Nepal Mustang

trekking, mustang

A trip to the mountains is considered a great adventure that’s for sure. Camping at the foothills of the mountains is also exhilarating. However, to stay near the mountains amidst people who have lived there for almost all their lives is something else. You get to see the daily routine of the people and understand the difficulties they face at the location. Not only this, you can get to experience the way of life of the mountain people. At least for a few days or weeks. Here we will see how we can get to one of those places, close to the Himalayas. In particular, we will talk about the Mustang of Nepal, in the following subheads:

 

  • Pokhara briefing
  • Introduction to Mustang trek 
  • Places to stay on Mustang trek
  • Places to go on Mustang trek
  • When can you go for Mustang trek?

Mustang is one of the 77 districts of Nepal and is a very beautiful place amidst the Himalayas. Mustang region was once an independent isolated Tibetan kingdom but now is a part of Nepal. However, the terrain here is similar to that of Tibet. Mustang can be categorized into Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang. The headquarters of Mustang-Jomsom is famous for Buddhist monasteries and the popular Muktinath Temple of the Hindus. Jomsom falls under Lower Mustang. A trek to Lower Mustang is a unique experience that will bring you closer to nature. However, this trek will need you to possess the Annapurna Conservation Area Project(ACAP) and the Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS). 

Upper Mustang is a restricted region and you will need a restricted area permit before you venture there. Apart from that, you will need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) as well. Nonetheless, Upper Mustang poses an incredible journey to the mysterious land of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri area. It is also known as the hidden kingdom of Nepal. You can either start your trek from Pokhara or Jomsom which has continuous flights coming in carrying trekkers from Pokhara. 

mustang, trekking

The Mustang trek is a fascinating and magical trip in a district towards the Himalayan region. The trek offers an insight into the unprecedented blend of Tibetan culture and dry deserted landscapes. The remoteness and inaccessibility of Mustang have preserved the Tibetan culture for thousands of years. Mustang is an excellent place to experience the ancient Buddhist culture. As you make your way higher towards the ancient kingdom, you will notice a change in the language and the attire of the people living there. However, they are still the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. 

Your mustang trek takes you across beautiful valleys, overlooking the Kali Gandaki river and green fields. You travel through copper-red parched valleys, eroded canyons and deep gorges at few points. You will come across many Buddhist Monasteries and Hindu temples too as you climb up the trail leading to Upper Mustang. The villages you come across are also quaint but well maintained. And almost all the structures you see will be made of stones. That is to keep the structure from falling off from fierce winds that blow in the region. Lo-Manthang, the main destination of the trek, is famous for the Buddhist cultural heritage that still lives on today. We can also visit the Mustang King’s palace, where his descendants still live at present. The Tiji festival is the biggest festival celebrated in Lo-Manthang every year. You can also explore numerous caves and cave monastery while you are at Lo-Manthang. The location of Lo-Manthang is itself something worth mentioning. It is surrounded by hills on all sides with the view of the mountain clearly visible from any part of the city.

mustang, trekking

Mustang trek can start either from Kathmandu or Pokhara. But for Climb HIgh, it starts from your arrival at Kathmandu. It will be your first halt at a hotel there.  After the necessary paperwork the next day we take a 6-hour drive to Pokhara. At Pokhara as well, your stay will be at a hotel there. As we make our way to higher grounds, the population decreases drastically. Likewise, the possibility of finding a hotel is the bare minimum. Actually its nil. But since Nepal has more focus on tourism you won’t find difficulty in finding a place to stay in. The places we will go through have settlements especially made for trekkers and mountaineers. These are in the form of lodges and tea houses. 

Your next stop is Kagbeni from Pokhara, and stay there will be at a cozy lodge. From Kagbeni we head towards Chele. The accommodation here will either be a lodge or a tea house. Next is Gelling on the schedule, and we will halt at a tea house there. After Gelling, we go up towards Dhakmar, where we will halt at a lodge. The next day we enter the Lower Mustang area. Here we will be staying at a tea house. Following which we pass through Thinggar and reach Garphu to spend the night at a tea house.

We head towards the upper Mustang area next and reach Dhi Gaon. Accommodation provided here and the rest of the places will be at one of the tea houses. Except when we reach Pokhara and Kathmandu, where you will be allocated in hotels. We then travel higher through Lori Gompa towards Surkhang. The next day we descend towards the village of Tangge. After Tangge, we go still lower down to Chusang valley. Then we trek towards the holy village of Muktinath. We then trek towards Jomsom, which brings us to the end of the trek. After resting at Jomsom, we take a flight to Pokhara. We rest for another day here and depart from Pokhara to Kathmandu next. Thus Kathmandu is your last stop before you depart and go back to your normal routine.

mustang, trekking

Mustang trek is one of those trips which can be taken anytime, throughout the year. But still, the best time to take the trip is during the Spring and during the Autumn season. During Spring, the weather is nice and the greenery is more vibrant. The trail is safe and the view of the surroundings is also unobstructed. During Autumn, the sky is clear and the pathway is also clear. The weather is cool at this time of the year and everything seems very fresh. 

 

These two seasons are peak seasons, and there are bound to be huge crowds during spring and autumn seasons. Unlike other areas in Nepal, if you are looking to avoid the hustle, summer is also a good option. The fact that the Upper Mustang region doesn’t get rainfall during the summer season, makes it possible. The locality enjoys warm and dry weather with a lively natural air around the city in Summer. Winter is also another season when you can come here if you don’t mind the cold or camping. Due to the cold, many of the tea houses remain closed. During Christmas, you can enjoy a nice snowy day at Lo Manthang. But most of the passes in the region may close during the peak winter season. If you want to understand the weather better, you can have a chat with our experts regarding the same. 

mustang, trekking

This is one of the locations which has variable answers as to when can you go for Mustang Trek. The Himalayas are normally at their best during Spring and Autumn season. The sky is clear and the views are unobstructed, the birds even sing their prettiest songs. In Autumn once the dust clears leaving the pathway fresh for treading is also another option. But for Mustang, there is an additional season which is possible, the Monsoon Season. Since the Upper Mustang region is on the lee wind side beyond the Himalayas, it doesn’t rain much here. Even during Monsoons. This route is one of the few places in Nepal good enough to trek during the Monsoons.

 

mustang, trekking

This is one of the locations which has variable answers as to when can you go for Mustang Trek. The Himalayas are normally at their best during Spring and Autumn season. The sky is clear and the views are unobstructed, the birds even sing their prettiest songs. In Autumn once the dust clears leaving the pathway fresh for treading is also another option. But for Mustang, there is an additional season which is possible, the Monsoon Season. Since the Upper Mustang region is on the lee wind side beyond the Himalayas, it doesn’t rain much here. Even during Monsoons. This route is one of the few places in Nepal good enough to trek during the Monsoons.