Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep TourExtermly Popular ||
Upper Mustang Tour with Muktinath Temple – 4WD Jeep (Land Cruiser/Scorpio/Tata Sumo) Tour
Upper Mustang drive has been a common entry to the bucket list of travelers around the world. An adventure unlike anything out there, the Upper Mustang Jeep Tour covers a major half of the ancient Kingdom of Lo. Bordering Tibet to the north the picturesque landscape and wilderness soothe visitors while displaying the centuries-old art, culture, and traditional lifestyle.
Your journey to Mustang starts from the Pokhara valley. A relaxed highway drive covers the first segment of the tour. Passing by charming small settlements you will reach Beni besides the Kaligandaki River. From the lower hills of Besisahar, you will have a thrill-packed and scenic off-road adventure to enter Mustang. The experiences go up a level from here.
Heading further you will be in the restricted regions of Upper Mustang. A dream of extreme riders and thrill-seeking individuals alike, you can experience it all with these planned jeep tours. With the likes of Jomsom, Marpha, Kaligandaki Gorge, Muktinath Temples, and finally the magical Lo Manthang, the Upper Mustang Jeep tour will be the trip to remember for you. The streets, monasteries, people, and your time here are bound to be something worthy to share with family and friends.
Popular travel guide book publishers Lonely Planet have highlighted the region of Mustang as a primary reason while including Nepal in their top travel destinations list for 2022. A surge in domestic visitors, as well as travelers from South Asia (SAARC countries), has contributed to maintaining a sound travel condition all year round here. One can expect a fantastic time completing the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour with Everest Vacation.
Why choose the Jeep Tour over Trekking for Upper Mustang?
Mustang region is no new name for trekkers in Nepal. Annapurna circuit trail ends here and it is considered one of the most beautiful treks in the world. Upper Mustang trek is also possible to cover the destinations of the jeep tour taking around two weeks. However, the jeep tour is recommended over trekking by most travel operators and guides in this region.
One of the main reasons a jeep tour is more favorable is due to the time factors. While trekking takes more than two weeks you can explore the whole region for half that period. Secondly, the wind in higher regions is known to cause some hassle for trekkers. You can save on overall cost too by selecting to do the Jeep Tour. All these factors tip the scale towards the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour. Hence, with similar experiences, unless you are an avid trekker a jeep tour will be a wiser option.
To whom does this tour appeal?
The Upper Mustang tour has something delightful regardless of what kind of traveling you are used to before. A bundle of natural, cultural, and ecstatic adventures, the Upper Mustang jeep tour is perfect for solo or group vacation. In recent years these tours have received recognition and popularity from tourists of South Asia as a family vacation. This tour is ideal for you if you: –
- Love exploring the rarely documented regions beyond the beautiful Himalayas.
- Enjoy the idea of meeting new people and learn different cultures while traveling.
- Wish to see the Kingdom of Lo hidden in time and still distant from modern cultural trends.
- Admire a simple way of life in one of the most beautiful places on this planet.
- Like to take beautiful pictures of the sceneries and unobstructed landscape views.
- Want to witness the Annapurna region but want to avoid trekking around the circuit.
- Need a break from regular travel vacation and want to go the extra mile for a unique adventure.
Even if you have never been to Nepal this tour could be the introduction to the beauty and diversity held by this amazing nation.
Day to Day Journey
Our tour commences today with a light breakfast in Pokhara. After a short introduction with the driver and guide for Upper Mustang, the drive starts to Beni. In the confluence of the Myagdi and Kali Gandaki rivers, Beni marks the start of the off-road journey now. The road is carved on the hills beside the river and can sometimes be steep as well. One of the common themes throughout your drive today is water crossings and beautiful waterfalls. Tatopani, Narchyang, Rupse, and Thini are some popular stops along the way to Jomsom. You will reach Jomsom after 8-10 hours of a thrilling jeep ride. Rest for the day at your hotel upon arriving in Jomsom.
Overnight at Jomsom
We will head to Dhumba Lake for a sunrise view today. It is a short (around 4 km) but scenic section leading to the pristine lake. The views of the landscape from here are magnificent including the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri peaks. Spend some quality time around this sacred lake and head off to Kagbeni.
From Kagbeni we will take a slight detour to reach Muktinath Temple. It is one of the holiest shrines in the Mustang region with both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims arriving from all over the world. The 108 taps of the temple are fed by the water straight from the mountains. Similarly, the views around and the beautiful park of Muktinath will be a great addition to your Upper Mustang memories.
From Muktinath, we return to Kagbeni and continue on the road to Upper Mustang. We will get the permits checked here and head towards Chhusang. You can enjoy better roads and a different landscape scenery leading to Chhusang village. Head out for a stroll in this traditional village and rest for the day.
Overnight at Chhusang
We will arrive at Lomanthang, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lo today. Your drive today is full of amazing destinations and stops leading to Lomanthang. The red cliffs of Dhakmar are majestic natural formations amazing to look at from the road. With the large valley and blue sky, you will make a picturesque stop here. Similarly, Ringsum Gompa and Samar Village showcase the history and traditional art of this region too.
The scenic road passes through small villages and settlements namely Syangboche, Ghami, and Tsarang where you can stop for lunch. After a few hours, you will have the first sight of Lomanthang as a fortified city in a large plain surrounded by hills. It is a lively settlement and one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Himalayas. Explore the streets for a while in the evening and rest for the day at Lomanthang.
Overnight at Lomanthang
Today starts with more exploration around Lomanthang. We will visit the Thunchen and Namgyal monasteries first. You can also spend some insightful time in Choede Museum looking at traditional and cultural artifacts. A short drive outside Lomanthang will take us to Chhoser caves. These mysterious Jhong caves are living stories of how people have used these sky caves for centuries in a different era. The whole complex is about five-story tall and is under a tentative section of the UNESCO world heritage sites list.
Our tour then continues to the northernmost segment of Upper Mustang to the Kora La border. The border is heavily guarded on the Chinese side and you can take some pictures near the no man's land. After some time here we will begin our return drive to Chhusang. You can enjoy more of the amazing views in this segment of the tour as well. Rest for the day after reaching Chhusang.
Overnight at Chhusang
We will return to Tatopani with a brief stop in Marpha village today. The ride is every bit scenic but Marpha is the highlight of this day. Known as the "Apple Capital' of Nepal you can see large orchards nearing the village. Marpha is also one of the biggest settlements in the Mustang region with over 500 households. Try some apple products here and explore the streets. You will get a reminder once more about the beautiful culture and traditional lifestyle while in Marpha. After spending some time here we will continue on our drive to Tatopani.
Overnight at Tatopani
Tatopani is a small settlement popular for natural hot springs. Enjoy morning time with natural hot springs.
Today the tour ends with a drive back to Pokhara. On the way, we will several other sites from the Baglung and Parbat districts. The road will soon be much relaxed after the first off-road segments from Tatopani. The Hindu temples of Galeshwor and Baglung Kalika see plenty of devotees from all over Nepal. You can offer your prayers here and continue way to one of the longest suspension bridge of Nepal and one of the highest pedestrian footbridges on this planet. It joins the districts of Baglung and Parbat over Kaligandaki Gorge. You will drive back to Pokhara and end your Upper Mustang Tour there.
Things to Know before doing this tour
Here are some important points to note before heading out on the Upper Mustang Jeep tour.
- The drive from Pokhara to Jomsom is a proper off-road experience. You will have difficult segments and river crossings along the way. The drivers are well experienced but sometimes it might take a few more hours depending on road conditions.
- You will have lunch and snack stops on the settlements along the way throughout the drive. Be ready to try some local foods and cuisine as some of these stops mightn't have broad menus.
- Accommodation is simplistic as you enter the Mustang region. However, we assure you of the hygiene and availability throughout the tour.
- You can customize the itinerary to include other destinations in Upper Mustang.
- You will be touring inside restricted or protected areas for most of the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour. The permits should be acquired before the tour begins from Kathmandu or Pokhara. The Upper Mustang restricted area permit for foreigners will take USD 500$ for 10 days with at least 2 travelers that will last for the tour duration. Beyond that, you pay additional 50$ per day fee per person. These permits and other documents might be checked in different entry posts.
- If you want some more from your Upper Mustang jeep tour, try planning to be there during the Tiji festival. It is the largest festival here. It often falls around May following the lunar calendar. The whole community gathers to celebrate Tiji that lasts 3 days including several traditional activities.
- Altitude sickness symptoms might be observed while traveling to places over 3000 meters in the Himalayas. Driving tours help a lot with it in comparison to trekking. If you develop symptoms quickly let your guide know about it.
Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour is available throughout the year with few exceptions. You should be fine-tracking the road conditions in monsoon and winter periods. Upper Mustang awaits your next adventure in Nepal.