Upper Mustang Trek - Nepal information - Costs & Logistics
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Dec 7, 2012 1:35 AM Last Post By: Jep
Dec 3, 2012 4:38 AM
Upper Mustang Trek - Nepal information - Costs & LogisticsIf you are interested in visiting Upper Mustang (north of the Annapurna Range) in Nepal, the best way to do it simply – and avoid being overcharged – is paying an individual guide a per diem, obtain your permit separately (paying a travel agency to do it for you), and covering the guide’s expenses (along with your own) throughout the journey.
Contrary to popular belief, costs are quite low and reasonable throughout Upper Mustang and the standard daily rates charged by many travel agencies enables them to pocket well over 50% of what you pay. An overview of key costs include the following:
- PERMITS & AUTHORIZATIONS.
- $500 – Permit for 10 Days (i.e., $50 a day)
- $30-50 – “Processing fee” per permit (paid to a travel agency)
- 2,000 NRs Annapurna Conservation Area Permit
- 2 Person minimum is NOT required; you can ask any agency to “make” a group for you if you pay them the processing fee!
- GUIDE COSTS.
- $25 per day through an agency (though the guide will only likely get around $15 a day with the rest going to the agency)
- Transport costs to and from Jomsom and the start of the trek
- ADDITIONAL COSTS.
- Entrance & Gompa reqested fees are around 500-1,000 NRs, depending on the locale (these include a cave outside Lo Monthang (150 NRs), 2 Monastaries (200 NRs each), a cave en route back from Lo Monthang (100 NRs), and entrance and visits to monastaries in the old city (400 NRs).
- 1,500 NRs for a horse around Lo Monthang area, though be sure to confirm the route!
- ESTIMATED TOTAL COSTS.
- Budget approx. 2,000 NRs (i.e., $25) per person per day for all food and accommodation
As one can see, if one pays an agency $65-70 a day, then one is paying more than what one needs to pay; again, it is best to obtain a guide and pay him a per diem rate, along with his costs for food and accommodation.
It is also worth noting that I had a great trip to Lo Monthang, even though (with hindsight), I wished I had known what I wrote above. Among other things, my guide ended up asking me for things like toilet paper & juice mix, didn’t wait for me on a variety of occasions, and didn’t outline the costs I noted above. But I thought I’d share what I learned in any case.
Hope these notes help those heading to Upper Monthang! It's a great part of Nepal and well worth visiting!
Dec 3, 2012 4:51 AM
1"2 Person minimum is NOT required; you can ask any agency to “make” a group for you if you pay them the processing fee!"
The restricted area permit regulations are explicit on this point; to obtain a permit a minimum of two trekkers is required.
By make a group do you mean the agency will put you with other people then you trek alone?
Dec 3, 2012 5:28 AM
2I am very sure Agency put him to gather with other travelers and issue Permits and he did trek alone.
“2 Person minimum is NOT required; you can ask any agency to “make” a group for you if you pay them the processing fee! “IS NOT TRUE, require minimum 2 peoples to obtain any region of Nepal where require Special permit.
Dec 3, 2012 4:15 PM
3The so called processing fee is the $500 for the extra permit, you go with a ghost partner. I almost had to pay the extra for my trek to Upper Mustang, and I did go as a group of one to Manaslu and paid the extra. What is usually done is that they get a permit using a valid foreign passport, but the person does noy go on the trek. No problem with it.
Dec 3, 2012 4:28 PM
4A $500 processing fee somewhat undermines the OP's claim this is a way to "avoid being overcharged".
Can't agree there is no problem with a ghost permit but perhaps a moot point until the rule-tightening reaction to a missing trekker who appears to have entered a restricted area by flouting the rules.
Dec 5, 2012 6:18 AM
5As to my experience 2 years ago, I had found a companion, who desisted last minute, so I entered alone with my guide (from an agency) and there was no problem. I also met at least three solo trekkers with their guide. They had paid double permit fee (or more, probably the 'processing fee') and their agency had provided them a 'ghost partner' indeed. Be aware that agencies charge very different prices for the same trek and service in Upper Mustang. I met people who had paid double that what I had paid for the same, or less...
Dec 5, 2012 8:22 AM
Dec 7, 2012 1:35 AM
I completely agree on that and I also discourage people to do so, as agencies and the office delivering the permit make profit through bribing.I just tried to describe the situation as I saw it. And in my case two real and valid permits were delivered, so no blame for the agency. If someone doesn't turn up even after paying for the permit, there's noting one can do.
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