Top 10 regions

KATHMANDU, Mustang in north central Nepal has been named one of the world’s top 10 regions in Best in Travel 2013, published by Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world.

The guide book has described Mustang as being best for activities, off the beaten track and culture. Mustang lies “behind the Himalaya” and has been called “little Tibet” or “the last forbidden kingdom”. Though it is politically part of Nepal, in language, culture, climate and geography, it is Tibet, the guide book says. It was opened to tourism in 1992 with the number of visitors limited to a few hundred annually.

The completion of a motorable road linking Mustang to China and the rest of Nepal is expected to transform the lifestyle and economy of the region, thus heightening the urgency among explorers to visit the region before it changes.

Life in Mustang revolves around tourism, animal husbandry and trade. Last year, the region saw 2,950 foreign trekkers, up 36.4 percent. In the first six months of 2012, over 1,000 have already visited the place. Tourist arrivals in Mustang increase heavily during September-November, and hotels are unable to accommodate all visitors.

The place has become a centre of attraction for nature and cultural lovers and also for researchers. Deserted dry hills and valleys keep this area isolated from modern civilisation.

The other nine destinations in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2013 are Corsica, France; Negev, Israel and the Palestinian Territories; Yukon, Canada; Chachapoyas and Kuelap, Peru; the Gulf Coast, USA; Carinthia, Austria; Palawan, the Philippines; Inland Sea, Japan and Campania, Italy.

Source: Ekantipur

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