Mustang Trekking

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Trekking Mustang
Those passionate trekkers have not completed the trekking circuit of the world if they have not hiked in Mustang of Nepal. The astonishing feat of this trek is all about pure desolate rugged terrain mostly devoid of vegetation on a high plateau. It is a mixture of history and culture – it housed a vital trade route between India and Tibet.
Those who love hostile conditions on treks – this is one specially for you. It is cold and windy. The ethnics groups that you sample along the Mustang trek are the Thakalis, Gurungs and Tibetans, as this area still houses the medieval capital city of this area; Lo Manthang. You are retracing a part of history by this trek and how people did trade in the good old days.

 

 

The Trek in Mustang
The trek begins in earnest, after having reached Kagbeni from Jomsom and Pokhara. The first stop of the trek is Chhuksang via the Kali Gandaki River bed route, over boulders, you get to view the broken castles and caves in the nearby hills. The following day’s stop is at Samar after having got the pleasure of stealing sights of some Gompas  and Nilgiri peak. From there, it is the hike onto Geling where you can see Gompas house historical tangkas (religious paintings). Then we trek onto Tramar where the cliffs take on a hue of white, red and grey. Then we hit Tsarang and Lhomantang where we spend two day basking in the historical city and understanding how life was back then.
It is our return journey from here, back via another route. We hike back via Dhie, Yara, Tange, Tetang and Muktinath and finally back to Jomsom each being a part of historical usage back in the salt and silk trade periods.
The hike is a calling in itself; more historical in nature where we get to feel how the denizens of the area helped to keep commerce and trade alive by retaining civilization in such hostile places on earth and adapting to it. On the other hand, the trek is not as arduous as the other ones in Nepal as the terrain is mostly straight not reaching an elevation of more than 3500 metres along the trek to Mustang.

1. Day One Arrival at Kathmandu (1400m)

You will be met at Tribhuwan International Airport by a representative of Green Lotus Trekking holding a welcome placard and token for your overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu and to freshen up. Prior to dinner a briefing will be held. You could spend the rest of the day resting or wandering around the city of Kathmandu sightseeing.

2. Day Two – Drive to Pokhara (823m) – (Approx 6 hour’s drive)

We set off for Pokhara the bustling tourist lake side city at 7am through the countryside of Nepal which will give you a firsthand glimpse of what you are about to encounter in the mid-hills of the country before you actually get to the arid lands of Mustang. The remaining half the day you could explore the bounties of the city. O/N stay at lodge.

3. Day Three – Flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2858m) – (Approx 4 hour’s trek)

The first hour of the day is taken by your flight to Jomson giving you a taste of the higher Himalayas. On touchdown you will be meet by the porters and guides and your trek begins in earnest to your first stop, Kagbeni which lies at the confluence of two rivers, Kak Khola and Mustang Khola. Khola in Nepali means large stream. O/N stay at lodge.

4. Day Four – Kagbeni  (2810) -to Muktinath (3720m) and return to Kagebeni 6 hrs

Acclimatization day with side trip to Muktinath.

5. Day Five – To Chele (3050m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)

The day’s trek begins with a check for the special permit and then we continue along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River passing through scenic flora and fauna. The trail goes up and down hills till the village of Tangbe.  From here, we trek towards Chhusang and after crossing the river; it becomes an amalgamation of red chucks of fallen rocks forming tunnels with the river flowing through them. We eventually get to the village of Chele. O/N stay at lodge.

6. Day Six – To Syanbochen (3475m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)

In today’s trek, we first get to Eklo Bhatti and then climb to Taklam La Pass (3624m) via plateaus and narrow stretches getting wonderful glimpses of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. We further go down to the village of Samar after where the trails begins to climb to a ridge and descend steeply to a stream. Another three hours of trekking takes us to Syanbochen. O/Nstage at Lodge.

7. Day Seven – To Ghaymi (3520m) – (Approx 5 hour’s trek)

The day’s trek begins with an ascend uphill to Yamda La (3850m) passing some tea houses, chortens and local hamlets in the Tibetan style. Th  cven we cross some mountain passes and climb to Nyi Pass (4010m). We slowly descend to Ghayam to spend the night there.

8. Day Eight – To Charang (3500m) – (Approx 5 hour’s trek)

The day’s trek begins with a pleasant walk to Ghaymi Khola which is crossed and the trail continues on a plateau lined with mani walls, sacred boulders of Buddhism. This trail ends in the village of Charang through the Tsarang Chu Canyon.

9. Day Nine – To Lo-Mangthang (3700m) – (Approx 6 hours trek)

Today’s trek is to the ancient city of Lo-Mangthang perched on the plateau of isolation in a world of its own. On the way, we get wonderful views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti Peaks, but first the trail descends to Charang Chu Canyon and ascends steeply on crossing a river. It further ascends gently through a windy pass called Lo from where you can see the Lo-Mangthang Valley. On ascending the City built in Tibetan style comes into view like a mirage. O/N stay at lodge.

10. Day Ten – Exploration of Lo-Mangthang

Today, we get the chance to explore the treasure trove of the isolated city and the goodies it has to offer. We first begin by visiting the Gompa on the top of the hill that serves as an important monastery and a local court for the folks back in the city. Then it is a tour of Tingkhar, the final village in Nepal before the Tibetan border. If not, then you opt to visit Champa Lakhang, taken as God’s own house. And, then it is the Raja’s Palace, if its doors are open for you, it gives wonderful sights of the surrounding Himalayas.

11. Day Eleven – To Drakmar (3810m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)

Our trek heading home takes us via a new route. We first trek to Drakmar through Gyarkar which is said to have a 1200 year old Ghar Gompa with a Guru Rinpoche as the main figure which is famous for its rock paintings. It is believed that if anyone makes a wish here, it is fulfilled.

12. Day Twelve – To Ghilling (3806m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)

Today’s trek takes us to Ghiling that takes 6 hours of walking time. We get there in time to enjoy lunch and explore the windy dusty area which is natural of a cold desert.

13. Day Thirteen – To Chhuksang (3050m) – (Approx 6 hour’s trek)

Today’s trek returns us to the trail which started in to Chhuksang. It is on this hike that you would get wonderful views of the Himalaya Mountains. It is a much enjoyable and refreshing walk at this period of time.

14. Day Jomsom – To Jomsom (2700m) – (Approx 7 hour’s trek)

Today’s trek which heads home first takes us to Kagbeni where we join the normal Annapurna trail and then head for Jomsom. In case you have a day to spare the guide might take you to Muktinath as well. O/N stay at lodge.

15. Day Fifteen – Flight to Pokhara (923m)

Today we take a flight to Pokhara where after booking into our lodge, we would have ample time to explore the goodies that the famed lakeside city has to offer.

16. Day Sixteen – fly  to Kathmandu (1400m)

After breakfast and fly to Kathmandu. Transfer to your hotel and rest day at leisure for shopping or others.

17. Day Sixteen – Farewell.

The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you to Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.

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What is the best time of year to trek?
You can find good places to trek somewhere in the Himalayas at anytime of the year. However for most regions the best time is from October to May, with Oct-Nov having best weather for trekking. During the autumn nights are cold in the high Himalaya, but the bright sun makes for pleasant daytime temperature (20 degree centigrade to 5 centigrade in the night). Above 3500m temperature range goes down to -10 degree centigrade, and in winter (Dec-Jan) it is about 10 degrees colder.

How fit do I have to be to do a trek?
Whilst you do not need to be super-fit, you need to be fit enough to comfortably walk for 5-6 hours per day in the mountains on reasonable trails. Most of our customers have an interest in walking in the hills or countryside of their homeland and are used to similar daily trips.

What is a typical group size? Will I fit in?
We pride ourselves in our small group approach to Adventure Travel. Small groups allow you to share great company without crowding your experience. Our typical groups range in size from 2 up to 8. One of the attractions of such a trip is the chance to meet people with different backgrounds and personalities

What if the dates for the group treks don’t fit my itinerary?
If this is the case, we can organize a personalized trek for you. Additionally if you want to spend more time in Kathmandu before or after a trek we can organize the hotels and quote you a price.

Are your tours guaranteed to run?
If you are group of two and more the trip is guaranteed to run.

Do I need to buy special equipment?
Usually our clients simply bring their existing clothing and equipment and if necessary supplement this with some extra items purchased cheaply in Kathmandu.

What gear to bring?
Passport (with photocopies)
Photos for Nepal visa on arrival
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
Day pack for daily personal items

For Trekking:
Walking boots
Light sandals or plimsolls to wear in the lodges
2 pairs of underwear
2 pairs of walking socks
2 warm shirts/ thin fleece
1 pair of thin thermal under trousers.
Long trousers for walking (or long skirt for women)
T shirt
Shorts
Gloves (it’s cold on the Thorung La, Laurebina Pass and Cho La)
Warm hat which covers your ears (for the Kali Gandaki and Thorung La – it’s windy)
Base ball cap or broad brim hat to keep the sun off (Australian Barmah recommended)
Sunglasses (vital)
Sun cream
Soap and soap dish
Small towel
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Hand sanitizing lotion
Head torch
Moisturizer, Lip balm
Tampons – hard to buy in rural areas
Ear plugs for light sleepers
Toiletries
Sheet of plastic (Use as a poncho if it rains)
1 roll of toilet paper. You can buy more on the way.
2 large plastic bag. One for smelly clothes, one for things which must be kept dry.
Small good quality padlock
Waterbottle
Iodine tablets for water purification
Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies and snack foods.

Notes. All of the trekking items are available in Kathmandu at nominal prices. However we suggest you bring hiking boots from your home country if you decided to purchase these items in Kathmandu .

Can I store stuff that I do not use on trek?
Yes, all hotels provide storage facility for free.

Do I need travel insurance?
Personal travel insurance is not included in the tour price. It is a condition of booking a tour with Green Lotus Trekking, and your responsibility to ensure for type of tours you are undertaking; the policy must include satisfactory cover for repatriation, high altitudes, trekking and climbing, and helicopter rescue. Please forward your insurance details (e.g. policy number, 24-hour emergency telephone number, name of insurance company) to Green Lotus Trekking when available.

Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?
Yes. You can apply in your home country thorough Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or obtain it at the airport on arrival by paying fee as below:

Multiple entry 15 days: US $25
Multiple entry 30 days: US $40
Multiple entry 90 days: US $100

Notes. We suggest you to bring the exact change. You also need bring 2 passport size photo.

Tourist Visa Extension
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day

Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).

Gratis (Free) Visa
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries.
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.

I am a single trekker. How does this work?
Normally single trekkers have no problems fitting in with a group. Normally single trekkers share rooms or lodges with other trekkers of the same sex, but if we have an odd-number we ensure that a room or lodge is organised accordingly.

How will my booking be processed?
To confirm your booking we will require deposit of $250 for treks and $300 for a peak climbing which can be made by bank transfer or online through paypal.com (leading transaction site). The balance is payable on arrival in Kathmandu with cash or traveler cheque. Alternatively balance can be paid by bank transfer or PayPal shortly before arriving in Kathmandu.

Beside deposit payment what information do I need to forward?
Following details is needed to process your trekking permit, national park permit, flight booking etc.

Gender:
First Name:
Last Name:
Passport number:
Expiry date:
Place of issue:
Nationality:
Date of birth:
Occupation:
Your arrival details (time, date, flight no., airlines):

All above info can be sent electronically via email.

How far do I trek each day?
You will typically walk 4-9 miles (5-8 hours) each day. Some days may be rest days for impromptu exploration. In high and steep areas, you may move more slowly. Most people begin to feel the effects of high altitude over about 2000 meters and your trekking pace is always adjusted to permit safe acclimatization. Our treks follow established trails used by local people. You will probably carry only a light day pack.

How flexible is the trekking day?
You can hike at your own pace, stopping when you wish. There is ample time to cover the necessary hiking distance each day with lots of stops. If you are on a private trek, you may wish to take more or fewer days to cover a given distance, or add in rest days. If you like to hike fast, your guide will be concerned that you acclimatize to high altitude effectively. You may wish to reach camp at a measured pace, but take a side hike after camp arrival. Your guide is always interested to learn about your personal interests and to accommodate those interests as the trip permits.

What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:

Nausea, vomiting
Loss of appetite
Insomnia/ sleeplessness
Persistent headaches
Dizziness, light headaches, confusion
Disorientation, drunken gait
Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs, slight swelling of hands and face
Breathlessness and breathing irregularly
Reduced urine output

These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for the Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.

Will I be able to deal with the high altitude?
Our itineraries are designed so that our clients ascend at a sensible and safe rate. The effects of altitude are felt by everyone, even the Sherpas, but most people find that gentle acclimatisation allows them to reach their high point without any problems.

What is teahouse and camping treks?
Tea House accommodation: There are a number of lodges along the popular trekking routes in Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. These lodges are called Tea House Lodges and managed by local people. These lodges have basic requirements for over night accommodation like private rooms, dormitories, toilets, shower room with hot and cold water, and one attached restaurant. The quality of food offered might vary from lodge to lodge but most serve simple and hygienic meals. The teahouse trekking provides you an opportunity to feel the warm hospitality of friendly Nepali hosts. The money you spend goes to the local community.

Camping Trekking
In a typical camping trekking, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent with a durable rain, fly, and full insect netting. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses. When your campsite is near villages or lodges you may be invited to sleep in the lodges or homes of local people.

What are the typical foods on the treks?
Breakfast options includes  Oatmeal,French toast,Chapatti, Tibetan bread, eggs,, pancakes,, muesli and for Lunch or dinner you can have sandwich, soups momo (dumpling), macaroni dishes, pizzas, noodles, steak, dal bhat (rice, lenthal, veg platter) pasta etc.

What is your guide like?
Our trekking guides are carefully selected for their ability and are generally from Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, and other communities from remote mountain villages. Each guide is trained and has abilities in eco-friendly trekking methods and safety. They help to maintain your health and your happiness as well as his crew members. Our guides are committed to making sure that all our trekkers have an enjoyable trek, come back safe and are overwhelmed by their experience. Your guide will be a friend and companion, who takes pleasure in showing you his country’s specialties and, perhaps, meet his home and family too.

What about the Porters?
Services of porters and pack-animals to carry your luggage and equipment are hired at the beginning of a trek to make sure that most of the costs our clients pay go directly into the local community where you trek.

How much should I tip the guides and porters?
Tipping is at your discretion but always appreciated. A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $2- 5 dollars per day for the guide and $1.5 to 3 dollars per day per porter.  The total amount can then be divided among the group.

What is your Kathmandu contact address in case if my family needs to contact me in case of emergency?
Please have them contact at any of the following numbers:
Cell : ++977-98510-32108+977-98510-32108 or 9841-250248.  Landline (office hour) 977-1-400-5037977-1-400-5037 or 444-5475.  We check email frequently throughout the days so you could also write to our email: [email protected] if it’s not urgent.