If you are in Nepal and have craving for Tibetan Culture but can’t make it to Tibet, you don’t need to go any further than Kagbeni. A medieval village in the Lower Mustang that is in many ways more Tibetan than Tibet!
We visited this village in January. There weren’t many tourists during that time. Kagbeni is two hours walk from Jomsom and can also be reached via jeep, truck or motorbike.
The village is designed as a fortress town and was quite important during the famous salt trade times between Tibet and Nepal.
Five Things to do in Kagbeni
1. Wander through the narrow cobbled streets and watch the locals do their daily chores and business. Take pictures!
2. Visit ‘The Red Monastery’, at the village Gompa, built-in 1429. A small entrance fee should be paid, which we paid to two very young monks. Inside the monastery, you may not take pictures, and they will make sure you comply!
3. Take a side trip to Lhungfu Cave, a holy cave visited frequently by Buddhist Pilgrims, which is about two and half hours walk from Kagbeni.
4. Visit and/or stay at ‘The Red House Lodge’, probably Kagbeni’s most well-known guesthouse. There is a small private monastery here that houses a huge clay idol of Maitreya.
5. Relax, eat, drink and enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery, the feel of history and the peace of Kagbeni.