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Mustang

3.5 /5

Weather:

Best Time: June- September Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest Airport: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport Check Flights

"An Ancient Forbidden Kingdom"

Mustang Tourism

Mustang is known for its trekking tours and mountain sightseeing. Elevated at an altitude of 3840 kilometres, this city is divided into two parts: Lower and Upper Mustang. Even though it is relatively unexplored, this city is a great destination for those who want to immerse in Tibetan culture as well as in Nepalese lifestyle as it is located near the Tibetan Plateau.

Lower Mustang is well-known for natural scenery while upper Mustang is famous for its trekking and hiking trails, monasteries, caves and local tribes. This destination is rich in vegetation with a range of rhododendron plantations, apple fields and is strong with Buddhist culture. Visitors get to see the lifestyle of the mountain people, their day-to-day routines and their customs. Visitors can take a look at a number of Tibetan shrines, monasteries, caves and villages in order to learn about the “Mini Tibet in Nepal”. All in all, this North-West part of Nepal has a rugged and mystical reputation and is a great destination for backpackers, trekkers or those who want a vacation away from the commercial life and want to spend some time in the Himalayas.

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Things to Do in Mustang

  • Go Hiking: Popular hikes and tours in Mustang are what made it the adventure attraction it is today. Visitors can check out the two mountain ranges, Annapurna and Nilgiri.
  • Book Sightseeing Tours: You can also book tours and hikes such as Local excursion horse riding tours from Lo Manthang to Chhoser in upper Mustang, experience the three-day Tiji festival to see 15th century Tibetan culture or visit monasteries and Chortens that are historical and religious monuments that hold a great significance in Tibetan lifestyles such as Lo Manthang city monasteries.
  • Visit Religious Places: There are also a number of religious places to visit such as the Muktinath Temple or the monasteries of Kagbeni.
  • Go Sightseeing: Other activities include witnessing the Nepali Grand Canyon from Chele, walking past the Kaligandaki River which is the deepest gorge in the country, exploring Marpha- the town of apple orchards as well as the caves of Chungsi and Chhusang.
  • Adventure: It would be wise to take up adventure activities like rock climbing, mountain biking and going on a jeep safari tour.

History

Mustang has been an essential part of the Tibetan and Ladakhi chronicles during the 17th century AD. It became an Independent kingdom in 1380 when Ame Pal, a Buddhist warrior took over Mustang from local warlords and built the fortress of Ketcher Dzong here.

For many years, Pal and his sons defended Mustang from Tibetan as well as Indian oppressors. It was in the 1600s when the western part of Nepal fell under Ladakh but the Gorkha king of Kathmandu regained the territory, leading to the rapid growth of Nepalese culture and religion in Mustang.

In 1951, constitutional monarchy in Nepal caused lower Mustang to open up for tourism, leaving the upper Mustang relatively isolated. Only after the revolution in 1990, did the government open upper Mustang for tourists which are now blooming.

Accommodation

Visitors can find a decent range of options to choose from when it comes to accommodation in Mustang. Mostly, you will find homestays and cottages that offer paying guest facilities per night. This is the most economical and practical option for those who are backpackers or trekkers. For others, there are hotels and resorts available in Mustang that offer cheap rates and good deals. Visitors can also find good deals on treks and tour combos that include lodging facilities.

Tips

  • Visitors should visit the upper Mustang during the early monsoons. During this time, there is little or no rainfall in this area and they can get a good experience of the scenery and attractions here. It is best to commute within this city on bikes.
  • Since this place is in the Himalayan region, it is always safer to explore the more unknown regions only with a local guide.
  • In order to trek further up North in Mustang, one may need a special trek permit. Nepal is quite prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, so it is best to check the travel safety before making any plans.

Restaurants and Local Food in Mustang

Mustang is famous for its Thakali and Newari food as well as local wines, apples, Tibetan bread, KKhapse, Marpha, dried food and beers. People often have local tea with salt here while trekking. As for eating joints in Mustang, one can find a range of restaurants and cafes to eat at. However, roadside stalls are the most common eating spots for travellers.

The most common delicacy in Mustang is momos (dumplings) but you can also find Thai, Burmese, Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Naga food. The staple diet includes dal (lentils), bhat (rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables). While such diversity can be seen in lower Mustang, upper Mustang is highly influenced by Tibetan culture, so you may find more food items dominated by yak cheese, noodles, Tibetan momos and Noodles.
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How To Reach Mustang

In order to reach Mustang, visitors can take a flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu. From Pokhara, they can take a taxi, bus or rent a bike to Pokhara. On Prithvi Highway, it takes around 6-8 hours to reach Jomsom which is the starting point of the Lo Kingdom in Upper Mustang. Visitors can take a flight to Jomsom airport which operates flights from Pokhara on a daily basis. For those who choose to take the bus, will have to change buses. They can take a bus to Baini from Pokhara. From Baini, they can take a bus to Ghasa and from Ghasa, they can take a bus to Jomson.

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