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When it comes to Upper Mustang Trek, trekkers can expect accommodation and food that are relatively expensive compared to other regions of Nepal. This is mainly due to the low population density and relative isolation of the area, which makes transportation and supplies more expensive. However, despite the basic nature of accommodation, it is still comfortable enough for trekkers to have a good night's sleep.
The most common type of accommodation on the trek is tea houses, which are essentially large family homes that extend their hospitality to guests. Rooms are usually equipped with two small cots, mattresses, pillows, sheets, and spare blankets upon request. While dormitories are also available, they are more basic and come with common bathrooms. Some good hotels in places like Lo-Manthang provide rooms with attached bathrooms. Staying at tea houses is a great way to experience the local culture and lifestyle, as Upper Mustang is still steeped in ancient traditions and practices.
For trekkers who prefer camping, there are also tented camps available. However, drinking water can be a challenge in Upper Mustang. Bottled water is available but comes at a high cost ranging from USD 2-5 per bottle. Natural water sources are limited, but communal water taps are available in every village for free refills. It is advisable to carry water purification tablets while trekking and to carry enough water to last the entire day, as water sources may be scarce in some areas.
As for food, the Upper Mustang trek offers traditional and unique Nepali cuisine, as well as Western and other international foods. Meals are served three times a day, with breakfast consisting of oatmeal, cornflakes, porridge with milk, and tea. For lunch, trekkers can enjoy traditional Nepali food like dal bhat, or opt for pizza, noodles, or sandwiches. Dal bhat is a staple of the Nepali diet, consisting of lentils, rice, curries, pickles, and eggs. It is a great source of energy for trekkers, and there is an option for a free refill. Dinner is similar to lunch and can include Tibetan noodle soup, momos, fried dumplings, and other foods.
While there are many food options available on the trek, it is advisable to carry nutritional snacks like chocolates and granola bars. Prices for food may be a bit expensive, but they are generally stable. Trekkers may also find Chinese consumables due to cross-border trading.
In summary, Upper Mustang Trek offers basic but comfortable accommodation and unique Nepali cuisine. Tea houses are the most common form of lodging, and trekkers should be prepared for the scarcity of drinking water. Overall, trekking in Upper Mustang offers a great opportunity to experience local culture and lifestyle while enjoying the natural beauty of the region.