Mustang region is beautiful rain shadow of Nepal Himalayas and the upper part resembles the Tibetan plateau. Lo Manthang – the capital city of the Upper Mustang Kingdom which came under the central government after 2008 – is the final destination of trek that is bordered in the Tibetan region. Lo Manthang is a fantastic square-walled town sitting on the ‘Plain of Prayers’.
The residents of Upper Mustang closely follow the Tibetan Buddhism. And, the lower Mustang known as Thak valley inhabits by the Thakali people who follow the mixed religion of Buddhism and Hinduism.
This mystic and majestic kingdom of Upper Mustang was closed to westerners until 1992. This independent kingdom situated in strategic location in between China and India dominated the trade for the long time. The region is known for enchanting land of windswept vistas, red-walled monasteries, and feudal towns.
Local legend tells the tale of the great founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava, who before building Samye (the oldest monastery in Tibet) came to Mustang to stand guard against and battled with the evil powers out to destroy Buddhism. The temple of Lo Gekhar in eastern Mustang was believed to be built by Padmasambhava after his triumphant battle and still stands guard today.
Arrival in Kathmandu. Meet with our friendly representative at the arrival terminal of only International airport. And, then you will be transferred to your hotel. You check-in at your Hotel and then after short rest you can go to explore market area of Thamel – where you can eat your supper, change money, buy some stuffs from supermarket, or buy trekking gears – if you need to do. Later we take you to our office for the trip briefing. Overnight at your hotel. Delay of any kind will postpone the events for next day according to feasibility.
Pokhara – the beautiful lake city of Nepal nestled in the lap of the majestic Annapurna – is located 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Early morning you embark for long yet scenic and adventurous drive to Pokhara. As you drive out of the Kathmandu valley the road descend to the Trishuli River valley on the other part. The Highway is narrow in breadth, and snake bend in shape thus make the drive thrilling. After scenic and adventurous drive, arrive at the hotel and rest the remaining evening. You can utilize your rest time exploring around the lakeside or shop around. Overnight in a hotel.
You take the early morning flight which again will give close-up views of the Annapurna range, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri. Twenty to twenty-five minutes flight in a small aircraft land at Jomsom airstrip beautifully located in the bank of river Kaligandaki. You will then enjoy the breakfast in one of the restaurant/hotel if you have not in Pokhara (based on the flight timing in the morning). After breakfast and short rest walk along the bank of the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni. The trail is mostly in the river bed thus sandy and with pebbles. It is not that difficult part of the trek, but wind sometime makes your walk almost impossible. This very easy and enjoyable start is at the same time picturesque with rewarding views of tall mountain peaks including Dhaulagiri (8167m/ 26,794ft), Tukuche (6920m/ 22,703ft) and in the west the awesome mountain above Kagbeni – Nilgiri (6940m/ 22,769ft). Upon reaching Kagbeni check in to your hotel, enjoy the lunch. And in the evening walk around the town which is mystic and mysterious. You can explore the Red Gompa (Monastery). At the 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. Overnight at local lodge.
After breakfast enter this beautiful region of Upper Mustang. The landscape is barren, dry and complete rain shadow. The Kali Gandaki river flowing from the Upper Mustang offers scenic view. You walk right above to the river valley and sometime walk in the river bed. The trail widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand and the trek is yet interesting or even challenging sometimes by the passing of mule carrying goods. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang – the monastery belongs to Nyingmapa sect, the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhis, whereas other monasteries in Upper Mustang belongs to the Sakyapa sect. You stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you come across the typical Chorterns of Upper Mustang – black, white and red Chortens. This little town is delicates with narrow alleys through whitewashed houses, fields of buckwheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chusang village is beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and Kali Gandaki. After crossing the Kali Gandaki River now you leave the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky valley to the village of Chele where you spend your night here. Overnight at the mountain lodge.
From Chele after breakfast you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar. You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley. 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. Overnight local lodge.
The trail climbs gently from Shyangbochen 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. Trek to Ghami via Ghami La (3,520m/11548ft). The trail continues to offer many uphill climbs and descend to the river bed or valley and passes various small settlements of similar landscape, architecture, and styles. You cross another pass namely Nyi La (3,840 m/12598ft). The descend from the pass is quite gentle and after half an hour further you reach to a junction in which the right trail leads direct to Charang and the left leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village in Mustang. Overnight local lodge.
After breakfast start your walk to the most probably the driest part of Mustang. The trail is full of loose, dry soil/sands and scree which will take your energy and struggle. However the beautiful landscape and the view of the mountains in each directions inspire and encourage you to continue. It is comparatively short day of walk and you reach Charang – a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon – after some four hours of walk. At the eastern end of the village lies a huge dzong (fortress) and a red Gompa (monastery) which houses an excellent collection of statues and Thangka paintings. Overnight local lodge.
In the morning prior to breakfast, we explore the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery. After breakfast start the trek to Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a largely isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get the first sight of magnificently walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the northeast corner to enter the town. Overnight local lodge.
Today is comparatively long day with the High Himalayan pass at 4300m/14107ft altitude. As soon as you leave Lo Manthang you climb to Marang-la (4,300m/14107ft). You continue with your walk on the highland route fairly flat and fair climb to Ghar Gompa – pure virtue of Lo and the practicing Nyingma Sect along with scripture of Padmasambhava. You will spend some time exploring this beautiful monastery and then climb steep down to Dhakmar. Overnight at local lodge.
After breakfast, walk through the pretty beautiful valley. Continue to climb to a ridge and descend to Ghami. From Ghami you arrive wider and gentle path with some ascends and descends to huge town of Gelling. Gelling has beautiful barley field. 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. Explore the rich culture of the village with historic monastery. Overnight at local lodge.
After breakfast walk in the terrain multiple of ascends and descends to reach Chele. Now you are walking more downhill than uphill to return back. Overnight local lodge.
Return same way as you walk on the way up. The trail is descending continuously in altitude but you may ascend multiple of places. Overnight local lodge.
Enjoy the mystic view of the Himalayan peaks – Nilgiri particularly dominates the front view. After breakfast walk along the wide sandy and windy valley of Kali Gandaki river bed. Arrive Jomsom and enjoy the rest of the day relaxing. Overnight local lodge.
Early morning fly back to Pokhara from Jomsom. Due to the wind in the later afternoon even from the last hour of the morning, all the flights from and to Jomsom operated in the early morning. The flight is majestic with the view of Annapurna I and other Annapurna massif and Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche Peak and others. Arrive Pokhara, spend some time at your hotel to refresh and you can explore the lake city around Phewa Lake. Boating in the lake is splendid with the view of the Himalayan peaks reflected in the water. You can enjoy the tranquility of Pokhara. Other places you can explore in Pokhara is beautiful Mountain Musuem, Devi’s Fall, Peace Stupa, and Gupteshwar Cave. Overnight in a hotel.
Drive back to Kathmandu. You are driving the same highway as you enter to Pokhara and the Mustang region. Alternatively you can talk with us if you want to fly one way back which is highly recommended. Arrive Kathmandu and Overnight in a hotel.
This list outlines the required things to bring during the trekking tours. There are various selections and brands that you can choose as per your interest. All required trekking equipments can be bought or even hired easily at a reasonable price in Kathmandu.
Upper Body - Head / Ears / Eyes
Lower Body – Legs
Medicines and First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
All garments should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.
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