Upper Mustang Driving tour
One of the best and newly discovered area for people who like to travel in high places of Nepal. The tour is famous for landscape, culture and oldest monasteries. Upper Mustang is located in the north west from Pokhara was a forbidden place for visitors until 1992 and even when it was opened for the visitors it was not that popular as the accommodation were simple, the place is very remote and high entry fee to enter the area. After the construction of the road from Pokhara to Jomsom, the area is the eye catcher for all the visitors from around the globe.
Upper Mustang is even considered the lost part from Tibet, the last forbidden kingdom and landscape is more or less similar to Tibet and now a days Tibetan Buddhism is perfectly preserved in this area. The area is located in the rain shadow zone behind the Annapurna. It rains very little there and area can be visited even during monsoon time in Nepal.
Upper Mustang is considered a small kingdom and had king until few years ago. The capital of upper Mustang Lo-Manthang is considered as walled town of Nepal. There are three important monasteries located near by the old palace. Now there is no more king living in the palace and even the palace is ruined badly. Even the local people are not entering the palace now a days. Recently when we were there, we have seen the picture of the king and queen which they have kept in the main entrance to the palace.
Driving tour to upper Mustang gives opportunity to discover the whole Kaligandaki Valley as we drive many days on the flood plains of Kaligandaki. The world’s deepest gorge is located here. The tour also takes to the holy temple of Muktinath from 18th century constructed by queen and a famous pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhist.
The oldest survived monastery in Nepal is Lo-Gyakar monastery which supposed to be constructed at the time of Guru Rimpoche as he was travelling from Nepal to Tibet. The farmland and villages there are concentrated nearby the big water sources like bank of the river or stream. The area is quite windy and dusty during the afternoon time.
108 chambered Chhoser cave dzong is of unparallel beauties as this is the biggest man-made cave and resided cave in the world.
The apple capital of Nepal, Marpha is one of the beautiful villages with horticulture station. Visiting the monastery and the village itself is of great fun.
The cave temple of Luri Gumba above the Yara Village is of great religious importance to all the local Buddhist community.
Upper Mustang driving Tour itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu, visiting the famous monuments of Kathmandu which includes Swoyambhunath, Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath.
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Day 4: Drive from Pokhara to Thasang/ Marpha
Day 5: Discover Muktinath and drive to Kagbeni and overnight at Kagbeni
Day 6: Drive from Kagneni to Ghami in route stop at Ghiling to discover the village of Ghiling
Day 7: Drive from Ghami to Lo-Manthang with in route visit to Ghar Gumba (Lo- Gyakar Monastery) and Tshrang, discover the old palace and monastery from Tshrang.
Day 8: Discover Lo-Manthang and Chhoser (A full day tour around Lo-Manthang)
Day 9: Drive from Lo-Manthang to Kagbeni in route visit to Luri Gumba and overnight at Kagbeni
Day 10: Drive from Kagbeni to Tatopani and discover and take advantage of hot water springs of Tatopani.
Day 11: Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara and sightseeing at Pokhara
Day 12: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 14: Departure from Kathmandu
There are like two categories of the tour
The transport and guide remain the same but the accommodations are cheaper
The hotels we use through out the tour will be of top end
Price of these tours
Budget tour cost $2500 per person
Deluxe tour cost $4500 per person
All accommodation is on twin sharing basis and there must be at least two persons to run the tours. There will be single supplement for solo travelers.
What’s included in the price
Mustang travel permit which is $500 per person
Round trip private transfer in a 4WD Scorpio Jeep
An English-speaking professional guide for the whole trip
All meals during the Mustang tour except Kathmandu and Pokhara
Twin sharing accommodation in guest house for budget tour and available best resort and hotel for deluxe tour
ACAP entry fee
Monument entry fee for sightseeing in Kathmandu
What is not included in the tour price
International flight ticket, Nepal entry Visa (one can get upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu)
Meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara except breakfast
Tips to the driver and guide
Any type of insurance and other extra cost due to any unforeseen reasons
The best time to do this tour
From October to December and March to May
In July August also we do operate the tour but the lower part might be muddy and the road might be blocked by the landslide and we might need to change the itinerary.
There is an airport in Jomsom so one can opt to take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and fly back to Pokhara with visits concentrated just for Upper Mustang.
Weather in upper Mustang
As a rain shadow area, the Mustang weather remains pretty clear most of the days but the lower part to reach the upper Mustang area is with heavy rains and the road also not paved so in rainy season one need to be flexible to walk little bit if blockage occurs.
The temperature goes down drastically during the winter and summer months day temperature will be even more than 25 degrees.