Things you should know before going on Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang Trek permit
Upper Mustang is closed to any foreign visitors up until 1992 to protect and preserve its rich culture and raw nature. Now, you have to take special permission from the government to go on a trek in this region. Announcing the entire region into a restricted area has helped a lot to maintain the lifestyle and practices there.
The permit is expensive to get, and only a handful of visitors travel to Upper Mustang every year. It cost USD 500 for the first 10 days. After that, each day will cost USD 50. Plus, you will only get this permit if you are traveling with a local trekking agency.
Upper Mustang Trek difficulty
Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate trek. The dry and windy climate makes the trek a little difficult. Plus, the high altitude also is one of the things to be careful of because it can lead to altitude sickness aka Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). The terrain is not like any other famous treks of Nepal. Therefore, a well-made itinerary and proper guidance are needed to successfully complete Upper Mustang Trek.
Upper Mustang Trek weather
Monsoon (June to September) is the best time to go on Upper Mustang Trekking. As the region lies in the rain shadow area, there is little to no rain during these months. Moreover, the famous Tiji festival that happens at this time also attracts tourists. Other than this, you can go on Upper Mustang Trek in Autumn (October to November). Also, know that the locals here are seasonal migrants who move to lower altitudes during the winter. Therefore, you might have to face problems with accommodation in the month of November.
Upper Mustang Trek map
You can check our Upper Mustang Trek Map to know the villages you are going to stay during the trek. The map will help you to understand the route more efficiently. You can also get a hardcopy of the Upper Mustang Trek map to take it with yourself on the trek.
Food & Accommodation during Upper Mustang Trek
Nowadays, you can find a guesthouse throughout the trail. The guesthouse is like staying overnight with a local family in one of their rooms that is made ready for the trekkers. The rooms are simple and minimal with more chances of the common washroom.
As Upper Mustang is influenced by Tibetan culture and tradition, the kitchen is like a living room, where everyone sits and chit chat. You can find a good blend of Nepali and Tibetan food on the trail.
Things you will get to see & experience during the Upper Mustang Trek
Scenic flights in/out of Jomsom
Jomsom is the starting point of the Upper Mustang Trek. A short and scenic flight from Kathmandu leads to Jomsom. During the flight, you can see an aerial view of the lush green hills, rivers, small settlements, and Himalayan mountains.
Gorgeous landscape and stunning Himalayan Mountains views
Upper Mustang Trek presents a dry, barren, and arid landscape. The big meadows, unique rocks, and barren hills all together create scenery, unlike any other place. Likewise, the white-washed houses add a splash of color to its surroundings. Similarly, the Himalayan mountains like Annapurna range (8,091 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061 m), Mt. Tukuche (6,920 m), and many other mountains increases the beauty of the region.
Follow the ancient salt caravan route
Upper Mustang used to be the trade route between Nepal and Tibet back in time. Locals from both nations used to use this route to move in and out of each place. During the trek, you will follow the same ancient salt caravan route that once used to trade salt for grain.
Last forbidden kingdom, Lo Manthang
Lo Manthang, the walled city is the capital of the Mustang region. Stepping into Lo Manthang is like stepping into a completely different world that we live in. It is like traveling back in time, where you will see narrow alleyways, hidden chortens, long mani walls, ancient prayer wheel, and herds of animals in the huge open fields.
There is a lot to explore in Lo Manthang. The royal palace, where still the royal family resides, Thugchen Gompa-built in the 15th century, Amchi museum, and Amchi school are the places you must visit in Lo Manthang. Amchi is a traditional Tibetan doctor who is also the official doctor of the king.
Ancient Culture & Tradition
Upper Mustang Trek offers rich culture and tradition of the locals that are handed to one generation to another over decades. People residing in this region are Lobas and follow Buddhism. Locals here call themselves descendants of Tibetans, therefore you get to see the influence of Tibetan Buddhism and lifestyle.
Visit Namgyal Gompa & Tingkhar
Located on a hilltop, Namgyal Gompa is a very important monastery and server as a local court. After visiting this gompa, you head to the last village of the region located on the northwest of Lo Manthang, Tingkhar for a short excursion.
Small Monastery & Centuries-old Caves
Outside of Lo Manthang, you can visit Chhoser, where you visit a small old monastery. You will also get to see century-old caves situated in high rocks. Moreover, you can see caves in other places as well during the trek.