Upper Mustang is located north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and, at an average of 4000m, is geologically and culturally part of the Tibetan plateau. The valleys are arid and dry with colourful rock formations often containing many thousands of cave dwellings high up in the cliffs. The first trekking parties were allowed into Upper Mustang in 1992. Now the Nepalese government requires a special entry permit with surcharge to enter Upper Mustang. There is also strict control in obtaining a special permit from the Department of Immigration to protect their tradition from outside influences as well as to protect their environment. Very few people (around 800 trekkers each year) visiting the Kingdom and, as a result, it is one of the few places left where one can see undisturbed Tibetan culture.
Upper Mustang trek starts from Pokhara, a beautiful lake city of the western Nepal and crossing the Annapurna conservation area will get to Upper Mustang. Fly to Jomsom will take you at the entry point of Mustang called Kagbeni. We start our trek through a Holy river bank of Kaligandaki and follow the up stream to get to Lo Mangthang, which is capital of the Mustang. On Mustang trek you will have a chance to explore thousands years old monasteries, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of different landscapes. You'll have a great chance to get a blessing from the King of Mustang during a visit to the Royal Palace.
Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu airport our Guide welcomes you and assists to transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu. At the evening you'll transfer for welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant with the cultural & musical programs in the heart of Kathmandu and briefing about your trip and overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation (1,300m/4,264 ft)
After breakfast the day will start with the visit to cultural world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley: Pashupatinath temple, the pilgrimage site of Hindu people, Bouddhanath Stupa, one of the world's biggest stupa, Swoyambhunath Stupa also known as monkey temple and historical Kathmandu Durbar Square with temple, unique architectures and Kumari (living goddess) in central Kathmandu. Evening pre-trip discussion and introduction with our trekking staff.
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara valley (823m/2,700ft), 7-8 hrs drive
Early morning drive by tourist bus to Pokhara through the beautiful Nepalese countryside to reach the Pokhara lakeside and transfer to the hotel and rest of the time exploring the surrounding lakeside areas and overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Pokhara-Jomsom to Kagbeni (2,858m/9,374ft), 3-4 hrs walk
After breakfast morning flight to Jomsom, a super scenic flight of 20 minutes brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. From Jomsom our trek continues on the gradual & windy path along the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hrs till reaching the village of Ekleybhatti where you will have a stop, and later, another hour of easy walk to Kagbeni, an interesting wind swept village situated on the old Trans himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area.
Day 05: Kagbeni to chele (3050m/10,004ft), 5-6 hrs walk
Our journey starts with a special permit check up and onwards to the riverbank of Kaligandaki up stream. We enter Mustang and follow the east bank of the river over a series of small ridges. Across the river we can see Kang Gompa, a centre of the Nyingmapa. Approaching Tangbe we encounter the distinctive black, red and white chortens that typify upper Mustang. The town of white washed houses contains an intriguing pattern of alleyways and is surrounded by fields of wheat, barley and buckwheat, interspersed with small apple orchards. We cross to the east bank of the river and ascend to the village of Chele. Immediately, the strong influence of Tibetan culture of Lo is evident with the decoration of the houses.
Day 06: Chele to Syanbochen, (3475m/11,398ft), 6-7 hrs walk
The trail today is characterized by the crossing of a series of large spurs. Our trek leads to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, Nilgiri and Damodar Danda. Further 3 hrs walk will take you to Syanbochen for the overnight. The valleys that dissect the trail have cool streams and juniper trees to enable us to relax for a while.
Day 07: Syanbochen to Ghaymi (3520m/11,546ft), 5-6 hrs walk
After breakfast we trek uphill to the Yamda La Pass (3,850m /12,667ft), we will meet few teahouses, chortens (a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics) and local Tibetan style villages whose houses show an open veranda. Avenues of poplar trees and fields of barley mark our trail as we head to Nyi La (4,010m/13,193ft) which is the highest point of the trek so far and the southern boundary of Mustang valley, after we descend to our overnight stop at Ghaymi.
Day 08: Ghaymi to Charang (3500m/11,480ft), 4-5 hrs walk
We start our trek after breakfast with a pleasant walk to easily get to Charang for the overnight. We descend to the Ghaymi Khola and pass a spectacular series of Mani walls (Secret stone wall of the Buddhism) to the village of Charang with its huge white dzong (a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the present and former Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas) and its red Gompa.
Day 09: Charang to Lo Mangthang (3700m/12,136ft), 5-6 hrs walk
We leave the Charang Khola and climb the ridge to 3,850m/12628ft windy pass of Lo, for our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The trail drops to a stream and then climbs onto the plateau where the city is situated. The only gate is in the north east corner and we make our way to the entrance. The white washed walls enclose around 150 homes, Gompas and a palace. We stay at teahouse and rest of the time explores the surrounding area.
Day 10: Explore the Lo Mangthang
We have allowed full day to explore this outstanding historical and cultural centre. There are 4 major Gompas (monasteries) to be visited. The palace is the home of the raja (King) and his rani (queen) and it is the attraction as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya. Although the raja's function is now primarily ceremonial he is seen as a person who can help people resolve local issues. The town itself is fascinating, and offers countless opportunities to observe a vibrant Tibetan culture. There are many places you can explore. Monasteries require donations and entry fees which are on your own.
Day 11: Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gumpa, 4-5 hrs walk
After a wonderful time at Lo Mangthang reluctantly we depart to Ghar Gumpa which is also interesting place to explore the local area. Climbing the ridge, we get our last view of the walled city and descend the valley towards Ghar Gompa. During the walk you'll suffer the dusty wind and as suggested to walk in the morning.
Day 12: Ghar Gumpa to Ghiling (3806m/12,484ft), 5-6 hrs walk
Today, we continue down the valley to Ghiling as our journey for our overnight stay. Explore the area but it will be dusty better to walk in evening time.
Day 13: Ghiling to Chele (3050m/10,004ft), 5-6 hrs walk
We re-track back to Ghiling for the overnight stop after 5 hrs walk. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view. Enjoy your trip and overnight at teahouse.
Day 14: Chele to Jomsom (2700/8,856ft), 6-7 hrs walk
This will be our last day trek as well as long. After a morning walk we reach Kagbeni, finished the upper Mustang trails and join to the normal as Annapurna circuit trek. Tonight we will celebrate the achievements of the trek with the crew and reflect on our journey.
Day 15: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara
This wonderful morning, after breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. This is a dramatic flight between gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara airport guide will transfer to the lakeside hotel. Rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, 7-8 hrs drive
Morning we'll drive back through the scenic countryside and en route will stop for breakfast & lunch. It takes 7 hours back to Kathmandu. On arrival at Kathmandu guide will transfer to the hotel and rest of the day relax or explore the surrounding areas and overnight at hotel.
Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu
Today is free for last minute shopping gifts to your family, friends or relatives. you'll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.
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