry permit fees
- Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)
- All government taxes & Office service charges.
Not Included in the Cost
- Nepal Visa fee http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa
- Excess baggage charges
- Extra night/Single supplement accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, Early return from trekking (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara (and also in the case of early return from trekking than the scheduled itinerary)
- International airfare
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
- Tips for guides, Sherpa and porters
Upper Mustang trekking requires in average 5-6 hours of walking everyday. You should be prepared with about 12 Km of walking or jugging exercise everyday 2-3 months before your Upper Mustang Trek starts because you are walking on high altitude. And also you must need a positive attitude and a strong determination; previous hiking/camping experience preferred but not mandatory and no technical experience is required for this trek.
From April to November are favorable months to trek to Upper Mustang. Upper Mustang is a rain Shadow area, thus, we can do trekking in this part of Nepal even in the monsoon season (mid June-mid Sept), while during monsoon, trekking in popular trails of Everest and Annapurna is not recommended.
Upper Mustang Trek itinerary is planned with high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill. The higher the altitude the less oxygen there is in the air. While crossing some small passes are not that challenging and Upper Mustang trek doesn’t require special acclimatization days but slow and gradual ascent is necessary for gradual acclimatization process in the think air environment. Thus the itinerary is planned sensibly allowing sufficient time for gradual acclimatization. We advise specially the guest(s) with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Kumar Adventure. Please note that your Guide has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The Guide will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
What you need on trekking (Check list)
Nepal is a mountainous tropical country, which means there are climate extremes. Night and day temperature differences can vary between -10°C on the high treks and 30°C on the lower ones (14°F to 86°F), so you need to bring a variety of clothes. The key to staying comfortable on a trek is layering.
Suggested items to bring …………..
- Boots: the single most important item to pack, are comfortable, sturdy hiking boots which gives a good support to your ankles. Preferable are the higher models with a good profile sole.
- Shoe wax or rainproof spray for shoes
- Gaiters (recommended on tours above 3500 meter)
- Sleeping bag: needed for both camping and teahouse treks as teahouses usually only provide blankets (easy to rent/buy in Nepal)
- Backpack: 60-70 liters with good waist and chest belt for the assistant guide* to carry your belongings
- Hiking sticks (easy to rent/buy in Nepal)
- Lightweight shoes or sandals for changing into at night
- Socks: 3-4 pairs outer socks, 1-2 pair liner socks and 1 pair for night time (depending on trek and season)
- Loose cotton trousers
- T-shirts, long sleeved shirts
- Cozy shirt for the evenings
- Thermal underclothes are a necessity
- Warm lightweight sweater or fleece
- Hat (sun and night), gloves or mittens, scarf
- Lightweight wind jacket (+trousers if tour is above 4000 meters)
- Rain gear: a simple plastic poncho is adequate to protect you from some rainfall
- Rain cover for your backpack and day backpack
- Down jacket: depending on trek and season (easy to rent/buy in Nepal)
- Day pack with good waist and chest belt
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and chap stick
- Quick dry towel
- Flash light for midnight toilet trips and power cuts, spare batteries**
- Moisture cream for your skin and lips (we recommend factor 30-40)
- Water bottle with carry strap
- Water purification: filter or iodine
- First aid kit and medicines
- Camera, spare batteries**, film if needed
- 2 passport photos for ACAP & trekking permit