Lo Manthang – The Forbidden Kingdom
Lo Manthang: The Forbidden Kingdom
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Upper Mustang, one of the most remote regions of Nepal. Known as the Forbidden Kingdom, tourists were only allowed in from 1992. Tibet sits just a few miles from here. Highlights include visiting Muktinath temple, sat at 3840m, riding to the Chinese border and numerous remote mountain villages with links to Tibet. We will also take the time to visit ancient Buddhist monasteries, a beautiful lake with mountains views and ride alongside the Kaligandaki River and Gorge (the deepest in the world) nestled between Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Mt. Annapurna (8091m). Riding at an average of 4000m for a number of days makes this a challenging , but rewarding ride.
Day by Day Itinerary
Once you arrive at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport we will pick you up directly from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Amidst all the chaos lies ancient stories of warriors, rivaling dynasties and great spiritual masters. This legendary capital city is home to an eclectic mix of people, shops, restaurants, temples, stupas, myths and legends! *Remember usually flights are overnight so you should allow an extra day for the journey to Kathmandu.
Familiarisation with bikes and Nepali riding style. Mixture of mountain roads, paved, unpaved, gravel and sandy tracks.
Ride local jeep tracks to Gorkha, home of the Gurkhas. From here we can see glorious views of Mt. Manaslu and other Himalayan peaks as we check in to our hilltop hotel to relax for the night.
Continuing on local jeep tracks besides the Daraudi River. In the afternoon we briefly join the main Pritvi highway, before heading north to Naudanda where we can enjoy views of the Annapurna range of mountains.
We continue to head north to the friendly mountain village of Kalopani. Time slows down as we ascend into Lower Mustang and closer to the mountains.
We ride along the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. We head to Muktinath, one of the highest Hindu temples, nestled in the Himalayas 3850m. There are 108 freezing cold water spouts that the brave can run through. Then we descend to Kagbeni (2840m) staying overnight in a handpicked Teahouse.
From Kagbeni we will enter Upper Mustang and increase our altitude, reaching 4000m in some sections. A shorter ride today as we acclimatise to the barren landscapes and thin air. We take the time to visit some remote mountain villages and spend the night in Ghami.
Today we ride to Nepal’s last forbidden Kingdom. On the way we stop off at the mysterious Zhong Sky Caves. Lo Manthang is a a foritified old kingdom with monasteries dating back over 1000 years. It is a spectacular and fascinating place to explore, and you will be free to do so at your pace.
We ride to the Chinese border today after crossing Kora La ‘high pass’ at 4600m with views of vast Tibetan plateau. We take the time to explore local trails (Depending on the weather). We spend another night at the fortified Himalayan Kingdom of Lo.
Heading south with views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna in front of us, the ride down will seem quicker than the climb. We descend to Marpha, famous for it’s Thakali style Dhal Bhat, known to be the tastiest in Nepal (Something to look forward to!)
Retracing our route we ride to the laid back tourist town of Pokhara.
We ride back to Kathmandu along the main highway connecting Pokhara to the capital. The highway is usually busy with tourist and local buses as well as loud and colourful TATA trucks.
Time to say farewell to Nepal. Your transfer back to the airport will be arranged for you in time for your onward flight. Bon Voyage and see you soon!