Skylark Himalayan
Trip Duration
18 days
Max. Altitude
3840 m
Starting/Ending Point
Kathmandu/Kathmandu

Trip Overview

The Upper Mustang trek leads you to the ultimate gateway of the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also known as Lo. Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire and is therefore closely tied to Tibet in culture, language and geography. The regions isolation from the outside world has contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature. Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif creating a ruggedly arid land surrounded by rocks in all kind of colors and impressive formations. The Mustang also denotes the entire district along the Kali Gandaki from the Tibetan border south to Ghasa whose district headquarters are in Jomsom, at about the centre of the district. The restricted area of Tibetan influence that was opened for outsiders only after 1991 lies north of Kagbeni and Nepalese refer to it as Upper Mustang. Villages in this area are some hours apart and emerge at a distance almost as mirages. ‘Lo’ refers to Upper Mustang and its capital is called Manthang, which in Tibetan means ‘plain of aspiration’, and people call it Lo Manthang, which is surrounded by giant wall. This trek offers the beautiful craggy landscape and spectacular views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri including many others like Mustang Himal, Tilicho peak, Tuche peak. And you will get chance to learn about the culture of Tibetan Buddhist.

The journey to Upper Mustang starts with a breathtaking flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and the actual trek starts from there. The flight is an adventure in itself flying through the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki, over the route of Annapurna Circuit trek and grants us some thrilling scenery. Heading north, we pass between the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna massifs with impressive views of Dhaulagiri on the left before landing on the airstrip of Jomsom.

As we kick off from Jomsom, the trial goes along the river valley past Eklai Bhatti and, shortly after, to the green oasis of Kagbeni. From Kagbeni the restricted area of Upper Mustang starts. After that, you pursue the trail that traverses labyrinth of narrow alleys Tangbe and leave behind some unapproachable caves in the monsoon on the way to Chele where the people keep sheep horns on their doorways. Trekking in Mustang is a great option during the monsoon months (June-August) as the region is in the rain shadow.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu. (O/nt Altitude 1400m approx.).

Arrival in Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport), transfer from airport by private bus to Kathmandu Guesthouse or equivalent. Free evening, short pre-tour briefing before dinner.

Day 2: In Kathmandu.

Guided tour around Kathmandu, which includes visits to places listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some historic and religious significance, such as Pashupatinath, Boudhanath & Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Hindu temples, Old palaces (in and around Durbar Square Area) and inner-city market squares.

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara. (6 hrs drive from Kathmandu)

After breakfast drive to Pokhara which takes 6 hrs from Kathmandu, it will stop on the way for lunch and short time for seeing view and rest.

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom (2760m) (25mins. Approx.) and trek to Kagbeni (2800m) (4hrs. approx.)

We take off early in the morning into the hub of the Annapurna region to the gateway of the Kali Gandaki River, renowned for the deepest gorge in the world, 3 times larger than the Grand Canyon, and land on the mountain airstrip of Jomsom, the administrative headquarters for Mustang district. After taking lunch in one of the lodges, we commence our trek on an open trail alongside a beautiful valley. We pass through Eklai Bhatti village before reaching Kagbeni, a green oasis at the intersection of the Jhong River and the Kali Gandaki.

Day 5: Kagbeni to Chele (3100m) (7hrs. approx)

We get our permits checked then begin our trek on a trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River. We walk on sand amidst strong winds before ascending on a hill. We reach the Tangbe Village, the labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. We continue our walk and pass Gompa Village and reach Chhuksang Village at the confluence of the Narsingh River and cross a river either wading or hopping from boulder to boulder. Next, we walk on a ridge before reaching Chele Village. The cultural transformation from the Manangi to that of Tibetan is distinctly evident in this village, where most of the houses have unique sheep horns above the doorways and many twigs in the shape of a cross with threads in five colors woven in a diamond- shaped pattern, known as zor, supposedly used for warding off evil spirits.

Day 6: Chele to Tama Gaon (3740m) (6hrs. approx)

Today after having breakfast, we’ll continue our trek climbing uphill and downhill through huge sides of Kali Gandaki valley. After a few hours of walk, we’ll cross a high suspension bridge over Ghyakar Khola and reach Ghyakar. Further, we’ll continue our walk to the side of a steep canyon and reach the Chele La at an altitude of 3630 meters and enters a huge side valley making a long gradual descent to Samar, which is surrounded by a grove of popular trees and is famous for a horse caravan watering point. Looking around, we can still see the Annapurnas and Nilgiri in the south. The trail climbs up and down past few houses in Bhena before approaching another pass, the Yamdo La pass at 4010m. After passing over Yamdo La, descend steeply following a ridge to Shyangmochen. A brief subtle climb to the Shyangmochen La at 3850m puts you on a route that enters another huge valley which, in turn, leads you to an intersection. Head to the left to reach our overnight destination, Tama Gaon.

Day 7: Tama Gaon to Ghemi (3510m) (4hrs. approx)

Passing below Tama Gaon, follow the direct trail which later becomes a rigid climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La pass at 4020m, locally known as Jaite La. The descent from the pass is fairly gentle. But then, the trail drops steeply to Ghemi, a large settlement distinguished by scores of white washed houses surrounded by hectares and hectares of field.

Day 8: Ghemi to Charang (3560m) (6hrs. approx)

Drop down to a bridge across the Tangmarchu and climb up onto a broad plain. What we’re going to witness now is quite remarkable- An undisputed contender for the longest prayer wall in Nepal, more than 400m long, about 2.5 m tall mani wall adorned by the hues of mountains reflecting on its surface. Beyond the mani wall, the trail climbs a rocky channel, and then traverses to the Choya La pass at 3870m. Later, gently descend and ramble across the fields to Charang.

Day 9: Charang to Lo Manthang (3840m) (4.5 hrs. approx)

We begin our trek by descending to a canyon and cross a river before beginning our uphill trek to Lo La pass which at 3950m. From the top of the pass we can admire the beautiful Lo Manthang village. A short descent from Lo advances you to a trail that crosses a stream and climbs up on the plateau of the walled city of Lo Manthang, the entrance of which is at the northeastern corner. From here the views of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak as well as Damodar Kunda (pond) is quite good. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.

Day 10: In Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang is untouched since the 14th century. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. doors of most houses open onto a two storey open central courtyard and the floors are used as the storage space. A jagged log leads to the roof surrounded by enormous stacks of juniper twigs and firewood. There are four major temples within the periphery of the city walls and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborated mandalas painted on the walls, and others Thubchen Gompa, Chodey Gompa and Choprang Gompa. Within the city and one of these, the king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout the kingdom. Savour the breathtaking views of the Annapurnas, take a walk to Namgyal Gompa, ‘the monastery of victory, situated in a spectacular setting atop a deserted ridge. Your first overnight in the lodge of Mustang on full board meals.

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13: Lo Manthang to Ghemi (3510m) (7hrs. approx)

While making our way back to Ghemi, we take an alternative high route through monastery at Lo Gekar heading west, contouring the top of the valley and climbing gradually to the Marang La pass (4050m) amidst the landscapes that are exceptionally gorgeous. After we get into the village of Lo Ghekar, the trail descend to reach grassy pastures on which Ghar Gompa stands, which looks more like a house than a Gompa and is surrounded by basic living quarters for monks and pilgrims. This Gompa is festooned with paintings and statues and has numerous large prayer wheels as well. We keep on the route to our next pass, the Mu-I La, pass through alpine meadows, drop steeply down a rocky path through fluted red and purple cliffs, into an eroded channel, eventually leading us to Dhakmar, meaning ‘Red Crag’. The surroundings here are relatively fine looking and the remaining hour’s walk back to Ghemi is one of the most pleasant paths in the whole Kingdom.

Day 14: Ghemi to Chele (3100m) (7hrs. approx) Chele to Kagbeni (2800m) (4hrs. approx) Kagbeni to Jomsom (2760m) (4hrs. approx)

Continue to retrace back to Jomsom from Ghemi passing through Tamagaon, Shyangmochen and Samar making the night stops at Chele and Kagbeni, and the following day the descent to Eklai Bhatti eventually leads us to Jomsom where you have ample time to relax.

Day 15:

Day 16:

Day 17: Fly back to Pokhara & In Pokhara (25mins.)

We take an early morning flight back to Pokhara where you can relax sitting by the Phewa Lake with the magnificent backdrop views of Annapurna range, including the Fish-tail summit of Machhapuchchhre or indulge in shopping and recreation. You can also visit some famous landmarks of the city.

Day 18: Flight to Kathmandu (30 mins.)

The very next day, we take a flight back to the capital. Time permitting, you can roam around the inner sections of the city, make a visit to the numerous temples and shrines. Finally, make preparations for your flight out of Kathmandu.

Important Information

Include:

  • Arrival/Departure
  • 1 day tour in Kathmandu
  • All Private transport
  • PKR-Jomsom-PKR & PKR-KTM by flight
  • Guide for all tour/Trek
  • Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • All meals in trekking
  • Porters
  • Tea house Accommodation
  • All permits (Restricted area permits)

Exclude:

  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals at Kathmandu
  • Tipping
  • Personal equipment
  • International flight

Cost:
USD 1800 per person
Single supplementary: USD 300

Trekking season in Nepal: The usual trekking season starts from September to May. During the remainder of the year, Monsoon makes travelling difficult due to wet areas and offers little in the way of mountain views. Some treks that cross high passes are better attempted in months other than December and January because of the heavy snowfall in some parts of the country. The temperature rises considerably under altitudes of 3000 ft. in April and May in some parts of the country, therefore it is wise to plan accordingly.

Teahouses in mountain: Teahouses are in the mountains where you will be staying are simple yet hospitable with good enough food and stunning views. Compare to city area teahouses are very basic but after 5-6 hours walking in the mountain you will relish the comfort. Most of these lodges have 08-to 12 room can sleep 15 to 20 people, with good food and fairly high hygiene levels. The basics of conversation and ecology are now being practiced with some success.

Guide and Porters: All guides who work with Skylark Himalayan have considerable local experience. The guide concern is his group’s welfare, health, safety and he aims to ensure you are relaxed while providing the best possible food and accommodation. And he’ll also strive to earn your friendship and will be keen for you to come to know and love Nepal.
And all the guides who work with Skylark Himalayan have guiding license from Nepal government, basic first aid training from red cross Nepal, wilderness training from SOLO outdoor school (locally known Initiative Outdoor), Child protection training and others.
Most porter come from rural areas and a farmers for 6 to 7 months of the year. These porter work hard and with care and have aims to progress into guides. Typically they live hard and frugal lives and they are used to carrying heavy loads.

Meals-Food on mountain region of Nepal
A large variety of food is found in the mountain region during trek. Even our clients say there is better food in mountain than in hotels of city. The food variations are defendant on the culture and region background but the tea-house have a menu and they do have varieties of food. Some common day meal is follow:
Breakfast
Porridge, eggs any style-usually scrambled, boiled or fried eggs, toast local bread (Gurung bread), chapatti (Indian flat bread), honey or peanut butter, organic fresh tea, coffee and many more.
Lunch
In many regions, the chief will provide a simple common hot meal in lunch. That could be potatoes, noodles, curry, salad, rice and lentil, fresh meat, vegetables and fruits. Sometimes when walking through high passes, there will be a packed lunch which may consist of common packed able lunch like bread with jam and honey, sandwich, boiled eggs, fruits, chocolates, bottle of juice. While arriving to teahouses there will be tea, coffee.
Dinner
With basic equipment they manage to make excellent cake, apple tarts, pizzas, fried potatoes, chips, spaghetti, pasta. Chefs in tea-houses are well trained in producing a variety of food and almost always ready to serve the food of specific request.
While trekking in Nepal our chefs, and assistant guide are well trained to serve and take order of the food in hygienically way. Vegetarian and vegan meals are easily catered for.

Transportation: Skylark Himalayan using a best transport company for our clients. Before departing on a trip, we using vehicle, we always check insurance of vehicle, good condition of vehicle (seatbelt, seat, wheel, looking glass, all windows etc.), Driver (driver attitude, make sure drunk or not, smartness, driving speed etc.)

Airlines: In Nepal, we have more than 10 Airlines Company but at Skylark Himalayan we only use 3 airlines which we recognize at the most reliable, safest, good companies, 1 airline company (Tara Air) for rural area like short length runway. And another 2 airlines companies (Yeti airlines & Buddha Airlines) for urban area like Pokhara, Kathmandu, Chitwan etc.

Insurance: As strongly recommended by Skylark Himalayan Travel to the clients agree to effect what they consider to be adequate Travel Insurance to cover their person and their personal effects for duration of the tours, Trekking, Rafting or any of activities in Nepal

Health and Safety: Fundamentally we have experienced staffs that have been trained in how to look after clients safely, and what to do in the event of an emergency. Almost all the company’s staffs are experienced, all leaders have done advanced first-aid training from Initiative Outdoor school, Nepal (authorized by SOLO WILDERNESS MEDICINE SCHOOL), Child Protection training, and they are well aware of the high standards that we want in maintain. We also have strong relationships with local communities, health care facilities

Responsible Travel: Skylark Himalayan completely follow tall rules, regulation and code of Nepal responsible trek organizer of responsible tourism. Responsible tourism is an action based on a sustainable idea. We work under eco-friendly environment and we want you to follow and help to save the environment. Skylark Himalayan are keen to preserve and protect the historical places and mountain to show the value of those things to coming generation.
Skylark Himalayan Travel are always aware to operate tours, trekking and other activities in eco- touristic destination to preserve natural and cultural heritages. Skylark Himalayan always aim to make extensive use of the local available products to help local communities. Skylark Himalayan staffs and guides are also employed from local communities, which helps more authentic experience for travellers. We believe that all the staffs including guide, porter, Sherpa are the back bone of organization so its our responsibility to make them happy by providing protections insurance, good salary and outdoor gear. So that, they are happy to serve good service. Without them organization can't serve the costumer need.

Customizing a Trip: The itineraries of all the trips on our website have been organized and put together by us however it does not mean you have to follow the program. If you have your own itinerary or you want to add or decrease number of days or place, we are more than happy to design your own unique itinerary with your entire favorite elements. Choice is yours with the flexibility of our tailor made itineraries.

For the more advice, please contact us via e-mail or telephonically – contact details below.

Skylark Himalayan Travel & Treks
Lakeside-6-Pokhara, Nepal
Contact no: 061-464946
Mobile: +977-9856010460 / 9801050460
Whatapps: +9779801050460
Skype: tara.gautam2
E-mail: sales@skylarkhimalayantravel.com
skylarkhimalayan@gmail.com

Visa Information: Nepal Government makes things easy for foreign travellers. The easiest way to get a tourist visa in Nepal is by applying on arrival in Kathmandu at international airport (TIA) or at any of the land border crossing open to foreigners (each has immigration offices). But you can also apply in advance at one of Nepal's foreign consulates from abroad.
There are three options for the length of a tourist visa (for south Asian country, the first 30 days is free.  The cost of visa is depending upon the days you stay. The multiple-entry visa valid for 15, 30 and 90 days costs $25, 40 and 100 USD. It is good idea to keep a number of passport photos with your passport. Indian passport holder doesn’t need a visa to enter Nepal.

Visa Extensions
You can extend your visa from immigration office in only Kathmandu and Pokhara up to 150 days per calendar year. It will cost $30 USD for 15 days and $2 USD per day after 15 days. Visa extension required your passport, the fees, one passport sized photo and an application form to complete the process.

And for more information about visa please click below link: https://www.welcomenepal.com/plan-your-trip/visa-nepal-information.html

Feedback Please: If you have any complains to report, comments or any question about the trip (food, tea-house, guide, porter, management of office or anything) you took with Skylark Himalayan, please send us your feedback because we would like to solve problems that arise uplift our company. If you don't have a specific question, we’re always eager to hear what visitors think of this company.

High Altitude Sickness:

1) What is altitude sickness?

  • Altitude sickness is a negative health effect of high altitude on ones health, caused by acute exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high altitude.
  • The exact cause of AMS is not exactly known. It is thought to be a response of the brain to the lower oxygen levels in the blood at higher altitudes. This produces some swelling of the brain.

2) Acute mountain sickness (AMS)

  • AMS is also called altitude sickness.
    Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is the effect on the body of being in a high altitude environment. Especially while people are trekking around the Himalayas they face problem related to moving in high altitude areas. AMS is common at high altitudes, that is above 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Three-quarters of people have mild symptoms of AMS over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The occurrence of AMS depends on the altitude, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility and activeness.

3) Acute mountain sickness common symptoms?
Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at altitude and include

  • Headache (not relieved by medication)
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased coordination (Normal activity is difficult.)
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Disturbed sleep
  • General feeling of malaise.
  • Inability to walk
  • Decreasing mental status
  • Fluid build-up in the lungs
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty in urination

#These symptoms tend to be worse at night when respiratory drive is decreased.

4) Prevention of AMS?

  • Take special care if you have previously had acute mountain sickness (AMS).
  • If symptoms of AMS develop, delay further ascent.
  • If symptoms become worse, move down (descend) as soon as possible.

5) Treatment of AMS?

  • The most important treatment if you start to develop symptoms of mild AMS is to stop your ascent and to rest at the same altitude
  • For most people, symptoms will improve within 24-48 hours with no specific treatment.
  • Simple painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol will help the headache.
  • Anti-sickness medication may also be used. (Acetazolamide)
  • Treatment with oxygen and the medicine nifedipine may also help symptoms but does not replace the need for descent.

Note- all the trekking leaders and guide from skylark Himalayan are well trained about altitude sickness, AMS and other related sickness in mountain. You should mention, if you previously have any health problem.

TREKKING SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT
(Up to 5,500 m.)

  • 1 Pair strong mountain / hiking boots (well worn-in and with ankle support)
  • 1 Small daypack
  • 1 Sleeping bag (comfortable to -10C)
  • 1 Down jacket / all weather Anorak
  • 1 Light water & windproof jacket
  • 2 - 1-litre water bottles
  • 1 Inner sleeping sheet (?)
  • 1 Torch / flashlight & spare batteries
  • 1 Medium sized travel towel (quick drying)
  • 1 Washing kit:  include Personal toiletries
  • Talcum powder, Blister plasters, Toilet paper
  • Bio degradable soap / shampoo
  • Anti-bacterial gel for 'washing' hands
  • First-Aid kit (please make sure it is trek and wilderness specific) and any personal medication
  • 1 Pair sport shoes/sandals (for the time off the trek)
  • 2 Pairs lightweight trousers
  • 2 Pair shorts
  • 1 Fleece / warm sweater
  • 1 Sweatshirt / light sweater
  • 2 T-Shirts
  • 2 Long sleeve cotton (or polypropylene) shirts
  • 3 Pairs heavy wool socks
  • 2 Pairs light socks
  • Walking poles
  • Underwear (including thermals)
  • Cotton Headscarf / bandanna
  • Sunglasses (with side shields and UV protective lenses) and sunhat
  • Sunscreen Lotion (30-50 SPF), Money belt (?)
  • Warm hat and gloves (preferably waterproof)
  • 3 to 4 Plastic bags (for wrapping clothes)
  • Water purification tablets/ solutions (preferably iodine)
  • Insect repellant
  • Adapter plug (for charging camera batteries and other electronic devices)