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Christopher G Cornbor
Mustang Trek - Lo Mangthang
I used Himalayan Glacier for a private trek into the Mustang region in May, ending up at Lo Mangthang. This was my first experience using this firm, having been...view details
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Join our Upper Mustang trek-17 days trek which offers a spectacular trekking into the remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area with Tibetan influence culture. The high desert region of the Tibetan influence, Kaligandaki, from the Tibetan border south to Kagbeni is generally referred to as Upper Mustang. Explore the thousand years of old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. Make an adventure starting from world's deepest gorge Kaligandaki Region into world's highest regions of Lo-Mangthang Valley that passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and down hill and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek passes through high peaks, passes, glaciers, and alpine valleys. The thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage remain unchanged for centuries and to this date. The houses in Mustang are mostly made from stone and sun baked mud bricks. The city wall and the four storey palace in Lo-Manthang are some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang region. Another attraction in the Mustang region is the Tiji Festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring). The Mustagi people have their own way of family life, which is quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry.
The Transhimalayan Mustang Region is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, since the region was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announced the opening of the restricted areas in October 1991. The Mustangis or the people of Mustang call themselves Lobas, and they have their own King or Tribe-leader, Jigme Palbar Bista. After Nepal was declared a republic in 2007, the Nepal Government took back the official recognition of the Bista as the Mustangi King. However, the people there still respect him as their King or tribe-leader. Bista also grants audience the visitor upon request. There is also strict control in obtaining a special permit from the department of immigration to protect their tradition from outside influence as well as to protect their environment. The Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang Region. Follow the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream to get to Lo-Mangthang, the capital of the upper Mustang.
Our 17 days teahouse/lodge Upper Mustang trek is a great adventure trek for those who wish to make a challenging trek along "off the beaten path" in the Trans-Himalayan Region. If you are interested in making even more adventurous trek in remotest parts, we recommend you to try our Upper Dolpo & She Gompa Trek -28 days. For the trekkers longing to experience some of the most interesting features of the Annapurna region including Annapurna Base Camp, Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Poon Hill, etc, our Annapurna Sanctuary Trek-16 days itinerary would an interesting option.
What Is Included
- All airport/hotel transfers
- Three nights in 4-star hotel in Kathmandu(Hotel Shanker or similar standard), two nights in 3-star hotel in Pokhara with breakfast
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- All accommodation and meals during the trek
- A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley including tour guide and entrance fees
- Domestic flights (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara) and airport departure taxes
- Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu transport via Tourist bus
- An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
- Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, Himalayan Glacier Trekking duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
- A comprehensive medical kit
- All necessary paper work and permits (ACAP and Upper Mustang special trekking permit)
What Is Not Included
- Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Excess baggage charges
- Extra night accommodation/s in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu(and also in the case you return early from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
- Tips for guides and porters
The Trekking Group
For the Upper Mustang Trek, there will be one leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers:1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers:1 porter) This arrangement ensures that should any body in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Upper Mustang trek for group of any size, but generally include a maximum of twelve people in a group as we have found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you would like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Accommodations are included in the trip cost and HG Trekking has chosen. During the Upper Mustang Trek you will spend three nights at 4 -star in Kathmandu (Shanker hotel
) or similar category hotel, two nights in 3-star hotel in Pokhara and 11 nights in basic teahouse. We try to maintain standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. All hotel accommodations & teahouse is based on twin share. If you are a solo traveler, you will share a room with someone else of same sex of your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single rooms on request by paying single supplement USD 300.
During your Upper Mustang Trek, you can enjoy typical Nepali food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). You can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, variety of drinks, and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be provided from the teahouse/lodge menu where you spent your night. Lunch will be served on the way to destination, dinner and breakfast in the teahouse where you will spend the night. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu.
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Day to Day Itinerary
Arrive in Kathmandu [1300 m / 4264 ft]
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking. After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Himalayan Glacier Trekking display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel Shanker or a similar category hotel. After check in, you can either take a rest, hang around in the city, visit our office; it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a Welcome Dinner at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. Included meal: Dinner (D)
Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks include the World Heritage Sites: the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Himalayan Glacier Trekking briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Included meal: Breakfast (B)
Kathmandu to Pokhara [823m/2,700ft]: 6 hrs drive
Early morning at around 7 am, we set off for Pokhara on a tourist bus. Enroute we will see more of countryside of Nepal that offers greeneries, rivers, villages, farms and beautiful mountain sceneries. Afternoon, we reach Pokhara. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, five peaks of Annapurna and others. Pokhara is city of lakes and has numerous beautiful lakes. We can explore the most accessible and beautiful, Fewa Lake during the afternoon -enjoy boating too. Explore, relax and dine by tranquil Lake Fewa. You can even do some shopping during evening hours. Overnight in Pokhara. (B)
Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,858m/9,375ft]: 3-4 hrs
After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom, a super scenic flight of 20 minutes over the mountains with views of 8,000ers such as Annapurna & Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. This is a large town, headquarter of the Mustang region; it is also a major village on the Kaligandaki area linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards it is very windy in the afternoon, Continue on the gradual path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hrs and finally reaching at Ekley-bhatti village. After good stop here an hour of easy walk takes us to Kagbeni, which lies at the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni is an interesting windswept villages situated on the main age old Trans-himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a major tributory, Kak Khola, coming from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki. (B, L, D
Kagbeni to chele [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
Our journey starts with a special permit check up and onwards to the riverbank of Kaligandaki up stream. During the walk we have scenic picturesque place to stop through the sandy and windy trails. This trails follows the up and downhill. Firstly we reach Tangbe village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. From there we trek forward to Chhusang and after crossing the river head up to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki follows. We head on to small ridges reach at Chele village. (B, L, D)
Chele to Syanbochen [3475m/11,398ft]: 6-7 hrs
Today, we start our trek again and walk further to Eklo Bhatti. We climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Further descend a little to the village of Samar. Climb the trail that goes above Samar village to the ridge then descending steeply to a stream. Another 3 hrs similar walk takes us to Syanbochen. On the way, we relax along the surrounding of cool streams and juniper trees. Locals use the dried leaves of junipers as incenses to invite deities and start any auspicious work. We also pass by a cave famously known as Ramchung Cave. (B, L, D)
Syanbochen to Ghaymi [3520m/11,546ft]: 5-6 hrs
After breakfast we trek uphill to the Yamda La (3,850m /12,667ft) passing a few teahouses, chortens and local villages which is like Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda. We cross mountain passes, and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley. The climb to Nyi Pass (4,010m/13,193ft) would be a little longer. Descend to our overnight stop at Ghaymi. the third largest village in the Lo region, Ghayami is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren. (B, L, D)
Ghaymi to Charang [3500m/11,480ft]: 4-5 hrs
Start the trek 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 followers Buddhism. From the end of the wall the trail heads east to the village of Charang with a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Tsarang Chu canyon. There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa to get to our teahouse for tonight's stop. (B, L, D)
Charang to Lo-Mangthang (3700m/12,136ft): 5-6 hrs
Today, we trek to Lo-Mangthang 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. Further the trail ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the Lo-Mangthang Valley. While descending to Lo-Mangthang, views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. We stay at hotel for the overnight stop. (B, L, D)
Today we explore the surrounding areas. Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa situated on a hilltop serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, the last main village to the northwest of Lo-Mangthang and stroll back to hotel. Or you may have another option to visit the Tall Champa Lakhang "God house" the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall which are the main attraction of this town. Another attraction is the four- storey building of the Raja's palace as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya. (B, L, D)
Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar [3810 m/12,500ft]: 6-7 hrs
While returning from Lo-Mangthan, we take a different route than that we came by. Trek to Drakmar via Gyakar with more than 1200 years old Ghar Gompa with Guru Rinpoche as the primary figure. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes one wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is fulfilled. explore the local area. Likelihood of dusty wind, so suggested to walk in the morning. (B, L, D)
Dhakmar to Ghiling [3806m/12,484ft]: 5-6 hrs
Today, we get back to Ghiling as our journey for our overnight stay after a long walk takes 5-6 hrs. After arrival and lunch enjoy the day exploring the area, but it will be dusty wind in the afternoon, better to walk in evening time. (B, L, D)
Ghiling to Chhuksang [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
We re-track back to Ghiling 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. (B, L, D)
Chhuksang to Jomsom [2700/8,856ft]: 6-7 hrs
Our last day of the day would be a long one. Better to walk early start as before and trek to Kagbeni. Finishing the upper Mustang trails and we join the normal Annapurna circuit trek. After lunch at Kagbeni will head on to Jomsom for the overnight stop. Or, if you can spare one more day, our guide would take you to Muktinath as well. (B, L, D)
Fly back to Pokhara
After morning breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. A 30 min dramatic flight to Pokhara between gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara airport guide will transfer to the lakeside hotel. Rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at hotel. (B)
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
After breakfast, we start our 200 kilometers drive back to Kathmandu. Better to hold on the left pane of the vehicle to enjoy the sceneries through the route. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and celebrate dinner together with Himalayan Glacier Trekking staffs. Overnight at Kathmandu. (B ,D
Fly Home: Farewell Friend
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We hope you enjoyed the tour with us, and are sure you`ll be back in your trip somewhere in the Himalaya again. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking will transfer you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal. (B)
Health and Experience Requirements
Upper Mustang trekking requires in average 5-6 hours of walking everyday. You should be prepared with about 12 Km of walking or jugging exercise everyday 2-3 months before your Upper Mustang Trek starts because you are walking on high altitude. And also you must need a positive attitude and a strong determination; previous hiking/camping experience preferred but not mandatory and no technical experience is required for this trek.
A Typical Day On The Trail...
Soon after first light your Sherpa will knock on your door and will offer you a nice cup of warm tea. After freshening up, you will pack your bags and assemble in the dining hall for a hearty breakfast before setting off on the day`s trek. After approximately 2-3 hours of trekking you will take a lunch break. After a relaxing lunch, you will typically spend 2-3 more hours on the trail before reaching your stopping point. Throughout the day you will rest and take some time to admire the views. There will be plenty of picture taking opportunities - incredibly panoramic mountains, rivers, landscapes, prayer flags, temples, shrines, cairns, monasteries, etc. Once you arrive at your teahouse, you will take a brief rest, shower, and have a light snack with tea or coffee. If you are so inclined, you may take a short walk through the village and surrounding neighborhood. After checking into your room you`ll have time to read or chat with fellow trekkers and your Himalayan Glacier crew. Following a warm dinner in a cozy dining hall your trek leader will brief you on the next day`s itinerary. You will place your order for breakfast which will allow your guide to have everything ready for you in the morning. Extra time can be spent reading, enjoying some drinks or playing cards. Your Himalayan Glacier crew loves to teach various Nepali card games as well as learning new Western games. Finally, it`s off to bed for a well earned night`s rest before starting all over again the next day.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.For more information
Equipment and Packing List
While packing for Upper Mustang Trek certain equipments are essential.
Please Click here
for this trip's comprehensive checklist.
Our Upper Mustang Trek itinerary is planned with high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill. The higher the altitude the less oxygen there is in the air. While crossing some small passes are not that challenging and Upper Mustang trek doesn't require special acclimatization days but slow and gradual ascent is necessary for gradual acclimatization process in the think air environment. Thus the itinerary is planned sensibly allowing sufficient time for gradual acclimatization. We advise specially the guest(s) with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS. Check out "Altitude illness" by Dr Jim Duff
HGT itineraries are designed to try to prevent AMS but it is important to remember, some people can be more susceptible than others.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes your Upper Mustang Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of our trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Himalayan glacier trekking only employs Nepalese staffs who have adequate knowledgeable about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trek leaders of HGT are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:.
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)
To meet our team, check out the Guide Profile
Though often overlooked, it's no exaggeration to say the entire trekking and expedition industry in Nepal is built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make journeying to these remote areas possible. So it's very unfortunate that they have endured a history of exploitation and abuse at the hands of the industry. In an effort to combat this, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We ensure all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. And for the porter's sake we require that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight under 15kgs/33 pounds. We support the work of the Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
From April to November are favorable months to trek to Upper Mustang. Upper Mustang is a rain Shadow area, thus, we can do trekking in this part of Nepal even in the monsoon season (mid June-mid Sept), while during monsoon, trekking in popular trails of Everest and Annapurna is not recommended.
Trip Start Dates and Price
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email
. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684