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Thread: Leh / Ladakh Trip

  1. #1

    Default Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Hi guys,

    I am thinking of making a trip to Leh/Ladakh sometime early next month. Currently, my leave allows me to be there for about 11 days. Is that sufficient? I have been doing some surfing and it seems that there is this delhi-manali-leh-srinagar-delhi route, but it requires 14 days. The detailed itinerary is:

    *Revised Itinerary

    Delhi to Manali
    Day 1
    Arrive at Delhi airport, take flight to Manali (would it cause acclimatisation problems?)

    Manali
    Day 2
    am, old manali
    noon, tibetan colony
    pm, vashist
    stay over manali

    Manali to Keylong
    Day 3
    am, forest reserve
    travel from manali to keylong (est 6hrs)
    abt 4pm, arriving at keylong
    evening, Keylong village
    stay over keylong (maybe tashi deleg gh)
    acclimitization day 1

    Keylong to Sarchu
    Day 4
    jeep + trek to shashur or khardung gompa
    noon, travel from keylong to sarchu (est 6hrs)
    abt 6pm, arriving at sarchu
    stay over sarchu tents
    acclimitization day 2

    Sarchu to Leh
    Day 5
    am, travel from sarchu to leh (3445m/est 12hrs)
    abt 7pm, arriving at leh
    stay near leh old town and palace
    acclimitization day 3

    Leh
    Day 6
    buffer day. rest or walk around in leh old town, KIV visit shanti gompa in evening if everyone's well
    acclimitization day 4

    Leh to Hunder
    Day 7
    am, KIV visit Namgyal Tsemo gompa next to the old town if everyone's well
    est 8am-5pm leh to hunder (est 8hrs)
    evening, landscape at hunder
    stay over at hunder (maybe snow leopard gh).

    Hunder
    Day 8
    hunder and diskrit

    Hunder to Leh
    Day 9
    am, landscape at hunder
    est 10am-6pm arrive back to leh
    stay over at leh


    Leh - Pangong Tso - Leh
    Day 10
    am, Leh to pangong tso (4300m) and Spangmik(4242m)
    pm, return to shey (0.5hr) and leh (5.5hr)
    stay over leh

    Leh - Delhi - Agra
    Day 11
    6am, leave leh by flight
    Jun 18, leave delhi at night.

    Also is there any permits/visa i need to obtain before going there? If you have any other comments / suggestions to share, would also love to hear it!

    (P.s: the plan is to travel on 4 June (if flights available) and return on 14 June)
    Last edited by oracle00; 18th May 2009 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    If u just want Leh only, u can do it in 9 days including visit to Taj Mahal.
    http://www.universaltravel.com.sg/IN...adakh_Iti.html

    Or a 10days 4wd overland trip which might be good for you.
    http://www.universaltravel.com.sg/IN...%20Safari.html
    HX300/ EPL6/ EOS60D/ 17-55mmF2.8IS/ 100mmF2.8Macro/ 135mmF2L/ 70-200mmF4LIS/ 300mmF4LIS

  3. #3

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    hey, thanks for the suggestions and the link... will check it out...

    i am actually more keen on the manali-leh route cos i heard that the scenery along that route is extremely breathtaking than the srinagar route.... though as i havent been there before, i am not too sure on that point

  4. #4

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    hey, thanks for the suggestions and the link... will check it out...

    i am actually more keen on the manali-leh route cos i heard that the scenery along that route is extremely breathtaking than the srinagar route.... though as i havent been there before, i am not too sure on that point
    Both routes are equally breathtaking..
    If u pressed for time, you can skip Kargil, Srinagar --> Lamayuru --> Leh.
    Just note that Lamayuru's altitude is about 3500m.

    If u going straight to Keylong from Tso Moriri, than you may need to do a customised trip. Most people return to Leh after such side trips.

    Permits can be settled for you by the local travel agency you book your side trips from.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    hi zoosh, apologies for OTing on this thread.. will remove this post immediately if u say the word..

    i am planning a trip to ladakh... have started a thread here: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=517760

    i managed to find ur itinerary and am thinking of using it... problem is i only have 11 days (at best 12 days).. could i just checked with you whether there is anything worthwhile seeing during your delhi to manali part of the trip:

    Delhi to Manali
    Jun 6, abt 6am, passing by Chandigrah
    Jun 6, abt 4pm, arriving at manali (est 14-17hrs)
    Jun 6 stay over manali (maybe sunshine guesthouse)

    i am thinking of flying to manali so as to save time, would you recommend that? I probably will also be cutting off the last part of your trip, ie. the delhi-agra part to save another day... any comments on that as well? also, i understand some places u need a group of 4.. if i have only 2 or 3 persons in my group, can i just pay for the permits for the missing number of people and they allow me in? many thanks in advance!
    ideally, kasmhir and ladakh will need 3 weeks to cover at an ok pace. it is not so much about the number of locations or stopover, rather it is the mountaineous terrain that limit the land transport speed. moreover, other factors to take into consideration is the accomodation available between points of travel (ie. between sarchu and leh no accom, not sure about pang) and the attitude of ascent (preferably <1km per day, and <3500m at sleeping point, with gradual acclimitization). drivers do not drive at night due to the poor terrain and some locations will flood due to release of mountain water, so any transport time eat into your shooting time, unless you only want to shoot star trail, it is not advisable to travel every day. so you need to make the circle smaller, ie kashmir may have to go, or leh-delhi land route have to go (may affect your trip to tso miriri, it is 9hrs x 2, to and fro leh).

    depending on how well you are adapted to long hours of travel and how much time you adapt to attitude, you can become very unwell or your partners may be. from what i see, out of 14 days, about 7 days will be dedicated to transport only (day 1,2,9,11,12,13,14) and about 2 days i'm not certain of the time of transport (day 4,5). i have motion sickness and i know how bad it is, so just make sure you and your friends do not have migraine, motion sickness or plain poor physique. most landscape on the route will require some walking around and exploration, unless you are highly sensitive to landscape contours, the by the road shooting are highly unlikely to give good pictures, which will be much disappointing if you intend most of your landscape shots on the long driving journeys.

    a few consideration
    1. going to tso miriri means that it is better to do it as part of the manali-leh land transport. but it is still a kind of T-junction thing, which require some kind of detour.
    2. flying saves a lot of time, but if it is done as a fly up thing, you may get headache or other symptoms of ams. flying down can be done, but tso miriri may have to be done prior to leh.
    3. i''m not sure about delhi to manali flight. you need to check on cost and availability
    4. delhi-agra can be shave off if u intend to go india again, but would your partners agree?
    5. no, you can't go less than 4. a possibility is that the agent may matchmake you and other foreigners together, but given your tight schedule, you may end up missing those locations, as it is not uncommon for people to wait 2-3 days for the agent to find partners. I'm also not sure if the group of 4 (+other foreigners) need to go in and out together, which either restrict your group or the other group depending on who's dominant. but maybe if you can pre-arrange with the agency, it might be ok.

    try indian mike to look for more info
    try sgtravelcafe to look for partners (though if it is really a photographic trip, you got to make it known as some other are sightseers and trekkers with a different pace and outlook to life)
    Last edited by zoossh; 18th May 2009 at 08:38 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Hi AReality and Zoosh!

    Many thanks for your comments. Having considered your inputs, I guess i will take out the Srinagar route part and just concentrate on the Manali-Leh part of the journey this time round. Zoosh mentioned the motion sickness part which could be a problem for some of my partners. I have revised my itinerary based on Zoosh's previous itinerary and cutting off some portions so that it fits my timing. I was actually thinking the landscape along the road journeys will be breath-taking... however, from what zoosh mentioned, it doesnt seem to tbe the case? is food a problem during the journey, i.e. does the food on the journey belong to those you eat for sustenance or those that are decent or those that are marvellous ? btw, is mineral water readily available at the various stops?

    delhi-agra part can be done for those who are interested in continuing... unfortunately for the moment, it seems i wouldnt be able to do that part...

  7. #7
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    I was actually thinking the landscape along the road journeys will be breath-taking... however, from what zoosh mentioned, it doesnt seem to tbe the case?
    i dun mean that. but for the already long ?10-14hrs drive, it is actually still rushed. ie. we cannot keep stopping to shoot, if not, it will add many more hours for that. so one has to be discreet on where to stop...

    however, i'm not a landscape-sensitive person who can choose location and lighting to shoot based on limited and constantly moving window view. plus all the motion sickness and the forced sleep...

    you need time to walk around to appreciate the landscape better and shooting them better, at least that is for me. some people may not need that.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    is food a problem during the journey, i.e. does the food on the journey belong to those you eat for sustenance or those that are decent or those that are marvellous ?
    not too bad. but dun be picky in some remote locations. they have virtually the minimum.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    btw, is mineral water readily available at the various stops?
    stocked them in manali, leh or srinagar before you move out.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    Hi AReality and Zoosh!

    Many thanks for your comments. Having considered your inputs, I guess i will take out the Srinagar route part and just concentrate on the Manali-Leh part of the journey this time round. Zoosh mentioned the motion sickness part which could be a problem for some of my partners. I have revised my itinerary based on Zoosh's previous itinerary and cutting off some portions so that it fits my timing. I was actually thinking the landscape along the road journeys will be breath-taking... however, from what zoosh mentioned, it doesnt seem to tbe the case? is food a problem during the journey, i.e. does the food on the journey belong to those you eat for sustenance or those that are decent or those that are marvellous ? btw, is mineral water readily available at the various stops?

    delhi-agra part can be done for those who are interested in continuing... unfortunately for the moment, it seems i wouldnt be able to do that part...
    Oracle,

    I am also planning a trip to North India, in fact I already booked my tickets..will be there for the first 2 weeks of August. Have plans to go to Leh too but my schedule is probably gonna look tighter than yours. Besides going to Agra for Taj Mahal, will be doing Rajasthan, Jaipur & Jodphur, and then the Primachal Pradesh area (Shimla)... Am keen to go up to Amritsar but not sure if I have the time. Anyways...been reading up a lot but havent really put down a concrete iti...

    Jus a short comment on your iti where you planned a night in Sarchu (4500m). Been going through Indiamike & lonely planet forums...and it really isn't recommended to spend a night at such high altitude...Sarchu has been dubbed the Vomit Hilton. I might actually consider flying in and then taking the Leh - Manali road out. Read that although flying to 3500 m (Leh) might cause you nausea, headaches, but if u rest properly first couple days in Leh you will be fine. From Manali (2500m) - Keylong (3200m), once you go pass Keylong, I think you hit the 3000 - 4000m pass really quickly. Therefore, the effects might be even worse than if you were to fly direct to Leh.

    Haven't done it myself so would be great to hear the opinions of this travel option from those who have been there.
    Last edited by boroangel; 19th May 2009 at 08:46 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    i dun mean that. but for the already long ?10-14hrs drive, it is actually still rushed. ie. we cannot keep stopping to shoot, if not, it will add many more hours for that. so one has to be discreet on where to stop...

    however, i'm not a landscape-sensitive person who can choose location and lighting to shoot based on limited and constantly moving window view. plus all the motion sickness and the forced sleep...

    you need time to walk around to appreciate the landscape better and shooting them better, at least that is for me. some people may not need that.
    did you all take any of the anti-climate pills? the motion sickness is that bad? that really could be a problem then as my current partner do suffer from motion sickness and the long hours in the jeep isn't going to help? btw, how many persons can the jeep comfortably take? given the long hours in it, i think i wouldn't want to squeeze too many people in... if i can get my party of 4 together, am thinking of taking 2 jeeps? is that an overkill? ur previous cost of transportation of <SGD 600 for your whole ladakh trip is per vehicle or per person?

    not too bad. but dun be picky in some remote locations. they have virtually the minimum.
    ok... i guess it would be a bonus if good food comes along the way.. maybe pack a few soups there


    stocked them in manali, leh or srinagar before you move out.
    ok... u guys go for the branded mineral water for safety (like manufactured by F&N / Nestle type) or the made in india type of mineral water?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by boroangel View Post
    Oracle,

    I am also planning a trip to North India, in fact I already booked my tickets..will be there for the first 2 weeks of August. Have plans to go to Leh too but my schedule is probably gonna look tighter than yours. Besides going to Agra for Taj Mahal, will be doing Rajasthan, Jaipur & Jodphur, and then the Primachal Pradesh area (Shimla)... Am keen to go up to Amritsar but not sure if I have the time. Anyways...been reading up a lot but havent really put down a concrete iti...

    Jus a short comment on your iti where you planned a night in Sarchu (4500m). Been going through Indiamike & lonely planet forums...and it really isn't recommended to spend a night at such high altitude...Sarchu has been dubbed the Vomit Hilton. I might actually consider flying in and then taking the Leh - Manali road out. Read that although flying to 3500 m (Leh) might cause you nausea, headaches, but if u rest properly first couple days in Leh you will be fine. From Manali (2500m) - Keylong (3200m), once you go pass Keylong, I think you hit the 3000 - 4000m pass really quickly. Therefore, the effects might be even worse than if you were to fly direct to Leh.

    Haven't done it myself so would be great to hear the opinions of this travel option from those who have been there.
    your trip is for 2 weeks only ah? and u intend to cover Rajasthan, Jaipur & Jodphur, and then the Primachal Pradesh area (Shimla) as well as Leh? wow... that would be really a hectic trip

    ya... i read that part on the sarchu nite stay too... so might adjust that... i just started my research on leh for abt effectively half a day so things might change... i am basically riding on itineraries of people who have been there and then making minor adjustments... zoosh if you are reading this, any comments on the night stay at sarchu part?

    i did think of flying to leh directly but i think that will miss some of the landscapes during the way.. moreover, sometimes the fun is in the journey there! and you probably will remember it more vividly if there is bit of pain in the process... haha..

  11. #11

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    your trip is for 2 weeks only ah? and u intend to cover Rajasthan, Jaipur & Jodphur, and then the Primachal Pradesh area (Shimla) as well as Leh? wow... that would be really a hectic trip

    ya... i read that part on the sarchu nite stay too... so might adjust that... i just started my research on leh for abt effectively half a day so things might change... i am basically riding on itineraries of people who have been there and then making minor adjustments... zoosh if you are reading this, any comments on the night stay at sarchu part?

    i did think of flying to leh directly but i think that will miss some of the landscapes during the way.. moreover, sometimes the fun is in the journey there! and you probably will remember it more vividly if there is bit of pain in the process... haha..
    Well yea...I am thinking of...1 day in Agra, 3 days Jaipur, 3 days Jodphur, with the rest either to Leh or the Primachal Pradesh area...a bit tight so will see what I can do...

    I do agree that the journey is probably the most interesting part...even in terms of getting photos..but you might wanna seriously consider flying to Leh directly, and then taking the Leh - Sarchu - Keylong - Manali - Shimla road back. This way you would have acclimatise better and would hande Sarchu and the rothang passes in a better condition. Well, at least thats the opinion of those regular travellers to Leh. Cos...even the Ladakhis have trouble adjusting to the altitude in Sarchu and some of them suffer from altitude sickness too.

    click this for more info

    http://vistet.wordpress.com/2008/05/...ess-in-sarchu/
    Last edited by boroangel; 19th May 2009 at 11:10 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    flight to leh is definitely an option that needs to be considered as that might shave off some time given my limited number of days... thanks for the suggestion!

    rajasthan, jaipur and jodphur are areas tat i hope to visit one day too! do post ur itinerary here once u firm things up...

  13. #13
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    did you all take any of the anti-climate pills?
    yes, but that dun mean you can violate the rules of ams.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    the motion sickness is that bad? that really could be a problem then as my current partner do suffer from motion sickness and the long hours in the jeep isn't going to help?
    depends on individual proneness.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    btw, how many persons can the jeep comfortably take? given the long hours in it, i think i wouldn't want to squeeze too many people in...
    depends on the jeep size. being more spacious doesn't help to reduce bumpiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    if i can get my party of 4 together, am thinking of taking 2 jeeps? is that an overkill?
    yes, it is an overkill.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    ur previous cost of transportation of <SGD 600 for your whole ladakh trip is per vehicle or per person?
    per person for a group of 6. another sg joins us half way for some trips. exclude domestic (fro) and international flight (to/fro). i didn't buy any sourvenirs too.

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    ok... u guys go for the branded mineral water for safety (like manufactured by F&N / Nestle type) or the made in india type of mineral water?
    made in india brand.
    Last edited by zoossh; 19th May 2009 at 07:54 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    your trip is for 2 weeks only ah? and u intend to cover Rajasthan, Jaipur & Jodphur, and then the Primachal Pradesh area (Shimla) as well as Leh? wow... that would be really a hectic trip

    ya... i read that part on the sarchu nite stay too... so might adjust that... i just started my research on leh for abt effectively half a day so things might change... i am basically riding on itineraries of people who have been there and then making minor adjustments... zoosh if you are reading this, any comments on the night stay at sarchu part?

    i did think of flying to leh directly but i think that will miss some of the landscapes during the way.. moreover, sometimes the fun is in the journey there! and you probably will remember it more vividly if there is bit of pain in the process... haha..
    i've been only there once. 3 out of 6 are quite unwell when reaching and at the spot. i was also feeling bitterly cold to the bones at midnight. another group of 8 had 1-2 of them unwell. but no one is so sick as to get medical help.

    on the contrary, someone at indiamike who frequently transits sarchu have come across an indian who is frothing from the mouth due to lung swelling (pulmonary edema) and have to be evacuated to low land immediately. he does not know if he is still alive or not subsequently. so if anyone who is breathless at rest, must immediately highlight to the other people or the driver.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    I flew from SG to Delhi to Leh within 24 hrs. A bit breathless at the airport and while climbing stairs, but otherwise ok. Manali should be better.
    Take it easy, rest more and drink more water.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Oh ya, but the mountain passes from Manali to Leh are pretty high. So take it easy.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by boroangel View Post
    Jus a short comment on your iti where you planned a night in Sarchu (4500m). Been going through Indiamike & lonely planet forums...and it really isn't recommended to spend a night at such high altitude...Sarchu has been dubbed the Vomit Hilton.
    Sarchu is about 4200m.
    And it's not that bad. Just remember to take the miracle altitude pill..
    Can be quite cold at night, but the beds in the tent is quite comfortable..
    Ask for a tent near the toilets, 40m walk to the toilet will seem like 400m in the middle of the night, with wind chill.. Or you can do your small business behind your tent..


    .

  18. #18

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    thanks guys for all your invaluable feedback! wow... transport not cheap sia... $600 for a group of 6 means total about $3,600 for the transport! btw its ok to bring those normal luggage case with wheels tat type right? no need to bring backpack right?

    AReality do you still have your itinerary for your previous trip? if so, can post online ma? for my reference

  19. #19
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    thanks guys for all your invaluable feedback! wow... transport not cheap sia... $600 for a group of 6 means total about $3,600 for the transport! btw its ok to bring those normal luggage case with wheels tat type right? no need to bring backpack right?

    AReality do you still have your itinerary for your previous trip? if so, can post online ma? for my reference
    $400 is for TOTAL cost for 12 days in delhi to leh and back. we sort of went separate on return, so i spend/splurge another S$150 for two days in delhi, not sure abt the rest...

    you can google antrek to see the transport cost.

    no, i suggest that you use backpack unless you sleep and eat all time in your jeep, or leave your luggage in jeep when you sleep your hotel. but if you feel rich enough, the porters are more than happy to service you and carry all your luggage. but i saw no one with that, cos some roads are rocky or sandy, and urban-type castor luggage just can't make it.
    Last edited by zoossh; 21st May 2009 at 08:55 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Leh / Ladakh Trip

    o.O how did u managed to get it so cheap... i went to antrek website.. it says Euro 70 per person per day (all-inclusive, i.e. transport + accomodation + meals).. means Euro 840 for a trip of 12 days per person...

    actually, i was thinking since i won't be trekking (cos mainly jeep rides) and won't be staying often in tents (correct me if am wrong) and the jeep will drive me to the hotel doorstep, it makes more sense to carry luggage case with wheels since it can be (i) locked and (ii) can packed more things.. so not following you there on why you would suggest backpack... nevertheless noted on ur suggestion

    oh ya... another quick question, is there internet available at the hotels/motels along the way? think i am pushing that bit.. haha...
    Last edited by oracle00; 22nd May 2009 at 10:04 AM.

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