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Upper Mustang Trek

Duration
17 Days
10% discount on Group

Posted By
Dennis Tedder
Once again, another incredible trip supported by Ace Holiday Treks and Narayn Bhatta. In March, 2017, my nephew joined me in Kathmandu where I now live; 90% of my decision to live in Kathmandu is as a result of Narayan Bhatta. My nephew and I trekked to Everest Base Camp... Read More
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Upper Mustang trek is located beyond the great Himalayan range in the western part of Nepal. Many foreigners who come to Nepal for trekking would want to include upper mustang in their itinerary as it provides them with the opportunity to peek at the ancient Buddhist and Tibetan culture that is still prevalent in the region. The major attractions of the upper Mustang treks are undoubtedly the ancient monasteries, some of which were built thousands of years ago, and the replete caves that lie scattered in the region. The culture at upper Mustang is a beautiful amalgamation of Tibetan and Buddhist traditions. In the past, it was an independent state with a separate King ruling the region. LoManthang is still considered as the Kingdom of upper Mustang.

The existing culture of the people of the upper Mustang region greatly resembles to the Tibetan cultures exercised by the Buddhists. Going to the upper Mustang as part of the trek is one of the great ways to experience the old charm of the Himalayan mountain deserts. Several old and new monasteries and ancient caves fall along the trekking trail. And it comes as a no surprise that the word Mustang comes from two Tibetan words “mun” and “tan” roughly translated as the "fertile plain". Until recently, Mustang had enjoyed its status as an independent state with Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista being the last king of the region. It, however, lost its independent status in October 2008 when the Nepal government passed a ruling to that effect.

Mustang, however, had largely remained in oblivion and was under sort of anonymity even amongst the domestic tourists until the government of Nepal granted access to the western tourists in October, 1991. However, the government still places several restrictions on the number of tourists entering the secluded Himalayan province. The government takes special measures to protect its ancient culture from being influenced by the west. Special permit passes are required to gain entry into the region for the prospective tourists.

The fascinating trek kicks off with a trip to Pokhara from Kathmandu, the capital city. Over a period of 17 days, the trip and trek encompasses several places which include Jomsom, Kagbeni, Chele, Geling, Charang, Namgyal, among others. Tourists will also have the chance to explore the Kali Gandaki River Valley, which is considered as the deepest gorge in the world.


Itinerary outline
Day 01: Arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu
Day 02: Trek preparation and sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (910m) 6 hrs
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2700m) & trek to Kagbeni (2800m) 3 hrs
Day 05: Trek to Chele (3110m) 5 - 6 hrs
Day 06: Trek to Ghiling (3500m) 5 - 6 hrs
Day 07: Trek to Charang (3620m) 4 hrs
Day 08: Trek to Lo - Manthang (3840m) 3 hrs
Day 09: Exploration of Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar 4 - 6 hrs
Day 10: Trek to Drakmar (3820m) 6-7 hrs
Day 11: Trek to Syangmochen (3800m) 5 - 6 hrs
Day 12: Trek to Chhusang (2980m) 6 hrs
Day 13: Trek to Muktinath (3800m) 7 hrs
Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2700m) 6 hrs
Day 15: Morning flight back to Pokhara 25- min
Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu 6 hrs
Day 17: Departure to TIA “Farewell!"
Day 01: Arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu
You will be welcomed by our team members at the Airport and then be ushered to the Hotel. Our travel representatives will explain briefly about the travel itinerary upon your arrival in the Capital. You will be staying at a Hotel in Kathmandu the first day.

Day 02: Trek preparation and sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Several world heritage sites including Basantapur Durbar square, Swayambhunath Temple, Bouddha Stupa, Pasupatinath Temple, Patan Durbar Square, among others, are located in Kathmandu that will keep the tourists enchanted and occupied for the day.
Overnight stay at hotel, inclusive of breakfast.

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (910 meters) 6 hrs
On the third day, you will be traveling to Pokhara (around 200km) via Prithivi Highway. The bus will depart at 7 AM in the morning. It will be a 6-hr drive with beautiful scenery all along the way. You will arrive at Pokhara in the late afternoon. Overnight stay at hotel, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2700 meters) & trek to Kagbeni (2800m) 3 hrs
The real itinerary will take place on the third day when you will board a flight to Jomsom from Pokhara Airport. The flight itself promises to be an exciting prospect as the aircraft flies along the sky with beautiful views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. After reaching Jomsom, the trek formally starts with a short trekking to Kagbeni, the main gateway to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni is situated at an altitude of (2800m).
Overnight stay at guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3110 meters) 5 - 6 hrs
The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kaligandaki River and a couple of hours trek leads to Tangbe village. The village is a combination of narrow alleys with white houses, buckwheat and barley fields intercepted with the apple orchards. The Nilgiri peak, which dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni, will accompany you through the trek with a majestic view. After Tangbe, 1-½-hrs trek leads to Chhusang village. The trek will now leave the Kali Gandaki Valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele.
Overnight stay at guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 06: Trek to Ghiling (3500 meters) 5 - 6 hrs
The trekking trail now becomes steeper with increasing altitude. It, however, offers some of the spectacular views along the way of the barren land, naked hills, rugged terrain and the enchanting ambience of Mustang and the adjoining regions. The Annapurna mountain range, still dominated by Nilgiri, is also visible far to the South. Further trek up the Samar village and then a gradual descend leads to Shyangboche. The final destination for day six is the Ghiling Village where you will stay overnight at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 07: Trek to Charang (3620 meters) 4 hrs
From Ghiling village, the trail climbs gently up to an interesting pass NYI La and descends below the blue, gray and red cliffs. Climbing over another pass at 3,600 meters, the route makes a long and gentle descent to Charang village. The village has several Tibetan Monasteries which are the source of attraction to the Buddhist tourists. The village is also popular for traditional Thankas as well as other kinds of paintings.
Overnight stay at guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 08: Trek to Lo - Manthang (3840 meters) 3 hrs
Trek to Lo-Manthang also brings along with the opportunity to visit two other villages on the way. Lo-Gekar Gompa is older than Samye Gompa in Tibet and is considered one of the oldest Gompas of Nepal. Trek from Lo-Gekar to Lo-Manthang is mild with some minor climbing. Lo-Manthang, also considered as the Kingdom of Upper Mustang, the destination for day eight where you will be staying overnight at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 09: Exploration of Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar 4 - 6 hrs
It takes around 2 hours trek to reach Namgyal Gompa from Lo-Manthang. Namgyal Gompa is located atop a small hill which serves as an important monastery for the local community. The trek then continues until Tingkhar village which comprises around 40 houses. After visiting Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, you will again return to LoManthang. Overnight stay at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 10: Trek to Drakmar (3820 meters) 6-7 hrs
From Lo-Manthang the trail climbs steadily up a ridge at 4070m and continues climbing to the Chogo La until 4210m, the highest point on the trek. The trail then makes a short, steep descent and crosses the Charang River and reaches to Ghar Gompa, a small monastery. After climbing another ridge, crossing a valley and then a gradual descend leads you to Drakmar, destination for overnight stay at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 11: Trek to Syangmochen (3800 meters) 5 - 6 hrs
The trail now descends passing the stone walls and fields of Drakmar. Descending further down, you will reach to Jaite (3820m) and Chhung-Kah. The trail then reaches to Tama Village (3710m) and continues descending until Syangmochen. Overnight stay at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 12: Trek to Chhusang (2980 meters) 6 hrs
From Syangmochen, the trail descends continually. The destination for day twelve is Chhusang Village and there are two ways to reach Chhusang. An alternative route passes along the Samar Village and the Ranchung Cave which takes 30-minutes longer than the original trail. Overnight stay at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 13: Trek to Muktinath (3800 Meters) 7 hrs
Day thirteen is special for it takes us to one of the hallowed and sacred pilgrimage destination for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, the Muktinath Temple. The Hindu shrine of Muktinath and other red-painted Buddhist Monasteries offer a majestic view. The trail to Muktinath is attractive as it entails crossing small streams, passing suspension bridges and walking through several villages. This route is also very popular for the availability of fossil stone “Saligram”. Overnight stay at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (3700 meters) 6 hrs
As Muktinath is one of most important destinations for Hindus pilgrims, we will visit the temple in the morning. For Hindu pilgrims, Muktinath is more commonly known as "Muktikhsetra" or the region of liberation/salvation. There are 108 water spouts inside the temple premises where people take holy bath. Muktinath also offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri mountain range. Downhill trek will now begin from Muktinath, as we come across Kaligandaki Valley and Kagbeni village along the way. The last day of the trek will be celebrated in Jomsom along with all the trekking staffs. Overnight stay at a guesthouse, inclusive of full board meals.

Day 15: Back to Pokhara (flight) 25- minutes
Upon arrival at Pokhara, the day is free for sightseeing around Pokhara Valley. Wonderful lakes, caves, temples and the night life around Lakeside is enough to keep tourists interested in this lake town. Overnight stay at a hotel, inclusive of breakfast

Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu 6 hrs
On the penultimate day of the tour, you will drive back to the Capital city and stay overnight at a hotel, inclusive of breakfast.

Day 17: Departure to TIA “Farewell!"
On the 17th day the tour package ends and you will return to your country via the international Airport in Kathmandu.
 

Cost Included:
  • Arrival & Departure Transport By private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals a day during the Trekking (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in Tea House during the Trekking.
  • Trekking Guide with Insurance
  • Trekking Porters with Insurance ( 2 Person 1 Porters)
  • Flight ticket for guide Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara
  • Flight ticket for Clients Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara
  • Transportation (Kathmandu/ Pokhara - Pokhara/Kathmandu by Tourist Bus).
  • Three nights' Accommodation in Kathmandu and Two night pokhara  3 Star level hotel with bed- and- breakfast basis, (If you like to have a standard Hotel accommodation please do let us know).
  • Kathmandu city and trekking maps.
  • Special permit for Upper Mustang (Annapurna Conservation fee).
  • Tims card (Trekking information management system) as like a permit.
  • Free use Company's duffel bag.
  • Emergence of helicopter rescue (pay by your insurance)
  • Day sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley, car/van/bus and tour guide
  • All needed Government fee.
  • welcome Dinner with Nepali Culture Show.
Cost Excluded:
  • International Airfare.
  • Food in Kathmandu/Pokhara lunch and dinner.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 40 for 30 days and US$ 25 for 15 days you should get visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters
  • Donation
  • Items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone etc.
The following gives you a general idea of the personal items that you can bring for the trek. The personal items are of individual interest, and choice. The most important fact that one should keep on mind is that one should have enough clothes to tackle the cold weather in the Himalayas.

In a supported trek, heavy items are carried by porters or yaks and personal belongings that you may need for the day like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. So you are briefed to pack items in two different bags.

We will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag which you can use on the trek and is carried by porter/s. The duffel bag is yours to keep after the trek. You can leave your bag with your non-trek items at the Hotel in Kathmandu and collect them after the trek.

General
  • For seasons Sleeping bag (Optional/we can provide one if you need it but is to be returned after the trek)
  • Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary ACE duffel bag for you to keep.)

Daypack
  • Down Jacket (Optional/we can provide if you need one but is to be returned after the trek)

Upper Body - Head / Ears / Eyes
  • Shade hat or baseball cap - some people drape a bandana down the back of their head and then put a baseball cap on to hold it is place. This can be a flexible alternative while keeping the sun off your ears and neck.
  • Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears.
  • Balaclava - lightweight, thinner variety.
  • Glacier glasses-100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case (i.e. Julbo or Cebe). This is to protect your eyes from the stronger rays of the sun due to the thinner atmosphere which can cause a painful condition known as snow blindness. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient. If you wear prescription glasses, speak to your doctor about prescription glacier glasses, perhaps with transitional lenses.
  • Headlamp - Black Diamond and Petzl both make several good ones. Make sure to bring extra batteries and that they are lithium batteries so that they will last in the colder temperatures. These are indispensable for getting around at night, reading, etc. so, don't go cheap here.
  • Some people like ear-muffs; These are optional; a good hat, balaclava, and hooded jacket should really be sufficient, but this is a personal choice for some people (optional).
  • A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it (optional).

Hand
  •     1 pair liner gloves, thin wool or synthetic, useful alone on mild days or as a layer inside other gloves / mitts   for additional warmth.
  •     1 pair warm gloves (heavier fleece or wool).
  •     1 pair shell gloves or mitts; Gore-Tex is preferred for keeping hands dry.

Instant hand warmers are always nice in a pinch, but really shouldn't be necessary on the trek. Bringing appropriate hand protection as recommended above, should be sufficient (optional).

Core Body
  • T-shirts (2).
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops.
  • Fleece jacket or pullover.
  • Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional).
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket.
  • 2 women sports bras, Synthetic, no cotton!

Lower Body – Legs
  • 2 pairs nylon hiking shorts - Quick drying type, not cotton!
  • Underwear, stay away from cotton (4).
  • 2 pairs lightweight long underwear - capilene or other synthetic.
  • 1 pair soft shell pants - synthetic, full zip from top and bottom preferable.
  • 2 pairs trekking pants, preferably that zip on/off at the knees so they double as shorts.
  • 1 pair hard shell pants. Waterproof / breathable, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best. Should zip from the top and bottom - this makes it easier to put on over boots without getting undressed should the weather change once you are underway for the day.
  • 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis).
 All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.

Feet
  • 4 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene.
  • 3 pairs heavy weight socks to be worn over liner socks.
  • 1 pair light weight socks, a good option for the lower / warmer parts of the trail.
  • 1 pair light to medium weight water proof hiking/trekking boots. Ensure a good fit with layered socks and you have worn then before to get used to it (otherwise you will get lots of blister).
  • 1 pair light trekking shoes or sneakers. Good for around the camp/lodges and in Kathmandu.
  • 1 pair hiking gaiters, good for keeping dust and rocks out of your shoes / boots as well as keep your feet dry as necessary (Optional).
  • 1 pair sandals (Optional).

Medicines and First Aid Kits

(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
  • Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
  • Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
  • Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness. Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
  • 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.

Miscellaneous, but Important !
  • Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
  • Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
  • Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
  • Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
  • Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its' effectiveness over time.
  • Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
  • Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
  • Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.
  • 2 bandanas.

Optional
  • 1 pair adjustable trekking poles. Although these are listed as optional, these can be of great assistance to people who may think of themselves and generally clumsy or with bad knees, ankles, etc, especially when going downhill (Optional).
  • Favorite snack foods, no more than 2 pounds (Optional).
  • Paperback books, cards, mp3 player (there are a couple of stops where you could recharge. Avoid players with moving hardware as it may not function. Remember, keep these items light weight (Optional).

Binoculars (Optional).
  • 1 light weight point & shoot camera or 1 large SLR. Digital cameras are ok, but you must keep the batteries warm when not in use (Optional).
  • Hydration bladder with drinking tube and tube insulator (Optional).
  • A pee bottle for men and pee funnel for woman, some swear by them to avoid that chilly late night trip (Optional).
  • 1 small stainless steel thermos (Optional).

This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipments can be easily found in stores in Kathmandu for cheaper prices.

Please Note: Tight fitting, figure-hugging clothing, such as those made with Lycra can often be offensive to locals, especially to women. If you find these items comfortable as a base layer, please pack something to wear on top of them.

Trip Facts

Duration: 17 Days
Accomodation: Tea house
Type: Modarate
Activities : Trekking and hiking
No. of Pax : Min 2
Starts From : Kathmandu
Ends at : kathmandu

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