Voted number three in the Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2013 – Top 10 Regions”, Mustang has an elusive reputation for those familiar with trekking in Nepal. Before 1992, tourists were forbidden entry into the region.

Since then, people can enter if they can afford the permit and avoid the harsh winters that drive much of its population further south. Although technically in Nepal, Mustang’s culture, geography and language have more in common with neighbouring Tibet.

Set against a Himalayan backdrop, the desert is a starkly coloured, barren, lunar landscape. This seemingly unforgiving environment is also interspersed with green farmland, rushing rivers and a vibrant Buddhist culture.

Compared to the bustling city of Kathmandu, Mustang’s capital of Lo-Manthang is remote and rich in Tibetan tradition. The tiny city is protected by a 5000 visitors  year restriction policy and 26ft high wall built in 1380 AD by the first King of Lo, Ame Pal.

Due to lack of rain, most residents live in whitewashed mud houses; the most striking is a four storey palace which has housed Mustang’s royal family for centuries. This distinctive architecture is decorated with chortens, Mani walls and delicate prayer flags.

There are three monasteries (gompas) in the city, the oldest being over 600 years old. They are decorated with wood engraved with mantras and elaborate gold and silver frescos depicting the Buddha and mandalas. The gompas represent the best in Tibetan art.

Lo-Manthang is shaped by a caste system that is distinct from typical Nepalese society and the King of Mustang is top of this hierarchy. Despite the government’s abolition of the monarchy in 2008, the King still lives in the palace and retains an unofficial royal role.

The residents of Mustang love to celebrate many festivals throughout the year. The most famous is Tenchi (Tiji) in the spring, which celebrates the killing of a mythical demon. Expect to see the city come alive with singing, dancing, horse riding, costumes and feasts.

As part our trek of the year, L.N. Treks can organise day trips during your stay in Lo-Manthang. From the city, you can ride on horseback to visit the red cave monastery in Chooser, or  hike to the beautiful scenic village of Thingar. We can also drive you to Kerala Gate to see the Tibetan Plateau.

L.N. Treks have many local connections in the Upper Mustang area so we can ensure your trekking experience will be enjoyable and run smoothly.
12 to 15 days tea house trek

  • Forbidden Kingdom
  • Range of Nature
  • Apple Garden
  • Desert of Nepal
  • Ethnic Villages
  • Beautiful, Windy oasis
  • Mountain Flight
  • Spiritual, Tibetan Culture
  • Historical