Upper Mustang has got different optional names. Some of them are “The last Forbidden Kingdom”, “The Himalayan Kingdom”, “Old Buddhist Kingdom”, “rare privilege”, “Holy Mountain”, “Hidden Kingdom”, “Walled Kingdom” and “Lo Manthang”. The most popular name is Lo Manthang for which different names have given since past centuries. Each of this names have their own history regarding to this place. None other than Upper mustang trek explores the history and reality of Mustang, the desert of central Himalaya – Nepal. It is one of the off-beaten treks of Nepal.
Upper mustang is a part of eastern Nepal which bulges out onto the Tibetan Plateau. The government of Nepal has given trekking permission in Upper mustang on 1992AD. Since then millions of people from the world have visited Mustang and the trend of trekking is increasing day by day. An extraordinary trekking license from Nepal trekking office only gives permission for the Upper mustang trek. Thus you need licensed guide for this trek.
Rocky non green landscape, snowy Himalayan ranges, Tibetan Thakali culture, and an old monastery, Lo Manthang are strongest part behind choosing upper mustang as trekking Zone. You will have better introduction to Tibetan culture, language and tradition during your trek in Mustang with an experience of a Himalayan journey. It is mastermind trek around the year and taken as moderate one.
Upper mustang is unique place of Nepal which holds it’s self-rule for society and was regulated by its King – the 25th successor of his family. Today also the norms and traditions from the past has deeply rooted in Mustang. Thus you will have great time with ancient Buddhist culture in your trek.
First, we will travel to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Generally Upper Mustang Trek beings from 10-30 minutes flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The occasion offers colt (male horse) trekking as alternatives in case of difficulties during the trek.
Trekking starts with the mind-blowing valley of Kagbeni, Chele, Gelling and Tsarang. At last, we will reach Lo Manthang which is the capital of the kingdom – Mustang. This city contains the most wonderful and long-lasting Buddhist Mandalas of the fifteenth century on the planet.
Travelers can view the beautiful city and the encompassing valley on horseback before coming back to the streaming Kaligandaki valley. For enjoying with Water Fall on the trail we suggest to choose the spring season as the best time for trekking in Mustang.
Upper Mustang trek is a complete package of exploring hidden beauty of Nepal. It is an amazing trek which guides you on desert of Nepal keeping aside the vast greenery of whole country. Tibetan culture, amazing landscape, off beaten path, Cultural heritage sites, hospitality of local peoples and mission summits guidance will definitely make your trip more than perfect.
The temperature of Upper Mustang
|Month||Day Temperature||Night Temperature|
|December, January, February||0 to 5 degree Centigrade32 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit||-25 to -20 degree Centigrade-13 to -4 degree Fahrenheit|
|March, April, May, June||16 to 22 degree Centigrade61 to 72 degree Fahrenheit||-6 to -2 degree Centigrade21 to 28 degree Fahrenheit|
|July, August, September||20 to 33 degree Centigrade68 to 73 degree Fahrenheit||-3 to 0 degree Centigrade27 to 32 degree Fahrenheit|
|October, November||12 to 20 degree Centigrade54 to 68 degree Fahrenheit||-8 to -4 degree Centigrade18 to 25 degree Fahrenheit|
Things to Know:- A minimum of two- trekking members are required for the upper Mustang trek. Both tea house/outdoor camp accommodation is available. For horse Upper Mustang Trek you should have at least two weeks’ time. Avoid winter trek due to extremely cold climatic conditions.
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- Upper Mustang Trek is a Combination of Natural beauty and culture.
- Lo Manthang (city of lo)
- Spectacular views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges
- Explore the local culture of Mustang
- Landscape and heritage site
- Muktinath (one of the biggest Hindu temple)
- Monastery of Trang, Lo-Manthan, Chooser, Ghar gumba
- The highest altitude of the trek – 3800m
Days 1 Arrival at Kathmandu 1,400 meters (4,600 feet), Meet at the airport and transfer to Hotel. O/n at Hotel,
Day 2 Sightseeing in Kathmandu, overnight at Hotel
Days 3 Drive to Pokhara 827 meters (2,713 feet) 6 hours by car/tourist, overnight at Hotel
Days 4 flight to Jomsom 2720m.(8924 ft.) and start to trek to kagbeni 2810m. (9219 ft.) Walking 4 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Day 5 Trek to Chele 3050m.(1007ft.) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Days 6 Trek to Syanboche 3800m.(12467ft.) walking 6 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Day 7 Trek to Ghami 3520m.(11548ft) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Day 8 Trek to Tsarang 3560m.(11680ft.) walking 5 hours, overnight at teahouse.
Days 9 trek to lo-Manthan 3810m.(12500ft) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Day 10 sightseeing (visit lo-Manthang Choser) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Day 11 Trek to Yara 3350m.(10990ft.) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Days 12 trek to Tannge 3340m.(10958ft.) walking 6 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Days13 trek to Chhuksang 2980m.(9777 ft.) walking 8 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Days 14 Trek to Muktinath 3760m.(12336ft.) walking 6 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Days 15 Trek to Jomsom 2720m.(8924 ft) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Days 16 flight back to Pokhara 25 min 827 meters (2,713 feet). sightseeing in
Pokhara if possible, overnight at Hotel.
Days 17 back to Kathmandu 1,400 meters (4,600 feet), driving 6 hours, overnight at Hotel.
Day s 18 Final departures to an international airport.
Your arrival in Nepal and our first meet will be in Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu (1400m meter/ 4600 ft). After a warm welcome, our company member will drop you at the hotel. You will have welcome dinner in the evening with company members in a cultural restaurant. Also, you will meet your guide and have details about your Upper Mustang trek.
Kathmandu is a beautiful place with many cultural heritages, historical museums, ancient palaces, temples, parks, and many more. You will have sightseeing in Kathmandu on which we will guide you to the most important and wonderful places in Kathmandu. Mainly we will visit Bouddhanath, Pashupatinath Temple, Shyambunath, Kathmandu Darbar square, Thamel bazaar, and other places depend on our time spent on each place.
Our second day ends with the Kathmandu day Tour where we will visit the best places of Kathmandu, enjoy quality food, and have a night stay in a Luxurious Hotel.
Today we will leave Kathmandu and reach Pokhara, another beautiful valley of Nepal. Our drive to Pokhara begins after delicious breakfast in Hotel. We will reach Pokhara after 6 hours.
During the travel, we will have view of Trishuli and Gandaki River flowing on the base of mountains. The street shop, market, floristic view will attract us and make us busy that we will reach Pokhara with full of entertainment.
Pokhara welcome us with majestic view of Mount Fishtail, Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Annapurna and Mount Manaslu on its roof. Our night stay will be in luxurious hotel of Pokhara.
On the fourth day we will have a flight to District headquarter of Mustang- Jomsom from Pokhara. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to reach Jomsom via flight and then our walking trial begins towards Kagbeni. Today’s trek ends as we reach the gateway to Upper Mustang, Kagbeni.
Around four hours of the walk continues with enjoying the serene beauty of Jomsom. Strong wind, amazing landscapes, and the valley of Jomsom is totally different than any other place in the world. We will reach Eaklibatti village then to Kagbeni which is situated at the bank of Kaligandaki.
Kagbeni is the most beautiful village with flat-roofed houses, well-arranged walls of firewood and stones, Tibetan culture, and tradition. The majestic view of Nil Giri adds beauty to this village. Our night stay will be in this beautiful village Kagbeni.
After having breakfast in Kagbeni we will show our permit to Lo Manthang and then start walking on the bank of Kali Gandaki. Sandy’s path and strong wind remain a challenge before reaching downhill.
Tangbe village and its beauty of alleyways between whitewashed houses, barley, and buckwheat covered field, apple orchard force us to take photographs and capture the moment in videos forever.
After passing another village Chhusang, climbing red conglomerate hill forming a tunnel, and crossing Kali Gandaki River we will reach Chele village. We will have a night stay in the tea house of Chele village.
We will start our walk towards Syanboche via barren land with steep slope. Copper red canyon landscape, the pride of Mustang lies along the path before reaching Sambar village. We will also view 4 coloured Chorten standing along site spreading peace in us. After passing different ascending and descending slopes of Mustang we will reach Yamada La pass (4010m).
As we pass Yamada La we will walk along downhill and finally reach Syangboche. The houses alike with white washed walls, well-arranged firewood on the flat roof, and colorful curtain hanging door makes the village more beautiful under its Tibetan culture. We will stay in Syangboche overnight.
Our trek begins with mystic view of Upper Mustang Landscape and flowing Kali Gandaki towards Syangboche pass at 3850m. The wavy terrains through the path makes todays journey bit different than previous days.
We will descend towards to Gelling from Syangboche pass on which different Chortens welcomes us with its colorful appearance. From Gelling we will walk uphill to reach Nyi La Pass at an altitude of 4010m where the strongest wind with fluttering prayer flags touches us to give divine feeling of being in wonderful place, Upper Mustang. A clear view of Mount Nilgiri and Annapurna makes the scenery more attractive.
As we continue our walk we will reach Ghami la pass (4046m) then descend down and reach Ghami (3520m). Ghami is a small village with some mani walls, different chortens nearby and old monasteries. We will have night stay in Ghami.
We will start walking downhills followed by slippery path and cross the longest mani walls of Mustang. Also we will pass numbers of chortens, cross the suspension bridge of Ghami Khola then starts walking uphill.
The ascending path took us to Tsarng La pass (3870m) where we will see various mani walls adding beauty to the trial. We will reach Tsarang village located on the top of Tsarang Chu canyon after passing Tsarang La pass. The red-colored Charang stupa, palace, monasteries and barley field welcome with pleasure in Tsarang.
Tsarang was the capital of Mustang before Lo Manthang. There is a big palace turned into a museum where we can see ancient historical memories of Mustang and Red Gumba in the village Tsarang. You can visit the palace and Gumba after reaching Tsarang for night stay.
Days 9 trek to lo-Manthang 3810m (12500ft) walking 5 hours, overnight at Tea house.
Our trekking trial meet final destination of Upper Mustang trek, Lo Manthang Today. Lo Manthang village is named after a big monastery Lo Manthang which is the oldest monastery of Mustang. It was the capital city of Forbidden Kingdom, Mustang until 2008. Still we can see ancient palace exist here. The old monastery Lo Manthang is major attraction along with mystic view of Mount Nilgiri, Mount Tilicho, Mount Annapurna I, Peak Bhrikuti and Damodar pond.
We will leave Tsarang and descend downhill to a canyon, cross Charang river which seperates Cherang and Lo. Then ascend up hill to reach Lo La pass (3950m) which takes around 2- 3 hour. We will cross Sungdo Chhorten, pass Army barek before reaching Lo La pass.
A clear view of Lo Manthang from Lo La pass attracts us more and drag our attention. We will reach Lo Manthang after descending from Lo La pass. It is very beautiful village of upper Mustang. Different cultural event including Tiji festival takes place every year, people from different places arrange their time to attend this festival and enjoy. We will visit village and have night stay on best tea house.
Lo Manthang is very beautiful place with both historical and cultural importance. We will have sightseeing in Lo Manthang today by visiting Lo Manthang Choser where we will explore 2500 years old Nyphu Cave Monastery having 44 compartments and Jhong sky cave.
During the whole day trek, we will also visit five story palace where Mustang King used to live with his entire family, Namgyal Gompa – the local courthouse of Lo Manthang with its own social, religious and legal importance, Tigkar village, Jampa Lhakhang and return back to tea house for night stay after 5-6 hours of trek.
From today we will return back from Lo Manthang towards Jomsom. We will follow different path rather than the path from which we have come to Lo Manthang from Jomsom, so that you can enjoy more and explore many new places during your visit.
We will start our trek ascending towards Lo La Pass by viewing the reddish-brown walls of Beautiful Lo Manthang. Our uphill trial continues for an hour. We will pass Udi danda known as Dhi la pass then descend towards DHI village from the mountain ridge.
The meadow of agricultural land and flowing river nearby village gives an amazing view while descending downward. Afterward, we will follow an uphill and downhill trail leaving DHI village to reach Yara village on the river bed.
As an option, we can have a short hike to a cave named Tashi Kabum after reaching Yara. Beautiful stupa with some painting in Pala idom have made the cave more popular. Also, fossils of snails and prehistoric fauna can be observed in the riverbed below the cave. We will have a night stay in tea house of Yara village after returning back from the cave.
Following the windy trial after leaving Yara village, we will ascend uphill to Ghara (3800m) then reach Luri Gompa. We will explore the amazing cave complex, some ancient stupa with 13th century Pala style images of unorthodox Buddhist masters, and some extraordinarily colored stupa in Luri Gompa.
Again we will come down to Yara after visiting the cave and continue our walk and reach the Dhechaeng River running from Damodar Kunda. Saligrams commonly known as ammonite fossils are most abundant in this river. In Hinduism, these fossils are taken as the most valuable stone and worshiped as Lord Bishnu.
After some while of observation of Saligrams, we proceed uphill then descend to town hill then finally reach Tannge for night stay.
We will cross Tanggye River and ascend to Paha after leaving Tannge. Our trail continues uphill at the highest elevation of 4208m. Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Nilgiri, and other ranges give a mind-blowing view from the ridge top. Slowly we descend down and down almost 800m below towards Chhuksang.
The long trial following very high elevation and descending to Chhuksang (2980m) takes almost 8 hrs. We will stop our walk-in the tea house of Chhuksang for a night stay.
We will leave Chhuksang and begin our trail towards Muktinath. On the beginning, we will pass Tangbe village, naturally decorated with amazing mud and rooftop firewood. We will ascend to Gyu La pass (4030m) after crossing Kharkas. The amazing view of Muktinath valley and its surrounding with Thorong peak, Nilgiri, and Tukche peak from Gyu La Pass will give pleasure and energize us.
From Gyal La pass we will descend down to Chenkar village and continue our trail until we reach Muktinath. The temple Muktinath is the pride of Mustang in response to religious faith towards Lord Bishnu. We will have a night stay in a tea house nearby Muktinath and sleep with a plan to visit the temple in the next morning.
We will visit Muktinath temple before having breakfast. The beauty of pagoda style temple, 108 stone tap with flowing water on such dry place, ever-glowing flame without artificial fuel seems totally magical. The peace of the place is unexplainable, our tiredness will vanish as we see the serene beauty of Muktinath.
After visiting the temple we will return back to the tea house, have breakfast and start our journey leaving Muktinath behind us. Our trail follows downhill towards Jomsom. By enjoying the strong wind from Kali Gandaki River we will reach Jomsom which will be our last destination in the Mustang region.
The non-green appearance of Mustang with a windy atmosphere is abundant in Jomsom as well. We will have a night stay in Jomsom. Finally our long days trial of Upper mustang comes to end in Jomsom.
After doing goodbye to Mustang we will have a flight to Pokhara from Jomsom in the early morning. The spectacular view of Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, and Machhapuchhere makes our flight delightful.
We will check into a luxurious hotel in Pokhara, refresh us, and have a delicious breakfast. After taking a rest for a few hours we will again come out from the hotel for sightseeing in Pokhara if possible. Our visit will include sightseeing of Devis falls, Gupteswor cave, Fewal lake and boating to Tal Barahi temple.
Our night stay will be in the same hotel where we have checked in in the morning.
Today we will come back to Kathmandu via tourist bus. If you desire to come back to Flight then we will arrange that as well. It takes around 6 hours to drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara.
You will check into a luxurious hotel after arriving in Kathmandu. In the evening you will have a farewell dinner in a cultural restaurant with your guide and company members.
Upper Mustang trip ends on 18th days when you will be dropped to International Airport by our company member. We will be with you until the final departure to your country.
In this way 18 days Upper Mustang trek ends with a lifetime memory of a wonderful place visit.
- Airport pick and drop both domestic and international airport by Private car/Jeep/Bus.
- *** Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara with B/B Plan.(as per itinerary )
- transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu by Tourist Bus.
- All the necessary permit for upper mustang trek.
- Internal flight from Pokkhara to Jomsom and Jomsom to Pokhara.
- Full broad meal during trek (Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)
- Well Experience Guide who hold government licence and porter (2 Trekker :1 porter)
- staff insurance food and salary.
- Horse Riding (only for interested Clint not compulsory)
- Monastery fee during trip (lo-manthan, Jong cave,Tarang & Ghar Ghumba monastery fee)
- Company t-shirt ,Sleeping bag (only for trip when finish company took back it)
- Filling water bottle and water purification tablet.
Price doesn't Include:
- Your Nepal entry visa fee
- Travel insurance and emergency evacuation expenses
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu and extra baggage charges in domestic and international flight
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- All personal expenses (including the gears and clothing taken on hire by the participant, phone calls, battery charge, shower, etc)
- Tips for guides and porters
Frequently asked QuestionsExpand/Close
Upper Mustang trekking is a Grade B or a moderately difficult trekking route. So any fit person can do this trek, even if you do not have any previous experience. You should be aware of what to expect and mentally prepare for it. Then, as long as you will to, you can.
On average, you walk about 4 to 6 hours per day. One or two days can be as less as 3hrs and one or two days can be as long as 7hrs.
The highest altitude reached is 3900 m. This is the elevation of Upper Mustang Trek.
Upper mustang trek is not that much harder trek as compared to other Himalayan trek. It is moderate trek with maximum altitude 3800m. Some of passes may exceeds 4000m as well.
Construction of road up to the border to China (Tibet) called Korola border has developed an optional path to the traditional trekking route. So travelers can follow the roadway. Thus, the upper Mustang trip is not that much hard, only the problem is dehydration. We suggest you to drink enough water with you and always remember to feel your water bottle before leaving the tea house.
This trip is also perfect for a family Tour.
The walking distance of the upper Mustang trek is 125 kilometer and takes 12-14 Days. But if some trekkers want to stay longer in this area to cover other places like Yara Ghara then they need16-18 Days for completing the trip in the Mustang region. Additional days are required to come back to Kathmandu.
In Kathmandu, you will get 3-star categories hotel but in the trekking region, you will get only a basic hotel with a common bathroom. Don’t keep high expectations because the place where you are trekking in remote and very far from developed cities.
In some places like Lo-Manthang (the Capital of Forbidden kingdom Mustang until 2008) has nice hotels as well. Thus, in Lo Manthang we will provide your room with a private bathroom (room with attached bathroom).
If you want to do the classic upper mustang trek then there is only a few percentages chances to get attitude sickness. Even the trek altitude is not that much high so you don’t have to worry about altitude sickness.
Yes, you will get the phone signal in most of places but the variation of the tower may occur. In someplace you will get the Nepal telecom signal and in someplace, you will get Ncell single. Thus, carrying a phone with a dual sim card, one of Nepal telecom and one of N-cell is best practice to get phone signals al the time.
Yes, we will get the wifi in the tea house but you have to buy data from the hotel so that you can use it.
Yes, you will get a hot shower during the trek. Normally the hotel owner uses solar energy or gas energy to provide hot water. And for charging your gadget, you will get a charging power point in the dining room rather than your bedroom.
Yes, you can visit China Border. For visiting the China border you should inform us earlier then we can arrange a trip to China border by local jeep from Lo-Manthang via zong cave.
Yes, you can exchange dollars during the trek. Some of the hotels exchange your money but we suggest you do in the city because you will get a better exchange rate in cities than in the Hotel.
Mustang is 206 Km far from Kathmandu. 206km is one-way distance either from Kathmandu to Mustang or Mustang to Kathmandu.
Yes, you can easily do the upper Mustang trek on monsoon because Mustang is beyond the Himalayas. It is rain shadowed place where no rainfall occurs in any season. So the best months for the upper mustang trek is April, may, June, July, and August as the weather remains perfect at that time.
No, you are not able to do a solo trip to Upper mustang. The minimum required traveler for the trip is two and you must have to concern with the Government registered local company for making a permit.
So you must have two travelers, hire a company to arrange all the trips and permit for doing the Upper Mustang trek.
Yes, it is excellent to book a trip in advance so that all arrangements can be done inaccurate time. Late booking some time may give trouble in the arrangement of hotels, vehicles and may not be issued due pack schedule.
You should deposite more than 40% money.
Yes, you can visit the Mysterious cave in Upper mustang called Jhong cave in Chooser. Chhoser is 3 hours far from Lo Manthang. In Chooser you can visit a cave as well as two old monasteries of upper Mustang. You can go there either by walk, horse, bike or jeep.
No, you don’t have to sleep in a tent. There is a normal guest house in each resting zone. We will always stop for a night stay in the site having tea houses. So every day you will get a warm dining hall with nice food.
No, Tourist can’t make a permit by themselves. To make a permit you must hire local trekking agency and the Guide. Even the permit is special which cost is 50$ per day and need minimum 2 traveler for the trip.
You can book the trip by giving inquiry in related site or doing direct contact to company via mail or text in related phone number.
You can deposit money by transferring via western union money transfer to the related account number of the company.
You should drink 3-4 liters of water every day because the Mustang region is very dry and dusty. You may be dehydrated and cause serious health issues, thus frequent drinking pure water is the best solution.
Never skip breakfast, lunch or dinner so that energy in your body remains maintained even after a long walk.
No, hard drinks is not allowed in trekking. It is strictly prohibited to take hard drinks because you will be unable to walk and health conditions will ruin. Your trekking goal will be incomplete.
You can have hard drinks in a limited amount in Pokhara and Kathmandu after returning from the trek.
There are three trekking routes of Upper Mustang. They are classic trek route, Western trekking route, and eastern trekking routes.
The classic trek route follows a constructed trek route, It can be done in vehicle as well.
The western trekking route is moderate and doesn’t let you in Muktinath. It includes Lo Manthang, Dhakmar and Ghar Gompa in its trekking trail.
The Eastern trekking route is a bit challenging and includes more places without repetition while returning. You will also visit Muktinath while returning in the eastern route. It includes Lo Manthang, Chusssang Yara, and Tangge in its trekking trial.
You will have good food including either Chinese, Nepali, Local, or western food items in breakfast Lunch, and dinner.
You will get tea, coffee, different items of bread, egg (fried or omlet), porridge and curry in breakfast. Nepali thali (rice, dal curry, pickle, pappad), momos, chowmein, thukpa, noodles, pasta and other food items are available for Lunch and dinner. You can choose of your choice and order.
Yes you can customize the Upper mustang trek. If you have limited time then you can inform us to cancel the Kathmandu day tour and Pokhara sightseeing so that you can complete your trek 2 days earlier. You can also come to Kathmandu by Flight from Pokhara and depart in the evening.
No customization can be done in Mustang for having a complete trek. The incomplete trek may occur if you become unable to walk and any health issue arise.
Upper mustang is a moderate trek even though kid and old aged people could not walk 7-8 hours. Thus healthy, strong people should think about the Upper mustang trek. Age above 17 to below 50 can do this trek if they are physically fit and mentally prepared.
Yes you can get safe drinking water but we prefer you to take hot water. Since mustang is dry place, source of water are limited and you should have water bottle with you. Never forget to fill your water bottle before starting the trek every day.
Yes, you should carry a sleeping bag because the strong wind blows continuously and nights remain cold even in summer. The blanket provided by tea house may not be fresh thus you can use your own sleeping bag first and given a blanket as supplementary to make your body warm.
No, it is almost impossible to have an upper mustang trek in winter. One reason is, the temperature falls to the lower limit and people living in high altitude comes to lower region to save themselves from low temperature. All teahouses remain closed and strong wind doesn’t let to stay in a tent. Thus never think to have Upper Mustang trek in winter.
April, May, June, July, August, September, and October are the best months of spring monsoon and autumn seasons for Upper Mustang trek. No matter either it is monsoon because no rail fall occurs in Mustang. The monsoon cloud is always blocked by the northern Himalayas and places remain dry throughout the year.
Natural and cultural Beauty of Nepal itself is perfect answer to this question. While talking about Upper Mustang, it is the Himalayan desert of world. It is behind the Himalayas with a majestic nongreen landscape beyond imagination. Several ancient monasteries, palace, caves, and the flowing Kaligandaki with fossilized shell saligrams on such desert is amazing. The deepest george Kaligandaki, Muktinath temple, Lo Manthang, windy Jomsom, Kagbeni, number of high lands passes, and view of mountain ranges Nilgiri, Tilicho, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna makes your every day precious.
Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate trek even though it is a long trek where you should walk 6, 7, or 8 hours a day. Thus it is necessary to have a trekking experience before you have the upper Mustang trek.
You should have regular exercise and practice of walking for 2, 3 hours a day before 2 months of your trek. Keep a habit of skipping hard drinks, and drink enough water to hydrate yourself so that you can do it during your trek as well. Proper medical checkup, physical and mental fitness are required for the trek.
Upper Mustang is the hidden world of the non-green landscape behind the mountain of Nepal. It is rain shadowed place where no rainfall occurs throughout the year.
Upper mustang trek offers different routes to explore the entire Mustang from Jomsom to Lo Manthang. Your trek takes 17 nights and 18 days starting from arrival day to departure from Nepal. Kathmandu day tour on the second day of your arrival and Pokhara sightseeing on the third last day of departure makes your trip more explorative. You will spend 12 days in the Mustang region, 2 nights in Pokhara, and three nights in Kathmandu.
Key information of Upper Mustang trek
Among three trekking routes i.e. eastern route (Lo Manthang, Chusssang Yara and Tangge), western route (Lo Manthang, Dhakmar and Ghar Ghompa) and Classic route (constructed road route) of Upper Mustang trek, we will follow eastern route and also have western route as an option.
Eastern route is more challenging and best trial for adventurous trek. You will get this option only in selective travel company. The eastern route follows entirely new trail each day and take you to Muktinath while returning back. Western route is also challenging route but follows some common trial while returning back and doesn’t include Muktinath.
Thus if you want to explore more places then choose the eastern route.
You should have a tourist visa of Nepal for having trek. Visa are easily available in international airport Kathmandu. If you don’t have tourist visa of Nepal, you can hire it in airport after arriving Nepal. 3o days visa will be appropriate for Upper Mustang trek because trekking duration will be more than 15 days.
Private taxi, tourist bus and aeroplane are means of transportation used to reach Jomsom for the upper Mustang trek. Private taxi is used for Kathmandu day tour and Pokhara sightseeing. Tourist bus for reaching Pokhara from Kathmandu (6 hours). Aeroplane is used for flight to Jomsom from Pokhara (25min). Same duration and vehicles while returning back as well.
Luxurious hotels are available only in Kathmandu and Pokhara. As you reach in Mustang region normal tea houses with simple bed rooms are available. You will definitely be very close to Tibetan culture and people. The mud houses, old traditional cooking stove, wide yard with common tap for different houses shows reality of connectivity in a community which is being lost in modern society.
Since Mustang is remote and rain shadowed place, life is very difficult here. It is amazing to get tea house for night stay in such place. Don’t expect high, we will get simple beds with a normal blanket and should have own sleeping bags to overcome cold. The attached bathroom are not available. We should use a common bathroom nearby our room. Should pay extra for a shower and charging gadgets.
Varieties of food are available but Nepali and Chinese food is most common. You will get tea, verities bread with jam, or honey, egg items, gram curry, porridge and fruits in breakfast.
You can choose Nepali thali either in Lunch or dinner. Rice, dal, 2 or 3 curry items, pappad, and pickle containing Nepali thali is very hygienic and best for proper digestion. Depending on the menu you can also have noodles, chowmein, momo, pasta, soup, Thukpa as well in dinner and lunch.
Since Upper Mustang is a remote place at a high altitude, solar electricity is preferable to hydroelectricity. You can charge your gadget but have to pay extra of your own. Some where you have to pay per hour and somewhere per gadget. Payment will be minimum around 5$.
Shower is available in most of the tea house but you should pay some extra charge for it. You can take hot shower in evening or morning. The charge per shower will be around 5$.
Best Season of the trek
Upper Mustang is rain shadowed place so spring late summer and autumn season is best time for Upper Mustang trek. No chance of precipitation is advantage over trekking in monsoon season as well.
Strong wind in early summer increases risk of stone falling and severe cold in winter become much difficult to survive. People of high altitude shift to lower land and all tea houses remains close. So trekking is impossible in winter.
Total three permits should be paid for upper mustang trek. They are RAP – Restricted Area Permit, ACAP- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit and TIMS. Permit form and payment arrangement will be done by Travel Company included in package. You should provide three passport size photo and passport for getting these all permits.
Hard drink is strictly prohibited in trekking zone. You would be unable to walk if you take any hard drinks. Mustang area is cold regain so try to take hot drinks such as tea coffee, hot lemon or soup only.
Since the area is dry and dusty, hydrating frequently is very essential for acclimatizing yourself and remain fresh. You should drink 3-4 liters of water every day. Always remember to fill your water bottle before leaving the tea house. You can also buy mineral water.
General Clothing recommended
- Warm jacket – down jacket,
- Water and windproof jacket (alternatively bring a poncho or umbrella)
- Long sleeved synthetic fleece (windproof material, if possible)
- Thermal underwear.
- Hat, a pair of gloves and a scarf.
- Comfortable hiking trousers. (loose fitting)
- Shorts and trousers, or a skirt.
- 2 pairs of warm wool-blend socks.
- 2 pairs of running socks or liner socks.
- Proper hiking boots.
- Running shoes and flip-flops.
- 2-3 T-shirts.
- Water bottle.
This is a kind of illness that is caused by ascent to high altitudes. The symptoms will occur within 6 to 24 hours of achieving a high altitude. Altitude sickness is fatal and can result in death if not treated in time. You need to stay alert to any of the symptoms that occur.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Feeling unsteady
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
An effective measure to recover from early AMS
If you happen to notice any of the symptoms, follow the guideline mentioned below-
- Do not climb any higher for the next 48 hours
- Descend to a lower altitude if possible
- Take complete rest until you feel well
- Do not exercise
- Do not smoke
- Drink plenty of water
- Take external oxygen supply if necessary
- Take anti-sickness medicines
If you see no improvement in your health within 48 hours, you will have to be immediately deported to the city for medical support.
There is no way to train your body prior to trekking so as to adapt to the high altitude. Some ways in which you can prevent it are as follows:
- Take plenty of rest
- Ascend slowly and gradually as you reach higher
- keep yourself hydrated
- Eat high-calorie food
- Do not smoke, drink or consume tranquilizing medicine
During times of emergencies like acute altitude sickness or a natural calamity, you might have to be immediately deported in a helicopter. The cost of such deportation is covered by health insurance that needs to be purchased before you start the trek.
Optional 14 Days Upper Mustang Trek itinerary
Day 01- Drive to Pokhara (900m)
Day 02- Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2,800m)
Day 03- Trek to Chele (3,050m)
Day 04- Trek to Syangboche (3,800m)
Day 05- Trek to Ghami (3,520m)
Day 06- Trek to Charang (3,560m)
Day 07- Trek to Lo-Manthang (3,840m)
Day 08- Exploration of Lo-Manthang
Day 09- Trek to Dhamkar (3,820m)
Day 10- Trek down to Syangboche
Day 11- Trek to Chhusang (2,980m)
Day 12- Trek to Jomsom (2,720m)
Day 13- Fly to Pokhara and rest
Day 14- Drive back to Kathmandu