The Trek to Mustang is one of the most exhilarating trekking experiences in the world. Mustang, to a distant traveler seems like a place much different from the rest of Nepal though the very spirit of Nepal runs through it. You will also see places like Chele and Geling, the serene environment among the community of Gurungs.
Day 01 Kathmandu
You arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport; you will be received at the airport and transferred to your Hotel. Once all the members of your group arrive, you will be given a small briefing. This will give you an entire overview about the entire trip and also about how to get the best out of this trip. This also includes practical information about the trip in Nepal. You will need to bring with you your passport, all tour vouchers and a copy of your insurance policy to this briefing so that your tour leader can obtain important details that are essential to the running of the tour.
While you are in Kathmandu you will be able to see all its charm in full glory. It is a beautiful city with an exciting harmony of the old and the new. This city has a wonderful history that dates back to almost 2500 years back.
Day 02 Sightseeing in Kathmandu
After breakfast, half-day sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest temple for the Nepalese which is situated by the Bagmati river, one of the tributaries of the Holy Ganges. You will also be invited to visit Bouddha Nath and Swayambhunath Stupas, held holy by both the Buddhists and the Hindus equally. The sightseeing will continue till the evening. (B)
Day 03 Pokhara
Today in the morning we will take a flight to Pokhara which is a very enjoyable experience. To the north there are excellent views of the Himalayan range. The flight will take us about 30 minutes. You will love the lush, flat Pokhara valley with its paddy fields, winding rivers and views of the Annapurna range, including of course the famous ‘Fish Tail’ peak of Machhapuchhare (B)
Day 04 Fly to Jomsom & Trek to Kagbeni
Take the early morning flight to Jomsom. Directly north of Jomsom is the village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom you cross a small hanging bridge and then walk along the banks of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is quite barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat, which makes it very easy going. This enjoyable trek is at the same time picturesque, with views of big peaks all around such as Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Tukuche (6,920m) and in the east the awesome mountain above Kagbeni, Nilgiri (6,940m). Over to the south and south-east can be seen the entire Annapurna Massif. Upon reaching Kagbeni there is a taste of scenes to come in Upper Mustang, what with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and a large red gompa. At the police check-post at the north end of the village there is a sign saying 'Restricted area”. Here you can complete your paperwork formalities for you to enter this long-forbidden region of Nepal.
Day 05 Muktinath
We will use this day for acclimatization. So we will walk up to Muktinath which is a village that has a very important pilgrimage site which is sacred for both the Hindus and the Buddhists. The village itself is situated at a height of about 3800 mt. There are various shrines here the temple is in a very serene and quiet place. Late in the afternoon we will return back.
Day 06 Chele
There are actually two routes up the river of Kali Gandaki that leads to Chele. The higher route is quite safe and offers picturesque surroundings though at times the climbing may become rather strenuous. From Kagbeni the trail quickly ascends up to a ridge. The route descends and climbs again to another ridge. A few more ups and downs will lead to a plateau and the trail drops down to the Kali Gandaki river bed. A climb again from there will lead to the small town of Tangbe (3060m). A lot of chortens surround the town. An hour's walk beyond Tangbe will lead you to the village of Chhuksang. From here you can see the splendid red cliffs and in this area there are the five villages of Chele, Gyakar, Chhuksang, Tengbe and Tetang predominantly inhabited by a community of Gurungs. Closely flows the Narsingh Khola (river) which you have to cross. Since there is no permanent bridge over it, you will have to hop from boulder to boulder to cross it. The trail now leaves the kali Gandaki valley and takes a steep climb up to Chele (3100m).
Day 07 Samar
The trek from Chele is quite moves upwards steeply. The huge gorge that encloses Gyakar can be seen clearly. The path traverses uphill relentlessly until you reach a ridge named Chele La (3630m). Once you cross the ridge the trail moves into a valley and descends to the serene Samar (3620m). We will halt overnight here. This trek will take us about 3 hours.
Day 08 Geiling
The walk goes further beyond Samar and climbs up to a ridge and gradually descends to a brook and climbs again until you reach a Chorten which has been painted in multi colors. The path then moves into a forest of Juniper trees and climbs further up to Bhena La (3830m) and then moves down to a small hamlet of Bhena (3860m). The trail the moves into a gorge, crosses a brook and climbs up to reach another pass name Yamdo La (4010m). Then it descends down to the small town of Syangmochen (3800m). It’s a small climb from here to Syangmochen La (3850m), yet another pass, from where the trail enters a large valley. After moving past a huge Chorten the trail takes a right turn and enters the beautiful village of Geiling (3570m). This trek will take us about 6 hours.
Day 09 Tsarang
From Geiling the trail climbs up smoothly across fields, up the core of the vale, passing underneath the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. It rejoins the direct trail and then becomes an unrelenting climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La Pass (12,960ft/3,950m). This pass is the southern boundary of Lo or Mustang itself. The descent from the Nyi La is nice and gentle. About half an hour from the pass is a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Tsarang, the left trail leads to Ghami, a small village sheltered by overhanging cliffs and next to a clear stream. During the day you will pass many chortens along the way. The glorious views of the countryside, the gentle curves of the north, in contrast to the rugged mountains in the east and west, are a spring of motivation. Four hours’ of continuous walking takes you to Tsarang (3,500m), a large spread-out village inhabited totally by Lobas. Tsarang is a maze of trees, willow fields and houses separated by stone walls, at the top of the large Tsarang Chu canyon. The huge five-storey monastery fortress is perched on the edge of the Kali Gandaki gorge, on the East End of the village. The Gompa houses an excellent collection of statues and Thankas.
Day 10 Lo Manthang
Today you set out for the capital of Mustang, Lo Manthang. Climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail becomes a majestic, wide road and ultimately you get your first sight of the walled city of Lo Manthang from a ridge at 3,850m. This trek will take us 4½ hours.
Day 11 Explore and rest day
There are a lot of interesting things to see a Lo Manthang. The town a mix of tapered lanes has more than a few restaurants. There are a lot of handicrafts for sale, which includes carpets and blankets. There is a palace of the raja which is a four storey building situated in the middle of the town. Within the four city walls there are four gompas. The Jampa Lakhang is a three storied gompa dedicated to Jampa or the future Buddha. The next is the Thubchen gompa near the centre of the city. You can also visit the Chodey and the Choprang gompa.
Day 12 Ghemi
From Lo Manthang turn south west and follow a trail that leads you to irrigated fields. The trail then steadily ascends to a ridge (4070) from where Lo Manthang is seen no more. From the ridge you move into a pass and enter a valley. You will have to move to the head of the valley and cross Chogo La a pass at 4325m which incidentally is the highest point of the whole trek. From here you move into a big grassy valley. The trail then moves down to a wooden bridge that will help you cross the Tsarang Khola. The trail then climbs up to a ridge and then across a valley. Then you will have to cross a serene meadow from where the trail drops down to Drakmar (3820mt). We descend further from a ridge to the large village of Ghemi (3490 mt). Today's trekking will take us about 7 hours.
Day 13 Bhena
You will then descend to the lower portion of Ghemi and then follow the upper route on to Nyi La (4020 mt). A steep descent will take you to the valley of Geiling. A little further away we will come across a small village called Tama Gaon. This is where we catch the main trail that takes us to Bhena (3860 mt). Today's trek will take us about 7 hours.
Day 14 Chhuksang
From Bhena we will have to descend from Samar. You will have to pass Chele to the Kali Gandaki. Trek down from here and you will reach Chhuksang (2980mt) where we will camp for the night. This trek will take us about 3½ hours.
Day 15 Jomsom
Again retrace the older route from here and go backwards towards Kagbeni. Once you reach Kagbeni you are back in the Annapurna Circuit and the route is normally busy with trade and pilgrimage purposes. The walk to Jomsom is downhill so it is relatively easy. This will take us about 6 hours.
Day 16 Jomsom
We will keep this spare day in case there are any delays in flight schedules.
Day 17 Pokhara
We will take a flight back to Pokhara. We will take the rest of the day free for leisure whereby you can relax in your hotel.
Day 18 Kathmandu
We will take the morning flight back to Kathmandu. In the afternoon and evening you can go out to see the city and will have a lot of time to do some shopping.
Day 19 Kathmandu
There are a lot of interesting places to visit in Kathmandu. There are lots of places that speak about the ancient glory of this great country. The Patan Durbar Square is one such place where you will see a lot of temples and palaces. They are a perfect example of the ancient artistry of Nepal. You will also be taken to old city of Bhaktapur where the ancient Newari culture still flourishes in all the magnificence and grandeur. The city is said to have been built in the shape of Lord Vishnu’s conch shell. The Durbar square and the Nyatapola (a five storied temple) are a perfect example of Newari Architecture. Later you will be taken to Patan in Lalitpur which stands today as a mark of religion and tradition of Nepal. You will also be able to visit the famous Durbar Square which was the hub for hippies in the early 70’s. Today there is a wonderful museum that might amuse you.
The tour ends here. You will be transferred to the airport for departure.