Upper Mustang Trekking
Upper Mustang Trekking is an exotic tour and one of the most mysterious and popular trek in Nepal. It has been described as desert in Nepalese Himalayas. ”Mustang’ is a Tibetan derived word meaning fertile plain’ in Nepali. Geographically, It is located in north of Annapurna at an average altitude of 4,000m and culturally the part of Tibetan plateau. The landscape of Mustang is dry, naturally carved sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, these all present naturally a colorful variety made up of red, yellow and brown together. The trekking to Mustang is through an almost treeless landscape and infertile landscape. You experience the strong wind blowing across the area as it is a rain shadow area of Nepal.
The most convenient way to get to upper Mustang is to fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and start the trek from here. The flight is an attraction in itself, flying through the deepest gorge in the world. The Upper Mustang Trekking is a perfect destination for visiting oldest Buddhist monasteries and many historical caves and Himalayas beauty. This semi-autonomous is a heavily Tibetan influenced region. This trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo.The trek to Lo-Manthang (walled capital)is almost through treeless barren landscape ,a steep rocky trial and downhill, panoramic view of Nilgiri,Annapurna,Dhaulagiri and several others peak make your trek memorable. Upper Mustang is also known as “the last forbidden” kingdom of Nepal”. Landscape here is extremely beautiful. Lifestyle of people, who have been residing calmly, even in such harsh environment, has its own charm. Lo-manthang, Choser Cave and Ghar Gompa is the major attraction of upper mustang trekking. Tiji is greatest festival in Mustang region. It will be unique privilege to witness the same color, costume, dancing and rituals that were displayed by these people in this place more than 600 years ago.
Before 1991 upper mustang was a restricted area for foreigners to enter. Nepal department of immigration started a small number of special trekking permits since 1991.Nowadays foreigners are allowed and upper mustang has become the best attraction for tourist around the world. You can do camping trek and tea house trek. Tea house trek is comparatively least costly however; nowadays lodge to lodge stay is also available. So get ready to explore this exotic trekking route with Trekking Planner to make it more convenient and memorable.
1st Day: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m/4430ft )-Hotel (D)
2nd Day: Full day in Kathmandu- Hotel (B/B)
3rd Day: Drive to Pokhara (820m/2690ft) about 7 hrs drive -Hotel (B/B)
4th Day: Fly to Jomsom (2710m/8891ft) about 25min and trek to Kagbeni (2807m/9209ft) 3-4 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
5th Day: Trek to Chussang (2920m/9580ft) 5-6 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
6th Day: Trek to Samar (3290m/10793ft) 5-6 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
7th Day: Trek to Ghiling (3600m/11811ft) 5-6 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
8th Day: Trek to Tsarang (3520m/11549ft) 6-7 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
9th Day: Trek to Lo Manthang (3780m/12402ft) 4-5 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
10th Day: Full day in Local Excursion in Lo Manthang – Lodge (B/L/D)
11th Day: Trek to Ghami (3440m/11286ft) 5-6 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
12th Day: Trek to Samar (3150m/10335ft) 4-5 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
13th Day: Trek to Kagbeni (2807m/9209ft) 4-5 hrs walk- Lodge (B/L/D)
14th Day: Trek to Jomsom(2710m/8891ft) about 4 hrs walk – Lodge (B/L/D)
15th Day: Fly back to Pokhara (820m/2690ft) about 25min- – Hotel (B/B)
16th Day: Drive back to Kathmandu (1350m/4430ft) about 7 hrs drive- Hotel (B/B)
17th Day: Final departure- (B)
B/B = Bed & Breakfast, B = Breakfast, B/L/D = Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
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Before i summarise on the title of this short story,let me first say what a great experience, one in which I shall never forget, thanks mainly to Ganache our guide who made the extra effort to ensure we were well looked after during the daily trek,passing on his knowledge of the surrounding areas and ensuring we were well fed and warm at the lodges. Appreciated the nightly Nepalese game of cards before hitting the sack for some well earned sleep.
Regretfully I became quiet ill with pneumonia and unable to continue. Ganache contacted Dipak the Manager of Trekking Nepal whom quickly arranged for a helicopter and ambulance to meet me at Kathmandu airport. Dipak was waiting at the hospital to ensure all formalities were taken care of and showed genuine concern as to my health, this impressed me and was indeed a reflection of how well the company had during the trek taken care of its clients. Dipak came to see me daily asking if there was anything I needed and whilst there would contact my family on his mobile so I could talk to them. This again a true reflection of there business ethics.
In summary although I got ill, I would have no hesitation to do this trek again knowing that Dipak and Ganache will perform small miracles should they be required.
Thanks Guys!!! (Dhanya badd)
See You Again ( Phen Bhetau Laq)