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Tiji Festival Trek - Upper Mustang

Tiji Festival trek in the Mustang region is all about being a part of the historical three days long Tiji Festival along with exploring the most interesting and picturesque places in the western Nepal. While trekking in the region, trekkers can explore thousand years old monasteries, caves, cave temples, arts and architecture of the local tribes and scenic beauty of the region.  Also, the trek provides an opportunity to know about the traditional Mustangi culture where people are friendly and welcomes their guest with warm greetings. Trekkers can also get accustomed with the diverse and mysterious cultures, traditions and costumes of the local peoples within the quest. Throughout the trek, trekkers can get indulged with the panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri mountains and several other majestic peaks. Likewise, the route passes through different sacred monasteries, dzongs, and spiritual places giving a vibrant feel of Buddhist culture.  Spending time at pious places with religious fluttering flags can bind the trekkers within its sacred ambience.

Tiji Festival Trekking is a challenging and famous trekking trail in the Mustang region. The expedition of the trekkers in the country begins with a sightseeing tour in Kathmandu where they are taken to different cultural and historical monuments of the cultural city. After spending few days in the capital city, trekkers proceed towards Pokhara, the most happening tourist hub of the country. From Pokhara, trekkers have to fly to Jomsom, the administrative headquarters of Mustang district from where the hike ascends towards Kagbeni traversing Chele, Geling, Charang on the ways before reaching Lo Manthang. After exploring the historical city of Lo-Manthang and taking part in the three day long Tiji festival, the route descent past Ghami, Samar Chhusang to reach Jomsom the initial place and the concluding place of the trek.

The trek known for enthralling it visitors with its varieties of the natural beauties mingled with tradition and culture leads to the most panoramic views of rural Nepal  is a well known and well recommended route for adventure lovers who want to break free from mundane life. 

Tiji Festival dates 2016:
Start Date: May 3, 2016
End Date: May 5, 2016

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Trip Highlights

  • Magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks on the cards while flying across Nepal’s sky, and excitement level proliferates as the plane cuts through different hills to land on the Kathmandu Valley
  • Sightseeing tour to various historical/natural/cultural heritage sites along with Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries
  • Exploration around Pokhara, the most beautiful lake city of the country, also known for providing superb mountain views
  • Terrific Pokhara- Jomsom- Pokhara flight known for mind-blowing sceneries
  • Pass through gushing rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers etc.
  • Views of spectacular mountains on the trekking way along with Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other majestic peaks
  • Exploring Lo Manthang, the historical city in the region
  • Being a part of the famous three day long Tiji Festival
  • Unveiling pre-historic culture by viewing mysterious caves and cave temples
  • Witness variety of floras and faunas  

Outline Itinerary

Day 01 - April 25, 2016 : Arrive in Kathmandu

Day 02 - April 26, 2016 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

Day 03 - April 27, 2016 : Kathmandu to Pokhara

Day 04 - April 28, 2016 : Pokhara to Jomsom (flight) and trek to Kagbeni (2810m) 3-4 hrs walk

Day 05 - April 29, 2016 : Kagbeni to Chele (3100m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 06 - April 30, 2016 : Chele to Geling (3570m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 07 - May 01, 2016 : Geling to Charang (3560m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 08 - May 02, 2016 : Charang to Lo-Manthang (3840m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 09 - May 03, 2016 : In Lo-Manthang - Be a part of Tiji Festival (First day)

Day 10 - May 04, 2016 : In Lo-Manthang - Witness Tiji Festival (Second day)

Day 11 - May 05, 2016 : In Lo-Manthang - Witness Tiji Festival (3rd- final day)

Day 12 - May 06, 2016 : Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3820m) 6-7 hrs walk

Day 13 - May 07, 2016 : Drakmar to Shyangmochen (3850m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 14 - May 08, 2016 : Shyangmochen to Chhuksang (2980m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 15 - May 09, 2016 : Trek back to Kagbeni 5-6 hrs walk

Day 16 - May 10, 2016 : Trek back to Jomsom 5-6 hrs walk

Day 17 - May 11, 2016 : Flight back to Pokhara

Day 18 - May 12, 2016 : Drive back to Kathmandu or Fly

Day 19 - May 13, 2016 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

What is Included

  • All airport transfers by private car
  • Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu
  • Two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara
  • Kathmandu city tours, including of all entry fees, tour guide and private vehicle
  • Full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • Best available twin sharing lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek
  • Ground transportations from Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu transfers by tourist bus
  • Round trip flight fare from Pokhara – Jomsom – Pokhara
  • Highly experienced, helpful and friendly Government licensed guide, porter (1 porter for 2 people) and their food, accommodation, transportation, salary, equipment, and accidental insurance for all staff
  • Duffle bag, down jacket and sleeping bag during the trek
  • First aid medical kit
  • Special Trekking Permit (US$ 500 Per Person for 10 Days) If you wish to stay more than 10 days in restricted area, you are subjected to extra charge for extra days (US$ 50 per day / per person)
  • Annapurna conservation permit fee
  • TIMS Fee - Trekkers' Information Management System (Please bring 2 passport size photos for permit)
  • Government taxes & service charge
  • Breakfree Adventures T - shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate

What is Not Included

  • Any meals other than breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare
  • Any kind of alcoholic drinks, hot water, hot shower, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, and internet.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Personal trekking equipments
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is appreciated but it is not mandatory)
  • Nepal entry visa fee: you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (a multiple-entry tourist visa good for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport-size photos.)

Day 01 - April 25, 2016 : Arrive in Kathmandu

After landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu from your designated destinations, you will be welcomed by a representative of Breakfree Adventures at the arrival gate.  After that, you will be transferred to your pre-booked hotel in luxury transportation. If time permits, you can wander around the streets of Kathmandu or can relax at the hotel to overcome your jet lag. O/N at Hotel

Day 02 - April 26, 2016 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

This day is reserved for sightseeing in the historic Kathmandu City. The day will start early as the weather is not a worry in the valley. After breakfast, you will be taken for a guided tour around the city. During this trip you will access the heritage sites like historical Durbar Square, and many more cultural and natural monuments. Also, you will visit the religious sites that include the sacred Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva named as Pashupatinath. Likewise, visits to Buddhist pilgrimage Swoyambhunath (famous by the name of Monkey temple among tourists), Boudhanath Shrine will be covered by the evening.  On the day, we will set a seminar to discuss about the trekking plan. You will be introduced with your trek leader who will answer all you questions/queries regarding the expedition.  O/N at Hotel

Day 03 - April 27, 2016 : Kathmandu to Pokhara

After your two days stay in the capital city, you will be driven towards Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. During this 6-7 hours bus ride, you can see Trishuli River along the way. You will reach Pokhara during the early afternoon hours. After lunch, you can wander around the beautiful lake city known for enthralling spectators with its superb mountain views. O/N at Hotel

Day 04 - April 28, 2016 : Pokhara to Jomsom (flight) and trek to Kagbeni (2810m) 3-4 hrs walk

Your day will start early as you have to catch a flight to Jomsom. After breakfast you will be taken to Pokhara airport for a super scenic quick flight of 20 minutes to Jomsom. You will have a whale of a time in the brisk flight as you can see the most amazing natural views from the airplane window.  After landing in Jomson, you trek to Kagbeni will start after lunch.  The trek towards Kagbeni will start traversing gradual and windy path on the Kali Gandaki river bed. During the trek, you will pass through traditional Ekley-bhatti village. You will reach Kagbeni, a village in Upper Mustang located in the valley of the Kali Gandaki River before dusk. O/N at Lodge

Day 05 - April 29, 2016 : Kagbeni to Chele (3100m) 5-6 hrs walk

The trek to Chele will start in the morning following some rivers over a series of small ridges. On the route, you will come across different black, red and white Chortens that typify upper Mustang. You will have to cross a river and climb for a little bit to get to the village of Chele. The houses in the village are decorated with a touch of Tibetan culture. O/N at Lodge

Day 06 - April 30, 2016 : Chele to Geling (3570m) 5-6 hrs walk

On the day, you trek will continue towards Geling. It is a small village in the district where the buildings painted in red are the monasteries. The land in the village is not considered fertile. The trail climbs along steep, treeless terrain alongside a steep canyon to a pass and cairn of rock at 3540 m. After long gradual descend will arrive at Samar village then you will climb above the village to a ridge. Further descend into a large gorge & continue to the valley field then cross a stream and climb up yet another ridge at 3800m. You shall continue the climb to another pass. After following the ridge and descend to Shyangmochen. Geling is reached upon climbing another pass and descending down. O/N at Lodge.

Day 07 - May 01, 2016 : Geling to Charang (3560m) 5-6 hrs walk

The trail gently climbs up to a pass called NYI La then descends below to a valley. You will then cross a steel bridge over Tangmar Chu ‘river’ and hike along the longest Mani walls in Mustang. The trail then climbs a pass (3600m) and makes a long gentle descend to the village of Charang. At the village, visit the huge five-storey white Dzong and red Gompa, the major attractions of the village. O/N at Lodge.

Day 08 - May 02, 2016 : Charang to Lo-Manthang (3840m) 5-6 hrs walk

The eighth day of you visit in the country will a good one as you will hike towards the walled city of Lo Manthang. The trek drops and climbs all along the way but the trails are nice to walk on. You have to enter to this city comprised 150 homes, Gompas and a palace through a gate located in north east corner. O/N at Lodge

Day 09 - May 03, 2016 : In Lo-Manthang - Be a part of Tiji Festival (First day)

The day will start with the visit to Gompas and some ancient palaces.  After lunch, you will proceed towards the site where Tiji Festival will be taking place.  If you want, you can also clad in the traditional attire to take part in the festival. The special opening ceremony of the festival begins with an opening of a huge Thanka (traditional Tibetan scroll painting) of Guru Padma Sambhava, patron saint of Tibetan Buddhism. Likewise, later in the day Lamas clad in colorful costumes perform around 50 different religious dances to mark the ceremony.  The day will zoom by after watching the colorful celebration of the festival.  O/N at Lodge

Day 10 - May 04, 2016 : In Lo-Manthang - Witness Tiji Festival (Second day)

This is the main day of the Tiji Festival which will make its commencement with various events. The day’s festival will start with the typical Buddhism mask dance performance. These dances hold a special religious significance regarding Tibetan deities and demons   Likewise, horse racing and a giant tug-of-war will be performed during the festival.  In the due course, you can also witness cultural lifestyle of Tibetan origin people who will be donned in their traditional custom. Also, women decorated in colorful jewelries and monks in their robes will give you the different perspective of the Tibetan culture. The day will zoom by after watching the colorful celebration of the festival.  O/N at Lodge

Day 11 - May 05, 2016 : In Lo-Manthang - Witness Tiji Festival (3rd- final day)

Since, this is the last day of the festival, the anticipated crowed might get little bigger.  The festival will start with a show where demons will be shown being demolished by the godly power. Later on, the participants of the show head to the Lamas to get their blessing for prosperity and long lives. After few colorful events, the festival gets concluded on the third day. Later in the day, after festival, you will visit more Gompas and can enjoy the time with the gushing wind.  O/N at Lodge

Day 12 - May 06, 2016 : Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3820m) 6-7 hrs walk

This day you will have to climb up steadily a ridge at 4070m and continue to Chogo La (4210m)- the highest point of the trek. The trail then makes a short and steep descend and crosses the Charang River to eventually climb up to Lo Gekar. You will then continue to Ghar Gompa- a small monastery. Then climb up a ridge, cross a valley along some alpine meadows. After dropping down a steep eroded path will arrive at Drakmar. O/N at Lodge.

Day 13 - May 07, 2016 : Drakmar to Shyangmochen (3850m) 5-6 hrs walk

This is the day to go towards Shyangmochen. The place is famous for a colorful chorten at the top of the Shyangmochen La. Also from the venue, you can get some stunning views of the surrounding mountains on a clear day. O/N at Lodge

Day 14 - May 08, 2016 : Shyangmochen to Chhuksang (2980m) 5-6 hrs walk

From Shyangmochen, the trek will continue towards Chhuksang, a village by the Kali Gandaki River. The trail is strenuous as it has some scary slips and detours. You will be enthralled by the views of eroded cliffs in the village. O/N at Lodge

Day 15 - May 09, 2016 : Trek back to Kagbeni 5-6 hrs walk

The trek will soon come to an end as you proceed towards you initial point of the trek.. On the day, you will step towards Kagbeni. O/N at Lodge

Day 16 - May 10, 2016 : Trek back to Jomsom 5-6 hrs walk

This is the last day of your trek. You have completed venturing the upper Mustang as you reach Jomsom.  You can go around this beautiful place or relax in a lodge. This place is happening all day long with scores of tourists form all around the globe. O/N at Lodge

Day 17 - May 11, 2016 : Flight back to Pokhara

No more on your feet but on the air with a breathtaking flight towards Pokhara. You excitement level will proliferate as the plane flies between gorge of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. The 20 minutes flight will also give you a bird’s eye view of glorious Pokhara city. After landing at the Pokhara airport, the company representative will transfer you to you designated hotels. You can make the most of your day by going around the Pokhara city which will glorify you with its water beauties. O/N at Hotel

Day 18 - May 12, 2016 : Drive back to Kathmandu or Fly

You will have a choice to fly to Kathmandu or take road ways. Whatever means of transportation you chose you will be left with some time to go around the streets of the capital city for shopping. The day will give you the last chance to add up to your shopping list. O/N at Hotel

Day 19 - May 13, 2016 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

As per your flight timings, you will be escorted by one of the representatives of Breakfree Adventures to the international terminal at the Tribhuvan International Airport approximately three hours before your flight schedule from your hotel in Kathmandu. A day to bid farewell to the glorious country situated in the South Asia. While waiting for your flight, you can make plans to venture other destinations of majestic country in near future.

We hope you had a lovely time with us. Breakfree Adventures would be obliged to be your travel partner during your next adventure in Nepal. Have a safe flight back home!

We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.

When to go:
February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October & November are the best seasons for the Upper Mustang Trekking. The weather is sunny and warm offering outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing in higher elevations. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) is also good for Upper Mustang Trekking. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.

Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.

Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use 3 stars hotel with breakfast but can upgrade upon request. During the Upper Mustang Trekking, we provide the best available guest house which is called Tea house(lodge). Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). Some guesthouses are basic with shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a room with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. Keep in mind that there are several places which do not allow single accommodations during peak season, but we will try our best to accommodate your preferences if possible. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route. Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.

We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from guesthouses chosen from a menu. While Upper Mustang Trekking, your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive due to the extreme locations. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy bottled mineral water from local lodges and shops en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.

Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 17 days Upper Mustang Trekking is moderate trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 17 days Upper Mustang Trekking successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip is good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.

The Trekking Group:
For the Upper Mustang Trekking, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (8 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should any body in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Upper Mustang Trekking for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as weve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if youd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Upper Mustang Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:

  • Intensive Wilderness First Aid - KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
  • Trekking Guide Training - Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
  • Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
  • English Language - KEEP(Kathmandu environment education project)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
  • Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association

Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.

Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.

Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.

Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel that you should consider before booking. Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.

Responsible Travel
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.

Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.

Trip Facts

Destination: Nepal

Duration: 19 Day(s)

Trip Grade: Challenginng

Activities: Cultural & Festival tour/trek

Max Altitude: 4230m

Daily walking: 5 - 8 hours each day

Transportation: Tourist bus, Private vehicle & Flights

Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu, Full board on trek

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort in Kathmandu/Pokhara, Lodge/Guest house during the trek

Festival Date: May 3, 2016 to May 5, 2016

Group Size: Minimum 2 People

Price start from US$ 1995.00 per person on twin sharing basis

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