Philippine Tatler Traveller - - Destinatio­ns | Once in a Lifetime -


It takes 90 min­utes to fly from New Delhi to Leh, which has one of the world’s high­est air­ports. Be sure to have ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­ca­tion for alti­tude sick­ness at hand and rest for at least 24 hours on ar­rival. In sum­mer, Ladakh is reach­able by road from Manali or Sri­na­gar, and this is the best way to ac­cli­ma­tise grad­u­ally.


Elec­tric­ity across Ladakh is volatile though re­li­a­bil­ity has im­proved in Leh in re­cent years. Ru­ral towns of­ten have no per­ma­nent sup­ply and dif­fer­ent ar­eas may have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity on dif­fer­ent days of the week. Take backup bat­ter­ies for dig­i­tal items, par­tic­u­larly when vis­it­ing in win­ter as they run down more quickly in the cold.


Fes­ti­vals take place year round and of­fer vis­i­tors a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence. Ladakh is busi­est from April, when it starts to warm up. Late Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber are the most pic­turesque, and by No­vem­ber the tem­per­a­ture starts to drop and snow is ex­pected. Flights can be af­fected by weather, so bear this in mind if you are on a tight sched­ule.


From de­li­cious mo­mos (dumplings) to cur­ried dishes, spicy stewed veg­eta­bles, and thukpa (noo­dle soup), all washed down with yak but­ter tea, Ladakh of­fers a wide ar­ray of sim­ple but de­li­cious food. Kham­bir—thick, whole wheat bread—is per­fect for dip­ping in the flavour­ful stews.


Most ho­tels and travel firms can ar­range cars, driv­ers and guides. Ladakh has the world’s high­est driv­able road, which rises above 5,800 me­tres be­tween Chisumle and Dem­chok. Par­tic­u­larly pic­turesque routes in­clude Leh to Pan­gong Lake (220 kilo­me­tres and about five hours) and Leh to Diskit in the Nubra Val­ley (120 kilo­me­tres and three hours).


Leh’s Go­mang Bou­tique Ho­tel is an ex­cel­lent choice for com­fort and hos­pi­tal­ity, while Ladakh Sarai’s op­tions range from tra­di­tional mud houses to her­itage rooms in a 100-year-old restored prop­erty. The Ladakh Sarai peo­ple have also opened the Her­mitage at Pan­gong, a sum­mer camp of eco-friendly yurts over­look­ing the stun­ning lake.

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