Mustang is the ancient Himalayan Kingdom which lies in the northern central part of Nepal and at the top of the Kaligandaki River. Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions: the southern part and the northern area where the language, culture, and traditions are similar to those of the Tibetan people. This area is considered one of the most interesting and picturesque places in Nepal. The whole area has an isolated and mystical feel. It is enchanting and inspiring. This region is home to some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, and, as well, to ancient and isolated villages with pretty white-washed houses.
This trek is a walking holiday/lodge trek. Our destination is Lo- Manthang, which we reach in 9 days. The route is through high altitude desert and climbs in and out of the huge Kali Gandaki Valley. Near Jomsom, the small city we fly into, the Kali Gandaki River has cut the deepest gorge in the world.
In Jomsom, if the trekking party wishes, we can hire horses to ride, hire for the whole tour or only for part. Note, our luggage will be carried the entire time by horses and mules. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staff will consist of a guide, an assistant guide, and horse porters.
Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition organizes this trek in May so that our guests attend the annual Tiji festival held in Lo Manthang. The dates of Tiji change with each year, the date determined according to the Tibetan Calendar by the area’s head Lama. This year, 2018, the festival will fall on May 12th thru the 14th. The origins of the festival predate Buddhism and are born out of the animistic and shamanistic Bon tradition. The costumes and dance steps of the Tiji festival have remained the same for over 600 years.
Tiji is abbreviated form of ” Tempa Chhirim” which means ”Prayer for World Peace”, and celebrates the victory of Buddha’s incarnation, Dorji Sonam, over a demon called Ma Tam Ru Ta. Ma Tam Ru Ta caused storms and droughts which destroyed people’s houses and livestock. The prayer is a dance performed by the monks of Lo Manthang Chhyode Goenpa over three days. The dance covers the harassment of Ma Tam Ru Ta, the birth of Dorji Sonam, who is the demon’s son, and the attempt by Dorji Sonam to return the demon to the Buddha Realm. The role of Dorji Sonam is played by a monk who has stayed in seclusion for three months in preparation. On the third day, in the ceremony called Rha Chham, Dorji Sonam throws a barley grass dummy representing Ma Tam Ru Ta. It is believed that now, the village will be purified of the evil spirit.
Day 1: (3 May 2019) Arrival in Kathmandu(1337m)
Day 2: (4 may 2019) Sightseeing in Kathmandu (1337m)
Day 3: (5 May 2019) Kathmandu-Pokhara (827m)
Day 4: (6 May 2019) Pokhara- Jomsom (2720m)-Kagbeni (2810m)
Day 5: (7 May 2019) Kagbeni to Chele (3050m)
Day 6: (8 May 2019) Chele to Shyangbochen (3800m)
Day 7: (9 May 2019) Syangboche-Ghami (3520m)
Day 8: (10 May 2019) Ghami – Charang (3560m)
Day 9: (11 May 2019) Charang to Lo-Manthang (3810m) observe Tiji Festival
Day 10: (12 May 2019) Observe Tiji Festival with Mask Dance
Day 11: (13 May 2019) Observe Tiji Festival
Day 12: (14 May 2019) Day 12 ;(14 May 2018 ) Observe Tiji Festival ending
Day 13: (15 May 2019) Lo Manthang to Ghami (3520m).
Day 14: (16 May 2019) Ghami to Samar (3660m)
Day 15: (17 May 2019) Samar to Kagbeni (2810m)
Day 16: (18 May 2019) Kagbeni to Jomsom (2720m)
Day 17: (19 May 2019) Jomsom to Pokhara by flight
Day 18: (20 May 2019) Pokhara Sightseeing.
Day 19: (21 May 2019) Pokhara to Kathmandu (1337m)
Day 20: (22 May 2019) Rest/Shopping in Kathmandu (1337m)
Day 21: (23 May 2019) Departure from Kathmandu(1337m)
Our Guest’s security is of dominant concern to Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition. Please understand that the HV Treks trekking leader has the authority to adjust or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is found prudent. Unfavorable circumstances may occur during the trek. Such as dangerous weather conditions, the condition of a group member, natural events like landslides, can force changes in the itinerary. All efforts will be made to keep to the planned itinerary. The HV Treks leader will try his/her best to ensure that the trip goes smoothly and according to plan, but please be ready to be flexible if necessary. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition is capable, experienced, and prepared to give a 24-hour emergency response to an accident or condition that requires attention or evacuation.
Important Also: The Airport is at high-altitude and flights in or out are prone to delays due to weather conditions. In the wetter, cloudy months, flights are sometimes delayed or canceled until next day or when the weather permits. Guests should please make sure their timetable for the trip allows for these possible delays.
Day 1: (3 May 2018) Arrival in Kathmandu(1337m)
You are welcomed to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal renowned for historical monuments, Hindu Temples, and Buddhist Stupas/Monasteries. We meet our guests at the Tribhuvan International Airport. A representative will be waiting with a Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition placard with our guests’ names displayed. After dropping luggage at the hotel, guests are taken for a short sightseeing tour. In the evening, guests are invited to a Welcome Dinner at a Nepali restaurant.
Day 2: (4 May 2018) Sightseeing in Kathmandu (1337m)
A local guide will be available. According to your wishes, the guide will escort you for sightseeing. Sightseeing may include the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupati, Boudhanath, Patan Durbar Square, and the Swoyambhunath areas. Starting after breakfast, usually at 9.00am, the exploration of Kathmandu Valley can continue until 5.00pm. Lunch and dinner, you will be responsible for.
Day 3: (5 May 2018) Kathmandu-Pokhara (827m)
Seats will be booked on the comfortable, air-conditioned Tourist Bus that runs from Kathmandu to Pokhara on the Prithvi Highway. A distance of 200km, it takes generally 6 hours including rest and meal stops. On the way, there are views of Ganesh Himal, Lamjung Himal, and Annapurna, as well as the Trishuli River Valley. In the more rugged areas of the Valley, there are rapids with kayaking/rafting to be seen. In the evening, your Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition guide will give a briefing about the next day’s trek.
Day 4: (6 May 2018) Pokhara- Jomsom (2720m)-Kagbeni (2810m)
We fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, a short 20-minute hop, early in the morning, arriving by noon, in a small 14seater plane. Jomsom is an entirely different, drier landscape than Pokhara, and we head for the Kagbeni region after tea/coffee. Kagbeni Village is the beginning of Upper Mustang area, the dress of the people is Tibetan, and prominent is a Buddhist Gumpa (monastery).
Day 5: (7 May 2018) Kagbeni to Chele (3050m)
From Kagbeni we walk the riverbed of the Kali Gandaki River. Along the way, as we go towards the village of Chele, we pass through Buddhist villages with their Geonpas. Coming to Chele, the Gandaki River flows quite amazingly through a natural rock tunnel. Chele is a village of people originally from Tibet, and they speak Tibetan.
Day 6: (8 May 2018) Chele to Shyangbochen (3800m)
Today, we cross 4 passes. The first one is Taklam La (3624m), the second one is Dajori La (3735m), the third one is Bhena La (3860m) and the 4th is Yamda La (3860m). The scenery is of vistas of mountains and barrens. We reach Shyangbochen where there are lodges. Telephone and mobile service are available here.
Day 7: (9 May 2018) Syangboche-Ghami (3520m)
We walk first uphill, then on flat land, and lastly downhill. We visit the village of Geling, with a Goenpa, beautiful Stupas, chortens and mani walls. We cross Nyi La pass at 4025m. From the pass, before us are Mustang valley, the Annapurna Range and Mt. Neelgiri. On the way to our destination, the medieval village of Ghemi, we cross a pass called Ghemi La (3765m). It is an isolated, deserted place.
Day 8: (10 May 2018) Ghami – Charang (3560m)
From Ghami to Lo Gekar there is a rough road we follow, built by the Chinese. We continue to Charang. Charang is one of the bigger villages in Mustang. Its white houses with their fluttering prayer flags are beautiful against a background of steep cliffs and peaks. On a ridge above a deep gorge rises a magnificent fortress of five floors – one of the old palaces of the king of Mustang – and the opposite is a big red painted Goenpa. We spend the night in Charang. Telephone, internet services are available here. Here too is the white north side of Nilgiri, one of the peaks of the Annapurna massif, which rises steeply from the Tibetan plateau. We will tour the Goenpa and Palace, led by the Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition guide.
Day 9: (11 May 2018) Charang to Lo-Manthang (3810m) observe Tiji Festival
We arrive in Lo Manthang today. We cross a pass called Lo La (3950m) before reaching Lo Manthang. The capital city of Mustang Kingdom, Lo Manthang is surrounded by a high wall with square towers at the corner points. Only the white palace and three red colored Goenpa can be seen above the wall. Our camp is outside the city wall. Lo Manthang has many Buddhist stupas, Gompas, and chortens. The color of prayer flags abound. Internet, telephone, and mobile facilities are available here.
Day 10: (12 May 2018) Observe Tiji Festival with Mask Dance
Tiji begins today, and if an appointment is made the day before, we may visit the palace and meet the King and Queen of Mustang. In the palace with the royal couple, we drink Tibetan Butter Tea and honor the royal couple with Khada scarves. In the morning, Lo Manthang fills with people from the local area (around 5000-6000). Many come from far villages on horseback. On the main street, the King and Queen, along with many others, ride horses decorated with beautiful regalia. The streets are alive and colorful as the peoples of Mustang wear their traditional finery during the Tiji.
Day 11: (13 May 2018) Observe Tiji Festival
Day 12: (14 May 2018) Day 12 ;(14 May 2018 ) Observe Tiji Festival ending
Day 13: (15 May 2018) Lo Manthang to Ghami (3520m)
We leave Lo Manthang and travel up over the Marang Chogo La Pass (4230). The views of Upper and Lower Mustang Valley into Tibet from the Pass are magnificent. We return to Ghami.
Day 14: (16 May 2018) Ghami to Samar (3660m)
From Ghami, we cross Ghami La Pass (3765m). Later, we cross Nyi La Pass (4025m). We come down to Samar Village, where we spend the night. The weather after midday is windy in this area and will continue so until Jomsom.
Day 15: (17 May 2018) Samar to Kagbeni (2810m)
We head to Chhusang, a beautiful village along the Kali Gandaki River. We first go over Dajori La Pass (3735m) and Taklam La pass (3624m). From Taklam La we go steeply downhill to the village of Chele and to the bank of Kali Gandaki River. From Chele we go to Chhusang. From Chhusang, we head to Kagbeni for the night. Kagbeni is beautifully situated between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges on the Kali Gandaki River where it is joined by a tributary.
Day 16: (18 May 2018) Kagbeni to Jomsom (2720m)
Following the Kali Gandaki River, we have views of the beauty of Upper Dolpo. We head to Jomsom, where we will spend the afternoon and night. Jomsom is the main, small city of Mustang with many attractions, shops, and restaurants. It has a hospital, ATMs, telephones, mobile coverage, internet, and sauna facilities. While here, we may visit the Mustang Ecco Museum, the Shiva and Ganesh Temples, and the Army Mountaineering School.
Day 17: (19 May 2018) Jomsom to Pokhara by flight
We have a choice. We can either fly to Pokhara or travel by jeep/bus. If we go by jeep, the road is slow and sometimes rough, but we get to spend the night at Tatopani. Tatopani is a favorite as there are hot springs for bathing. The hot natural mineral baths are restorative to our bodies, which by this time no doubt are weary from the long trek. If we go by air, we reach Pokhara within 30 minutes.
Day 18: (20 May 2018) Pokhara Sightseeing
Time to relax in Pokhara. The ambiance is pleasant, the weather mild. In Lakeside, we can enjoy boating, cafes, shops, and the restaurants along the Lake with their tasty international cuisines. For the more energetic, we can visit the famous Peace Stupa, the Tibetan Settlement.
Day 19: (21 May 2018) Pokhara to Kathmandu (1337m)
We take the pleasant and comfortable Tourist Bus back to Kathmandu. Arriving at 4 pm, a Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staff member will meet us and drive us to our hotel. The rest of the day is unscheduled and you are free to spend it as you like.
Day 20: (22 May 2018) Rest/Shopping in Kathmandu (1337m)
This day is free too. If you wish, a sightseeing trip to the ancient temple/king’s seat of the world heritage site of incredible Bhaktapur can be arranged. The tour lasts 4 hours and will cost an additional upcharge. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner is given by Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition.
Day 21: (23 May 2018) Departure from Kathmandu(1337m)
Today, we check the list of all necessary documents and goods of our guest. We confirm the flight tickets before 72 hours of departure flight. We advise our guest to put passport and tickets at their handbag for convenience. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staff representative will take our valuable guests to the airport (3 hours prior to your flight) and bid goodbye.
Included in the Cost
Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
4 night hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast and 3 night hotel in Pokhara on bed and breakfast in double rooms
Welcome or farewell dinners in Kathmandu
3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed friendly guide and assistant guide
(Up to 4 persons one guide and assistant guide for more than 4 persons)
horses for carrying the luggage
Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
Himalayan Vacation treks and expedition trekking bag/15kg capacity bag,
All necessary paperwork and trekking permits
Special permit of Mustang
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit
First Aid Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
All government and local taxes
nights in double/single tents
Trekking map upper mustang
Not Included in the Cost
Nepalese visa fee
Excess baggage charge(s)
Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
(Excluding drinks in the Lodges)
Travel and rescue insurance
Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
Down jacket and sleeping bag and trekking Hiking shoes.
Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s) Number of participants
Minimum number of participants: 2
Maximum number of participants: 14
Max Altitude: 4760 meters Best Season: Sep – Nov and Mar-May Difficulty Level: Moderate
December, January, and February
It is called the winter season in Nepal. It is a season for snowfall in mountain region above 4300m in Nepal. So, trekking is possible below 4500m during this period. This season is noted for occasional snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas. Though it gets colder in a night, often it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively fewer trekkers on the trail. Sunrise and Sunset are seen very clear and beautiful in this season. So, a tourist who wants to pass short holidays during this period Himalayan vacation Treks and Expedition welcomes to see a splendid view of nature. During this period, we arrange a family tour to experience natural beauty with short hikes and cultural tour. It is suitable for homestay tour through which different rituals and culture can be experienced during this period. The famous homestay like Sailung Timal homestay,Timal homestay, Tamang Heritage Homestay, Ghalegaon Homestay are the special places to visit.
March, April, and May
It is spring season which is known as trekking season in Nepal. A smooth wind and gentle breeze are felt all over the country. Sunny days and clear weather are the supportive factors for trekking in this season. Presence of a cloud can be seen in the sky during this season. So a short rainfall can be felt during this period. It is the season of an expedition and climbing high peaks in Nepal. So many tourists from different parts of the world come to climb peaks above 7000m in this season. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour and journey for climbing during this period. Peak climbing period can be in length up to June so Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges attractive programs during this period. This period offers plenty of opportunities for clear mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom, and the national flower of Nepal – rhododendrons – coat the mountainsides with its colorful beauty throughout the spring.
June, July, and August
It is rainy season in Nepal. As it is the season of heavy rainfall. it is also known as the crops harvesting season in Nepal. In this season, trekking is slightly difficult in Nepal. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation. Trekking in the rain-shadow (places are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains) areas north of the Himalaya like Upper Mustang and Dolpo could be an ideal trek selection. However, Himalayan vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour and trek during this period in dry areas. We arrange treks and tour in dry areas like Mustang, Upper Dolpa, Leh Ladakh (India) and Tibet.
September, October, and November
Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our treks. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes. This is the season of feast and festivals. This is also known as the special season for flowers in Nepal. Marigold is popular and found best in this season. Temples and holy places are visited during this period. Festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath are celebrated during this season. Long national holidays are offered for this festival for workers. This season is known as the king of the season. No rainfall, sunny days and moderate temperature are the most favorable factors of this season for treks and tours in Nepal. Every kind of treks and tours can be done during this period. So many tourists come to see beautiful Nepal in this season. Many trekking routes are full of tourist during this season. Peaks 6000m to 7000m is the best destination for climbing in this season. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition welcomes tourist to feel the splendid view of the nature of Nepal in this season.
Equipment & Packing List
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Please understand that the items listed below will vary according to the season and the duration of the trek. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 12 kg. Your gear will be carried by your porter and you will be required to carry your own day-pack (with your valuables and things of immediate importance to you). We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary. Our list of equipment is prepared on the basis of our long experience. The Himalayan Vacation Trek & Expedition Team leader will check your gear to ensure you have all the necessary equipment at the start of the trek. If necessary, the HVTreks’ guide will request additions of necessary equipment when and where it is available.
Important documents and items
Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler’s checks, etc.
Bandana or headscarf, also useful for dusty conditions
Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
Sunglasses with UV protection
Prescription sunglasses (if required)
Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
Non-cotton underwear briefs
1 pair of Hiking shorts
1 pair of Hiking trousers
1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
Cotton socks (optional)
Gaiters (winter only), optional are “low” ankle high version
1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
Hot water bag under a sleeping bag
Rucksack and Travel Bags
1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carry-on)
1 large duffel bag
A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables should have good shoulder padding
Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)
-Note: In the larger towns and cities of Nepal, pharmacies have available common over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Western/foreign brand name products and prescription drugs are not. We suggest you bring the pharmaceuticals you use in enough quantity.
Small, personal first-aid kit with first-aid tape, antiseptics, and plasters (Band-Aids) (please simple and light)
Aspirin or preferred comparable
A cough and/or cold medicine
Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide
Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc.
Water filter or water purification tablets
1 set of earplugs
Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
Please Do Not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.