Price

$6230 AUD per person

$530 AUD Single supplement

Inclusions

  • Return airport transfers throughout
  • 16 nights accommodation – local lodges used during trek
  • 16 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • English speaking local guide
  • Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle
  • Local porters during trek (ratio: – 1 porter: 2 travellers)/ can carry 20kgs.
  • ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area permits) fees
  • Special Permit for Upper Mustang Restricted area
  • TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) fees
  • Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara airfare with domestic airport departure tax
  • Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu airfare with domestic airport departure tax
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Rickshaw ride in Kathmandu
  • Blessings by Buddhist monk
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Equipment clothing for porters and staff during the trek
  • All currently applicable taxes
  • Scrubba Wash Bag

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Personal porters
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

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Intro to Nepal and Mustang

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Short on time but desperate to uncover the heart and soul of Nepal? This small group journey is perfect for those wanting to experience the bustle of Kathmandu, tranquillity of Pokhara and the traditional Buddhist cultures of the secluded Kingdom of Mustang.

Be swept up in the charm of this Himalayan region as you venture through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and mingle with some of the warmest characters on our planet.

Humble tea houses, timeless monasteries and crumbling villages all create the magnetism that draws adventure travellers to its mountainscape year after year.

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu

Welcome to the buzzing city of Kathmandu! Stepping off the plane is an adrenaline rush in itself for many people. Your eyes darting from left to right, not wanting to miss any of the action, your ears ringing with the whirring sounds of Himalayan mountain life and the aromas assaulting your senses. You will be met upon arrival at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure to trundle through narrow winding streets or hop in a rickshaw and explore. This evening, a pre tour meeting will take place where you will meet your fellow travellers and receive a briefing on your tour. Documents will be collected this evening, so please ensure you have a copy of your passports, travel insurance and at least four passport photos.

2 nights Dwarika’s Chhen or similar

Day 2 – Kathmandu

Following breakfast this morning, you will be met before commencing your city tour of the enchanting city of Kathmandu. Kathmandu for many is exhilarating, intoxicating and exhausting.

Durbar Square swarms with life. Though a few of the square’s 50-plus monuments date from the 12th century, most are from the time of the Malla Kings. Probably the most famous building here is the Kumari Bahal, a building richly decorated with beautiful woodcarvings, which is home to the Royal Kumari, the Living Goddess, and a manifestation of the great goddess Durga. Nearby, the former Royal Palace is a Mall Dynasty dwelling, once considerably more extensive than today. Within the courtyard is Nassal Chowk, which originally hosted dramatic dance performances. It is now the coronation site of the Shah kings and contains some of the finest wood carvings you will see anywhere in the kingdom. The 14th century Jagannath Mandir is the oldest temple in the area, its steps carved with inscriptions in many languages, nearby Telaju Mandir is one of the largest and finest temples in the Valley. It is dedicated to the patron deity of the royal family, Taleju Bhawani, a wrathful form of Durga who once demanded human sacrifices.

Explore the nooks and hidden crannies of Kathmandu by rickshaw. The best way to experience the bustling markets and the daily life of the Nepalese people is from the back of a rickshaw as you wind through the labyrinth of lanes through Ason and Indra Chowk to Thamel.

Continue on to Boudhanath. This is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world located east of the valley. It was built by the Lichchhavi King Mana Dev in the 5th century A.D. The Rinpoches who reside here established Boudhnath as one of the most flourishing centres of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. The colossal ancient stupa is 36 metres high.

From here, you will be transferred to the Monastery at Boudhanath for a traditional blessing from a Tibetan Lama.

Rinpoche or incarnate Lamas have long been offering a variety of blessings and ceremonies for the well-being and benefit of individuals, the community, and all sentient beings.

The Blessings include:

House/Land Blessing – This is a blessing to promote the health, peacefulness, and productivity of house and land.

Blessing For Children – This is a blessing to promote fertility.

Blessing Of Children -This is a blessing that promotes the safety, health and auspicious development of children.

Anniversary Blessing – This is a blessing to commemorate an event or special occasion.

Pet Blessing – This a blessing for the sentient beings that people adopt as a loving part of their lives.

There are several different types of ceremonies which include a marriage ceremony or long life ceremony. This ceremony promotes a long life for the devotee and family, as well as invoking the great compassion of the Buddhas to bless and augment the vitality of all living beings. There is also a special long life ceremony – This is a unique and powerful way to magnetise all vital forces to assist the recovery and well-being of individuals.

Tibetan Buddhist Funeral Ceremony – This is to promote the enlightenment and good migration of the departed person’s mental continuum.

After your blessing, you continue onto Pashupatinath. This is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the subcontinent’s great Shiva sites. The supreme holiness of the site stems from the Shiva linga enshrined in the main temple and its location. It expresses the very essence of Hinduism as pilgrims, priests, devotees, temples, ashrams, images, inscriptions and cremation ghats intermingle with the rituals of daily life, all sprawled along the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. The temple’s origins are obscure, an inscription dates from 477, but a shrine may have stood here for 1000 years before that. The evening Aarti ceremony on the banks of Bagmati River, is truly fascinating with mantras, kirtan, bells, incense and lights, all surrounded by the many devotees. It is a magical experience to witness. (B)

Day 3 – Pokhara

Following breakfast, take the short but scenic 30 minute flight to Pokhara. From the air, enjoy the views of Ganesh, Manaslu and the Annapurnas along the way. Pokhara, known as the ‘Lakeside City’ is popular for its beautiful and serene lakes: Phewa, Begnas and Rupa. Your trip includes time at all of these exotic places. Make the most of boating on Lake Phewa on whose tranquil waters the fishtail-like spire of Macha Pucchure (Fishtail) Peak is mirrored. You will visit the Bindyabasini Temple located on an island in the middle of the lake. Afterwards, take a guided tour to David Falls, the gorge of the Seti River and Tibetan refugee camp. (B)

Overnight Atithi Resort & Spa or similar

Day 4 – Pokhara to Jomsom - Trek to Kagbeni

An early start this morning as you fly from Pokhara to Jomson. This flight will provide spectacular scenery if the weather is clear as you fly between Annapurna (8,055m) and Dhaulagiri (8,146m). Upon arrival in Jomsom, you will meet your porters and begin your hike to the beautiful village of Kagbeni. This hike is just over 2.5hrs.

will be met at the tiny airstrip by your trekking crew. After some initial preparation and a briefing, you begin your trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom you cross a small suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is flat and quite barren, with craggy rocks and sand littering the trail. This makes it very easy going. You will get magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south you can see the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, fields of wheat and barley and a large red Gompa, give us a preview of the stunning scenery you can expect to be immersed in over the coming days in Upper

Mustang. At the north end of the village is the police check-post. Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this formally forbidden region of Nepal. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 5 – Enter Mustang - Trek via Chhuksang Village to Chele

Today, you will enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang. Trek through the river valley using a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand on the west bank of the river. Chhuksang village (2,980m) is a beautiful place with white washed houses and agriculture fields with little rain but fertile soil. Your trek continues on as you reach a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows. The trail then leaves the valley and climbs steeply up to the village of Chele where you will overnight. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 6 – Trek Chele to Geling

Following a trail on the arid Tibet like landscape, today you climb above the village of Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites in the form of a chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 7 – Trek to Charang

Today’s walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of your energy will be spent negotiating the loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, more than compensate for the hard climb. Finally, you come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village is a huge dzong (fortress) and a red gompa (monastery) which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 8 – Trek to Lo Manthang

You will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually you have your first glimpse of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you will circumnavigate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner. You begin your return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route.

This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley, with snow clad peaks in the background. Just past the settlement of Lo Gekar, you will reach the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghare Gompa. (B,L,D)

3 nights local lodge

Day 9 – Lo Manthang

Today, you are free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. The city contains around 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborate mandalas painted on the walls. Lo Manthang is also home to Mustang’s former King Jigme Dorjee Palbar Bista who lost his royal title in 2008 after Nepal became a republic. The king’s palace is an imposing building in the centre of the city and is still occupied by the ex-King, who is still respected by the people. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Lo Manthang

Following breakfast this morning, explore the amazing sites of Lo Manthang at leisure. Explore the small villages or take local hikes at your leisure. Why not visit the Raja’s Palace, the Red Thubchen Gompa, and the Jampa Lhakhang, Choprang gompa and Chodey gompa. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 11 – Trek to Ghami

You continue your journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, walking through the pretty valley, you will climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 12 – Trek Samar

Today you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major place to stop for horse and mule caravans. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 13 – Trek to Chukksang

Today you start to retrace your route back to Chhuksang. (B,L,D)

Overnight local lodge

Day 14 – Trek to Jomson

This morning you exit the restricted area. It’s a long day, passing back through Kagbeni to Jomsom where you end your trek. It’s now time for you to take a nice hot shower. In the evening, celebrate with your sherpas and porters, whom have become like family over the last two weeks. (B,L)

Overnight Jomson

Day 15 – Fly to Kathmandu

You take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara and catch a connecting flight back to Kathmandu. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B)

2 nights Dwarikas Chhen or similar

Day 16 – Kathmandu

Today is yours at leisure to explore or if you prefer, take a guided tour (included) to the medieval palaces of Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square & Bhaktatapur Durbar square. Exploring the main highlights including a visit to Bauddhanath Stupa which is one of the largest stupas in the world. Discover Pashupatinath, the holiest temple of Lord Shiva, the Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) and Durbar Square. Many travellers are surprised by the sheer number of temples surrounding the square, and the two adjoining squares, some dating back to the 12th century. (B)

Day 17 – Departure

Enjoy one last breakfast in your hotel in Nepal before you are transferred to the airport for your onwards flight. It is time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and reflect on one of the most rewarding experiences of your travelling life.  (B)