‘Mustang is a centre of the sky, the middle of the earth … the head of all rivers where horses grow swift.’
- Sienna Craig, ‘Horses Like Lightning’
Our Kamzang Journeys trek into remote Upper Mustang is one of this breathtakingly beautiful region’s most interesting and far-flung treks, following old salt-trade caravan trails into Mustang’s most remote regions. No other company camps with the nomads, and we also go to little visited regions and Buddhist ‘sky caves’ of Upper Mustang which we’ve explored over the past few years.
And a 17-day Upper Mustang permit!
Situated in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri range, the Buddhist kingdom of Mustang is one of Nepal’s most diverse and spectacularly beautiful regions. Sculpted canyons and fantastic rock formations, traditional, white-washed Tibetan-style villages, crumbling fortresses, royal palaces, unexplored cave complexes, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and Himalayan snow-peaks characterize this spectacular region, a thumb sticking up into the Tibetan plateau.
Trekking Mustang’s most remote routes, we venture deep into the realm of the last nomads of Mustang (and perhaps Nepal), still living their traditional migratory lifestyle on the high plateaus bordering Tibet. We’ll trek along the eastern, winter route from the mythical walled city of Lo Manthang and explore the forgotten ‘sky-caves’ (some we’re some of the only Westerners to visit) as well as the renown Luri Gompa and Tashi Kabum, filled with some of the most exquisite murals of the Tibetan Buddhist world and dating back to ancient times.
We camp at some of Mustang’s most far-flung villages such as Dhe, Ghara, Yara and Tangge, enjoying a distinctive cup of salt-butter tea and bartering for locally-woven textiles with the villagers.
Upper Mustang and its walled capital, Lo Manthang, is a remote and starkly beautiful region, home to Tibetan Buddhism as well as the remnants of the more mystical Bon religion which pre-dates Buddhism. Mustang was first explored by a handful of intrepid Himalayan travelers and pilgrims in in the 50s and 60s, and we continue in their spirit of exploration. We journey along some of the least known routes to the more isolated villages in this sun-drenched region, often following the rocky Kali Gandaki river-bed, other times trekking on spectacular trails high above it, and descending through marvelously sculpted and multi-hued gorges.
Don’t miss this journey!
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Kamzang Journeys is owned and operated by Kim Bannister, an American expat and traveler of 25+ years who is based in Kathmandu, Nepal (spring, autumn and sometimes winter) & Leh, India (summer). Kamzang Journeys is a registered LLC in the USA. The inspiration for Kamzang Journeys originated in Ladakh, where Kim and team have been trekking for 15+ years. It came from trekking through sparkling river valleys of sculpted ochre, mustard and moss-green rocks under soaring Himalayan peaks, through green, nomadic pasture lands peppered with nomadic yak-hair tents under a canopy of endless blue skies. Our passion for these regions inspired us to make a lifestyle of leading treks and bicycle trips through Nepal, India, Tibet and Bhutan, later adding Mongolia and newly Pakistan to the list. All of our Kamzang team shares our love of these Himalayan regions, of the adventure of trekking, of exploring far-flung villages, sipping salt-butter tea in local houses, of camping with the nomads as they round up their flocks of sheep, goats and yaks, of watching for snow leopard and kiang as we journey through remote plateaus on the border of Nepal and Tibet, of bicycling through some of Bhutan's most breathtakingly beautiful regions.