Dominated by an endless expanse of otherworldly landscape on the southern tip of the Tibetan plateau, Upper Mustang carries isolated and mystical vibes. Complementing the wild and erratic landscape is this Forbidden Kingdom’s rich and pristine native tradition that dates back centuries. Biking here instantly makes you a local celebrity as children with scary wind-blown hair and apple red cheeks surround to greet you. We bike mostly along jeep tracks to reach the walled city of Lo Manthan, the crown jewel of Upper Mustang. Ride on arid landscape through immaculate Sherpa villages, meet friendly locals, admire giant Himalayan mountains in the horizon and get on a horse when you feel like taking a break. Upper Mustang biking trip will indeed make for quite a humbling experience and a holiday of a lifetime.
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu. Some sightseeing and trip briefing
Our staff will welcome you at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu upon your arrival and transfer you to the hotel on a private vehicle. The evening can be spent exploring Thamel, a tourist hub offering numerous bars, shops and restaurants, followed by the old palace complex at Basantapur Durbar Square, which gives you an instant taste of Nepali life. Later at the hotel, we will brief you on trip details, safety, preparation and essentials for the adventure.
Day 2 Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Sightseeing in Pokhara
Kathmandu (1345m / 4413ft) – Pokhara (900m / 2953ft)
Early in the morning you will be transferred to the bus station for a 5-hour scenic drive to Pokhara on a tourist bus. Once you reach Pokhara, get awestruck by the lakeside city’s natural beauty. The city lies along the banks of the gorgeous Phewa Lake and sports panoramic views of Machapuchure, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. Pokhara is much more laid back and less hectic than Kathmandu, which makes it perfect for relaxation and adventure activities alike.
We’ll spend the rest of the day exploring the picturesque Pokhara Valley which offers wonderful natural and cultural points of interest for sightseeing. These include boating on Phewa Lake, exploring Seti River gorges and Gupteshwar Cave, visiting Tibetan Refugee Camps and Barahi temple. The Peace Pagoda is also quite a spectacular hike with an amazing view of the valley below and the Annapurnas at a distance.
Day 3 Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom. Bike from Jomsom to Kagbeni
Pokhara (900m / 2953ft) – Jomsom (2720m / 8924ft) – Ekle Bhatti (2820m / 9252ft) – Kagbeni (2810m / 9220ft)
We pack up and head to the airport for our flight to Jomsom. There are several flights from Pokhara to Jomsom in the morning before the high winds in Jomsom pick up late morning. Upon landing, we assemble our bikes and spend some time riding through the cobbled streets of the bustling town. We then head off to Kagbeni, riding the relatively flat section along the river trail. In Kagbeni, you can enjoy a fantastic mix of scenery and native lifestyle. The lively Tibetan culture in the village is sure to give you a warm welcome.
Day 4 Bike from Kagbeni to Chele
Kagbeni (2810m / 9220ft) – Chusang (2966m / 9731ft) – Tetang (3033m / 9951ft) – Chele (3077m / 10096ft)
From Kagbeni we enter the region of Upper Mustang, which until very recently was restricted to travelers. The trail climbs for a short stretch from Kagbeni and then on a dusty path we ride on a short downhill section. There are fantastic views of snowcapped mountains that you can enjoy. Chusang and Tetang villages, around 3,000m in altitude, have rich fields of barley, potatoes and apple orchids. After a short steep climb, we reach the beautiful village of Chele, our destination for the day. Caves believed to be created thousands of years ago can be seen shortly before we reach Chele.
Day 5 Bike from Chele to Ghami
Chele (3077m / 10096ft) – Samar Pass (3603m / 11821ft) – Samar (3608m / 11838ft) – Taklam La Pass (3820m / 12533ft) – Yamda La Pass (3900m / 12796ft) – Syangboche (3900m / 12796ft) – Geling (3571m / 11716ft) – Nyi La Pass (4027m / 13212ft) – Ghami (3563m / 11690ft)
Chele La Pass at 3,630m is our first checkpoint, as we pass the Samar valley, and along the way other passes like Taklam La (3,820m) and Yamda La (3,900m). The ride takes us through the tiny settlement of Syangboche village, from where the Ramchung cave and chorten-like stalagmites are just nearby. Indeed, this section makes for one of the most sacred places in Mustang. From Syangboche we descend to the picturesque valley of Geling, where you can see mostly mud houses. Crossing Nyi La Pass (4,027m) today will be demanding but well rewarding once we reach Ghami.
Day 6 Bike from Ghami to Lo Manthan
Ghami (3563m / 11690ft) – Longest Mani Wall (3547m / 11638ft) – Lo La Pass (3930m / 12894ft) – Charang (3595m / 11795ft) – Lo Manthan (3891m / 12766ft)
Today we cross the Ghami River and ride along the Longest Mani Wall to reach the village of Charang with panoramic scenery of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peaks. We’ll make a quick visit to the Red Monastery at Charang. The walled city of Lo Manthan, the district capital of Mustang, will be visible as we cross Lo La Pass at 3,930m, popularly called Windy Pass. The sight of the old kingdom will make you feel lost in another era. The mystical and isolated city certainly is a major destination of our trip. More than 600 years old, the walls of Lo Manthan are believed to ward off the evil spirits. We’ll spend the evening strolling in the streets of this surreal town.
Day 7 Rest day at Lo Manthan
Lo Manthan (3891m / 12766ft) – Choser (3925m / 12878ft) – Lo Manthan (3891m / 12766ft)
There couldn’t be a better place than Lo Manthan for a rest day, where we will visit three major monasteries (with ancient paintings and art) and a four-storey palace of an old Mustangi king. We’ll mix in with the locals and observe their lifestyle and how they go about their daily chores. To get around Lo Manthan, we’ll hire a horse to visit nearby villages like Choser and other great attractions like the Jong cave tunneling intricately on the mountainside. The experience you get in this old kingdom – of the culture, nature, architecture, people views and the feeling of being in an ancient rustic town – will make special memories.
Day 8 Bike from Lo Manthan to Ghami, via Dhakmar
Lo Manthan (3891m / 12766ft) – Pang La Pass (4132m / 13557ft) – Ghar Gompa (3722m / 12212ft) – Lo Ghyghar (3522m / 11556ft) – Dhakmar (3729m / 12235ft) – Ghami (3563m / 11690ft)
The day starts with a hearty breakfast, riding back to Ghami through challenging but exciting alternative routes that take us over the Pang La Pass situated 4,132m in altitude. From here a thrilling downhill takes us to Ghar Gompa, a beautiful 1200-year-old monastery, and amazing red landscapes of Dhakmar village. The vegetation at Dhakmar is greener that in other places of Upper Mustang. After an hour’s ride on mostly undulating singletracks, we reach Ghami in the late afternoon.
Day 9 Bike from Ghami to Samar
Ghami (3563m / 11690ft) – Nyi La Pass (4027m / 13212ft) – Geling (3571m / 11716ft) – Yamda La Pass (3900m / 12796ft) – Syangboche (3900m / 12796ft) – Taklam La Pass (3820m / 12533ft) – Samar (3608m / 11838ft)
The route to Samar is the same way back to Kagbeni, but since we’re taking a detour, the sceneries are much different and you’ll see more of the Annapurna range on a clear day. We ride through a couple of passes on jeep tracks with little to no traffic. The quaint Buddhist village of Samar is one of the larger ones in Mustang and the people here are engaged mostly in agriculture. We’ll see many horses here as they are used for transportation and for agriculture as well.
Day 10 Bike from Samar to Kagbeni
Samar (3608m / 11838ft) – Chele (3077m / 10096ft) – Chusang (2966m / 9731ft) – Tangay (3022m / 9915ft) – Kagbeni (2810m / 9220ft)
Following the newly built dusty downhill jeeptracks along the Kali Gandaki River, we head to Kagbeni. At this point, we will be exiting Upper Mustang and entering Lower Mustang. On this day, we will descend more than 800m in altitude, cover about 30 kms. Once we reach Kagbeni in the afternoon, we will have enough time to explore the village and interact with the local people, a majority of whom are of Tibetan descent.
Day 11 Bike from Kagbeni to Muktinath
Kagbeni (2810m / 9220ft) – Jharkot (3550m / 11647ft) – Muktinath (3760m / 12336ft)
After an early morning breakfast, we start riding uphill and gain almost 1,000m in elevation. The region is dry and arid, almost desert-like, with awe-inspiring sceneries of the mountains at the horizon. We will come across trekkers and pilgrims, flocking from as far as India, on their way to Muktinath, one of the most revered Hindu temples in the world. Once at Muktinath, we’ll explore the religious site and see the eternal flame that burns on natural gas source. “Mukti” means liberation and “nath” means a holy temple, so Muktinath is considered to be a temple of soul liberation. Besides Hindu hermits and pilgrims, we’ll see some Tibetan traders as well.
Day 12 Bike from Muktinath to Tukuche
Muktinath (3760m / 12336ft) – Muktinath Pass (4000m / 13124ft) – Lupra (3028m / 9935ft) – Ekle Bhatti (2820m / 9252ft) – Jomsom (2720m / 8924ft) – Marpha (2670m / 8760ft) – Tukuche (2586m / 8485ft)
From Muktinath we ride along a very enjoyable downhill track descending to the Kaligandaki River valley floor. We’ll make a quick pit stop at Marpha, a village with legendary apple orchids. Make sure to taste some Marpha Brandy and a range of apple products like apple pie and dried apple skin. We call it a day at Tukuche village, an ancient Thakali tribe settlement, and spend some time exploring the region and learning about the culture and history of the village. Tukuche lies right beneath the Tukuche peak and Dhaulagiri, with amazing views of Mt. Nilgiri and icefalls of Dhaulagiri’s east face.
Day 13 Bike from Tukuche to Tatopani
Tukuche (2586m / 8485ft) – Kobang (2550m / 8367ft) – Larjung (2500m / 8203ft) – Ghasa (2010m / 6595ft) – Rukse Chahara (1650m / 5414ft) – Tatopani (1190m / 3905ft)
We begin riding from Tukuche to Tatopani through some fantastic downhill sections. Tatopani translates to “hot water” and rightly so, the hot springs at Tatopani are quite a treat. This is a fabled place to relax your mind and body, so pamper yourself after a great day of biking in this fantastic region. Located besides the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, the hot dip amidst the surrounding natural beauty in Tatopani will definitely unwind your muscles.
Day 14 Bike from Tatopani to Beni, and drive to Pokhara. Full body massage in the evening
Tatopani (1190m / 3905ft) – Thadi Khoriya (1030m / 3380ft) – Ranipauwa (1100m / 3609ft) – Galeshwar (1170m / 3839ft) – Beni (830m / 2724ft) – Pokhara (900m / 2953ft)
After a relaxing time at Tatopani, we ride for about 1.5 hours on jeep tracks to reach Beni, a small but vibrant market town. We’ll spend some time exploring the town and then drive back to Pokhara on a 4-hour drive. It’s a bumpy drive and you can enjoy the scenic views you get along the away. Once we reach Pokhara, we can do some boating on the Phewa Lake and have a pleasant time reflecting on our thrilling adventure in Upper Mustang. In the evening, loosen up your muscles and free your mind with an hour-long full body massage.
Day 15 Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Farewell dinner in the evening
Pokhara (900m / 2953ft) – Kathmandu (1345m / 4413ft)
Our staff will take you to the bus station for an early morning drive to Kathmandu, and transfer you to the hotel. We’ll have some time for some shopping in late afternoon. In the evening, you’re invited for a farewell dinner at a traditional Nepalese restaurant which hosts cultural performances, and you’re more than welcome to join the merry. We toast a round or two of locally brewed drinks to celebrate our trip achievement and to good health! Holidays should never have an ending date. So extend your trip and opt for adventure activities including trekking, bungy jumping, mountain flight, rafting, hiking, Chitwan jungle adventure and Lumbini heritage trip. These can be arranged before or after the biking adventure.
Day 16 Flight departure from Nepal
The trip concludes today. Our staff will drop you off at the Tribhuwan International Airport and wish you bon voyage for onward journey.
Generally most adventures and trip to Nepal is based on a remote areas and high places where you cannot imagine staying in the very quality accommodation. We have different five star hotels available in the city area but during the trek we will be staying at tea houses and in camp. Local lodge better known as Tea house are simple but comfortable with the availability of all the features like toilets and washing facilities. Camping is generally made when we don’t have any hotels available to rest your weary trekking legs and relish the beauty of the country side in remote Nepal.
Nepal has huge coverage of verity in different foods. You will experience the vast array of wonderful foods found in the different destination. Your guide will help you with the menu selection and make sure that you get the best value meals possible. On every trip you will have a flexible opportunity to manage your budget and enjoy the test of large variety of dishes.
Altitude Sickness Info:
When you trek in the mountains there is high chance of getting altitude sickness. You better collect information about altitude sickness before you start trekking. High altitude sickness can happen to anybody – old or young, in a good shape or not. Being in hurry in the mountains of Nepal can be deadly. Your body can adjust to this altitude, but only if given enough time. You better carry a light weight because carrying a heavy pack can predispose some people to altitude illness. So we recommend you to give your loads to porters. If you find symptoms then you must descend down at any cost. The symptoms are totally different from one person to other. Sometimes you might feel headache, you may feel you need to throw up, your fingers may go slightly numb or you may start breathing heavy. If you have these kinds of symptoms you should stop at this height. Drinking lots of water can help you out. We highly recommend you not to take any pills to avoid headache or other illness because this has taken so many people to death.
We highly recommend you to get travel insurance before you travel with us. We require that to cover your medical expenses including emergency repatriation. This is policy which also covers your personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects which is strongly recommended for you. You leader will need to see your evidence of your travel insurance and the insurance company’s emergency contact number before you join the group for your trip.
We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before you travel any of the places and make sure your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. You better keep your passport and money in the neck wallet or money belt when you travel for the safety of your passports, air tickets, and money. You don’t need your expensive jewelry to be with you on a travel so keep it at home. Your leader will accompany you on all the activities, however if you have an own interest on different activities on a leisure time you can pursue but remember this activities you undertake are not the part of our trip itinerary.
We have an aim to connect people to people no matter from which place from you are. Exchanging culture and learning about each other’s tradition with the heart full of respects. It is important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another.
You should be considerate of Nepal’s customs, traditions, religion and culture. It is better you dress modestly and respectfully especially when entering places of worship. You can bargain at market it is more fun when you put smiles on your face. You can learn some local language and don’t hesitate to use it. Simple greetings can make a huge difference. Buy locally made products which support local artisans and helps keep traditional crafts alive. We recommend you to ask and receive permission before you take picture of people including children.
Health and Safety:
We carry a first aid kit with the standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors. We recommend you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We suggest protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid etc. Acute mountain sickness is caused by going up high too fast and can be dangerous if all the warning signals are ignored. Altitude sickness has a potential to affect all the travelers from 2500m and higher. In case of serious sickness or a casualty, we will do everything to transfer you to nearest hospital. Regarding your safety the leader or your trip guide will be always around and will instruct you with every possible danger that can say hi to you on your adventure.
Group Leader and Crew:
We provide you a highly qualified and trained leader who can manage your trip to be more wonderful. In order to match your requirement the leader will be selected officially. The other crew member who seems very helpful and polite will be there at your service at anytime. However in tourism crew members and porters hopes for your kind tips at the end of the services so we would like to recommend you to put on some tips to appreciate amazing smiles and thanks.
All the itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on a prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your leader of guide. However the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary.
You have to keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into a remotest mountain region, where many unexpected events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, your guide or we will suggest the best alternatives to meet the similar activities to your original program.