"The last border of the World" Mustang by jorgejuansanchez

Mustang Travel Guide: 42 reviews and 174 photos

Mustang was, until recently, a Himalaya Kingdom forbidden to the foreigners. During the night they close the gates of its walled capital, the beautiful Lo Mustang, where there is a royal Palace. The King of Mustang hates the westerners.
I was enjoying the popular trekking of the Annapurnas when, arriving to Kagbeni, I saw a caravan of gurungs with their yaks carrying rice, with whom I made friendship. They told me that they were heading to the walled city of Mustang. I borrowed a Tibetan cap to one of the gurungs and camouflaged myself into the group passing the control without being noticed. The soldiers at the border where drinking chang, playing to a kind of billiard with wooden buttons and did not pay much attention to the caravan. We crossed the Kali Gandaki gorge, powerful rivers, and in the first village, which in my diary I wrote as Chusang, I decided to continue alone. The third day, after climbing a pass I turned my head to the front and: Oh my God, what emotion! That was really unbelievable! Never in my life I will I forget what I felt upon that vision. Lo Mustang appeared as if my magic in the horizon. It looked a lovely walled city surrounded by the Himalaya Mountains. I continued my trekking and after two more hours I traversed the main gate and entered the medieval city, but continued my way to the border with Tibet through the villages of Nipu, Guru and Nechung. After crossing the Kore Pass through the border number 23, I noticed in the distance a Chinese military base, but I surround it to avoid it because I had no Chinese visa. After a few more hours I saw some houses. I had arrived to Legse, in Tibet. It was already dark. I was so tired, feeling pain in my hips, that I knocked at the first house that I saw, asked for water in Chinese: ?Tsuei ching, gewo Tsuei? (Water please, give me water), and fall down to the floor. There was a family. The husband, afraid of my presence, disappeared to come back half an hour later with two Chinese soldiers with rifles. I was sleeping. They lighted me with their lanterns and after a short interrogatory allowed me to spend the night with the family, but next day they sent me back to Mustang through the border number 23.
Near Lo Mustang I saw holes in the mountains and was told that there lived monks until their death, in meditation, Every day a small novice took some food for them thorough a hole in the hole where they were enclosed, and when after three days the same food was there, is was an unequivocal sign that the monk had died. Then they sealed the hole and opened a new one for another candidate to follow that way of life (or death). The vision of those holes was horrible and provoked in me a reaction of rebelliousness.

After being expelled from Mustang, I returned on foot to Kagbeni and could finish my trekking around the Annapurnas through the Thorung Pass. I was robbed by the Tibetans part of the 20 kilos of Chinese canned food and delicious biscuits that the Chinese army gave me. In the caravanserai of Lo Mustang I paid twice more than the locals for the momos, for the tea, for the tsampa, for the bed, etc. But anyway it was peanuts. I did not complain. I was conscious of the cheating but I did not argue and observed from their behaviour in order to learn more about the human nature.

The first night I slept in a kind of caravanserai in Samar, where they gave me food, momos, cheese of yak and tsang, a very dense tea, like soup, that they prepare in a kind of quiver called domo. The next day I crossed Guili and Gami, and in the second night I found a Buddhist Tibetan monastery, near the beautiful Charan, where I made friendship with the young monks of the Gelugpa sect when I gave them a picture of the XIV Dalai Lama.
Chortens were a kind of mark for the travellers which helped me. They show the way to the gonpas, or monasteries.

In Spanish language

CIUDAD MEDIEVAL AMURALLADA DE TIERRA DE LO MANTHANG

UNESCO describe de la siguiente guisa este lugar candidato a devenir en un próximo futuro un Patrimonio de la Humanidad: Lo Manthang, la capital del antiguo Reino de Lo, fue fundada en el siglo XV sobre una meseta de 3.800 metros de altitud sobre el nivel del mar. Está situada sobre la antigua ruta comercial que corre a lo largo del río Kali Gandaki, atravesando el Himalaya. La ciudad está rodeada por un alto muro de tierra de 6 metros de alto con torres cuadradas, o dzong, en las esquinas. Dentro de la ciudad amurallada se encuentran diferentes estructuras compactas levantadas con tierra.
Los principales monumentos que allí se albergan son el palacio, los monasterios de Jampa Lakhang y el Thubchen Lakhang, del siglo XV, además del monasterio de Choede Lakhang, del siglo XVIII. Hay también hileras de chortens?
(UNESCO sigue con su larga parrafada que yo omito para ir al grano)
-------------------------------------------------------

Me costó alcanzar Lo Manthang, la capital del antiguo Reino de Mustang.
Fue al llegar a Kagbeni cuando me uní a un grupo de gurungs con sus yaks y me camuflé entre ellos, pues en aquellos tiempos (1989) estaba estrictamente prohibido acceder a ese antiguo reino, pues el rey odia a los extranjeros. Sus habitantes están relacionados con los tibetanos. Pensé que el hombre existe antes que las fronteras y sentí curiosidad por conocer ese misterioso reino y demostrar al rey que no todos los extranjeros somos malos.
El descenso por la garganta de Kali Gandaki era muy peligrosa, hasta para los gurungs. A veces los yaks, cargados con sacos de arroz, se asustaban y no querían seguir adelante. Los gurungs les tenían que arrear en el lomo con un palo para que continuaran.
Tres días me costaría llegar a pie a la ciudad amurallada de Mustang, para no perderme seguía la ruta de los chortens en los picos de las montañas y cruces de caminos, pues actuaban como las flechas amarillas en el Camino de Santiago y te conducían a Mustang, y más allá al Monte Kailash.
Cuando divisé las murallas y los monasterios y chortens alrededor de Mustang, me emocioné. Pero temí que si entraba a su interior descubrirían que era un odiado extranjero y el rey me expulsaría. En realidad mi meta era el Palacio del Potala, en Lhasa, así que rodeé la ciudad sin penetrar en ella, y continué por un sendero hacia un paso que me conduciría hacia media noche a la entrada en la aldea tibetana cuyo nombre sonaba a Litse, burlando un control de un campamento militar chino.
Por desgracia, al pedir ayuda en una casa de Litse me denunciaron, me dejaron dormir en un cuartel y por la mañana los soldados chinos me devolvieron en su jeep al paso número 23 de Mustang. Fue cuando descendí y entré en la ciudad amurallada, con gallardía. Pero allí de nuevo sería descubierto, encerrado por orden del rey (a quien no llegué a ver) y al día siguiente sería conducido escoltado por un soldado de ese reino hasta Kagbeni, adonde llegamos dos días más tarde.
Mi aventura de viajero revoltoso no tuvo consecuencias; en Kagbeni la Policía me dejó en libertad y me permitió realizar el giro completo al Annapurna a través del Thorung La Pass.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Mustang is an unique place in the world
  • Cons:it seems now is open to tourists for a high price
  • In a nutshell:back 1000 years in time
  • Last visit to Mustang: Jan 1989
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (1)

Comments (2)

jorgejuansanchez

“Memento mori”

Online Now

Male

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 4 6 0

Badges & Stats in Mustang

  • 1 Reviews
  • 2 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 2 Comments
  • 2,591PageViews

Have you been to Mustang?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)