T.aroundtogether X India : IN LEH AND IN LOVE written by t.aroundtogether

Do you want to go Leh? Leh Ladakh? We travel to Leh during this past Songkran (2018). Did we plan for long? Well, not so long because the plan here is subject to the weather condition. Or else, we just let the guesthouse arrange it for us. Our only preparation is the flight ticket. Once we h

T.aroundtogether X India : IN LEH AND IN LOVE

T.aroundtogether X India : IN LEH AND IN LOVE

 Tuesday, May 8, 2018 1:05 PM


Do you want to go Leh?

Leh Ladakh?

We travel to Leh during this past Songkran (2018).

Did we plan for long? Well, not so long because the plan here is subject to the weather condition.

Or else, we just let the guesthouse arrange it for us.

Our only preparation is the flight ticket.

Once we have the ticket, our plan also happens.

The reason we travel during Songkran festival is because we could spend more time there.

Well, this is what salary man like us have to do.


Now India becomes more popular. More people know about it.

And it has become for a once in a life time must visit destination.

But for someone, they would never thought of visiting India.

I used to be one of them.

But from the review I've seen.

Oh wow! It's so good, it's definitely worth a try!

Traveling while we are still healthy sounds like a good plan.

Then, we just draw up our tentative plan.

This trip is longer than my other trips as I want to truly feel the place.

The cellphone signal is not so good but the surrounding view is so beautiful.

Here, no one will play with their phones but totally enjoy with what lie in front.

We can truly enjoy the trip and each other company.

The travel that depends on the weather condition is quite challenging.

Actually we had more people join in at firsts but some of them changed their mind.

So it's only two of us this trip.

But it could be more fun with more people.

It could also be cheaper with more people to share. But the cost of living here is not that expensive but the view is beyond 7 digit value.

Prior to the trip

We need to apply for a visa for India. We choose to apply for E-Visa. The process is quite easy.

Here is the application website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

***Please be careful that the website is in .gov.in format, not .org ***

* Indian currency is IDR (1 IDR = 0.4794 THB, the exchange rate as of 25 March 2018).

Or easy way of calculating is just double it to that of Thai Baht, 100 IDR = 50 THB.

* Flight ticket fare is subject to time. The winter time is cheaper than the spring and each season offers different beauty.

We need to transit as there's no direct flight to Leh from Thailand. We must fly to New Delhi first before flying to Leh again. The important thing is do not forget to buy the insurance for the peace of mind of us and our belongings.

* In April, the weather is still cold, please prepare warm clothes as well.

The weather is really cold. There will be a hot water machine but some place won't have a heater so we must have warm clothes ready.

* When booking the train ticket, to reserve and confirm the ticket, we must have Indian phone number so I have the agency book it for us.

It's quite convenient, the fee is about 150 each trip. We just need to print our ticket and get on the train.

* Leh Ladakh is located at about 3,500-5,600 meters above the sea level. So we should take Diamox and eat 24-28 hours prior to our trip and every day while staying there or we can consult with the doctor of how to take this medicine.

*The Indian food is quite alright, most of them are vegetarian. To make our food more tasty, you could bring instant noodle, fish canned, chili paste as you might not get used to with the Indian food easily.


Here is our tentative plan for 10 days 9 nights:

000 BKK - Delhi (Flying in the evening, spend a night at the airport and take the flight to Leh the next morning)

001 Leh city (Shanti Stupa/Leh palace/Namgyal Tsemo Gompa/Main square or Main Bazaar)

002 Magnetic hill /Sangam view point/Moonland/Lama yuru/ Alchi /Likir monastery

003 Leh - Turtuk - Nubra (sleep at Hunder village in Nubra valley)

004 Nubra – Pangong – Leh

005 Leh - Tsomoriri

006 Shey place / Thiksey monaster / Hemis Temple

007 back New Delhi ( Jama masjid/ Red fort / India Gate / Humayun’s Tomb)

008 New Delhi – Agra ( Taj mahal / Baby Taj / Agra Fort )

009 Agra- New Delhi -Bkk[/left]


I say, shall we get it started?!


000 DAY 1

BKK - Delhi (Flying in the evening, spend a night at the airport and take the flight to Leh the next morning)


We choose to fly in the evening and wait for the transit flight at the airport,

since the flight to Leh is only available in the morning.

And do not forget to check the terminal because if you fly with certain airline, you might have to change the terminal.

Inside New Delhi airport is vast and spacious enough to wait for transit.

But the security here is very strict, to entrance and exit, you must have all documents ready.

So please print out your ticket as the security guards at all gates will ask to see it.

Once checking in and entering the terminal, there's sitting seats and sleeping seats where we can lie down to wait for our flight.




001 DAY 2

Leh city (Shanti Stupa / Leh palace / Namgyal Tsemo Gompa / Main square or Main Bazaar)

We fly from New Delhi to Leh in the morning flight which takes about an hour.

But I must say you can't fall sleep,

otherwise, you will miss this magnificent view outside your window.


When seeing this endless white snowy mountains, it means you are near to Leh Ladakh already.


Once landed, the mini bus is waiting to pick us up to the terminal.


After filling the immigration form and get our luggage, we got picked up by the service arranged by our hotel who is already waiting for us with our name.


We are staying at Ree Yul Guest House for our Leh trip which we have contacted Saleem in advance.


Once we arrive, everyone gives us a warm welcome.

We are served a hot fragrant tea as a welcome drink and all kinds of peanuts,

while waiting for mama to cook breakfast for us,

After the food, Saleem have us rested for about 3-4 hours to allow our body get adjusted before roaming around Leh.

This is so because Leh is situated at 3,500-5,600 meters above the sea level.


Here is our room for this trip.

We will stay here for our trip in Leh but there'll be some days that we will stay outside the town which is far and is not convenient do a one day trip.

But Saleem help us arrange it all, we just tell Saleem of where we want to go and how many days we have.

This also includes the permit we would need for Nubra and Pangong.

I think it's helpful to have a copy of your first page passport too.



In the afternoon, the van comes pick us up from the guesthouse.

Our first destination is Namgyal Tsemo Gompa.

This is the most beautiful viewpoint in Leh. It has a lot of colorful prayer flag.

Leh people like to have their prayer flag tied at where the wind would blow,

so that their wishes woudl be carried into the heaven.


And here is the view in this area which is surrounded by white mountains. It might look dry but in fact, it's so cold.


Looking down, we will see Leh Palace outstandingly standing in the hill. It is our next destination.


Even the restroom is located in this magnificent view.


Here is our next stop, Leh palace which is located at the hill.

Inside, it's divided into several rooms where certain room also showcases pictures.

For the entrance fee, if you show your Thai passport, it is only 15 IDR.


This place is divided into many layers so that we can enjoy our walk quite a bit.



We are actually in Leh if we see toilets like this.

But if you don't use it, then you are yet in Leh, ok? haha.


After that, we go to Shani Stupa. Or as we known as the white stupa.

It is a giant white stupa where you could see the view of Leh Ladakh town, Leh Palace, and Namgyal Monastery.

No entrance fee required.

Up here is windy and nice weather, many people like to enjoy the sunset view here.


Walking around, I have to say that it's very windy, very cold, and very beautiful view.

We didn't wait for the sunset as we hardly see the sun that day,

also we are quite hungry,

so we stop at the main bazaar on the way home.


Inside the temple, there's this mini monastery too.


Then, we just roam around and find some snack,

because we told Saleem that we will go back home to eat.

Main bazaar or as known as Siam of Leh.

It has food, restaurants, shopping places for young people.

It also sells travel tour, offers motorcycle rental, it has just about everything.

You can't say that you are in Leh if you miss out this place.

We come here everyday when we are in Leh.

We actually come for a WiFi in a coffee shop which we think offers the strongest signal in this area.


People here sell things, fruits, and fresh vegetables.


Also, you will find souvenir along those shops.

Several fabrics including the famous pashmina fabric which is a popular souvenir is also here.

Himaraya is a shop where you will meet Thai people shopping for sure if you walk in. Let's just survey first and come back to shop on our last day here.


This cute kid just drives and simply stops in front of us.

He greets us when we share him some chocolate and starts to pose. He's so adorable that we want to take him home with us, haha.


Here is a group of Thai people we met at the guesthouse. They are also here for travel.

This beautiful extraordinary girl gang indeed gives us a feel of Siam.


Fruit and vegetable shops in general are quite colorful.


Before going back, let us have a cup of hot chocolate.

And again, this coffee shop offers the fastest WiFi in Leh, haha.



002 DAY 3

Magnetic hill /Sangam view point/ Moon land / Lama yuru / Alchi / Likir monastery

Our second morning, I didn't want to get out of my warm blanket.

The hotel only provides warm water, but there's heater in the room too.

Staying under the warm blanket, it's so hard to get up.

So we must have something to make our body warm.

Do not take a shower yet when you first get there.

Most importantly, do not forget to bring the wet tissue as it's very useful for dry showering.

Anywhere, the plan must go on.

We finally go brush our teeth and wash our faces,

as the beautiful view is waiting for us.

Today, we are going to Lama Yuru.

And there'll be lots of stops along the way too.


Before setting off, we must fill up some energy.

And here is how the food look like.

Saleem said Thai people who come here don't eat much,

either chicken or eggs menus.

Therefore, to make your stomach feel good, you could bring some fish sauce, chili paste, or instant noodle along.

Most of people here are either vegetarian or Muslim.

That we are full, we are ready for this journey.


Here is our first stop, Magnetic hill or gravity hill.


This road has beautiful mountains as a background. Actually it's a small hill and downward.

If you park at a designated area, you will fell that your car is climbing up the hill.



Toilets are so far away, if I'm in a big hurry, it wouldn't help much.

Toilets are there almost everywhere.

Some are closed, some are open, and some are isolated situated along the road.


Along the way, we see this pink blossoming flowers from time to time.

If you are traveling here in April, you would see them.


Sangam viewpoint is the intersection of the Indus and Sunscars.

The flow is converging until we see two contrasting colors with beautiful huge mountain as a background.




We just drive along the river.

We see the glittering blue water reflecting the sun along the way.


We also see many yak,s cows, donkeys.

They are not afraid of cars, some just stop in the middle of the road.

You will see these animals inside and outside the town alike.


I think this road is not dangerous, it'd be fun riding here too.

Most of the road is paved.


Moonland has the terrain that is similar to the moon surface.

It is the route we will pass going to Lama Yura. We can see the rough surface of it.



Soon after we get out of Moonland, we reach Lama yuru.


Lamayuru Gompa is located about 100 km out of Leh.

It is an old and huge monastery located on sand hill and has the surrounding terrain similar to that of Moonland.


Here, we see a lot of boys whom have ordained to study. Let's say that we see them in almost monastery we visited.

Small kids will be taken care of by the older ones. It must be like novices in Thailand.



We can go to Manali via this route, it is about 500 km away.


Along the way, there're several checkpoints to check our permit.

The driver takes care of everything and sometimes we must show our passport too. We have prepared several copies of our first page passport along.




After that, we are going back and stopping at Alchi Monastery which is one of the oldest.

It is located in a small village. Once we are in, we are seeing colorful trees and apple trees.

This village plant one of the most apples in Leh Ladakh.

Once we drive to almost the furthest in, we will see the monastery.

After that, we need to walk into an alley a bit.

Along the walk, you will see villages selling souvenir and stuff.

This monastery might not be located at the hill like other monasteries, but behind the monastery has the beautiful blue river flowing by.


And here is the river at the back of the monastery. I'm not sure if it's the back of it but we have to walk to the furthest end.


Inside has a lot of trees, including apple trees.

There's also this beautiful pink tree, looking like Sakura but I forgot its name.

Not visiting Japan, we can also enjoy this pink blossoms in Leh.


So beautiful, everywhere is a pink blossom.





We stop for food along the way. Local food here is a curry with peanuts, fried vegetables which is not so similar to ours. Well, let's say it's their local food.

The taste is alright, that we are already here, why not right?

Some shop also offers Thukpa which is the menu we would have in every restaurant we go in.

And along the way, local people are so lovely.


Here is our last stop for today, Likir Monastery.

It is about 50 km away from Leh.

We choose to stop here on our way back. This monastery is decorated in Tibetan style.

It is also a school that teaches little Lama just as other monasteries.

When walking inside, we see a large Buddha image.

It is the statue of Buddha Ariya Metteyya.

And here ends another day, I feel it goes by so quickly although some attractions need to travel quite far which requires several hours drive from Leh.

But once seeing the view along the way, we enjoy it so much that we didn't care much about the time or distance.



003 DAY 4

Leh - Turtuk - Nubra (sleep in Hunder village in Nubra valley)



The new morning and a long hours drive on road.

We are travelling to Turtuk village which is about 80 km further from Nubra village.

Saleem said it'd take about 7-8 hours drive. Today, we are going to go pass the world's highest road too.

Today, the weather must be cold and here is very high so we start the day early.

Every morning, this is the view we see along the way.


Here is the market which is a bit out of Siam. It's like market outside the city for us.

They sell just about anything, some shops sell dough like roti.

It also has meat shops, bus stop, and taxi stand.


While waiting for the driver to submit our document, we get down to enjoy the view.

Suddenly, there's this warm energy running towards me like we have known each other before.

She comes and just sits and stares at me like this.


To travel to Turtuk, we must go and pass Khardung La Pass which is the highest road in the world.

It is covered with snow and the oxygen is very thin.

Hence, I recommend you guys to travel in Leh and the surrounding area about 2 days first before taking the Khardung La Pass to allow your body to get adjusted.

Otherwise, you could get AMS or the altitude sickness.

In some case, people got it since they arrive in Leh as their body cannot adjust.

So we must have proper rest.

Drink water often and do not do things quickly as we will get tired very easily.

And we might have to take the Diamox too which has the side effect of hands being numb and pee often.


The higher it is, the colder it gets. I just truly got how it is now.

Up here is much more windy than below. It has both wind and snow.


Sometimes, the road is closed due to snow.

We are lucky that no road is closed, we just experience some little storm.

However, along the way, we see some truck stuck in snow too.

But everyone is so kind and nice. They would stop and help people stunk in snow before moving on.


I'd say this is also probably the world's highest toilets too, hehe.

I have to say that our driver is very experienced and familiar with the road as it's very curvy and we must drive along mountains with deep valley along the side.


After getting down from the mountain, we will see this weather which is still cold.

In a day, we experience several conditions of weather.

The weather keeps changing, from snow storm, mountains, deserts, rusty road, drizzling rain, or even to the grass field.






Kids here are looking cute but still shy in front of camera.

This is because this village just open for tourism not long time ago.

They are yet used to like other tourist attractions.


Here is when they are finishing school. The older kids are more friendly and keep on greeting "Julley" to tourists.

Oh, Julley is a common word used in Leh.

It could stand for greeting and thank you.







If time permits, we can stop at Diskit Monastery which is not so far from Hunder village.

I think monasteries here are looking quite alike.




After that, it's time for camel riding.


The fare for riding a camel is either 400 IDR for 30 minutes or 200 IDR for 15 minutes.



Oh no, don't die yet, I was just riding you a bit.





Our room for tonight. We are staying at Hunder Village which is not far from camel riding location.

The next morning, we are heading to Pangong Lake.



004 DAY 5

Nubra – Pangong – Leh



This morning, we quickly start the day in order to go to Pangong Lake after having the breakfast provided by the guesthouse.




Here it is, Pangong lake on the day that Pangong is not blue.

And with snow storm.

So I must come back again, right?




The river is already solid and frozen that we can walk on it.

If the sky is more open, it'd be good.

But certainly, I'm not disappointed coming here at all.


It is just the beauty hidden in the white.

let's just assume that I am the Elsa.


Using the toilet in this weather is really something interesting.

Even the water is already frozen and turn into the ice like what we would get from a freezer.


On the way back, we are experiencing the changing weather again.




The dirt and stone road now turn into snow, we must put on chains to prevent it from being slippery.


That curvy little road is where we drove up.


We now hardly see what below us as well as in front of us.

The snow storm keepe on hitting us but it's not dangerous and we can move on like usual.



We reach Leh safe and sound and not so late.

It is early enough that we can stop at that coffee shop.

It is the shop we must stop everyday when we are in Leh.

Siam and coffee shop is not far from our guesthouse, it is within walking distance.



005 DAY 06

Leh - Tsomoriri

Here we are, into half of our journey.

I actually never count the dates when we are here.

I'm just looking for what the next day will take us.

And where we can actually go.

Some are near, some are far.

We are on the van for an entire day for some place.

But I've never felt bored or tired, or that it's far.

Two sides of the road keep on changing,

offering new and exciting scene for us at all time.

To meet and know new people along the journey is also really good.

Today, we told Saleem that we wanted to visit Tsomoriri.

In comparing to Turtuk, it'd be the same distance of traveling.

We choose to do a one day trip by starting off early.

So that, our last day, we would have time left to travel and enjoy Leh again.


Along the way, we will see village after village. But today, we only meet a few.

The road to Tsomoriri is the hardest for me.

The road is the rusty one, soil, and stones. It's hardly paved.

Today, the weather is still cold, but also with a harsh from the sun.


The driver must be hungry as he hasn't had his breakfast yet.

He also prepares food for us too.

Actually, we hardly find any shop or house in the road.

So he picks a good spot and pulls over along the road.

He bough some bread to dip with yogurt which is like a natural yogurt in Thailand.

With the fragrant bread, everything is delicious at this moment.

Well, actually, it's quite tasty.


The view at our eating place is so great. It has the clear river flowing by where our driver simply drinks from it.


And then we see Kyagar Lake. It is a really small salty lake on the height of 4,708 meters.








Before reaching Tsomoriri, we will see local people out to feed their sheep and goats.


The kids are so friendly, we see them greeting with us like this everywhere.


Here we are, Tsomoriri Lake. This lake might not be as crowded as the Pangong Lake, probably due to the distance.

Here is tranquil. The wind breeze is touching our faces from time to time. When reaching out with our hands, it's quite cold.

We see no one here. The lake is vast but smaller than Pangong Lake.






On the way back, we stop for food here which is a small shop.


This place also has Chumathang Hot Spring which sprung out of the flowing by river.

In the coldest river, there's this corner of hot spring coming out where we can boil eggs just like the one in Thailand.



Here is how the internal atmosphere of the shop looks like.


Today, we reach Leh not so late again so we stop at GESMO.

This restaurant probably is one of the popular shops for Thai people in Leh.

Walking in, most of the customers are Thai.




Not so far away, there's also another restaurant called Chopsticks.

This restaurant also offers Thai food for those who might miss it already.

The taste might not be as authentic but it does it job well.


006 DAY 7

Shey place / Thiksey monaster / Hemis Monastery

Today is almost the last day in Leh.

I feel the time actually flies although some might already countdown to go back.

People here are so lovely, they create a lot of memorable experiences for me.

I think I'd definitely come back if chance allows.

Let's go for a temple tour today.

We are going to visit 3 monasteries which are located in Leh area.


The first destination is Shey Palace. It is the former palace enshrined a bronze Buddha statue inside which is large and tall equivalent to a 3 storey building.

The beauty of this place includes the view in front of the monastery too.


Once looking down, you will see mountains afar covered in snow.



The next stop is Thiksey Monastery. This monastery is 17 km out of Leh.


Inside is very beautiful.




It's very common to see little Lama ordinate and study here.


The front view is also very beautiful.



Our last destination for today is Hemis Monastery. It is a historical monastery located in a valley.





While stopping for photos along the way, we see the school buses.


Kids here are very friendly, they always greet to our cameras.


A good memory at Leh Ladakh with a Saleem who takes a very good care of us since we arrived.


Han, a little cute boy of this house


Here is our tentative budget.

If you want more information, please talk to us at

: www.facebook.com/t.aroundtogether



On the way back, the view is also as beautiful as the one coming here.



T.aroundtogether X India


" Julley "




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