Upper Mustang/ 16 days, 4170m
The landscape of Mustang is a barren moonscape of eroded sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, which together present a colorful mosaic made up principally of earthen reds, yellows and brown. Being in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, Mustang has much less rain then the rest of Nepal. 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 region was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announced the opening of the restricted areas in October 1991. 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.
To get to Mustang we have to fly (25 minutes) to Jomsom where the trek starts. From here we walk 3 hrs to Kagbeni – the entry point of upper Mustang Region. Then we just follow the banks of Kali Gandaki River upstream to get to Lo-Manthang, the capital of the upper Mustang.
- Duration: 16 Days (including 12 days of trekking)
- Type of Trek: Teahouse
- Max Altitude: 4170m
- Minimum Pax: 2 +
- Mode of travel: Airplane (local airlines)
- Grade: Medium
- Best time to go: April-May, August-October
- Price: around 2000 USD* per person + international flight ticket + insurance cost
Proposal of the itnerary:
(B, L, D – breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Day 01 – Arrival in Kathmandu airport, where after getting their luggage the tourists should look for our representative with the Exploring Nepal Treks & Adventures display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel. After check in, you can either take a rest, hang around in the city or it all depends upon your interests and conditions.
- Day 02 – We drive 6-7 hrs by tourist bus to Pokhara (or depending on your budget by 25 minutes flight) where you will be taken to a hotel (for overnight stay). Pokhara is city of lakes. We can explore the most accessible and beautiful Fewa Lake during the afternoon – enjoy boating too. We recommend to relax and dine by tranquil Lake Fewa. (B)
- Day 03 – Flight to Jomsom (2720m) which is a major village on the Kali Gandaki area linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. After three hours walk from Jomsom slowly we will reach to Kagbeni the altitude of which is 2810m. In Kagbeni a major tributary Kak Khola, coming from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki. We make overnight stay in a teahouse. (B, L, D)
- Day 04 – Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3050m) for five-six hours. Our journey starts with a special permit check up and onwards to the riverbank of Kali Gandaki up stream. This trails follows the up and downhill. First we reach Tangbe village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. After this village we will reach to Chhusang (2980m). After crossing the river and a rock tunnel finally we will reach to Chele village and make an overnight stay in a teahouse. (B, L, D)
- Day 05 – Trek from Chele to Syangboche (3800m) for six-seven hours. We walk further to Samar gradually uphill (3660m) which can be our lunch camp. Next 3 hrs similar walk takes us to Syangboche – to stay overnight. On the way we relax along the surrounding of cool streams and juniper trees. We also pass a cave known as Ramchung Cave. (B, L, D)
- Day 06 – Trek from Syangboche to Ghemi (3520m) for four – five hours, passing the Tamagaon valley, Chhunggar valley, Jhaite valley with few teahouses on the way. After Jhaite we have to climb up to Nyi La Pass (4010m) and then we reach our overnight stop in Ghemi – the third largest village in the Mustang region. Ghemi is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren. (B, L, D)
- Day 07 – Trek from Ghemi to Charang (3560m) for four to five hrs. We start after breakfast with a pleasant walk. After crossing Ghemi 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. Here you can visit Gelup Sect 400 yrs old Gumba. In a teahouse here we make tonight stop. (B, L, D)
- Day 08 – Trek from Charang to Lo-Manthang (3810m) for five hrs. We start after the breakfast with a magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti Peak. We continue leaving some ridge behind and cross small stream before we finally reach a pass from where we can see great view of Lo-Manthang. Descending further and crossing yet another stream, we climb up into the plateau of Lo-Manthang which is the capital of Upper Mustang. We make a night in a teahouse. (B, L, D)
- Day 09 – Excursions around Lo-Manthang with horse. Near there are many historical place to see like Namagyal Gumba (3910m), Thinggar (4025m) and Gharphu Gumba (3900m). To see them all it’s take around four – five hrs by horse. We can also walk which takes long time. (B, L, D)
- Day 10 – Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghemi. This trek will continue for six – seven hrs. This day trial will be not the same as before – we will walk using different trail which is all the way to Dhakmar (3820m). Next we climb gradually uphill to Mui La Pass (4170m), after which we reach Ghar Gumba. Next slowly down hill we go to the Dhakmar from where our next stop is Ghemi. We make overnight stay in teahouse here. (B, L, D)
- Day 11 – Trek from Ghemi to Samar for six -seven hrs. Overnigt stay we make in Samar this day. (B, L, D)
- Day 12 – Trek from Samar to Chhusang which lasts for five -six hrs. This trail is all the way down to the Kali Gandaki river. After crossing river through rock tunnel we walk by riverbanks to Chhusang where we make an overnight stay in a teahouse. (B, L, D)
- Day 13 – Trek from Chhusang to Jomsom for five-six hrs. The trail is already known and easy. (B, L, D)
- Day 14 – Early in the morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (30 min.). Night in a hotel. (B)
- Day 15 – Drive from Pokhara by tourist bus or by flight back to Kathmandu/hotel. (B)
- Day 16 – Transfer to airport, flight back home. (B)
The program is flexible and it could be shorter (14 days).
*The final price is calculated after the number of participants is confirmed – in bigger groups the price goes down.