Upper Mustang Trek

Trip Highlights

  • The opportunity to venture into the remote,
  • Semi-independent Kingdom of Upper Mustang, located north of Annapurna on the Tibetan border
  • Geologically and culturally a part of the Tibetan plateau
  • Valleys are arid and dry with colorful rock formations and cliffs
  • Himalayan peaks, awe-strikingly beautiful and snow-topped

Embark your journey to a remote place untouched by any kind of modernization. You will experience the life that is similar to the civilization back in the time. The centuries back practice, lifestyle, and customs are still prevalent in the Mustang region of Nepal. Lying beyond the mountains, Mustang is regarded as the forbidden kingdom and also the part of the country is beyond any control and influence of the administrative center of the nation. If you love adventure and want to see the centuries back lifestyle now in present time then Upper Mustang Trek is a suitable journey for you.

Upper Mustang trek offers a spectacular trekking experience in the remote trans-Himalayan mountain region of Nepal. The 17-day trip begins in Kathmandu with tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Then we drive to Pokhara and fly to Jomsom the next day and begin trekking. Upper Mustang is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom because until the 1990s the tourists weren’t allowed to enter the region. While trekking in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal, we can admire the uniqueness of tree-less landscape, rocky trails, and views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and the other Himalayas.

Upper Mustang Trek is like a treasure hunt where you travel to the mysterious places. The desert-like landscape will haunt you but the hidden caves and artistic monasteries built there is like a reward for your hard work and endurance capacity to spend your time in such a remote place. As you follow your trail, you will come across the Gompas; prayer flags and monasteries which is evidence to the Tibetan Buddhist culture prevalent in this place. The local people residing in this region are Lobos. These people follow Buddhism and regard themselves as the descendants to Tibet.

Amazing facts of Upper Mustang Trek

This region is geologically and culturally a part of the Tibetan plateau. Its valleys are arid and dry with colorful rock formations and cliffs. Behind them stand the Himalayan peaks, awe-strikingly beautiful and snow-topped. A part of Mustang’s beauty lies in the fact that this region visited only by the limited number of tourists; which leaves it one of the few places on the planet where one can see undisturbed Tibetan culture. Moreover is popular among people not only as a place with unique landscapes but also for its good cuisine and the production of a tasty apple liqueur.

For the brave trekkers and the ones keen on experimenting, the tasting of the local butter tea is an unforgettable experience; a chance to near oneself to the lifestyle of the local population. Make your way up the Kali Gandaki river’s banks, witnessing the beauty of its unreal blue waters; desert surroundings to the ancient kingdom of Mustang – a place where culture meets nature and forms an eternal bond.


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TOUR DETAILS
  • Duration 17 Days
  • Activities Trekking
  • Max-Altitude 4,000m
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Min. 2Pax
  • Tour Type Private tour
ACCOMODATION

Hotels, Tea Houses and Lodges

You will be welcomed at the airport by one of our staff members and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Our airport representative will explain further details of the program. Overnight at the hotel with breakfast included.

Today, we will start our sightseeing tour in the Kathmandu Valley which includes cultural heritage sites such as Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Enjoy the artistic palace, paintings, sculptures and a brief look at the history of Nepal. Overnight at the hotel with breakfast included.

You will be met by your guide early in the morning for the drive to Pokhara. The drive is long but very scenic and interesting. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Pokhara hotel for check-in. In the evening, you can enjoy boating on Fewa Lake and you might wish to photograph the reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre and the Annapurna Range on the serene water. Overnight at the hotel with breakfast included.

Early in the morning, we will fly between the snow-covered peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to Jomsom. The sights of towering massifs rising to more than 8,000 meters, and the river with the deepest gorge on the planet is just mind-blowing. At Jomsom, we will start our Upper Mustang trek to Kagbeni. This is the main gate to Upper Mustang, situated at an altitude of (2,800m), Kagbeni village dates from around the 14th century when it was a check post for traders from Nepal. There is still a checkpoint to control the groups departing for Muktinath and Mustang. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

The trail takes us to the east bank of the Kaligandaki river. We traverse several ridges to Tangbe village. This village is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst whitewashed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. We can take in the view of the Nilgiri peak which dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni. Beyond Tangbe we will reach Chhusang village after about one and a half hours walking. We cross the river and continue climbing to a huge red chunk of the conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki flows. We leave the Kali Gandaki valley and climb steeply up a rocky gully to Chele. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Today we will ascend the treeless, waterless terrain, along with the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass a rock cairn at 3540m. The trail then makes a long gradual descent to Samar village. The Annapurna, still dominated by Nilgiri, is visible far to the south. We’ll climb up above Samar to a ridge and descend into a large gorge. The trail continues through another valley field, crosses a stream and climbs up to a ridge at 3800m. The route traverses another pass, follows a ridge and descends to Shyangmochen. From here, we gently climb to a pass at 3770m and descend into Geling Village. Overnight at a guesthouse -breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

From Geling, the trail climbs gently up to the interesting pass of NYI La and descends below the blue, grey and red cliffs. We cross over the steel bridge of the Tangmar Chu (river) and arrive at the longest Mani wall in Mustang. We climb over another pass at 3,600 m and start the long gentle descent to Charang village. The large five-storey white Dzong and red Gompa are impressive attractions here. We can also observe the collections of statues, Thankas and other large paintings of the seated Buddha. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Our trail ascends steadily until Lo-Gekar. Lo-Gekar Gompa is older than Samye Gompa in Tibet. It is, in fact, one of the oldest Gompas the region. After visiting Lo-Gekar, we continue our upper Mustang trek to Lo-Manthang. The trail to Lo-Manthang is well-defined with some minor climbing. We will pass the walled city of Lo along the trial, then make a short descent, cross a stream and climb to the plateau of Lo-Manthang. Overnight at a guesthouse -breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

We will hike for two hours to Namgyal Gompa. This is situated on a hilltop and here is an important monastery for the local community. It also supports a local court. After our visit to Namgyal Gompa, we continue our tour to Tingkhar. This is the last village to the northwest of Lomanthang with around 40 houses. After visiting both places we will return to Lomanthang. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Today our trail ascends steadily and offers the last glimpse of Lo Manthang before climbing a ridge at 4070m and continuing to the Chogo La (4210m/13810ft). This is the highest point on our Upper Mustang Trek. The trail then advances to a short, steep descent and crosses the Charang River. We will climb to Lo Geker and arrive at Ghar Gompa, a small monastery. We then climb the ridge, cross a valley and alpine meadows, and then drop down a steep eroded path to Drakmar. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

The trail now descends, passing the stone walls and fields of Drakmar before climbing to a ridge. It further descends to the lower part of Ghami and then to Jaite (3820m), dropping again to Chhung-Kah. We continue to Tama Gaon (3710m) and down to Shyangmochen. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Our long hike now follows a stream all the way down to Chhusang. We can also take an alternative route to Samar visiting Ranchung Cave. The alternative route is just 30-minutes longer. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Today we will follow the stream, pass Chhusang village and make a short steep ascent onto the valley floor. We keep ascending until we reach a small pass from where we can see Muktinath and the red painted Buddhist Monasteries. After traversing the pass, we drop down to the stream and cross via a suspension bridge. We ascend for a while and walk through the villages to Muktinath. This route is very popular for the Fossil stone “Saligrams” which is mainly found between Tetang and Gyu La Pass (4077m). It also offers a terrific 140-degree view of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Himalayan range. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Muktinath is one of the most important destinations for Hindu pilgrims and it is also an important place for Buddhists. In the morning, we will visit Muktinath Temple. We can enjoy the magnificent views of Dhaulagiri peak from here. There are water spouts which channel into the stream running above the temple. There is also a Buddhist Monastery nearby. Our trail descends through the village of Jharkot where we can explore the Jharkot monastery; this is both a Tibetan herbal medical centre and an old fortress. We continue our trek back to Jomsom. The views of the Kaligandaki valley and Kagbeni village along the way are truly overwhelming. We pass by Ekle Bhatti and finally arrive at Jomsom where we can celebrate the completion of the trek with all the trekking staff. Overnight at a guesthouse – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Early in the morning, we will take the return flight to Pokhara. The afternoon can be spent exploring this picturesque lakeside town as your fancy takes you. Overnight at a hotel – breakfast included.

Today we will drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at a hotel – breakfast included.

Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from North Nepal Team will bid you farewell after taking you to the International airport. You will take away your photographs and memories of a truly remarkable adventure.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle.
  • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast.
  • Teahouse accommodation during the trek.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek.
  • Welcome and farewell dinners.
  • Most ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary.
  • Public transportation from Muktinath to Tatopani.
  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary.
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide).
  • Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter).
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food, and accommodation.
  • Down jacket and sleeping bag  (to be returned after trip completion).
  • Himalayan Glacier’s trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt and trekking map are yours to take.
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (ACAP, TIMS).
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader).
  • All government and local taxes.
WHAT'S EXCLUDED
  • Nepalese visa fee.
  • Excess baggage charge(s).
  • Other any transportation except Included in the section.
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara (and also in the case of early return from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary).
  • International flights.
  • Travel and rescue insurance.
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc).
  • Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s).
  • Additional costs or delays caused by management out of control like landscape,  bad weather condition, in case of itinerary modification with a view to the safety concern, illness,  change of government policy, political instability raises strike, moment etc.
  • Lunch and Dinner in  Pokhara.
  • Accommodation, All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu.
  • Personal expense such as shopping, snacks, bar bills, bottle or boiled water, shower, Wi-Fi, laundry, telephone call, battery re-charge fee extra porters etc.
  • Personal clothing and gear.

FAQs

You will arrive in Nepal, Kathmandu at Tribhuvan International Airport as that is the only international airport. An overnight stay in a hotel in Kathmandu is required upon the arrival. Then the next day, at early morning we drive for approximately 8 hours to the village of Syange, the starting point of our trek.

The package includes accommodations throughout the trek, as well as one night in Pokhara Accommodation during the trek, there are teahouses which are essentially hotels but with a more homely feel. They are run by the locals and provide all the basic facilities including hot shower at a small extra charge. The rooms are simple but comfortable usually with two beds with mattress blanket and pillows. Some will have an en-suite bathroom but most have shared the bathroom with squat toilet .you will get a chance to experience the renowned Nepalese hospitality as well as interact with them Discovery World Trekking have good public relation with local service providers in Annapurna trek; the company makes sure prior arrangement of the accommodation. At Pokhara, the accommodation is more luxurious. we stay at hotels with a single room and attached bathrooms, TV, 24 hours hot water, power and laundry facility The accommodation for your stay in Kathmandu is not included in the package as there are plenty of hotels in Kathmandu that you can select according to your requirements.

Although trekking is possible throughout the year each season has different advantages and attractions and advantages offer for trekking in Annapurna region. The temperature in the mountains also depends according to the altitude range – higher the altitude, lower the temperature. March-May Trekking season begins after March. Trekking in the spring between mid-March and mid-April means that you will get to see the incredible displays of Rhododendrons that flower in the forests around Ghorepani. Temperature starts rising from mid March up to mid May.  Weather is cool at this time. Sky is very clear and you can enjoy the clearest views of mountains. June-August It usually rains during this season. Monsoon generally begins around the end June and continues up to the second week of August. The temperature during the days usually ranges from 10°C to 23?  and gets relatively colder at night ( 5°C to 10?) mornings are usually clear with clouds building up during the afternoon and disappearing again at night. Because of the rainfall  Rhododendron forests around Ghorepani will be rife with leeches .However, the northern sections around the Mustang Region doesn’t get as affected by the monsoon as it lies within a rainshadow area Though the rain may cause some problems .Various plants bloom during this season , the valleys will be green and totally different view than during other seasons.Please note that rain clouds may boack views and mudslides are  common around the entire circuit. September-October This is a favourite among tourists with the most favorable weather and perfect climate condition. The sun shines bright the skies are clear you get a  superb view of mountains and the temperature is perfect for daytime trek. you can enjoy spectacular starry skies since the sky is clear at night. The monsoons will be over by early September and the weather ranges from mild to warm days. Daytime temperatures can reach upto 20c in high altitudes,the nights are cold,temperatures may go down around 5c.the greens that grew during monsoon fade to golden/amber proving a spectacular contrast against the crystal blue skies, grains are ripen in the enclave. The environment is clean and lowlands are lush. The biggest festivals of Nepal like Dashain, Tihar also fall during this season.this is the busiest period on the Annapurna Circuit and lodges  book up quickly, we recommend booking with Discovery world Trekking as soon as possible for this season. November November is a busy season, the clearest month, with the crisp and sparkling sky. The daytime temperatures at this month are usually the most stable, from mild to cool conditions, the humidity is also pretty dry with very cold nights. December-February The coldest time is from December  through early February, after  late February,climate gradually gets warmer Temperatures get extremely cold dropping to -5 degree C at high altitudes. daytime is pleasantly and relatively warm with sunshine.At over 5,000 metres, Thorung La Pass is often deluged with snow and will close for days on end when this happens. Despite being cold the skies are usually very clear, mountain views are at their best.with snowy caps the it might snow and the ground will be snow the trails are the least busy at this time.it may not be the best season  for beginners but experienced trekkers will have no problem.do keep in mine  that late february- early march  is also the period in the Annapurna Region when avalanches are most common. Please Note: Weather in the Himalaya can be unpredictable and change quickly; temperature can vary vastly from day to night.

All foreigners except Indian nationals must have a valid visa to enter into Nepal. Visa is available on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport upon entry in Kathmandu, Nepal and at Nepal borders of India and Tibet. Visa can be easily extended at the central immigration office. www.immigration.gov.np; Visa application requires a passport with at least 6 months until expiration and one passport -size photo. The current cost of the visa for 30 days is US$40(to be paid in cash) for 30 days that is required to make in cash. Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ.  Other nationalities should check entry requirements. visitors are requested to specify return flight tickets, time intended stay in Nepal. We recommended you schedule at least 1-2 day extra at the end of the trip just in case there is a delay. If no delay occurs we can arrange an additional activity for your time in Nepal. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the website www.timeanddate.com to be very useful. The children under the age of 10 will get a free visa. Please be advised to check the current regulation. Visa regulation can change without prior notice. Citizens of China, as well as citizens of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), get the free visa. countries not entitled to get a visa upon arrival are Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, please contact your local Nepalese embassy.

Nepali Rupees (NPR/Rs) is the local currency. (1 USD = ~ Rs.100 NPR). We can exchange most of the foreign currencies through local banks and legitimate money exchanges in Kathmandu and all over Thamel. Small amounts of cash can also be exchanged at the hotel. The ongoing rate of exchange is visibly displayed. The government of Nepal has banned the import, export and use of 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee note in Nepal. You should ensure that you are not carrying these notes on arrival in Nepal as they will be confiscated and you may also be fined. Despite having security advantage of traveller’s cheque, we prefer cash exchange to avoid hassles like a lengthy process and high rate of commission at the banks. You can withdraw cash (in Rupees only) from one of the many ATMs in Kathmandu and Thamel itself. There are quite several ATMs that are open around the clock. The maximum withdrawal amount is 35,000 Rupees for a 500 Rupees processing fee if you are using your foreign card. If you use the money exchange facility at banks and financial institutions the service fee charge imposed is about four per cent or more depending upon the bank.  Please note that most of the established banks in Asia will not accept foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded. Please ensure that you have new, clean notes

Depending on the season you wish to go trekking you may have to make adjustments to clothing and equipment however these are the necessities list we prepared to keep your comfort and utility in mind. We never recommend our clients to bring over equipment which is not necessary for the trek. Head

  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Winter hat or insulating hat or Wide-brimmed hat
  • Headlight with extra batteries

Face

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglass with UV protection
  • Face/body wipes

Hands

  • Lightweight gloves
  • Heavyweight winter gloves

Body

  • Hiking shirts
  • Long sleeved shirt made of synthetic fibre
  • Hooded rain jacket
  • Fleece jacket
  • Lightweight cotton pants
  • T-shirts ( bring Lightweight wool)
  • Polypropylene underwear
  • down jacket ( available in rent in Kathmandu)
  • Sweater
  • Waterproof jacket and pants

Footwear

  • Hiking Boots that been worn in
  • Thick wool socks (Take an extra pair of thick light socks)

Essential gear

  • Backpack or daypack (Size depends on whether you take porter or not).
  • Thermal bottle
  • Water purification
  • Trekking pole
  • Sleeping bag (-15 bag is best in the high altitude trek)
  • Toiletries (toilet papers,  toothpaste, toothbrush, )

Toiletries

  • Medium size drying towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant/ floss
  • Biodegradable bar soap
  • Nail clippers
  • Small mirror

Personal accessories

  • Money
  • Watch
  • Cell phone
  • Camera
  • Extra items
  • First aid kit
  • Extra passport photos and photocopies of passport
  • Notebook and pen
  • Binocular

During this trek, you will be accompanied by our local best trained and well-experienced guides/sherpas to make your journey even more comfortable and memorable. All guides are well trained licensed with the prior experience they have spent years trekking / climbing the peak all over the world.  Porters will also be assigned to carry your luggage. Two people will be assigned one porter, combined luggage should not exceed more than 18 kgs. We never overload our porters. A proportion of one porter for two members and one assistant guide with 8 members. If required we can also have one porter per person. Our crew members are the local people of high Himalaya remote areas and their physical endurance and heredity nature can live easily and comfortably at high altitude without being affected. All our staff are very valuable to us, they are well paid and we take care of their insurance, clothing, food and lodging throughout the expedition. All our Guides and Porters receive Medical care when ill or injured. We always make sure that they are happy as we believe that only happy people can make others happy The local expert trek leader to guide you specialized under the following subject. We provide basic accommodation for our guides and porters or tent with the sleeping gear we also provided them with food and warm drinks.

  • Intensive wilderness first Aid
  • Authorized certificate of Trekking Guide Training
  • Fluency speaking English and other major Languages
  • Conservation and biodiversity
  • Rock climbing

The most importantly, tipping is at traveller’s discretion and should be relied on good service that does not form the part of wages for your Guides, porters and crew although they are very much appreciated. In Nepalese culture, a tip is the accepted and honoured way of say thank you (Dhanyabada) for good service. Normally the tips are offered at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the trips in farewell dinner on the last evening or last day of the trek, to mark the end of the trip. The amount of the trip is entirely a personal preference that may be more or less depending upon your perception of service quality, length of trip, budget and appreciation of their work. It is important to Discovery World Trekking crews who professionally take care of you all the time during the trekking, inspire excellent service and offer enriching journey- the trip of once in a lifetime experience. We ensure that all of our crews including guides and porters are paid well and treated fairly with respect.

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