Genuine Reviews on :

Upper Mustang Trek

  Nepal , Restricted Region Trek

3 Reviews

Duration

14 Days

Tour Type

Trekking

Group Size

2+

Accommodation

Tea house/home stay

Meal

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Max. Altitude

4800m

Best Season

Sep-Oct/Mar-May

Departure from

Kathmandu

Hightlight

  • A scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom
  • The aerial view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges including distant view of Manaslu region
  • The walled city; the Capital City of the Last Forbidden Kingdom of Lo Manthang
  • Desert-like but beauty of the harsh landscapes of the rain shadow area
  • Lifestyle of the Mustangese people highly influenced by Tibetan Buddhist culture
  • Buddhist monasteries found at least one in a village including the 1200-year-old Ghar Gompa
  • Mani walls, prayer flags and wheels, chortens
  • Panorama of picturesque valleys, bizarre landscapes and snowy peaks of Annapurna region
  • Muktinath Temple, a shrine equally important for both Buddhists and Hindus

Overview

Upper Mustang Trek is a unique adventure experience in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is a challenging journey that takes trekkers through the remote and untouched Mustang region to explore its ancient cultural and natural wonders.

Upper Mustang Trekking begins in Kathmandu with a scenic flight to Jomsom, the gateway to the Mustang region. From there, trekkers traverse the Kali Gandaki River valley to the ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang. Along the way, trekkers pass through picturesque villages, monasteries, and stunning landscapes of snowcapped peaks, deep canyons, and rolling hills.

The Mustang region is renowned for its unique culture and landscapes. Trekkers can explore the ancient monasteries, villages, and forts that are fine throughout the region. They will also have the opportunity to meet the local people and learn about their culture and beliefs.

In addition to cultural exploration, trekkers can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities. These include mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and camping. The stunning views of the Himalayas will make the Nepal trek even more memorable.

Mustang Trekking is an adventure that will last a lifetime. With its spectacular landscapes and rich cultural heritage, the Mustang region is an amazing destination that is perfect for trekkers of all levels.

Upper Mustang Trek is one among the restricted area trekking in Nepal. It lies in the famous Mustang district that is known as “the districts across the Himalayas.” It is call so because of proximity with the Tibetan Plateau. Although it lies in Nepalese territory, it is culturally and geographically influenced by Tibet.

Mustang trek is famous for its desert-like climate and harsh rock-faced landscapes. It can even be visited in summer monsoon. Because it is rain shadow area of Annapurna (8,091 m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) Massifs. When the remaining parts of Nepal trekking experience heavy rainfall and flood, you can explore Upper Mustang.

Upper Mustang Trek is a fairly easy excursion to the ‘Last Forbidden Kingdom’ of Lo Manthang. It shares its border with Tibetan plateau and has an average altitude above 3,000 m.  The ancient monasteries and festivals found here are testimonials of Tibetan Buddhist culture and tradition.

The Last Shangri-La of the Northern Himalayas, it is populated mainly by a minority group of Tibetan origin. It was previously a restricted area until 1990 in order to protect the uniqueness of biodiversity, culture and tradition. Therefore, the foreigners still need a special permit to embark through incredible landscapes, prehistoric caves and age-old monasteries. A large part in Upper Mustang region is like desert even though there are snow capped mountains at its northern edge. That is why, it is known as the ‘mountain desert’ of Nepal located across the Himalayas.

Do you want to have experience different geographical and socio-cultural diversity from the rest of the other regions of Nepal? If ‘yes’, Upper Mustang trek can quench your thirst to gain lifelong knowledge about such harsh realities! Moreover, there are a lot of things this trek has to offer you like the bonus stopovers at Jomsom and Muktinath.

Major Attractions of  Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang trek is famous for its natural and cultural attractions. You can have a breathtaking view of  snowy peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Moreover, Mt. Machhapuchhre (6,693 m), Nilgiri and Tukuche peaks are other beauties of this trek.

Tibetan Buddhist culture, tradition and lifestyle has influenced the people of Lo Manthang. The 12th or 13th centuries monasteries in almost every village reflect the Buddhist culture and tradition in this region.

The arid landscapes having parched barren hills, Tibetan Plateaus and housing styles are other attractions. The Sky Caves made around 2,000-3,000 years ago to mummify the dead bodies are also something worth visiting. If you do Upper Mustang trek in May, you can observe Tiji Festival. It is the most colorful festival, which is celebrate for three days.

The walled city of Lo Manthang is the prime historical site preserving the ancient art and artefacts. The Last Forbidden Kingdom, Lo Manthang used to be Capital City of  hidden kingdom of the Himalayas. The four-story palace of the Mustangese King surrounded by other artistic buildings and shrines are also beautiful.

Additionally, Tinker, the summer palace of the then King is another famous site. You can try riding on the horseback to visit this ancient village. It is the last human settlement area of Upper Mustang. From here, you can have the wonderful Lo Manthang Valley and the amazing bizarre landscapes.

The ethnic villages having different housing style like that of the Igloos are also interesting. The houses have the mud roof to protect the people from the freezing temperature and snowfalls. They are decorate with the prayer flags, mane walls, chortens and prayer wheels. As a whole, Upper Mustang trek is a trip towards the abode for natural beauty and cultural diversity getting popularity day by day.

The Buddhist Shrines of Mustang Trek

While doing Upper Mustang trek, you can visit at least a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in every village. Some of them are as old as 1,200 years preserving their uniqueness and religious significance still today. Champu Lakhang (God House), the red Thumchen Gompa and Chyodi Gompa are the most visit worthy sites. All these monasteries are located in the walled city of Lo Manthang.

The most colorful festival of the Upper Mustang region, Tiji Festival is celebrate in the premises of Chyodi Gompa. The monks perform circle dances in the traditional music by beating the drums in front of the Guru Rinpoche. The native people of Mustang region gather around to observe the festival and take blessings from the Guru Rinpoche.

Other notable Buddhist shrines of the hidden kingdom of the Himalayas are Ghar Gompa and Namgyal Gompa. Ghar Gompa is 1,200 years old monastery located in Gyankar Village. Here, you can see the thanks and other Buddhist paintings preserved as the historical manuscripts. A few kilometers away from the ancient Capital City of Mustang lies Namgyal Gompa. It is situate on a foothill, so, you can see the alluring vista of Lo Manthang Valley including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan Ranges.

Historical Caves of Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang trek rewards you with the centuries old man made and natural caves found in large number. The most notable are the Sky Caves, which is a group of around 10,000 caves made by human beings. The manuscripts and other documents preserve in the cave premises justify that they were built around 2,000 to 3,000 years ago

Located on the bank of the Kali Gandaki River, the Sky Caves are believed to be built by the then Mustangese people to mummify the dead bodies. If further exploration is made, we can find a  new twist in the history of humankind. The next is the Rangchung Cave, which is a network of natural caves on the way to Chhusang from Syanmachen.

Tiji Festival: the Most Significant Cultural Show of  Upper Mustang Trek

Tiji Festival is the greatest and most colorful festival celebrated in Upper Mustang. It is celebrate to mark the victory of virtue over vice. The exact date of the celebration of this festival is fix according to the Chinese calendar. Generally, if falls in the third week of May. Therefore, to become a part of this fabulous Buddhist celebration, you should plan your Upper Mustang trek in the respective time.

The Mustangese people celebrate this festival to commemorate the legendary figure, Dorje Jono. He is one of the many incarnations of Lord Buddha who came to Earth to protect it from calamities. The myth states that Dorje Jono got victory over the demonic activities plann to destroy the kingdom through natural catastrophes.

Tiji Festival is celebrate at the premises of Choede Monastery. It is one of the most important Buddhist shrines of the ancient capital of Lo Manthang. It is also know as The Chasing of the Demons Festival. The history shows that Tiji Festival has continuously been celebrate since 500 years back. It further helps to mark the peaceful co-existence of people of Upper Mustang and the prayer for the World Peace.

How difficulty is upper mustang trek?

Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate to difficult trek depending on the route and duration. It is a high altitude trek that passes through remote villages, passes, and stunning landscapes. The trekking in Upper Mustang is physically demanding, and can involve long days of walking, with some steep ascents and descents. The high altitudes can also add to the challenge. It is recommended that trekkers have a good level of fitness and that they are prepared for the challenge.

Alternative Itinerary  for Upper Mustang Trek

Day 1: Arrival in Jomsom & drive to Chele (we would like to start in Chele if possible)
Day 2: Hike from Chele to Sangboche
Day 3: Hike from Sangboche to Dhakmar
Day 4: Hike from Dhakmar to Tsarang
Day 5: Hike from Tsarang to Lo Manthang via Gar Gompa
Day 6: Explore Lo Manthang, perhaps hike to Chhoser
Day 7: Hike from Lo Manthang to Yara
Day 8: Hike from Yara to Tange
Day 9: Hike from Tange to Chusang
Day 10:Hike from Chusang to Ranipauwa

Upper Mustang Trek Price

The Mustang Trek is a unique and popular trek in the Himalayas of Nepal. The Mustang Trek is a high-altitude trek in the remote and off-the-beaten-path region of Mustang. The Mustang Trek price/cost will vary depending on the length, season, and type of trek you choose.

For the classic Upper Mustang Trek, prices typically start from around US$1,500 per person for a 12-day journey. This includes all necessary permits and fees, accommodation, meals, and transportation to and from the starting point. The price may also include a guide, porter, and/or camping gear, depending on the company you book with.

For a longer trek, such as the Upper Mustang Trek, prices will usually start from around US$2,500 per person. This includes all necessary permits and fees, accommodation, meals, and transportation to and from the starting point. Again, the price may also include a guide, porter, and/or camping gear, depending on the company you book with.

Both the classic Mustang Trek and the Upper Mustang Trek are little challenging treks and require a good level of fitness. While they can be done independently, it is recommended to book with a reliable Nepal trekking company as the terrain can be complicated.

Itinerary

You have to take a half an hour local flight from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal to reach to Pokhara. This is a short flight and presents you with scenic beauties. Alternatively, you may opt for a 6hours drive to Pokhara and stay overnight in Pokhara.

You will drive to the airport of Pokhara for catching another short flight of 15 minutes to reach at Jomsom i.e. headquarter of the district Mustang and a region of Thakali people. At this point, you will start your trek across Kali Gandaki valley for reaching to Kagbeni.

Today, our team will take you for a walk across the riverbed of Kali Gandaki to come across Chhusand and Tangbe veillages. The entire area consists of barren landscapes to remind you of the Tibetan plateau. Later on, you have to cross a suspension bridge for reaching the Chele village and stay overnight there.

We will cross two passes named Dorje La Pass at 3735meters and Taklam La Pass at 3624meters via Ghiling Vhena to reach at Syangboche from Chele.

We continue with our trek across barren and rugged landscapes to cross Yamda La and Nyi La mountain passes at 3850meters and 4010meters respectively to get spectacular views of Mount Dhaulagiri and Mount Annapurna, while stay overnight in Gheling.

Today, you will get stunning views of landscapes, cliffs and nearby villages to reach at Ghami

We will cross Charang La Pass at 3870meters to reach at Charang Village and have an overnight stay there. Specialty of Charang village is that it has mani walls and almost similar type of culture followed by Tibet people.

Finally, today will reach at Lo-Manthang, known as the forbidden kingdom consists of many white washed walls and renowed palaces. Here, you will view old monasteries and get glimpse of Tibetan Buddhism.

You require taking rest and have relaxed in the Lo Manthang region to acclimatize yourself with the high altitude and weather. You may make a visit across the entire walled city and view a large number of beautiful monasteries.

Our team will take back to Ghami by following the same route that you followed before.

Our downhill trek will continue to reach to Chele and stay overnight there.

On the last day of your trek, you will go back to Jomdom across the Kali Gandaki River Bank. You may explore the entire area in Jomsom and enjoy views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain peaks.

We will drive back to Jomsom and take a local flight to reach Pokhara and stay overnight in Pokhara.

You may go for a half an hour return flight to Kathmandu by starting from the airport of Pokhara or choose a private jeep or car to reach there.

Inclusion/Exclusion

  • Airport pick-up and drop off service ,
  • Trekking Guide and Trekking porter (Two participant=1 porter =Maximum 25 kg of luggage )
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & accommodation during the trekking
  • Sleeping bags, down jackets, duffel bags and trekking sticks if required,
  • Trekking permit of National park & Restricted area permit
  • TIMS(Trekking Information Management System )
  • Insurance and equipment for the trekking staffs
  • First aid kit
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu with cultural program in typical Traditional Nepali resturant
  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks, beverages, hot shower,
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for Guide and porter (trekking staff)
  • Meals & hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (with out iteniry )

Fixed Departure

trip dates Days availability Price space left

FAQ's

To do Upper Mustang Trek, you must have the following permits

  • TIMS card,
  • ACAP Permit and
  • Upper Mustang Restricted Area Trekking Permit. To collect these

The cost of Upper Mustang Trek permit is USD 500 for first 10 days and then USD 50 per extra day. This permit is issued by Immigration Office, Kathmandu. TIMS card needs USD 10 and it is managed by the trekking agency. And Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit costs USD 27 and you get it from the office of ACAP.

No, you can’t. Upper Mustang trek is a restricted area trekking in Nepal, so one can’t do this trek alone. For this trek, there must be two members in a group accompanied by a registered trekking guide and a porter. The trekking guide takes you along the right trail and helps in case of any emergency.

When you are travelling through the landscapes above 2,500m, there is always chance for altitude sickness. Lo Manthang (3,840m), the Capital of the ancient Himalayan Kingdom is the highest place to spend the night. Although there are three high passes above 3,800m, you spend the limited time over there. However, you can avoid the altitude sickness or AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) if you follow some precautions. You must walk slowly by taking enough rest. You should have enough drinking water and hygienic food including sound sleep. For safety measure, you should pack some medicines like Acetazolamide and Diamox Oral in your backpack. As soon as you feel any symptom of such problem, you should share it with the guide. He can help you get rid of this as he is habituated to walking in the high altitude palce.

Upper Mustang Trek is more expensive than other treks because it requires a special permit from the government of Nepal. This permit is very expensive and can cost up to $500 for a 10day trek. Additionally, this trek is in a very remote and isolated area, so it requires a lot of logistics and planning, which can also add to the cost. Finally, accommodation and food in this region are also more expensive than in other parts of Nepal.

Reviews

Traveller’s reviews

5 3 reviews
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Jules Bottlaender
Germany
255 days ago

Nepal is one of the most popular trekking destinations in the world, and for good reason. There are a variety of trekking routes to choose from, ranging from easy treks to challenging, multiday adventures. One of the best trekking routes in Nepal is the Mustang Trek. This route takes you through an isolated region of the Himalayas and into the Mustang Valley, which is home to a variety of ancient Tibetan cultures. Youll explore the ancient cities of Kagbeni, Jomsom and Lo Manthang and visit some of the most stunning mountain peaks in the world. The Mustang Trek is a challenging route, but it is well worth the effort. Youll be rewarded with stunning views of the Himalaya, and youll experience a unique culture that has been isolated for centuries. The trek is best suited for those who are physically fit and have some experience with high altitude trekking. Overall, the Mustang Trek is one of the best trekking routes in Nepal and is highly recommended for those looking for a unique, challenging and rewarding experience.

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Inessa S
Sweeden
276 days ago

The Nepal Trekking experience is one that I will never forget. The scenery of the Himalayas is breathtaking and the people of Nepal are so friendly and welcoming. The trekking routes are well marked and there are plenty of guides to help and support you throughout the journey. I had the opportunity to stay in a few of the local villages and experience the culture and hospitality first hand. The food was delicious and the views were spectacular. I definitely recommend this trekking experience to anyone looking for an adventure and the chance to explore the beauty of the Himalayas.

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Julle Ph
UK
149 days ago

We had an amazing experience with Krishna on our Mustang trek. He was very knowledgeable, experienced and helpful throughout the trek. He was great at making sure we were comfortable and safe and was always willing to help with anything we needed. He also shared his knowledge of the local culture, customs, and the history of the places we visited. We would highly recommend him as a guide for anyone looking to explore the Mustang region.

$1695 /person

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