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Upper Mustang Walking holidays

Mustang is a Buddhist/Tibetan kingdom that falls within the boundaries of Nepal. Because of its isolation and unique alliances with the leaders of Nepal, it represents perhaps the purest existent Tibetan culture in the world. Its capital, Lo Manthang, is a medieval walled city where the King’s palace still stands and you will be treated to an audience with him.

The landscape of Upper Mustang is indescribably beautiful. Eroded cliffs, red-walled monasteries and snow-capped peaks are bathed in hues of orange and red rocks. The landscape is reminiscent of Tibet.
Until 1991 Mustang was a forbidden area for foreigners. We have to have at least 10 days permit for which we pay US $ 500. Then the additional charge is US$ 50 per day. We walk in a desolated area with rugged rock formations with beautiful colours, and cross some high passes around 4000 meter. In the landscape there are many Buddhist relics, like chyortens, stupas and mani walls. We walk through several small Tibetan villages and drink in this ancient culture.
The people in Mustang love to involve in various types of business to earn living. They bring the goods from Tibet and make business with the people living in lower lands than Mustang. The cultivable land is limited here, so very few of them are involve in farming. The people living in this area wear the traditional dress of Tibetan and follow mostly the Tibetan culture.
In some parts of the trekking, Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition leader will manage horses for us if we wish. In some places, the road is rough but we see some vehicles running on the road especially; jeep and tractors.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m)
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 03: Kathmandu-Pokhara (820m) by bus/air
Day 04: Pokhara-Jomosom (2720m)-Kagbeni(2810), 20 minute flight, two hours of walking, in 2850 meters
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele five hours walk, 3050m
Day 06: Chele to Shyangbochen (3800m)
Day 07: Shyangbochen to Ghami (3520m)
Day 08: Ghami to Ghar Gumba (3950m)
Day 9: Ghar Gumba to Lo Manthang 3810m
Day 10: Lo Manthang Rest
Day 11: Lo Manthang – Chosar – Namgyal Gompa – Lo Manthang
Day 12: Lo Manthang – Yara (3650 meter)
Day 13: Yara-Luri Gompa (4050m) -Yara
Day 14: Yara to Tangye, 3240 meter
Day 15: Tangye to Paha (4218m)
Day 16: Paha – Tetang (2950 meter)
Day 17: Tetang – Muktinath (3760 meter)
Day 18: Muktinath to Kagbeni (2850 m) to Jomosom (2850 m)
Day 19: Jomosom to Pokhara (820 meters)
Day 20: Pokhara Sightseeing
Day 21: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 22 Rest/Shopping in Kathmandu or Half day Bhaktapur Sightseeing
Day 23: Departure from Kathmandu

Important Information:

Our Guest’s security is of dominant concern while traveling with Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition. The trekking leader has the authority to adjust or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is necessary due to unfavorable circumstances. Unfavorable weather conditions, the health condition of a group member, or an unexpected natural disaster can force changes to the itinerary. However, every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary. The lead guide 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.

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Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m)

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 staff member 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 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

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 03: Kathmandu-Pokhara (820m) by bus 6-7 hours /air 35 minutes  
This day we travel for 6-7 hours if we are going bus. But if we are going by air it will take just 35min to fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Immediately after you left Kathmandu you climb to the pass over the mountain ridge that surrounds Kathmandu valley. If it is a clear day, you can enjoy the phenomenal view of Ganesh Himal, Lamjung Himal, Manaslu and Annapurna on the way. The road descends to about 400 meters and runs along the Trishuli River. Sometimes we can see group of people in rafts in the Trisuli River. The bus stops for lunch on the way. Finally we reach Pokhara the most beautiful city of Nepal by the afternoon. From today onwards, after the dinner or before we go to bed, the Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition trekking guide will take report and give briefing in every evening about the trek that we are going to make next day.

Day 04: Pokhara-Jomosom (2720m)-Kagbeni(2810), 20 minute flight, two hours of walking, in 2850 meters
We fly to Jomsom today early morning or let’s say, before noon, It is because the weather in Jomsom is often windy in the afternoon. The small plane, often twin otter, floats northward from Pokhara between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri by the Kali Gandaki valley. After about 20 minutes we land on the runway of Jomosom. All of a sudden we feel that we are in a totally different world. We take tea/coffee right after we land in Jomsom and get ready to walk. We go through check post of ACAP. In Jomsom, we can visit later on, Mustang Ecco Museum, ACAP Unit Conservation office, Shiva and Ganesh Temple. Jomsom has telephone, internet, and sauna facilities.
We do not stay here today because we stay here on the way back, hence we to one of the beautiful villages of Himalayan region called Kagbeni from where the Upper Mustang begins and that is to see everything through: the dress of the people, the monastery, the narrow crawl-by-stealth-through passage and the barren landscapes. This is the place where we can encounter the tourists who trek around the Annapurna.

Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele five hours walk, 3050m
From Kagbeni we walk first several hours through the riverbed of Kali Gandaki. We pass several Buddhist people villages so we could also see a monastery among the villages. We see the giant rocks here and there. Sometimes, there are many-carved holes in the rock walls where people/army during the war made their shelter. We wonder how they could ever have used them as high above the river. Near Chele we see the Kali Gandaki River flowing through the rock tunnel. It looks really amazing. We cross suspension bridge over the river and walk uphill to Chele, a village of Gurung people, originally from Tibet. So they speak Tibetan.

Day 06: Chele to Shyangbochen (3800m)
The path goes slightly uphill for the whole trek today. In some parts the climb is steep. The barren lands, white Himalayan peaks, rivers and streams are the common scenery in this area. 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 or the last one is Yamda La (3860m). Finally we reach Shyangbochen where there a couple lodges for the trekkers. Telephone service is available here.

Day 07: Shyangbochen to Ghami (3520m)
Today the path goes uphill, flat and downhill. In the beginning we walk uphill. On the way we can visit the village of Geling. We can visit to a monastery and some beautiful stupas here. After Geling we cross a pass called Nyi La (4025m). From the pass we can view Mustang valley, Mt. Annapurna range and Mt. Neelgiri. Then the path goes down to the big beautiful medieval village Ghemi. Before we reach the village Ghemi, we cross a pass called Ghemi La (3765m) This area is largely isolated, and deserted.

Day 08: Ghami to Ghar Gumba (3950m)
We cross a wooden over Ghemi Khola then the path goes uphill. We see a hospital made by Japanese that provides health services here and the longest Mani wall of Mustang on the way. We cross a village called Dhakmar that lies in the altitude of 3820m. After this village we cross red cliffs where we can get the chance to view blue sheep. We cross a pass called Mui La (4170m). From the pass we see the most parts of Mustang valley and various peaks of Himalayas. We walk flat and downhill to Ghar Gumba. A big monastery lies here. We camp beside the Gumba (monastery). If we visit the Gumba, we will be welcomed by Tibetan Butter Tea (su tea). A big Sculpture of Buddha in Padmasanbhava is seen inside the Gumba.

Day 09: Ghar Gumba to Lo Manthang 3810m
The path goes uphill first then flat for some time and then downhill to Lo Manthang. We cross a pass called Lo La (3950m) before we reach Lo Manthang.
Lo Manthang the captal city of Mustang Kingdom is surrounded by a very high wall with square towers at the corner points. Only a white palace of four levels and three red colored monasteries can be seen. The town has only one port. We can camp outside the city wall.

Day 10: Lo Manthang Rest
Today we have a rest in this beautiful city of Mustang. We can go to visit the palace and meet the King and Queen of Mustan riding the wooden ladder. Also we can take picture along with the royal couple. But we have to take an appointment at least a day before. We are welcomed by Tibetan Su Tea in the palace which we drink staying along with the royal couple. We have to honour the royal couple with the Khada.
Lo Manthang has lots of stupas, few Gumbas, chyortens and we can see the city decorated by lots of colorful prayer flags. A school and police check post lie here where our permits will be checked. Internet and telephone facility are available here. Also we can use cell phone.
A special festival called Tiji falls in the month of May here. Tiji festival is one the greatest festival and celebrated for 3 days.The people around the Lo Manthang gather in the city in great number (around 5000-6000). The tribes living around wear their cultural costumes during the Tiji. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition trekking guide arrange for our visit to the various places today.

Day 11: Lo Manthang – Chosar – Namgyal Gompa – Lo Manthang
Today is the special and exciting day in Mustang. We hire horse for hiking. Let’s say we are going for ‘horse hiking’. We ride the horse almost for the whole day today. We visit to Kimaling, Chosar amd Ghar fu, small and beautiful villages in Himalayan region. We visit several caves. We visit a special monastery made in cave. Hence, we have to carry small torch lights today. We visit the cave that lies in the altitude of 4275m. We cross several wooden bridges over Chhokardokpa Khola and Nhichung Khola during our horse hiking. We walk through rough roads in some sections. We back to the other way round to Lo Manthang crossing Namgyal Gompa, the famous monastery in Mustang.

Day 12: Lo Manthang – Yara (3650 meter)

Today we begin the trip with the trip to Yara. First we cross the Dokpolo Khola. Then we go uphill and cross a windy pass from where the view of Lo Manthang is spectacular. Then the path goes downhill and flat. Then the path is steep decent to Kali Gandaki River. We cross the big river in Mustang (Kali Gandaki) on the eastern shore. But first, the path takes us on a high-altitude route from where the views are fantastic. The steep descent to the river is just as spectacular and the only bridge made of two separate wooden beams. So we need to be aware while crossing. We may also hire a horse to cross the river. After crossing the river we go directly into a side valley to spend the night after a strong rise in the village of Yara.

Day 13: Yara-Luri Gompa (4050m) -Yara

Today we are going to have a hiking to visit the village of Tashi Kabum and Luri Gompa. Luri Gompa is one of those places in the Himalayas where words fail. In a bizarre landscape of pink and yellow pinnacles and humps stand two little monasteries. One of the monasteries is housed in a cave. This cave is then almost completely filled with a stupa which local people say it was born naturally. The whole is framed with fantastic rock paintings from ancient times and also very different from the ideas that we normally see in Buddhist monasteries. If we wish, we can hire a horse even today.

Day 14: Yara to Tangye, 3240 meter
In the beginning we walk downhill then the path goes flat for long time. After we cross Puyung Khola, a stream then the path goes uphill. Between Yara and Tangye there is no village or house. We walk towards south and cross twice a ridge of the mountain over. The first is a low and consequently does not as much as before. After we cross Dhechyang Khola, another stream, through knee-deep water we start a second climb. That takes a lot longer. Again beautiful views around the highest part of the path. From the plateau, the path leads through a corridor of palings into the valley.Finally we camp in Tangye which is a very nice pleasant village with a row of glorious stupas.

Day 15: Tangye to Paha (4218m)
After we cross the Kali Gandaki River where the Saligrams are found, the path goes flat for some time then it goes uphill for long. This is the hardest part of this trek. So we walk slowly and camp in Paha. There is no lodge to stay in, no village to visit in this point. We can enjoy the most spectacular natural views all around from Paha.

Day 16: Paha – Tetang (2950 meter)
The path goes still uphill for sometime then we can enjoy walking in the flat path. We can enjoy very beautiful views of nature today. But today we are walking through Siyarko Tangk Danda, a famous hill of this region, where we cannot get the natural source of water to quench our thirst on the way if we are making trek in this region in the months out of monsoon. But during the monsoon, water sources will be available. So, we need to prepare for this with enough water carrying with us. We witness really splendid natural and colourful views of the barren lands from Siyarko Tangk Danda. After crossing this famous hill, the path goes steep downhill, After the downhill is over we meet a small village called Tetang where we camp for the night. Tetang is a Buddhist village so Mane walls and stupas are witnessed here.

Day 17: Tetang – Muktinath (3760 meter)

From the campsite of Tetang first we cross Nari Khola on foot. There is not any kinds of bridge over it. We can witness water mill which is called Paani Ghatta in Nepali in Nari Khola. Then we climb to the ancient village of Tetang. After crossing Tetang too, the path goes uphill until we cross a pass called Gyu La (4077m). Then the path goes downhill. We, of course, witness very beautiful views of Annapurna region, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Mustang valley from the pass. The path goes slightly flat after the pass. Before an hour we reach Muktinath, we cross a suspension bridge over Tangaighiu khola. Muktinath is one of the famous pilgrimage of Nepal.

Day 18: Muktinath to Kagbeni (2850 m) to Jomosom (2850 m)
We can visit Buddhist / Hindu shrine of Muktinath early morning before we leave Muktinath. Then slowly we descend to the Kali Gandaki valley through village that is considered the entrance of Upper Mustang: Kagbeni. Kagbeni is beautifully situated between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range in a place where a tributary of the Kali Gandaki River flows.  We are walking on the north side of the Himalayas and heding to Jomosom the headquarter of Mustang with the access of air service.

Day 19: Jomosom to Pokhara (820 meters)  /air 18-20 minutes  
From here we can either fly or travel by jeep/bus. Honestly saying the road is not so good. If we choose the road transportation, we stop at Tatopani for a night to have hot spring bath which gives us complete relax to our body which is almost fully exhausted due to the long and hard trek. So, it takes 2 days to reach Pokhara from Jomsom. But if we choose the air transportation then we reach Pokhara within 18 – 22 minutes.

Day 20: Pokhara Sightseeing
Pokhara is a great little town to recover from the fatigue of a journey. The climate is extremely pleasant, the views magnificent. You can swim and sail in a boat to the other side of the lake. You can do well in all kinds of incredibly tasty dishes in the numerous restaurants. And there is anything for sale in the many souvenir shops.

Day 21: Pokhara to Kathmandu by bus 6-7 hours /air 35 minutes  
Today we travel to Kathmandu by bus that takes about 7 hours in generally reach Kathmandu in the afternoon, so we still will have some time to look around, go shopping and to prepare ourselves for the flight back to home country.

Day 22 Rest/Shopping in Kathmandu Bhaktapur Sightseeing 3-4 hours  (1401m) 
This day you spend on your own either looking around Kathmandu, buying souvenir for your friends/family or you can have full rest or prepare for going back to your home country. Or if you wish you will be taken to Bhaktapur for sightseeing for 4 hours. But you have to extra charge for this. In the evening you will be served the Farewell Dinner by the company.

Day 23: Departure from Kathmandu (1337m)

Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition representative will manage vehicle to drop our valuable guests at Tribhuvan International airport before 3 hours of departure and bid goodbye. It will be not only goodbye to you but also the welcome for next visit to Nepal.