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

14 Days$8290USD

Activities
  • Photography
  • Cultural visits
  • Yartung Festival
Accommodation
  • 13 nights hotels and lodges
Meals
  • 13 Dinners
  • 10 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts
2
Adventure touring
 
 

Trip highlights


  • Hosted by Richard I'Anson and Tony Wheeler
  • A trip with purpose, supporting the Australian Himalayan Foundation
  • Photography tuition by Canon Master Richard I’Anson
  • Lodge and hotel accommodation, including boutique hotels in Tsarang & Lo Manthang
  • Attend the traditional Yartung Festival with incredible costumes, parades and horse events
  • Visit the 15th century walled city of Lo Manthang
  • Witness ancient Tibetan and Buddhist cultures
  • Impressive gompas, palaces and monasteries

Join Tony Wheeler, co founder of Lonely Planet and past Board member of the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF), and Richard I’Anson, photographer and AHF Ambassador, on a bespoke tour to the fascinating Kingdom of Mustang. As well as experiencing the unique culture and landscapes of this remote region the trip has been initiated to raise funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation’s programs in Nepal, Bhutan and the Indian Himalaya.

Richard’s images of the Himalaya feature dramatic mountain landscapes, picturesque villages, colourful festivals and welcoming people. As they are typically used in travel publishing he’s well aware they reveal only one side of the story. For the locals, life is not easy. Richard is proud to support the Australian Himalayan Foundation which supports the resilient people of the region with sustainable health, education and conservation programs. Images and tours that inspire people to go are now also inspiring people to help.

All donations made as part of this trek will go to the Australian Himalayan Foundation. AHF was founded by a group of mountaineers who saw firsthand that while the Himalaya is a place of breathtaking beauty, it is also a place of extreme disadvantage, poverty and hardship for many. They have been working for the last 22 years to deliver long-term, sustainable change to the most vulnerable communities.

Trip Code: RIY

Welcome to Kathmandu, the vibrant heart of Nepal, where ancient traditions meet modern adventures amidst the majestic Himalayas. You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson Hotel. This evening we will head out for dinner, a great opportunity to meet your fellow group members. Overnight: Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu

Meals:  D

Richard will lead an early morning photography session to visit Bodhnath, one of the world’s largest stupas rises from the valley floor in the heart of the Tibetan district. Surrounded by monasteries, houses and souvenir shops. We will visit early in the day when it is particularly lively with locals circumambulating the stupa, some prostrating, but most spinning prayer wheels and counting prayer beads as they walk and talk with friends. You will have time during the day to visit the bazaars & temples of Kathmandu & the tourist district of Thamel. In the late afternoon we will venture out again to visit to Swayambhunath, Nepal’s oldest and most significant shrine. It is commonly known as the Monkey Temple thanks to the troop of monkeys that leap about the roof tops and swing from prayer flags, providing endless entertainment for visitors. Swayambhunath sits on a hilltop with fine views over the city. We will climb the great eastern stairway to fully appreciate its location passing prostrating pilgrims, souvenir sellers and brightly painted Buddha statues. Various other temples have been built alongside the stupa to both Hindu and Buddhist gods, showing how completely the two belief systems have been integrated into Nepali life. Overnight: Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu

Meals:  B,D

This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, nestled in the shadow of the towering Annapurna mountain range. We meet our vehicles to drive to Tatapani, 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 Kali Gandaki River. Here we are at the gateway to Upper Mustang, the remote and picturesque region of northern Nepal, renowned for its stunning landscapes, unique Tibetan culture, and ancient Buddhist monasteries. Drive approx 5-6 hours Overnight Lodge, Chuggsang

Meals:  B,L,D

Drive to Ghemi via Samar to stop and photograph the 10th century Ghar Gompa which is one of the oldest active gompas in Nepal. A gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist place of worship and learning. It serves as a religious center for Buddhist monks and nuns, as well as a spiritual hub for the local community. In Ghemi we’ll explore the ruins of the old palace which exemplifies traditional Tibetan architecture, characterized by its distinctive design features such as whitewashed walls, flat roofs, wooden beams, and intricate carvings. The structure reflects the architectural style prevalent in the Mustang region, influenced by Tibetan and Himalayan architectural traditions. Drive approx 3-4 hours Overnight: Hotel Royal Mustang, Ghemi

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we continue our drive to Tsarang. We'll pass the longest 'mani wall' in Upper Mustang. A mani wall is a type of stone wall or structure found primarily in Tibetan Buddhist regions. These walls are inscribed with Tibetan Buddhist prayers, mantras, and religious symbols, often carved or painted onto stones arranged in a specific pattern. We'll settle into our beautiful accommodation and base for the next three nights in Tsarang. Tsarang, also spelled Charang, is renowned for its traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture and architecture and is home to several ancient monasteries, chortens (stupas), and mani walls adorned with Buddhist prayers and symbols. Drive approx 2-3 hours Overnight: Mayas Heritage Inn, Tsarang

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we explore and photograph the many stunning sights of Tsarang. We will visit the Palace, Lekshey Choeling nunnery & witness a puja at the monastery. Overnight: Mayas Heritage Inn, Tsarang

Meals:  B,L,D

We'll make an excursion to the village of Luri, where built into a rugged cliff face, is Luri Gompa with it's ancient frescoes and paintings adorning the walls and ceilings of the prayer hall. These intricate artworks depict scenes from Buddhist scriptures, legends, and cosmology, as well as images of Buddhas and other divine beings. Overnight: Mayas Heritage Inn, Tsarang

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will arrive in Upper Mustang’s capital, the walled fort-city of Lo Manthang, founded in 1380 Lo Manthang sits at over 3840 metres on a desolate, arid plateau, known as the Plain of Aspiration. It is a striking city, enclosed by red, three-metre-high walls with turrets on each corner overlooking the 180 mud brick houses tightly packed inside. Only one gate permits entrance to the thousand or so people who live within the city walls, in flat-roofed houses topped with firewood and strung with prayer flags Our trip is timed to experience the vibrant Yartung Festival, an annual celebration that marks the end of summer and features horse racing, drinking, dancing and prayer. This afternoon we will witness the start of the festival as monks on horse back lead a colourful procession to the outskirts of the town where celebrations commence. Drive approx 2 - 3 hours Overnight: Royal Mustang Resort, Lo Manthang

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we experience more of the incredible Yartung Festival. One of the main highlights of the Yartung Festival is horse racing, which is a thrilling and competitive event. Participants, adorned in traditional attire, showcase their horse riding skills as they race across the rugged terrain of Mustang. You will also witness traditional dances, music performances, and religious ceremonies. There will also be prayers and rituals to seek blessings for a good harvest and prosperity for the upcoming year. Overnight: Royal Mustang Resort, Lo Manthang

Meals:  B,L,D

We spend the morning in Lo Manthang, taking in more of this magical walled city and the festivities. In the afternoon we drive out of Lo Manthang to visit a nomad camp with their herds of goats and yaks, returning to Lo Manthang early evening. Overnight: Royal Mustang Resort, Lo Manthang

Meals:  B,L,D

We leave Lo Manthang for the long drive down to Jomsom where we visit the ancient Guru Rinpoche monastery and see some incredible artefacts from 14th and 15th century Tibet. Drive: approx 7 hours Overnight: Oms Lodge, Jomsom

Meals:  B,L,D

We set off early morning for our two spectacular mountain flights to Pokhara and on to Kathmandu. We will transfer to our hotel before sharing our final group dinner together. Overnight: Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu

Meals:  B,D

Our special tour concludes this morning but we have photos and memories to last a lifetime. We hope you were moved and fascinated by the people and places visited and we thank you so much for your contribution to the Australian Himalayan Foundation. NOTE: An additional night in Kathmandu is recommended to allow for any delays returning from Pokhara.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Hosted by Richard I'Anson and Tony Wheeler
  • 13 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Special permit to Upper Mustang US$550
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Airport transfers
  • 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 13 dinners
  • 4x4 jeep to carry all personal and group equipment
  • Entry ticket to Monasteries in Lo Manthang
  • Souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • Group medical kit

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory)
  • Donation to the Australian Himalayan Foundation, a non profit that supports health, environmental, and education outcomes for disadvantaged families in Nepal, Bhutan and the Indian Himalaya.
  • Visa
  • Meals not noted in the itinerary
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Tips

About Your Leader

RICHARD I'ANSON: This photography adventure will be led by one of the world’s most acclaimed travel photographers, and a good friend of ours for over 25 years. Richard represents. Canon Australia as a Canon Master Photographer, has published thirteen books, including five editions of the best-selling Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Photography, and is featured in the first series of the documentary series Tales by Light, now screening on Netflix. He has built an enviable career on his twin passions for travel and photography and over the past 38 years has travelled the world, amassing a substantial and compelling collection of images of people and places – in more than 100 countries on all seven continents. Richard has a Master of Photography awarded by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), is an Ambassador for the Australian Himalayan Foundation and we’re honoured to have his amazing images featuring in our brochures since the early 90’s. For more inspiration, visit www.richardianson.com, head to his Instagram page @richianson or watch the videos on this page to gain an insight into the knowledge you will tap into if you join him on this fantastic trip.

TONY WHEELER: An Asia ‘hippie trail’ trek in 1972 led to the creation of Lonely Planet and the New York Times to describe Tony as ‘the trailblazing patron saint of the world’s backpackers and adventure travellers.’ Since Tony departed Lonely Planet there’s been the Wheeler Institute at London Business School (concentrating on entrepreneurship in the developing world), the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne (books, writing and ideas) and the Planet Wheeler Foundation’s education and health projects in the developing world, quite apart from lots of travel to keep him busy. Tony’s previous Nepal trips have included the Annapurna Circuit, the Everest Base Camp trek, a walk in western Nepal that continued in to Tibet and a circuit of Mt Kailash plus the trek up to Mustang before the road got there.


Accommodation


Departure dates


Notes

Note:
As a trip to support the Australian Himalayan Foundation, there is a compulsory (and tax-deductible) donation component, which supports health, environmental, and education outcomes for disadvantaged families in Nepal, Bhutan and the Indian Himalaya. Our suggested donation amount is $2000 AUD per person. This payment should be made directly to The Australian Himalayan Foundation on the link provided.

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Priceper person from

$8290USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$930
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Mustang with Richard I'Anson and Tony Wheeler 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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