REGAL TRIP TO THE LAST FORBIDDEN KINGDOM- MUSTANG

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Trip Duration: 17 days

Trip Date: May 8-25, 2020

Group Size: 12 paxs

Trip Cost: $4000/person

Trip Details:

Mustang lies in the North Western part of Nepal, and is home to thriving Buddhist cultures for more than a thousand years. This regal trek takes you to this vibrant Buddhist land where you will find ample opportunities to revitalize yourself. This trans-Himalayan region has harsh geographical features but is endowed with magnificent, geological, cultural and spiritual landscape. The trek follows along the ancient trail of the Kali Gandaki river valley, once an important cross-roads for trans-Asian trade for centuries, it’s also called a heritage path, treaded by great saints and yogis. Along the trail, you will come upon an oases of villages in the midst of barley, buckwheat, and mustard fields reminiscent of early Tibetan medieval civilization.  As you pass by, catch glimpses of spectacular ancient monasteries and temples majestically built on hillocks overlooking each village. As you enter the restricted area, hundreds of Buddhist caves dot the steep gorge walls rising up from the Kali Gandhaki gorge. The trek ends at the three traditional major towns of Ghami, Tsarang and Lo-monthang. These towns are obscured in legends and tales associated with the arrival of great tantric saint, Padmasambhava and yogi, Ngorchen Kunga Sanpo. The famous walled town and capital city of Mustang, Lo-monthang is the culmination of your journey. Being in the walled town, a religious domain, may make you feel as if all your worldly sufferings momentarily comes to a standstill, as you regain your spiritual comfort.

While in villages and in towns, you will have Luigi Feini and our local tour guides at your disposal. They will enlighten you on the history, culture and tradition of the region. There are numerous living heritages you will come across in these major towns adorned with exquisite wall paintings, old thankas and manuscripts in silver and gold. To the north of Lo-monthang, you will go on a day trip to Tsoshar, a cave village where monasteries exists in a traditional setting. Your tour guide, Luigi will familiarize you with the rudiments of Tibetan traditional medicines as you meet with local Tibetan doctors, amchis and local artisans and craftsmen.

This is the land of mysticism and spirituality blessed by the great saint and yogi Padmasambhava and successive religious kings of Mustang. Should you want to see for yourself this spiritual land of Shangri-La, come join us on this regal journey to the Land of the Last Forbidden Kingdom

 

Trip highlights:

  • Exploring the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang

  • Witnessing the walled city of Lomanthang

  • Witnessing the 15th century Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen monastery, through the eyes of Luigi Feini who has spent almost two decades restoring these monasteries and training local conservators.

  • Visiting the oldest monastery of the region, Lo Gekar dating back to 8th century.

 

Trip guided by Luigi Feini, https://www.luigifieni.com/conservation/bio.html   who has deep insight from the reconstruction project in Thubchen, Jampa Lhakhang monastery and conservation of cultural heritage in Upper Mustang.

Accommodation:

Kathmandu and Pokhara – 3 star hotels

While on the trek – Using local traditional tea houses

 

What the price includes?

  • Breakfast while in Kathmandu and Pokhara

  • All meals during the trek (Jomsom to Jomsom)

  • Accomodation in Pokhara and Kathmandu and during the entire period of the trek

  • Airport transfers

  • Expert bilingual guide

  • Fight Kathmandu/Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara/Kathmandu valued at US$499

  • Special permit to Upper Mustang US$550

  • Group medical kit

  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu on a twin sharing basis

  • Souvenir Mustang Adventure Trek duffle bag

  • Private transportation

  • All park entrance fees

  • Porters or mules to carry all personal and group equipment

  • Porter's insurance

  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu

  • Site entry fees

  • Trip accompanied by Luigi Feini https://www.luigifieni.com/conservation/bio.html  

 

What's not included?

 

  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara

  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.

  • Tips to the staffs at the end of the trek

  • International flights

  • Airport and departure taxes

  • Visa

  • Travel Insurance

  • Monastery entrance fees

  • Entrance fee for the festival

    

* Please allow US$50 for monastery visits and donations in Upper Mustang

 

Itinerary

 

Day 1 Fri. May 8th. Kathmandu

Arrive Kathmandu, 1400m, 4,592’ the capital and largest city of Nepal, with a population of around 2.5 million. You’ll  be met by a representative of Mustang Adventure Trek and transferred to Hotel Tibet, Lazimpat. A pre- trek briefing will be given in the evening.

Meals: Nil

 

Day 2 Sat. May 9. Kathmandu

Luigi Feini offers a Kathmandu tour while Tsewang Bista arranges permits for the trek. Welcome dinner with Luigi Feini and Tsewang Bista.

Meals: D

 

Day 3. Sun. May 10. Pokhara

This morning we take a flight to Pokhara, in good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna range. Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest town. 1740m, 5,655’

Meals: B

 

Day 4. Mon. May 11. Kagbeni

Fly to Jomsom:  (2720m, 8,922’), trek to Kagbeni (2800m, 9,216’), walking  approximately  3 hours. This morning we take a spectacular flight to Jomsom where we will meet our trekking crew. A half day walk brings us to Kagbeni, an impressive village that is our gateway to Mustang. To pass beyond this point you need a special Mustang permit.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 5. Tues. May 12. Chele

To Chele:  (3100m, 10,168’), walking  approximately 6 hours or 4 hours  horse ride. We enter Mustang following the east bank of the river over a series of small ridges. From Kagbeni, we will also be accompanied by our wonderful horseman, who will provide and manage ponies on our trek. Across the river we can see Gang Gompa, a center of the Buddhist Nyingmapa sect. Approaching the village of Tangbe, we encounter the distinctive black, red and white chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The white town is surrounded by fields of wheat, barley and buckwheat, interspersed with small apple orchards. We cross to the east bank of the river and ascend to the village of Chele. Immediately, the strong influence of Tibetan culture of Lo is evident with the decoration of the houses. (Overnight at traditional lodge) Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 6. Wed. May 13. Samar

To Samar: (3620 m, 11,871’) via Gyakar village, (3562m, 11,684’) walking  approximately 5-6 hours or 4 hours horse ride. Today you’ll be passing through a small village called Gyakar with very traditional alleys and houses from early period. Samar is a small town of 14 -15 houses but beautifully located with wonderful views of the mountains. Enjoy engaging conversations with the locals.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 7. Thurs. May 14. Ghilling

To Ghilling: (3570m, 12,300’) via Chungshi Rangjong cave monastery – approximately 6-7 hours walking.  You’ll be witnessing a very special cave monastery dating back to 8th century where it is believed Padmasambhawa (Guru Rinpoche) actually meditated. The cave monastery is one of a kind in Mustang with many self-emanating deities on the cave walls. The trail today is challenging. 

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 8. Fri. May 15. Dakmar

To Dakmar: 3820m, 12,529’ approximately 6-7 hours

Today is a short ride to the picturesque village of Dakmar, with its fields of barley and poplar trees. It has one of the most amazing red cliffs dotted with caves. Before you reach Dakmar village, we’ll be passing by the longest mani wall (pray wall) in Mustang.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 9. Sat. May 16. Charang

To Charang: 3560m 11,677’) walk approximately  6-7hours or 4-5 hours horse ride. Avenues of poplar trees and fields of barley mark our trail before you head out to Lo Gekar monastery, the oldest monastery of the region. This is one of the most powerful monasteries in Mustang. Luigi will share his restoration work.  He has spent lots of time restoring the wall paintings in this monastery. After visiting this monastery, we will continue to walk to Charang village. On arrival in Charang meet Maya Bista, the niece of the last king of Mustang.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 10. Sun. May 17. Ghara

To Ghara: (3400m, 11,152’) walking  approximately  6-7 hours.

Today, you’ll be trekking in the eastern part of Mustang crossing the Kali Gandaki river. The trail is good for horse riding with spectacular views of cliffs and mountains. Ghara is a very remote village and offers a

stunning Himalayan view from our local lodge.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 11. Mon. May 18. Dhi

To Dhi: (3390m,11,119’) via Luri monastery – 6 hours

You’ll be witnessing one of the most amazing cave monastery called Luri. The cave houses one of the most beautiful Buddhist stuppas. Wall paintings on the stupa and monastery are mesmerizing. After witnessing this cave monastery, walk down to Dhi village. The trail will be somewhat rocky.

Meals: B,L,D

 

Day 12. Tues. May 19. Luri to Lomanthang

To Lo Manthang: (3840m, 12,595’) walking  approximately 6-7 hours.

The trail today is challenging. You start the day with steep ascent. Riding your horse on this part of the trail is not possible. So we have another option, taking the horse to Charang and then taking the jeep to Lomanthang. Today is the first day of the Teji festival with an opening ceremony at around 2 pm. We should be in Lomanthang by 1 pm in time to witness the festival in the afternoon.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 13. Wed. May 20. Lomanthang

Today is the second day of the Teji Festival. The festival starts in the afternoon.  In the morning we will do a short day trip to Choser to visit the cave monastery and structures. We arrive back in Lomanthang to witness the second day of the festival.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 14. Thurs. May 21. Lomanthang

Morning – explore Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen monastery where Luigi has spent more than a decade working on the restoration. Luigi will give an extensive tour of these monasteries.

In the afternoon, witness the final day of the festival.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 15. Fri. May 22. Jomsom

Today, you’ll drive back to Jomsom by private jeep. The journey will take around 8 hours and lunch served along the way.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 16. Sat. May 23. Early morning flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara

 

Day 17. Sun. May 24.  Kathmandu tour and shopping

 

Day 18. Mon. May 25. International departure