Friday, March 06, 2015

See Nepal Before It Changes Forever! | Hike with Renowned Explorer Ace Kvale



Image: Ivoha/shutterstock


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Time is running out for an ancient kingdom in Nepal, and we'd like you to see it before it changes forever.
   
Situated on the mountainous, windswept border of Nepal and the People's Republic of China, Upper Mustang (the former Tibetan Kingdom of Lo) is a perfectly preserved artifact of Tibetan culture and customs. In point-of-fact, it's one of the last places on earth where Tibetan dialects, rituals and an accompanying Buddhist religion still survive largely intact. This is the land where dragons still hide in caves, and monks pray to ward off evil spirits. In short, Upper Mustang is a world of myth.

The New York Times wrote a very nice story about Upper Mustang in an article titled, Myths and Mountains in Nepal. They also put together a very nice slide show of the region.

Please read the story, then visit our website to check out our Nepal: The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang hiking tour. If you register for this trip, then you'll spend 18 days photographing and exploring incalculable treasures and landscapes that will steal your breath away. You'll hike to remote monasteries and ancient cave temples adorned with gold and silver-gilded frescoes that rival the art in Italy's Sistine Chapel. You'll also stop for reflection at one of many carved-stone chortas, (a small Buddhist stupa), that line the centuries-old trade route between the tiny farming and herding villages of the region. It is worth noting that you'll follow a Himalayan salt trade route (between Tibet and India) that has been in use for more than 600 years.

The real highlight of this trip is the visit to Lo Manthang, the capital of the former Lo Kingdom-a walled city that looks exactly as it did when it was built in 1380. Lose track of time as you wander among the whitewashed, mud brick walls of the city. Dip into a local teashop to purchase a bit of refreshment or a tiny keepsake from your journey. If everything goes to plan, you might even have an audience with Raja Jigme Palba Bista, the last surviving king of Mustang. He was Mustang's king, (and still is to many residents), before the Nepalese government ordered a cessation of the monarchy in 2008. Retire to the comfort of your Tibetan style guesthouse and dream about the 26,000-foot Annapurna mountain range standing guard outside your door. 

Ace Kvale will lead this trip. Ace has traveled to more than sixty countries, including nearly 30 expeditions to Asia and the Himalaya. He is also one of the world's top adventure photographers. Ace knows Nepal, and continues to document the rapid changes sweeping across the region, most notably the completion of a motorable road that connects Mustang with urban centers in the north and south. Recent development in Upper Mustang promises prosperity for local residents, but it also brings a radical departure from a much older, traditional way of life. If any person is qualified to show you the beauty of Nepal, and the unique culture of an ancient kingdom balancing on the precipice of the modern world, it is Ace.

Our Nepal: The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang hiking tour runs May 23-June 9 2015. Please contact us to join this very special journey.

See you in Nepal! 

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