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Here is The Land Of Wanderlust’s blueprint to a road trip through the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, which is also known for its barren rugged mountains, beautiful monastery’s and funny road captions.
Dal Lake, Gate no.1
In the month of May expect it to be a mix bag the weather will transition between extremely cold & bright sunny days. Very high probability of seeing snow fall along the way while crossing either Zojila, Khardungla or Changla pass.
On this nine day road trip its been a mostly travellers coming on small groups of 2-3 since Ladakh is that one trip mostly everyone does it with a friend or a sibling. Solo travellers do come but the only make up 30% of the trip size.
If your someone who prefers visiting a place before the season kicks in then the timing on this trip is in lines for what your looking to experience.
– Reach Srinagar by 15:00 HRS latest.
– Meet tlow lead backpacker at Dal Lake Gate no.1
– Check into a house boat at Dal Lake.
– Meet the rest of the group.
– By 17:30 HRS leave for a Shikhara ride around Dal Lake.
– Dinner in the city of Sri Nagar.
– Spend the rest of the evening relaxing in our house boat.
– Leave early in the morning by 06:00 HRS for the town of Kargil by local J&K SRTC bus.
– Visit Sonmarg known as the ‘Meadow of Gold’.
– Drive through Zero Point & Zojila.
– Lunch at Drass, the 2nd coldest inhabited place in the world.
– Reach Kargil by 17:00 HRS.
– Check into our guest house.
– Spend the rest of the evening exploring the town on foot.
-Hop onto the 05:00 HRs morning Bus from Kargil to Leh. 216 km
– Reach Leh by 13:00 HRS.
– Take a Omani to our home stay.
– Reach our home stay at Leh old fort road by 13:20 HRS.
– Check into a home stay.
– Spend the rest of the evening exploring the town of Leh on foot.
– Post breakfast leave for local site seeing by car.
– Visit Hall of Fame & Magnetic Hills.
– Zanskar River Rafting. (Add on)
– Return back to Leh town by 15:00 HRS.
– Rest of the evening at leisure.
– Stock up for the road trip to Nubra Valley & Pangong Tso.
– Explore the market area on foot.
– Post breakfast leave by car to the villages of Diskit and Hunder in Nubra Valley.
– Stop at Khardung La one of the Highest motor-able roads in the world, 18,380 ft.
– Lunch at Koksar 10km after crossing Khardhungla.
– Drive to the Giant Myantri Buddha statue located in the village of Diskit.
– Reach our home stay in Hunder by 15:00 HRS.
– Freshen up & leave for the sand dunes by 17:00 HRs.
– Return back to our home stay, by 20:00.
– Star gaze all night as you. Watch the night sky.
– After breakfast, pack up and head to the beautiful high altitude Pangong Tso via Shayok link road. (152 km = 4-5 hours)
– Reach Tangtse village by lunch time.
– Check into our home stay for the night.
– Post lunch, drive 30 kms and reach Pangong Tso by 15:30 HRS.
– Spend the rest of the evening chilling near the beautiful Pangong Tso.
– Return to the home stay around dinner time.
– Post breakfast, pack-up from Tangsey and head back to the town of Leh via Chang-La. (120km= 4-5 hours)
– Enroute visit Shey Palace & Thicksey Monastery.
– Reach Leh by 14:00 HRS and check our home stay for the night.
– Rest of the day at leisure.
– Last day in Leh, leisure day to do anything.
– Spend the day by visiting Tsemo – Leh Palace or
– Wander through the tiny lanes of Leh.
– Pack up and leave for Srinagar by jeep at 16:00 HRS.
– Reach Srinagar by 10:00 HRS.
Q. Where is Ladakh located?
Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory.
Q. Is Ladakh safe?
Yes, Ladakh is an extremely safe place to travel to. Unlike the rest of J&K, Ladakh has not been affected by any kind of conflict till date.
Q. What about the Chinese issue?
The issues with China are an ongoing thing which is at the border where travellers are not allowed to go to. It’s the media who create a mountain out of a mole.
Q. Is there a cell phone network in Ladakh?
Yes, there is cell phone coverage in Ladakh. BSNL, Airtel and Vodafone postpaid connection work. BSNL and Airtel are the best. Only postpaid connections work in Ladakh.
Q. Why does prepaid cell phone network not work in J&K?
Since J&K is a highly conflicted region for security purposes only postpaid connections work in this region.
Q. Is there 3G/4G in Ladakh?
As of October 2017, Ladakh had only edge and edge plus (2G) in the town of Leh. So basically WhatsApp works. BSNL has the best data coverage in Ladakh.
Q. Does Airtel and Vodafone work in Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley and Tso Moriri?
Only BSNL has a cellular connection in these regions and that too is very scratchy.
Q. Where do we meet the tlow representative at Srinagar?
The trip starts at Dal Lake gate no.1.
Q. What time should we reach Dal Lake?
Any time from 10:00 HRS to 17:30 HRS on day one of the trip is an ideal time to reach Dal Lake.
Q. What time and where does the trip end at Srinagar?
The trip ends at Dal Lake gate no.1 by 09:00 HRS on the last day of the trip as mentioned on our blueprint.
Q. How do we reach Dal Lake from Srinagar airport?
From Srinagar airport there are two options. Either you can take a taxi to Dal Lake gate no.1 or a local bus.
Q. Where does the trip start in New Delhi?
The trip starts at ISBT Kashmiri Gate New Delhi bus station.
Q. What time should we reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate?
Around 60 minutes prior to the departure of the bus is a good time to reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
Q. How to reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate?
-From the airport take a direct AC bus which leaves every 30 minutes. Good options if you want to avoid the metro rush.
-Take a shuttle bus to the airport metro and then an express metro to New Delhi and finally take the yellow line to Kashmiri Gate. (Fastest way to reach ISBT)
Q. Where will we meet the tlow representative for the trip?
Our tlow representative will meet you at HRTC bus station in New Manali.
Q. So we have to board the bus all alone?
You won’t be alone, you’ll be with the rest of the group and our WhatsApp group which is made 36-40 hours before the start of the trip will be used as the platform to co-ordinate.
Q. What kind of accommodation will be provided?
We will be using homestays and guest houses all along the trip.
Q. Will the accommodation be clean?
Since no one in the world likes to keep their home untidy, it’s safe to say that every place we stay at will be clean and will give you a homely feel.
Q. Will we get a bed, blankets and pillows?
Yes, at every place we stay at you’ll get a blanket, a pillow and if not a bed then surely a mattress to sleep on.
Q. Will we get hot water for a bath?
Every guest house and homestay we stay at will have geysers so you’ll surely get to have a bath at least once a day.
Q. Will the rooms be based on gender or mixed?
It will be girls in a separate room and boys in a separate room, for all those backpacking solo.
Q. Why is food not included?
Since this is a backpacking trip we want to leave the eating for you’ll to explore on your own. You’ll never go hungry in Ladakh.
Q. Do we need to carry food along?
Not needed. Every place we stay at will have either a cafe or a Ladakh family who will cook for us.
Q. What kind of food should we expect to get?
In Manali, Leh and Srinagar you’ll get everything from pizza to dosa. While in other regions, it’s the basic rajma dal (kidney beans) rice, pickle, mix vegetables and rotis with some local chicken curry.
Q. Can we cook?
Yes, you can cook in our homestay in Leh. Provided you make the time.
Q. How do I avoid altitude sickness?
The only way to avoid altitude sickness is to rest well, keep yourself hydrated and have plenty of water.
Q. What about motion sickness?
Consult your local physician is the best for motion sickness.
Q. What about the oxygen level?
The oxygen is indeed very thin in Ladakh but if you remember to keep yourself hydrated with small sips of water, it should not bother you.
Q. Is there a hospital in Leh-Ladakh?
Yes, every town and village in Ladakh has a health centre.
Q. Why do we need a ILP in Ladakh?
Since Ladakh is a vast desert, the ILP is needed to help keep a track of travelers. So if lost, tracking the person will be a little easier.
Q. How do we get the ILP?
Our tlow representative on the Ladakh trip will get the ILP done once you submit the documents to them on the trip.
Q. What documents do I need to submit?
Two photocopies (Xerox) of your identification proof which has your residential address example: Aadhar card, driving license, passport.
Q. Is it okay if I enroll solo for a trip?
Yes, it’s absolutely fine to enroll solo. All our trips have 70% solo travelers who enroll.
Q. What if I don’t get along with the other backpackers?
If no one talks to you, don’t worry our tlow team members will be your friend and give you an experience of a lifetime.
Q. What will be our mode of transportation?
While in Ladakh we will be using a combination of multiple modes of transportation.
Q. Srinagar to Leh?
J&K state transport semi-deluxe bus.
Q. Leh to Srinagar?
A 14 seater Tempo traveller which we will use for the overnight journey.
Q. Within Ladakh?
A 14 seater tempo traveller.
Q. Leh to Manali?
HRTC ordinary bus.
Q. Manali to New Delhi?
Volvo HRTC bus.
Q. Is this a biking trip?
No, this is not a biking trip but a backpacking trip.
Q. What if we want to go biking?
You can hire a bike in Leh and ride around while in Ladakh. The tlow representative will guide you through the process.
Q. So how does it all pan out?
Based on the number of bikers we suggest you’ll hire a couple of bikes and relay it all along the three-day journey around Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Leh town.
TLOW, based on the Cancellation Date, shall withhold the following amounts stated in the table below, from the Booking Amount or Trip Price as cancellation charges and refund the remainder to you. The refund shall be paid to you, within (21) calendar days from the Cancellation Date.
Cancellation Date is: Cancellation charges
– Before forty (40) calendar days prior to the date of commencement of Trip, 15% of the Trip Price
– On or after forty (40) calendar days but prior to thirty (30) calendar days day of commencement of Trip,
30% of the Trip Price
– On or after thirty (30) calendar days but prior twenty five (25) calendar days from day of commencement of Trip
50% of the Trip Price
– On or after twenty five (25) calendar days but prior to twenty (20) calendar days from day of commencement of Trip
75% of the Trip Price
– On or after twenty (20) calendar days but prior fifteen (15) calendar days from day of commencement of Trip
100% of the Trip Price
You may claim refund only in case of a confirmed booking where you have paid the entire Booking Amount. Where there is part payment of Booking Amount made the same shall be forfeited and there shall be no refund. The mode of payment of refund amount to you (whether through cash, e-wallets, bank transfers, or cheques), shall be determined at the sole discretion of TLOW.
Notwithstanding anything stated in the Terms & Conditions, there are no refunds of any kind, provided for ‘Camping Trips’.
For more information on cancellation & refund policy please read our T&C.