Upper Mustang Trek
- Trip Code: N-OBT-154
- Destination: Nepal
- Season: From April to early November
- Max Altitude: 4325 meters/ 14190 feet
- Trip Starts/Ends: Kathmandu/Kathmandu
- Transportation: Private Car/Tourist Coach/Flight
- Accomodation: Standard hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara & Tea-house in Trekking
- Trip Grade: Moderate
Upper Mustang Trek is a journey to the former Himalayan Kingdom which is also entitled to the Last Forbidden Kingdom. The Upper Mustang region lies in the northwestern part of Nepal and at the top of the Kali Gandaki River. For centuries this is most mysterious and least known territory of Nepal.
The landscape of Upper Mustang is similar to the Tibetan Plateau with its endless expanses of yellow and gray rolling hills eroded by the wind. The trekking to Upper Mustang is through a virtually treeless and barren landscape with a rocky trail up and down the hill passing through high peaks, passes, glaciers and alpine valleys which give very different and unique experience to everyone.
Thus, Tilman, a renowned explorer, described this region as “fascinatingly ugly country, the more fascinating for being so little known.”
Here the culture, lifestyle, and heritage remain unchanged for centuries to this date. The interesting thing is although Upper Mustang is part of Nepal it had retained his own King (Raja) in the name of Mustangi Raja until Nepal was declared a republic in 2008. He had a certain amount of autonomy and he was given the honorary rank of colonel in the Nepal Army.
The name of the last king of Lo Manthang is Jigme Palbar Bista. Until his demise in 2016 the people had a great respect and honor for him. The king also used to grant audience the visitors upon request.
His palace of four stories building in the center of Lo Manthang is one of the major attractions of all visitors. Additionally, as this area laying in the Himalaya’s rain shadow, it has much less rain than the rest of Nepal. During Monsoon the skies are cloudy but very little rainfall there. So Upper Mustang trekking can also be evenly enjoyed in Monsoon time as well.
Moreover, Upper Mustang trek is also so-called Lo Manthang Trekking since the ultimate destination of this trekking is to visit Lo Manthang, the capital city of Mustang Kingdom.
About Trip Date of Upper Mustang Trek
The best time of Mustang trekking is from April to early November. This trekking can also be done during monsoon time (from June to August) since this is rain shadow region. In Mustang region relatively the rain falls little in monsoon time. The average annual temperature of Upper Mustang is 5.1 °C. Precipitation here averages 379 mm.
The trip date of Upper Mustang or Lo Manthang Trekking will be on any date which you prefer. We organize this trekking as your private trip.
About Optional Activities for Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang Trekking is an outstanding trekking holiday in Mustang region of Nepal. You can make it further exciting by joining in extra activities/ side trips. As the interest of people is different from each other, we have put these extra activities as optional tours. They are not included in your package cost of Mustang Trek. On your request, we offer you. The list of optional activities is displayed in right column.
For any further information and queries about Mustang Trekking, please feel free to contact us.
Our tour officer will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu. He/She will be displaying play card with your name written in it outside the airport terminal. He will meet, greet and welcome you with auspicious garland and escort you to your respective hotel by our private tourist vehicle. At the hotel, he will assist you to check in and do a pre-trip meeting with you. You will be briefed about your overall program, introduced your guide and clear your questions/queries if any. During the meeting please clear the due balance and handover a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. Overnight at hotel.
Our trekking guide will pick you up at the hotel at 6:15 am and escort you to the bus station. The bus to Pokhara leaves at around 7:00 am. This is 7 hrs scenic drive through mountain terrain. On the way, the bus stops for half an hour for lunch. Then drive continues till you reach Pokhara. Pokhara is a beautiful valley and gateway to Annapurna Trekking. Overnight at hotel.
Have an early breakfast at the hotel. Then you will be transferred to the Pokhara airport to fly to Jomsom. Flight to Jomsom is 30 minutes scenic flight over the mountains with a view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range. After landing Jomsom you will start trekking to Kagbeni following the Kali Gandaki River. From the trail, you will see Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Thorang peak and much more in the backdrop. You will have a short stop at Ekley Bhantti village. Then continue your trekking to Kagbeni. After 3 hours of walking, you will reach to Kagbeni, a beautiful village at the bank of two rivers Kak Khola and Mustang Khola. These two rivers adjoin here and become Kali Gandaki river. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
From today you enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang. You need to show your special permit at the police check post in Kagbeni. Then you set off for Chele. The trail makes several ups and downs to arrive at Tangbe, the village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses. Walking further and descending you will reach to Chhuksang village (2980m) where you will see much beautiful white washed houses and agriculture fields. From Chhuksang you follow ups and downs along the Kali Gandaki river getting to Chele village. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
The day starts with walking upward to Chele La (3630m/ 11909ft) pass. After crossing the ridge from Chele the trail enters a large side valley and makes a long gradual descent to Samar, the major stopping place for horse caravans with many horse stables. From Samar, you will have panoramic views of Mt. Nil Giri and Annapurna range. Then the trail goes slope down to Jhuwa Khola and the gradual upward to Bhena La (3830m/ 12566ft). From here you move downwards to Syangmochen. Then you further climb to Shyangmochen La (3850m) where the route enters another huge valley. After that, the trail descends passing through a large painted chorten and arrives at the picturesque village Ghiling. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
Today the trail turns westward and climbs gently through the fields passing below Tama Gaon. Then it turns north and arrives at Nyi La (4020m/ 13189ft) pass. Then it drops steeply to Ghemi, a large village surrounded by extensive fields. In Ghemi there are gompa, nunnery and a couple of guesthouses. After that, the trail descends to the river and goes step up for around an hour alongside the longest mani wall in Nepal and the following the easy wide road you get to Tsarang village. In this village, you may visit old gompa and experience Buddhist culture. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
Today you trek to Lo Manthang. The trail first descends about 125 m then it crosses Tsarang Chu and follows the steep rocky trail and enters the Tholung valley. After that, the trail turns north and climbs gently to a largely isolated chorten, then crosses a stream and reaches the Lola (3950m) where you will see the view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. Descending for some time the trail crosses a stream and climbs up to Lo Manthang. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
Today you walk in this mystical and most isolated city. You will awake by the mystical sounds of Buddhist monks chanting. After breakfast, you will visit four major temples within the city wall. Champa Lhakhang, the three storey temple built in 1447 AD, locally means the house of the gods; Thubchen Gompa, the red 15th century temple consists of a massive assembly hall supported by 35 huge wooden columns; Chode Gompa, the temple founded in 1710 has painting of the fearsome protective deity Mahakala and dozens of beautifully crafted bronze, brass and copper statues; Choprang Gompa, new gompa which is used by student monks for prayers every morning and evening. Inside this gompa are pictures of His Holiness Sakya Trichhen Rinpoche and heads of two secondary Sakya lineages. The masks used in the annual Tiji festival are stored here. After visiting the temples you will take a walk to visit the ACAP office and to Tarchun Gurung’s shop where you can climb up to the roof for a view of the town, and buy a memento to take away with you. Again you will visit the King’s palace which is an imposing four-storey building in the center of the city. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
Above Lo Manthang there are two valleys. The western valley is called Tingkhar. This is the site of King’s summer palace, Phuwa Gompa, and Namgyal Gompa. In the valley east of Lo Manthang is Chosar, the site of Garphu and Nyphu gompas and some fascinating cave dwelling structure. You are recommended visit one of this valley as you need to back Lo Manthang for night halt. For visiting around Lo Manthang you can hire horses with a saddle covered with a colorful Tibetan Carpet. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
Today you trek back from Lo Manthang. The trail climbs steadily offering a last glimpse of Lo Manthang. It continues climbing to the Chogo La (4325m/14190ft), the highest point on the trek. Then the trail makes a short, steep descent and crosses the Chharang River, then climbs to Lo Geker and reaches to Ghar gompa a small monastery. Climbing to the ridge, crossing a valley along some alpine meadows, and then dropping down a steep eroded path you will reach Drakmar. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
The trail descends alongside stream passing the stone walls and fields of Drakmar village. Then it climbs to a ridge and descends to the lower part of Ghemi and further descending you will reach to the place namely Jaite and descend again gently to Chhung-Kah. The trail then reaches to Tama Gaon (3710m) and continues descending to Shyangmochen. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
From Shyangmochen the trail follows previous the upward trail through Yamdo and Bhena then Samar village. It descends through Chele to the Kali Gandaki and arrives Chhuksang. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
Today you trek back to Kagbeni. Lunch at Kagbeni. Then you will ahead to Jomsom for an overnight stay. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
After breakfast, we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. On arrival at Pokhara airport, your guide will transfer to the lakeside hotel. Rest of the time explores the lake. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, you walk to tourist bus station with trekking guide. The bus leaves Pokhara at 7 A.M. You will reach Kathmandu around 2 pm. The rest of the day at leisure/ you can do some last minute souvenirs shopping for your family and friends. Evening you will be offered farewell dinner with Nepali cuisines and cultural dances at typical Nepali Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
The trip concludes today. Our tour officer will drop you at Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
|USD 1495 Per Person||For Group Size of Two People|
|USD 1465 Per Person||For Group Size of Three to Five People|
|USD 1435 Per Person||For Group Size of Six to Eight People|
|USD 1405 Per Person||For Group Size of Nine to Twelve People|
|USD 1375 Per Person||For Group Size of Thirteen to Sixteen People|
|USD 1745 Per Person||For Group Size of Two People|
|USD 1715 Per Person||For Group Size of Three to Five People|
|USD 1685 Per Person||For Group Size of Six to Eight People|
|USD 1655 Per Person||For Group Size of Nine to Twelve People|
|USD 1625 Per Person||For Group Size of Thirteen to Sixteen People|
|USD 1875 Per Person||For Group Size of Two People|
|USD 1845 Per Person||For Group Size of Three to Five People|
|USD 1815 Per Person||For Group Size of Six to Eight People|
|USD 1785 Per Person||For Group Size of Nine to Twelve People|
|USD 1755 Per Person||For Group Size of Thirteen to Sixteen People|
All foreign nationals except Indian Nationals are required to arrange a visa in order to enter Nepal. A Nepalese Visa can be obtained either prior to your arrival at a Nepalese embassy abroad or on arrival time in Kathmandu at the airport. But nationals from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Swaziland, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Liberia cannot secure the Nepalese Visa upon arrival. The Visa can be also taken at entry points at Nepalese borders. For Nepalese Visa it requires your passport with at least six months validity, recent digital photo (size: 1.5″ x 1.5″) and the following fees either in USD dollars cash or the equivalent local currency:
|Multiple entry||15 days||US$ 25 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
|Multiple entry||30 days||US$ 40 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
|Multiple entry||90 days||US$ 100 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
We would offer you the meeting and greeting service in Kathmandu International Airport on your arrival time. For this, you need to pass us your International flight details at least 2 days before your arrival date in Kathmandu. After you get down from the aircraft you just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see our tour officer standing with your name card. He will greet and welcome you with auspicious garland and escort you to the hotel.
Trekking to Upper Mustang does not require tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find lodges along the trail. Lodges typically offer a room with a wooden bed with a simple mattress or foam pad, a cotton pillow, and a blanket or quilt. A few have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for you (here rooms cannot be booked in advance).
In the case of Kathmandu and Pokhara, we offer you tourist standard hotel under 3-star categories unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice.
In the trail of Upper Mustang (Lo Manthang), it’s commonly available for Authentic Nepali meal: Dal Bhat (rice with lentils soup and seasonable vegetables), noodles, pasta, chapatis, eggs, French fries, porridge, and muesli. The restaurant of lodges also serves Tibetan foods like momo, thukpa, chowmein, along with pizza, spring rolls, pancake and another continental as well as Indian foods.
Tea and hot lemon are traditionally the main drinks on the trail though coffee is found everywhere. Bottled soft drinks, bottled water, and even beer are common along the route but the price of each bottle rises each day when you move upward.
The trekking team who will go with you is the most significant thing that makes your Upper Mustang trekking (Lo Manthang Trekking) successful, enjoyable and memorable. We would provide you skilled, experienced, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful trekking guide and porters. The trekking guide leads you on the trail and brief you all the about this route and porters carry your luggage. Our all trekking guides are carefully selected in terms of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and their knowledge about local culture, ecosystem, geography, flora and fauna, and history. With aim of sustaining local communities, we only employ local people as trekking guide and porter. Our all trekking guides are certified by Nepal Government, Ministry of Tourism. We manage trekking team such a way that one trekking guide in each group and porters like one porter for two trekkers.
During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross-breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sunscreen, spare jacket, etc. – a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room in Kathmandu for free of charge.
Every morning, first of all, packing your bags and then have a hearty breakfast at the lodge restaurant. Then set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours you all stop for lunch in local restaurant. Then continue walking to your destination. After lunch, it’s the only couple of hours walking. You usually arrive at your destination in the time of afternoon tea. Check in at the lodge. The rest of the day is at leisure. At the free time, you may explore surrounding village, do a bit of washing or simply relax by reading books and writing a diary. On some days you will arrive at your destination by lunch time and entire afternoon will be free. Most people also spend free time by playing cards and other games reliving the day’s adventures. Then in the evening have a dinner and you will be briefed by your trekking guide about your next day’s walking and then go to your bed for well-earned sleep.
Upper Mustang Trekking is moderate trek suitable for any passionate walkers who able to walk at least 5-7hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have a positive attitude, self-confidence, and strong determination, you can do this trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no compulsorily required for this trip. It is vital for participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases to consult their doctor before taking the trip.
At high elevations, the combination of reduced oxygen and lower atmospheric pressure can produce a variety of unpredictable effects on the body, known collectively as Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is also commonly known as Altitude Sickness. Everyone who treks over 3500 m experiences some mild symptoms of AMS like slowness, dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, racing pulse, disturbed sleep and swelling of the hands and feet but serious cases are very rare. The golden rule of prevention from Altitude Sickness doesn’t walk too fast at altitude, drink plenty of liquids, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding alcohol. If in case you feel any mentioned symptoms the simple cure is to move down (descend) and you shouldn’t ascend further until you start feeling better. To treat AMS there is also available medication Acetazolamide (better known under the brand name Diamox). The dosage is 250 mg every twelve hours. Diamox improves respiration at altitude and can, therefore, accelerate acclimatization. Some doctors recommend a preventive dose (125 mg twice a day) for people trekking at high elevations. At the time of trekking our trekking team always guides you to prevent from Altitude Sickness and they always have Diamox along with first aid kit.
We believe casualty and a serious sickness will not happen on the trip. If it happens we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since all the expenses incurred in evacuation liable to you please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
We strongly advise you to take travel insurance before joining a tour which should cover medical expenses, emergency repatriation and helicopter evacuation at high altitude places and loss of your luggage. We would request you to bring your insurance documents when you come to Nepal.
The following list is a guideline to help you pack for your trekking. The weight limit for your luggage is 15 kg or 33 pounds. Remember that your luggage will be carried by our porter. However, you are required to carry a small day- pack with your valuables or anything important. We advise you pack only what is necessary.
Important Items : Airline tickets; Valid passport; 2 extra passport size photos; Photocopy of your passport; Insurance paper; Dollars, Pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying at restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks and to purchase your own drinks and gifts; Credit Card (Visa/ Mater Card) for withdrawing cash from cash machines if needs.
For Head: Sun Hat; Bandana or head scarf; Headlamp with extra batteries; Sun Glasses with UV protection.
For Upper Body: Shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves); Lightweight thermal tops; Fleece Jacket or Wool Sweater; Wind Cheater jacket; Down Jacket
For Lower Body: 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms; 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers; 1 pair of waterproof shell pants and 1 pair of hiking trousers.
For Hands: 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves and 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
For Feet: 2 pairs of thin inner socks; 2 pairs of poly or wool socks; 1 pair of Hiking boots (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support); 1 pair of running shoes and/or sandals.
Medical: Your daily taking medicine if any; small personal first aid kit; Aspirin, plasters (band-aids); Sunscreen; lip balms; Anti-diarrhea pills; Anti-headache pills; A cough and/or cold medicine; Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide; Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin.
Other Useful Items: 1 sleeping bag (good to -20 degrees C or 28 degrees F); Rucksack and Travel Bags; 1 large duffel bag *; A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables; Small padlocks for duffel- bags; 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional); Digital camera; 2 water bottles (1 liter each); disposable rubbish sacks; Toiletries: 1 medium-sized quick drying towel; Toothbrush/paste; Multi-purpose soap; Deodorants; Nail clippers; Face and body moisturizer; Tissue /toilet roll; hiking poles, snack food (chocolate/ biscuits); umbrella; reading book or pack of cards (for leisure time during trekking).
Note: * mark item we will provide you in service. If any items are not available in your hometown you can buy in Trekking Store in Kathmandu before you embark for trekking.
The itinerary for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trip ending should always coincide with the original itinerary.
Kindly keep in mind that sometimes unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.
Naturally Mustang Region is so beautiful but equally, it is fragile as well. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of this area. We at Silver Himalaya Adventures are extremely conscious about protecting its beautiful natural environment and preserving the fascinating local culture. We are doing our level best to minimize our impact as much as possible. Our all trekking guides and porters are well trained and motivated to following guidelines of responsible tourism and eco-friendly tourism. In trekking, they also advise you do’s and don’ts to minimize your impact on the local environment.
In addition to your Trekking trip, you can join in various side Trips in Nepal like a cultural tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Jungle Safari in National Park, White Water Rafting in Himalayan Rivers, Golfing, Adventure activities like Bungee Jumping, Altra Light Flight, Paragliding, Jeep flyer etc. You also can extend your trip to neighboring Himalayan Countries: Bhutan, Tibet, Sikkim (India) which seems more appealing to you. On your request, we will give you the detail of the side trips.
Trip Review of Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang Trek is a remarkable trip with the exceptional landscape. This trek is unique from other popular treks that we did in past years. We four people from Australia went to Upper Mustang Trek in May 2017. We started our trek from Jomsom through the beautiful barley farm at Kagbeni. It was very much astonishing looking desert scenery on the trail to Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is a city like Kingdom. There we visited the royal building, monasteries. The walking inside city offered us a unique experience. Next day our guide Dawa also took us to visit Choser Cave. Then we traced back to Jomsom and ended our trek. During the trek, we stayed in small lodges. Every lodge offered us a good meal. Overall it was a great trek. All the management of Excellent Himalaya Trek was superb. We appreciate Dawa for his perfect guidance and caring for us. Thank you Excellent Himalaya, thank you so much for this incredible travel experience.