Dhakmar by Andrea

Upper Mustang Trek

per person

Prices

16 Days from $2,900.00

Season

March to May, September to November

Trip Style

Trekking/Classic

Trip Difficulties

▲▲▲▲

Service Level

Standard

Avg Altitude

3,200 m (10,240 ft.)

Guaranteed Dep

Minimum 3 Trekkers

Highlights: Journey to the land of the last forbidden kingdom (opened since 1992), Upper Mustang trip encompasses mountain flight, trek and horse ride to experience rich cultures of former Buddhist kingdom. Discover the 8th Century ruin temples, hermitage caves, monasteries and ancient palace while enjoying fantastic views of Himalaya ranges and alpine desert landscape. We will walk the same trade route on the Tibetan plateau used for centuries and explore the Buddhist kingdom of medieval times, soon to be enlisted on World Heritage sites.

Trip Summary: This sixteen day regal journey to the Upper Mustang region offers travelers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the uniquely robust culture of ethnic Tibetans. While trekking along this route, you will experience the unimaginable oases of alpine desert, elaborately endowed with pagodas, ruin temples, historic monasteries and mani walls. We will visit the King (if permitted) and his palace, ride a horse and explore the strange caves at Tsohar. This trek incorporates an acclimatization period as we trek into the scenic land of the Upper Kali Gandaki valley and experience the typical trans-Himalayan lifestyle. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs, Mt. Nilgiri and many others along trek on deep gorges of Kali Gandaki. Trek to Upper Mustang will transport back to the medieval times of Buddhist Kingdom, rich culture heritage, unmatched by any destination in Nepal. Though there is a low risk of altitude sickness, this trek has been designed to allow for acclimatization.

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Product Description

Day Summary
1

Arrive in Kathmandu

Shuttle to Hotel, hold evening meeting.

2

Kathmandu Sightseeing

Guided tour of Historical sites; Swayambhunath stupa & Basantapur Durbar square.

3

Kathmandu to Pokhara

Scenic drive to Pokhara and transfer to hotel.

4

Pokhara to Kagbeni (2,800 m; 9,186 ft.)

Mountain flight to Jomsom and first leg of trek to Kagbeni.

5

Kagbeni to Tsele (3,060 m; 10,039 ft.)

Trek along the Kali Gandaki river to Tsele. Estimated Trek Time: 6 hours.

6

Tsele to Sangmochen (3,820 m; 12,532 ft.)

Beginning of the high altitude trek over the alpine desert landscape. Estimated Trek Time: 6 hours.

7

Sangmochen to Tsarang (3,620 m; 11,876 ft.)

Cross over two passes, and reach Tsarang, the 2nd largest city. Estimated Trek Time: 7 hours.

8

Tsarang (3,560 m; 11,679 ft.) to Lo Manthang (3,840 m; 12,598 ft.)

Enter the ancient capital city of Mustang. Estimated Trek Time: 3 hours.

9

Lo Manthang (3,840 m; 12,598 ft.)

Tour of ancient monasteries and audience with the King!

10

Tsoshar

Horse ride to Tsoshar and visit hermitage caves and ruined temples. Estimated travel time: 2.5 hours.

11

Ghami (3,510 m; 11,515 ft.)

Gar Gompa (oldest monastery) amazing trial via rock formations. Estimated Trek Time: 6-7 hours.

12-14

Retrace our route to Jomsom

We retrace our route to Jomsom via Samar village.

15

Fly to Kathmandu

We catch a flight back to Kathmandu, transfer to hotel.

16

Farewell

End of tour. Free to leave anytime. We offer 24/7 local customer service.

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

An SA representative will meet you at Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu) and escort you to your hotel. Our representative will introduce you to your guide, walk you through your itinerary and provide a brief orientation. We’ll provide a cell phone or a SIM card that you can use for the duration of your trip and our SA representative will be available 24/7 should you need further assistance. (D)

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing

Today, after breakfast, we will take a short drive to Swayambhunath Stupa, located in the west of Kathmandu City. Swayambhunath Stupa was built by ancient king of Nepal in the fifth century, sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. World heritage Buddhist Stupa is distinctively known as “The Monkey Temple” as there is large population of monkeys around the area. We will climb about 300 stone stair cases to the Stupa while navigating through the monkey trials. The short climb will reward you with panorama view of Kathmandu city. There are Hindu shrines and Buddhists monastery on the premises of the Stupa, excellent showcase of religious co-existence. (B)

After lunch, we will head towards the ancient town of Kathmandu, Basantapur Durbar Square, at the center of the city. The UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for ancient royal palace, well preserved wooden carved Hindu temples, and open courtyard. The palace was built in early 11th century by the kings of Malla dynasty and continue serves as one of the palace till the early 19th century by Shah and Rana dynasties. There is also a small museum showcasing king’s weapons, armor and ceremonial accessories. Another popular site is the Kumari Ghar, tiny house of Kumari (young goddess, believe to be the incarnation of Hindu goddess, Durga). Visitation to the Kumari house is occasionally closed due to goddess religious ceremonial duties. The square is surrounded by souvenir shops and restaurants. In the evening, our guide will help you pick up any supplies or personal items you might need for the trek.

Day 3: Bus ride to Pokhara

We will take an early morning bus ride to Pokhara, 125 miles (200 km) west of Kathmandu. Six hours scenic trip through the Nepali countryside, with views of Mt. Annapurna and Machapuchhre (“Fishtail Mountain”) will leave you excited. You will be shuttle to your Hotel near Lakeside (Phewa Tal). Pokhara is a gateway to many of the most popular trek destinations in Nepal. Pokhara’s Lakeside is a tourist hub, full of hotels, restaurants, gift and outdoor stores. In the afternoon, your guide will help you pick up any supplies or personal items you might need for the trek. (B)                                                      [Estimated travel time: 4 hours]

Day 4: Pokhara to Kagbeni

We catch an early morning mountain flight to Jomsom. On a beautiful day, we will have amazing view of Annapurna ranges and its sister mountains on the flight. At the Jomsom airport, we will be welcomed by rest of the trekking staff members. After short tea break, we set off on first leg of our trek along the riverbed of Kali Gandaki, said to be the deepest gorge in the World. En route to Kagbeni, we will catch a glimpse of glorious Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m; 26,796 ft.) and Mt. Nilgiri (7,061 m; 23,166 ft.). Kagbeni serves as the buffer zone for Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang.

Day 5: Kagbeni to Tsele (3,060 m; 10,040 ft.)

Short walk after the breakfast, we will channel through the checkpoint, as we enter the Upper Mustang restricted zone. We continue to follow the river trail, passing buck wheat and barley field along the white washed mud houses to Tangbe village, famous for its organic sweet apple, apricot and peach farm. We will taste local fruits and continue the trial to Chhuksang village, at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Narshing River. We make a stop for lunch near the riverside. After lunch break, the trail starts to climb gently, leaving behind the river. We reach Tsele, first settlement of ethnic Lowa (Tibetan origins) in the late afternoon. We will spend the night here.                                                      [Estimated Trek Time: 6 hours]

Day 6: Tsele to Sangmochen (3,820 m; 12,535 ft.)

From Tsele, trek to Lo Manthang began via high altitude on the undaunted trails by the side of the valley. The trial carved into the deep gorge but rather treacherous glaring over the Samar Khola (river) which leads to Samar village (small hamlet); and then trail ascends gradually to Bhena town; where we make a stop for lunch. After lunch, the trial goes straight and we make short climb over Yamda La (4,010 m; 13,160 ft.) pass and quick descends to Sangmochen. It is long day trek, with lots of ups and downs along many ridges. We can pause to catch our breath at several excellent viewpoints to snap pictures of distant Mt. Annapurna ranges, Nilgiri (“Blue Peak”) and Tilicho peaks. We will spend the overnight at a local lodge in Sangmochen.                                       [Estimated Trek Time: 6 hours]

Day 7: Sangmochen to Tsarang (3,560 m; 11,680 ft.)

Today, we will cross two passes, Nyi la and Choya la. At the top of the every pass, we come across Chorten (Stupa) and some sort of Mani Wall in a loose tapering shape composed of stones carved with “Om Mani Padme Hum Re”; stones and pebbles placed by travelers believing it will lead to safer journey. The trial makes a gradual steep climb over the Nyi La pass (4,020 m; 13, 190 ft.) and descend steeply to Ghami village (return stopover), where we make a stop for lunch. After the lunch, we cross bridge over Ghami river and we make a short climb over Choya La (3,800 m; 12,470 ft.) pass and gradual descend down to the open field of maize and willow trees to Tsarang valley. Tsarang is the second largest town in Lo Manthang and the former capital. We spend the night at Tsarang.                                                            [Estimated Trek Time: 6 hours]

Day 8: Tsarang (3,560 m; 11,680 ft.) to Lo Manthang

After breakfast, trail goes straight and gradually descends to a bridge. We will cross the bridge over Tsarang Khola (river) and the trial will take us to the dirt road. We continue our walk on the road for about two hours before climbing over the Lo La pass (3950 m; 12,960 ft.). From the pass, we will catch a panoramic view of the Lo Manthang, said to be induct on World Heritage sites in few years. The trial descends through a small slope and becomes straight as we get close to Lo Manthang. We enter the gated wall town from the northeastern side. Overnight at Lo Manthang. This unique mud walled structure outside the town is called Lo Manthang in local dialect, meaning “Land of Aspiration”                                                         [Estimated Trek Time: 3 hours]

Day 9: Lo Manthang (3,840 m; 12,600 ft.)

Today we set our schedule around the king availability. If we get King’s audience in the morning, we will visit historic monasteries in the afternoon or vice versa. King of Mustang, direct descend from the first king (25th generation starting from 13th century) periodically resides at his palace, nine-cornered, five story structure built in the 15th Century. After lunch, we will visit Jampa Lhagang, the oldest in the kingdom (14th C.) as it hosts the idol of Gyalwa Jampa, the future Buddha. Afterwards, we visit Thupchen Gonpa (15th C.), red assembly hall monastery that enshrines the statue of Lord Buddha Shakamuni. We will also visit Chodey Gonpa, the main monastery of Lo Manthang where during the Tiji festival, the famous monastic dances are held.

Day 10: Tsoshar (3,900m; 12,795 ft.)

Today is free to stay at the Lo Manthang or join the highly recommend day trip to Tsoshar village, also known as the “Cave Village’’. We set off on horse (accompanied by horseman, no skill needed) and head to Tsoshar, lies on the grassy plains with sandy cliffs, for about two hours. The trail descends from Lo Manthang, after crossing the river, it is straight to Tsoshar. We have excellent view of Nilgiri and Tilicho peaks above us and panorama view of Lo Manthang in the backdrop along the trial. The amazing five stories man made caves has hundreds of chambers, believed to once used as meditation rooms by monks and shelters by ancient guards to protect the Kingdom. Ladders are placed to climb from one floor to another, need to be extra cautious here. Parts of the chambers are off limit to tourist. On the rocky hillside, lie the Nyiphuk Gonpa of Nyingma sect and Garphuk Gonpa of Ngor sect, two monasteries of the Tsoshar village. The small monasteries feature few monks with prayer rooms and it offers great view of the valley and Himalayan ranges. We retrace the trail back to the capital in the afternoon.                                          [Estimated Travel Time: 2.5 hours]

Day 11: Ghami via Dhrakmar village (3,510 m; 11,515 ft.)

Few hours into trial, we cross the Choko La pass (4,260 m; 13,976 ft.) and descend to the valley, will bring us to Lo Gekhar village. Gar Gonpa (monastery) in Lo Gekhar is famous as it host the oldest monastery in Mustang, said to be built in 8th Century by Padmasambava, the great Indian master who brought Buddhism to Tibet. The monastery features, statues of Maitreya, Padmasambava, Thangka paintings and pictures of Sakya lamas. We continue to follow the trial by gradually climbing another pass, Muila La (4,190 m; 13,746 ft.) and down on to the Dhrakmar (red cliff in Tibetan) village, the giant red cliff structure overlooking the small settlement. The trial along the canyon gives in with stunning colorful rock formation similar to that of Bryce canyon national park in Utah. We continue on the undulating trial to Ghami, one of the four big settlements in Upper Mustang. Ghami also has the longest Mani Wall in Nepal. We spent the night at the Ghami.                                         [Estimated Trek Time: 6-7 hours]

Day 12- 14: Retrace our route via Samar village on to Jomson.

From Ghami, we retrace our trial back to Jomsom via Samar village; popular rest area for horse caravans. Samar village is small settlement near the riverside of Samar khola (river). Typical small Mustang village with washed mud houses, Stupas and barley and buckwheat fields. We will continue to follow the riverbed trial of Kali Gandaki on to Jomson, with stunning view of Annapurna ranges and Dhaulagiri along the trial.

Day 15: Fly to Kathmandu

A flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara (short transit) in the morning and you will be transfer to hotel. Open afternoon to shop for souvenirs or take a much-deserved break. In the evening, we host a farewell dinner in honor of a successful trek. (Very occasionally, there will be flight cancellation due to bad weather, in such case; we may have to take a jeep to Pokhara and flight to Kathmandu, the next day). (D)

Day 16: Farewell

After breakfast, we will transfer you to Tribhuvan International Airport and bid farewell. You might also decide to stay on and explore Kathmandu for a few days. In this case, you will be provided a SIM card and mobile phone should you need any further assistance during your extended stay in Nepal. We offer 24/7 local and international customer service. (B)

Additional Information

Prices

16 Days from $2,900.00

Season

March to May, September to November

Trip Style

Trekking/Classic

Trip Difficulties

▲▲▲▲

Service Level

Standard

Avg Altitude

3,200 m (10,240 ft.)

Guaranteed Dep

Minimum 3 Trekkers

When is the best time to travel to Nepal?

During March- May and October- November is the best time to travel as the weather is perfect for trekking and offers amazing view of mountains.

What problems arise on high altitude?

At an altitude of 3500m (11800ft) , most of the people suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness. At higher altitudes, there is less oxygen in the air; nearly 50% less oxygen than at sea level. Most of the people often complain of headache on their arrival at an altitude of 8,000 feet or more. Other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, unusual fatigue and lassitudeare also felt.

Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?

Yes, in big cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, ATM machine are available and International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc) are accepted in almost all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants .

What is the baggage allowance for trekking?

We recommend individual to carry 25-35 liter backpack and porter will carry maximum of 32.5 lb; 15kg. during trekking. Extra fee applies for overweight baggage.</p

Do I need travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance is included with all tours with Sonam Adventures.

Inclusive:

  • Travel medical ($50,000) and emergency evacuation ($100,000) insurance

  • Mobile phone (limited minutes, to be return upon trip completion)

  • Local English speaking guide

  • Entrances fee to all major sites and guided tour.

  • Airport pick up in Kathmandu

  • Meals: 3 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners

  • Accommodation: hotels (4 nts), teahouse guesthouse (11 nts)

  • Transportation: domestic air flight, private bus/ private mini van/ car

  • Small group (15 maximum travelers)

Exclusive:

  • Not included meals: (Please allow $200-$300 for average meals for the whole trip)

  • International flight (departure and return home)

  • Nepalese Visa

  • Trip cancellation and interruptions insurance

  • Mobile phone talk time minutes (limited)

  • Airport drop off

  • Personal toiletries.

  • Recommended 10% courtesy tips

Please contact us should you need more information