Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most underrated and underexplored trekking regions. The brilliant composition of the cultures of Nepal and Tibet makes Upper Mustang a must-visit place. If you are looking for exposure to an international land in Nepal’s soil, this is the trek you must go to. Why not, It gives you the most authentic nomadic travel vibes. You can make it one of the most culturally enthralling experiences of your life. Let’s dive deep into everything you need to know about the Upper Mustang Region and why it stands of the top things to do in Nepal.
Upper Mustang Trek | An Overview
Traveling to Upper Mustang is a rare and unique privilege. You get to explore the cultural riches of Nepal. With natural beauty complementing the cultural richness, this trek has everything to wow you with. From exploring colorful gorges and ancient Buddhist cave art to traveling to the walled town of Lomanthang, Upper Mustang Trekking can be the missing piece in your puzzle. A gorgeous and scenic region that attracts many tourists to explore the underrated region isolated for centuries is indeed the trek to Upper Mustang. A trek of exploration possibilities and your gateway to the famous Tiji Festival, it is a trek that should be on your bucket list.
The Best Part about Upper Mustang Trek | Upper Mustang Trek Highlights
Several amazing places come about the best regions to travel to Nepal. They indeed make your day better and your heart happy. Seeing the pictures of such travel spots gives you goosebumps and positive vibes. Imagine getting to travel there, enjoying every scenery in real-time, and making memories for a lifetime; Life is Good, Right?
Upper Mustang Region is one of the underexplored regions of Nepal that still has the authentic aura to it. This place still has a lot of new spots, and you can be the next person to find out something new over there. As travel and trekking have reached their heights over the past couple of years, people most often go to popular treks because of their publicity. It makes Upper Mustang a trek to savor for and make memories further in the trek as the masses have not explored it until now.
The highlights of Upper Mustang Trek include:
- Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Culture
As already mentioned, Upper Mustang Region was restricted until 1992. It has not been that long since the trekking activities started here. Moreover, you get the Buddhist culture and traditions in a whole new manner here. Most of the people over there speak the Tibetan language more than Nepali. You can guess how much Tibet has influenced this underrated region.
- Ancient Buddhist Cave Art with nomadic culture
The Restricted Mountain Kingdom of Nepal- Upper Mustang has been one of the most promising places to give you an idea of Buddhist culture. The presence of monasteries and the ancient Buddhist cave art revolve around the rich ideologies of the great Buddha, indeed making a statement.
- Tiji Festival
One of the identities of Mustang is indeed the spring festival known as the Tiji Festival. It is an event that takes place for three days in Lo Manthang. Masked dancers there re-enact the battle of a Buddhist deity named Dorje Juno and his demon father. It has been said that the fight was to save Mustang from a massive drought. People burn the effigy of the demon to make the town free from all the bad spirits. Another most special thing about the festival is that the members of the Mustang royal family join the sacred dance organized during the festival.
- Lomanthang – The Walled Capital of Upper Mustang
Lomanthang is one of the famous spots in the Upper Mustang because of the white-washed narrow streets and big palaces. One of the remaining walled Himalayan towns, Lomanthang, is a place of monasteries and other architectural wonders. Many things make Lomanthang a place you should visit. It looks similar to the Grand Canyon of Arizona located in the United States.
Upper Mustang Trek Height and Difficulty
The scenic trek around the forbidden kingdom of the Himalayas is a life-changing experience. Providing you with the most awesome experiences of the Himalayas, scenery, and culture, Upper Mustang is a must-go trek. Most travelers worldwide are curious about Upper Mustang Height and what sort of difficulty level it may possess.
The highest altitude of the Upper Mustang Lomanthang Trek is 3840 meters, i.e., around 12,598 feet above sea level. It is not that high considering other popular treks in Nepal.
Talking about the difficulty of the Upper Mustang Trek, it can be considered a moderate-level trek. It falls on the line between an easy trek and a strenuous trek. A beginner-level trekking experience can come to Upper Mustang and complete the trek. It is advised to be prepared for the trek before. Because a little preparation before doing anything only has benefits and can help you in a thousand ways you may never imagine.
How to prepare for Upper Mustang Trek | Some Cool Preparation Tips
Your next Upper Mustang Trek can be one of the fascinating experiences you have ever come across with. It can teach you a lot about the ideologies of life and Himalayan cultures and lifestyles. The things you learn on the trip can be helpful for you in every stage of your life. So, preparing for it before is the best step towards a successful and insightful trekking journey.
Here are some cool preparation tips that make sure your next trip to Upper Mustang be remembered for all the good reasons.
- Go on a walk daily.
- Make sure you walk both uphill and downhill.
- Do some physical exercise every day.
- Put your body in the best shape possible.
- Involve in stamina building activities like running and cycling
- Cardiovascular Training can be very helpful too.
- Research well about Buddhist culture as it helps you merge your knowledge with what you see on the trip.
Upper Mustang Trekking Route
One of the most beautiful countries to visit in the world is Nepal. Nepal indeed hits the ball out of the park when it comes to trekking and traveling with numerous trekking regions to go to and have a good time. Out of many trekking routes, Upper Mustang Trekking is one of Nepal’s most exciting and least explored trekking routes.
The Upper Mustang Trekking journey starts from arrival in the country’s capital- Kathmandu. The city of temples provides you with the most authentic experience of Nepal’s culture and history. Sightseeing around Kathmandu can be the best way to prepare for the journey ahead. Your trekking journey to the Forbidden Kingdom kicks off on a high following a drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
After that, you get to fly to Jomsom, and a 3-4 hours trek from Jomsom leads you to Kagbeni- the entry point of the trek as such. Once you enter Kagbeni, it is all walking from now on. You need to walk at least 5 hours each day for the rest of the trek. You need to walk 6 hours from Kagbeni to Chele. On the way, you get to explore some of the best landscapes and drylands.
You get to pass through Dajori and Taklam pass to reach Syanbochen (3,475m). The highlight of the Upper Mustang Trek is when you reach Lomanthang after crossing Ghami and Tsarang. Exploration of Lomanthang is what Upper Mustang Trekking aspires you to do. The Walled Capital of the Himalayas has monasteries, palaces, and ancient Buddhist art that brings all the elements together.
After exploring Lomanthang, the trail to Drakmar, Ghiling and Chhuksang follows. You need to walk at least 6 hours daily to reach Jomsom from Lomanthang. After flying back from Pokhara to Kathmandu, the trip ends. However, when you are in Kathmandu, you have a bag full of memories and good things to remember for the rest of your life.
Trekking Permits for Upper Mustang Trekking | ACAP and TIMS
There are two kinds of permits before embarking on a journey to the Upper Mustang- The Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal. The first one is the ACAP Permit- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, and the other is the TIMS permit. The charges are around US$500 for the permit, with each additional day charging $50 more. The area after the Kagbeni Area is considered the Upper Mustang Area. Travelers have to show the permit before and after the trek in the gateway.
TIMS permit is required for almost every trek in Nepal. However, ACAP Permit is especially for the Annapurna Conservation Area. Following are the documents required to get the trekking permit.
- Copy of valid passport
- Passport Size Photos 4x
- Photocopy of Nepal Visa
- Local agency agreement and itinerary
Upper Mustang Region is not advised and allowed to travel alone. So, it’s better to come with a travel agency or a group of trekking buddies. A life-long memory with someone special is always better than taking a risk and coming alone.
Best Time to go to Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang Trek 2023 is one of Nepal’s least explored yet beautiful trekking regions. You get the best authentic taste of Tibetan culture combined with Nepalese culture. The trek aspires to provide and make everyone understand the Buddhist culture flourishing and sustaining in the Himalayan kingdom. Come over to the Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal and get closer to nature every single day while enjoying the gifts of nature.
Upper Mustang Region is one of the rain-shadow areas of Nepal and the best time to visit the region is still a mystery for most travelers worldwide. But, according to most travelers from their personal experiences, the time between September and November is the best time to travel to Upper Mustang. The season is dry, and the visibility is high. You don’t need to worry about most things during this particular time. Some people also consider March to early August the best time to go on Upper Mustang Trek.