Inaccessible to western travelers until 1992, the Mustang long bore the nickname “forbidden kingdom”. Its inhabitants, the Lo-pa, prefer to use the name of the Kingdom of Lo. Located at the foot of the Annapurna massif, in the heart of the Himalayas, this region of Tibetan culture is now part of the young Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and is increasingly opening up to trekking. We share with you some experiences and 10 reasons to go Upper Mustang trek with Sumire Tours and Travel.
The Mustang, the fertile plain, this is the origin of the name of this region. We must say that the contrast between the villages surrounded by fields of barley, mustard, apricot and apple trees and the multicolored desert vastness that surrounds them gives a unique charm to this territory. Add a breathtaking view of the Annapurna range and you will already have good reasons to go trekking at Mustang.
An intact Tibetan culture
According to the Dalai Lama, the Mustang is “one of the few places in the Himalayas that have kept its Tibetan culture unchanged”. With the arrival of the Chinese route, things are changing but you will still have the possibility of discovering a living culture, as evidenced by the monastic festival of Tiji which takes place in June in the Gompa of Thubchen.
A mythical fauna
Of course, the open and desert landscapes do not favor large gatherings of fauna. But arm yourself with binoculars and patience and you will no doubt have the chance to observe one of the mythical Mustang species. Snow leopard, Himalayan bear, and wolf, Pallas cat are, with the Tibetan antelope the most difficult species to see. But Barhal’smouflons, woolly hare and marmots are easy to observe.we also have unforgettable memories of golden eagles, Himalayan vultures and bearded vultures in the blue sky of Mustang.
Avoid the monsoon
Do you have no choice but to leave in the summer? Protected from the monsoon by the Annapurna massif and the Manaslu, the Mustang receives almost no precipitation. This largely explains the desert character of its landscapes and it is, therefore, one of the only possibilities for summer trekking in Nepal. Take advantage!
Avoid the crowd
Far from the crowds of the Annapurna and other trekking tours around Everest, the Mustang offers – and especially in May-June and September-October – the opportunity to enjoy long days alone on the trails. With its low snowfall precipitation, the trekking season begins in May and especially ends late in November.
Take advantage of easy acclimatization at altitude
Have you never gone to altitude and are you apprehensive? Or on the contrary, your last experiences were difficult? Here you will find both trekkings at “low” altitude, with passes remaining below 4000 m and the possibility of acclimatizing while walking. Kagbeni, the gateway to Mustang is at 2800 m above sea level, and Lo Manang, at the very bottom of the Kali Gandaki valley at 3840 m. Are these not reasons to go trekking at Mustang?
Discover the mysterious cave dwellings of Mustang
The cliffs of Mustang are home to over 10,000 artificial caves! Hermitage places, secret caches for treasures or tombs, their functions have varied throughout their 3000 years of occupation and most of their mysteries remain to be unraveled!