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Upper Mustang Trekking – 19 Days
 

The Upper Mustang Cultural trek is one of those treks that transports you on a surreal passage of time where you will be fascinated by the unusual landscapes of the wind swept Kali-Gandaki valley, enormous spaces around Kagbeni and ridges.

This trek allows you to explore Nepal’s Mustang region which is nestled between the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna range. Entry into this region was only permitted after 1992. The Upper Mustang trek gives you the opportunity to explore the old kingdom of Lo. This small kingdom of Mustang is a charming land of 16th century monasteries of vivid colors, ruins of old forts, caves and a square-walled town.

The route of the Upper Mustang trek takes you through barren ridges, deep canyons, bare cliffs and moraines, the ancient kingdom of Mustang and snow capped mountains.

Trip Hightlights:

Duration:                     19 Days

Type of Trek :             Tea House/Camping

Max Altitude:             3730 m.

Minimum Pax:             2 +

Mode of travel:           Flight/Land Transportation

Grade:                             Strenuous

Outline Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrival

Arrive in Kathmandu International Airport. Transfer to the hotel and stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing

City sightseeing in and around Kathmandu valley. (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Patan). Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 3: Kathmandu – Pokhara (915m.)        [7 hours]

This road is newly paved and is now one of the finest in Nepal! Immediately, you head up as you climb out of the Kathmandu valley, only to quickly descend again to the Trisuli River, which you follow upstream to its junction with the Marsyandi River. You follow the Marsyandi gently up through heavily terraced fields and small hill towns to the Seti Gandaki River that takes you directly into Pokhara. Pokhara is a beautiful city with pleasant weather. It is well renowned as a paradise for tourists. This city is full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves and temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with a vast array of beautiful mountains. As you approach the city, there are wonderful views to the north across the hills and Phewa Tal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon for a relaxing boat ride on Phewa Lake, shopping in the markets and shops, or just relaxing with a drink on the shores of the lake. Stay overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.

Day: Pokhara – Jomsom (2700m.) [25 minutes morning flight] – Kagbeni (2810 m.) [4hours]

You take the spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom. After some initial preparation of loads and logistics, you begin your trek to the beautiful village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom you cross a suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is quite barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat, which makes it very easy going. It is also very picturesque, with views of big peaks all around such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna Massif. Kagbeni provides you with a taste of scenes to come in upper Mustang, with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and a large red gompa. Stay overnight at camp in Jomsom.

Day 5: Kagbeni – Chuksang (2900m.)                     [5 hours]

You trek right up the river valley, but you 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. You stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you 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. Chusang village is only about a 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 Chusang are some spectacular red organe pipe eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves. Stay overnight at camp in Chuksang.

Day 6: Chuksang – Samar (3150m.)                        [3-4 hours]

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 do practice agriculture, but because of the lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is in sheltered plots of land, scattering the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, you reach a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of the tunnel and north of here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable on foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky alley to the village of Chele. Watch out here for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs 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 you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major stopping place for horse and mule caravans. Stay overnight at camp in Samar.

Day 7: Samar – Geling (3510 m.)                              [5 hours]

You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you 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 chortens and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles. Stay overnight at camp in Geiling.

Day 8: Geling – Ghami (3490 m.) via Ghami La (3520m.) [5 hours]

From Geling 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, we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs. Stay overnight at camp in Ghami.

Day 9: Ghami – Tsarang (36200 m.)                        [5 hours]

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 are a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas. Stay overnight at camp in Tsarang.

Day 10: Tsarang – Lo-Manthang [Mustang] (3730m] [3 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 your 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. Stay overnight at camp in Lo-Manthang.

Day 111: Rest Day at Lo – Manthang        

Rest at Lo-Manthang. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 12: Lo-Manthang – Ghami (3490 m.)               [6 hours]

You continue your journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded alley to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, you walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami. Stay overnight at camp in Ghami.

Day 13: Ghami – Samar                                            [6 hours]

Leaving Ghami you begin to follow a narrow winding path until you reach Geling crossing a small stream. On the way you can enjoy good views of the Nilgiri Mountains, deserted landscapes, Tibetan style villages, farming terraces and natural vegetation. From Geling the path turns broader until Samar, passing deserted landscapes, natural vegetation, plateau, Tibetan style houses, chortens, mani walls, prayer flags and observing the distinct culture of the local inhabitants. Samar is a small village with terraces, Tibetan style houses, mani walls, monastery, and prayer flags. Here you find people following a Tibetan life style and tradition. Stay overnight in Samar.

Day 14: Samar – Kagbeni                                         [7 hours]

Following a descending path you reach Chuksang, crossing a suspension bridge over Kali Gandaki. Now you walk along the bank of Kali Gandaki with views of natural vegetation, apple orchards and where there is also a chance to find fossils. Stay overnight at camp in Kagbeni.

Day 15: Kagbeni – Jomsom (2713m.)                       [3 hours]

Your trail passes on the bank of the Kali Gandaki passing through Eklebhatti. The trail is windy in the early afternoon. The river flows through a broader course. Jomsom is the headquarters of Mustang and it is split into two towns. Between these two towns passes the Kali Gandaki River. There is access to the internet and banking facilities found here. From Jomsom, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Nilgiri and Tilicho peak. Stay overnight at hotel in Jomsom.

Day 16: Jomsom – Pokhara                                      [25 Minutes Fly]

The flights are available during the morning time. A strong breeze blows during the afternoon and frequent changes in weather patterns prevent the flight from landing and take off in the afternoon. During flights in the morning, the sky looks very clear which gives you the chance to enjoy splendid views of different mountain peaks. Stay overnight at hotel in Pokhara.

Day 17: Pokhara – Kathmandu                               [7 hours drive]

While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Mugling and Kurintar where Nepal’s first Cable car is operated to reach the Manakamana Temple. En route, you can enjoy mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people engaged in their daily chores. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to the capital city of Kathmandu. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes about 25 minutes. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 18: Free Day at Kathmandu

Recreation & shopping day. Stay overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.

Day19: Departure

Transfer to the Airport for final departure. (Fly out from Kathmandu).

Have a nice and memorable holiday with Glimpses of Nepal Treks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cost Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop services
  • Trekking permit
  • Entry Permit for Annapurna Conservation Area
  • Trekking guide
  • A cook
  • Necessary Porters
  • Necessary kitchen helpers
  • Necessary sherpas
  • All surface transportation to the starting point and from the ending point of the trek
  • All meals three times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, juice, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruits etc.)
  • Necessary Camping equipment such as tents, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, mattresses, down sleeping bag, down jacket, cooking utensils, fuel etc.
  • Camping charges
  • Necessary insurance for trekking staff
  • First aid kit
  • Rescue assistance
  • Four nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu hotel and two nights in Pokhara at lake side on breakfast basis
  • One day sightseeing in and around Kathmandu valley with tour guide and private vehicle
  • Entry fees while sightseeing in and around Kathmandu valley

Cost Excludes

  • Nature of personal expenses
  • Drinks, beverages, hot shower, etc.
  • Tips
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • All the other expenses which are not included in above cost includes

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