Request a free Brochure

Get a FREE Active Adventures Brochure

Includes info on all of our trips.

By submitting this request, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Mustang Region

You may have heard quiet whispers, unconfirmed claims at truth, about the mystical Mustang region on your travels, but most likely you haven't heard much. It was Nepal’s best kept secret until it opened its doors to tourists once again in 1992.

The Mustang region lies beyond the Annapurna Massif and stretches out into the vast Tibetan Plateau. It has been a part of Nepal since the 18th century but its location and its forced status as a ‘forbidden kingdom’ has protected it from the influences of the western world.

It is packed full of culture and tradition and the Upper Mustang is one of the best preserved regions in the world, with most still communicating in traditional Tibetan languages.

There's no other place on Earth that can offer you the same experiences that you’ll find in Mustang. Here we’ll tell you all you need to know about the region itself, including its history and climate, and some of the things you can do there. If you're keen to learn more about what it's like to go trekking there specifically, then check out our Mustang Trekking Tour Itinerary page.

Skip to: History | Climate | Things to do | Our Trip 

Get Your Free Trekking Brochure Check Availability


local man on horseback in the mustang region

History

For a relatively small area, the Mustang region packs a punch in terms of history. It was once a forbidden kingdom, cut off from China, and with foreign entry banned by the Nepali government. The exclusion began in 1959 when the Dalai Llama fled from Tibet as the Chinese occupation became violent.

In the early 1960’s the famous warriors of the Khampa people joined with other local forces in the Mustang region and began fighting against the Chinese government. As a result, China requested the Nepali government to forbid entry of any foreigner to the Mustang region as it was a link to Tibet. In 1962 all foreigners were banned from entering until 1992, when the doors were reopened to tourists. 

For a long time, Mustang was an independent kingdom with its own monarchy, it held a strategic spot on the trade route between the Himalayas and the plains of India. It was claimed by Nepal and annexed in the 18th century and the monarchy was disbanded in 2008 by order of the Nepali government; meaning that the Mustang Region lost its title as a 'kingdom', but many in the region still recognize the monarchy today.

The once unsullied pocket of cultural is, unfortunately, slowly beginning to feel the influences of china and the outside world - a new road is currently being built through Mustang to connect China and Nepal. Change in the region is inevitable which makes now a great time to start planning a trip.


Climate

You might be aware that Nepal is in a climate zone which means it has a monsoon season. Monsoon hits the Himalayas hard and runs from July until late September or early October. Luckily the Mustang Region doesn't receive the same monsoon rains, it sits in the rain-shadow of the Annapurna Massif and is sheltered from the downpours which fall to the south/south-east. In fact, monsoon is a great time of year to travel in the Mustang Region as temperatures are lower and more comfortable for trekking.

Here's a quick look at the seasons in the Mustang Region - for more detailed information check out our Best Time to Visit Nepal page:

  • Spring (March-May) – Temperatures are pleasant in both the Upper and Lower Mustang regions during the day, hitting between 15-21°C and much cooler at night. 
  • Summer (May – July) –  The Mustang Region during summer can be very hot, and although trekking is still possible in the Upper Mustang, it may be a little uncomfortable. It ranges between 28-31°C during the day, and in the lower areas the temperature stays warm throughout the night. 
  • Monsoon (July – September) – Monsoon season doesn't hit Upper Mustang, but Lower Mustang does get a little wet, so rain gear is advisable, whilst temperatures are a little more comfortable than the height of summer.
  • Autumn (September – November) – Temperatures are relatively high at around 22-26 °C and slightly cooler in the Upper Region. Winds from the north tend to buffet the trails during these months so the right gear is essential.
  • Winter (December – February) – In the Upper Mustang temperatures are very cold at 0-5°C in the day and much lower at night. The locals leave these areas and head south for warmer weather so many of the tea houses are closed and the trails deserted. Lower Mustang temperatures range from 17-22°C whilst the surrounding mountains are topped with snow.

Things to do

Trekking

As travelling the world becomes accessible to more people, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find truly untouched gems of cultural significance, and particularly ones which are safe to visit. The Upper Mustang Region is still one of those places, with welcoming locals and a strong sense of tradition. It is a haven for trekkers and will spoil you with unimaginable views and peaceful trails.

To enter the region there is a charge of $50USD per day, and an annual quota (currently) of 1,000 people, so the numbers passing through remain low. 

There are countless treks you can undertake, ancient man-made caves to discover, and a rich Tibetan Buddhist culture to get lost in. There are guesthouses dotted around which make for a comfortable stay, and treks can even be completed on horseback if you have concerns about distance.

Be the first of your friends to experience this mystical region and check out our ‘Forbidden Kingdom of Lo’ Trek, you'll also find a more detailed itinerary, and reviews from previous travellers.

Mountain biking

If you love to mountain bike then you may already be familiar with the world-beating trails of the Upper Mustang. The diversity of the trails, in both terrain and difficulty make this place a must for mountain bikers of all levels. There are tours available out of Kathmandu and Pokhara, to explore this amazing region on two wheels with guides who will help you find all the hidden gems.

Culture

It’s hard to name a place with a more authentic culture than that of the Mustang region. Lo Manthang is the capital and here you’ll find Gompas, a royal palace, traditional houses and narrow streets. In Upper Mustang you can visit the Mukinath temple which is a place of religious importance for Hindu followers. The great thing is, if you don't make it to one of the Gompas or temples, you'll still feel the strong sense of culture through the people, the food and the vibe as you explore this beautiful region.


Our Mustang Trip 

 


Related Articles:


Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16037 reviews)

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16037 reviews)

    BEST trip I've ever been on!

    My 17-year old daughter and I went on the Khombu Trip March 12 - 26, 2017 and had the most memorable, amazing trip ever. I've had the privilege of seeing a lot of the world, and this trip to Nepal blew me away. Mel and Gokul were incredible guides who could answer every question we asked, knew all about the history of every place we visited, and you could tell they loved sharing the beauty of Nepal with us. Even our pre-planning was a breeze with the help of
    Kristen Mehan Review Image
    – Colorado, United States
    Khumbu, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16037 reviews)

    A Wonderful Adventure

    This was truly a trip of a lifetime. From the vibrant streets of Kathmandu to the peace and majesty of the Himalayas we were always seeing something new and beautiful. DK, Gokul and “the boys” looked after everything so capably. The route, food and accommodations were all excellent. Trekking was a new and challenging experience for us but left us with a real sense of accomplishment. What wonderful memories we have!
    Heather Forbes Review Image
    – Nova Scotia, Canada
    Khumbu, November 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16037 reviews)

    Trip of a lifetime

    I have been to some pretty far away places around the world like Cambodia, Tanzania, Norway and France. As unique and fun as they all were, none of them can top the amazing experience I had in Nepal with Active Adventures. Everything was incredible throughout the whole trip, the food was incredible, every lodge we stayed in was great. The people above all were so nice and caring. The sightseeing was mind blowing and beautiful. This trip was everything I expected it to be and more.
    Brynn Mehan Review Image
    – Colorado, United States
    Khumbu, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16037 reviews)

    Couldn't be more pleased

    Pleased especially that I made it to EBC! Out of the 10 of us 5 made it all the way. Can't believe this old man (63) was one of them. I know the only reason I did make it was due to the excellent leaders and sherpas. They were incredibly attentive and professional. We all feel how lucky we were to have the trek leaders that we had, and to have such a fun group. It far exceeded my expectations; the incredible mountains, accommodations, ample food, and exceptional leadership. The acclimation days and the slow steady pace are all that attributed to my personal success. Thank you especially Elder and Argen. I hope to take another of your treks next year, looking at Peru. Thank you to the entire Active Adventures team!
    Mark Steiner Review Image
    – California, United States
    EBC, December 2017

 previous

next 

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

Active Adventures Brochure
no thanks, i don't like free stuff
Get your FREE Brochure Now!
Active Adventures Brochure
close
close
no thanks, i don't like free stuff
close
close