About Upper Mustang Trekking
If you have a spirit of adventure like the early explorers and pilgrims of Mustang, let Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expedition take you north of the 8000 m Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks, along the rocky bed of the Kali Gandaki, to one of the most isolated villages on Earth, a village that was at one time, the prosperous Kingdom of Lo. The Upper Mustang Trekking leads you into a region that used to be part of the Tibetan empire, and bears close resemblance to Tibet. Pure Tibetan Buddhism is followed. Villages are built in Tibetan style and houses are white washed with firewood stacked on the roofs. The landscape is also very similar to Tibet.
The path to Lo Manthang follows the ancient salt trading route which linked Tibet and the subcontinent. The average altitude of the trek is about 3600 metres, with the highest point being 4320 metres. While the trail is not particularly difficult in terms of steep ascents and descents, the force of the wind gusting down the Kali Gandaki buffets you as you walk and makes it challenging.The scenery on this trek is spectacular. Himalayan griffin and golden eagles soar high in the vivid blue sky overhead. The snow white Himalayas to the south contrast with the burnt brown colors of the endless wind-eroded hills rising up toward the Tibetan plateau in the north. The superb views of the Annapurnas include Tilicho Peak and Nilgiri.
From the pass Lo La, 3950m, you can see the medieval town of Lo in the distance. Lo Manthang is surrounded by a huge wall and when you enter the gate, you will feel like you have entered a different world. As you wander through the narrow alleys you will find women spinning wool and chatting on the street corners. At dusk herdsmen will bring their goat herds back into the city for the night. The king still lives in his 4-story palace. He even entertains visitors when he is at home. The king of Lo Manthang doesn’t have official power anymore, but remains highly respected by his people. Despite being under the government of Nepal, the traditional Lo Tsu Dun council is consulted for most decisions regarding local matters such as festivals, and land tenure.
The people of Lo, known as ‘Lobas’, are of Tibetan ancestry and speak a dialect of Tibetan. The Lobas are highly religious and monasteries and monastic communities play a major role in their lives which is observable in the magnificent monasteries which are a striking contrast to their simple lifestyle. Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri and therefore has a long trekking season, from May to October. In fact, in July or August when the monsoon makes it difficult to trek in the Annapurnas and Everest, the Mustang trekking is exceptionally beautiful as the fields around the villages are lush green with their one annual crop, a contrast to the parched surroundings.
The government has imposed a high permit cost as part of a plan to restrict the number of tourists in order to safeguard the fragile ecosystem and preserve the unique heritage of the area. However it is inevitable that change will come. Recent developments such as teahouses, motor-able roads and electricity are connecting this area to the outside world, but so far, the culture is still intact.
Though July- Early September is considered Monsoon season in Nepal, but Trip to Upper Mustang would be a great adventure since Upper Mustang falls in the rain shadow of the Annapurnas and receives minimum rainfall.
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trekking
- explore the holy land of Upper Mustang
- unmatchable landscapes and views
- people, culture, thier settlements and lifestyles
- this trek can be done all year around
- experience a different world within Mustang
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Flying to Kathmandu is in itself an exciting and memorable experience. On a clear day you will get a panoramic view of the snow-capped Annapurna mountain range. In the airport, after completing the visa formalities collect your luggage downstairs. As you exit the airport terminal, you will be met by our representative carrying your name on a signboard as well as our company signboard, Annapurna Foothills Treks & Expedition. You will be taken to your hotel in our vehicle, where you will be served free welcome drinks, tea or coffee or juice as you check in.
We will finalize paperwork-permit for your trip and make a final check of your gear. In case you need additional trekking equipment, you will have a chance to buy it. Sightseeing tours of Kathmandu Valley are also an option.
Today we will start early to drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The road leads us West following the Trisuli River.
Option: We have not included the airfare Kathmandu - Pokhara (USD $120 Per Person). The exciting half hour flight from Kathmandu- Pokhara gives you the feeling of a mountain flight, high in the Himalayas where you can see the Langtang, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. If you chose to travel to Kathmandu by flight, we give free Airport Drop and Pick up. You need to book this flight before start the trek.
A morning flight to Jomsom, the administrative capital of the Mustang district, reveals spectacular views of the region. From Jomsom we trek north to Kagbeni, the last settlement in lower Mustang and the most ethnically Tibetan in the unrestricted area.
A check-post at Kagbeni checks our permits before we head up the sandy banks of the Kaligandaki river. The beautiful winding trail with many ups and downs brings us to the little village of Tangbe. The mud houses, painted white are a contrast to the surrounding fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. To reach the next village of Chhusang, we cross the river and continue up river to where the Kaligandaki flows through a tunnel of huge red chunk of rock that has fallen from the cliff. Bypassing the tunnel we walk on small ridges above the river to reach Chele village.
We trek to Eklo Bhatti on an ascending trail and then through plateaus and narrow stretches to reach Taklam La Pass, 3624m. Along the way we get views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. After a short descent to the village of Samar we climb steeply up to a ridge above Samar. A sharp descent leads down to a stream and takes us along cool streams and forests of juniper trees all the way to Syanbochen. The local people use the leaves of juniper trees as incense to worship their deities.
The trail to Yamda La Pass, 3850m goes uphill and passes Tibetan style villages with cozy teahouses and Buddhist chortens. After the mountain pass we pass through a forest of poplar trees and barley fields. The next ascent to Nyi Pass, 4010m, is a little longer. We descend to large village of Ghaymi where we stay overnight. Ghayami is surrounded by .
We leave Ghaymi through the large barren fields and cross the Ghaymi Khola to climb to a plateau where there is a very long Mani wall. These sacred stone walls have carved wooden wheels inset in them, and Buddhist people turn the wheels as they walk by. This sends their prayers to Lord Buddha. From the Mani wall, the trail continues east through fields and forests to the village of Tsarang, at the top of the Tsarang Chu Canyon. Colorful prayer flags strung from Tsarang’s red Gompa will be fluttering in the wind.
The trek to Lo-Mangthang offers a magnificent view of the peaks of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti. The trail drops down steeply into the Tsarang Chu Canyon and then after crossing the river, climbs steeply at first and then gently up to the windy pass of Lo La, 3850m, from where you can look over the Lo-Mangthang Valley. As we descend, we can see the magnificent walled city of Lo-Mangthang and the hills behind it which mark the border of Tibet.
Besides enjoying the unique atmosphere and culture of this ancient city surrounded by Himalayas, we may explore the Namgyal Gompa monastery which doubles as an a local court for the community. We can walk northwest of Lo-Mangthang to visit Tingkhar on the Tibetan border. Other attractions are the tall Champa Lakhang "God house", the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, the Entrance Hall, and the four- storey palace of the King.
We leave Lo-Mangthan on a different route than we came. We leave early in the morning as the dusty winds get worse later in the day. Trek to Gyakar where there is a gompa of Guru Rinpoche that is more than 1200 years old. There are rock paintings at Ghar Gompa that are very famous. There is a legend which says anyone who makes a wish at the Ghar Gompa will get their wish fulfilled.
Today, our long walk takes us to Ghiling. After lunch we can have a rest, as it will be dusty wind in the afternoon, and spend the evening exploring the area.
We re-trace our steps back to Chussang. The scenery and the view of the Himalayas along the way is superb.
Our last day of the Upper Mustang Trek starts early and is a long one. At Kagbeni, we leave the upper Mustang trail and join the famous Annapurna Circuit Trail, which descends to Jomsom.
The flights from Jomosom to Pokhara are usually in the early morning due to the high winds which blow up the Kali Gandaki Valley later in the day. The short flight to Pokhara takes us down the Kali Gandaki Valley with spectacular views of Niligiri and Dhaulagiri. You will have ample time to explore Pokhara for the rest of the day. You might want to hire a bike to cycle around to places of interest: Fewa Lake, Devi’s Falls, museum, Tibetan Refugee Camp, Gupteshwar Cave.
Early morning, we depart from the Pokhara Tourist Bus Station to travel back to Kathmandu 6- 7 hours. Check in the hotel in Kathmandu.
Option: We have not included the airfare Pokhara – Kathmandu (USD $120 Per Person). The exciting half hour flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu gives you the feeling of a mountain flight, high in the Himalayas where you can see the Langtang, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. If you chose to travel to Kathmandu by flight, we give free Airport Drop and Pick up. You need to book this flight before start the trek.
Our staff will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to the airport. We hope you enjoyed your journey with Annapurna Foothill Treks!
- Transfer from Airport – Hotel – Airport: Car, Van, Hi-ace or Coaster in a private vehicle.
- Authentic Nepali welcome dinner with Live Nepalese Cultural Program.
- Accommodation in Kathmandu, Three nights on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
- Accommodation in Pokhara, Two nights on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
- Ground Transfers Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu Tourist Bus
- Accommodation during Trek ; local lodges 11 nights (Full board meals with twin-share rooms ,beds with comfortable foam mattress and pillows)
- English speaking experienced Sherpa guide (Govt. Trained/License Holder).
- One Sherpa guide-assistant if group size is more than 4 Trekkers.
- Porters: One porter for 2 Trekkers basis.
- Trek Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation.
- Annapurna Foothill’s Duffle bag for Trekking.
- Annapurna Foothill’s Tshirt.
- Energy Supplies ( Snickers, Mars, Bounty) and Fresh Fruits on the Trek
- First aid medicine kit.
- Special Permit Fee, TIMS permits & all required permits or Official Documentation.
- Round-Trip airfare between Pokhara and Jomsom (Airport Tax Included)
- All government and local taxes.
- Your Personal Travel Insurance.
- Nepal Entry Visa Fee.
- Lunch & Dinner in cities - allow $ 10 to 14 for per meal in Tourist restaurants.
- Beverages (soft drinks, mineral water,boiled water and beer).
- Tips for guide, porters and driver (customary).
- Additional night accommodation in Kathmandu or Pokhara because of early return from Trek (due to any reason) than the planned itinerary.
|start date05 Apr, 2020||end date21 Apr, 2020||Available||$1850|
|start date14 Apr, 2020||end date30 Apr, 2020||Available||$1850|
|start date27 Apr, 2020||end date13 May, 2020||Available||$1850|
Guaranteed - We already have trekkers booked for those dates and you can join the group.
Available - The date is available to book and once you confirm your trip it will be guaranteed.
Limited - The departure date is filling fast and only limited seats are available to join.
Closed- The Trip cannot be booked on that specific date. Contact us for customized dates.
The departure dates are your arrival dates in Nepal.
We have set dates for departure to the Amazing Upper MustangTrekking. So, pick your preferable date and let the adventure begin.
Upper Mustang Trekking is available and can be done throughout the year. So, if the date you prefer is not listed on our departure dates then you can contact us directly to book the trip on your own desired date.
We have listed the price up to 12 trekkers at maximum. If you are more than 12 trekkers, then please feel free to contact us for amazing discounted group price and further booking process.
Private Trips to Upper Mustang is possible on any date of the year. Contact us to design your own private trips with you loved ones.
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The Best Time to do Upper Mustang Trekking
Upper Mustang Trekking is possible year-round , however December, January and February are cold. Since Upper Mustang falls in the rain shadow of the Annapurnas, we can do trekking in this part of Nepal even in the monsoon months of June to September.
Upper Mustang Trekking is a Tea House/Lodge Trek
Accommodation is included in the cost of your package. Annapurna Foothills Treks takes great care to arrange the most comfortable accommodation possible throughout your stay.
Until recently you could only come to Upper Mustang with a fully organized camping trek. However, nowadays some villagers have opened up small guesthouses with plenty of character and good food. The family run lodges are a great place to get to know the Mustang culture. In Tibetan culture, the kitchen is the center of the house, and functions more like a living room. You will be made very welcome into their kitchens where you can learn a lot about their lifestyle.
Spending Money per Day
Although it depends on your spending habits, you should allocate US$ 10 - 15 per meal in Kathmandu. On the trek, your meals are included, but you may wish to purchase extras which are not included in your package, such as chocolate bars, Coca Cola or a beer. US$10 - 15 a day should be enough, but keep in mind the cost of all items increases proportionately with the distance from the trail head
While trekking, it is important to keep hydrated; you should drink at least 3 liters of water each day. In some places there are Euro-guard filters, so all you need is your own water bottle and you can refill it easily. We suggest you bring a supply of water purification tablets in case Euro-guard water is not available. We request that you avoid using bottled mineral water, as the bottles are not easily disposed of.
If you have a reasonable level of fitness, this trek should be more than manageable. The altitude becomes more noticeable the higher we go, so we walk at a slow pace and take plenty of breaks to rest and acclimatize.
When travelling in remote mountain regions, uncertainties such as weather, health problems and natural disasters require a certain amount of flexibility. While our goal is to follow the itinerary, that is not our first priority; your safety is always our first priority. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions request your cooperation to accept the decisions and advice of our trusted and experienced guides if they deem it necessary to change or cancel any part of the itinerary due to safety concerns.
It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.
Since the arrival on Kathmandu airport, this company arranged every of our needs. They are really a problem solving company and we did only had to think about fun.Our Guide "Dawa" was amazing not only as an experienced guide, as well we did much appreciate how he was working hard to get us the best room in every guesthouse, often the only room with bathroom available on town was for us thanks to Dawa. The agent (boss) based in Kathmandu Ngima, was booking tickets, solving issues and making our life easy. The price was reasonable and the service was five stars.Visited October 2016
When you want to go on a trekking trip to Nepal there is a host of international and local Nepalese companies offering their services. It can be quite bewildering which one to choose, actually. A way to decide which company and which trek you should decide on is of course to compare web sites and, even more important, to read other travellers' reviews.Annapurna Foothills Treks have a very professional and inviting web site with loads of valuable information. On top of that this company gets only the best of reviews. We decided to try and send an email to Annapurna Foothills Treks to enquire about a trek to Upper Mustang to take place in July 2016. This review hopefully explains why we made the right decision to go along with this company. Prior to our arrival we had a very good communication with the company's managing director Ngima. Ngima was very responsive to all our emails and questions regarding everything related to our trip, and Ngima even had suggestions to slightly alter and further tailor-make the itinerary to accommodate our interests.Arriving in Kathmandu we were met by the company's representative, the very friendly and knowledgeable Tashi.We were not in the best of moods, however, as half of our luggage had somehow got stuck in Istanbul where we had our connecting flight to Kathmandu; the lost luggage included half of our trekking gear, of course. That made it impossible for us to go on our trekking tour that was due to start two days later. Again Ngima and Tashi were extremely helpful in calling airport and airlines representatives for us to enquire as to the whereabouts of our stuff. They also drove us back and forth to the airport the next couple of days when news were that our luggage should be "on the next plane", all in vain though. Our 10 days permit to Upper Mustang had previously agreed and fixed dates so Tashi and Ngima had the bother to constantly renegotiate the dates on the trekking itinerary on top of rebooking and pushing our domestic flights. As a military coup suddenly happened in Turkey we thought that we might never see our trekking gear again. So we had to make the decision to buy all the missing stuff in Kathmandu. Ngima was again very patient as he drove us around the various outdoor stores in Kathmandu and helped us replenish our gear list, giving us valuable recommendations along the way. We didn't have to buy or rent new sleeping bags as Ngima lent us two professional sleeping bags for free. Those sleeping bags proved very valuable keeping the cold mountain nights at up to 3800m at bay.The trip to Upper Mustang was also amazing. The mountain scenery was nothing short of spectacular and we enjoyed our walks at altitudes going up to and sometimes beyond 4000m. It was easy to see that trekking groups from other companies were also assisted by some skilful and knowledgeable guides. But it was also clear for us that no group had a guide in the same league as ours. Our guide Dawa was a true expert, experienced and a treasure chest of information on the mountains, nature and the local culture. Dawa was very good at reading our stamina and fitness level and knew when small breaks were due. Besides his mountain competence, and equally important, Dawa had a wonderful sense of humour. We had many a good laugh on the trek. It can sometimes be challenging to spend 12 days in very close company of people you don't know that well. But we never felt like that with Dawa and our porter Minbadhu. They were both very gentle characters and it was also nice to see how well they got along with the local Mustang people we met on our way. The trekking tour we had bought did not guarantee ensuite bathrooms. But Dawa always tried to find a guest house where we could have a hot shower in a bathroom of our own. We were always happy when we got lucky there. We always felt in really safe hands with Dawa, yes, a bit pampered actually.One day Dawa got a text message from Ngima back in Kathmandu with photos of our lost luggage that Ngima had picked up for us at the airport when it eventually turned up. Due to the delayed start to our trekking tour plus some later weather-related delays while on the trek we had to cancel some of the hotel reservations we had made for the last week in Nepal, after finishing our trek. These were reservations we had made ourselves beforehand, i.e. not through Annapurna Foothills Trek. But even here our friends at the trekking company were helpful beyond their duty. In order to make use of the "free cancellation" through booking.com we would have to cancel while we were still in Upper Mustang. As there was no internet connection in the area the only thing for us to do to save us losing money was to send a text message with our login and password to Ngima back in Kathmandu. Ngima logged in for us and made the cancellations, saving us a lot of money. You should normally never share your login and password with anybody! But this example just shows how much we trusted Ngima, a trust that was warranted.When we came back to Kathmandu Ngima invited us home to dinner to meet his family. Tashi was also there and we got to meet Ngimas lovely wife Tenzin and their aunt and children. They were all really eager to hear about our experiences on the trek and this was a very nice way to end an eventful trip and say goodbye for now.As should be clear from this review, we are very grateful to Annapurna Foothills Trek for making our trip to Nepal an amazing one, full of good and warm memories. Ngima and his employees all went above and beyond to make our stay in Nepal a pleasant one. If you plan to visit Nepal, check in on Annapurna Foothills Trek's very informative web site and send them an email - you won't regret it!Louise and Anders,Copenhagen, DenmarkVisited July 2016