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Top Gear Nepal Special-Mustang and Lo Manthang road trip adventure

Story by Snow Cat Travel

Posted: December 19, 2019
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Top Gear sets out on perhaps its toughest road trip ever - a high-altitude voyage from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, a secretive kingdom perched high on the Tibetan plateau, on the far side of the Himalayas. It is a five-day expedition through the highest mountains, deepest gorges and harshest terrain on the planet.

The arid high altitude landscape of Mustang

On their journey, the Top Gear presenters battle river crossings, mudslides and dizzying mountain passes on a trip that would test even the hardiest new 4x4s on the planet to the limit. But Paddy, Freddie and Chris aren’t crossing the Himalayas in new 4x4s. They are crossing the Himalayas in a very small old Peugeot, a very small old Renault and Nepal’s first (and only) home-built car.

Broadcast on BBC 2, 29th December 2019

Source : BBC

Well, if you watched the Top Gear Nepal Special, you’ll have seen Paddy, Freddie and Chris cavorting in the Himalayas on their epic road trip adventure into the “Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang” to Lo Manthang in some fairly dodgy vehicles.

To us, this was nothing new as we’ve been operating private jeep tours into Upper Mustang and to Lo Manthang for years. And we don’t use clapped out 4x4 vehicles either. We use the best Land Cruiser type vehicles in Nepal for this real adventure road trip.

Lo Manthang – Mustang – Nepal

The impossible is now possible. A private journey by 4WD vehicle into the forbidden kingdom of Mustang and to the fabled, remote walled capital of Lo Manthang. Now you can discover the land behind the Himalayas without trekking.

Read a Snow Cat Travel clients account of her Mustang Road Trip Adventure

Into The Forbidden Kingdom

The fabled walled city of Lo Manthang, capital of Mustang, has enticed intrepid adventurers since tourists were first allowed to enter the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang. An unforgiving, arid and high altitude mountain desert landscape along with the necessity for challenging trekking and costly special permits to enter Upper Mustang were still sufficient to deter most people. 

Now with the advent of a rough and ready jeep road that extends up through the spectacular  Kali Gandaki Valley, between Annapurna & Dhaulagiri, it is possible to travel between and beyond the Himalayas onto the Tibetan Plateau and reach Lo Manthang by 4WD vehicle. Some things haven't changed though. The ochre coloured, wind eroded, untamed wildness of Mustang remains the same, as does the need for a special permit.

Fording the Kali Gandaki River is all part of the adventure in Mustang

But, what has changed is that on this Mustang Jeep Tour you can now reach Lo Manthang and explore this once forbidden mountainscape without having to trek hard and long. Our Mustang Jeep Tour from Pokhara to Lo Manthang over land is very much an adventurous Nepal cultural tour. The landscape has not been tamed and the journey is on a bumpy dirt road, which remains at the mercy of the mountain gods and the climate. However, for those who dreamt of travelling into Mustang and were deterred by the need to trek arduously, a whole new possibility now exists.

See our Mustang Jeep Tour to Lo Manthang for more

Snow Cat Travel

This article was originally published on our Snow Cat Travel Word Press Blog