Moderate trekking involves 5 – 6 hours a day walking at a steady pace below 4000 meters for around 10 days trekking trip.
Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. A Lantang Ri Trekking & Expedition representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. When you are ready you will be collected from your hotel lobby and driven to our Thamel office where you will be formally introduced to your Trekking Guide. We will go through all your trek itinerary and arrangements with you an ensure every detail is in place. We will also ask for your passport photographs and any other details so that we can organize any permits required for your trek and the region you will be exploring.
After breakfast, we start an interesting tour around Kathmandu. Escorting by an English speaking guide (can be provide any language speaking guide on request) be, try to give them a full taste of our vivid culture image and an enchanting manner of its people. In our sightseeing tour we go to Monkey temple Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Kathmandu Durbar square.
Bouddhanath: Bouddhanath is a Buddhist religious complex with a history dating back over 500 years. Located on the eastern edge of Kathmandu it is now a site of great pilgrimage for Buddhist followers who circle its massive stupa, spin its many prayer wheels and visit its beautiful monastery. The main feature of Boudhanath is its huge hemispherical white stupa with central golden tower and the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha. Visitors should circle the stupa in a clockwise direction and spin prayer wheels for good fortune and a good life. Visitors may also enjoy visiting the Thangka painting school within the complex to see highly skilled artists at work on religious mandala paintings.
Pashupatinath: Hindu Temple is a very large and complex and focal point for the Hindu religion. This old and very revered complex of buildings and shrines is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, one of the main deities of Hinduism. While Lord Shiva has multiple forms he is often seen as the destroyer. This has great significance for the Pashupatinath temple as it is the site of many Hindi ritual cremations each day. Pashupatinath is considered by Hindus to be an auspicious site for passing from one stage of life to the next through the purifying and destroying flames of cremation. However, on a happier note, visitors may also get to see the temple in a buoyant festival mode with one of the many Hindu festivals celebrated here through the year.
Swayambhunath: You will first visit the Swayambhunath temple complex that sits atop a high hill overlooking Kathmandu and the entire Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhunath is perhaps the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site in Nepal. It consists of a very large white stupa with the all-seeing-eye of Lord Buddha plus many small stupa and beautifully carved stone shrines. This is a wonderful place to catch your breath and start to understand and appreciate the deep importance of Buddhist belief to the people of Nepal and the Himalaya region. Make sure you ring the many bells to awaken the gods and let them know you are in Nepal. Take the time to enjoy the view over Kathmandu and have your guide point the many other highlights of the city. In the far distance to the east you may also be able to see the hills of Nagarkot where your hotel for tonight is located. If you feel energetic you might also like to try some or all of the 350 steps that lead all the way from Kathmandu city up to your Swayambhunath temple vantage point.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: The next stop today is the beautiful Kathmandu Durbar Square, or the royal palace square of the ancient Malla kings of the Kathmandu Valley. This square and all its architectural treasures are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While some damage to buildings occurred in the 2015 earthquake the site still contains many stunning architectural gems. The original royal palace courtyards are open to visitors and you will marvel at the intricate timber carving and beautifully crafted brickwork of the palace. The open square outside the palace has many beautiful multi-storey pagodas and temples with ornate carving and carpentry artwork that tells some of the story of the ancient kings and their mystical time and beliefs. The square also contains many important Hindu temples and statues such as to Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Durbar Square also contains the unique and intriguing Kumari Chok. This is an ancient and ornate house where resides the Raj Kumari – the Living Goddess. She is a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durga. If you are in the courtyard of the home at the right time in the afternoon you may see a brief glimpse of the Goddess at her window.
Drive or fly to Pokhara. The flight is an optional extra for this itinerary. Pokhara is located about 200km west of Katmandu on the shores of the beautiful Lake Fewa. Pokhara is a mixture of restful and busy. It has the atmosphere of a relaxed “resort town” where visitors take it easy seeing the sights and resting before their Annapurna or Mustang trek and once again upon their return. But is also a busy place with all these visitors arriving, leaving and exploring the lake and nearby sights of Pokhara. The option to drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara provides an opportunity to experience more of the real Nepal beyond the national parks and trekking trails. The scenery and people you will meet on the drive is also worth the experience.
The early morning flight to Jomson is very short and very scenic. In the 30 minutes of flight time you will be treated to spectacular views as your aircraft flys up the Kali Gandaki Valley towards Jomson. The Annaourna Massif and its many stunning peaks will be to your right and the mass of 8,172m Mount Dhaulagiri will be to your left. But too soon you will be on the ground at dusty Jomson Airport. Once all your team and gear is organised your guide will lead you out on to the trail and commence the four hour trek to the village of Kagbeni. The ancient mud and stone village of Kagbeni sits on a ridge high above the dry riverbed where it is safe from the occassional flood that roar down the valley after heavy rains higher in the catchment.
The trek continues along the twists and turns of the hugh Kali Gandaki Riverbed. The gradient is gentle and the walking easy as you gain about 400m in altitude over the course of the walk. You will pass through the unspoiled traditional villages of Tangbe and Chhusang and take short detour breaks to rest and explore their narrow lanes and architecture. A chance to share a cup of tea with the local people is also very likely. As you get closer to Chele the river valley narrows to a deep gorge and the gradient steepens. The last effort for the day is to trek up the steep trail that takes you to Chele village and its fields perched above the narrow southern gorge exit. There are many vantage points around the village where you can look down into the dark gorge and contemplate the surging torrents of water that have cut this spectacular gorge over thousands of years. The views to the east and the Annapurna Massif peaks and Mount Nilgiri are spectacular as the sun sets and the peaks fade to pinks, greys and then nightfall.
The Trek becomes a little more challenging today as you leave the riverbed and follow the ancient trails along the western slopes of the valley. There is hardly a level step today as you always seem to be climbing or descenting a ridge or hugh gully slope. The landscape to the east is dominated by the giant gorge that cuts a gash through the solid rock of the lower valley. You trek through arid land that barely supports hardy goat herds of the few tiny villages you pass though. Eventually you will summit the main ridge and high point of 3540m before slowly descending towards the welcome sight of Geling sitting high above its terraced fields stretching down the foothill slope.
As you continue north inti the heart of Upper Mustang the valley widens and the deep gorge you have been skirting oepns out again to a wide and gravelly river bed. However, the trail today continues its winding path through the lower foothills. As you descend the valley slopes you pass spectacular red cliffs that glow in to strong sunlight. You then cross a small bridge over the Tangmar Chu River and ascend again to be rewarded with one of the longest and most interesting prayer walls, or mani, in all of Nepal. Say a prayer as you pass just as many thousands of local people have done before you for perhaps a thousand years or more. Upon reaching Tsarang you will be amazed by the sight and community effort that has gone into the construction of the five–story Dzong, or fort, and the nearby Buddhist gompa or monastery. Take the time to appreciate the wonderful statues and thanka paintings of the Buddha.
Start the day by exploring more of Tsarang and its rich heritage. Then head north on the trail along the wide valley floor towards Lo Mantang. You will see the walled town well before you reach it and then discover there is just one entrance gate to this once well defended town. The every happy and welcoming people of Lo Manthang will be delighted to see your arrival
The geographic extend of the Upper Mustang district is just 53km from north to south and about 60km east to west. However after your five days on the winding trails you will feel you have travelled very much further than that and a day of rest is a great idea. As you spend the day exploring the ancient town you may contemplate to events the defensive walls have seen and what the Kingdom of Lo must once have been like.
The return journey follows different trails and lets you explore new sights and villages. Today’s trek takes you through the western foothills and up and down winding trails to the small village of Lo Gekar. While may seem an insignificant little village it actually has what is thought to be the oldest Buddhist Gompa or monastery in Nepal and Tibet. This fact attets to the significance the hidden of the Mustang region in byegone eras. After some time exploring the monastery and learning some of its history it is time continue down the valley to Ghami.
The walk today continues down the western flank of the valley. You pass through the village of Gheling again and finish the day at the tiny settlement of Samar perched above its terraced farm plots trailing down the hillside below.
The walk starts with a slow winding descent from the western foothills towards Chele where you once again return to the dry Kali Gandaki Riverbed and then on to Kagbeni.
Retrace your footsteps in reverse as you continue down the riverbed to Jomsom.
The early morning flight will whisk you above the lower reaches of the Kali Gandaki Valley and across to Pokhara where you will then be taken to your hotel.
After breakfast in the morning you say goodbye to Pokhara and head back to bustling Kathmandu by road. You may also choose to fly back to Kathmandu as an optional extra to your itinerary. You will be delivered back to your Kathmandu hotel at the end of today’s travels.
This is the free day to explore a little more of Kathmandu and complete your gift shopping. In the evening you will be collected from your hotel for a fun farewell dinner and Nepali cultural dance – so don’t forget your dancing shoes!
We will meet you at your hotel and take you to the airport in plenty of time to meet your flight home.
Recommended equipment list: Trekkers need to provide their own personal clothing and equipment. Some items of equipment are available for hire from us as like Down Jacket
Footwear : Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, camp shoes.
Clothing : Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, wool hat, sun hat, gloves, bathing suit, track suit.
Other equipment: Sleeping bag (5 seasons), lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries, lip salve, gaiters.
Other items: Insect repellent, toilet articles, diary, toilet roll, laundry soap, wet ones, pocket knife, towel, sewing kit, plasters, binoculars, camera, film, cards and personal medical kit.
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Duration: 17 days
Best Time to go: Apr – Oct
Max. Altitude: 3840m
Group Size: Min 2 pax
Transportation: Private vehicle / Tourist bus / Flight