Trips Within Ladakh
Close to our property, there's much to see and do, but the terrain of Ladakh stretches out across vast landscapes and diverse cultures.
When planning longer trips, it's important to consider the long distances required to travel between locations, across high-altitude and sometimes poor-quality roads.
A thorough exploration of Ladakh can take months, so we suggest taking it slow. You can't see it all, so we recommend taking each day as it comes and keeping a holiday as a holiday, where you don't return more tired than you came.
We list some of the longer trips that you can undertake within Ladakh below.
The Nubra Valley is a vast basin of dunes, rivers and greenery, encircled by the
Himalayan and Karakoram range. The Silk Route and Great Game passed here.
It’s a 5-hour drive to Nubra, via the Khardung La pass (5,300m above sea level), You
must be well acclimatised for this, so must visit only after 2 days of acclimatisation.
When you descend into Nubra, it forks into two valleys: one towards the Siachen
Glacier and the other towards Baltistan. In the former is Yarab Tso, a ‘secret lake’
appearing behind a random formation of rock.
There’s also the remote monastery of Ensa. On the other side, in Diskit, there’s a 30-metre Maitreya Buddha statue that looks out across the sand dunes of Hunder. Further on, at the border of Pakistan, sitting on a plateau above the river is the village of Turtuk, whose Balti community were a part of Pakistan until 1974. A waterfall’s flow is channelled into the town, keeping it green, with three annual harvests and excellent local produce.
You can stay in a homestay in Turtuk for the night, or visit on a day trip, staying all three nights in one of the excellent hotels in Sumur or Diskit.
There’s the option to drive back to Leh via Pangong. It adds 5 hours to the journey but takes you along a circular route, instead of coming back the same way
Pangong Lake stretches out for 140km from Ladakh into China. The colours of the
lake and its surrounding mountains change dramatically throughout the day . It’s a
serene and surreal spot, with a massive blue lake so high up into the mountains.
It’s a 5 hour drive each way and the roads are often poor quality. You cross the
Chang La pass, 5,300 metres above sea level, so it’s best to go there on your 4th day
or later when you’re acclimatised. The accommodation in Pangong are mostly tents ,
which are right by the lake, a couple of which are fairly decent given the location.
The tents can be cold in the night, though.
We recommend visiting there in a 1-day trip, or if you would like to stay the night,
then visiting later into your trip, so that you are well acclimatised to be sleeping at
that altitude. For most of the year, it’s possible to visit Pangong directly from Nubra
Valley – it’s a 5-hour drive from Nubra to Pangong and another 5 hours back to Leh.
The roads offer a good chance of seeing wildlife
Tso Moriri is the second largest lake of Ladakh We feel that Pangong and Tso Moriri
are equally beautiful, yet Tso Moriri is a more interesting area to visit. It’s in the
border region of Changtang with lots of wildlife and a nomadic community that
shepherds their pashmina goats locally.
It’s a 6-hour drive there, upstream along the Indus river in the direction of Tibet. We
return via the Taglang La pass, where there is even greenery at 5,000 metres above
sea level. Along this route, you also get to visit the drying up lakes of Tso Kar, with
their huge salt deposits, which is known for its black necked cranes
It’s necessary to stay the night, as the journey is too long and taxing for a one-day
return. The state of accommodation isn’t great there - a little worse than Pangong,
but there are a couple of guest houses which are fine for a night’s stay. We
recommend going after you have been in Ladakh for some 5 days, so you are well
acclimatised, as Tso Moriri is 4,500 metres above sea level. Camping in nature,
under the stars is also possible, with quality tents and high end mattresses and