On the trans-Himalayan trade route, between the massive snow capped mountain range
Upper Mustang is also know as the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo, which had its own king until the mid 2000s when Nepal
became a republic.
Lo-Manthang is the ancient capital and here you can still see the palace of the old king. Today the capital of Mustang
District is Jomson, connected to the rest of the country by an airport and a rough road.
With an average elevation of over 3,000m, Mustang is the extension of the Tibetan Plateau. Located north of the Himalaya
range, including Annapurna, geographically it is part of the Tibetan highlands although today, politically, it is situated in
Nepal. In fact, Upper Mustang is very much like Tibet in appearance, with its high valleys, arid and dry landscapes,
characterized by eroded canyons, colourful rock formations and barren, desert like appearance. But just because it is dry
and arid does not mean there is nothing to see in this stark landscape. Take for example the thousands of cliff dwellings,
cut high into the rock which makes you wonder how those who lived there accessed them. Theorists believe that around
8,000 to 10,000 BC Mustang was a green land, home to many more inhabitants than live here today.
The entrance to Upper Mustang is at Kagbeni (a 3 hour walk, or short drive from Jomson). Beyond this point a special
permit is required to enter the restricted zone of Upper Mustang. Opened to trekkers only in 1992, this area still sees less
tourists. This makes the area both fascinating and much more authentic than lower Mustang.
On our Mustang programme you have an excellent opportunity to visit both Jomson and the ancient centre, Lo-Manthang.
On route you will also have the opportunity to visit some of the unique villages in the area, including the interesting tiny
village of Kagbeni. We will also pass colourful cliffs, the largest mani (prayer) wall in the country, and a large white Dzong
and red Gompa.