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Explore the forbidden walled city of Upper Mustang, which is truly a fascinating walking holiday in the lap of majestic Annapurna
Upper Mustang, the wonderland choke full with ancient Tibetan culture and astounding Tibetan landscapes flanks Tibetan border to its north. Nestling in the rain shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges, Upper Mustang is Nepal’s one of the restricted regions, where time has frozen long time ago despite the modern development taking place.
En route to Lomanthang the capital of Upper Mustang, the trek stretches through the trails comprising rugged arid mountains, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and Moraine valleys. Moreover, the landscapes resembling the Tibetan ones with the mountain backdrop is so wonderful that trekkers fall in love with the trekking adventure as soon as they the airport in the Windy City Jomsom.
Upper Mustang not only caters the natural highlights, the cultural delights of the trek are so diverse that trekkers get to witness the authentic cultures of four to five ethnical tribes in short span of time, which are unique and amazing in their own ways.
Upper Mustang, the gateway to Tibetan High Passes and the Hidden Shangri-La Dolpo also houses several ancient monasteries, the ruins of the palace of ancient kingdom of Lo, and the walled city of Lomanthang has incredibly settled ancient hamlet, which are so wonderful to explore that trekkers will definitely have a trip of a lifetime.
- Day 01:Arrival in Kathmandu
- Day 02:Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
- Day 03:Kathmandu to Pokhara flight; Sightseeing tour of Pokhara
- Day 04:Pokhara to Jomsom (2700m) flight and Jomsom to Kagbeni (2810m)/ 4 hrs trek
- Day 05:Kagbeni to Chhukshang (2900m)/ 5 hrs trek
- Day 06:Chhukshang to Samar (3150m)/ 4 hrs trek
- Day 07:Samar to Geling (3510m)/ 5 hrs trek
- Day 08:Geling to Ghami (3490m) via Ghami La Pass (3520m)/ 5 hrs trek
- Day 09:Ghami to Charang (3620 m)/ 5 hrs
- Day 10:Charang to Lo-manthang (3730m)/ 3 hrs trek
- Day 11:Free day in Lo-manthang
- Day 12:Lo-manthang to Ghami (3490)/ 6 hrs trek
- Day 13:Ghami to Chhukshang (2900m)/ 6 hrs trek
- Day 14:Chheksang to Muktinath (3795m)/ 7 hrs trek
- Day 15:Muktinath to Jomsom (2700m)/ 5 hrs trek
- Day 16:Jomsom to Pokhara flight
- Day 17:Pokhara to Kathmandu flight; Free day in Kathmandu
- Day 18:Depart Kathmandu
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
As you fly into Kathmandu, the views of snow-capped mountain peaks greet you. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.
Day 02: Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
Today, we will have a day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu. We will visit three UNESCO Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. We will begin with Pashupatinath.
The largest Hindu shrine in Kathmandu is worthwhile visiting to experience the Hindu culture and to explore around the historic and revered temple. Then we head off to explore Boudhanath.
At Boudhanath, we could witness many Buddhist devotees mainly of Tibetan origin circumambulating the largest stupa in the country. Post lunch, we drive to the center of medieval Nepal, Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Explore the magnificent monuments built during different eras at Kathmandu Durbar Square and also pay a visit to the home of Living Goddess, Kumari. Then you can stroll in the streets of Thamel while we arrange all your trekking documents (TIMS & National Park Permit) .
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara flight; Sightseeing tour of Pokhara
Early morning you will fly to Pokhara. Pokhara is half an hour scenic flight from Kathmandu. On arriving Pokhara, you will be escorted to your hotel.
Then you will begin the sightseeing tour of Pokhara. Pokhara is scenic tourist town boasting its natural wonders. Explore Mahendra Cave, Davis Fall and Seti River Gorge and then in the evning you will have a wonderful boating in Fewa Lake. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 04: Pokhara to Jomsom (2700m) flight and Jomsom to Kagbeni (2810m)/ 4 hrs trek
In the first flight, you will fly to Jomsom. The popular apple orchard of Nepal is a Windy town offering close up views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges.
On arriving to Jomsom, we will begin our Upper Mustang Trek. Heading north we cross the dangling suspension bridge over Kali Gandaki River and then trek beside the river on a flat trail having rcoks and sand.
Easy start of the trek caters the magnificent views of Dhaulagiri Tukuche, Nilgiri and Annapurna Range among others. After four hours of trek, we arrive to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang, where we need to produce our Special Permit to enter the region. Overnight in a teahouse at Kagbeni.
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chhukshang (2900m)/ 5 hrs trek
Today the trek begins with along the River Valley; sometimes on a leveled trail and sometimes on uphill trail. The sandy trail we tread on keeps of extending as you keep on walking.
We get to see the caves and Gompa Kang, which is Nyingmapa Sect Gompa on the west bank of the river, which is different to the monasteries we will get to see in Upper Mustang. We reach Tangbe, to witness the first black, red and white chortens that resemble the ones of Upper Mustang.
Walking across the cobble maze alleys of Tangbe, which comprises whitewashed houses, buckwheat and barley fields and apple orchards, we head towards Chhukshang. En route, Nilgiri Peak dominates the skyline and after two hours walk from Tangbe, we arrive at Chhukshang, which lies at the confluence of two rivers.
Day 06: Chhukshang to Samar (3150m)/ 4 hrs trek
As the trek goes higher, the cultural changes can be clearly witnessed. Trekking north we get to the huge conglomerate rock that forms the tunnel through the Kali Gandaki River flows.
Crossing the river over the steel bridge, we leave the valley behind and climb steeply up to Chele. Ascending up on a steep spur, and then across the steep canyon, we reach the pass. Descending down from the pass, we arrive to Samar- a pleasant village amidst the grove of poplar trees.
Day 07: Samar to Geling (3510m)/ 5 hrs trek
Today the trek begins with the uphill climb to a ridgetop and then slides down to a large gorge to enter the next valley comprising juniper trees. Cross a stream, climb over a small pass and along the ridge descend to Shyangbochen.
A short walk from here brings you to Rangbyung, one of the holiest caves in Mustang. Climbing up gently beyond Shyangbochen, we enter another valley and descend down to Geling. The wonderful hamlet having barley fields and whitewashed houses Geling caters authentic Upper Mustang culture. houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of
Day 08: Geling to Ghami (3490m) via Ghami La Pass (3520m)/ 5 hrs trek
As we begin the trek today, the trail gradually climbs up through fields and then traverses through the valley via the hamlet named Tama Gaon and grand Buddhist chortens.
Beyond that we climb up to Ghami La [3520m]. The descending climb down the pass is short and gradual and we arrive to a crossroad. We chase the trail on the left that leads us to Ghami. The wonderfully located village under the hanging cliffs has whitewashed houses as of typical Upper Mustang.
Day 09: Ghami to Charang (3620 m)/ 5 hrs
Today the trek chases the driest trails of Mustang. The challenging trekking day however has worthwhile rewards that include the wonderful views of countryside and mountains.
After five hours trek, we arrive to Charang. An expanded hamlet atop Charang Chu canyon, Charang houses huge fortress and a Red Monastery with beautiful clooection of statues and thankas inside. Overnight in Charang.
Day 10: Charang to Lo-manthang (3730m)/ 3 hrs trek
You don't have a long day trek today. Hence we will explore Charang in the morning and head towards Lo-manthang lesidurely. Gradual uphill climb above the valley brings us to the chorten, which is a borderline between Lo and Charang.
Beyond the chorten, we tread along the expanding trail and then start to get the first glimpse of the walled city, Lo-manthang. Circumnavigating the only entrance on the north east side of the city, we enter Lo-manthang. Overnight in Lo-manthang.
Day 11: Free day in Lo-manthang
A free day in Lo-manthang is never more. The village with 150 houses is the home to many monks. While exploring the untouched territory since the 14th century, we explore four major temples of the fabled walled city.
Champak Leaking, one of the major temples comprises a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as the elaborated mandala paintings on the walls. The grand palace in the center of the town is the home of royals. Explore the town properly so that you wont miss any highlights of Upper Mustang.
Day 12: Lo-manthang to Ghami (3490)/ 6 hrs trek
Today the trek begins along the retracing trail. Walking on the elevated trail, we cross the alpine meadows and slide steeply down to the eroded alley to Dhaka. Then pleasant walk through beautiful valley, a gentle climb over the ridge followed by a gradula descend will bring us to Ghami.
Day 13: Ghami to Chhukshang (2900m)/ 6 hrs trek
A typical trekking day - we go up and down gently on the wide trail that has desert like features with small throny bushes. We also walk on the trails at the river bank and come across some small streams. Crossing Kali Gandaki River, we finally arrive to Chhukshang.
Day 14: Chheksang to Muktinath (3795m)/ 7 hrs trek
Today we will trek for the longest hours. Beginning the trek, we chase the gentle uphill climb along the deserted valley. En route we sight farmlands, apple orchards, and colorful settlements in a distant.
Savoring the views of wonderful desert landscapes, mythical caves and witnessing the Tibetan lifestyle, yak caravans, we head towards Muktinath - the temple known for granting salvation.
The 15th century pilgrimage is the common pilgrimage for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bons. We will enjoy a holy bath of 108Taps, explore the temple premises and then find a comfortable teahouse for the overnight stay.
Day 15: Muktinath to Jomsom (2700m)/ 5 hrs trek
Today we have an easy day. Trek up gradually to Kali Gandaki River Valley, walk through the sandy and windy river valley between two lofty hills and arrive to Jomsom. Enjoy the night in a teahouse at Jomsom.
Day 16: Jomsom to Pokhara flight
Today you will fly to Pokhara, which is thirty minutes scenic flight. On arriving at Pokhara, we will escort you into your designated hotel. Let go all your trek exhaustion in Pokhara.
Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu flight; Free day in Kathmandu
Today you will fly to Kathmandu. As you arrive to Kathmandu, you will have free time to explore around on your own. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 18: Depart Kathmandu
Today, we will escort you to Tribhuvan International Airport as per your flight schedule back home. We will see you off pleasantly. Have a safe flight back home.
The magnificent view across the mountains was both beautiful and breathtaking. Be it the snow capped mountains or the unusual rock formation that makes the Mustang region so unique. The trek to Lomanthang was tedious but the scenery, the company of my friends and the dedication of our guides and porters make it a special memoir. It was a memorable trek.
Lim Eng Seng
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