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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Dossier validity: 2017 - 2018 Have you ever dreamt of visiting one of the last hidden kingdoms - a Shangri La in the Himalayas? Upper Mustang was a separate kingdom until 2008 and opened to foreigners in only 1992. It still retains its unique Tibetan culture bred over millennia. The high desert rain shadow of Himalayas receives very little rainfall making this region dry and parched, similar to the bordering Tibetan Plateau. A road is now being constructed from Jomsom all the way up through Mustang and Lo Manthang to the Tibetan border, but for now the dirt track is still nearly impassable to what few vehicles there are in the area and it remains little more than a mule track. With an amazing culture, stark and stunning landscape, nomadic communities and more to experience, this trek will offer you the rare privilege to visit the exotic land beyond the Himalayas.

Highlights • • • • • •

thrill to the charms of the quaint yet buzzing and cosmopolitan Kathmandu chill out in the spectacularly situated lakeside town of Pokhara enjoy an exhilarating Himalayan mountain flight out of Jomson trek amongst stunning mountain scenery of the Upper Mustang Valley experience the hidden kingdom of Lo Manthang be part of the colourful ’Chasing of the Demons’ festival - the Tiji Festival in Lo Manthang

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

(15 nights/14 days)

Itinerary Day 1 Kathmandu (D) Arrival Day. We meet at 6pm to have a brief chat about our tour before heading out to dinner in Kathmandu.

Day 2 Kathmandu (B) We spend the day in Kathmandu exploring the sights of this capital city small enough to walk around on foot. The labyrinthine backstreets and alleys lead from one bazaar or square to another, and to the many sided and colourful circus of Durbar Square and the Hanuman Dokha (the Royal Palace). We also experience the extraordinary presence of the ‘Great Stupa’ at Boudhnath, a place of pilgrimage for all Tibetans. We also visit Holy Pashupatinath – the most revered place for Hindu’s in all Nepal draws pilgrims, sadhus and yogis from near and far and is also where the Hindu cremation pyres are situated. Often a challenge to our Western sensibilities, life and death are celebrated here with equal fervour. On a commanding hill overlooking Kathmandu and with stunning views of the ever present mountains to the north, Swayambhunath, significant to both Hindus and Buddhists is also known as the Monkey Temple, for the hundreds of monkeys who reside here, entertaining visitors with their monkey antics. Finally, enjoy the laidback atmosphere of touristy Thamel, famous for its pubs, clubs, restaurants and shopping, and where you can stock up on any items for our trek. Hotel: Kathmandu Guest House or similar

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Day 3 Pokhara (B) Travel time: 7 hours We travel to Pokhara by deluxe tourist bus today (Option to fly - approx. USD100 -120) where you will have the opportunity to explore the town, shops or check out some of the sights – Temples, Tibetan settlements and more. However, Pokhara is more famous for it’s picturesque lakeside location and its close proximity to the Annapurna mountain range. A decidedly touristy town, Pokhara is still small, charming and very laid back. At just under 900m altitude, the weather in Pokhara is balmy and just right for sitting relaxing in a lakeside café or taking a boat out on the lake. Hotel: Hotel Barahi or similar

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Day 4 Kagbeni (BLD) Travel time: 1 hour A truly Nepalese Himalayan adventure awaits us as we take an adrenaline filled morning mountain flight (20 min) to Jomsom (altitude 2700m), the major town in the region - the legendary kingdom of Mustang. We take a 1/2 hour jeep trip through the spectacular Kali Gandaki Gorge (the deepest gorge in the world) to Kagbeni (2810m) - a green oasis in the middle of a desert, an erstwhile junction on the ancient Trans-Himalayan trade route and the gateway to the restricted region of Upper Mustang. The relatively gentle trail follows the Kali Gandaki river which is up to one kilometre wide in parts. On one side lies the Annapurna range, on the other Dhaulagiri. Between the two ranges there are views of 8 of the 20 highest mountains in the world. The majestic scenery of the trail takes in snowcapped peaks, wind blasted rocky cliffs and desert and green oases of farmland. Wandering in Kagbeni, you’ll lose yourself in a fascinating labyrinth of lanes, interspersed with ‘chortens’ and prayer wheels and lined by seemingly crumbling, mud-walled houses with red-bordered windows and ground floor stables. This is an ancient place, yet alive with residents, visitors, pack animals and horses filling the lanes, whilst children play about. After lunch you have the chance to explore the village visiting the 700 year old monastery and the ruins of the ancient fortress dating back to the days of the Tibetan invaders. Hotel: Trekking lodge

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Days 5-8 Trekking (BLD) We have four days trekking (between 4-7 hours daily) on our way to Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of the Upper Mustang kingdom. Each days walk will usually involve some up and down, but the overall altitude increase will be around 1000m. As some days are shorter than other, you might find the time in the afternoon to go off and explore the village, each one having their own Tibetan buddhist monastery. Stopping for one night each at Chele, Syangboche, Ghami and Charang, you will enjoy staying in small trekking lodges - usually a family home where everyone sits around, usually in the kitchen as the evening meal is prepared - discussing the days walk and reviewing photographs taken. Hotel: Trekking lodges

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Days 9-10 Lo Manthang (BLD) Caravans once roamed the Kali Gandaki between China, India & Tibet, and Lo Manthang, a medieval settlement surrounded by a 6 metre high earthen wall is just 20km from the Tibetan border. As such, the capital of Mustang was an important strategic location. Although Mustang is no longer a separate kingdom (in 2008, Mustang became an autonomous region in Nepal), the last king, Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista still lived in his palace within the walled city until his death in 2016. The King, whose lineage dates back to warrior Ame Pal, founder of the buddhist kingdom of Lo in the 14th century, was highly respected by the Lobas (inhabitants of Mustang). Around 900 Lobas live in Lo Manthang, living by and practicing Bonpo – the oldest and a deeply spiritual form of Tibetan Buddhism. Throughout the town, there are monasteries, chhortens and temples to visit, along with the Kings palace. We reach Lo Manthang in time for the annual Tiji festival - a ritual 3 day festival known as the ‘Chasing of the Demons’ Hotel: Trekking Lodge

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Days 11-14 Trekking (BLD) We have a further four days trekking (between 5-7 hours daily) to return Jomsom, in time for our morning flight to Pokhara on day 15. Each days walk will again involve some up and down, but the overall altitude decrease will be around 1000m. Stopping for one night each at Drakmar, Ghilling, Chuksong and Jomsom, there will (as on the way north to Lo Manthang), be opportunities to explore each village in the afternoon after the days trek. Hotel: Trekking Lodges

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Days 15-16 Pokhara (B)

Travel time: 1 hour We have another exhilarating mountain flight back to Pokhara where you have the rest of the day and tomorrow free to explore. Phewa Lake offers the chance of serene boat trips, whilst a climb up to the nearby World Peace Pagoda will test the limbs and lungs after your trek at altitude. Go bargain hunting for trinkets and souvenirs in the markets at the Tibetan Refugee Camp, marvel at the lake water disappearing down into a pit-less gorge at Devi’s Fall, or widen your knowledge base at the impressive International Mountaineering Museum. Note that we have allowed a spare/rest day here in case flights between Pokhara and Jomsom are delayed/ cancelled due to weather. If flights are cancelled for more than a day we may have to make the journey by road (between 8-12 hours). Hotel: Barahi or similar

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

Itinerary Day 17 Kathmandu (B D) Travel time: 7 hours The final journey of our trip - the deluxe tourist bus back to Kathmandu. (Option to fly - approx. USD100-120) After our arrival back in Kathmandu, we will head out for a farewell dinner at one of the cities famous Newari restaurants. Hotel: Kathmandu Guest House or similar

Day 18 Kathmandu (B D) Departure day. There are no organised activities for day 18. You are free to depart at any time.

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INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

general tour information group size minimum 4, maximum 10 days 18 days 17 nights starts and finishes in Kathmandu price includes Airport transfers All accommodation as specified All transportation between overnight stops and to and from included sightseeing Entrance fees for all sites listed as part of the itinerary Meals as specified Tips for hotel and lodge staff, guides, drivers and porters price does not include International flights Visa costs Meals other than those listed Drinks, meal tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature accommodation Hotels/trekking lodges (17 nights) In Kathmandu and Pokhara we stay in mid-range tourist hotels. Rooms are twin share with private bathrooms with western style toilets. During our trek, accommodation is in simple ‘tea house’ inns. Some will have basic attached bathrooms, but most will have separate bathroom facilities. single supplement If you are a single traveller and do not wish to share accommodation, but would like your own room throughout

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the tour, a single supplement payment of USD300 will be payable. Please note that often, you might be the only single traveler, therefore automatically getting a room to yourself. transport Private minibus Kathmandu to Pokhara, domestic flights between Pokhara and Jomsom and from Pokhara to Kathmandu. activities included The following is a list of included activities on this trip. Other activities are optional and will be at your own expense. Monasteries in Upper Mustang region (Mustang) Durbur Square, Swayumbhunath, Pashupatinath & Boudhnath (Kathmandu) meal inclusions 17 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 13 Dinners meals Traveling with Incredible Indian Tours we ensure that you will experience a variety of the different gustatory treats available in Nepal. Generally, meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options. This allows you to choose where, and what to eat. More often than not however we eat together as a group. Your leader will offer suggestions for favourite restaurants throughout the trip. When you trek in Nepal, it is generally custom to eat in the tea house providing you your overnight accommodation. On the


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

general tour information trek we also provide all meals as there will be limited options for you to eat elsewhere. money exchange As at April 2018 AUD1 = 81 NPR CAD1 = 83 NPR EUR1 = 129 NPR GBP1 = 149 NPR NZD1 = 77 NPR USD1 = 104 NPR There are ATM machines (which accept both Cirrus/Maestro debit cards and Visa and MasterCard) in the main centres of Kathmandu and Pokhara. This is a safe and convenient way to access money in Nepal, however we suggest that you bring some money as cash/travellers cheques in case there are times that ATMs are not available. Most major currencies are accepted. Only bring Thomas Cook or Amex Travellers cheques. Visa & MasterCard credit cards are accepted in major shops and restaurants in the bigger cities. spending money Although entrance fees to specified sites are included in the tour price, there are additional sights that you may like to visit. Some sites may levy camera fees. Spending money requirements will differ from one person to the next. You will need to take into consideration your spending habits when allowing for drinks, shopping, and optional activities. You will need to allow enough money for the following: Meals – USD120 (or equivalent) Optional Activities – USD250 (or equivalent) Money for drinks, shopping and incidentals. Tipping is an integral part of Nepalese life and is essential to a smooth trip. To make things easier we cover tips for hotel and lodge staff, local guides and porters. This does not cover restaurant tips. You will need to allow approximately 10-15% on top of your restaurant bill. Tips—allow USD15(or equivalent)

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travel insurance Travel Insurance is highly recommended whilst traveling to Nepal and is compulsory for any group tour with Incredible Indian Tours. If you are relying on travel insurance provided through your Credit Card, take note that the policies are often inferior and may not provide adequate coverage. visas Foreign nationals apart from Indians require a visa to enter Nepal. They are available on arrival and at embassies/ consulates in advance. For information, or assistance with obtaining a visa, check out the following website. http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/content/tourist-visa.html health We recommend that you consult your doctor for current medical travel information about before departure. Your leader will be carrying a basic first aid kit, but we suggest you bring along your own as well as any personal medical requirements . The following websites have up-to-date information about health requirements. Australia https://www.travelvax.com.au/ New Zealand http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthyliving/travelling USA https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ UK http://www.travelhealth.co.uk/ Canada https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines communications Internet cafes are commonplace throughout Nepal (even in the mountains, although prices in the hills can be quite exorbitant). Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies, although coverage is sporadic and variable. If you have an unlocked mobile phone, you will be able to purchase a local sim card easily and inexpensively. Please bring extra passport photos for this.


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

general tour information physical rating This trek involves quite high altitudes (3800m) and steep climbs over many hours walking (up to 7-8 hours per day). A good level of fitness will be required. culture shock rating Conditions in Nepal are not always as comfortable as in other countries. You may need to occasionally deal with a squat toilet, or the great outdoor loo (especially on the trek), cold showers or power failure. your tour manager Your tour manager is there to organise and streamline your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Whilst they are not a guide per se, they will share their local knowledge, give you suggestions for your free time and manage the day to day running of the tour. They will introduce you to their local friends and recommend great local restaurants and experiences. They will have a broad general knowledge of Nepal, so do feel free to tap into their wisdom. A full time local guide, as well as specialist guides will be with us throughout the tour to provide an in depth insight into the history and culture. In addition, on the trek we will provide one porter for every two trekkers. Your bag will be stored in a large duffel that the porter carries. responsible travel We believe strongly in responsible travel. This includes being respectful to the local culture (ie dressing appropriately, and learning a few basic cultural do’s and don’ts), being mindful of the environment, and leaving a positive image behind. Remember we are ambassadors for our country. Bringing a few photos of your family and home with you is a great way to interact with the locals by giving them a glimpse of your world whilst you visit theirs. joining and finishing point hotel Kathmandu Guest House Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: +977 1 4700 632 / 4700 800 http://www.ktmgh.com/kathmandu-guest-house.html

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transfer/joining instructions Your included airport transfer pickup will await you holding a sign with your name when you exit the baggage claim area of the arrivals hall. There may be large crowds here so please look carefully for your transfer. arriving early Set in Kathmandu's bustling Thamel district, this laid-back guesthouse/hotel in a converted Rana dynasty mansion, is one of the original guest houses in Kathmandu operating since 1967. Situated in the heart of Kathmandu with easy access to all sights, rooms have en-suite bathrooms and desks. Deluxe rooms include flat-screens, free Wi-Fi, iPod docks and balconies, as well as tea and coffeemakers. There's an outdoor restaurant serving international dishes, as well as a garden with a terrace pre and post tour information Extra accommodation at is available at the Kathmandu Guest House in their deluxe rooms for USD90 Single/Double (or equivalent) per night per room. what to take We will be on the move a lot, so try to pack as lightly as possible. The smaller your bag in Nepal the better, as the transport we use tends to have limited storage space. Nepal is very conservative and we ask that you dress accordingly. As a guideline, shoulders and knees should always be covered. The wearing of shorts (except if trekking) is looked upon by locals as akin to wearing your underwear and


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Upper Mustang - Nepal

general tour information will limit your entry into monasteries, temples and other places of worship. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool for the lower altitudes. Singlets, tank tops and shorts are not suitable attire for Nepal . laundry Laundry facilities are offered by the hotels we use in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You will need to do any laundry yourself during the trek. weather The weather during our journey should be great. Daytime temperatures will be warm, in the range 15-30 deg Celsius in Kathmandu and Pokhara. It will be significantly cooler up in the mountains. Warm clothing will be required for the trek as we are at altitudes of nearly 4000m and temperatures can get well down below zero at night. Rain is not very likely at this time of year, but sun is, so sunblock and a hat are also essentials. checklist Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance (don’t forget your emergency insurance contact details), air tickets. Photocopy of above documents Good quality day pack for trekking Health vaccinations/medication Basic first aid kit Money: ATM card (widely available and easy to access in the main centres); credit cards (widely accepted in main centres); cash and travellers cheques (for emergencies) Money pouch Alarm clock and torch/flashlight Mosquito repellent Ear plugs can be useful if you are a light sleeper

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Lock for your backpack Good hiking or walking shoes for trek We recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt to store your passport, air tickets, credit cards and cash. Avoid bringing valuable jewellery with you. Some hotels we use may have safety deposit boxes. On booking, you will receive a detailed packing list for this tour with suggested items to bring and what you can purchase/hire locally for the trek to Mustang.

Updated on: 15th April 2018

Upper Mustang Dossier  

Tour Dossier for Nepal - Upper Mustang Trek.

Upper Mustang Dossier  

Tour Dossier for Nepal - Upper Mustang Trek.

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