Treks and Expeditions
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Upper Mustang Trek
Trip Duration : 18 days
Trekking Region : Annapurna
Upper Mustang Trek - 18 days, also referred as Lo Manthang Trek.
Lo Manthang (an alternative way to explore Tibetan culture, religion and landscape)
Lo Manthang (Upper Mustang) was the capital of Lo Kingdom, originally from Tibet. The kingdom was founded by Ame Pal in 14th century. The palace was all surrounded by stone wall which is still standing with great attractions to the people. Before unifying Nepal it was a independent Lo Kingdom. Nepal was unified in 18th century out of many small independent countries including Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is isolated from the central government of Nepal and the king was very respected and honoured in Lo kingdom even today. Jigme parwal Bista (25th king) is the last king of Lo Manthang. Nepal became a federal country in 2008 and they declared that there is no more monarchy including Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is a tiny small village with less than 1000 people (Lobas ethnic people) and about 200 houses.
Lo Manthang is a mysterious, trans-Himalayan region of Nepal where there are more than 12 caves It is believed that the Great Masters (Tibetan Buddhism) were meditated in ancient times.
During Upper Mustang Trek, you will be able to explore many monasteries from the 14th century, Buddhist shrines, Thankas, Mandalas, and Deities in and around the cliff. While exploring inside the cave (about 14000 feet), the wall were decorated with ancient Buddhist paintings.
During Upper Mustang Trek, trekkers will be able to observe centuries old culture, lifestyle and heritage as this region has been isolated and protected from modern world for more than thousand years.
Highlights of this Trip
Grade : Demanding
Best time to Travel : Apr - Sep
Accommodation : Guest house/ Lodge/ tented camp
Transportation : Public/ Private / flight
Fooding : supply form the local lodge/ guest house/ our kitchen
Taken Care by : English speaking trekking guide, Porter
Upper Mustang (Lo Manthang) highlights includes
Stone walled palace, 14th Centuries Gumpas and monasteries, Mysterious caves, Giant Himalayas, Bon religion, Tibetan culture, worlds deepest Kali Gandaki valley.
Itinerary - Upper Mustang Trek
Day 1. Arrive in Kathmandu:
Our representative will be see you in the Nepal airport and transfer to Hotel in the city center. We will welcome to our city office and finalize the formalities. Take a free easy evening to stroll around. Over night in the Hotel.
Day 2. Kathmandu Sightseeing:
Breakfast will be serve at hotel's restaurant and drive to sight seeing by car with guide to the world heritage sites (Pashupatinath- Hindu temple, Boudhanath - Buddhist stupa, Swyambhunath - Buddhist Stupa and Patan Durbar Square). Back to Hotel and after refreshment walk to visit our office, briefing about trekking and introduce guide and other staff. Free in the evening. Overnight in the Hotel. BB
Day 3. Drive to Pokhara:
After early breakfast drive to Tourist bus park. Take a regular tourist bus at 7:00AM which will take approximately 6hr.Transfer to hotel and after refresh, walk around the lake side. Overnight in the Hotel. BB
Day 4. Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,858m/9,375ft]: 3-4 hrs
Have a light breakfast at your hotel and drive to airport. Take 20 minutes Trans Himalayan flight to Jomsom. You will view and can take some video of over 8,000 M Mountain such as Annapurna & Dhaulagiri. After some tea and coffee continue trek to Kagbeni. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 5. Trek to Chele [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
You will check in to the control area of Nepal and follow the Kali Gandaki (Holy river) to Chele a small village. During the walk we have scenic picturesque place to stop through the sandy and windy trails. This trails follows the up and downhill. We will come on cross white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple gardens. We head on to small ridges reach at Chele village. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house. Overnight at Loge/ guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 6. Trek to Syanbochen [3475m/11,398ft]: 6-7 hrs
The trek will hike through the barren mountain Tibetan cultural village. You will pass through a narrow trails and rocky trails. You will come on cross the cave known as Ramchung Cave. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house. Overnight at Loge/ guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 7. Trek to Ghami [3520m/11,546ft]: 5-6 hrs
your will encounter two passes (Yamda La (3,850m and Nyi Pass 4,010m) before arrive to Ghami. The trail passing about 400m, you may feel difficult to breath as this is a dry region as well as. This day would be a little longer. Ghami is the third largest village in the Lo region, is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren. Over night at Loge/ guest house. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house (B, L, D)
Day 8. Trek to Charang [3500m/11,480ft]: 4-5 hrs
Trek starts after breakfast with a pleasant walk. After crossing Ghaymi Khola, the trail climbs to a plateau and passes beside a very long Mani wall, a sacred stone wall made by the Buddhist followers. From the end of the wall, the village starts and each house are making separate by stone wall. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house (B, L, D)
Day 9. Trek to Upper Mustang (Lo-Mangthang) (3700m/12,136ft): 5-6 hrs
Today, We trek to our final destination, Lo-Mangthang (the lost forbidden kingdom of TIbet) with a magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Charang Chu Canyon and then climbs steeply after crossing the river. While arriveing to Lo-Mangthang, views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the north Tibetan Border. Over night at Loge/ guest house. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house (B, L, D)
Day 10. Explore Upper Mustang (Lo-Mangthang)
This is a great day to explore the virgin of Lomanthang, the major Gumpas around the Lo-manthang including Namgyal Gompa, Tingkhar, Champa Lakhang "God house", Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall and around. Another attraction is the four- storey building of the king's palace as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya. Over night at guest house. Lunch and dinner will be provided from the guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 11. Upper Mustang (Lo-Mangthang) to Drakmar [3810 m/12,500ft]: 6-7 hrs
Trek to Drakmar is little diversion than a you trekked while going. This will give you some wonder while arrive at Gyakar, with more than 1200 years old Ghar Gompa with Guru Rinpoche. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. Explore the local area. Over night at Loge/ guest house. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house (B, L, D)
Day 12. Trek to Ghiling [3806m/12,484ft]: 5-6 hrs
This is an easy descending to Ghiling. It will take approximately 6 hrs. Starting early in the morning is always better while trekking this areas as afternoon seems dusty and windy. Over night at Loge/ guest house. Lunch will be serving on the way. Dinner will at the guest house (B, L, D)
Day 13. Trek to Chusang [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
Trek back to Chusang for the overnight stop after 5 hrs walk. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view. Enjoy your trip and overnight at teahouse. Overnight at Loge/ guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 14. Trek to Jomsom [2700/8,856ft]: 6-7 hrs
Trek down to Kagbeni will join you to regular Annapurna Circuit. Your permit will be sign out at Kagbeni and continue to trek to Jomsom. Enjoy your last night at the mountain. You can invite to your crew to join a last night party and make little like a party. Lunch will be at Kagbeni and dinner at you lodge. Overnight at guest house. (B, L, D)
Day 15. Fly back to Pokhara:
Wake up early in the morning to see the last view of mountain. Take breakfast and walk down to airport. Take a scenic flight to Pokhara. Transfer to your hotel and have a free day. Overnight at the Hotel. BB
Day 16. Drive to Kathmandu.
After a light breakfast, take a taxi to tourist bus park and ride a regular tourist bus to Kahtmandu. Transfer to your hotel and free. BB
Day 17. Free day in Kathmandu.
This is a cushion day that has been built into the itinerary to allow for delays due to flights or other reasons beyond our control. If you are able to complete your trek in time then this day may be used for sight seeing around Kathmandu Valley. Or free for shopping days. O/N Hotel BB
Day 18. Depart Kathmandu to airport for the final departure/ join other program:
Home sweet home.
Package Cost Includes - Upper Mustang Trek
• 4 night hotel in Kathmandu on BB twin sharing
• Two night hotel in Pokhara on BB twin sharing
• Lodge/ guest house accommodation in trekking on twin sharing
• Airport transfers (by private car, van or bus as per group size)
• All land transfers as per itinerary to trek.
• Domestic flights and departure taxes as per itinerary.
• All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) whilst on a trek form lodge/ guest house.
• Applicable trekking fees. (Special permit)
• Porters (one porter per two persons is provided to carry the clients personal effects)
• Trekking equipment (duffle Bag for your gear, sleeping bag)
• Trekking staff (guide with government license holder and other assistant guides where applicable).
• Insurance for the trekking staff. (insurance as per state law)
• First aid medical kit
• All the government tax and our (AATE) service charges.
• Upon final payment AATE will provide pre-departure file including the detailed agreed itinerary, hotels and transport booked and introduce you to your trekking guide.
Package Cost Excludes - Upper Mustang Trek
• Personal trekking equipment
• Extra accommodation and meal than itinerary
• Lunch and dinner in the city
• International flights, visa and departure taxes
• Your travel insurance (for travel, cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss of life, theft of or damage to personal effects).
• Tips and gratuities (crew frequently receives some recognition for good service)
• Costs arising from unforeseen events outside the control of AATE.
• Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, mineral water, monuments entrance fees, postage, laundry, video, camera, phone, etc.
• The single supplements payable on all bookings where only one person is traveling.
• All other services not included in the "cost included" section above.
Trip Notes - Upper Mustang Trek
Tibetan (Lobas) is the resident of Lo Manthang village. The lower parts from Kagbeni, the Thakali's are the main resident who have mixed culture of Nepali and Tibetan.
Lo Manthang is a rain shadow area with Sub-Alpine and Alpine climate. There is very little rain falls and arid and semi arid land. Most of the Upper Mustang (Lo Manthang) is situated over 3000m. There are 2 seasons, wet seasons (June to September) and dry season (October to May). The temperature from October to March can go below zero.
Lo Manthang is considered as a less touristic area. The lodges (tea houses) are not well developed as in the classic Annapurna route. There are basic local houses that provide sleep and meal. But, in high season, they may not have enough bed to accommodate to all the trekkers. If you are going towards the Damodar Kunda, you must be preparing with your won logistic.
There are different ways to access to Lo Manthang (Upper Mustang).
I. Trekking: Lo Manthang can be reach (following the classic route to Annapurna) by trekking from Beni.
II. By air: There is a regular flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The flight is operated in the morning only as Jomsom have very windy afternoon. The flight could be interrupted in a bad weather day.
III. By Road: There is a motorable road to Lo Manthang these days. The road can be very bumpy or dusty in a dry day. The transport could be interrupted in a rainy days to the lower part from Kagbeni.
Trek to Lo Manthang, the trail passes over 3000-5000m. It will be cold all round the year. You must be preparing with warm cloth. But in a deep winter, you must prepare with down clothing's. There could have rein in a wet season.
The upper Mustang (upper part from Kagbeni) is considered a controlled area from Nepal government. The trekkers should apply for permit through the registered trekking agency (Alpine Asian Treks and Expedition P Ltd is an eligible agency to apply the permit). There must be minimum 2 trekkers to apply the permits and they should buy minimum 10 days permit which cost US$500/ person.
The people in upper Mustang (Lo Manthang) speak Tibetan language whether the lower part of Mustang speaks different language (Thakali language).
The culture of Lo Manthang is derived from Tibet. The people are still following Bon (Pre Buddhist religion in Tibet) religion which was a major religion in Tibet before the 13th century. After Padmasambhava went to Tibet, the Buddhism dominates Tibet as its religion, but the people in Lo Manthang still practicing Bon. The lower part from Thank khola (Thakali tribe) has mixed culture from Tibet and Nepal.
Best time to Travel
Upper Mustang can be travel from April to November. The August and October is the most visited month in Upper Mustang. There is a famous Teji festival (3 day long) in May which premise of King's palace is very interesting to the trekkers as well as. Many Lobas return to Mustang to observe the festival and visit families.
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