NEW Trip – Kyrgyzstan & the Tian Shan MountainsJoin 19 August 2024 Departure

17 Days$6290USD

  • 4x4 jeep
  • Day Walks
  • Optional pony trekking
  • 3 nights hotel
  • 13 nights lodge
  • 13 Dinners
  • 13 Lunches
  • 16 Breakfasts

Trip highlights

  • Accompanied by Margie Thomas, whose knowledge and personal connections will ensure an unrivalled experience
  • Explore the long forbidden Kingdom of Upper Mustang, whose cultural horizons stretch to the borderlands of Tibet
  • Celebrate the pageantry of the annual Yartung horse festival with the Royal family, Amchi and Loba community
  • Spend time with the last of the nomads at their high summer camp
  • Visit Chosar village and immerse yourself in an ancient culture showcasing ornate dress sets not found elsewhere
  • Complimentary signed copy of Tsoshar: A rich cultural heritage in Upper Mustang, by Margie Thomas

Why Book With Us

  • Trip accompanied by Margie Thomas whose wealth of personal connections provides an unsurpassed dimension to the trek
  • Complimentary use of a trek pack including quality sleeping bag, down jacket, insulated mat and receive a souvenir kit bag
  • Savour three hearty meals on trek per day freshly prepared by a team of dedicated cooks
  • Fully supported camping expedition, led by wilderness first trained guides and crew

Mustang is a wildly beautiful region of Nepal, and this trek takes you into an incredibly dramatic environment. The Kingdom of Mustang preserves some of the last vestiges of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. Situated in the rain shadow of the monsoon, on the border of Nepal and Tibet, tourism is still strictly controlled and limited. It’s one of the finest Himalayan destinations for both its rugged mountain landscapes and rich cultural legacy.

This trip departure coincides with the Yartung horse festival which has been celebrated for centuries in Mustang with equal participation from lay and monastic communities. In local language, YAR means summer, and TUNG means to celebrate, which marks the end of summer and preparation for the harvest season. The exact day of the festival is fixed after consultation with the local monastic community and the Tibetan lunar calendar, to align with the full moon

This itinerary follows remote trails and ancient trade routes to nomad camps, isolated settlements and Upper Mustang’s oldest gompa at Lo Gekar. These settlements, set amid fields of barley and buckwheat, and home to impressive chortens and simple monasteries, reflect the abiding Tibetan Buddhist culture. The terrain is striking; a semi-arid desert with dramatic deep ravines and rock shelves, flanked by snowy peaks. A highlight is the visit to Lo Manthang, where the King of Mustang reigned over his tiny kingdom and surveyed a world still culturally closer to the heartland of Tibet than to the markets, temples and chaos of Kathmandu. We travel in 4x4 jeep and take walks and forays on our unique Tibetan ponies to nearby villages.

While on this trip you’ll have up close and personal guided tours of monasteries and explore the walled city of Lo Manthang, including meeting the restorers of the jaw-dropping Thubchen gompa. We’ll meet some interesting people like the Amchis (Tibetan healers), as well as witness the skills of the local horsemen in Charang. We’ll visit Chosar village on horseback (it’s like riding through rural Tibet 1,000 years ago) and the cave monastery Nyiphuk, Jong cave and Garfuk monastery. You'll ride traditional sure-footed Tibetan ponies (no previous horseriding experience is necessary) and see a thrilling demo of wild horse riding skills. The Chosar villagers will showcase their culture, where the ladies wear the most extraordinary traditional dress in all Upper Mustang. Their costumes and jewellery are just amazing.


Trip Code: MMWY

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fiberfill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members. Overnight: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  Nil

This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara. Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest town and in good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. We’re met by our jeeps where we load our gear and begin the drive to Tatopani, staying a short stroll to the hot springs. Drive approx 3-4 hours Overnight Tatopani Lodge, Tatopani

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we continue on our drive, leaving Tatopani via Jomsom and Kagbeni to reach Chuggsang on the banks of the mighty Kali Gandaki River. Here at the gateway to Upper Mustang, we collect our restricted area permits. Drive approx 5-6 hours Overnight Lodge, Chuggsang

Meals:  B,L,D

Drive to Ghemi via Samar where we’ll stop on the way for tea and meet with a local family. We pass dramatic red organ-pipe eroded cliffs, and explore the old part of the village en route. In Ghemi we’ll explore the ruins of the old palace. Drive approx 3-4 hours Overnight Lodge, Ghemi

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue by jeep to the 15th century walled city of Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is situated on a high altitude plateau with white washed walls enclosing around 150 homes, gompas and a palace. Drive approx 2 - 3 hours Overnight Lodge, Lo Manthang

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 1 of Yartung is Boys Day, which begins with an auspicious welcome for the Lama or Khenpo, who leads the parade ahead of the royal family members, on a horse decorated with finery such as intricately woven decorative blankets and elaborate horse trappings. The Khenpo guides a riderless or ‘empty’ horse which is meant for the deities. They call to the protective deities of the village by crying out “Lhagyal Lo’ several times. In late afternoon exuberant locals display their horsemanship on a track at the edge of the village. The villagers cheer them on with much merriment, traditional singing, dancing and drinking of chang, a local spirit made from fermented barley. The horse riders demonstrate death-defying wild riding skills by racing at breakneck speed and throwing rocks at stationary targets. With nerves of steel, they hang precariously from their horses to snatch up khatas (ceremonial scarves) from the ground. The excitement is palpable.

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 2 of Yartung is Girls Day and is called “Kyi Pal ma”. Girls are honoured by their families and other villagers, served chang and tea, and perform songs and dances unique to the village. Wine and grain are offered to the gods along with the burning of incense. The offerings are performed to remove obstacles.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we set off early to ride to Chosar village. On the way we’ll climb the ruins of Khechoe Dzong built around 1380 by Ame Pal, the first King of Mustang. From here you can see all the way to the Tibetan border. In Chosar village we will see a cultural showcase where the ladies wear the most extraordinary traditional dresses in all Upper Mustang. Overnight simple lodge in Chosar

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we walk up through Chosar village passing the house where the 17th Karmapa took refuge on his escape from Chinese-ruled Tibet in 2000. We’ll meet our Tibetan ponies to the north of the village then walk or ride toward the Tibetan border, passing Nyamdo (4,168m) and the nomad grazing pastures and small settlement of Chumjung (4,170m) approx. (2 hours’ walk). Tibetan is spoken in this particular village. We meander toward the settlement of Kimaling, where we may witness the wool yarn dyeing that takes place here. We then meet our vehicles and drive through a dramatic landscape past Thinggar to Namgyal, visiting it’s ancient monastery. Overnight Lodge, Lo Manthang

Meals:  B,L,D

The morning is spent exploring the walled city. After lunch we head off on an excursion through a stunning landscape to visit the nomads with their herds of goats and yaks. We witness the handling and milking of the goats and watch the sun set over this atmospheric landscape. Return to Lo Manthang early evening for overnight. Overnight Lodge, Lo Manthang

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we drive to the royal capital of Tsarang. On arrival in Tsarang we will meet Tsewang Jonden Bista, the nephew of the Last King of Mustang. Tsewang who was born and bred in Tsarang has an in-depth knowledge of the local customs and traditional practices and because of his connections you’ll have a royal insight into the region and access to places and people many tourists could only imagine. Overnight Maya's Heritage Inn (owned by Tsewang Bista, our cultural attache)

Meals:  B,L,D

We have a full day in Tsarang today to explore the Palace and Lekshey Choeling nunnery. Later we will visit the magnificent monastery for a welcome puja. Overnight Lodge, Tsarang

Meals:  B,L,D

We bid farewell to Tsarang and drive to Ghemi via Lo Gekar, visiting the 10th century Ghar Gompa which is one of the oldest active gompas in Nepal. We follow stunning ridgelines toward the Kali Gandaki river where we’re afforded dramatic views of deep gorges and ancient rock formations. Overnight Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue our descent to Jomsom today in our 4x4 jeeps where we visit the ancient Guru Rinpoche monastery and see some incredible artefacts from 14th and 15th century Tibet. Overnight Lodge, Jomsom

Meals:  B,L,D

This is a fantastic way to conclude our journey. The spectacular flight down the Kali Gandaki defies description. The huge mountains of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges tower above us as we retrace the valley we explored 2 weeks ago. At Pokhara we board another aircraft for yet another spectacular mountain flight, this time along the face of the Himalaya past the Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh and Langtang ranges. On arrival in Kathmandu we transfer to our hotel.

Meals:  B

Today has been set aside for a free day to explore Kathmandu at your leisure. A half day sightseeing tour can be booked on request at an additional charge. Overnight Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu

Meals:  B

Your trip concludes today. This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flights.

Meals:  B


  • Trip escorted by Margie Thomas
  • Lodge accommodation on trek, twin share (we cannot guarantee single rooms at lodges on the trek)
  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a twin share basis
  • 16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners including all meals on trek
  • Flight Kathmandu/Pokhara. Jomsom/Pokhara. Pokhara/Kathmandu
  • Special permit to Upper Mustang US$550
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Airport transfers
  • 4x4 jeep to carry all personal and group equipment
  • Entry ticket to Monasteries in Lo Manthang
  • Souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • Signed copy of Tsoshar: A rich cultural heritage in Upper Mustang, by Margie Thomas
  • Use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag and down or fibre fill jacket
  • Porter's insurance
  • Group medical kit

  • International flights
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory)
  • Please allow US$50 for monastery visits and donations in upper Mustang
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Tips

About Your Leader

Our escort for the Upper Mustang Pony Trek, Margie Thomas, has traveled to this stunning region many times&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Margie Thomas</i>

Escorting the group will be Margie Thomas, who has undertaken all number of treks in Nepal and the Indian Himalaya, including numerous visits to Upper Mustang. In August 2013 Margie accompanied Lonely Planet author Stan Armington on a trek to Upper Mustang, and within a year had returned for a second visit. It was these extraordinary journeys and their many experiences that inspired her to devise personal and behind the scenes journeys to Lo Manthang. After the success of her trips in previous years, Margie is looking forward to returning with this newly devised itinerary which encompasses the comforts of staying in Lodges in Upper Mustang with day walks and forays on horseback to outlying villages. She is keen to share her passion for this unique corner of the Himalaya and its people.

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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - MMWYUSD$560
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Tibetan Heartland Upper Mustang Yartung Festival with Margie Thomas trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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