Mustang is a remote and isolated region of the Nepalese Himalayas. The Upper Mustang was a restricted demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetic Language. Tibetan culture has been preserved by the relative isolation of the region from the outside world.The Upper Mustang comprises the northern two-thirds of Mustang Distric of Dhawalagiri Zone, Nepal. The southern third of the district is called Thak and is the homeland of the Thakali who speak the Thakali Language, and whose culture combines Nepalese and Tibetan elements. Life in Mustang revolves around tourism animals and trade.
Mustang is 53 km north–south at its longest, 60 km east–west at its widest and ranges from a low point of 2,750 m above sea level on the Kali Gandaki River just north of Kagbeni to 6,700 m at Khamjung Himal, a peak in southeast Mustang. Most of the population of Mustang lives near the Kali Gandaki River, 2800–3900 m above sea level. The tough conditions cause a large winter migration into lower regions of Nepal. The administrative centre of Mustang District is at Jomsom which has had an airport since 1962 and has become the main tourist entry point since Mustang was opened to western tourism in 1992.
Mustang is rich in Buddhist culture, similar to the area of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. It is an alternate way to experience the Tibetan culture and landscape to the tours provided by the Chinese government. The Tiji festival in Lo-Manthang is another popular destination for tourists in the area seeking to experience the native culture.
The first westerner in Mustang was Toni Hagen, Swiss explorer and geologist, who visited the Kingdom in 1952 during one of his travels across the Himalayas. French Michel Peissel is considered the first westerner to stay in Lo Manthang, during the first authorised exploration of Mustang in 1964.Mustang trek unfolds the fabled forbidden kingdom’s vast and arid valleys, eroded canyons, yak caravans, colorful – painted mud brick houses on the back dropped of majestic over 8000m mountain of Nilgiri, Tukche, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
This Upper Mustang trekking is one of the best treks to do even in the monsoon time as the entire Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow, north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, completely sheltered from the monsoon downfall in Nepal. We take both ways of (Bus/Jeep) Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight (Bus/Jeep) on this Mustang trekking that does avoid the lower rainy section of Annapurna. The best advantage of doing this cultural trek in monsoon time is that the village are full of local people busy at their every day works and the whole region are in bloom which makes really a fabulous contrast with the wind eroded hills, red cliffs and snow capped mountains on the back ground – a great vista. Thus upper Mustang trek is once in a lifetime destination to explore the fascinating medieval walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.