The Upper Mustang Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It leads you to the semi-deserted Himalayan lands shuttered by giant walls of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna mountains.
It’s a moderately difficult trek that requires a good level of fitness. It also necessitates a special permit that costs $500 per person.
1. Take Altitude Sickness Precautions
As the Upper Mustang trek takes you to a high altitude, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to avoid altitude sickness. This includes walking slowly and not rushing, drinking plenty of water, and taking altitude sickness preventatives such as Diamox.
Discover the fortress-like monasteries, cryptic caves, and unspoiled ethnic culture that makes this remote kingdom feel like virtual Tibet. You’ll journey from Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang, through a stark landscape to the walled city of Lo-Manthang.
The city’s narrow alleys lead to sweeping courtyards, lined with bulbous chortens, and centuries-old monasteries. Here, you’ll find a culture that has remained almost unchanged for generations. It’s one of Nepal’s most enchanting, hidden treasures.
2. Take a Rest Day in Jomsom
Amid the arid landscapes of Upper Mustang, travelers will encounter a series of cultural and natural wonders. Ancient monasteries, awe-inspiring vistas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, and diverse local festivals are some of the many highlights.
The trek also entails walking along dusty, desert-like mountain trails that sometimes resemble dirt roads. Throughout the trek, travelers will discover quaint villages and a handful of green patches that break the arid landscape.
A virtual Tibet-like plateau, Upper Mustang is a region that has remained distracted from the outside world for centuries. As such, its unspoiled ethnic culture, religious faith, and dramatic mountain sceneries are similar to those found in the Tibetan plateau. Moreover, the pristine valleys and fortified walled cities will leave visitors awe-inspired.
3. Pack the Right Gear
The Upper Mustang Trek is a paradisiacal journey that unveils the hidden world of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mustang. Located north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, Mustang is an enthralling destination that preserves a unique cultural heritage. The region was once a forbidden kingdom and its secluded location has allowed it to develop a distinct culture and traditions that resemble Tibet.
The trek requires a good level of physical fitness and is considered moderately difficult. Nevertheless, it is manageable if you have prior trekking experience in lower altitudes and a good general health. Ensure that you have adequate first aid medical supplies, keep yourself hydrated and pack nutritious snacks when trekking in the Upper Mustang region. You should also carry some extra cash as ATMs, banks and currency exchange are scarce in the area.
4. Don’t Rush
A day at high-elevated lands can quickly wear you out. Trekking with a heavy backpack can also make it harder to maintain your pace on the trail. Ensure that you are not rushing when trekking to avoid any problems.
The Upper Mustang region has a unique climate and topography. The area is heavily influenced by Tibet’s culture and religion. You can see the influence of Tibetan heritage in the local monasteries, fortress-like palaces and fortified villages.
The Upper Mustang trek is perfect for those who want to experience a different part of Nepal. However, a TIMS permit is required to trek in the region. It is also a good idea to book through an experienced travel agency. They will have in-depth knowledge about the requirements for the trek.
5. Stay Hydrated
While trekking on Upper Mustang Trek, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and eating high-energy snacks. This will help prevent altitude sickness. It is also helpful to bring a first aid kit and a backpack.
The Upper Mustang trek is a challenging and rewarding trek that takes travelers to a remote region of Nepal. It is not suitable for everyone, so it is essential to have a good fitness level before undertaking the trek. It is also essential to take precautions against altitude sickness by taking acclimatization days and by using Diamox or other anti-AMS medication in consultation with a doctor. It is recommended to hire a guide and porter for the trip, as they have in-depth knowledge of the region and can help with navigation and safety.