The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang
Technically on the Tibetan plateau, this once independent kingdom now within the borders of Nepal, has an extremely unique culture and setting. In fact, the Dalai Lama has called the once Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, the last bastion of living Tibetan Buddhism on the planet. The well-preserved Tibetan Buddhist culture here has prompted many of our alumni to opine that there is more Tibet in Mustang than in today’s Tibet.
Located on the northern side of the Himalayas, Mustang is in the rain shadow, leaving it dry while the rest of the subcontinent is in monsoon from late spring through early fall. Unlike most of the rest of the Himalayas the season here is best from mid-April through the end of September, opening up the possibility of trekking in Nepal in what has traditionally been considered the off-season.
The trekking here is fabulous and considered to be moderate in terms of difficulty and altitude. The views are unique, and when the weather cooperates they are unparalleled. The living Buddhist culture provides ample opportunities to explore ancient monasteries (pre-dating anything in Tibet!) and how they have been integrated into daily life as the centuries have passed down to today.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Depart the USA | Day 2: En route | Day 3: Arrive Kathmandu | Day 4: Fly Pokhara | Day 5: Fly Jomsom & begin trek | Day 6: Acclimatization day | Day 7 - 14: On Trek | Day 15: Helicopter from Lo Manthang to Kathmandu | Day 16: City tour of the capital & farwell dinner | Day 17: Depart Nepal | Day 18: Arrive Home
A Note About Mustang
Mustang is an incredibly dynamic and exciting corner of Nepal. It is unique culturally, partially because of the imposed remoteness due to the mountains and because entry was cut off to foreigners until 1992. These factors have all come together to make this small region ripe for exploration.
On top of all of the reasons to go to Mustang, there are now a wide variety of options on how to explore. You can trek, take a helicopter, ride on horseback, try the local jeeps or mix all of these options together and make it a truly custom itinerary.