Mustang- A Journey across the Himalayas, a useful article for potential travellers to Nepal.
Upper Mustang is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal among foreign trekkers. Notably, Mustang has a lot to offer from cultural and historical point of view. Mustang has become equally popular among Nepali riders and trekkers. The recent road connection to Mustang has made this possible.
Trekking in Mustang
Recently, Trekking Encounters organized a trek to Upper Mustang for a group of German trekkers. The trek was led by Dr. Karl-Ludwig TRACHT and the team members were Er. Dirk LECHTHOFF, Mr. Thomas GEMBUS, Mrs. Martina BOHMER, Dr. Elke HRUSCHKA and Mr. Detlef SOFSKY. Although, they were all above fifties, they had a great trip to Lo Manthang and Choser. The group had a great fun while travelling on horse to Choser.
The team stayed at Tiri on the last section of their trip to Mustang. They visited the Muktinath Temple also, a major attraction of Lower Mustang. This temple is a common pilgrimage site for Hindu and Buddhists situated at an altitude of 3,760 meters. There are shrines, gompas and a pagoda-style temple.
The group was supported by a team of professional Nepali staff led by Santa Gurung as Sardar. His fellow staffs were namely Ranjan, Shambhu and also Nim. They drove by Jeep from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then next day to Kagbeni.
Upper Mustang is the Himalayan rain shadow area so that it is one of the few parts of the country that is suitable to trek during the monsoon period also. The 14th century monasteries, caves and the unique culture are the living heritage of Mustang. In addition to this, Mustang has a great influence of Tibetan culture and traditions.
Special Permits required to trek in the Upper Mustang
The Upper region of Mustang is a regulated area for foreign trekkers. They also require special permits to enter into this region apart from the Annapurna Conservative permit. The permit is issued by Department of Immigration and costs per person US $50 per day. It should be applied for a minimum of 10 days. There are special provisions to get this permit. Foreign trekkers cannot get the permit alone and they must be in a group of minimum TWO persons. For that reason, local authorized Trekking Companies in Kathmandu can apply for the permit. They also need to enclose a series of documents also in order to get the permits issued.
What documents needed to get Trekking Permits?
- Online application form for trekkers (a passport-size photo is necessary to upload along)
- Copy of Passport
- Copy of valid Visa
- Itinerary of trekking
- Guarantee letter by Trekking Agency
- Tax clearance Certificate of Trekking Agency
- Documents relating to insurance of the trekkers (foreign nationals) and Nepalese staff accompanying the trekkers
- Copy of Company Registration Certificate
- A copy of License to operate trekking business
- Clear copy of License from Central Bank allowing exchange of foreign currencies
- Copy of Registration Certificate of Permanent Account Number (PAN)
- Voucher of Bank payment (fees) for trekking permits
Best time for Upper Mustang Trek
Trekking in Mustang region is possible from March until November. The Upper Mustang region is regarded as rain shadow area so that it is possible to trek even in summer (July-August).
Itinerary of the German Group (July-August, 2018)
- 16 JULY: Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to Fuji Hotel.
- 17 JULY: Free time. Stay at Fuji Hotel.
- 18 JULY: Free time. Stay at Fuji Hotel.
- 19 JULY: Drive (200km) from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Private vehicle. Stay at Baba Lodge.
- 20 JULY: Drive further from Pokhara to Kagbeni (2,800m/9,186ft). Private vehicle.
- 21 JULY: Trek Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,007ft).
- 22 JULY: Trek Chele to Syanboche (3,800m/12,467ft).
- 23 JULY: Trek Syanboche to Ghami (3,520m/11,550ft).
- 24 JULY: Trek Ghami to Charang (3,620m/11,877ft).
- 25 JULY: Trek Charang to Lo Manthang (3,810m/12,500ft). Visit Monasteries, Stupas and Palace in Lo Manthang. Horse riding.
- 26 JULY: Excursion trek further to Choser (3,900m/12,796ft) and around. Return to Lo Manthang. Horse riding. Visit Jhong cave also.
- 27 JULY: Then return trek Lo Manthang to Dhakmar (3,820m/12,533ft) via Ghar Gumba (3,950m/12,960ft).
- 28 JULY: Return trek Dhakmar to Geling (3,510m/11,516ft).
- 29 JULY: Trek back Geling to Chhusang (2,980m/9,777ft).
- 30 JULY: Trek Chhusang to Tiri (2,760m/9,055ft).
- 31 JULY: Trek Tiri to Muktinath (3,760m/12,336ft).
- 01 AUG: Trek/drive (Optional) Muktinath to Tatopani (1,190m/3,905ft). Enjoy hot spring.
- 02 AUG: Drive Tatopani to Beni by bus. Then drive to Pokhara by reserved taxi. Stay at Baba Lodge.
- 03 AUG: Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu. Transfer to Fuji Hotel.
So, Mustang is definitely an alternative destination to nature lovers who enjoy quiet and culturally enriched trekking trail.