Brief information on the area and route
The trek to Upper Mustang is through off-the-beaten-path, an almost treeeless barren landscepe, along a seeply undulating rocky trail, with panormaice view of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and a range of other soaring Peaks. The region also presents you with a lost culture of the forbidden lands of the past.
Mustang is an ancient forbidden kingdom, bordered by the Tibetan Plateau in north and world's deepest gorge in South. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang distirict which lies west north of Gandaki Prades in Nepal.
Upper Mustang was restricted area untill 1992, it is one of the most pereserved regions in the world due to its hidden isolated nature from modern world, having majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetan Languages. Mustang is drived from the Tibetan word 'plain of aspiration' which was opened to forginers after 1992. It is one of the popular trekking route of Nepal. The territory of Upper Mustang remained isolated from the 14th century.
The entire area of Mustang is included in Annapurna Conservation Area. The monarchy in Mustang was kicked out by the republican government of Nepal on October 7, 2008. The monarchy in Mustang ceased to exist by oredr of the Government of Nepal in 2008, after Nepal became a federal democratic Republic.
The local residents of Upper Mustang are the Lobas. The language, tradition, customs, and heritage is very much similar to the neighboring land of Tibet. The terrotry of Upper Mustang is Walled by stone and Mud is named Lo Manthang. Long wall of beautiful prayer wheels, herds of farming animals, Old King Palace and Monastery inside wall, similat types of houses near the area makes your trip historical. The amchi museum and school are a must visit to further comprehend the heritage.
Mustang is Tibetan influenced culture and tradition with semi-arid desert with deep ravines, rock shelves, snowy peaks having less rain and amazing view of Annapurna, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri. Choser cave located in Upper mustang is an amazing destination having 50+ Private room and community Kitchen. When Tibetan people were chased away from Tibet, they hide themselvs inside this cave to protcet their life. Monasteries build in 13th century is also another focal point of your trip to Mustang.
Now, due to road construction, even one can go by private Jeep to Lo-manthang. We recommend you to hike from Jomsom to Lo-manthang and way back by Jeep to Jomsom. On the way to Lo-Manthang, we escape road path; explore trek to off-the-beaten-path to Lo-Manthang.
How to Start and End Upper Mustang Trek
- Upper Mustang Trek is forbidden kingdom of Nepal, also known as "Mini Tibet of Nepal". Isolated barren land, enchanting Monastries, Old Caves, existence of Primitive Sociey, Unique Old King Palace, Chortens, Mani Walls, Panoramic View of Himalaya are the main attractions of Upper Mustang Trek. Despite the issues on road construction, this trekking route is still one of the most popular treks of Nepal.
- People Start Upper Mustang Trek after having 15 minute flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and trek to Lo-Manthang via Kageni, Ghami & Charang Village. And end trek in Jomsom and fly to Pokhara from Jomsom.
- One can even go to Upper Mustang by private Jeep or Bus from Pokhara to Jomsom. It takes whole one day to reach Jomsom from Pokhara.
- There are very few flights from Pokahra to Jomsom and even due to bad weather, all the time there will no flight. In this case, You can hire Private Jeep from Pokhara to Jomsom.
Trekking Permits of Upper Mustang Trek
- Need Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit; It cost 30$ per person.
- Need Special Mustang Permit; For the first 10 days US$ 500 per person and after 10 days US$ 50 per day per person, or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
- Your Special Permit is checked in Kagbeni and checked Out also in Kagbeni.
- ACAP Permit is checked in Jomsom and exit in Jomsom.
- Without License Holder Trekking Guide, & Special Permit one can not entry in Upper Mustang.
Lodges & Foods in Upper Mustang Trek
During the period of Upper Mustang Trekking, Trekkers sleep in normal Tea-houses. Two Trekkers can share one room where available of two beds. Toilet and Bathroom is shared in upper Mustnag Trek, though some places available of attached Room too. One can choose food from Menu, but normally they have Nepali Food Called Dal Bhat, Vegetables, and Noodles, potatoes, Local Gurung Bread, Pizza, Steak, Fry Rice, Toast, Omelete, boiled eggs, pasta, French fries and soup. There are even biscuits, chocolates and soft drinks. In the upper part, food cost is more expensive than lower part. Due to remotness food is expensive and also difficult to send transportation.
Best Time to go Upper Mustang Trek
Are you looking for the best time to go Upper Mustang Trek? Wherever you travel in the world, it is necessary to know the best time. The Best time to trek Upper Mustang is pre monsoon and post moon season. The most recommended season of Upper Mustang Trek is in autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov,) and spring (March, April May). But even in Winter and Raining season too, one can trek to Upper Mustang. There was no rain before 10-15 years ago in upper Mustang, but now due to climate change; there is rain and flood sometimes. But there is very less raining in Upper Mustang in comparion of lower Mustang.
Detail Cost of Upper Mustang Trek
- Special Permit Cost= 500$ Per Person
- ACAP Permit= 30$ Per Person
- Guide Cost= 30$ Per Day ( Salary, Food, Accommodation, Insurance and Private equipments)
- Porter Cost= 25$ Per Day ( Salary, Food, Accmmodation, Insurance and Priate equipments. Porter Carries maximun 25-30kg)
- Pokhara-Jomsom Flight= 124$ Per Person (One Way)
- Normal Tea House Room (Twin Share) = 10$ -15$
- Food (Breakfast-Lunch-Diiner)= 25$-40$ Per Day/Per Person
- Tea/Coffee= 1$-4$ Per Cup
- Bottle of Water= 1$-3$
- Beer= 4$-7$
- Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara 3* standard Per Twin Room= 60$
- Pokhara-Kathmandu Flight= 125$ Per Person
- Jeep Drive from Lo-Mantahng to Jomsom= 300$ (5-6 perople can share it)
Before you start Upper Mustang Trek, must prepare for your equipments to prevent cold and for safety. Your backpacks should ready in Kathmandu. Below listed equipments are recommended for Upper Mustang Trek.
- Hiking Boots and Socks
- Waterproof Jacket
- Fleece Jacket
- Sun Glass
- Warm Cap
- Water bottle
- Sleeping Bag -15 degree
- Down Jacket
- Small Towel
- Trekking Sticks