Introduction: Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang trek is one of the most popular exotic tours offered by Holiday Tours Nepal. The most convenient way to travel is by air from Pokhara to Jomsom (2700m) and from there begins the trek. Travelling to Jomsom from Pokhara is an adventure in itself where the flight passes through the deepest gorge in the world.
As mentioned, Upper Mustang trekking can be a popular choice for travelers. This region showers fellow visitors with a scenic Himalayan landscape and a Tibetan feel.
The trek begins from Kagbeni the gateway of Upper Mustang which aids in exploring caverns, rock paintings, monasteries, and gompas to learn about the local culture. This exciting journey includes panoramic views of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other peaks.
A visit to Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, the area's last notable village, as well as the King's palace within Lo Manthang, provides a better cultural understanding of the region. The journey to Lo-Manthang (the walled capital) almost entirely consists of a treeless barren terrain, a steep rocky road, and a downhill.
There's also an amchi museum and school where visitors can learn about this ancient healing practice and how it's being modernized. Gyakar, with its famous Gompa, is around an hour's hike from Lo Manthang. The more than 1,200-year-old Ghar Gompa is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, who visited these areas at the time.
The Gompa is well-known for its rock carvings and the belief that hoping here will result in a wish being granted. Make a wish at Ghar Gompa and hope to return someday. The trip is at a reasonably high altitude (3,000m to 3,800m), exacerbated by the dry air.
History of Upper Mustang
More myth and mythology than actual historical information form the foundation of Mustang's past. It is believed that the name “Mustang” is derived from a Tibetan word that means “Plain of Aspiration”. Similarly, history suggests that Ame Pal, who established the Kingdom of Lo in 1380, previously ruled Mustang as an independent kingdom in its own right.
Mustang is a district in Nepal that includes part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal's largest protected area. Jomsom, the capital of Mustang, has a land area of 3,573 square kilometers. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) is in charge of development projects and tourist management.
The Nepalese region of Upper Mustang was once a separate monarchy. Upper Mustang, located in the nation's northwest, is surrounded by Tibet and has an extensive cultural and historical past. The region is well-known for its distinctive Tibetan-influenced culture and traditions, as well as its high-altitude desert topography which makes it one of the most favored trekking destinations for tourists.
How does the Upper Mustang Trek start and end?
The trip begins as we take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom through the world’s biggest gorge which is known as Kali Gandaki Gorge which lies between Annapurna (8,091m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m). After arrival, collect your gear and supplies and travel for 3 hours to Kagbeni, along the Kali Gandaki River with a spectacular mountain panorama.
The major entrance to this journey is Kagbeni, and the trail today begins with a half-hour ascent, leaving the Kali-Gandaki River back for a moment. As the trek proceeds to Tangbe, the trail leads to the harsh, arid terrain, with an infrequent halt, passing through a few tiny villages. Chussang is reached after another hour of fine walking from Tangbe.
After crossing the stream, go towards Chele town via the shattered canyons and old castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river near Chussang, there are some spectacular red eroded cliffs that tower over the mouths of inaccessible caves. After crossing the small bridge, it's a 45-minute uphill climb to Chele Village. The climb from Chele Hamlet becomes more difficult for an hour as it ascends to the peak at 3,130m, from which you can view Gyagar across a massive gorge. The trek continues with a continuous ascent across windy terrain until the pass at 3,540m is reached. From here, the route gradually ascends to Samar.
The hike continues after a brief ascent beyond Samar Village to a ridge and southward going to a broad canyon past a chorten, the journey continues into another valley with juniper trees. Following the brook, the path ascends to a ridge at 3,800 meters. Before descending to Shyangmochen, a little settlement with a few tea shops, the trail climbs another pass.
From Geling to the valley's center, the road gradually ascends through the fields, passing beneath the towns. The journey continues with a strong elevation through the valley's head to the route's highest point, the Nyi La pass (3,950 m). The key also serves as Lo's southern border. After a half-hour slog, you'll reach a crossroads; the right road leads directly to Tsarang, while the left leads to Ghami village, one of the Lo region's significant cities. The last ascent leads to a 3,600-meter pass. After the last welcome, a gentle incline leads to Tsarang, a lovely settlement.
The road climbs and descends past a number of lovely villages, passing by a river and a big Chorten. You will be treated to spectacular mountain scenery and a vast, windswept landscape as you traverse multiple passes. Finally, you will arrive in Lo Manthang.
The people of Lo Manthang are kind and exciting. The main town on this journey has about 160 dwellings and several lamas. The school, health post, police station, and other important chortens are located outside the walls, north of the gate and east of the monastic area.
Later descend and make a less difficult ascent to Ghami, going via a couple of passes with wonderful valley and mountain vistas. After you arrive, you must investigate and discover the Ghami. There are many interesting things to see.
Trace your steps back to Kagbeni, descending more and ascending less. Return to Jomsom by taking a leisurely stroll across the Kali-Gandaki Valley. This walk offers breathtaking views of the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Mountains.
Weather and climate around Upper Mustang area
Mustang, like the rest of Nepal, has four distinct seasons throughout the year. These have varying weather conditions and temperatures throughout the year. The average annual rainfall is approximately 307 mm. This is one of the country’s lowest. Treks to this region are therefore possible and comfortable even during the summer season.
The area is covered in wildflowers and has excellent weather from March to May. The average daytime temperature is roughly 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), and the average nocturnal temperature is 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit). The summer months of June through August are hot and dry, with daytime highs of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
The weather is chilly and dry from September through November, with temperatures ranging from 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F). The weather is cold and dry from December to February, with lows of -10°C (14°F) and highs of 5°C (41°F). Snow may fall at higher elevations.
Best season and time for Upper Mustang trek
The hiking season in the Upper Mustang Region normally runs from April to November, with September to November being the best months to visit. Considering the weather is clear and dry, this is the finest time of year to go hiking. The monsoon season, which lasts from June to August, is often not a good time to travel due to the risk of landslides and heavy rainfall.
If visitors prefer cooler temperatures, visit in April or May, just before the monsoon season begins. Even if there are fewer people and the temperatures are cooler at this time of year, rain is likely. Winter lasts from December to March in the Upper Mustang region, when temperatures can drop dangerously low, yet the skies are usually magnificent and the scenery is breathtaking. Keep in mind that winter can be quite cold, so come prepared with suitable clothing and equipment.
Trekking permits required for Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang is a Restricted Area because it is close to the Tibetan border. This means that the permit to visit the area is expensive, costing $500 per person for the first ten days and $50 each day after that.
- This Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is valid from the time you leave Kagbeni (for this trek) until you return.
- As a result, you just need the RAP for 10 days on this beautiful Mustang Upper Valley Trek.
- The cost of a Restricted Permit is $500 per person for ten days. If the journey is longer than 10 days (inside the Upper Mustang area proper), the cost is $50 per day.
- In addition, each trekker must pay $20 to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). This permission is valid for the duration of the journey.
- Note: That you cannot complete this expedition on your own. A minimum of two trekkers must be going with an authorized trekking organization.
Accommodation facilities at Upper Mustang
There are several hotel options in the Upper Mustang region. During your trip, you will have the choice of staying in a variety of lodges, teahouses, and guesthouses. These accommodations are frequently simple, but they provide a nice place to unwind and recuperate after a day of hiking.
A teahouse resembles a tiny guest house on the mountain paths. It provides trekkers with shelter, meals, and a social setting. Overall, the accommodations are rather basic, either in double bedrooms or in dorms. Toilets and bathrooms are shared, with either a Western-style or a squat toilet. Showers frequently have only cold water; hot water is usually priced for those that offer it. The bedroom quarters are straightforward, with merely beds and blankets. Bringing your own sleeping bag is generally a smart idea. Unless you're lucky and it's off-season, there are no "single rooms." Sharing a room is completely normal. The sleeping quarters are unheated.
In larger villages and cities, you may be able to find more luxury housing alternatives, such as hotels and guesthouses. Private rooms with adjoining bathtubs are common in these facilities, as are amenities like hot water and electricity. It is also possible to camp in the Upper Mustang Region, though this is not recommended for everyone owing to the likely lack of facilities and potentially chilly evening temperatures.
It is important to remember that housing alternatives and standards may vary substantially in the Upper Mustang Area, so it is best to have fair expectations and be prepared for a variety of scenarios. It is also a good idea to make hotel arrangements in advance to ensure that you will have a place to stay when you arrive.
Food available at Upper Mustang trek
Thakali cuisine is a popular dish throughout the country that may be enjoyed in its native land of Mustang. You can also sample other apple-related local products such as wine, beer, dried goods, and so on.
During the journey, all of the travelers sample upper Mustang food such as Tibetan bread, Thenthuk, Khapse, Marpha, and native tea combined with salt and butter.
Communication and Electricity facilities
Holiday Planner Nepal will facilitate all our guests with SIM cards which will aid in effective communication during their stay in Nepal. Similarly, there are Wi-Fi signals and cellular signals at all stages of this trek except while going over some high passes. Charging ports can be found at teahouses which are powered either by electricity or by solar energy. Teahouses typically charge $2 to $3 for your phone or camera. Because there are so many lovely things to photograph, this can quickly become expensive. To prevent paying too much, we recommend carrying a power bank or a modest solar charger with you.
Can we get altitude sickness during at Upper Mustang
Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a major problem for trekkers and climbers who travel to high altitudes. Upper Mustang, in Nepal's Himalayas, is no exception.
Upper Mustang reaches altitudes of over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), putting trekkers in danger of altitude sickness. When your body fails to acclimate properly to the reduced oxygen levels at high altitudes, you get altitude sickness. The risk of sickness grows when you ascend rapidly without giving your body enough time to adapt.
Altitude sickness symptoms can range from moderate to severe and include headache, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. It can occasionally cause High-Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), both of which are life-threatening diseases.
Is travel insurance required for Upper Mustang trek?
- Travel Insurance is mandatory for trekking to Upper Mustang.
- Please note that our insurance covers our team, but not you. Before leaving, please make sure you have the proper travel insurance.
- For your Upper Mustang Trek, it is a good idea to obtain travel insurance, as it can offer protection in the event of unforeseen circumstances, including trip cancellation, medical problems, and lost or stolen property.
- If you need to cancel your trip or if something goes wrong while you are traveling, travel insurance can help you recover some or all of your expenses.
- Nepal is a pretty safe country in general. However, for the most up-to-date information, please visit the website of your home government.
- There may be demonstrations; please avoid them if you see them.
- Theft is uncommon, although it does occur.
- Make sure all of your valuables are out of sight. While on your journey, you can leave any valuables in our office locker.
Although it is uncommon, if there is a landslide, avalanche, flooding, or earthquake on the mountain, please follow your guide's advice. Similarly, if you feel ill, please notify your guide.