Upper Mustang /Lo Manthang Trek

Upper Mustang /Lo Manthang Trekking ! Mustang Trrekking

Upper Mustang is a remote desolate and extremely fascinating region of Nepal set amongst wind eroded hills bordering Tibet.The region  preserves some of the last vestiges of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture in Nepal.The number of tourists allowed to visit is strictly regulated and it is open to only a few select trekking groups each season. The trek follows established trails through substantial villages that once served a thriving trade route between Nepal and Tibet. These whitewashed settlements, set amid fields of barley are home to impressive chortens and simple monasteries that go to reflect the abiding Buddhist culture. The terrain is striking a semi-arid desert with deep ravines and rock shelves flanked by snowy peaks. A highlight is the visit to Lo Manthang where the once King of Mustang reigned over what was his tiny kingdom until recently and whilst now he has surrendered his title he is still revered as a king by the region's  inhabitants. 

Upper Mustang Trekking

 The destination is the historic walled city of Lo Mangtang; Life in Lo-Manthang has continued much the same as it has for centuries. People are steeped in religion with numerous Gompas, Mani walls (prayer walls) and chortens adorning the king's palace and surroundings. Prayer flags flutter above each household spreading good blessings to all corners of the world and the universe beyond.

This area can be trekked all year round regardless of season with August being the mildest month of all for Mustang however, in the winter time there can be 30 to 40cms of snow to negotiate. The people are well adapted to the region with many centuries of experience of surviving the harsh climate.They survive by practicing a form of agro-pastoralism and seasonal migration with farming done whenever irrigation is possible and only one crop (barely) can be produced. They barely support the local population for only 6 months a year with severe food shortages the rest of the year. As a result, during the winter months almost 70 percent of the local people emigrate to either the lower part of Mustang, Pokhara, Kathmandu or India for employment and trading.

If you are planning a visit to Mustang you need to be reasonably fit. The tour commences with a flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom via Pokhara or if you want to extend your time you can trek for nine days from Pokhara. The trekking route crosses the villages of Tangbe, Samar, Geling to reach Tsarang, considered as one of the highlights of the tour, a day before Lo Manthang.
In ancient Tsarang a set of human hands remains said to belong to the site’s master builder. According to legend the King cut the builder’s hands off to stop him from constructing another masterpiece to compete against it.

It is expensive to visit the region, a single permit costs $500 U.S. for ten days, extendable at a further $50 U.S. a day. All provisions must be carried in, accommodation is under canvas with full Nepali support staff. 



Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu & transfer hotel.

Day 02: Trekking preparation day and sightseeing in Kathmandu. Sightseeing spots are Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swyambhunath Stupa and Kathmandu durbar Square.

Day 03: Drive (6-7 HRS) or  fly (30 minute) to Pokhara. Pokhara nestles around the beautiful Lake Phewa and has what is arguably the best mountain backdrop on earth..

Day 04: Flight to Jomsom (2710m), Early morning flight to Jomosom .Soon after breakfast commence trek to Kagbeni (2810 m) a fascinating fortress village (2900m). The trail to Kagbeni follows the Kali Gandaki river. Overnight in Kagbeni.3-4 hrs 

Day 05: Trek Kagbeni  Chele (3050m). We get our permits checked then begin our trek on a trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River. We walk on sand amidst strong winds before ascending on a hill. We reach the Tangbe Village and admire its narrow alleyways, white-washed houses, barley and buckwheat fields, and apple orchards. We continue our walk and pass another village and cross a river on our way. Next, we walk on a ridge before reaching Chele Village. Overnight in Chele. 5-6 hrs

Day 06: Trek Chile to Syangboche(3475m). Our trek from today will be a little hard compared to what we experienced before. Our walk today involves crossing two passes, Taklam La pass (3,624m) and Dajori La pass (3,735). On our way, we enjoy great views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda and pass by Ramchung Cave. We descend further and reach Samar Village. From here we walk on a trail above the village and reach a ridge. Next, we descend on a steep trail to a stream and continue our trek to Syanboche. Overnight in Syanboche. 5-6 hrs 

Day 07:Trek Syanbochen to Ghami(3520m). We ascend to the Yamada La pass at 3,850m. On the way, we pass by a few teahouses, chortens and beautiful villages. We trek through poplar forests and barley fields and reach Nyi Pass at 4,010m. From here, we descend to Ghami which is one of the biggest villages in the Lo region. The village is beautiful with fields surrounding the entire village. Overnight in Ghami. 5-6 hrs

Day 08: Trek Ghami to Tsarang (3650m). Our trek today begins with a descent through a rough and often slippery trail. We then cross a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola and begin ascending. The pathway is beautiful with main walls along the trail. Next, we cross the Tsarang La Pass at 3870m and reach Tsarang village. The village lies atop the Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east. Overnight in Tsarang.5-6 hrs

Day 09:Trek Tsarang  Lo-Manthang (3760m). Lo-Manthang is located in the wide valley on the Tibetan plateau.We can visit the King and Queen at their palace. The historical and spiritual city of Lo-Manthang with its beautiful setting and picturesque buckwheat and barley fields surrounds,contains so many mysteries for the traveller. 6-7 hrs

Day 10: Explore Lo-Manthang.Lo Manthang is a walled town of the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal. We spent the day touring three major gompas of the town namely Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda. All of these gompas have undergone expert restoration over the last two decades. We can also trek to Tingkhar which is a beautiful village located north-west of Lo-Manthang. Overnight in Lo Manthang.

Day 11: Trek Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3810 m): We trek on a different route when returning from Lo-Manthang. Our trail passes through Gyakar village which houses a century old Ghar Gompa with beautiful rock paintings. According to a local legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Gompa will have it fulfilled. We explore the Gompa and continue our trek to Drakmar for an overnight stay. 6-7 hours

Day 12: Trek Drakmar to Ghiling (3,806m):We start our trek early to avoid strong winds and descend for the most part of the trek. Our trail passes through a dry plateau and fields before reaching Ghiling. The walk can be relatively difficult as we are most likely to experience strong winds on our face. Ghiling is mostly dry, but we still get good views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. We can tour the village around the evening. Overnight in Ghiling. 5-6 hours

Day 13: Trek Ghiling to Chhuksang (3050m):We begin our trek after breakfast. We walk on the same trail as before going up to Lo Manthang. On the way to Chhuksang we can enjoy great views of the Himalayas and small villages we pass en route. Overnight in Chhuksang. 5-6 hours

Day 14: Trek  Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,700):Today is the last day of our trek and it is a long one. After trekking for a while, we come to an end of our Mustang trails and join the trails of the Annapurna circuit. We will stop for lunch at Kagbeni. After lunch, we continued our trek to Jomsom for an overnight stay. 6-7 hours

Day 15: Jomsom flies to Pokhara.

Day 16: Free day in Pokhara or Explore around Pokhara.

Day 17:  Drive or Fly to Kathmandu & transfer hotel.

Day 18: Departure for onward destination.