Upper Mustang Trek is the ancient Himalayan Kingdom which until recently was off limits to western tourists. The area has an isolated and mystical feel to it. Located in the north of the Annapurna Region on the border to Tibet it is a high desert region that features stark treeless landscape under the shadow of high snow-capped peaks dotted with a colorful mosaic of fields.The influence here is Tibetan, with the language, culture and religion closely linked to the Tibetan people. Lo Manthang considered until recently to be The Last Forbidden Kingdom until it was opened to foreigners still considered to be a separate kingdom is possibly the most unique and fascinating place in Nepal. Thousands of years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage of this place unchanged for centuries. Many people consider Upper Mustang to be more authentically Tibetan than Tibet for this very reason. And for tourists, this presents a unique opportunity to experience this ancient history and culture.
Home to some ancient Monasteries and Buddhist sites as well as the famous pilgrimage site of Muktinath (sacred to Hindu’s and Buddhists) Upper Mustang is a deeply spiritual experience. Also, home to the Kali Gandaki Gorge, considered to be the deepest in the world this area will delight not only with it’s cultural and spiritual diversity but It’s stark and stunning natural beauty.
Until 1991 Upper Mustang was a restricted region for outsiders, which led to earning its name as the last forbidden Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal or Mini Tibet of Nepal. Upper Mustang trek takes you to the hidden world of the Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang and therefore is closely tied to the Tibetan culture and traditions. Upper Mustang is the perfect getaway for those who seek solitary and cultural mix; this region is very rich in Tibetan culture and has no. of Buddhist monasteries, rare medieval Buddhists arts, and exotic culture, unbelievable views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and several other peaks. With almost treeless barren landscape and steep rocky trails are some other reasons which differentiate this trek from other.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)
Day 2: Half day Sightseeing Tour Kathmandu
Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft) 6 hrs drive
Day 4: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni (2,858m/9,375ft) 3-4 hrs
Day 5: Trek to Chele (3050m/10,004ft) 5-6 hrs
Day 6: Trek to Syanbochen (3475m/11,398ft) 6-7 hrs
Day 7: Trek to Ghaymi (3520m/11,546ft) 5-6 hrs
Day 8: Trek to Charang (3500m/11,480ft) 4-5 hrs
Day 9: Trek to Lo-Mangthang (3700m/12,136ft) 5-6 hrs
Day 10: Exploration of Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar 4-6 hrs
Day 11: Trek to Drakmar (3810m/12,500ft): 6-7 hrs
Day 12: Trek to Ghiling (3806m/12,484ft) 5-6 hrs
Day 13: Trek to Chhuksang (3050m/10,004ft) 5-6 hrs
Day 14: Trek to Muktinath (3,710m/12,170ft) 7 hrs
Day 15: Trek to Jomsom (2700/8,856ft) 6 hrs
Day 16: Flight back to Pokhara
Day 17: Drive back to Kathmandu 6 hrs
Day 18: Departure from TIA.
You will be welcomed by a Great Nepal Representative at the airport and be transferred to your hotel. Your Great Nepal Representative will explain briefly about the travel itinerary. There will be a welcome dinner tonight where you will enjoy local cuisine and folk dance. Overnight stay in hotel.
Today you will be going for sightseeing around the world heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley including, Kathmandu Durbar square, Bouddhanath Temple and Pashupatinath Temple. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast we will be travelling to Pokhara (around 200km) via the Prithivi Highway. It is a 6hr drive with beautiful scenery all along the way featuring rolling hills, farmland with terraces set beside raging rivers perfect for rafting. You will arrive at Pokhara in the late afternoon where you can wander around the shops at lakeside and enjoy the sunset over Fewa Lane. Overnight at Pokhara.
This morning you will have the opportunity to experience perhaps the most exhilarating mountain flight in the world (certainly the best in Nepal), with stunning views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. We fly up the valley between two 8000+m giants seemingly within touching distance of the mountains. Upon reaching Jomsom our trekking starts with a short trek to Kagbeni, the main gateway to Upper Mustang. The scenery up here is vastly different to that which we experienced at Pokhara and this stark grandeur under the shadow of snow capped peaks sets the tone for our trek. Overnight at Kagbeni.
The day starts with a permit check as we leave Kagbeni and head upstream beside the Kaligandaki River. Our first stop is Tangbe village with it’s narrow roads through white washed stone houses, fields of buckwheat and barley and apple orchards. With Nilgiri Peak on our right it’s around 2 hours to Chhusang village before we leave the Kali Gandaki Valley and the track climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele. Overnight at Chele.
After starting our day with a walk to Eklo Bhatti we climb the Taklam La Pass (3624m/11,923ft) and are greeted with stunning views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kand and Damodar Danda. From here we descend to the village of Samar and then descending steeply to the stream below. A further 3 hours of walking takes us to Syanbochen and along the way we can experience the landscape of streams and juniper which is an important ingredient for incense in the local Buddhist culture.
Today we trek uphill to the Yamda La (3850m/12,667ft) passing through local villages with Tibetan style architecture, chortens and tea houses. We cross over mountain passes and experience breathtaking views of the barren land, naked hills and rugged terrain that is a feature of Mustang. The fields of barley and avenue of poplar trees on our way is a stark contrast to the rugged browns and rocky hillsides.
After breakfast we start with a pleasant walk crossing the Ghami Khola before climbing to a plateau where the trail passes a very long Mani wall (a wall of stones printed with Buddhist Mantras). From here the track heads east to the village of Charang which is characterized by it’s abundant fields, willow trees and houses surrounded by stone walls. The village is famous for it’s monasteries, Thankas and much more. Overnight at Charang.
The trek to Lo-Manthang offers us magnificent views of Nilgiri, Tilcho, Annapurna 1 and Bhrikuti Peak. We begin by descending the Charang Chu Canyon before climbing steepy and ascending the windy pass of Lo from where we have a magnificent view of the Lo-Manthang Valley and the walled city of Lo-Manthang on the Tibetan border. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.
Today we explore the area around Lo-Manthang starting with a 2 hour trek to Namgyal Gompa. Situated on the hilltop it is an important monastery for the local community and the local court. The trek then continues until Tingkhar village before returning back to Lo-Manthang. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.
From Lo-Manthang the trail climbs steadily up a ridge to 4070m and continues climbing to Chogo La situated at 4210m which is the highest point on the trek. The trail then crosses the Charang River and reaches Ghar Gompa, a 1200 year old monastery with Guru Rinpoche as the primary focus. According to local legend anyone who makes a wish at Ghar Gompa will have that wish fulfilled. From here it’s just a short walk to Drakmar. Overnight at Drakmar.
This morning we head to Ghiling where we have the afternoon to explore the area. Overnight at Ghiling.
It’s an easy day walking with wonderful Himalayan scenery to enjoy today. As we head to Chhusang Village and there are two ways to reach there. An alternative route passes through Samar Village and the Ranchung Cave which takes 30-minutes longer than the original trail. Overnight stay at Chhuksang.
It’s a special day today as we trek to one of the most sacred pilgrimage places for Hindu’s and Buddhists, Muktinath Temple. This route is also very popular for the abundance “Saligram”. Overnight at Muktinath.
As Muktinath is one of most important destinations for Hindus pilgrim, we will visit the temple in the morning. There are 108 water spouts inside the temple where pilgrims take a holy bath. From Muktinath we can enjoy magnificent views of Dhaulagiri mountain range. From Muktinath we descend and cross Kaligandaki Valley passing Kagbeni village before we reach Jomsom. Overnight stay at a Jomsom.
An early morning flight to Pokhara leaves the day is free for sightseeing around Pokhara Valley. Pokhara is the adventure capital of Nepal and offers Paragliding and the worlds longest zipline among other things. A visit to the World Peace Pagoda or a boat trip on Phewa Lake is always lovely too. There is a great tourist shopping strip with souvenir shops, café’s and bars at lakeside. Or you can visit the numerous Tibetan Refugee Camps, Devi’s Falls or the Mountaineering Museum. Overnight in Pokhara.
Today we drive back to Kathmandu where you can spend the remainder of the day relaxing or souvenir shopping before our farewell dinner tonight. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Sadly your most memorable journey ends today. A Great Nepal representative will escort you to the airport 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you have plenty of time to think about your recent adventure and to plan your next wonderful adventure in Nepal.
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To enable all expedition members to acclimatize well and hence maximize their chances of success, our expedition programs are prepared with sufficient time for acclimatization. Adaptation to the altitude takes time and there can be no short-cuts, even if supplementary oxygen is used in the final stages. The atmospheric pressure at the base camp is half of that at the sea level. A thorough program of acclimatization is built into the itinerary which consists of regulated height ascents, followed by descents and rests before the final ascent to the summit. This will prevent the climbers to get rid from altitude sickness.
Why Tipping is essential?
There are several reasons why you should tip in Nepal. It is quite the same as for what you tip in restaurants. They live in remote areas that are far from proper health and education facilities. Tipping them will additionally encourage them to manage good and nutritive food to eat, warm and comfortable clothes to wear or other necessary basic requirements to maintain their livelihood in a comfortable way. A small gesture of gratitude will do no harm to you but actually changes the lives of many people for a long time in many reasons. Our company has its fund collected from the some percentage of profit and sometimes from the tips of our guests which will directly invested for uplifting the economic condition of guides, porters and other staffs of office. It’s nothing more than the way to add smiles on those laborious faces.
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