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Upper Mustang Trek

Trip Cost: USD 1700

Upper Mustang Trek is an eight-day exciting journey from Jomsom Airport (2710 m) to Lo Manthang (Upper Mustang) with a day jeep tour. Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is 18 minutes of aerial views of Kali Gandaki river valley, Mount Dhaulagiri, villages and forests. The Mustang upper territory called Lo Manthang 3840 m(Upper Mustang) is a restricted area (the border of Tibet China), trans-Himalaya region, Buddhist Kingdom, rain shadow area, dramatic desertland nestled behind Mount Dhaulagiri (8167 m) and Annapurna (8091 m) summit.

City of a mud house Upper Mustang is 83 km northwest of Jomsom Valley. Fascinating people practise Buddhism with air burial, polyandry marriage, food habits and dress similar to Tibet. The 22nd cultural King is Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, who ruled until 2016 December 16. His monarchy dates back to the 14th century.

Kali Gandaki riverbank, Kagbeni village (2810 m) Permit Check Post is the Gateway to Lo Manthang. The Upper Mustang trek required a 10-day special permit ($500) per head and an ACAP permit ($30) for a group of two people. The journey reaches the deepest Kali Gandaki Valley with Korala road (China border). Jomsom to Lo Manthang takes six days of hiking. The first King, Ame Pal, launched the walled city of 150 mud houses, a four-storied whitewashed palace, and four traditional wards, Mahakala, Tara, Dipankar Buddha, and Maitreya Buddha. The people called Lobos were divided into caste and hierarchy groups, such as cardiac (Bista-King cast), Ghara (blacksmith), Shemba (butcher) and Emeta (musician). 

Upper Mustang Trek is a restricted area (2567 sq km) opened in 1992 for foreigners. The mountain lodges are along the trekking route. Mountain people do farming, herding, caravan trading and tea shop businesses that can be closed for winter settlement to Pokhara, Bhairahawa and Kathmandu. September-November, March-August (rainshadow area) is the trekking season to the Medieval town. Upper Mustang was on the UNESCO tentative list in 2008 AD. Mustang Golf Course (4645 m) was built in August 2022. 

Lo Manthang Trekking is worth thousands of natural caves, Chorten, monasteries, palaces and mountain villages. Korala Border (4871 m) is 21 kilometres away from the Upper Mustang. The Jhampa Gompa (1387 AD) is a replica of the Ghangtse Jhampa Gompa near Lhasa in Tibet. The first King, Tashi Gon, built Thupchen Gompa. King A-Ham Tshewang Phuntsok Tskgyen Norbu built Chhyoede Gompa (1757).

Five-storied, fascinating Jhong Cave has 40 rooms in Chhoser (Tibet border), reached in a 2-hour hike from Mustang city. A day hike approaches Nyphu Cave Monastery. Damodar Kunda (4890 m) is one of the sacred places of world Hindus reached in a few day's trekking. Annual local celebrates Tenchi (Teji), Losar, Saga Lug Ka, and Duk Chu festivals according to their calendar. The Amchi School is a village clinic. Limited-time tourists complete the Mustang trekking in 8 days with a day Jeep tour. Upper Mustang Jeep tour and horse riding will be pleasant without hiking. The eight-day trekking with a day jeep tour itinerary is below.

Day 01: Pokhara to Kagbeni (2800 m) via Jomsom (2710 m) and Muktinath - 5/6 hours by flight and jeep

Day 02: Kagbeni to Chhusang (2920 m) - 5/6 hours

Day 03: Chhusang to Samar (3290 m) - 4/5 hours

Day 04: Samar to Geling (3440 m) - 5/6 hours

Day 05: Geling to Tsarang (3600 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 06: Charang to Lo-Manthang (3730 m) - 4:30 hours

Day 07: Lo-Manthang to Jomsom by Jeep (83 km) - 7/8 hours

Day 08: Jomsom to Pokhara by flight (20 minutes)

Day 01: Pokhara to Kagbeni (2800 m) via Jomsom (2710 m) and Muktinath - 5/6 hours by flight and jeep
The morning flight Pokhara-Jomsom offers a view of Annapurna, Pokhara, Sarangkot, Seti River, Dhaulagiri with glaciers and the deepest valley Kali Gandaki. Jomsom with Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri view is the district headquarters of Mustang situated at the bank of Kali Gandaki River. There is an army camp, police post, shops, hotels with electricity. A jeep or bus leaves to Muktinath Temple (22 km) that takes an hour driving. The bus stop near Rani Pauwa takes 25 minutes to reach Muktinath temple. Return to Rani Pauwa for lunch. Walk to the bus station up to 3 o'clock to book a bus ticket for Kagbeni. The bus leaves at 4:7 pm. Stay overnight at Kagbeni.

Day 02: Kagbeni to Chhusang (2920 m) - 5/6 hours
Climb the east bank of Kali Gandaki River with a view of the natural cave, Kang Gompa. Walk continue towards Tangbe village (2990 m) with Chorten, terraced fields, and Nilgiri view. This hiking continues to Chhuksang village with the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Narshing Khola. There is a salt mine above Narshing Khola. Stay overnight there.

Day 03: Chhusang to Samar (3290 m) - 4/5 hours
Cross a bridge over the Kali Gandaki river, climb to Chele (3030 m) with a tea shop, a terraced field of barley and wheat. Here are five villages, Chele, Ghyakar, Chhuksang, Tangbe, and Tetang. Climb uphill to a cairn (3480 m) with a view of Ghyakar, descend gradually to the Chorten on the way to the Samar village with poplar trees, hotel and stable with a view of Annapurna and Nilgiri. Stay overnight here.

Day 04: Samar to Geling (3440 m) - 5/6 hours
Climb uphill to a ridge, descend into a gorge with Chortens. The trail continues to a stream and a ridge descending to the Bhena. The hiking continues to a pass, then descends to Shyangmochhen (3650 m) with teashops. Climb gradually to a pass (3700 m) in the valley. Take a right, descend to the Geling with poplar trees, barley field.

Day 05: Geling to Tsarang (3600 m) - 6/7 hours
Climb uphill through the Geling Valley to reach Tama Gaon and the Nyi La (3840 m). Descend continues and takes a left trail to Ghami village with whitewashed houses. Here are a police post, Gompa, potato field, and the red nunnery end of the village. The walk continues, cross the Ghami Khola, then climb uphill to Tsarang village with electricity, Mani walls, willow trees, Red Gompa with a collection of paintings. There is a Five-storeyed fortress with 101 households. Stay overnight there.

Day 06: Charang to Lo-Manthang (3730 m) - 4:30 hours
Descend to cross Tsarang Chu, climb uphill steeply through a ridge and village (3530 m) toward Tholung Valley. Climb to large Chorten between Charang and Lo. Cross a stream, reach over a ridge (3850 m) with the view of Lo. Descending continues to cross a stream then climb uphill to the Lo-Manthang with police post, several monasteries, Chortens, local King's palace, and terraced field. Stay overnight here.

Day 07: Lo-Manthang to Jomsom by Jeep (83 km) - 7/8 hours
Take a jeep counter near Lotus Inn Hotel, which starts at 6:45 am. The jeep leaves 8 to 9 in the morning. Lo Manthang to Chhusang takes almost 6 hours by Jeep. The jeep for Nepali cost 1500 Rupee and for tourist cost 3000 Rupee. The distance is 61 km with fair weather downhill road. Chhusang-Jomsom bus counter is situated across the stream. Jomsom takes almost 2 hours driving, which is 22 km away. The jeep for Nepali cost 370 Rupee and the tourist cost 830 Rupee.

Day 08: Jomsom to Pokhara by flight (20 minutes)
The morning Jomsom-Pokhara offers a view of the Kali Gandaki River valley, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Ghorepani, Sarangkot, Phewa Lake with the World Peace Stupa and Pokhara valley. Stay overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.

Trip Cost Includes

  • Airports pick up and drop in private car with guide.
  • 7 night’s lodge with twin sharing bed in Mountain.
  • Professional trekking guide & porter.
  • Lodge, food, salary, transport and insurance to the porter and guide.
  • ACAP permit, special permit and TIMS card.
  • Flight ticket to Jomsom and Pokhara with airport tax.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner in Mountain.

Trip Cost Excludes

  • Nepal entry visa fees.
  • Travel insurance including helicopter evacuation.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara except for farewell meals.
  • International airfare and departure tax.
  • Bar bills, laundry, hot shower, dessert, water and battery charge in the Mountain.
  • Tip to guide and porter.
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