The Mustang region extends into the vast Tibetan Plateau beyond the Annapurna Massif. Although it has been a part of Nepal since the 18th century, its location and its identification as a "forbidden kingdom" have shielded it from western influences. Up until 1992, when it resumed welcoming visitors, it was Nepal's best-kept secret. Mustang had enjoyed independence and had its own monarchy. It was located right on the trade route connecting the Himalayas and the Indian plains. The Mustang Region lost its status as a "kingdom" when it was claimed by Nepal in the 18th century, and the monarchy was dissolved by order of the Nepali government in 2008. However, many people in the region still acknowledge the monarchy today. Trekkers have plenty of opportunities to experience the genuine culture, the natural beauty, and the many mysteries and secrets of the Mustang region while on their journey.