Cast your eyes north up the Kali Gandaki basin and behold the former desert Kingdom of Mustang, a starkly beautiful river valley that pours down from Tibet.
A culturally (and geopolitically) sensitive area, it wasn't until 1992 that Upper Mustang opened for trekking, and a restricted area permit is still required. More similar to Tibet in culture and landscape, it's the preserved 16th century Buddhist monasteries, the caves carved into sheer cliff walls, and the Tiji festival in Lo Manthang that draw trekkers north.
The catch: you have to buy a minimum 10-day permit for $500, and guide is required. Most trekkers fly to Jomson from Pokhara and start the trek from there. The flight itself alone is worth doing, flying above the deepest gorge in the world between Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.
Two paths run parallel on either side of the Mustang Valley which were ancient trade routes used by caravans bring salt down from Tibet in exchange for crops grown at lower elevations.
Mustang is an ancient Himalayan Kingdom which lies in the northern central part of Nepal and at the top of the Kaligandaki River. Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions: the southern part and the northern where the languages, culture and traditions are alike to those of the Tibetan people. This area is consider as one of the most interesting and picturesque places in Nepal. The whole area has an isolated and mystical feel to it, enchanting and inspiring visitors to this region.
The trek to Lo- Manthang is through high altitude desert country climbing in and out of the huge sided valley of the Kali Gandaki. In places the gorge which the Kali Gandaki River runs through is the deepest in the world. This region is full of some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, ancient and isolated villages with quaint white washed houses.
|Required Permits||ACAP, RAP|
|Trek Style||Teahouse (Remote)|