Intro of upper mustang Nepal
In the Nepalese Himalaya the rain shadow zone, Upper Mustang is a dry river valley located close to the Tibet. Upper mustang trek can also be connected with famous Annapurna Circuit route. Upper mustang trekking permit is different than Annapurna circuit trekking permit.
Permit for Upper mustang Nepal is issued by department of immigration in Kathmandu. However – you also have to buy permits for Annapurna region as you will by ACAP.
Upper mustang is a restricted kingdom within Nepal. Because – trail to upper mustang can be tricky and along with the route – Nepal government has decided to keep this region under the restricted region list, to protect the untouched cultural flavor of upper mustang trekking trail.
Mustang Nepal is under isolation from the outside world, and thus this circumstances led to the development of its unique tradition and culture, which is very similar to Tibetan culture. As of present condition in upper mustang Nepal – Nepal & China are building road connecting for trades. And in the past – this same route used to be a passage for caravans to & from Tibet.
Upper Mustang is known for its trekking trail for the flavor of Tibetan culture, and exploration of a 2,000-year-old monastery. Upper mustang is also famous as mini Tibet.
On the other side, Lower Mustang is well known for its verities of magnificent landscapes, culture, and natural beauty. The Trans Himalayan climate, which is chilly and semi-arid, prevails in Upper Mustang. The change of landscape, nature, culture and tradition from Lower mustang to Upper region of Mustang Nepal is interesting element of Upper mustang trekking.
The cost of trekking in this specially protected region of Nepal depends on the time you travel and how you get there – the mode of transportation. Either you are on the group or alone – this upper mustang trekking trip is expensive because of permit cost. Special permit for Upper mustang is USD 50 per day. So the cost of upper mustang trek solely depends on – how many days? what route? and your nationality. Only the foreigners has to pay this huge fee to visit upper Mustang. Whereas Nepalese can travel to this restricted region without expensive special permit.
However, paying some hundred dollars for the special permit – worth a visit to upper mustang with verities of excursion sites. The cost of trekking also depends upon the choosing travel agency (different agency have a different price – most of the international companies has high prices than local trekking agencies in Kathmandu ), choosing your transportation, accommodation, food drink and other miscellaneous.
Cost of an Upper Mustang Permit – Permit for restricted region
Up until 1992, foreigners were not permitted to enter the kingdom’s Upper Mustang region, which has long been a closed area.
Foreigners are now permitted, however in order to enter Upper Mustang, tourists must pay a 500 USD entry fee per person for a permit that is valid for 10 days and costs an extra 50 USD for each additional day. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permits are furthermore required and cost NPR 3000 (about USD 30) per person. And the cost for TIMS is USD 20 per person. Trekkers Information management system keep record of trekkers for the safety assurance.
Cost of food & accommodation in this restricted region
The cost of food and lodging is a need during the trekking in any part of Nepal, so as in Upper Mustang Nepal. The approximate cost of food and lodging for this trek is $5 to $7 per meal and $5 to $10 per night at a lodge.
Cost of transportation for the Mustang Nepal
The limited permission for Upper Mustang does not mean the road in this area is as bad as in other part of Nepal. Instead – roads of Upper mustang is well maintained and till the date – upper mustang raod connecting to china is being upgraded in rapid level. Upper region of Mustang has good roads, however in the lower mustang and in annapurna section of upper mustang – road might be bad enough to delay the travel time.
Special permit for Upper mustang Nepal is only available in the immigration office at Kathmandu. Therefore, your journey will always begin in Kathmandu before continuing on to Pokhara and then Jomsom to begin the hike in upper mustang region.
Between Kathmandu and Pokhara, there are numerous ways to get there, including local buses, tourist buses, daily flights, and even private jeeps. Whatever you choose is okay for travel from kathmandu to Pokhara.
However, we advise taking a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. Local buses and local jeep services link to an off-road track that leads to Jomsom, however they may not run as smoothly as in kathmandu-pokhara section, and safety may also be an issue during the rainy season.
To give you an approximate sense of the price: Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara: $10 to $30 per person, one way. The range is brought on by the extra services, which can differ, such as food and drink, wifi, air conditioning, etc. A municipal bus or a tourist bus are further options.
- Flight cost from Kathmandu to Pokhara: around USD 150 each way
- Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom: around USD 130 each way
- Bus from Pokhara to Jomsom and Kagbeni costs about USD 30–50 per person.
Other miscellaneous costs
It is well known that food and accommodation costs more in the mountain. When a very simple thing requires extra work for transporting and fixing, so please do not expect it to be inexpensive.
You may want to include the following extra costs in your budget when planning any hike in Nepal:
- Charging your electronic gadgets
Recharging battery of Camera, iPod, mobile phone or anything would definitely cost you a few dollars at a time. As you will be on the mountain for many days and will definitely be requiring to charge at least your phone or camera. If you want to make the price lower – you as well can invest in a portable solar battery charger or a portable power bank. Extra batteries for your camera will help as well.
- Gas/fire wood-heated bucket showers (using a pail of water) – may costs you a few dollars at a time. Please don’t anticipate taking a complete bath or daily showers in the mountains. Yes, as much as we would like to accomplish that, it simply isn’t feasible or cost-effective.
It is not always about the cost – but the cold in the mountain will be trouble while trekking. It is warm while taking shower with boiled water but right after you get out of the hot water shower – freezing cold or non heated environment will create an issue.
- Although it is not mandatory in most of the monasteries, locals do appreciate a small donation (if not entry tickets) for the upkeep of the region if you visit monasteries, gumbas, or stupas. Prices here could differ.
- Tips: Tips is not the compulsory it is an optional part, if you want to give a some tips for your accommodation, restaurant and for the guide at the end of the trip will add up the total cost for upper mustang trekking.
4 hours from Lo Manthang
Near Tibetan boarder
June 24, 2022