A recent trip to Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang

Posted in 15th Aug, 2019

A recent trip to Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang, WOW, WOW, WOW. A trip beyond expectations. The scenery, people, villages, culture, food – all totally captivating. Originating in Kagbeni, a very lovely and typically picturesque village at the start of the Annapurna region, we got permits to travel into the Annapurna Conservation area. The very rudimentary road then took us up the banks of the Kali Gandaki river, which was very wide but only had a low flow for the time of the year but was spectacular. The Kali Gandaki river originates in Tibet and has the deepest gorges in the world, plus includes the peaks of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas, and Nilgiri mountains. The ‘road’ was formed into the sides of the sheer gorges. The scenery was not the rain forest type – more the barren but beautiful and very dramatic gorges and sheer cliff faces dropping to the river a long way below. The villages and villagers along the way were original and untouched by tourism, which provided us with a lovely insight into genuine Nepalese life. We stayed in tea houses at villages along the way, each village had its own character and history.

We thought about hiking the whole way (probably around 8 days) but decided that hiring a jeep would make the trip more comfortable – a decision that suited us in the end. With the three of us, plus the absolute best guide and driver in Chepal and Tenzing, we were able to change our itinerary as we liked. Our only time requirement was the 10-day permit. So we walked when we felt like it – mostly we covered around 10 km a day, but this would have been 20 km if the ups and downs were factored in!

If you are someone who likes treks out of the ordinary, I cannot recommend this trip enough. This is the road less travelled where the locals aren’t jaded by tourists and are genuinely happy and welcoming, and the scenery is beyond stunning. The trip in every aspect was a real boost for the soul. But the road is under construction and will in the next few years be a gateway to China. So do it now before progress changes everything. Keep Walking Nepal tailored our itinerary perfectly

Felicity Bunny

Bunbury Western Australia