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Forbidden Kingdom of Upper Mustang



Explore the long forbidden ‘Tibetan' Kingdom of Mustang

The Kingdom of Mustang preserves some of the last vestiges of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. Situated on the border of Nepal and Tibet, it is open to only a few select trekking groups each season. The trek follows established trails through substantial villages that once served a thriving trade route between Nepal and Tibet. These whitewashed settlements, set amid fields of barley and home to impressive chortens and simple monasteries, reflect the abiding Buddhist culture. The terrain is striking, a semi-arid desert with deep ravines and rock shelves, flanked by snowy peaks. A highlight is the visit to Lo Manthang where the King of Mustang reigns over his tiny kingdom and surveys a world still culturally closer to the heartland of Tibet than to the markets and temples of Kathmandu. The Upper Mustang trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo.  Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire, and is therefore closely related to Tibet.  Tibetan Buddhism is still being practiced in a very pure form and villages are built in Tibetan style, with white washed houses with firewood tucked on the roofs. Not only is the culture, also the landscape very much related to Tibet. Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri and you walk in a complete desolate landscape, surrounded by rocks in all kind of colors and bizarre formations.  In this barren landscape the villages with their bright colored fields are like oases. Upper Mustang is a restricted area and up till 1992 it was forbidden for foreign visitors to enter the kingdom. Nowadays foreigners are allowed, but to enter Upper Mustang they have to buy a permit of US$ 500 (to be arranged through a trekking agency and valid for 10 days, each additional day costs US$ 50).

Fact of the Trek;
Highest Elevation: 4000m
Best Season: Autumn (Oct-Nov) and Spring (March-April) 
Mode of Trek: Lodge to Lodge
Trek Start/End: Jomsom/Jomsom
Grade: Moderate
Culture: Majority of Gurung, Thakali and Mustangis
Himalayan Sights:  Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Thorong Peak, Ratna Chuli, and other snowy peaks.

High Lights of the Trek: Stunning view of high Himalayan Range, unobstructed Sunrise & Sunset view, typical lifestyle and culture of Gurung, Thakali and Mustangis, scenic and picturesque villages, old ancient Monasteries, wildlife, beautiful terraced fields, Deepest Kaligandaki Gorge, King’s Palaces.

Itinerary in details


Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu 1340m,
You'll be met at the airport by our representative from the company, so look out for a office sign/logo with your name when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Hotel. Welcome drinks will provide by Hotel and short briefing about your treks and refreshment. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley,
A free day to explore in the Kathmandu Valley. Our tour guide introduces as following Options: Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (1420m), its whitewashed Stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional Gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (Koras) of the Stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating - when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Up early for our short but scenic flight to Pokhara, 198 kilometers west of Kathmandu. You will fly high above the north-south Rivers flowing down towards the Terai from the Himalaya and Tibet, over terraced villages and green hills with the Ganesh, Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges in the distance, to balmy, sub-tropical Pokhara. We have the afternoon to wander the Shore of Phewa Lake, drink fresh juice, do some shopping, or sit and relax at the hotel with a book. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 4: Fly from Jomsom to Jomsom 2713m and trek to Kagbeni 2810m

This morning we take a spectacular flight to Jomsom where we will meet our trekking crew. A half day walk brings us to Kagbeni, an impressive village that is our gateway to Mustang. To pass beyond this point you need a special Mustang permit. We will meet our liaison officer and the crew will prepare for tomorrow's crossing into Mustang. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 5: Trek from Kagbeni to Tsaile 3030m
We enter Mustang and follow the east bank of the river over a series of small ridges. Across the river we can see Kang Gompa, a centre of the Nyingmapa sect. Approaching Tangbe we encounter the distinctive black, red and white chortens that typify upper Mustang. The town of white washed houses contains an intriguing pattern of alleyways and is surrounded by fields of wheat, barley and buckwheat, interspersed with small apple orchards. We cross to the east bank of the river and ascend to the village of Tsaile. Immediately, the strong influence of Tibetan culture of Lo is evident with the decoration of the houses. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 6: Trek from Tsaile to Giling 3440m
The trail today is characterized by the crossing of a series of large spurs. At the top of each are chortens and an excellent view of this harsh but beautiful countryside. The valleys that dissect the trail have cool streams and juniper trees to enable us to relax for a while. These passes are at altitudes of up to 3800m. These altitudes should not present any acclimatization issues, so we just take our time and enjoy the walk. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 7: Trek from Giling to Tsarang 3490m
Avenues of poplar trees and fields of barley mark our trail as we head to Nyi La (pass). At 3850m this is the highest point of the trek thus far and the southern boundary of Lo. We descend to the Qumona Khola and pass a spectacular series of mani walls to the village of Charang with it's huge white dzong and red gompa. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 8: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang 3730m
We leave the Tsarang Khola and climb the ridge to 3800m for our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The trail drops to a stream and then climbs onto the plateau where the city is situated. The only gate is in the north east corner and we make our way to the entrance. The white washed walls enclose around 150 homes, Gompas and a palace. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Days 9: At Lo-Manthang
We have allowed two full days to explore this outstanding historical and cultural centre. There are 4 major Gompas to visit during our stay. The palace is the home of the raja and his rani (queen). Although the raja's function is now primarily ceremonial he is seen as a person who can help people resolve local issues. The town itself is fascinating, and offers countless opportunities to observe a vibrant Tibetan culture. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 10: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghami
Reluctantly we depart Lo Manthang and head south. We have a choice of trails today and are not forced to back-track on the same trail. Climbing the ridge, we get our last view of the walled city and descend the valley towards Ghami. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 11: Trek from Ghami to Samar
We continue down the valley and rejoin the trail that we used to enter Mustang. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 12: Trek from Samar to Kagbeni
Our last day in Mustang as we retrace our trail along the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 13: Trek from Kagbeni to Jomsom
This will be our last day with the trek crew. After a morning walk we reach Jomsom. Tonight we will celebrate the achievements of the trek with the crew and reflect on our journey. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 14: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and afternoon flight back to Kathmandu
This is a fantastic way to conclude our journey. The spectacular flight down the Kali Gandaki that defies description. The huge mountains of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges tower above us as we retrace the valley we trekked 2 weeks ago. At Pokhara we board another aircraft for yet another spectacular mountain flight, this time along the face of the Himalaya past the Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh and Langtang ranges. On arrival in Kathmandu we transfer to the hotel.

Day 15: Final Departure to International Airport
After breakfast trip concludes with a transfer to the airport.

Our Package Inclusive
# Int’l/Dom Airport/Hotel/Airport picks up and transfers by private car/van on arrival and departure.
# 4 nights accommodations in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at Standard Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
# Sightseeing Tour as per above mentioned itinerary and all kind of entry fees.
# Round Trip domestic flight tickets cost and airport tax.
# Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with tea or coffee are included during the lodge/tea-house trek.
# Lodge-lodge and party tented camp accommodation during the lodge trek.
# 1 Experienced, helpful, friendly and well trained English speaking guide and porters (1 porter for 2 peoples) during the trek and their food, accommodation, equipments, salary and insurance.
# All ground transportation by private vehicle.
# Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit.
# Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
# All necessary permits.
# Tourist Service Charge.
# Office Service Charge.
# All government tax.
# First Aid Medical Kit box.

Our Package Exclusive
# Any  meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
# International Airfare to and from Nepal.
# Travel Insurance.
# Nepal Tourist Visa Fees.
# Items and expenses of personal nature.
# All kind of alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, whisky), cold drink (mineral water, coke, fanta, sprite, juice), laundry service, postage, phone calls, internet, donations, museum entry fees etc during the trip.
# Personal Trekking Equipments such as sleeping bags, walking poles, down jackets, walking boots. (It can be hired/bought in Kathmandu and Pokhara).
# Emergency Evacuation (Medical Insurance and Helicopter Rescue in case of accident and can be paid either insurance company or clients themselves).
# Any cost arises due to a change of the program/itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, strike and some accidental problems.
# Horse/Pony renting and additional porters due to natural calamities during the trek.
# Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusive.
# Tipping Tips for guide, porters, drivers and horse man.

Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory and can be treated end of the trip if satisfied.

N. B. This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailor-made”. The package itinerary can be redesigned or changed due to trekker’s fitness and time frame of holiday. Similarly hotel can be upgraded or downgraded depend on your budget. Please email to us at mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com for more details and discussions for suitably programs.

P.S. In case of Emergency Evacuation during the trip, Helicopter Rescue will be arranged by Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking & Expedition (P) Ltd within 1-2 hours in first call. The cost of the rescue must be paid by the clients themselves or insurance company.

TREKKING/TOUR CANCELLATION PROCEDURES:
There will be a cancellation fee of 30% for any cancellation unforeseen problems shown one month prior to Trekking/Tour departure date, a cancellation fee of 50% two weeks prior to Trekking/Tour departure date and no refund thereafter. No refund for no shows & delay arrivals whatsoever reason.
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CONTACT INFO

Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking and Expedition Pvt. Ltd.
Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel : +977-9849193453
Email : mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com

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