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In one of the least developed and most remote regions in Nepal, the Upper Mustang trek offers a great opportunity to explore the unique culture, lifestyle and traditions of the local population, bringing you into the hidden world of the Buddhist Kingdom. It was a restricted location until 1991, after which the government opened it for tourists. Ancient architecture has been well preserved in the area, with monasteries, caves and the spectacular palace of the ancient king being highlights of the trek. The region offers the opportunity to see the culture and lifestyle of different tribes in Nepal. It attracts ordinary people who are looking for an exciting trek in the region, as well as archaeologists, geologists and anthropologists who wish to take in the distinct geographical and cultural features.
The Upper Mustang trek is popular for adventurers looking for a pony trek in the region. Other activities include Jeep or bike tours. These tours take in several excursions and cultural experiences such as a visit to the forbidden kingdom, food in a local teahouse, and a hike to Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
Upper Mustang has a maximum altitude of 3810m (12,500ft) and can be located at latitude 29° 04'60.00" N, longitude 83° 54'59.99 E. It is a valley surrounded by the Himalayan Range and has a dry, cold atmosphere with no vegetation and a desert-like landscape.
The Upper Mustang trek allows climbers to immerse themselves in the rich culture and traditions of the region. The locals still speak the Tibetan language and have a rich Buddhist culture. Due to its remote location, Tibetan culture has been preserved from the outside world. The Upper Mustang trek allows you to explore Buddhist architecture, art, culture and tradition, as well as enjoying the amazing landscape of snowy peaks and gorges that have been referred to by previous trekkers as heaven on Earth. The people of Mustang are friendly and curious about new arrivals, and you will find children running out of the stone and sunbaked mud brick houses along the route to greet you as you move through the region.
A highlight of the Upper Mustang trek is the Annapurna Conservation Area which stretches across the Mustang region. Established in 1992, it is a restricted area managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation. A permit is required to enter the conservation area at a cost of USD $20.
The Upper Mustang trek involves trekking through the steepest gorges in the world, and across the stunning high-altitude desert. No prior trekking experience is required to join the trek with Nepal Mountain Trekkers. You simply need to be physically fit and have a passion for exploration. It is an ideal trip for adventure seekers who wish to immerse themselves in the Nepalese culture. No equipment is needed, as Nepal Mountain Trekkers provide gear such as sleeping bags, down jackets and a first aid box. You will, however, require suitable clothing and footwear.
To be able to participate, you will need a permit to enter the region. This is provided by Nepal Mountain Trekkers and includes the Upper Mustang Special Permit, and Annapurna Conservation Area fees. The Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit is USD $500 per person for the first 10 days then USD $50 per day thereafter.
Even during monsoon season, the Upper Mustang region receives much less rainfall than other local areas. Because of this, the Upper Mustang trek can be joined any time during the year. However, August and October are the peak visiting months, with other popular times coinciding with cultural celebrations such as the Tiji festival, which is known as the most colourful and important festival in Upper Mustang. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and consists of meditation and dancing.
“Namaste” is the common form of greeting in Nepal which is often spoken as Namaskar. It is a traditional Hindu greeting and it is used both for salutation and valediction. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest.
While you are on Upper Mustang Trek, you can get access to electricity or solar energy for charging your electronic devices at lodges and tea-houses but you might only get access to the two-pin adapter so you should bring conversion plug or another converter if your device is not suitable with two-pin plug.
Yes, you can certainly get access to WiFi in lodges and also mobile data during Upper Mustang Trek for the Internet and to communicate with your friends and family.
The trekking trails of Upper Mustang Trek is mostly less crowded during the off-season but during the trekking seasons, the trails get flooded with the number of tourists which result in making the trails busy. But since they are all trekkers, it would be fun joining along your trek and it won’t affect your trekking experience at all because of the pace of each trekker/groups.
Well, the tip for guide and other trekking staffs like porters and drivers is not mandatory but since they contribute their time apart from family to make you enjoy the best of your trip ensuring your safety and satisfaction, we recommend you to contribute some amount of tip for them. In Nepal, it is practiced that 10% of the total amount you pay for your trek and tour is contributed as a tip.
ATMs and credit cards are accessible only on the major cities of Nepal, so during your Upper Mustang Trek, you can use ATMs and credit cards only while you are on Kathmandu or Pokhara.
There is a possibility of getting altitude sickness during Upper Mustang Trek but with proper acclimatization and health care as well as the guidance from trekking staffs, you shouldn’t face the trouble of altitude sickness.
The herbs and vegetations preserved at Annapurna Conservation Area are Silver firs, Birch, Rhododendron and Juniper trees whereas the wildlife inhabitant at Annapurna Conservation are Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Ghoral, Serow, Wolf, and even the Himalayan Black Bear and if you are very lucky you can also spot snow Leopard, Red Panda, two varieties of dazzling Pheasants – the Crimson-horned and the Impeyan Pheasants(national bird of Nepal), Marmots, Pikas, and Marten as well.
The Annapurna Region lies at the border of Nepal and Tibet and is highly influenced by the lifestyle and culture of Tibetan people. There are mostly Sherpa people, who are often considered as “the born Mountaineers”, as well as Gurung, Magar, and other ethnicities like Tamang, Brahmin and Kshetris etc and almost everyone in this region practices Buddhism which is the reason you can see Monasteries, Chortens, Prayer flags, Prayer wheels, Mani walls and Mani Stones abundantly along the trails. In a nutshell, there is a mixed culture in the Annapurna Region of Nepal.
Yes, you will need a special permit for Upper Mustang Trek because it is a restricted area and also because of its existence within the Annapurna Conservation Area, you would need to request for Upper Mustang Special Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS).
Of course, since Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most accessible treks and very popular among the trekkers, one can go for solo trekking without any worries. Because the people in there are very friendly and co-operative and you can also meet other trekkers along the way so that there won’t be any risk for solo trekkers or solo female trekkers to go for Upper Mustang Trek. Furthermore, our trekking staffs (guides) are highly experienced and dedicated to their job, so our company will be fully responsible for that note.
Yes, of course, with Nepal Mountain Trekkers you can customize/personalize the trek itinerary and services to be provided according to your requirements.
Yes, it is possible to get hot showers during Upper Mustang Trek on the lodges you would be staying overnight or during acclimatization.
Well, it is not compulsory to be insured but as we already know “Prevention is better than cure”. If you are insured then you can have a relaxed trip without worries and enjoy with a free mind.
Since the trail of this trekking is mostly rural, the drinking water available during this trek would be tap water, well water or hand pumps and should be purified prior to drinking them. Hence, you should buy bottle waters or should have a water purifying pills or any other equipment to ensure drinking safe water.
It is necessary to take a highly experienced and licensed guide to instruct you and help you explore the best of this trek as well as to take care of you during the trek. If you go trekking without a guide then you won't get to know the things you ought to explore as well as there might arise several problems on the trail. On the other hand, to enhance the comfort of trekking, you might need porters to carry your loads.
Nepal Mountain Trekkers is a travel agency formed with the involvement of highly experienced and professional trekkers with an experience of more than two decades in trekking in the Himalayas. Moreover, we do have staffs from all the special parts of the country to provide you with the proper and adequate information and make you enjoy the best of your trip. In our years of experience, none of our clients had any complaint or dissatisfaction from our company and till now all our previous clients highly recommend our team to their friends and family which is the reason behind our dedication and diligence. Once you trek with our team, you will surely think of visiting Nepal time and again with us as our other clients.
During Upper Mustang Trek, you would be staying overnight at tea-houses or lodges and you will be served with traditional Nepali dishes like Dal-Bhat.
In the case of emergency, our highly experienced and determined trekking staffs and guides who are the inhabitants of this region and are professional in these fields would guide you with the best instruction according to the situation. They are well aware of every kind of risks and the solutions and they would be in touch with the company along with your trekking session, so there is no reason to worry about, just enjoy the trek.
Though Upper Mustang Trek could be embarked anytime around the year since it is fertile and rain-shadow area which doesn't receive much rainfall even during monsoon, the best time to go for Upper Mustang Trek would be autumn or spring because the weather would be clear and the sceneries are vivid under the clear blue sky and lush greenery everywhere. Moreover, the blooming of rhododendron forest and other herbs and vegetations would be the major attraction of being there during autumn and spring as well it will reduce the risk of natural calamities and blockades from snowfalls; though not in Mustang but maybe on the trail up to there.
The earthquake of 2015 had an adverse effect on the trekking trails and the local inhabitants back then but now after the patience and positive attitude of the people along with their effort and collaboration from several donors, the trails are totally recovered and fine for trekking again. Though the lifestyle of people is somehow still lagged behind in some reasons because of trekkers and their contributions, they’ve got a light of hope that they will rise again.
Upper Mustang Trek is available in both adventurous as well as moderate difficulty according to the requirement of the clients. However, you must be physically sound enough and could be able to walk moderately about 5-6 hours each day during the trek.
Upper Mustang Trek is an off-the-beaten-path adventure that offers a wonderful chance to explore the unique lifestyle, culture and tradition of local inhabitants (referred to as highlanders); along with awesome views and spectacular landscapes. The Upper Mustang region is close to Tibet and there are many cultural and geographical similarities between the local Mustangi people and their Tibetan neighbours. The major highlight of this trip includes Lo-Manthang and the surrounding areas and gives a powerful insight into this isolated, picturesque and enthralling region of Nepal.
Generally, Upper Mustang Trek is 14-17 days long but you can customize/personalize the trekking days and the itinerary according to your requirement with Nepal Mountain Trekkers.
We did a 10 day trek in the Upper Mustang area of Nepal through Nepal Mountain Trekkers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our guide, Min, was excellent, really friendly with very good English. The organisation pre-trek was very smooth and we had an unusually tight schedule which Ramesh, the owner of the company, went out of his way to accommodate. We would definitely recommend using the company as they charge competitive rates but also really care that you have the experience you want and can personalise arrangements when necessary.
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