Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang is a sacred area of Nepal’s Mustang District situated in the other hidden side of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. This area is used to be a Kingdom of Bhote/Thakali community until Nepal is declared a newest secular and Republican Country in 2008. Lo Manthang was the capital of Ex. Mustang Kingdom. Mustang is divided into two parts saying Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang.
The lower part of mustang is open to everyone for normal tour and trekking to Muktinath, Jomsom and Annapurna circuit. However, Upper Mustang is known as restrict area of trekking. To get a permit to trek Upper Mustang you need to apply for a special permit with the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Home, Immigration department paying minimum of US$ 500.00 per person for 10 days and 2 persons group size.
The area is restricted because the historical and religious monuments and the natural and geographical diversity are supposed to be protected as their importance is more essential for the nation. Snowy Horizon had organized several Teahouses and group camping trekking in the Upper Mustang Area which lies in the North West part of Western Region in Nepal beginning from Pokhara-Jomsom flight or overland Journey by 4wd.
Upper Mustang trekking can be organized both of Tea house and Camping trek. On a camping trek, Snowy Horizon arranges you to sleep in tents. Our staff includes a guide, cook, Sherpa and sufficient porters/mules to carry all your trekking gear. Even if you have never camped before, there is no need to worry that you won't enjoy the experience. The tents we provide are roomy, the sleeping pads/mattresses are comfortable and international style food of a high standard freshly prepared and served in the camp. On all of our camping treks, Snowy Horizon manages a bathroom tent as well as a dining tent with tables and camp stools, providing a cozy, comfortable atmosphere to eat and chat with fellow trekkers during each evening.
Lo Manthang was founded in about 1450 by the son of the legendary Ame Pal, who conquered and united the small kingdoms in upper Mustang. The high wall, 300m long by 150m wide, in an ‘L’ shape, has safeguarded the town from warriors, bandits and fierce winds for hundreds of years and archaeologists say the fact that the wall has not been extended is proof that this community has remained largely unchanged for the last 500 years.
In the town Lo Manthang, around 1200 people live in about 150 houses, connected by narrow alleyways. Most of the houses are two-storeyed, with the bigger buildings being monasteries or palaces. There are some chortens in front of the main gate, and after these the first building we see is the 40 feet high king’s palace. There are three monasteries in Lo Manthang, but monks are only resident in the newest, Chode Lhakhang, which is about 200 years old and offers secular as well as Buddhist teachings. The other two monasteries are no longer used, but are looked after by different families, who share the duties of changing the water each morning and lighting the butter-lamps when night falls. Many people here protect their homes from evil spirits by hanging ‘ghost traps’ over their doors. These are decorated goat skulls with pieces of string knotted around. The landscape around Lo Manthang is jigsaw-like in its diversity, being composed of valleys, canyons, plains, snow-topped mountains and rivers, with the ancient city as the centerpiece.
Lo Gekar Monastary:
A small creek flows down the other side of the pass and a welcome change; we begin to see grass, flowers and bushes. Soon the monastery of Lo Gekar, one of the oldest and most important in Mustang, appears. It was here that the first of the hidden scriptures of Padmasambhava were discovered (he hid his teachings in many different places in the Himalayas, to ensure that they were safe when the times were dangerous for the survival of Buddhism). In the anteroom of the monastery are tiles depicting Buddha Sakyamuni and Bodhisattwas. The Gonkhang is illuminated by dozens of butter-lamps, which enhance the statues, including images of Padmasambhava and the Yoginis Yeshe Tshogyal and Mandarava. In a small room to the left are more beautiful figures, including a Green Tara.
The Gompa in Tsarang is a massive structure on a small hill with glaciers visible behind. In former times several hundred monks lived here. Now there are only about 50, but most are not resident. Though imposing from the outside, the Gompa is running to ruin and many rooms are unusable. There are some fine paintings in the assembly hall, as well as Thangkas and statues. The other main landmark here is the king’s palace, which too has fallen into disrepair, having not been used for half a century. The only two rooms remaining in good condition are the Gonkhang and the chapel, which has some fine statues, including ‘The Three Holies’, figures who played an important part in Mustang’s early history, and Tibetan books. In the Gonkhang, or room of the protectors, above, is a stuffed snow leopard, some old weapons and armor and an infamous severed hand. There are three popular theories about the hand that it was the hand of a thief (severing the right hand was the typical punishment for a second thieving offence), that a monk offered his hand as a sacrifice, and that it was cut from the architect of the dzong, to prevent him creating a similar building anywhere else !
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu-Transfer to Hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara overland Journey
Day 04: Transfer to airport fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
Day 05: Trekking from Kagbeni to Chaile
Day 06: Trekking from Chaile to Shyangboche
Day 07: Trekking from Shyangboche to Ghami
Day 08: Trekking from Ghami to Tsarang
Day 09 – 10: Trekking from Tsarang to Lo Manthang and Explore
Day 11: Trekking from Lo Manthang to Tamar
Day 12: Trekking from Tamar to Shyangboche
Day 13: Trekking from Shyangboche to Tetang
Day 14: Trekking from Tetang to Muktinath
Day 15: Trekking from Muktinath to Jomsom
Day 16: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara transfer to Hotel and Explore Pokhara
Day 17: Tourist Bus Journey or Fly back from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 18: Final Departure to your port of Destination
Fact of the Trip:
Trek Name: Upper Mustang Trek
Best season: Spring (March –June) Autumn(Sept-November)
Transportation: By tourist bus / private vehicles and flight.
Accommodation: Hotel, Resort & tea house /camping
Grade: Fairly Strenuous
Trekking style: Tea House/Camping
Highest access: 4200m.
Culture: Buddhist culture
Duration: 18 Days
Group Size: Min. 2 to Max. 15 Person
"When our group of 12 friends including 9 doctors decided to visit Tibet, we were lucky to find the 'Snowy Horizon Treks & Expeditions' travel agency while searching the internet. We visited Tibet - Kailas, Mansarovar, Lhasa & Everest Basecamp in September 2011 through this agency and from our experience, we can whole-heartedly recommend them for anyone planning a trip or trek in Nepal or Tibet."
Trekking Question / Answers
What is Trekking?
Trekking is an adventure activity involving multiday walk on village trails, National Park trails and climber’s trails often on reasonably steep terrain and snow at higher altitudes often crossing high passes in the range of 5500m/18000ft.
How difficult are the treks?
It depends on the location and choice of trekkers. Both difficult as well as easy treks are available.
Is there any age limit for trekking in Himalaya?
In Nepal children below 18 years of age are required to trek accompanied by their parent or guardian.
Is trekking permit required?
Depending on trekking area you may require a special trekking permit while other areas would require only conservation/national park entry permit and Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) Card.
What is the general duration of the trek?
In General treks vary in duration from 2 to 4 weeks;average one would trek between 4 to 6 hours per day.
What are the sources of drinking water supply during trekking?
On most established treks bottled water is ubiquitously availableas well as locally purified drinking water is available in many villages along the trek. Otherwise, you can use boiled water supplied by the teahouse or camping crew.
Where do we eat our meals?
On popular trails we will stay in lodges and guest houses and the meals will be cooked for you withcontinental menu meals often available as well as soups and noodles and rice dishes; on some routes there will be a limited choice and on some more remote routes only local Nepal Dal Bhat and curry or instant noodle soups will be available.
Is there any communication while we are on trekking?
It all depends on the area with most of the trekking routeshaving local VHF Phones; increasingly more places get mobile coverage of varied capacity; in remote communication is not available or very limited so the only option would be a satellite phone.
What type of shoes or boots should I wear?
You need comfortable trekking shoes preferably with Gore-Tex style lining for ultimate comfort and thick vibratim soles to have comfortable walk on rocky paths
What problems can arise on altitude?
At high altitude your cardio-pulmonary system is affected by low oxygen density and you can suffer from general breathing difficulties to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) as well as your skin is susceptible to sunburn if not protected by cloths or sunblock. The AMS is preventable through appropriate trekking pace and undertaking acclimatization.
What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain the insurance?
You need to obtain travel insurance before you arrive to Kathmandu. Your insurance should cover rescue insurance and it should allow the expense of helicopter supported medevac. Nowadays such policies are readily available through many airfare booking agents. Try ihi.com if you cannot find your insurance.
How safe traveling alone women with your company?
We ensure travel safety for all our guests’ women or men travelling with our company. Nepal is generally very safe and welcoming to foreign tourists. We have very good relationships with lodges we use and our guides aware all the time of whereabouts of every guest on the trek. Our groups are small and we ensure continues visual contact.
How much money should I bring for the trek?
On the trek we provide all accommodation, food and we cover park fees, so you need to take only small amount of money to purchase water, small snack and tea outside meals, localsouvenirs, tips or donations to monasteries if you wish to donate small change. $20 per day should be sufficient to cover such expenses
What accommodation will look like during trek?
Majority of trekking is done with lodge/guesthouse accommodation unless you prearranged camping based trip. There are very few trekking areas where lodge accommodation is unavailable and we will offer there a tent accommodation only.
What is tea house trekking?
Teahouse trekking is a trekking where your accommodation and meal are arranged in a local lodge/house with full board services.
What is camping trekking?
Camping trekking is a trekking where we provideyou with tent accommodation and full board with meals to be cooked by professional trekking cook in a mobile camp equipped with akitchen and with adequate support staff of kitchen helpers, guides and porters.
How much a porter carries?
It depends on trekking route and altitude; typically a trekking porter would carry load of 15kg to 25kgand camping porter would carry load up to 40kg.
Is tipping compulsory?
In Nepal it is not customaryto tip but porters and guides would expect and appreciate a small tip. Your tip will go long way to help their families.
Is trekking for me?
Trekking is for you and everyone who is patient and physically fit and enjoys outdoors.
What should be the criteria for physical fitness to trek in Nepal?
You should have a general good level of physical fitness, general hiking experience, do not have any chronic or acute issues with your leg functions andbementally comfortable withmulti-day hikes, than you are ready for trekking.
Can I trek in the Himalayas of Nepal without prior trekking experience?
In principle if you have trekking experience anywhere in the world and you are currently fit for trekking, there is nothing to stop you from Himalayan trekking in Nepal. You just need to increase your cardiovascular capacityto be able to cope with high elevation, where the oxygen density is much lower.
What is the best season to trek in Nepal?
Post-monsoon period from September to December and pre-monsoon season from February to May are the best period for trekking in Nepal. In winter, December till February, at high elevation is very cold and heavy snowfalls may impede crossing of high passes but trekking in low elevations below 3000m is accessible all year round. In summer, June till August is a monsoon season and trekking is very wet, however in rain shadow areas such as Upper Mustang trekking in monsoon season is feasible and pleasant.
What shall I have to bring while trekking in Nepal?
It all depends on the time and altitude of your trek. You may require Down Jacket, warm fleece jacket, warm thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, sleeping bag, trekking boots and a backpack, camera and your personal medication. Consult lists of cloth and equipment on our website as a guide and use a common sense to pack enough but not too much at the same time.
Is it necessary to use guide while on trek in Nepal?
We highly recommend having a guide with you. You will travel in wilderness areas and at high elevations so from safety aspect you should not be alone. Travelling through villages there are many trails and if you took wrong path accidently it may be difficult to communicate with locals to get back on the right path or to secure food or accommodation. They will be unlikely to speak English
How will you help me if I suffer from altitude sickness or accident?
You will be taken immediately to the lower altitude first and will be provided first aid as the immediate treatment and then if necessary the guide will call the rescue helicopter tofly you down to Kathmandu or Pokharausing your rescue insurance.
How farwill we walk per day while on trek?
Anywhere from 5km to 15km depending on condition of trekking trail and the altitude of the trekking route.
What is your cancellation policy and terms or conditions?
You can find it in our below link: