Upper mustang trek is one of the most exotic treks that introduce us to the hidden world of old Buddhist kingdom Mustang also called Lo. In the past this area used to be the part of Tibetan empire, which makes this place much similar to Tibet in both land topography and lifestyle. Tibetan Buddhism is still practiced here in very raw form.
Mustang situated in the rain shadow area of Dhaulagiri takes you in to a desolate landscape which is surrounded by rocks of bizarre formation. The presence of villages with corn fields in this landscape makes this place even more beautiful. The trail winds around the salt caravan route of old days.
The upper Mustang trek takes us to Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is a medieval town surrounded by huge town wall and was attached into Tibet unitil 14th century. The area is restricted and requires special permit. Lo Manthang is a small kingdom which still has a King. The Palace is surrounded by gompas and houses.
Upper Mustang trek gives you once in a lifetime opportunity to experience unique arid Himalayan beauty along with unusual landscape. The landscape here is characterized by windy and arid valleys, eroded canyons and stratified rock formation. As we return we will visit the holy temple of Muktinath which is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhist.
Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival
As soon as you land on the Tribhuwan International Airport our representative will pick you and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Pokhara and prepare for the trek
Early in the morning we will enjoy a short airstrip from Kathmandu to Pokhara through the Himalayas. As soon as we land in Pokhara we will have our lunch. In pokhara we will do some sightseeing and prepare ourselves for the trek.
Day 3: Fly to Jomsom(2720m) and trek to Kagbeni(2810m); 3hours
From Pokhara we will take a 22minutes airstrip between the Himalayas with the astonishing view of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna massif to Jomsom. Jomsom is the administrative hub of Mustang. After having breakfast in Jomsom we will start the trek following Kali Gandaki River to Eklebhatti and then to Kagbeni. Stay overnight in hotel in Kagbeni.
Day 4: Trek to Muktinath(3720m) and return to Kagbeni; 6hour
We will wake up early in the morning and trek to the holy temple of Muktinath which is dedicated to lord Bishnu. In the vicinity of temple there is hot water taps which is said to be holy and wash all the sins you have made in your lifetime. After paying our homage to Muktinath we will retrace our path back to Kagbeni for overnight stay.
Day 5: Trek to Chele(3050m); 6hours
Leaving Kagbeni behind us today we will enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang. Following Kali Gandaki river the trail goes both uphill and downhill to reach the village of Tangbe(3060m). From Tangbe the trail goes downhill through barley, wheat and buckwheat farm to Chhuksang village (2980m). We will continue the walk following Kali Gandaki River to the village of Chele.
Day 6: Trek to Syangboche(3800m); 7hours
From Chele the trail climbs to Eklo Bhatti and then to Taklam La pass(3624m) through flat land which offers the astonishing vista of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. After crossing the pass the trail goes downhill to a small town of Samar. From Samar the trail goes uphill to a stream for another 3hours through the juniper trees to Sangboche.
Day 7: Trek to Ghemi(3520m); 3hours
From Syangboche the trail goes uphill through few tea houses and chortens to Yamda La. Making the way through barley fields the trail climbs to Nyi Pass (13,193ft) and descends to our camping site in Ghemi which is also the third biggest town of the area.
Day 8: Trek to Tsarang(3560m); 3hours
Starting the trek crossing Ghemi Khola the trail takes us to a plateau next to extended Mani wall. From Mani wall the trail climbs to Choya La(3870m) and then to descend to Tsarng which is situated in the amid of corn fields.
Day 9: Trek to Lo Manthang(3800m); 4hours
From Tsarang the trail descends offering majestic vista of Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak and Annapurna I to Tsarang Chu. From here the trail steeply goes uphill through the rocky trail and enters into Tholung valley. Now the trail goes north and gradually climbs uphill to Lo pass (3850m), and then descends down cross a stream and climb to Lo Manthang. Stay overnight in Lo Manthang.
Day 10: Free day in Lo Manthang
We will take a day to explore and get an insight of mystical and isolated Lo Manthang. The places we will be visiting include Namgyal Gompa and Tinagkhar. Namgyal Gompa situated in a hilltop is also called as local court, from here we will trek to Tingkhar which is the last village in the northwest of Lo Manthang. If time permits we too can visit Tall Champa Lakhang also known as “God House”, Thugchen Gompa and Ghyodi Gompa. Stay overnight in Lo Manthang.
Day 11: Trek to Dhakmar(3820m); 6hours
From Lo Manthang the trail climbs up a ridge to 4070m and continues to Chogo La(4325m) which is the highest point of the trek. From here the trail goes downhill and cross Tsarang river and climbs to Lo Geker and reaches to Ghar gompa. We will climb to the ridge and walk along the alpine pastures and walk downhill to Dhakmar.
Day 12: Trek to Ghiling(3570m); 6hours
From Dhakmar the trail goes downhill through the barren landscape accompanied by mesmerizing Himalayan vista of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri to Ghiling.
Day 13: Trek to Samar (3660m); 4hours
From Ghiling we will trek downhill to the village of Samar.
Day 14: Trek to Jomsom(2720m); 3hours
Trek back to Jomsom.
Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu
Early in the morning we will catch a flight back to Pokhara and connect another flight to Kathmandu where the trip comes to an end.
Day 16: Farewell
You will be transferred to Tribhuwan International airport for your onward journey.
Nepal is a developing country, Outside of major cities area electricity on trekking can be scares. You should have to pay 100-800 NRs per hour to charge goods on many lodges and also many tea-house treks, including in Annapurna base camp trek, Everest Base camp trek and many others treks also. Chargers often won't work on low power solar systems you find right up in the mountains so u can buy alternative bayonet light to electricity power plug converter, which will only works in low voltage is highlow. The standard Nepalese electrical outlet is a three-pronged triangle so bring three-pronged triangle chargers.
Nepal is a landlocked country which lies in Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Nepal has monsoonal climate having four main seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter.
Below is a general guide to conditions at different seasons:
January to March (winter): In this season temperature will decrease at often 0°C (32°F) at night, with extreme cold at high elevations. It is possible to trek in places like the Everest region during the winter but due to extreme cold weather and heavy snow fall it may be quite difficult than as usual.
April to June (summer): In these months it is quite warm and dry weather. There is an abundance of blooming flowers in the Himalayas at this time, with rhododendrons, in particular, adding a splash of color to the landscape. This season is the best time to undertake mountain expeditions.
June to September (Monsoon): There will be heavy monsoonal rainfall in this season. Rains are generally lighter in high Himalayan reasons. In this season the mountain ranges are not often visible due to the clouds.
October to December (autumn): These months are cool and clear which is due to the end of monsoon, there is little dust in the air so this is the best season to visit the hilly and mountainous regions.
Visa in Nepal can be acquired on arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu and also at the border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki border of Nepal - India and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visa can also acquire at the nearest Nepal Embassy. For visa renewal purpose you can contact at Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan at Kathmandu. A valid passport and one passport -size photo with a light background is required. Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency: Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen. Credit card, Indian currency and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee.
Visa Facility Duration Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
In Nepal, “Namaste” or “Namaskar” is said to an older or high-status person with palms together, figure up. It is used to greet a person in place of goodbye or hello. There is no limitation how many times you say “Namaste” but, it is better if you say once per person, per day. If You want to say “Thank You” then you can say “Dhanyabaad /'ðɅnjɅbɑ:d/ (Dhan-ya-baad)”
I called Kedar Neupane, director of Actual Adventure, on Dec 22, 2017 telling him I was arriving on Dec 29 and needed permits and arrangements, including flights, for Upper Mustang. To go to Upper Mustang, the government of Nepal requires special permits. Kedar performed a miracle by getting us the permits hours after we arrived on Dec 29. After obtaining our permits, that afternoon, my daughter and I traveled by car and arrived in Pokhara that evening. Lakpa Sherpa, a licensed guide, was assigned to take my 16-year-old daughter and myself to Upper Mustang. The three of us flew to Jomson the next morning, Dec 30. We started walking the moment we arrived, so, from the time we arrived in Nepal at noon on Dec 29, within 20 hours, we were already trekking to Mustang with all proper permits. The guide was excellent in every way, experienced, attentive, professional, having a good sense of humor and being patient. We walked six days to Lo Manthang, via Chussang, Chele, Samar, Syangboche, and Tsarang. From Lo Manthang, we went to the Bon Sacred rock wall. On the way back, Lakpa took us back through different routes - Ghar Gompa (1300 year-old monastery) and via a remarkable canyon to Chussang. The walking was strenuous, and the landscapes were remarkable. The 800 year-old monastery of Tsarang is also worth a visit (180 450-year-old books). My thanks to Actual Adventure, Kedar Neupane and Lakpa Sherpa. There were able to take my very tight time schedule and last-minute request and help me fulfill my dream of taking my daughter to Upper Mustang.
I'm a repeat customer of Actual Adventure. My first trek with them was in Nov 2015 (Annapurna Base Camp), and I just completed a trek in Upper Mustang. I can't wait to come back again, hopefully next year. Actual Adventure offers many trek options, however this is not what sets them apart from other numerous trekking organizers in Kathmandu. Actual Adventure consultants work hard to understand your individual interests and needs to make the trek exceed one's expectations; they are always just one phone call away for questions, changes, inquires and any requests. The pricing that Actual Adventure offers is very competitive, however one feels like they have purchased a luxury tour only due to the attention of the staff and care for the traveler. The guides they use are extremely knowledgeable - I personally observed other trekkers' guides consulting my guide on numerous occasions; so it's not just my biased observation. I'm looking forward to my next trip with them, and can recommend them without any hesitation.
Visited November 2016