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Ultimate Guide to Ladakh

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Leh was one of my favorite places in India! From the incredible mountain views to the kind locals, Leh has so much to offer any kind of traveler. I adapted easily flying in and giving myself a couple of days to rest at the beginning of my trip there. After being there a few days, I already felt right at home at the local spots. The locals were great and all curious to get to know me as we would swap stories about our various travels. Leh was a great place to get settled into the wild hills of the Himalayas while I was getting ready for my big journey to Phuktal Monastery (read more link attached)

Things to Know Before You Go

Permits: All foreign nationals require a Protected Area Permit (PAP); apply either in person at the District Commissioner’s Office in Leh or via an authorised travel agent in Leh. The PAP, which costs 600 Indian rupees (INR), specifies where you can visit and overnight. Officially you’ll probably be listed as part of a ‘group’ (minimum two people) but in practise solo travellers have no problems. Visitors should carry multiple copies of their PAP for Nubra’s various checkpoints.

The Season to Travel: Summer

How to get to Leh: I took a flight from Dehli but you can also make your way up by taking buses or a taxi.

(If you fly in give yourself a day to adjust to the altitude)

Transport:

Local Buses – Within Leh will cost you around 10INR each way.

Shared Taxi – For further distances it’s much more efficient catching shared taxis to/from Leh and even between various Nubra destinations. Leh-Diskit or Sumur, about 4-5 hours, costs around INR400pp. Rates are generally fixed though out of season or with fewer visitors there’s scope to negotiate. Sample rates (for the whole vehicle) include Diskit-Turtok-Diskit day-trip INR3700, Diskit-Sumur one way INR1000.

Stay

Small hotels, simple (often family-run) guesthouses and tented camps are plentiful. Prices do depend on the season and are often negotiable.

Hostelavie: Great Hostel just outside the city

Diskit: Simple Clean Rooms

Hunder: Basic and affordable hotel

Nimmu House Ladakh: Luxury Stay

Restaurants and Cafes

Brazil Cafe

Coffee Culture

Corretto

Bon Appetit

German Bakery

Local Treks

Zanskar

Indus Valley

Nubra Valley

Pangong Lake

Magnetic Hill

You can also check out my article on Phuktal Monastery if you are interested in a longer trek

Things to Do

Explore the local cuisine

Chill at a cafe

Day treks

Wander the city

Shop at the Tibetan Markets

Go for a drive

Explore the Monasteries

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