Mustang is an ancient forbidden kingdom, bordered by the Tibetan plateau and sheltered by some of world's tallest peaks, including 8000-meter tall Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Strict regulations of tourists here have aided in maintaining Tibetan traditions.Upper Mustang was a restricted demilitarized area until 1992, which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world due to its relative isolation from the outside world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetic languages.The name "Mustang" is derived from the Tibetan word meaning, "Plain of Aspiration." Upper Mustang was only opened to foreigners in 1992 (annual quota at present of 1,000 people). It is a popular area for trekking and can be visited year round (regardless of season).
Mustang district lies in Dhawalagiri zone. The headquarters is Jomsom. The district covers an area of 3,573 km2 and has a population of 14,981. The elevation ranges from 1,372 to 8,167 meters (Mount Dhaulagiri, the 8th highest mountain in the world), with several peaks above 7,000 meters. Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main occupations. The entire district is included within the Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest protected area of Nepal. Development programmes, tourism management, and so on are primarily overseen by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), a division of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC).The kingdom of Mustang was a dependency of the Kingdom of Nepal since 1795,but was abolished by the republican Government of Nepal on October 7, 2008. The monarchy in Mustang ceased to exist on October 7, 2008, by order of the Government of Nepal, after Nepal became a federal democratic republic. According to the Human Development Index, Mustang is a relatively wealthy district with a GDP per capita of US $2,466.