Upper Mustang is known as a mystique valley and the last forbidden Himalayan kingdom of Nepal and is also known as a ‘Mini Tibet of Nepal’ and a very well-liked trekking in Nepal, has been described as “Mountain Desert” The trekking tour to Lo Manthang- isolated region is a incredibly satisfying one for those who want to experience the hospitality and warmth of the locals living in this remote region. Nepal Department of Immigration started to issue only a small number of special trekking permits since 1992. Before 1992 the region was prohibited to visit for foreign travelers. Upper Mustang is a perfect destination where generous scope is offered for visiting Buddhists Monasteries. This semi autonomous and heavily Tibetan influenced region was described by Tillman as fascinatingly ugly country, the more fascinating for being so little known” indeed, the trek to Lo Manthang is through an almost treeless barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and down hill, unbelievable panorama of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several others peaks make your trek marvelous with lifetime experience. Trek begins from Jomsom – reachable by flight and accessible by walk from Ghorepani-Poon Hill-Tatopani-Jomsom and Kali Gandaki Valley trekking route.
Mustang is one of those few places in the world that has survived a very close-niche life and that region was, until recently, was a forbidden land for outsides. This isolation helped the people of Mustang to preserve their life style and heritage that remained almost untouched for centuries. Hidden behind the majestic Himalayan ranges, Mustang is filled with beautiful trekking zones. The high desert rain shadow of Himalayas receives very little rainfall making this region dry and parched, similar to the bordering Tibetan Plateau. The Lo Manthang, capital of Upper Mustang, lies in the remote Himalaya desert behind the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain ranges, is an antique Tibetan Village, with rare medieval Buddhist arts and exotic culture. We, Wilderness Excursion Pvt. Ltd offers perfect budget package trips to Mustang in most competitive trip cost and develop tailor made itinerary to meet your time frame for Nepal holiday.
Day 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu airport (1345meters)
Our airport representative will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu and s/he will be displaying an Ace the Himalaya signboard outside the airport terminal. You will be then transffered to your respective hotel in our private tourist vehicle. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 2 – Pre-trip Meeting and Sightseeing around Kathmandu valley
In the morning, after breakfast, At around 8am, we host a pre-trip meeting at your hotel in Kathmandu and introduce your trek leader/guide. Please seek this opportunity to ask questions about your trek. We will also supply you with our trek Duffel Bag, T-shirt and a Cap. For the meeting, please make sure you bring passport, three copies of passport-size photos, and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. During this meeting, please clear the due balance, if any, and sign the legally binding trip form as well as the non-liability disclaimer. Please inform us in advance if you will be arriving late and therefore are unable to attend the pre-trip meeting.
After the Pre-Trip meeting and breakfast, your sightseeing trip will start at 9.45 AM in the morning. We provide a private vehicle and professional tour guide. We visit Boudhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Boudhnath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara – style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the the Lion gate, the Golden gate, the Palace of fifty five windows, art galleries, the Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.
The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near by your hotel.Overnight at Hotel.
Day 3 – Drive to Pokhara (900 meters) 7 hours by tourist bus
Trekking staff will come to your Hotel early in the morning at 6:30 am to pick you up and then the bus leaves around 7.30 am to Pokhara. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4 – Morning flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2800 meters)
Early morning we are flying Northwest from Pokhara toward the great portal between the snow covered peaks of Annapurna and Daulagiri. You will enjoy the well-raised massifs of more than 8000 meters, and the deepest gorge on this planet.
On arrival to Jomsom you will meet the rest of the trekking staff. From Kathmandu you will have a guide with you. We start to trek towards Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. Overnight at Tented Camp.
Day 5 – Trek to Chaile (3050 meter)
The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kaligandaki climbing over many ridges as it heads north and reaches Tangbe village. The town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. The Nilgiri peak, dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni, all the way by different shapes. Beyond Tangbe we reach Chhusang village in about 1/2 hr, then we trek and cross the river which continues north climbing up to a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel that the Kaligandaki follows. The trek now leaves the Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chaile. From here the culture changes from the Manangi culture to the Tibetan culture of Lo. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 06- Trek to Geling (3500 meters)
The climb continues along steep, treeless, waterless terrain, along the side of the spectacular steep canyon to a pass and cairn of rock. Then the trail makes a long gradual descent to some chortens on a ridge, and with a further descent before coming along a pleasant trail to Samar village. We climb above Samar to a ridge, then descend into a large gorge, which the trail goes into another valley field, crosses a stream and climbs up to a ridge at 3800 meters. The route climbs over yet another pass, follows a ridge and then descends to Shyangmochen. From there we gently climb to a pass at 3770meters and descend to Geling Village. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 07- Trek to Charang (3620meters)
From Geling village the trail climbs gently up to an interesting pass NYI LA and descends below the blue, gray and red cliffs. After crossing a steel bridge of the Tangmar Chu (river) you will arrive to a MANI WALL perhaps the longest and most spectacular MANI wall in Nepal. Climbing over another pass at 3600meters, the route makes a long gentle descent to Charang village. The huge five-story white Dzong and red Gompa are the main attractions to visit and observe collections of statues and Thankas as well as many large paintings, of seated Buddha’s. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 8 – Trek to Lo Manthang (3840 meters)
This is an opportunity to visit two other villages on your trek. The trail climbs steadily until Lo-Gekar. Lo-Gekar Gompa is older than Samye Gompa in Tibet and one of the oldest Gompa of Nepal. After visiting Lo-Gekar continue trek to Lomanthang. The trail until Lo-Manthang is fine with some minor climbing. Finally from the ridge there is a view of the walled city of LO. After a short descent, cross a stream then climb up into the plateau of Lo-Manthang. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 9 – Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar
It takes around 2 hours to Namgyal Gompa. Namgyal Gompa situates on a hilltop, which serves as an important monastery for the local community, also serving as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, which is a village of around 40 houses, the last main village to the northwest of Lomanthang. After visiting Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar return to Lomanthang. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 10 – Trek to Dhi (3410 meters)
From Lo-Manthang the trail walks straight till Dhi pass 4100meters and descends down to Dhi village. The trek from Lo Manthang to Muktinath is harder, but more rewarding and interesting than the west side of the valley. Dhi village is one of the best villages of whole Lo-mathang and it seems more prosperous and it is settled in a very suitable place. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 11 – Trek to Tange (3370 meters)
From Dhi the trail goes through the river for around 2 hours and crosses a river from Damodar Kunda, one of the sacred lakes, there is no bridge on the river so we need to walk across in bare feet to cross this river. After crossing the river the trail climbs up till high above a pass of 3850meters. The trail goes through a grassless, treeless bare hill. After the pass the trail again drops directly to Tangbe village at an elevation of 3370m.Tangbe is a small village of around 30 houses but most of the houses are attached to each other. On the rooftops one can see piles of dry woods, which also reflects the prosperity in their society. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 12 – Trek to Tetang/ Chusang (3022 meters)
The trail walks through a steep ridge of hills providing some fine views of the wind carved hills. Tetang village is formed between 2 hills; they should have found it a safe place to avoid the strong wind that hits the entire Kaligandaki valley. Tetang is the upper village of the Chuksang, which we visit on the first day entering to Mustang from Kagbeni. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 13- Trek to Jomsom (2713meters)
This is the last day of the trek. The trail goes through the village of Jharkot where one can visit the many attractions such as the Jharkot monastery, Tibetan herbal medical center and the old fortress of Jharkot which once served as palace. Continuing the trek towards Jomsom one will enjoy the views of the Kaligandaki valley and Kagbeni village. This is the entry point to Mustang. We get a round trip of our trek in Ekle Bhatti visiting all the surprises of the human effort in this corner of the World of such an isolation and solitude. Arrive to Jomsom to celebrate the last day of the trek, with all the trekking staff. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 14- Morning flight to Pokhara and same day Sightseeing around Pokhara.
Today 30 minute morning flight takes us from Jomson back to Pokhara. Once we arrive at Pokhara airport, we then drive to hotel. In the afternoon we will have sightseeing tour around Pokhara valley, which covers Fewa Lake, Devi’s water fall, Museum, Tibetan refugee settlement and Gupteshower cave. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 – Leisure day in Pokhara
It’s also spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16 – Drive back to Kathmandu (1345meters)
Overnight back at the hotel in Kathmandu. If you are interested in continuing onto Chitwan Jungle Safari, River Rafting Adventure, Kathmandu Shopping Tour or Scenic Everest Flight.
In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances. (Your guide(s) and an office staff will accompany you.) Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 17 – Transfer to international airport for your final departure
The trip ends, our Airport Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your final flight departure from Nepal.
The following gives you a general idea of the personal items that you can bring for the trek. The personal items are of individual interest, and choice. The most important fact that one should keep on mind is that one should have enough clothes to tackle the cold weather in the Himalayas.
In a supported trek, heavy items are carried by porters or Mules and personal belongings that you may need for the day like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. So you are briefed to pack items in two different bags.
We will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag which you can use on the trek and is carried by porter/s. The duffel bag is yours to keep after the trek. You can leave your bag with your non-trek items at the hotel in Kathmandu and collect them after the trek.
- 4 seasons Sleeping bag (Optional/we can provide one if you need it but is to be returned after the trek)
- Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary ACE duffel bag for you to keep.)
- Down Jacket (Optional/we can provide if you need one but is to be returned after the trek)
Upper Body – Head / Ears / Eyes
- Shade hat or baseball cap – some people drape a bandana down the back of their head and then put a baseball cap on to hold it is place. This can be a flexible alternative while keeping the sun off your ears and neck.
- Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears.
- Balaclava – lightweight, thinner variety.
- Glacier glasses-100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case (i.e. Julbo or Cebe). This is to protect your eyes from the stronger rays of the sun due to the thinner atmosphere which can cause a painful condition known as snow blindness. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient. If you wear prescription glasses, speak to your doctor about prescription glacier glasses, perhaps with transitional lenses.
- Headlamp – Black Diamond and Petzl both make several good ones. Make sure to bring extra batteries and that they are lithium batteries so that they will last in the colder temperatures. These are indispensable for getting around at night, reading, etc. so, don’t go cheap here.
- Some people like ear-muffs; These are optional; a good hat, balaclava, and hooded jacket should really be sufficient, but this is a personal choice for some people (optional).
- A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it (optional).
- 1 pair liner gloves, thin wool or synthetic, useful alone on mild days or as a layer inside other gloves / mitts for additional warmth.
- 1 pair warm gloves (heavier fleece or wool).
- 1 pair shell gloves or mitts; Gore-Tex is preferred for keeping hands dry.
- Instant hand warmers are always nice in a pinch, but really shouldn’t be necessary on the trek. Bringing appropriate hand protection as recommended above, should be sufficient (optional).
- T-shirts (2).
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops.
- Fleece jacket or pullover.
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional).
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket.
- 2 women sports bras, Synthetic, no cotton!
Lower Body – Legs
- 2 pairs nylon hiking shorts – Quick drying type, not cotton!
- Underwear, stay away from cotton (4).
- 2 pairs lightweight long underwear – capilene or other synthetic.
- 1 pair soft shell pants – synthetic, full zip from top and bottom preferable.
- 2 pairs trekking pants, preferably that zip on/off at the knees so they double as shorts.
- 1 pair hard shell pants. Waterproof / breathable, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best. Should zip from the top and bottom – this makes it easier to put on over boots without getting undressed should the weather change once you are underway for the day.
- 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis).
- All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.
- 4 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene.
- 3 pairs heavy weight socks to be worn over liner socks.
- 1 pair light weight socks, a good option for the lower / warmer parts of the trail.
- 1 pair light to medium weight water proof hiking/trekking boots. Ensure a good fit with layered socks and you have worn then before to get used to it (otherwise you will get lots of blister).
- 1 pair light trekking shoes or sneakers. Good for around the camp/lodges and in Kathmandu.
- 1 pair hiking gaiters, good for keeping dust and rocks out of your shoes / boots as well as keep your feet dry as necessary (Optional).
- 1 pair sandals (Optional).
Medicines and First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
- Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
- Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness. Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
- 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.
Miscellaneous, but Important !
- Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
- Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
- Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
- Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
- Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its’ effectiveness over time.
- Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
- Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
- Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.
- 2 bandanas.
- 1 pair adjustable trekking poles. Although these are listed as optional, these can be of great assistance to people who may think of themselves and generally clumsy or with bad knees, ankles, etc, especially when going downhill (Optional).
- Favorite snack foods, no more than 2 pounds (Optional).
- Paperback books, cards, mp3 player (there are a couple of stops where you could recharge. Avoid players with moving hardware as it may not function. Remember, keep these items light weight (Optional).
- Binoculars (Optional).
- 1 light weight point & shoot camera or 1 large SLR. Digital cameras are ok, but you must keep the batteries warm when not in use (Optional).
- Hydration bladder with drinking tube and tube insulator (Optional).
- A pee bottle for men and pee funnel for woman, some swear by them to avoid that chilly late night trip (Optional).
- 1 small stainless steel thermos (Optional).
This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipments can be easily found in stores in Kathmandu for cheaper prices.
Please Note: Tight fitting, figure-hugging clothing, such as those made with Lycra can often be offensive to locals, especially to women. If you find these items comfortable as a base layer, please pack something to wear on top of them.