Trekking is one of the most popular activities in Nepal. Among the many popular destinations, Mustang is one of them.
Mustang is popular as a mystique valley and the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal. And, is also known as a ‘Mini Tibet of Nepal’. This heavenly place has many things on offer. You can do many things on the Mustang trip.
This place has become a popular place for a trek and liked by many over the past years.
Mustang lies in the altitude of 3,840 meters in the North-West part of Nepal. Annapurna and Nilgiri mountain range extends across the northern part.
This beautiful land has two major divisions ie. Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang. Upper Mustang is popular for adventurous trekking while the lower Mustang is famous for its natural scenery.
The place is rich in vegetation. Apple fields and rhododendron forests add to the beauty of Mustang.
Upper Mustang trek offers a chance to explore the thousand years old monastery, caves, local tribes, and scenic beauties of landscapes.
In the past, Mustang district used to be the best place for trekking on foot or riding horses. Plus, a route that directs to the Tibet.
Later over the years, road construction began. And, now there are many things that you can do like tours, biking and of course the age-old tradition of horse riding.
Along the entire journey to Mustang, the travelers can enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, local villages, and historical Buddhist shrines.
Now, let us give you a guideline of things that you can do while visiting Mustang.
Table of Contents
- Walkthrough Jomsom
- Explore Marpha – The town of Apple Orchards
- Visit old settlement and monastery of Kagbeni
- Explore amazing wall and sky caves in Chhusang
- Walk past the Deepest Gorge
- Witness the Nepali Grand Canyon from Chele
- Trekking and Hiking
- Adventurous Sports
- Upper Mustang jeep Safari tour
- Horse riding tour of Upper Mustang
- Try local cuisines
- Celebrate Tiji festival
- Visit monastery and Chorten
- Visit Chungsi cave
- Discover Lo Manthang City, Monastery, and Royals
- Take pictures of the landscape, wildlife, and Himalayan settlements
- Day trip to Chhoser
- Witness desert vegetation around the Himalayas
- Enjoy snowfall
- Religious tour to Muktinath temple
The trek to Mustang starts after landing at Jomsom Airport. You can also drive to Kagbeni from Pokhara via Marpha and Jomsom.
Flying from the middle of the two 8000m peaks the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri is a great experience. This place is at an altitude of 2800 m.
It spreads over the banks of Kali Gandaki. It also happens to be the area’s base camp. It has a remote station, a police headquarters, a bank, a doctors facility.
Jomsom has a landing strip from where the flights take off and land. It serves 6-8 flights every day. The strong winds that blow up the valley prevent flights from taking off from Jomsom after 11 a.m.
Jomsom is also a place to use as a base for exploring the upper part of the Kali Gandaki region. There are many accommodation options including a new high-class resort complex.
You can walk around this place to witness the daily activities of the mountain people.
Explore Marpha – The town of Apple Orchards
Marpha lies in the Trans-Himalayan rain shadow zone and remains pretty much untouched by an intense storm of lower belts.
For the most part, the town is a settlement area of the Mawatan Thakalis. Its economy is dependent upon farming, animals, tourism, and work in outside nations.
Marpha is unique for its many-storied old stone houses, built by hand.
It is also famous for the delicious apples grown in the lush valley that follows between the Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges.
While these are some of the intriguing factors, one of the coolest things that catch everyone’s attention is the stacks of split firewood. You can see those stacks lined at the edges of the flat roofs of every house in town.
Visit old settlement and monastery of Kagbeni
Kagbeni is the gateway to upper Mustang. You can stay in one of the hotels to explore the junction of Muktinath and the Kali Gandaki river.
Every year, many Hindu people visit this connection to pray to god and to pay homage to their ancestors.
Added, you can also discover more than 500 years old monastery and the age-old Kagbeni Village.
Explore amazing wall and sky caves in Chhusang
Chusang village is a small settlement located on the upper mustang trekking route. The village rests in between Tangbe and Chele.
It has a colorful surrounding with the gigantic red, orange and silver gray cliffs. And the place has the remnants of cave dwellings and the ancient history of the place.
You can see huge organic apple garden at Tangbe on the way to Chusang and other farming lands too. It is an active farming community.
Walk past the Deepest Gorge
The origin of Kaligandaki River is in the Mustang district. This river makes the second deepest gorge in the country.
The river drains the rocky soil and highlands of mustang and flows towards the south of the country. This gorge is another attraction of Mustang Nepal.
Witness the Nepali Grand Canyon from Chele
Trekkers have to walk 45 minutes uphill to reach the Chele after crossing a small metal bridge over Kaligandaki River.
Near the village, there is an amazing place to see which is very like the grand canyon of the USA.
Stop and take time to grasp the beauty of nature and do not forget to take pictures for memories. This is definitely one of the things to do in Mustang.
Trekking and Hiking
Trekking and hiking in upper Mustang are one of the main things to do in Mustang.
At present, there are gravel roads till Lo Manthang and Korala. If you want to get the closest real image of Mustang, go for trekking to the Trans Himalayan plateau.
Mustang is famous for adventure sports such as cycling, rock climbing, horse riding and mountain biking.
Due to expensive restricted area permit, very few foreign travelers visit this area by mountain biking.
But among the local adventure lovers, mountain biking to the upper mustang is becoming popular and frequent these days.
Upper Mustang jeep Safari tour
An adventurous overland journey to Lo Manthang is possible from Kathmandu or Pokhara. This adventure provides you with life experience.
The advantage of traveling with a private jeep is you can stop between the journey to take a picture and observe the beauty.
This safari tour is appropriate for a family with kids and elders as well.
Horse riding tour of Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang is an ideal and popular destination for horse riding tour in Nepal.
Horse riding is one of the unique things to do on the high Himalayan desert of Upper Mustang.
The locals organize an excursion day tour from Lo Manthang to Chhoser in a horse during the upper mustang trek. Horses are tourist-friendly and you can ride them slowly.
Try local cuisines
Thakali food is a famous meal throughout the country which you can enjoy at its home place- Mustang. You can also enjoy the different local products of apples such as wine, beer, dried items, etc.
All the travelers try some local cuisines of upper mustang like Tibetan bread, Khapse, Marpha, local tea mixed with salt and butter during the trek.
Celebrate Tiji festival
Another attraction of the Mustang region is the Tiji festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. During this festival, you can experience cultural art and dance. This program is for three days.
It is the best place to take part in the Tibetan Buddhist culture along with their music. If you travel to Mustang in May, you will get an opportunity to celebrate this festival.
Make sure to explore forgotten Buddhist culture of the 15th century.
Visit monastery and Chorten
Each village has at least one monastery and many Chortens. You can see them while traveling the upper Mustang.
This is a restricted area because of the historical and religious monuments. The natural and geographical diversity are under protection because of their cultural and historical significance.
Visit Chungsi cave
Chungsi Cave is the popular cave of traditional salt trading route of Mustang. This cave is of religious, historical, and medical importance.
It attracts many tourists from all around the world. Close to this monastery, there is a monastery also for Meditation.
Discover Lo Manthang City, Monastery, and Royals
The major attraction to explore in the walled city of Mustang is the Royal Palace of Lo Manthang and old monasteries built in the early 15th century.
Ngonga Chode, Dragkar-Thegchen Ling monastery, Jampa gonpa, Thupchen gonpa are the four major monasteries inside the former kingdom of Lo.
Exploring these old monuments is one of the interesting things to do in Mustang. Also, if you are lucky you can witness the Bon Buddhist practices and their cultural activities.
Take pictures of the landscape, wildlife, and Himalayan settlements
Taking pictures is a crucial part of traveling these days to keep the memory alive forever.
The dramatic landscape, wildlife, sky tombs, High Mountain, and Himalayan settlements are the major attraction to capture in camera.
Collecting the pictures of this dreamland is another popular thing to do in Mustang, Nepal.
Day trip to Chhoser
There are pony trek or jeep drive to visit the caves and monasteries of Chhoser Village. You can visit the 2500 years old Jhong Cave which holds great historical importance.
It has five stories with more than 40 separate rooms from where you can see the impressive great cliffs.
Besides that, you can visit monasteries and a village called Gherpu.
Day excursion for sightseeing to Lo Manthang and Chhoser is also the major attraction and things to do in Upper Mustang trek.
Witness desert vegetation around the Himalayas
Although the location lies in the shadow of Annapurna and Nilgiri range, the soil of this region is a desert-like.
Being at the high altitude the wind blows throughout the day. Rock soil and rocky highlands make the location suitable for rock climbing.
There are tropical trees such as alpine, conifers, and more. It holds a small forest with natural plants. It is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal with mountains and forest.
There are roads along the hillside with small villages which serves the best place to observe the desert vegetation of the Himalayas.
Being surrounded by the snow-capped mountains, Mustang receives the snowfall mostly in the winter season.
Visitors can enjoy the snowfall and snow games in mustang during this time. You can visit the snowy places on a horseback during this period.
Religious tour to Muktinath temple
Muktinath temple is the heavenly place for Hindus and Buddhists. Muktinath is one of the sacred spots among four “Dhams” of Hindu situated in the mountain area.
The most reasonable time to visit Muktinath is from March to June. The climate conditions would not be safe to travel in different months.
The adventure goes through many archeological locales and sanctuaries. The 108 water taps and continuous glowing fire is another fascination of this temple.
Trek to Mustang is a rare privilege. In a mountainous surrounding of Mustang, you get to do various things.
Here, you will experience the true life of the mountain people. The ones who were not in touch with the rest of Nepal for hundreds of years.
It is one of the last surviving examples of mountain lifestyle and the culture of Nepal.
This trek is possible for people of most age groups due to the recent development and road construction.
There are many travel agencies who can help you organize your Mustang trip. For further inquiries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to assist you to the best of our ability.