A vast expanse of rock; wilderness of huge proportions, Mustang opened only for selected organized groups since 1992. Mustang offers a truly exceptional opportunity to explore an area rich in ancient tradition and mythology.
A vast expanse of rock; wilderness of huge proportions, Mustang opened only for selected organized groups since 1992. Mustang offers a truly exceptional opportunity to explore an area rich in ancient tradition and mythology. It is a unique experience which takes you to an arid region beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The route entails traveling across desert like landscape, barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and moraine valleys. It is a land of barley field and pasture where sheep are seen grazing and ponies are used to carry loads. The views of windswept Kali Gandaki Valley, vast spaces around Kagbeni, sprawling ridges and high mountains provide a mind blowing experience for the brave adventurer. Trekking in Mustang is truly one of the most rewarding experiences in Nepal. Trekkers will have a close up view of the primitive society that has remained unaffected by modernization for centuries. The king still exists and grants audience to the visitors in his palace at the walled city of Lo Manthang.
Mustang trek is suitable for any walker looking for something a little more challenging and energetic. It does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience. Although the terrain is not difficult, some vigorous hiking experience is useful. And it does not require any technical experience; only that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike for 4-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Sherpa and sufficient number of porters will carry all your trekking gear and necessary equipment.
Day 01: Arrival and transfer to hotel in Kathmandu Upon arrival in Kathmandu.
Our airport representative will be waiting outside the airport terminal a few metres from the exit door. Please check your name at play card. He will bring you to hotel in kathmandu. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes
Day 02: Free day in kathmandu or self sightseeing around Kathmandu valley( option are)
Patan Durbar Square:
Day 03: Pokhara (850m)
The bus journey will take approx 7 hours but by air it takes only 45 minates.
Pokhara is set in a lovely valley at the foot of the Machapuchare so you get spectacular views of the mountains from all parts of the town. It is quite different from Kathmandu, with few temples, but it does have plenty of scenic attractions and is close to the mountains. There are some interesting short walks or bicycle rides from Pokhara, you can swim and canoe on Lake Phewa or just watch the last rays of the sun stream across the dip in the mountains that hold the lake. Along the lakeside road there is a continuous stretch of small hotels, restaurants and shops; it’s an area which still has a bit of the old hippy scene feel about it.
Day 04: Kagbeni (2776m)
(Flight time: approx 30 mins; trekking approx 3 hours) Weather permitting the flight from Pokhara to Jomsom leaves early in the morning and is perhaps the most exciting flight in Nepal. There are fantastic views as we fly up the Kali Ghandaki Gorge, flanked on either side by the Himalayan giants of Annapurna 1 (8091m) and Dhaulagiri (8167m). Our trekking crew will already be in Jomosom (2715m), awaiting our arrival. We begin the trek from the airport on the west bank of the Kali Ghandaki River before quickly crossing to the east bank and into the main part of Jomsom. The walking is easy as we follow the Kali Ghandaki through barren, windswept trans-Himalayan scenery. This is our first day at altitude so a relaxed pace is recommended. After just over two hours we reach the few houses of Eklabhatti, where the main trail ascends to Muktinath (3880m). We bear left and continue up the valley to the small village of Kagbeni, which marks the beginning of the restricted zone.
Day 05: Chuksang (2950m)
(Trekking: approx 6 hours) Before leaving Kagbeni we have to complete special permit formalities as we enter the restricted zone. The trail then climbs above the village and continues on a series of short ascents and descents on the east bank of the Kali Ghandaki. Whilst the valley floor is a flat river plain, it cannot be followed due to the number of river crossings that would need to be made. On the west bank we soon see the Gompa Kang Monastery, belonging to the Nyingmapa sect. The high trail that disappears into the barren distance leads to the Dolpo region. The first village from Kagbeni is Tangbe (2940m), located above the valley and identified by a trio of black, red and white chortens (Buddhist shrines). The village itself is a maze of whitewashed, flat- roofed houses linked by narrow alleyways. We take lunch close to the village near fields of buckwheat and apple orchards. The afternoon walk is shorter and we should reach Chuksang in a further two hours. Again we follow the east bank until we reach the confluence of Narshang Khola and the Kali Ghandaki. The village is split into three sections and the remains of an old fort can be seen close by. The scenery is totally unlike the traditional views one sees of Nepal; here the terrain is barren and very similar to that associated with Tibet. From our camp, huge red and orange sculptured cliffs with inaccessible caves dominate the opposite side of the valley.
Day 06: Samar (3490m)
(Trekking: approx 6 hours) There are five villages in this immediate area linked by ethnic ties - Chele, Gyakar, Chuksang, Tangbe and Tetang. They are related to the people of the Manang Valley rather than those from Jomsom and Kagbeni or Lo Manthang. It is a tough existence for people in this area - arable land is limited and trading is necessary to supplement any income made from the soil. The morning walk follows the riverbed before crossing the Kali Ghandaki on a steel suspension bridge close to the place where the river passes under a huge block of red sandstone. From here there is a steep ascent to the village of Chele, where we take lunch close to barley fields and nearby willow trees. In the afternoon we climb again to a cairn at 3130 metres. Here we witness views of the village of Gyakar, lying across an impressive canyon where a patchwork of green fields gives a dash of colour to the barren terrain. The trail which is narrow in places continues to ascend to a pass at 3550 metres. To the south great views of the Himalayan peaks can be enjoyed including Nilgiri and Tilicho peaks. From the pass it is a short descent to the village of Samar and our camp close to a willow grove and irrigation channels.
Day 07: Gheling (3590m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours) From the village we descend steeply past a red, black, yellow and white chorten nearly 60 metres into a deep ravine before inevitably climbing out and descending again into another canyon. We then ascend and continue our climb through an area of shrub juniper. It takes nearly two hours to reach a small ridge at 3750 metres after which a short descent leads to a couple of tea houses at Shangmochen and a welcome break. We ascend again to reach another pass at 3770 metres, where we enter a huge east-west valley. Here we bear to the right and drop down to Gheling, where we make camp close to the extensive barley fields. It is a long morning’s walk, but we have kept the afternoon free to assist with our acclimatisation.
Day 08: Tsarang (3580m)
(Trekking: approx 7 hours) We begin the morning by ascending gently through the fields up the valley, passing below the settlement of Tamagang and a large chorten. We rejoin the main trail and begin another steep climb to the head of the valley to Nyi La (3930m). We are now at the border of Mustang and descend gradually for half an hour to meet a trail junction. The right fork heads to Charang and our track bears to the left towards Ghami (3250m) where we take lunch. In the afternoon the track crosses a river gully before ascending to a plateau and mani wall where we head east, climbing above the village of Tramar to a ridge at 3770 metres. From here it is a gradual descent to Tsarang, a large and fertile village populated by people form Mustang - the Lobas. The village has a magnificent monastery.\
Day 09: Lo Manthang (3760m)
(Trekking: approx 5 hours) After spending part of the morning exploring Tsarang, we descend from the village into the Tsarang River canyon before ascending a stony trail heading north, with fine views behind us of the Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna ranges to the south. The trail passes an isolated chorten and spectacular caves etched into the surrounding cliffs, before reaching a ridge at 3850 metres for our first views of Lo Manthang and the spectacular scenery of the Mustang Khola and the snow-capped peak of Mansail in the west. From the ridge we descend to a small river and climb briefly to enter the fabled walled city from the north-eastern corner.
Day 10: Lo Manthang (3760m)
(Exploration day) The ’city’ contains around 150 houses and four monasteries, one of which is reported to date back to the 15th century. Inside the temples we are able to view many Buddha images and religious paintings. Photography is sometimes not permitted and you should beware of the fierce Tibetan mastiff dogs that guard the monasteries. The city itself has declined since the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Prior to this, Lo Manthang was a centre for the old salt and wool trade and at one time was a prosperous city. The dominant building in the centre of the city is the King’s Palace. The Royal Family are descendants of an aristocratic family from Lhasa in Tibet and today, though their duties are largely ceremonial, the King is a well-respected horseman and breeder of Lhasa apso dogs. After exploring the city in the morning we may take an optional walk towards Chosar in the afternoon.
Day 11: Lo Gekar (3880m)
(Trekking: approx 5 hours) Our return route has a few variations from the approach. The trail to the interesting monastery at Lo Gekar follows a minor path, away from the major route. We follow herders’ tracks up to a pass with final views of Lo Manthang before crossing into another valley and climbing to the valley head at 4050 metres. A further ascent and descent across two more valleys leads to a steep ascent and descent to the fertile valley and the monastery at Lo Gekar.
Day 12: Ghami (3550m)
(Trekking: approx 5 hours) From the monastery there are views of the two neighbouring villages of Marang and Charang. We begin the day with a climb to a pass marked with a cairn at 4100 metres. The trail then passes through alpine meadows before twisting down a red and purple eroded gully to the village of Tanmar. We pass through lush fields that are a stark contrast to the surrounding barren terrain and climb a further ridge that precedes a short descent to the village of Ghami (3440m). The village has a monastery but is off limits to tourists following the theft of religious artefacts some years before. We move beyond the village and make camp further up the trail en route to the Nyi La (Nyi Pass).
Day 13: Samar (34900m)
(Trekking: approx 5-6 hours) From the camp we ascend to a ridge marked by a cairn and then continue to climb until we meet the trail that comes from Tsarang. We head to a pass and then descend steeply into Gheling Valley, where we rejoin the trail used on our approach. We retrace our steps back to Samar with a final steep climb to the campsite.
Day 14: Kagbeni (2860m)
(Trekking: approx 6-7 hours) We retrace our steps back to Kagbeni. As we are walk in the opposite direction, it is difficult to imagine we travelled this route just over a week before.
Day 15: Jomsom (850m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours) We retrace our steps through a barren, almost moon-like landscape dotted with patches of green cultivation. Man-made canals cut across the terrain, irrigating the crops and fruit trees. We lunch at Eklaibhati. Heading south, the wide, windswept valley floor has little fertile land, which means a hard existence for the inhabitants of the Upper Kali Gandaki. After a few hours following the valley downstream we arrive back at Jomsom, a dusty and windswept town where we spend the night in a lodge to await our flight back to Pokhara the following morning.
Day 16: Pokhara (850m)
Day 17: Free day in Kathmandu or self visit to bhaktapur city.
Day 18: Tour ends