Experiencing Nepal's Upper Mustang – Mustang's remote valleys are excellent for hiking. The best trail leads from Yara to Muktinath, at the base of the Annapurna. Here, the mountains become sharper and wilder, the silence louder, the atmosphere more solemn.
Mustang caves – There are more than 10,000 man-made caves in Mustang, many more than 1,000 years old. Most seem impossible to access as they open high onto vertical cliffs. They've been used as meditation places, military lookouts, homes, cemeteries and storage vaults.
Tibetan festivals – Children rehearse for one of the festivals and religious ceremonies celebrated throughout the year in Mustang.
Royal welcome – Nepal abolished the Mustang monarchy's official status in 2008. But Prince Jigme Palbar Bista is still considered the center of life in Mustang. Most homes display his portrait and when people have a dispute, they come to him.
Mountain biking – A mountain bike and backpack are all that are needed to explore trails in Mustang's majestic valleys, which are dotted with villages and monasteries.
Local life – Staying in a local home is a meaningful way to generate cultural exchange out of brief encounters. Dikee Dolker Gurung, 30, and her parents Angjuk Gurung, 71, and Tsering Pajung Gurung, 62, eat breakfast around the stove.
Temple hopping – Mustang's temples display the full teachings of Buddhist doctrine: frescos with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, tantric Mandalas, sacred books written in gold, silk Tangka and statues of Indian yogis in bronze, copper or clay.
Restorating Buddhist art – The renovation work done by the American Himalayan Foundation stirred controversy because instead of using professionals, it trained local farmers. In 1997, all the families in Mustang sent one person to the renovation office to be selected to study drawing under Mukti Thapa, one of the best teachers of the Pala tradition of Buddhist painting.
Tibetan spirituality – "Cultural understanding is not just about studying books," says Lama Thashi, the principle of Cheri monastery school. "It is about experiencing the way of the people, attending to the dying, herding the yaks, doing community work, feeling the winds and watching the sky of this landscape."
Healing herbs – Traditional Tibetan herbal remedies are a complex union of many herbs acting in synergy. To be effective, says local herbalist Nag Pa, they must be complemented with dietary and behavioral adjustments.