Mustang Exotic

A Forbidden Kingdom

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21Days €1850

Mustang lies behind Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and geographically forms part of the Tibetan plateau. It was only in 1992 that the Government of Nepal allowed tourists access to the area.

The people of Mustang, Lobas, boast a long and proud history, their independent state dating back to the 5th Century A.D. In the 7th Century, Songtsen Gampo, most famous of all Tibetan kings, incorporated the land of Lo into his empire. Mustang only reappeared as an independent kingdom in 1430 when Gyalpo, ‘Precious Ruler’, Ame Pal founded a dynasty whose descendants survive to this day.

Our trek begins with a flight to Jomsom via Pokhara. We start walking beside the KaliGandakiRiver and as we gradually gain height we pass salt mines, and hermit caves set in the cliffs above. Our route visits many villages on the way, including the rarely-seen settlements north of the square-walled city of Lo Manthang. We leave Mustang by a different route to add further interest.

  • Itinerary Overview
  • Detailed Travel Plan
  • Included / Excluded
  • Travel Notes
  • Departure Dates
  • Day 1 : Arrive Kathmandu.
  • Day 2 : Sightseeing tour.
  • Day 3 : Fly to Pokhara.
  • Day 4 : Fly to Jomsom (9000ft/2743m) and Trek to Kagbeni (9500ft/2896m) 3-4 hrs.
  • Day 5 : Trek to Chussang (9580ft/2920m) 5 hrs.
  • Day 6 : Trek to Samar (11480ft/3500m) 5-6 hrs.
  • Day 7 : Trek to Ghiling (11480ft/3500m) 4-5 hrs.
  • Day 8 : Trek to Tsarang (11480ft/3500m) via Ghami (11650ft/3551m) 8 hrs.
  • Day 9 : Trek to Lo Manthang (12370ft/3770m) 4-5 hrs.
  • Day 10 : At leisure.
  • Day 11 : Visit villages north of Lo Manthang.
  • Day 12 : Visit villages north of Lo Manthang.
  • Day 13 : Visit villages north of Lo Manthang
  • Day 14 : Trek to Ghara Gompa (Lo Gekar) (12726ft/3879m) 5 hrs.
  • Day 15 : Trek to Damagaon via the highland route (11644ft/3549m) 4-5 hrs.
  • Day 16 : Trek to Samar via holy cave (Rangbyung) (11480ft/3500m) 5-6 hrs.
  • Day 17 : Trek to Kagbeni (9500ft/2896m).
  • Day 18 : Trek to Jomsom (9000ft/2743m) 2-3 hrs.
  • Day 19 : Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara.
  • Day 20 : At leisure in Kathmandu.
  • Day 21 : Final departure.
  • Day 1 : Arrive Kathmandu.

    It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative and driver from Explorer Nepal will meet you at the airport and escort you to Hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.

    Check In at the Hotel.

  • Day 2 : Sightseeing tour.

    After breakfast at the hotel, commence the sightseeing tour of Kathmandu city, Swayambhunath and Patan city.

    Kathmandu city: Kasthamandap, the source of the name Kathmandu means ‘made from the timber of a single tree’. Also known as Kantipur, the capital Kathmandu is the hub of Nepal's art and culture. It is a place for rest, relaxation and easy-day sightseeing of historic and artistic temples and monuments. Kathmandu Durbar Square with its arrays of temples, Seto Machhindranath and the ancient palace of the former Nepali Royals enriches your experience of the centuries old civilization.

    Swayambhunath Stupa: Said to be around 2000 years old, this Buddhist Stupa sits atop a hill. The main stupa is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire crowned by a pinnacle of Copper gilt. Painted on the four sided base of the spire are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. The hill of Swayambhunath is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda temples. You’ll get a scenic view of Kathmandu city from there.

    Patan city: Located about 5 km south of Kathmandu, Patan is one of 3 royal cities in the valley. A destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.

    Patan is believed to have been built in the third century B.C. by the Kirat dynasty later expanded and enriched by the Licchavi and the Malla rulers in the medieval period. Patan Durbar Square, like its counterpart in Kathmandu, is an enchanting mélange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. The former Royal palace complex is the centre of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a beautiful museum. One remarkable monument here is 16th century temples dedicated to the Hindu go Krishna, built entirely of stone.

    Check In and Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 3 : Fly to Pokhara.

    We take the short but scenic 30 minute flight to Pokhara, enjoying the views of Ganesh, Manaslu and the Annapurnas along the way. On arrival at Pokhara Airport meet, assist by our representative and transfer to Hotel.

    Overnight at Hotel in Pokhara.

  • Day 4 : Fly to Jomsom (9000ft/2743m) and Trek to Kagbeni (9500ft/2896m) 3-4 hrs.

    We take the spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom (famous for its apples) where we will be met at the tiny airstrip by our trek crew. After some initial preparation of loads, we begin our trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom we cross a small suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is flat and quite barren, with craggy rocks and sand littering the trail. This makes it very easy going. We will get magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, fields of wheat and barley and a large red Gompa, give us a preview of scenes that we would come across in Upper Mustang. At the north end of the village is the police check-post. Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this long forbidden region of Nepal.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 5 : Trek to Chussang (9580ft/2920m) 5 hrs.

    It is possible to trek right up the river valley, but we use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where we come across the first black, white and red Chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chhuksang village is only about 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chhuksang are some spectacular red eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 6 : Trek to Samar (11480ft/3500m) 5-6 hrs.

    There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang practice agriculture. But due to lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is limited to sheltered plots of land. This spots the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, we reach the river. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of a tunnel and north from here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable by foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to the village of Chele. Watch out for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs here, which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major place to stop for horse and mule caravans.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 7 : Trek to Ghiling (11480ft/3500m) 4-5 hrs.

    We climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of Chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 8 : Trek to Tsarang (11480ft/3500m) via Ghami (11650ft/3551m) 8 hrs.

    Today's walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of your energy will be spent negotiating loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, are a source of inspiration. Finally, you come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village there is a huge Dzong [fortress] and a red Gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and Thangkas. From Charang the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. You then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La [3840m]. The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 9 : Trek to Lo Manthang (12370ft/3770m) 4-5 hrs.

    After heaving hearty breakfastwe head towards Lo Manthang, it takes about four to five hours. You will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 10 : At leisure.

    Camp at Lo-Manthang to observe the blood drinking festival [if you join on festival time].

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 11 : Visit villages north of Lo Manthang.

    You will be staying three days in Lo-Manthang so that you can explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues. It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys, but this short tour will incur extra costs.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 12 : Visit villages north of Lo Manthang.

  • Day 13 : Visit villages north of Lo Manthang

  • Day 14 : Trek to Ghara Gompa (Lo Gekar) (12726ft/3879m) 5 hrs.

    We begin our return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route. This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley, with snow clad peaks in the background. Just past the settlement of Lo Gekar, we reach the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghare Gompa.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 15 : Trek to Damagaon via the highland route (11644ft/3549m) 4-5 hrs.

    Good views down the valley over Marang and Tsarang to distant peaks. After visiting the monastery we stroll on a fine high path contouring the hillside to a col with a panorama over barren hills, from a cairned summit on the left. A steep winding descent through red and purple cliffs leads to the white ‘cubist’ village of Tramar, surrounded by welcoming green pastures. Tramar has one of the most unique settings anywhere in Mustang. The highly-coloured cliffs rise sheer as a backdrop and again are peppered with caves. Continuing over arid slopes, the path swings high above Ghemi, set in a patchwork of red and yellow crops, before arriving at the two house hamlet of Damagaon. Within 15 minutes from here you can walk to one of the ruined castles overlooking Ghiling.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 16 : Trek to Samar via holy cave (Rangbyung) (11480ft/3500m) 5-6 hrs.

    A small way on brings us on to Syanboche where we take an indistinct path downwards. This gradually becomes a good trail leading down into a gigantic gorge which narrows right down. At a junction and a stream the path turns right and a short way on it zigzags steeply up to a cave called Rangbyung. Inside are huge stalagmites, painted Buddha’s, a few rough stone rooms and prayer flags strung across the entrance. Against the rear walls are small Buddha’s that apparently magically re-grow if a piece is broken off. This is an important religious shrine. There now follows a long slow Gruelling climb out of the gorge to reach Samar.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 17 : Trek to Kagbeni (9500ft/2896m).

    Today we walk down to the southern border of the Mustang region at Kagbeni. This is following the same route we took at the start of the trek.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 18 : Trek to Jomsom (9000ft/2743m) 2-3 hrs.

    It's a long and sad final day, passing back through Kagbeni to Jomsom where we end our trek. It's now time for us to take a nice hot shower. In the evening, we celebrate with the Sherpas and porters, whom we have come to know so well over the last 2 weeks.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 19 : Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara.

    We take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara and catch a connecting flight back to Kathmandu.

    Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 20 : At leisure in Kathmandu.

    Day at leisure or last minute shopping at Thamel.

    Thamel is the epi-center for shopping in Kathmandu. It can be a stressful place because of the street vendors, rickshaw drivers and high speed motorbikes. But there is no question that it is jam- packed with shops, selling everything from ready-to-wear Western clothes, embroider T-shirts, Tibetan carpets, clothing, Thangkas (Buddhist paintings) and curios (“singing bowls” etc), Pashmina shawls, Nepali souvenirs like khukuris (Gurkha’s traditional knife) and madals (drums), Jewellery, paper products (the local lokta plant is used to make a fine & unique paper – a nice and practical souvenir or gift), colorful masks and puppets, metalwork and woodcarvings

    Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 21 : Final departure.

    Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home.

  • Included

    • Meet, assisted upon arrival at Kathmandu by our office representative.
    • All arrival / Departure transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicle.
    • 04 Nights twin/double room accommodation with breakfast at 3 star hotel in Kathmandu.
    • 01 Night twin/double room accommodation with breakfast at 3 star hotel in Pokhara.
    • Fully organize camping trek including all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea and coffee and hot water including guide and necessary support staffs with their insurance and salaries.
    • Necessary trek transfers as per the itinerary.
    • * Kathmandu city tour as per the above itinerary with our local English speaking guide including monumental entrance fees.
    • Airfare for the sector Kathmandu / Pokhara / Jomsom / Pokhara / Kathmandu with domestic airport tax and necessary airport transfers.
    • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit and Trekkers’ Information Management System fee.
    • Special permit for Mustang.
    • First Aid Medical Kit box.
    • Applicable hotel taxes presently 24.3%
  • Excluded

    • Any meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
    • Travel insurance.
    • International air fare to and from Nepal.
    • Nepal Tourist Visa fees.
    • Items and expenses of personal nature.
    • Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, snacks, laundry, phone call, internet.
    • Personal Trekking Equipments.
    • Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
    • Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, landslides, domestic flight delays due to weather, political disturbance and strikes etc.
    • Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusion.
    • Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
    • Tipping amount
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Dates

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Grade :Moderate
  • Rating:
  • Region: Annapurna Region
  • Activity: Sightseeing And Trekking
  • Max Altitude: 4200

Trip Brochure

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Map of Travel

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Contact Person

Sher Bahadur Pariyar

Manager

Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Phone / Fax No: +977-01-4232953

E-mail: sales@expertasiantours.com