If you have a passion for experiencing authentic mountain living, trekking to Lo Manthang (840 meters/12598 feet) will undoubtedly captivate you.
Lo Manthang, situated in the Upper Mustang region, serves as the capital of an ancient Buddhist Kingdom. Nestled on the Tibetan Plateau, this trekking area exudes a culture and tradition reminiscent of Tibet. However, despite its striking similarities, the region remains relatively unexplored, shrouded in an aura of mystery due to its semi-remote and arid location.
Interestingly, this area used to have its king. Even the last king of Mustang has a house in Lo Manthang, the old capital of Lo.
Trekking to Lo Manthang is a truly amazing and unique adventure. You’re really lucky to be able to plan your trip to this area in the 2000s. If you were planning before 1992, then it would have been impossible.
Lo Manthang was a kingdom that was cut off from the rest of Nepal. But in 1992, the Nepalese government allowed people from other countries to visit there.
Mustang Lo Manthang trekking highlights
The Mustang Lo Manthang trek offers a plethora of captivating highlights for trekkers, including:
- Ancient Buddhist Kingdom: Discover the rich history and cultural heritage of Lo Manthang, which once served as a prominent Buddhist Kingdom with its own unique traditions and customs.
- Unique Tibetan Influence: Experience the strong Tibetan influence on the region’s culture, art, architecture, and daily life, providing a fascinating insight into the close ties between Mustang and Tibet.
- Remote and Off-the-beaten-path: Embark on an adventure to a less explored and semi-remote area, where the pristine landscapes and untouched beauty of the region will leave you in awe.
- Stunning Scenery: Traverse through breathtaking landscapes, ranging from arid deserts and high plateaus to dramatic canyons, offering picturesque views at every turn.
- Himalayan Peaks: Catch glimpses of majestic Himalayan peaks like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri as you trek through this magnificent mountainous terrain.
- Authentic Mountain Life: Interact with the warm and hospitable locals, gaining insights into their traditional lifestyles, customs, and age-old practices.
- Lo Manthang Palace: Visit the historic Lo Manthang Palace, an architectural marvel that stands as a testament to the region’s royal past.
- Colorful Festivals: If the timing is right, you might get the chance to witness vibrant and culturally significant festivals celebrated by the locals.
- Remote Monasteries: Encounter ancient monasteries nestled in remote locations, offering a serene and spiritual atmosphere for reflection and exploration.
- Adventure and Challenge: The trek offers a mix of adventure and challenge, making it ideal for those seeking both physical exertion and a deep connection with nature and culture.
Overall, the Mustang Lo Manthang trek promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience, taking you on a journey through time, culture, and stunning landscapes in the heart of the Himalayas.
- Upper Mustang Trek
- Upper Mustang Jeep Tour
- Mustang Tiji Festival Trek
- Mountain Biking Tour of Mustang
Lo Manthang Trek Itinerary
On the very first day, you will arrive in Kathmandu and explore the surrounding area. Then, the next day, you will take a flight to Pokhara. There are many things you can do and enjoy in Pokhara. Your journey to Lo Manthang will start with a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. On day 4, the Mustang hike will begin from Kagbeni. We will reach Lo Manthang and Namgyal on the 9th day. Afterward, we will visit Charang, Tange, Tetang, Muktinath, and finally Jomsom. The entire journey will take approximately 18 days from your country of origin and back.
The trekking becomes even more worthwhile when you witness this magical land of the rolling mountain universe. This desert, located amidst mountains, is home to around 6,000 people known as Loba or Lowa on the inner side, and Gurung and Thakuri on the outer side of their lands.
Best Time to Trek to Lo Manthang
The weather in Upper Mustang, which is located in the trans-Himalayan region, is cooler and somewhat dry because it is shielded from the rain by the Himalayan mountains. It is a great place for trekking during the monsoon season. However, in winter, it becomes unusual as many people leave the capital to avoid the cold and snowy weather.
That’s why we suggest you go to Lo Manthang during the spring season (March, April, and May) and the autumn season (September, October, and November).
Read more about The Best Time to Visit Upper Mustang
Trekking to Lo Manthang, a Fascinating Adventure Ride
The advancements in technology have transformed the way people interact with and understand the natural world and human societies.
What if I tell you, you still have a chance to see the mountain civilization? Go on a long walk to Lo Manthang to enjoy untouched nature and meet local people to explore an ancient civilization. The area offers amazing sights, walks, fresh air, monasteries, customs, and snowy mountains.
This dry and barren place was able to experience freedom in the year 1992 AD. From then on, visiting Lo Manthang on foot will help us gain a broader understanding of life.
If you have gone on a hike to the wave in America, you might experience a similar feeling here.
Lo Manthang Trek Gear List
Trekking needs a bunch of equipment. Here are a few of them to let you know in case you forget them.
- Thin and warm socks
- Hiking boots with spare shoelaces, preferably GORE-TEX
- Duffel Bag, Backpack, and Rain cover
- Trekking Pole
- Headlamp with spare batteries
- Personal Medicine
- Water Bottle
- Toothbrush, hand sanitizers, soap, shampoo, and tissue papers
- Portable water filters or purification tablets
- Earplugs, Universal Adapter, Whistle, Camera, Memory Card, and Charger
Read more about Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List
Cost to visit Lo Manthang
The Lo Manthang requirement includes a special Mustang trekking permit, which makes it costly. However, different companies offer different options. Select one of the top trekking companies in Nepal and reserve your trip. The cost for an 18-day trip with Heaven Himalaya is $2200, which is quite affordable.
How long does it take to trek to Lo Manthang?
The Upper Mustang itinerary lasts for 18 days. It is possible to finish the trek in 2 or 3 fewer days. Your physical condition might impact how long it takes. If you have fewer days, you can choose not to participate in the Upper Mustang Jeep Tour. This option is available if you cannot reach Lo Manthang by walking.