The Ultimate Guide for Upper Mustang Trek

In this article, we will discuss the Ultimate Guide for Upper Mustang Trek.

The focus of the Upper Mustang Trek is discovering the mysterious realm of the former Buddhist kingdom of Mustang. This region is not as remote as you may believe. Its accessibility to both trekking and off-road driving makes it unique to vacationers. It is a paradisiacal location north of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges, namely in the Mustang region of Nepal’s Dhaulagiri Zone.

Mustang, a Himalayan region of contemporary Nepal, was formerly referred to as the Kingdom of Lo and is physically close to the border with Tibet, but its cultural makeup is wholly Tibetan. Consequently, “Little Tibet” is another name for this area that is frequently used.

Despite the region’s hardships, it has managed to preserve a strong spiritual culture through its monasteries, chortens decorated with prayer flags and wheels, Buddhist arts, festivals, and other activities.

Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang is thought to be one of the last remaining genuine examples of Tibetan Buddhist culture and the Shamanistic tradition is known as Bon rites, which are both strongly syncretized in the Upper Mustang.

Due to its outstanding natural beauty, the Trans-Himalayan Mustang region is one of the best destinations in the world. The area is well-known for having both cultural and environmental features. One of the regions of Nepal that resembles the Tibetan plateau is this one.

The trekking paths include various sections that lead hikers to the short, old trade route across rocky gorges and follow graveled off-road motorable roadway. Visitors can explore ancient cliff caves and the remains of Buddhist temples and monasteries along the route.

No tourists were permitted to enter the upper mustang region until the year 1992 A.D. This location was thought to be off-limits. However, foreign visitors must get a special permit for the higher Mustang area, which costs $50 per day.

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In Brief: The Historical Aspects of Upper Mustang, The Kingdom of Lo

Rather than being included in historically accurate sources, some of the earliest representations of Lo Manthang’s history can be found in myths and tales. To determine the details pertaining to the Kingdom of Lo, researchers are still investigating.

Recent years have seen the discovery of information about the status of “Lo” in papers from the 13th century. Mustang was governed by the Tibetan kingdoms of Ngari, Khasa, and Gungthang from the eleventh through the fourteenth centuries.

It became an autonomous state in the middle of the 15th century. But after Jumla was taken over as part of the process of reunifying Nepal, it was added to the realm of contemporary Nepal in the late 18th century. The Mustang was promptly incorporated into Nepal because it was a crucial component of Jumla.

What’s More

This area was controlled by Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, a native king who reigned from 1998 until his death in 2016. This tiny Buddhist kingdom was founded in the thirteenth century by Jigme’s ancestor Ame Pal, a former warrior.

There were only a handful of tiny kingdoms, and by the 18th century, Nepal had annexed every single one of them. The monarchy and feudalism as a form of government were abolished when Nepal formally declared itself a republic in October 2008, despite the fact that smaller kingdom rulers still receive respect as the local monarch.

The Upper Mustang and the Lower Mustang are two distinct components of the Mustang. Although the ancient kingdom of Lo covered both lower and upper Mustang, with its capital known as “Lo Manthang” (Lo’s medieval walled city)” in Upper Mustang, Mustang’s district headquarters, Jomsom, are currently located in Lower Mustang. so, this might provide some guide for Upper Mustang Trek.

The Main Highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek (The Most Exciting Part of the Upper Mustang Trek)

  • Learn more about how Tibetan culture permeates local traditions and daily life up close.
  • A few of the characteristics that make up this region include ancient monasteries that date back a thousand years, mysterious caves and tunnels, indigenous peoples, and breathtakingly magnificent nature.
  • Lo-Manthang is the name of the fortified valley, which is also the name of a minor kingdom there.
  • The location is in a rain shadow. You don’t have to worry about getting wet when you’re out and about.
  • Feel Tibet as a plateau in virtual reality. Travel to Upper Mustang is frequently viewed as a good substitute for Tibet. Because Tibet’s geographical features, population, and untainted ethnic culture are all completely comparable.
  • either taking a picturesque flight to Jomsom or traveling off-road to reach the Kaligandaki George, the deepest George in the world.
  • The Mustang’s icy and stormy landscape is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon in Arizona (USA).
  • views of the Annapurna, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, among others, are breathtaking.
  • Tiji (May) and Yartong (horse racing) are two examples of many cultural celebrations. Keep in mind that there aren’t many hotels in the Lo Manthang region. For this event, bookings must be made in advance.
  • Mud blocks were used to build dwellings.
  • Yak pastures, streams, steep valleys, and waterfalls can all be found along the path.
  • The town of Jomsom is known for its apple brandy and seasonal apples.

What’s More

Travelers must engage at least one guide for every two individuals who plan to trek in order to abide by the rules established by the government of Nepal. Upper Mustang is not a place that should be explored on one’s own or without a driver or guide.

You don’t need to worry about anything if you’ve previously made arrangements for this trip with recognized trekking organizations. Because all aspects of this scenario are expertly handled by organizations with licenses.

Upper Mustang Trek facts

  • Start/End: Jomsom/Jomsom
  • Permit: Permit for a Partially Restricted Area for 10 days, 500 USD. You must pay an additional 50 USD each day if you stay more than 10 days. A permit for Annapurna protection is also necessary.
  • Flora & Fauna: two amphibians, two reptiles, 63 birds, 28 mammals, and more than 250 plants.
  • Guide: Required (plus a minimum of 2 trekkers).
  • Main Monasteries & Caves: 13 Monasteries & 5 Caves.
  • Season: March–November is the best for trekking.
  • Trip Difficulty: Moderate.
  • Culture: The traditional Tibetan Buddhist legacy.
  • Maximum Altitude: Marang la, 4280 m (14193 ft), also known as Chogo La Pass.
  • Landscape: Semi-desert, plateaus, gorges with steep cliffs.
  • Accommodations: Simple lodge/Tea house

When is the best time of year to travel in the Upper Mustang?

Spring, autumn, summer (sometimes referred to as the monsoon or rainy season), and winter are the four distinct seasons of Nepal. The upper Mustang is closed throughout the winter because of the significant snowfall.

As a result, avoid arranging travel arrangements to the Mustang region in the winter since this is when the weather gets quite cold and the snow starts to fall. The majority of hotels are still closed at this time. And many locals sift their houses to India, Pokhara, and Kathmandu to avoid the cold.

The months of March through November are ideal for an Upper Mustang Trek. Anyone can go in Upper Mustang during the summer because of the dry climate brought on by the Annapurna hills’ rain shadow. Lo Manthang hosts the Tiji Festival in May, which is also a fascinating time to explore Upper Mustang. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek.

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Do Any Special Permits Require to travel to Upper Mustang? And why?

It is true that special permits are needed to enter Upper Mustang. Regarding why The explanation is that China and Nepal reached an agreement to seal the border between Tibet and Mustang after China occupied Tibet in 1960. Both nations have signed this agreement. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek.

Mustang was sealed off due to the growing problem of Tibetan activists and rebels entering the area in quest of asylum or as a place to hide. Mustang remained isolated from the outside world until 1992 when the government decided to open the territory to tourists in exchange for a pricy permit.

Due to its proximity to the Tibetan border, the Upper Mustang is still considered to be a sensitive area today, which is why access there is restricted. From the time you depart Kagbeni until the time you arrive back, this Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is valid. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek.

Permits

A sensitive area permit costs $500 per person for a 10-day period, as I’ve already indicated. You will pay $50 per day if you decide to prolong your vacation for more than 10 days.

The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) furthermore charges a $30 entrance fee for each visitor. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek. Regardless of how lengthy the voyage is, this permit is valid for the entire time.

As we’ve already stated, you cannot complete this journey by yourself. A minimum of one guide must accompany every two participants in the jeep trip or walk in order to comply with government laws, and it is imperative to travel with an authorized service.

Accommodations and Meals in the Upper Mustang Trip

In Kathmandu, Pokhara, and the teahouses along the Upper Mustang tour, you may anticipate a nice hotel stay. A teahouse is a conventional, straightforward lodge with straightforward criteria.

Teahouse lodges are run by locals for passing tourists or hikers. Considering that they are frequently located in more challenging terrain, Upper Mustang has a lot of teahouses but little conveniences.

No matter where you stay in a remote part of Nepal, you won’t find anything as opulent as a lodge in a metropolis. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek. There are twin-share rooms available, and they are well-built and ideal for guests relaxing after arduous hikes or journeys.

The neighborhood lodges and teahouses serve both domestic and international cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, it’s a good idea to pack extra snacks like almonds, cookies, chocolates, and healthy food items for the Upper Mustang adventure.

Altitude Sickness in the Upper Mustang Trip

High altitude exposure can result in an illness known as altitude sickness. Many trekkers and tourists find AMS to be a problem in the Himalayas, and it can also be particular difficulty in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal.

You will travel at a height of more than 3500 meters above sea level on the Upper Mustang excursion. Although some people may experience the early signs of altitude sickness, this does not always guarantee they will develop severe altitude sickness. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek. Headaches, vertigo, nausea, and vomiting are just a few of the symptoms that can be brought on by the high altitude and lack of oxygen. Altitude sickness can be lethal in extreme circumstances.

Acclimatization is one of many strategies you might use to stave off altitude sickness. When climbing to high heights, it’s crucial to take your time.

Trekkers and travelers should consume lots of fluids and stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Get to a lower altitude as quickly as you can if the symptoms of AMS become severe, and seek medical attention right away. It is important that you always select an itinerary that allows enough time for acclimatization.

How Difficult Is the Classic Upper Mustang Trek?

There are several routes that range from easy to difficult in terms of effort to reach the Upper Mustang region. The Marang la pass, which is 4,280 meters above sea level, is the highest peak that hikers will encounter on this well-known Upper Mustang route.

The hikes from Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang (4,530–5,115 m), Upper Mustang with Damodar Kunda (4890 m), and Upper Mustang via Teri La Pass (5,577 m) are the toughest in the Mustang region (Nar Phu valley).

Depending on the paths you pick, the time of year you pick, the places you go, and how far you go, the difficulty of your walk can alter. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek. There is no system to rank the difficulty of a Trek. Each person’s skill determines the degree of difficulty. A journey that is effortless, pleasant, and enjoyable is possible by training and preparation.

In light of the maximum altitude and environment, we can therefore describe the traditional Upper Mustang Journey as a moderate hike. The ground is gentle, and there are clear walkways that make walking simply. and is suitable for all travelers, including senior citizens and families with teenagers.

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What to Pack for the Upper Mustang Trek?

Your gear will be your closest friend when you are out on an adventure. You shouldn’t have any trouble finishing the walk if you have good hiking equipment and a knowledgeable guide leading the excursion. Your trek through Upper Mustang will improve your capacity for flexibility and climate adaptation. Given that you will have porters to assist you along the route, you will require the following equipment for your hike:

Warm jacket with hood; undergarments; sunglasses with UV protection; gloves; synthetic t-shirts; hiking pants; trekking boots/shoes; headlamp; woolen/cotton socks; thermal trousers; sun hat; full-sleeve shirt; etc. Clothing and footwear (waterproof if possible).

Items for bags: day packs, rucksacks with rain covers, and water-resistant duffel bags.

Trekking poles, toilet paper, sunscreen, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, moisturizer, water bottles (2-3 liters), antibacterial hand soap, face masks, water purifier tablets, multipurpose soap, first aid kits (must include Diamox), knives, cell phone chargers, hand sanitizer, sleeping bags, etc. are some additional items to bring.

The above-stated items are merely an illustration. To get the complete packing list for the Upper Mustang Trek, simply browse to this page.

Things to Know Prior to the Upper Mustang Trek.

Before setting out on the Upper Mustang trek, preparations must be made. You should exchange foreign cash in places like Pokhara and Kathmandu before starting your tour. This is an important guide for Upper Mustang Trek. You should have enough local currency for the trip. Usually, the destinations are in remote places.

This top region is always cold. Pack and bring your essentials, including clothing and a first aid kit.

Outline Itinerary for the Upper Mustang Trek

The Following Number represents the number of days that you will be spending during the Upper Mustang Trek.

1: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, 20 minutes of flights (2744 meters/9002 ft), or drive from Pokhara to Kagbeni (2882 meters/9456 ft) in 8-9 hours.

2: Trek 5-6 hours from Kagbeni to Chele (3050 meters /10,004 ft).

3: Trek 6-7 hours from Chele to Syangboche (3475 meters/11,398 ft).

4: 5–6 hours walk from Syangboche to Ghaymi (3520 m/11,548 ft).

5: 4-5-hour trek from Ghami to Tsarang (3500 m /11,480 ft).

6: Trek 5-6 hours from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3840 m (12598 ft).

7: Exploration of Lo Manthang.

8: 6-7 hours hiking from Lo Manthang to Drakmar (3810 m/12,500 ft).

09: 5-6 hours walking from Drakmar to Ghiling (3806 m/12,484 ft).

10: 6-7 hours trekking from Ghiling to Chhusang (3,050 m/10,004 ft).

11: Walk 6-7 hours from Chhusang to Jomsom (2744 meters/9002 ft))

12: 20-minute flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (850 meters/2,789 ft).

13: Drive 6 hours or fly 25 minutes from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1400 m/4600 feet).

Conclusion

In conclusion, Upper Mustang trekking is the most popular trekking location for tourists who wish to see Nepal’s ancient monasteries, local culture, and stunning natural scenery.

To take part in the Upper Mustang Trek, trekkers must have special Mustang permission from the Department of Immigration and should be accompanied by a registered company.

The area’s tranquility and natural beauty are certain to make an imprint on your mind. Therefore, remember to add the Upper Mustang Trekking to your trip wish list if you’re looking for a unique place to spend your next vacation. Hopefully, this gave you a guide for Upper Mustang Trek.