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Upper Mustang Trek: Day 6

Sleeping in a meditation hall that was full of spiritual aura, probably might give us a chance, probably slight chance, to experience something extraordinary. Indeed, I did have some weird dream which feel some real, through the long and freezing night. Exactly at the meditation hall that we taking a rest, I saw Shakyamuni Buddha sitting in a posture like how we normally see it which the drawing or statue, and there was countless of peoples came over to raise their problem and try to get help from him, one at a time. I felt like I was a jury, or third party observer standing close by and was listening to all the problem and teaching from Shakyamuni Buddha himself to each of them. It probably was a dream, but I can still feel the voice around my ears even though I have my eyes opened occasionally throughout my sleep, and I can feel their presence in the meditation hall. Is a dream or that was something truly there in the spiritual meditation hall? I am not sure, but although I can't remember the details of the problem raised, but I did have sympathy for each of them, and relate some of it into my life as well. Mentally tired the next day with this magnificent experience, physically exhausted as I don't felt that I am resting well throughout the long night.

I did share my experience during our breakfast, and the temple keeper said that the one that praying deepest to the Buddha might only have this kind of fate to get closer to them, in such a way. Before leaving Ghar Gompa, the temple keeper give each of us a white scarf called Khata, which symbolizes a safe journey ahead when given as a farewell gesture. Without a doubt, the night stay at this oldest Tibetan Monastery was one of the best highlight and experience I have throughout the whole expedition!

The comrades and the temple keeper in from of the main prayer hall.

Complete group photo, love it very much!

I love this Khata a lot and have it well placed on my cubicle in office!

The four of us.

The four of us with Kumar.

Waving goodbye to the temple keeper, we continue our walk throughout trail path at the back of Ghar Gompa, which we will be going through the highest pass so far, Chogo La at 4280 meters above sea level. However, the trek was mostly surrounded by high mountain hence we don't see a view that might gave us goosebumps as per describe by the French ladies a day earlier. Probably, the expectation of the term was different in between us. However, the achievement to went over Chogo La still successfully still make the day proud for each of us. During the descend from the pass, we met with fellow Malaysian on the trail which we met during the first day of the trek, and happily we take a photo together here!

Goodbye for now Ghar Gompa, thanks for the unforgettable stay!

Beautiful view of the valley in the morning.

Passing through a wooden bridge, the water beneath was extremely clear!

If you looked carefully, there was countless Stupa all over the area close to Ghar Gompa, those was part of the legendary story.

Looked at the the duffel bags that they carried along the way, really appreciate their efforts!

Nice placement of stone to indicate the trail clearly.

Buddha playing with a frozen ice on the river.

Taking a break.

The hike we went through, along the valley.

As we go higher, more frozen ground can be seen along the way.

The pass, it feel like something will just pop up suddenly.

The sixth sense was accurate, villager riding a horse came out of nowhere from the pass.

Our porters taking a break while waiting for us.

Gorgeous view from the rest point.

I have been waited quietly for quite some time, but the shy marmot just did not came out and say hi to me.

Still some distance before reaching Chogo La.

Finally, reached Chogo La at 4280 meters high from sea level.

Descending after passing Chogo La.

Met fellow Malaysian on the way down. Malaysia Boleh!

Another minor break taken for our porters. They have to in order to keep a safe distance with us.

Mandy standing still in the middle of the trail and enjoying the view.

After a little more descend, finally we manage to see the wall city of Lo Manthang from some distance away. From the suggested viewpoint from, I decided to go off route a bit, hike up a small mountain to have a good view of the city from above. Kumar and Fabian escorting me over while the rest continue their walk through the designated route. We somehow got lost a bit finding our way to the viewpoint, but end up still manage to make it there. Was the off route hike effort worth it? I can definitely say, it was absolutely worth the extra effort here for the otherworldly view of Lo Manthang and its surrounding village!

Still some distance away, but we already can see the wall city of Lo Manthang from here!

It seem this had boost their form drastically.

The view towards the snow mountain range, which probably bordering with China.

Getting nearer and nearer now.

Saying bye for now, as few of us will detour to look for mysterious viewpoint suggested in

After getting lost for a while, finally we were here at the view point spot.

It was a high cliff which offer a spectacular view towards the city of Lo Manthang!

The view towards the east side of Lo Manthang.

Kumar at the gorgeous viewpoint overlooking Lo Manthang.

Me at the gorgeous viewpoint overlooking Lo Manthang.

Fabian at the gorgeous viewpoint overlooking Lo Manthang.

To the west of Lo Manthang, breathtaking view!

Time to explore the capital of the Forbidden Kingdom!

Fabian felt that he can touch the sky with his hiking pole.

Getting lower from the cliff, and gaining a closer view to Lo Manthang.

Kumar was thinking on which path we should take to descend down hill.

It did not have clear route from the cliff, hence it was lucky we make it down to the road safely.

Our comrades were waiting for us at the main gate of Lo Manthang!

After 6 days of strenuous efforts, finally we make it to the ancient capital of Kingdom of Lo, Lo Manthang! The kingdom itself was founded by Amel Pal, dated back to year 1380. For a very long time, this special kingdom was isolated from the rest of Nepal and due to the same reason, the traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture here was considered one of the best preserved in the world. Upper Mustang's status as a 'Kingdom' ended in 2008 when its suzerain Kingdom of Nepal became a republic. It was arguably the last kingdom exist in the world.

We first take an achievement photo on the iconic entrance gate to the city, before we start to exploring deep into it. The streets here was much more busier and crowded with quite a number of shops along it, which very much different with the rest of the village we went through earlier. We check in Lo-Manthang Guest House & Restaurant, which we will going to stay for 2 nights, and the most important thing to do subsequently was a good hot shower for sure! The lunch today come as secondary need when there was a choice, and another good new, or probably bad, Wi-Fi was available here with 1000 rupee per 1GB.

The distance covered today was roughly about 12 KM.

The main gate of Lot Manthang.

The four of us finally make it here to Lo Manthang!

Welcome to Lo Manthang.

The map of the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang.

Massive prayer flags can be seen all around the city.

Our stay for the next two days, Lo-Manthang Guest House & Restaurant.

Everyone felt relieved with the achievement so far via dining hall.

The rooms was at both side of the buildings, on both floors.

The street view from the roof top.

The sky was indeed very near, it seem like just touchable by hands.

Family bonding time.

Thanks for the job well done, our heroes!

After our late lunch, we have a visit to 3 iconic and famous Gompa within the walled city, which was Thubchen Gompa, Jampa Gompa, and Choede Gompa. These temples was scattered around the walled city, hence we first visit to Choede Gompa, and was assigned a young monk that escort us all the way to the rest of the monasteries. Both Thubchen and Jampa was very old and historical Gompa with really beautiful mandalas and mantra painting, with absolute beautiful Buddha and protector statues all over the place. Moreover, the young monk was very knowledgeable and given us very informative story about each corners of these temple in detail, and he truly speak English superbly! I was truly impressed, but again to prevent damaging these ancient properties, no camera was allowed inside. The combo ticket of 1000 rupee definitely worth the price to visit those places!

Mandy felt so energized after a heavenly hot shower.

The view on the street.

"Having right view of the existence; rid of fear of old age, sickness, death; joyful feelings increase limitless; may all grow to love another".

The entrance to Choede Gompa.

It was the only Gompa that houses monks within the walled city of Lo Manthang.

The smaller building to the right was the entrance to Choede Gompa's main prayer hall.

The young monk brought us to explore the oldest Gompa here in the walled city, Jampa Gompa.

Beer, coffee, apple pies, and croissant for a luxury afternoon tea time with the gang!

Lo Manthang - Nepal

November 2018

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