Best Place to Visit During Upper Mustang Trek | Mustang Trekking

  • Hemanta Budhathoki
  • Last Updated on Jul 20, 2024

Table of Contents

Upper Mustang is one of the remotest districts of Nepal. It is bordering with Tibet is in the rain shadow area of Nepal. The air is almost always cold and wet.  The area is also called mini Tibet as the region is semi-desert and people’s languages, as well as their cultures and customs, are similar to Tibet. The area of the upper mustang is restricted so that very less tourist visits the region in a year. It is a rain shadow area so that region is one the best trekking and tours suitable places even in the rainy season. After road access, more tourists are now choosing driving, cycling, or motor biking tour to Upper Mustang rather than trekking. This region is special for Buddhist pilgrimage to get in touch the place of Padmashambhav and related pilgrimage places of Buddhism. Every day of your trek or in the tour, there are important and interesting visiting places during Upper Mustang tour.  

The Upper Mustang area is truly mesmerizing and gives a feeling of being in Tibet - a kind of deserted mountain, red cliffs, caves, nature, blue skies, and more. Caves are major tourist attractions and rich sources of research into the religious and social lives of the locals in Mustang. Manmade caves are centuries back. Some of them are very religious believed that Guru Padmasambhava meditated several times.  Here we are proving a list of the best places to visit during the Upper Mustang tour.

Kora-La border and view from here

4660 meters altitude Kora La is a mountain pass in between Nepal and Tibet. This border is one of the oldest routes between the two regions Mustang and Tibet. It was historically used for salt trade between Tibet and Nepalese kingdoms Upper Mustang. Magnificent Himalayan ranges can be explored from this side and The Kali Gandaki River has its source near the southern side of this pass. It is an 18-kilometer distance from Lo-Manthang till Kora la and a motorable road till the point. When you are either on the Jeep tour or on motorbiking tour, reaching there is most.  
Upper Mustang Motorbiking
Our Motorbiking group near at Kora-La pass Upper Mustang 


Lo-manthang in Upper mustang is wall city. This is the main attraction place while you are visiting Upper Mustang.  It was ruled by a local king even after Nepal was unified in one. Lo-manthang is the capital of Upper Mustang. Historical caves, monasteries, ancient Buddhist paintings, scenic plateau landscape, and Himalayan views are the main attractions here.

This small city is culturally rich with Tibetan origin. Tibetan-style houses, stupa, and memories are another attraction here to explore. Walking or horse riding tours in this place for one full day or two days is required. Tourist standard tea houses are serving accommodation and food for local and international tourists.  

Sky caves

There are ten thousand caves in the Mustang region which is human-built caved built in between the twelve till the fourteenth centuries. The main aim of building sky caves in this area was to keep families safe. Upper Mustang area suspected of having regular battled in previous time. Peoples create those kinds of caves and used it as living quarters. Caves are also including valuable Buddhist paintings, scripts of early age.

Archaeologists are discovering valuable Buddhist paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and manuscripts containing writings from both the Bon religion and Buddhism. Now caves are the main places to visit in the upper mustang and have created mystical charm in this region. We have listed and described some caves here too.    

Jhong cave in Choser

This cave is five stores man-made cave into a cliff and has 150 rooms. There are wooden ladders to climb up the cave’s upper levels. There is a small entrance in front of Jhong cave. Once you enter there, you can explore many rooms on each floor. On the 5th floor of this cave, several windows are made. From this window can explore the beautiful landscape and Choser village. The ticket price to visit the cave has been set at 100 rupees for Nepali tourists and 500 for foreigners.

This kind of cave in the Upper Mustang is believed to build in the ancient period. Investigation says the purposes of building these kinds of caves are to get safety from enemies. Some rooms are used as storage foods, some are for the kitchen, for storage water, storage of foods, for sleeping quarters and some are used as even burning a dead body. There are multiple types of research about the caves in Upper Mustang including Jhong cave.    

Ghar Gumba

An ancient Ghar Gumba is an important monastery in Upper Mustang region. It lies elevation of 3950 meters in Charang village. This was built in the eighth century by a founder of Tibetan Buddhism Guru Padmasambhava. Local Buddhist monks accompany in this monastery and they have built Buddhist schools for these monks. Several Chortens linked with prayer flags are creating this place beautifully. Hills above the Ghar Gumba generate wonderful views of local Himalayas and flora.   

Red cliff

The view of red cliffs is truly magnificent in Upper mustang and one can feel that it has been manually created but then it is the gift of nature. Truly the best site for photos and there are so many such red cliffs throughout the Upper Mustang Region. Red cliff looks more amazing at the first sunrise of the day and at the late afternoon sun. Dhakmar and Chhosar areas are more famous to explore magnificence view of the red cliff. 

Rock Tunnel

The deepest Kali Gandaki River made many rock tunnels on the side of it, those are really impressive to see. The view of an impressive rock tunnel from above the Chele village looks beautiful. This place is off the trekking and driving path. If you get time on your trip, tell your guide to view this point once.  


Kagbeni is one of the unique Tibetan-style villages in the lower Mustang. This village is the entrance gate of Upper Mustang too. Entering further of Kagbeni need restricted area permit for foreigners other than Nepalese. The first checking point of restricted permit of Upper Mustang lies here. The oldest monasteries, typical houses, unique activities of local peoples, super landscape view and the Mountains, holy place, and Kali Gandaki River valley are the major attraction that makes peoples to stop there just to visit or relax overnight in local lodges. 
Kagbeni village
Kagbeni village and view of Kaligandaki George   

Apple orchards

Mustang is known as the capital of apple farming. You can see beautiful farms of apples around Marpha and Kagbeni village. Get an opportunity to taste it fresh from trees. You also can try the locally made dry apple and its brandy.  

Dumba Lake

Dhumba Lake is just about an hour's walk from Jomsom, Bumpy road also has reached there now.  It is located in Sambe village, at an altitude of 2,862m above sea level, and is known as the ‘heart-shaped lake’. The lake is 130m wide, 160m long, and 10m deep. It takes about 15 minutes to complete one rotation of the lake on foot. Dhumba Lake overlooks Thorong Peak and Nilgiri North to the east, Manapathi to the west, and Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak to the south, and Thini village to the north.


Muktinath is a holy temple and more famous for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage. It is believed that after taking a bath in 100 holy taps and deep in two ponds in front of the temple make free from known unknown sins. It is one of the world’s highest temples lies at an altitude of 3800 meters at the top of Thorong-La Himalayan pass. From Kagbeni, it is 1-hour driving and can visit while you are on the Upper Mustang tour.

The temple is one example of the religious combination of Hindu and Buddhist. Equally, belief by Hindu and Buddhist temples have Buddhist priests perform every day. A big statue of Buddha, Guru Rinpoche nearby the temple, natural firing place at Monastery, 100 taps, pagoda-style Muktinath temple are the main attraction of this place. Pilgrimages of the different countries reach here every year. We also are operating different tour plans for domestic and international tourists as Muktinath tour package.   


Jomsom is the typically small local town at an altitude of 2700 meters nearby the airport mostly settlement of Thakali peoples. Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges are clearly viewing from this village. This is part of the Lower Mustang and getaway of Upper Mustang and Muktinath temple. Small towns at the bank of Kali Gandaki River have Nepal’s small airport where only tiny aircraft landed only from Pokhara airport. A birds-eye view of Jomsom airport and landing view can capture from upper part of this village.  

Jomsom airport and views of Nilgiri Mountain 

Mustang Eco-Museum

This museum is located just beside Jomsom Airport and features significant artifacts of Tibetan culture, the life story of the famed Japanese monk known for his explorations in Mustang and Tibet, photographs of the many tribes of Mustang, and their tools and utensils. In another section of the museum, there are photographs of Mustang’s geology, along with and Shaligrams and other rare rocks. The museum also doubles as a library, featuring books related to the Bon and Nguhyum religions. There are statues of the Buddha, Manjushree, Padmasambhava, Avalokiteshwor, Dipankar, Maitreya, and Bajrakilaya Kuber, among others.

Marpha village

This village is on the way to Jomsom and Muktinath and at the lower part of Mustang. One of the most visiting villages for all travelers who are on the way to the Lower or Upper Mustang. A Thakali community village Marpha has knowingly worked to preserve its unique heritage and architecture. Unique houses, clean corners, narrow unique streets. At the highest point of the village is the Samten Choling Gumba, which is considered to be the heritage of the Marpha people.

This village is also very famous for photography and videography. On the clear days, the visibility of the surrounding areas, surrounded by mountain ranges, is unexplainable. Apple field is another attraction here. If you reach there around September month, organic apples are full of everywhere. For this many reasons, Marpha is like no other


Village Kalopani is named in Nepali and it means black water in English. Kali Gandaki River along of village is colored black from this place and this is the reason villages name called Kalopani. This village looks different from other villages in the Mustang area. Greenery place with pine forest, hiking hills, and Himalayan views of Annapurna I appear from here. There is the Thakali cultural museum and a safe water drinking station close to each other.


Tatopani at an altitude of 1190 meters is 4 hours driving from Pokhara on the way to Mustang. The main attraction here is natural hot spring ponds. One can enjoy deeping at natural hot spring and bath in natural hot spring tap. Peoples believe that taking bath in this hot spring take off many skin diseases. Good service provider local guest houses are there with a big garden and nice space to overnight.


Pokhara is a natural city of Nepal about 200 kilometers from Kathmandu. Tourists coming to Nepal have listed to visit Pokhara on their itinerary. Lakeside of Pokhara is a touristic place in the shores of Phewa lake dotted with colorful bobbing paddleboats, this little slice of tranquility is one of the favorite places of Nepal. Surroundings by Mountains and green hills Pokhara also have some of the world’s best activities.

Paragliding, Bungee jumping, Mountain flight, Annapurna Base Camp Helicopter tour, White water rafting, and many more are the major activities in Pokhara. Pokhara is also the starting point of Annapurna Base camp trekking and the ending point of Thorong-La trekking. Several hiking to the beautiful villages around with the high Himalayan views is from Pokhara. You can enjoy boating at Fewa Lake, Begnas Lake, enjoy and celebrate in Lakeside.   

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki is team leader of Nepal Highland Trekking and travel company. 

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