The hidden kingdom of mustang
- Duration 16 Days
- Difficulty Level Medium
- Includes Equipment, Drinks, Accommodations, Food
Mustang, traditionally a separate kingdom later annexed to Nepal, lies beyond the Himalayan range. It offers a unique combination of stunning landscape and Buddhist culture close to Tibetans. This is the moderate to adventurous trek with a maximum altitude of 4200m which remained entirely closed to visitors until 1991. The Nepali government decided to open this forbidden Kingdom for limited tourism in 1992. The new provision allows all visitors to observe the rareness of the mythical universe of living Tibetans cultural heritage.
Mustang Trekkers can get an awe-inspiring of viewing experience of viewing mountains towards the South and the incredible new universe to the north; as far as we could see in great, undulating waves of rounded peaks wearing caps of snow which looked like form on a sea after a storm. A visit to this area takes the trekkers to an old and completely different era of this ethnic group who follow unique culture close to the Tibetans. Along the way to Lo-Manthang, you can observe numerous chortens (reliquary shrines), caves found throughout Mustang have lure visitors, Dzong (fortress) and gompas (monasteries); some of them date back to the 11thcentury. As you visit this fortified village and the king’s palace with unique archaeologist and historian from around the world, you will get a glimpse of a kingdom even in the geographically remote area.
In Mustang trekking, Myriad of Buddhist monasteries perched at various vantage points of Mustang region. Moreover, Mustang trek offers the trekkers unique landscape, Tibetan culture and lifestyle, naturally decorated dry deserted valley, stunning glimpse of white capped peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Himchuli, Nilgiri and the Tilicho Peak. Upper-Mustang trek make you the experience of oasis in the earth.
Physical Condition & practical Requirements:
Walking in the Himalaya or high land requires normal level of physical fitness or 5 – 6 hours of walk per day. Unlike in ascending peaks, trekkers do not have to go through any technical difficulties. Walking duration is planned in such a way that the trekkers have enough time to explore the region and its people without any physical exertion.
Our itineraries are categorized according to the level of difficulty and the duration of day. The schedules are given for information only but are subject to change the journey slightly from a year to another, especially depending of the finding of fresh water on spots for the lodge / camp trek and any circumstances.
Ethnicity: Upper Mustang population is known as Loba or Lowa, where about 6,000 inhabitants, are very close to the Tibetans regarding culture, language and religion. But, outside their lands, they use surname like Bista and Gurung. Lo-Manthang is the only wallet city of Nepal and it is also known as the cultural capital of this area. The palace and other structures within the wall were built by Amapal, the first king of Lo, during the period of 15th century.
Climate: Upper Mustang is rain shadow area of the great Himalayan ranges, therefore the climate is insular with sparse rain and severe winters. However, the minimum temperature in Lo-Manthang can get as low as -5º Celsius. This falls under the rain shadow area and is characterized by dry, arid climate and cold desert type landscape. Due to cold climatic conditions, water scarcity and poor irrigation facilities, majority of the villages in this area harvest crops only once a year. So, the suggested period for the trekking is April to November. Most of the Loba or Lowa live in the vicinity of the river Kali Gandaki. With the changing seasons, large parts of the population are move to southern low land like in Pokhara, Kathmandu, Beni elsewhere, since the rough climate makes agriculture and therefore survival impossible.
Most of the people off breathtaking flight to Jomsom from Pokhara, during the high season and because of occasional poor weather, flight can be delayed causing a visibility over Gorepani (Poon Hill) and the gorge of Kaligandaki. In case flight cancellation, another option is traveling the Pokhara Jomsom road.
Upper Mustang is a restricted area, as per the current rules of Nepal government for the foreign tourist is mandatory to obtain the special trekking permit from immigration office of Kathmandu or Pokhara. It is compulsory to have two person minimum to obtain the permit. If you are alone, we will put you on the roster as part of another group (but you will not have to trek with the group, although you will need to trek with our guide), or pay for an extra permit for a “ghost “trekker that exists on paper only.
The temperature range depends primarily on season. Under the normal condition the rate of temperature drop as altitude is added is generally 6.4ºC per 1000 feet (3.5ºF / 1000fit). The landscape will affect temperature including the direction of the slope face (north facing slopes receive the sunlight and therefore are generally cooler, amount of cover by plants that provide shade, and the presence of rivers and bodies of water also have a cooling effect. , in terms of temperatures at 1200m to 2500m during month of April to November is generally beautiful and sunny as the Upper Mustang is rain shadow area of the great Himalayan ranges. It is mild to cool in the valleys during the night (minimum 12 / 15ºC) and during the day (maximum 25 / 26º). Above 3000m, the temperatures will be decreased. At 4200m, they range between 7-8º (night) and 15 / 20º (day time). One of the key features in upper Mustang is the prevailing south – north wind which gains a maximum strength of more than 100 km / hour between 9 am to 3 pm. Most of the land surface lacks vegetation, and is intensely eroded by the combine effects of sun, snow and wind.
The accommodation will be at a standard hotel (International Guest House or similar hotel, higher category e.g. hotel Manaslu as per your choice) and lake view Resort or similar and higher category hotel or Lake Side Retreat in Pokhara. All accommodations are on twin-sharing room BB basis. Single room will be served on request with paying the supplementary. During the trek at Lodges / Tea houses the room will be sharing basis usually with attached bath room in lower altitude but note that it might be difficult to find with attached bath room at higher altitude.
During the lodge trek, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food (Dal bhat, veg, curry…) rice, lentil, as well the more common international cuisine. You can have choice from lodge menu as per your desired and at the moment of difficult to select, our guide will help you to choose and the taste of local food. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared from the teahouse or from a lodge menu where we spend the night whereas lunch will be provided on the way to the next destination.
During the camping trekking: Meals will be prepared by our skilled cook, good quality,