Nepal Travel advice
Nepal: Upper Mustang Trekking
History describes Mustang as an independent Kingdom, ancient commercial route between Tibet and India, Sakyapa Buddhist land where Kampa Warriors lived and tried to reorganized their power against China. Here was the land where Milarepa, one of the most important Buddhist Mystic Guru, prayed for years.
Mustang has been opened to foreign tourism in 1992. Mustang region is populated by Tibetan people, and the history of this kingdom is a legend all over the Himalayan land.
To go there, you need to reach Pokhara by flight from Kathmandu, or by bus in a long way through the Prithvi Highway (from 6 to 8 hours, it costs no more than 12$). Then you can go to Jomsom by jeep or by flight (20 minutes) or walking for 3 days. Jomsom is the starting point to explore Lo’s Kingdom.
Upper Mustang trek can also be done as part of the Annapurna Circuit trek (It will require travel agency to arrange guide’s trip to Kagbeni for a set date). It will take approximately 9 days to walk from Besi Sahar to Kagbeni if you are doing classic Circuit route without side treks.
Upper Mustang is a restricted trekking area and as such will require a restricted area permit, cost is $500 for 10 days. It is also possible to overstay 10 days limit, but you will have to pay additional 50$ for each day. A guide is required, only group trek is permitted, of at least two trekkers, which does not include the guide. Permits and trek arrangements must be made through a recognized trekking company.
This is a trekking route, a classic route but it’s good enough to see, learn, and live a good experience in the Lo’s Kingdom, and a good example to whom would like to go there:
Upper Mustang details Itinerary
1st day: bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara (6 h)
2nd day: flight to Jomsom 2.760m. Starting to trek to Kagbeni 2.840m (around 2 h walk)
3rd day: Kagbeni-Chele 3.100m (around 5 -6 h)
4th day: Chele-Geling 3.570m (around 7-8 ore h)
5th day: Geling-Charang 3.575m (around 6-7 h)
6th day: Charang-Lo Mantang 3.840m (around 4-5 h)
8th day: Lo Manthang-Ghami (around 7 h)
9th day: Ghami-Samar 3.620m (around 6 h)
10th day: Samar-Chhusang 2.980 (around 5 h)
11th day: Chhusang-Muktinath 3.710m (around 6 h)
12th day: Muktinath-Jomsom 2.760m (around 2-3 h)
13th day: flight Jomsom-Pokhara then bus to Kathmandu
If you have good breath you can come back from Lo Mantang to Jomsom in another way, walking through Marang, the remotes villages of Range and Tetang, then down to Muktinath. Choosing this option you can change a little bit the landscapes 😉
If you want to visit Mustang during a traditional festival, at the end of May, according to the local calendar, there’s Tiji Festival. This year 2012 is from May, 29 to May, 31. Tiji is celebrated in Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of Mustang. During Tiji, the monks of Lo Manthang, dressing traditional coats and wood carved masks, representing gods and Devils, perform traditional Kham dances and give blessing to the people.
All ground transportation
Accommodation in Kathmandu and in Pokhara, with breakfast
Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu and Pokhara with entrance fees
Required flight ticket and airport taxes
Pokhara-Jomsom flight ticket and airport taxes
All meals during the trek
accommodation during the trek
English-speaking licensed trekking guide (Sherpa)
Required number of porter to carry tents, utensils, equipment and your luggage
All required permits Upper Mustang Special permit and Annapurna Conservation permit
Down Jacket, sleeping bag, duffel bag to use during the trek and T-shirt Nepal Planet Treks (yours to keep)
Travel and rescue arrangements
Farewell dinner in Kathmandu
All government taxes and official expenses
Lunch and dinner during your stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara
Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, sweets, snacks, tips, etc.
Beverages like mineral water, juice, Coke, Fanta, Sprite as well as alcoholic drinks
Travel insurance (essential)
Personal trekking equipment except stated above
Any loss arising due to unforeseen circumstances that is beyond our control