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Upper Mustang Trekking

Trip Description

Upper Mustang trekking is suitable for any walker looking for something a little more challenging and energetic. It does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience. You need to have a special trekking permit to enter the Mustang area. The permit fee is US $ 700 per person for a period of 10 days. Counting starts from Kagbeni once you enter a restricted area. For any extra days in the restricted area you have to pay US $50 per day. After taking a short flight from Pokhara to Jomsom(25 minutes) Hiking along the Kaligandaki gorge, the deepest in the world, We head for the medieval village of Kagbeni. The trail north of Kagbeni leads to the Mustang trekking. At Kagbeni, there is a police check post where we will show the special permits for Mustang trekking. We also need to show them all the equipment for trekking to Mustang the long-forbidden region of Nepal.

The Mustang trekking is also known as the Upper Mustang trekking, is an exotic tour to unspoiled Tibetan villages on the other side of Nepalese Himalaya bordering with Tibet. The main highlights of Mustang trekking are antique Tibetan villages, rare medieval Buddhist arts, the exotic culture and the unique beauty of the Himalayan desert. The medieval settlement of Upper Mustang and its capital Lo Manthang lies in the remote Himalayan desert behind the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains.

Foreigners were not allowed to enter Upper Mustang before 1992. Geographically, the land is an extension of the Tibetan plateau, characterized by windy and dry valleys, eroded canyons and unique stratified rock formations. The people are most of the Tibetan origin, migrated from Tibet centuries ago, and belong to Bhotias and Loba communities. They practice the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Upper Mustang is perhaps the only place to see Tibetan culture in a completely undisturbed state. The houses and monasteries here have medieval look and unique local architecture. People mostly grow potatoes, buckwheat, and barley. It is a land covering about 2600 sq km in area and now 6,200 people live there. The Tiji festival is the biggest one. This small medieval kingdom in the vast desert is ruled by a local king.

The capital called Lo Manthang, a walled complex with the houses of local nobilities and monasteries will be one of the main attractions of Mustang trekking. Recently in 2007, an international team of explorers has discovered invaluable objects of cultural and historical importance in Upper Mustang caves. In high caves requiring technical climbing, they have discovered beautiful historical objects and Buddhist murals, dating back to, according to them around 800 years ago. The Mustang trekking will reward you with a rare visit to a place perfectly untouched by modernity, preserving its ancient Buddhist culture, traditions and invaluable art objects in the high Himalayan desert. Those having longer holidays can extend their Mustang trekking beyond Lo Manthang and visit these caves and further explore the region visiting many of its ancient monasteries and cultural resources.

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Upper Mustang Trekking Outline Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Arrival
  • DAY 2: Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • DAY 3: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni, 3-4 hrs walking
  • DAY 4: Kagbeni to chele, 5-6 hrs walk
  • DAY 5: Chele to Syanbochen, 6-7 hrs walk
  • DAY 6: Syanbochen to Ghaymi, 5-6 hrs walk
  • DAY 7: Ghaymi to Charang, 4-5 hrs walk
  • DAY 8: Charang to Lo-Mangthang, 5-6 hrs walk
  • DAY 9: Explore the Lo-Mangthang
  • DAY 10: Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gompa, 4-5 hrs walk
  • DAY 11: Ghar Gompa to Ghiling, 5-6 hrs walk
  • DAY 12: Ghiling to Chele, 5-6 hrs walk
  • DAY 13: Chele to Jomsom, 6-7 hrs walk
  • DAY 14: Fly back to Pokhara
  • DAY 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • DAY 16: Sightseeing
  • DAY 17: Departure

What's Included ?

  • All domestic flight, hotel/airport transfer as per itinerary.
  • Twin sharing accommodation in Deluxe Hotel Shanker or similar in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Twin sharing accommodation in 4 star hotel Vaishali or similar with breakfast
  • All ground transportation by private vehicles
  • All accommodations in camping and all 3 times meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) during the treks
  • All Porterages costs of Human carry or Animal carry
  • All cost for a Joyful Trekking leader (First Aid and Eco trained English Speaking) and Sherpa helpers
  • All required major permits
  • All necessary paper works and permits
  • Exclusive Medical Kit Bag
  • Domestic air ticket

What is not included ?

  • Meals whilst in Kathmandu
  • Nepal Travel / medical insurance and emergency evacuation cost.
  • Nepal entry visa fee US$ 30 (duration 60 days from date of issue)
  • You may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport Kathmandu.
  • Personal equipment including sleeping bags.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, alcoholic beverage, donation, etc
  • Tips for guide, porter, and driver.

Upper Mustang Trekking Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival

Your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) and you will be meet our airport representative then transfer to the hotel. We will discuss the trekking plan and last-minute arrangements.

DAY 2: Kathmandu to Pokhara

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (910m) by tourist bus. Driving to Pokhara 7hours, overnight at hotel in Pokhara.

DAY 3: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni, 3-4 hrs walking

After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom, a super scenic flight of 20 minutes brings you to 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, From Jomsom trek continues on the gradual path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hrs and finally reaching at Ekley-Bhatti village. After a good stop here an hour of easy walk reaches you to Kagbeni (2,800m), which lies at the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni, an interesting windswept village situated on the main age old Trans Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. On arrival, check-in the hotel with afternoon free for a stroll around the village. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 4: Kagbeni to chele, 5-6 hrs walk

Our journey starts with a special permit check up and onwards to the riverbank of Kaligandaki upstream. During the walk, we have a scenic picturesque place to stop through the sandy and windy trails. This trail follows the up and downhill. Firstly we will reach Tangbe village with the crops field. From here we trek forward to Chhusang after ½ hour walk and 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 (3050m) after 18 kilometers for overnight at teahouse. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 5: Chele to Syanbochen, 6-7 hrs walk

Today, we start our trek again and walk further to Eklo Bhatti. We will climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, Nilgiri, and Damodar Danda. Further descends a little to the village of Samar for our lunch. Further walk around 3 hrs similar walk will reach you at Syanbochen (3,475m) after 8 kilometers for the overnight at teahouse. Remaining time explore the surrounding area.

DAY 6: Syanbochen to Ghaymi, 5-6 hrs walk

After breakfast, we trek uphill to the Yamda La (3,850m) passing few teahouses, chortens and local villages which is like Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda and crosses over a few other passes. The longer climb will be to Nyi Pass (4,010m/ after lunch, we descend to our overnight stop at Ghaymi (3520m) after 12 kilometers walk. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 7: Ghaymi to Charang, 4-5 hrs walk

We start your trek after breakfast with a pleasant walk and easily get to the Charang (3500m) for the overnight. After crossing Ghaymi Khola, the trail climbs to a plateau and passes beside a very long Mani wall (Secret stone wall of the Buddhism). From the end of the wall, the trail heads east to Tsarang after 11 kilometers up and down to get to our teahouse for tonight stop.

DAY 8: Charang to Lo-Mangthang, 5-6 hrs walk

Today, we trek to Lo-Mangthang with a magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Tsarang 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 (3,700m). While descending to Lo-Mangthang, views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. We stay at the hotel for the overnight stop. The rest of the time explores the surrounding area. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 9: Explore the Lo-Mangthang

Today you may have many choices to explore the surrounding areas. Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa situates on a hilltop, which serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, which is a village of around 42 houses, the last main village to the northwest of Lo-Mangthang and stroll back to the hotel. Or you may have another option to visit the Tall Champa Lakhang “God house” the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, and the Entrance Hal which are the main attraction of this town. Another attraction is the four-story building of the Raja’s palace as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya. The interesting place where you may not tired to explore more and more. There are many places to explore and manage your time to explore the places. Every monastery requires the donations and entry fees which is made on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 10: Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gompa, 4-5 hrs walk

After a wonderful time at Lo-Mangthang, we back to Ghar Gompa which is also interesting place to explore the local area takes 4-5 hrs. During the walk you will suffer the dusty wind and as suggested to walk in the morning. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 11: Ghar Gompa to Ghiling, 5-6 hrs walk

Today, we will back to Ghiling (3,806m) as our journey for our overnight stay after a long walk takes 5-6 hrs. After arrival and lunch enjoy the day explore the area but it will be dusty better to walk in the evening time. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 12: Ghiling to Chele, 5-6 hrs walk

We re-track back to Chele (3050m) 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 camp. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 13: Chele to Jomsom, 6-7 hrs walk

Today, we will have the last day trek as well as long. It is better to walk early start as before and trek to Kagbeni finished the upper Mustang trails and join the normal as Annapurna circuit trek. After lunch at Kagbeni will head on to Jomsom (2,700m) for the overnight stop. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 14: Fly back to Pokhara

This wonderful morning, after breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. This is a dramatic flight between the gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara airport guide will transfer to the lakeside hotel. The rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast included)

DAY 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu

In the morning we will drive back through the scenic countryside and en route will stop for breakfast & lunch. It takes 7 hours back to Kathmandu. On arrival at Kathmandu guide will transfer to the hotel and rest of the day relax or explore the surrounding areas and overnight at the hotel and you own or further references you extending holiday as per your time and interest.

DAY 16: Sightseeing

Full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley (Pashupatinath Temple, Patan, Swayambhu, and Kathmandu durbar square). Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.

DAY 17: Departure

Transfer to international airport for your final flight departure.

We have prepared the trip departure dates in small groups departure for group fun and enjoyment trekking. Our group size start from 2 peoples (Even for solo travelers, we organize single trip on supplement cost of US$- 200 additional) and maximum group size will be 8-10 travelers. But in general, our every date will have small groups of 4- 6 peoples, which is good group size for safe and flexible & comfortable trekking. We have listed our group departure dates based on every season as below.

Start Date Availability Trip Cost Booking
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Trip At Glance

Activities Trekking and Sight Seeing
Destination Nepal
Difficulty Moderate
Transport Flight/Private vehicle or tourist bus
Group Size 2+
Best Season Spring (April and May), Summer (June, July and August) and Autumn (September, October and November)
Trip Start Kathmandu
Trip End Kathmandu

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