This is not just a trek, it’s your introduction to a once-upon-a-time thriving kingdom of yore – this is Mustang…an area in Nepal that was once called ‘the forbidden kingdom’’, till its gates opened in the 90’s. Going in and coming out – both ways, we have the pleasure of gracing stunning views of the huge Annapurna’s and the so very towering Dhaulagiri peak…it leaves you stunned to the bone… and we have a whole day to discover the ancient walled capital of Mustang – Lo Manthang…it’s a world you wouldn’t have imagined…till you saw it…on the ‘Ancient Mustang Trek’’…
Trekkers weren’t allowed into this kingdom until the past decade and a half; the moment you come face to face with this olden and secretive province upfront, you’d soon realize its geographical similarity to Tibet, and the culture is so much the same. Mustang was once a rich prosperous independent country in the 15th Century, because its tactical setting gave it the leverage to control the famous salt trade between Tibet and Nepal. This territory is in a league of its own with white-washed lively but quiet villages, Tibetan styled monasteries and notable wayside inns, a bequest that dates back hundreds of years of cross-border bartering, giving Mustang a unique identity, not found in other part of Nepal. Even the physical attributes of Mustang is not like any other part of the Himalayas in Nepal; - windswept conglomerate cliffs colored by unusual earth pigments in dissimilar hues of maroon, dull yellow, earthy brown and sharp blue, set amidst a backdrop of snow-capped silver grey peaks of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri gleaming on the horizons. Most backpackers would not have wanted it the way it is now, with the slow intrusion of the motor road that has now found its way into Mustang, but to look at the positive side of this, we can now improvise on the way we plan this superb 2-week escapade holiday. Our journey commences with a flight to Jomsom by the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, we hit the trail for 3 days from Kagbeni to Ghami, before we come bang on straightaway to the folk tale walled city of Lo Manthang and explore for a whole day here, wandering into a world that was and still is amongst its brilliantly painted houses and clandestine alleyways, a world that refuses to forget its past. ‘Mountain Sherpa Trekking and Expeditions’’has designed your trip in a way that steers past that long-drawn-out hiking that’s not needed, which is close to the motor tracks, but we are still able to enjoy all of Mustang's interesting villages, chortens and characteristic scenery. Nevertheless, the best is yet on the way, as we hike away from Lo Manthang on the eastern part of the Kali Gandaki River.
This 10-11-day trekking venture shows us some of the most inner areas of Mustang, where the changes are a bare minimum, and time seems to have come to an abrupt halt…its engrossing. We visit a whole sequence of far flung settlements, such as Drakmar, Ghiling and Chuksang, as we make a beeline southwards towards the intimidating presence of the Annapurna Himal. This dramatic trip culminates at historic Jomsom, after having discovered a wonderful world so different from ours…which could have only been possible on the ‘Ancient Mustang Trek’’…a true fairy tale of one of the best trekking adventures in Nepal.