Leh – My first day of Ladakh Tour

Leh – My first day of Ladakh Tour

Ladakh is one of my favorite destination 🙂 There are two ways to go to Ladakh, one by road through Srinagar or Manali and other by air. I decided to go by air because I planned to travel alone and upon calculation, I realized that solo Ladakh tour is too expensive. Because public transport is limited and cost of a taxi to go from one place/town to other is high in Ladakh so, I thought why not try a package tour. After searching the internet I came across a 10 days Ladakh tour and decided to go for it. The one I had selected was departing after 4 days. I booked it instantly.

My flight was at 4.45 AM from Delhi, all flights to & fro for Leh are in the early morning due to high altitude. The oxygen in the air is less and during the day air gets it gets thinner due to temperature rise. This can be harmful to airplanes.

sunrise ladakh tour
I landed in Leh at 6.15 AM, the airport is managed by Indian air-force and photography is prohibited inside. The moment I came out of the plane, I realized how beautiful these barren mountains looks.
The air was fresh and crisp. Upon landing, I didn’t feel the altitude effect and it starts feeling after few hours. The driver was waiting for me at the airport, he told me to wait as he had to pick up one more person who was coming by next flight after 15 minutes. While I waited, I decided to roam around instead of sitting outside, the driver asked me to take it easy & rest/sit 🙂 which I didn’t comply.
The other gentleman came and we reached our hotel. I noticed a biker group was leaving when we reached, biking is very popular in Ladakh area. We were served tea and hotel owner insisted that I should rest till lunch. Though I didn’t want to I decided to rest as I was awake at midnight due to early morning flight. I slept for a couple of hours and when I woke up I felt heaviness in the head, which was not there before sleeping and it was first to sign of high altitude.


I had my lunch and guide for the tour came to meet & brief us. During this meeting, I came to know that in my group we are only two 😀 . The o
ther gentleman was 60 yrs old nice gentleman from Singapore and was working in Chennai with an MNC. So two of us got a 8 seater SUV with a driver and most of the time guide was also with us. In coming days it turned out to be a custom made Ladakh tour instead of a group tour and the other gentleman turned out a was very polite & no fuss type.


After Lunch, we reached there after 30 minutes drive and from parking walked towards stupa. It is relatively new construction done by Japanese Buddhists. There is a prayer hall before stupa and some monks were meditating there. It is the nice and very peaceful place.
The stupa is slightly up & surrounded by mountains and valley. It is the beautiful and perfect place to enjoy the feel of Ladakh. I spent some time there looking around and taking pictures.

After spending sometime we decided to go to the Leh market. It is a nice market with lots of food places serving different cuisines and makes & serve fresh food. We had kahawa (Kashmiri Tea) and some dumplings.
Later on, we walked around in market to get the feel of the place but it was tiring as we were still acclimatizing. After spending a couple of hours in the market we decided to go back to the hotel. It turned out a good day. I had dinner in the hotel and called for the day.

My hotel was a small property with 2 dozen rooms, they have a small kitchen garden. Sometimes they used the fresh vegetable from the garden for our meals.

How to reach Leh –
1.) There are direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Jammu. It is advisable to book in advance because in summer months flights cost goes very high.
2.) Drive by car via Manali or Srinagar. It takes approx 5-6 days of travel time to & fro from Delhi. The driver should be tough and can drive on high altitude hill roads. Get the car serviced before traveling.
3.) By Bus from Delhi to Leh via Manali and a night halt at Keylong, arriving at Leh in evening (Travel time approx 52-53 hours).
Best time to travel –
Travel window for Ladakh tour is from April to October. If you want to see snow then go in April and May.

Few things to remember –
It is advisable to drink to drink lots of water and decided to take a bit easy and eat proper meals. Also, do snack in between (Water & food intake helps a lot and I vouch for it from my experience). By next day I acclimatized though for some people it is difficult (One of my friend when she went, she was not felt fit throughout the trip).

We layered clothing because temperature keeps on changing and in sun it feels hotter, so if one wears layered clothing then it is easy to wear or remove layers in case you feel hot or cold.

Carry cash because there are ATMs in town but sometimes queues are very long to withdraw cash.

 

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