6 friends, 3 bikes and ahead lies the highest motorable road. You guessed it! This is a travel memoir of the ultimate friends trip to Ladakh. Saurabh and his buddies had been considering taking a holiday together for quite some time now. And as a bunch of international destinations crossed through their mind, they almost missed out on Ladakh. And that’s when it hit them! This was a once in a lifetime experience and they were not about to let it go, and well the rest of history.
How many of us can actually say, “Been there, done that!” when Khardung La Pass? Let me just take a proud moment here and say, I have! And I did it with 5 amazing friends on a recent trip to Ladakh. Our Ladakh itinerary of 7 days included 4 beautiful cities namely Leh, Nubra Valley, Kargil and Srigagar. Apart from being just a leisurely holiday, this experience certainly taught us a lot. And here we are, to share our experience with the rest of the world.
Details Of Our Friends Trip To Ladakh
Trip Type: Friends Trip
Cost: INR 113900
No. Of People: 6
Duration: 6 Nights 7 Days
Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner, Airport Transfer, Accommodation, Royal Enfield 500CC bike with fuel in Leh for 4 days
Exclusions: Lunch, Entry Fee Charges, Personal Expenses
A Glimpse Of Our Ladakh Itinerary Of 7 Days
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
Day 2: Visit to the Nubra Valley via Khardung La Pass
Day 3: Visit to Pangong Tso Lake and overnight stay
Day 4: Transfer back to Leh
Day 5: Trip to Kargil and overnight stay
Day 6: Start on journey to Srinagar
Day 7: Sightseeing in Kashmir and departure back home
Ladakh’s Weather In May
Coming from roughly 44 degree celsius of heat, we were probably not as prepared (mentally) to face the severe cold that we were to face in the next 7 days. We packed all our heavy coats and woollen and while that was fine in Leh, Kargil and Srinagar, we did not anticipate how cold it would be in Pangong. Travelling on Bullet bikes from Leh to Pangong or from Pangong to Leh we crossed the highest and second highest motorable pass. Not only the terrain was tough, but the chilly winds were so strong that we had to concentrate really hard not to loose bike control. Irrespective of 4-5 layers of clothes we were wearing, crossing those passes were a test of our perseverance.
Places We Explored In Ladakh
1. Leh: Enjoying The Panoramic View
My friends and I have traveled a lot to Himachal and Uttrakhand, but trust me nothing beats the view you get in Leh. The picture perfect sight of the valleys simply left us speechless. We spent the second day of our trip in the eastern part of Leh exploring the Nubra Valley. Here, we crossed the Khardung La Pass which is the highest motorable road in the world. We crossed the Diskit Monastery as well which is located at the edge of the mountain. Just when you feel you have seen enough, you come to Nubra Valley where the view is more like art.
2. Pangong: Experiencing Magic
Waking up in Pangong is a feeling I simply cannot put into words. You look at the pictures and think you have captured its beauty, but once you’re actually standing in front of the lake, it’s surreal. But this time we were pleasantly surprised by the scenic beauty of Leh, but Pangong Tso Lake is something else. We stayed the night here and on our journey back we visited the 3 Idiots School as well as the Shey Monastery. Pangong is certainly one of the best places to visit in Ladakh and something you just cannot skip on your itinerary.
3. Kargil: A Walk Down Memory Lane
Kargil is a small town popularly known for the war that took place in 1999. There’s plenty to see in Kargil such as the Hall of Fame which is one of the most well-known museums in india honoring the soldiers who lost their lives in the war. You can also witness Sangam which is the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar river. This is a great spot to capture some wonderful pictures. We stayed the night in Kargil before heading out for Srinagar the next day. On our way we came across the Kargil War Memorial set in the foothills of Tiger Hill.
4. Srinagar: Indulging In The Scenic Beauty
Travelling to Srinagar from Kargil is an experience in itself. Surrounded by picture perfect sights, it barely seems real. You can stop in between for skiing or simply enjoying the sight of the snow. Once we reached Srinagar, we indulged in some shopping and sightseeing. We learnt a little more about water farming by traveling in the Shikara boats and also visited the floating market. The famous Dal lake is certainly a must-visit when visiting Kashmir. And how can I forget the houseboats in Srinagar that offer an experience that royal 5 star hotels may not be able to match as well. Of all the things to do in Srinagar, do not miss out on the houseboat! And with this city, our Ladakh itinerary of 7 days came to an end.
Where We Stayed During Our 7 Days Ladakh Trip
- During our trip, we stayed in Hotel Chalung in Leh. The hotel was simple and elegant offered beautiful views of the valleys all around us. The hotel was not in the centre of the city but it was roughly 2 km away from the main market. The food provided by the hotel was simply great.
- In Nubra valley we stayed in Hunder Ethnic Camp. The camp was great with natural beauty all around us. The tents were neat and clean and the only issue we faced was the absence of Wi-Fi.
- In Kargil we stayed at Royal Gasho Hotel. It was a premium property with spacious rooms and had a great view of the river and mountains.
- In Srinagar we stayed in Inshallah Houseboat. This was by far the best stay we had in the trip. The boat was a package of absolute luxury with huge and lavishly decorated rooms. The owner himself interacted with us a lot and guided us a lot about what to buy and how to go about shopping in Srinagar. It was a top level hospitality service.
Shopping In Srinagar
During our Ladakh itinerary of 7 days, we did almost 90% of our shopping in Srinagar. Special mention to the really good quality wood wall clocks available in the city at wonderful prices. Apart from that there are various types of berries available in Srinagar which one must try as well. We even packed some for our return trip. Coming to the most popular and definite buy from Srinagar, the shawl. Be it pashmina or normal, the shawls there are amazing. Just make sure that you buy a pashmina shawl only if you know how to recognize one. When it comes to things to buy from Ladakh, don’t forget to take home some souvenirs for your loved ones.
Our Food Experience In Ladakh
We tried various local shops in Ladakh and at times had our food at the hotel as well. The food in total was not a very costly affair. You could get good quality food at nominal prices which is great if your traveling to Ladakh on budget. We made sure to try local dishes in whichever area we stayed.
Top Ladakh Travel Tips
- J&K has few of the most beautiful and most difficult terrains in the hilly areas. It is easy to get carried away with the rush of blood. But make sure that you keep your safety instincts high on these roads.
- Kapur (a white small stone which catches fires immediately – camphor) has a great characteristic of maintaining oxygen level if its smell is inhaled. If you start to feel dizzy start inhaling the smell of kapur. It helps maintain oxygen level within your body.
- Due to the intense cold, your skin may suffer, so keep moisturizing regularly and carry enjoy lotions and oils.
What To Pack For Ladakh Travel
When traveling to Ladakh apart from carrying extremely thick and warm clothing, one must also keep in mind some other essentials such as:
- First-Aid Kit
- Thick gloves and earmuffs
- Nutrition bars
- Sturdy riding gear and helmet
- General toiletries
- Trekking shoes
- Photo ID Proof
How To Reach Ladakh
You can make a road trip of it, or you can fly to Kushok Bakula Airport – Leh, and from there onwards take on the bikes. Since we were going from Delhi, we decided not to exhaust ourselves getting there and opted for the flight where the bikes were waiting for us. Planning a bike journey so long, requires quite a lot of experience beforehand as well as perseverance, so make a wise decision.
Our Experience With TravelTriangle
We had an amazing experience and created memories that all of us will cherish for a very long time. Kudos to TravelTriangle for providing us with an exceptional holiday and always assisting us along the way. A nice touch would have been a little gift after the trip, but we’ll put that in the suggestion box!
Common Queries About Ladakh Trip
Q. Is it okay to visit Leh in December?
No, it actually not recommended at all, and also most highways remain closed for six months between November and April. Even experienced bikers avoid this time of the year due to the heavy snowfall and extremely adverse conditions.
Q. Is Khardungla Pass open in December?
Yes, the Khardungla Pass is open even during the winters, however riding the course is not possible due to the snowfall.
Q. Is Passport required for Leh Ladakh for Indian?
While Indian citizens do not require a passport a photo ID proof is mandatory. If you do not have a valid photo ID proof, then it is advisable to carry your passport.
Q. Which month is best for Ladakh?
May and July are certainly the best months to travel to Ladakh, especially if you are opting to ride a bike.
For those who haven’t experienced it yet, Ladakh is a place that is simply surreal. The stunning views, the beautiful snow and welcoming people all make it an experience worth cherishing for a lifetime. You Ladakh itinerary of 7 days will be packed with only the best of fun. So head over to TravelTriangle and customize your Ladakh trip now!