Ride to Lo Manthang (Upper Mustang)

Nothing beats the joys of riding a motorcycle – the open road ahead, the wind on your face, new destinations, a motorcycle expedition is an exhilarating, and at the same time profound. Now imagine yourself riding along the Himalayas and en route the forbidden city of Lo Manthang – nothing beats that. This ride is one of the classic ride that entail riding in the rain shadow part of the wind-swept desert landscape of the Himalayas with views of implausible gorges, high passes and enormous vistas. We pas through authentic Tibetan villages, barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and moraine valleys

We invite you to a motorcycle expedition – let’s take our Royal Enfield’s all the way from Kathmandu to Lo Manthang, and on the way we re-discover ourselves.

We start our journey from Kathmandu, and soon find ourselves leaving the city traffic and onto a scenic highway. Joined by the Trishuli river alongside us, we reach Pokhara, make our way to Baglung, and then towards Mustang district where we ride along the gushing Kali Gandaki. With snow capped mountain peaks ahead of us, the scenery changing from lush green valleys to windswept deserts, high passes and barren ridges, and crossing ancient villages, this journey is unlike anything previously experienced.

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Trip Facts

Best Period:                  March to June & September to  November

Time Period:                 13 Nights / 14 Days.

Ride Type:                    Moderate Challenging

Highest Altitude:          4460 meters

Warning:                        Altitude Sickness.

Ride Start / End Point: Kathmandu

Accommodations:       Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on Ride in Mustang area 

 

National Park:    Annapurna Conservation Project Area (ACAP) and restricted Upper Mustang

 

Mountains:         Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhare,, etc.

 

Rivers:                Kali Ghandaki, Trishuli, Narayani, etc.

 

 

Namche, Thyangboche, Pheriche,  etc

 

Tribes:                Lobas, Tibetans, Thakalis (Gurung)

 

Forests:              Of Rhododendron and Pine.

 

Landscapes:      Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.

Skeletal Itinerary

Day 01:     Kathmandu Arrival (1370 m)

Day 02:     Introduction to bikes & Day ride to Namobuddha (100kms/3 hours)

Day 03:     Ride: Kathmandu – Pokhara (827m/210kms/6hrs)

Day 04:     Ride: Pokhara – Kalopani (2400m/130kms/5hrs)

Day 05:     Ride: Kalapani to Muktinath via Jomsom (3600m/50kms/3.5hours)

Day 06:     Ride: Muktinath – Ghami (via Kagbeni) (3520m/70kms/4.5 hours)

Day 07:     Ride: Ghami – Lo Manthang (3890m/35kms/3hours)

Day 08:     Ride: Explore Lo Manthang (50 kms)

Day 09:     Ride: Lo Manthang – Kagbeni (2810m/75kms/6hrs)

Day 10:     Ride: Kagbeni – Tatopani (1190m/76kms/6.5hrs)

Day 11:     Ride: Tatopani – Pokhara (827m/115kms/4hrs)

Day 12:     Free day in Pokhara

Day 13:     Ride: Pokhara – Kathmandu (1310m/210kms/6hrs)

Day 14:     Departure

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival: Kathmandu (1370m)

Welcome to Kathmandu – the city of temples, culture, and history. Be met by our representative and be transferred to your hotel.

Free to explore nearby areas and in the evening a welcome dinner at a typical Nepalese restaurant.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu

 

Day 02: Introduction to bikes & Day ride to Namobuddha (100kms/3 hours)

Ride difficulty level: 6/10           Terrain: Tarmac & Dirt 

Today, we familiarize ourselves with Nepal’s traffic and our motorcycle.

Making our way out of the valley, we take the newly constructed freeway to Bhaktapur. Riding past Bhaktapur, and its ancient sites, we are now in the outskirts of the valley, and are met with scattered settlements and terraced farms.

From Banepa, we turn south towards Panauti. We explore the ancient Newari town of Panauti, and navigate through the small alleys to discover ancient structures, all giving us a feel of time-travel.

We ride onward to Namobuddha (1750m). An important Buddhist pilgrimage, at Namobuddha a prince once upon a time sacrificed himself to feed a hungry tigress and her cubs. Thus, stands a monastery and several structures in dedication to Lord Buddha.

After Namobuddha, we continue onward to Dhulikhel, en route taking in the panoramic view of the Himalayas up north. On a clear day, we can see the entire range including Everest, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang.

Continue ride back to Kathmandu.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu

 

 

 

Day 03: Ride: Kathmandu – Pokhara (884m/210kms/6hrs)

Difficulty Level: 6/10; Terrain: Tarmac

Early morning, we begin our journey to the forbidden city. Leaving the city chaos, we find ourselves on the highway in no time. Lush green mountains, meandering road, and the Trishuli river is quite a sight to take in, as we make our way to Pokhara.

We soon leave Mugling, and cross the river to be met with the raging Marshyangdi. Continuing onward, after 25 kilometers, from Dumre we take the right main highway to Pokhra. Just before arriving in Pokhara be greeted with the majestic Fish Tail mountain.

Check in hotel, and explore Pokhara lakeside, its cafes and unique bars, enjoy a boat ride in the lake, or simply relax and take in the view. Pokhara is also the gateway to many trekking routes in the Annapurna Region.

Overnight: Hotel in Pokhara

 

Day 04: Ride: Pokhara – Kalopani (2400m/130kms/5hrs)

Ride Difficulty: 8/10; Terrain: 60% tarmac, 40% off road

We leave the touristic town of Pokhara and officially make our way into the Himalayas. Pass looming mountains, hillside villages and cross Baglung. We can also stop to explore one of Nepal’s most famous suspension bridges.

Soon, we leave the main highway and reach Beni. Here onwards, the road is unpaved and dusty with occasional potholes and the ride’s difficulty level drastically increases. We begin our ascent, gradually through the Kali Gandaki gorge (the deepest gorge in the world), and enjoy the continuous change in the topography. We cross a huge waterfall, and make a steep ascent to Ghasa (2012m), and continue across the dusty trail leading to Lete, and then to Kalopani, our destination for the day.

En route, we are greeted with grand and mesmerizing views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tukuche (6920m), and Nilgiri (7061m), and are offered a beautiful glimpse into the culture of the Thakali people as we pass by the villages of Tukuche, Lete, and Ghasa. We can also notice the change in the environment – from lush green deciduous trees to scanty to almost nil vegetation. The area becomes dry and windy, and the mountains are very close.

Overnight: Lodge in Kalopani

 

Day 05: Ride: Kalopani to Muktinath via Jomsom (3600m/50kms/3.5hours)

Ride Difficulty: 9/10; Terrain: Black top and Off road with occasional river crossings

Early breakfast, follow the off road trail along the Kali Gandaki river, and pass enchanting Thakali villages like Tukuche and Marpha. Marpha, one of the oldest villages of Mustang is famous for its paved alleyways and white thatches houses. We continue towards Jomsom, and are greeted with winds that tend to sway our bikes, and move our souls.

We continue upward to Muktinath crossing Old Jomsom, and entering a wide valley adjacent to the river with huge cobbled stones. A section of the road has been paved recently, and we continue upward, sometimes against the wind, sometimes with it, to be greeted with one of the most magnificent views of the landscape that surrounds us. In the afternoon, arrive at Muktinath, amidst the Himalayas, and check into a lodge.

Later, we visit the holy shrine of Muktinath, a revered temple for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Overnight: Lodge in Muktinath

 

Day 06: Ride: Muktinath – Ghami (via Kagbeni) (3520m/70kms/4.5 hours)

Ride Difficulty: 10/10, Terrain: Off road with river crossings.

The ride has just begun. We leave Muktinath and make our way to Upper Mustang. Descend to Kagbeni, and as usual battle the winds of the Kaligandaki Valley. Explore Kagbeni, a fascinating medieval village with closely packed mud brick houses, dark alleys and imposing chortens. Kagbeni is the gateway to Upper Mustang.

Complete official permits and ride onward to Ghami. Cross small settlements Tangbe and Chele as we slowly ride through the difficult terrain. Ride till Samar for lunch.

We take a route which crosses many ridges as we head north. Depending on the weather, we will use a combination of high trails and river bank routes. Late afternoon, we reach Ghami.

Overnight: Lodge in Ghami

 

Day 07: Ride: Ghami – Lo Manthang (3890m/35kms/3hours)

Ride Difficulty: 9.5/10; Terrain: Off road

Ride onward to reach the walled and forbidden city of Lo Manthang, the former capital of the Kingdom of Lo. Pass by Charang en route. Interestingly, everyone has to dismount from their motorcycles while entering the city, as only the King is allowed to ride a horse within the city.

In the evening enter the city, and check into a lodge. Feel free to explore the city in the evening, and visit the magnificent former king’s palace – an imposing four storey building in the city and the four monasteries.

Overnight: Lodge in Lomanthang

 

Day 08: Ride: Explore Lo Manthang (50 kms)

Today, we gear up for the day’s adventure. We shall be visiting a recently discovered ‘pre-historic’ human settlement and the Caves of Chhoser. We head north-east, leaving the walled city behind as we ride through the Himalayan desert with the horizon ahead of us.

Approaching Chhoser, we can see the numerous caves ahead of us, which was once abode to the pre historic Loba’s and the monks. Cross the river and enter the caves and travel through time as we peek into the lives of a pre-historic era. Fully explore the caves, and make our return journey to the walled city. Ride through Namgyal village on our way back and visit the monastery.

Back to Lo Manthang for lunch. Free to explore/rest for the remainder of the day.

Note: Advised to carry some Nepali currency, as the caretaker of the caves may ask around NRS 500 per person.

Overnight: Lodge in Lomanthang

 

Day 09: Ride: Lo Manthang – Kagbni (2810m/75kms/6hrs)

Ride Difficulty: 10/10; Terrain: Off Road

Today, we retrace our journey homeward. After breakfast, we bid farewell to the ancient and mystical town of Lo Manthang. We ride through the dusty trails of the Himalayan desert with snowcapped mountains within our sight. Stop for lunch, and continue onward to Samar and further down to Kagbeni.

Overnight: Lodge in Samar

 

Day 10: Ride: Kagbeni – Tatopani (1190m/76kms/6.5hrs)

Ride Difficulty: 9.5/10; Terrain: Off Road with occasional river crossings.

We have a long day’s ride ahead of us – through mountain passes and dusty trails. Take some time to explore Marpha, and be amazed by its amazing beauty and organized alleys.

Continue ride to Tatopani, passing through Tukuche, Kalopani, Lete, Ghasa. Tatopani has a natural hot water spring.

Overnight: Lodge in Tatopani

 

Day 11: Ride: Tatopani – Pokhara (884m/115kms/4hrs)

Ride Difficulty: 7/10; Terrain: 30% Off Road, 70% Tarmac

Descend to Beni, leave the off road trail and continue on to Baglung. Reach Pokhara in the late afternoon.

Free to explore the remainder of the day.

Overnight: Hotel in Pokhara

 

Day 12: Free day in Pokhara

Pokhara has much to offer, and our riders need a well deserved rest. Ride to surrounding areas like the Mahendra Caves or Davis Falls, or simply explore the Lake Side on foot.

Overnight: Hotel in Pokhara

 

Day 13: Ride: Pokhara – Kathmandu (1310m/210kms/6hrs)

Ride Difficulty: 6/10; Terrain: Tarmac.

The final leg of our motorcycle ride home, today we enjoy a leisurely ride back to Kathmandu through the meandering highway.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu

 

Day 14: Departure

Breakfast, and transfer to International Airport for final departure.

***End of Arrangements***

 

 

 

Recommended Riding Gears:

  1. Helmet *
  2. Face Mask
  3. Riding Jacket (Recommended: Water Proof)
  4. Riding Pants (Recommended: Water Proof)
  5. Riding Boots (Recommended: Water Proof)
  6. Gloves (Recommended: Water Proof)
  7. Sun Glasses
  8. Kidney Belt (Optional)
  9. Tank Bag (Optional)

 

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