Travel Information on Leh-Ladakh6/29/2010 02:56:00 AM
( Note: The Information is based on my June-July 2010 Trip to Various parts of Ladakh. Please note the prices/tariff , the Taxi and guest house etc might be revised) )
Here I'm jotting down some contacts and information about stay, food, travel, etc in ladakh based (only/exclusively) on my experiences here, since its still the season and i think most of the folks are planning to get in here. and I hope it'd save some time of yours, hunting.
Zeepata Guest House in Upper Changspa is also a good option, very hospitable ladakhi family, and dinner is just awesome!!
Budshah Inn - very good aaloo paratha. thats something for some specific tastebuds.
Dzoma/Dzomsa- for Seabuckthorn, Apricot Juices, and water refill.
You can catch a taxi however, plenty available, n on daily basis, start at 7 AM or later, and charge around INR 300/-
There are two J&KSRTC buses to pangong lake in a week, one of saturday which goes till lukung, and another on Sunday which goes to chusul via lukung, spangmik, man and merak. time is Saturday bus is 7AM (Sunday 6AM) and since both the driver and conductor are easy going, it reaches lukung around 2:30/3PM. there are few rooms/tents available at lukung however, ahead in merak if you want to stay there is nothing but some homestays since its been open to tourist this year itself.
Saturday bus starts back to leh on Sunday, around 8:30 AM and same is with Sunday bus which starts from Chusul to leh around 6/6:30AM.
The road to tsomiriri via upshi, chumathang and mahe bridge, is very good except the last stretch of 30-40KMS from thangskaru lake till korzok/Tso Moriri. and uphill it take around 1-2 hours of your journey. surprisingly there is no buses to korzok except of 10th, 20th, 30th of everymonth (i.e. every 10days) and thats precisely of no use.hence a share taxi is advisable.
while coming back you can take a left to Puga hotspring and Tso Kar, which meets the leh Manali highway at Pang. again the road from the village sindh till Tso Kar is bad, but good from tsokar onwards. hire a 4X4 only for this trip.
Guest Houses in Korzok:
I stayed in Lake view and Mentok guest houses in Korzok (300-500/- per room). both are nice, and have some rooms with lovely view of the lake. (lake view a little more cleaner side) however the host at mentok are really good.. They did provide dinner and dint even charge me for it. and also were really helpful otherwise. there are couple of eating joints in korzok..where food is good, avoid lake view restaurent as the charges are sky high.
Zanskar and Kargil:
I would rate the kargil stay experience as worst, and I have my reasons. Its tough to find place in direct bus to zanskar, and if you think you go to kargil and find a taxi to zanskar, padum, its even tougher. I tried the latter :( so recommended is that you take a direct bus/txi to zanskar.
The halt in kargil, either ways is must, if your in bus, (taxi or if you have your own vehicle, you can stay at panikhar or parkachik as well, however rangdum would be little far (when going to padum).
Tariff Padum-leh or Leh -Padum is 600/-
the hotels/guest houses in the main bazaar areas are very very basic, and staying there is a must, since you wouldn't want to take a long walk to bus stand, to catch the bus or taxi at 1/2/3 AM at night and i"n dark" charges are nothing less than 350/- per night and Ah.. I hate those rooms.. :(
for food etc you can visit some restuarants on SBI Bank road. I tried UP Sweets, for my usual Aloo paratha and chai and I was not disappointed.
(Carry a torch, specially for Kargil :P )
Rangdum, the most beautiful village in Zanskar valley, as I call it, is a lunch/breakfast/dinner halt for every vehicle passing by. its a picnic spot as well for local, it takes around 6 hours from each side to reach rangdum. food is cheap and good. there is a tourist bungalow in Rangdum if you want to spend some time out there. (do it!!!)
Padum is pretty small for its name, all the monasteries (4-5 of oldest monasteries) are outside padum and you need a taxi or your own vehicle to visit those. there is only one bus to Karsha monastery at 4PM every day which comes back to Padum next morning.
There are few hotels/guest houses in padum, and one J&K tourist bungalow as well, where if no VIP is coming, you can get a place. charges are INR 200/- per night.
The Bus/Taxi stand is at walking distance on the same road, go there and get in the bus, and ask if they are going next morning, or next to next... the driver is generally the one, booking your ticket, so a conversation/ inquiry is a necessary.
However if you take taxi from Padum to Kargil or vice versa its INR 1000 or above.
from Leh to Kargil the taxi charges INR 600/-
There are mini buses available every days to these close-by monasteries and are quite comfortable and cheap. go to the bus stand, and at mini bus stand area, and ask for the bus to the place you want to visit, timings are mostly early morning till 5pm. use 'em.
Attached (photos) the time tables of buses (by ladakh private, and J&K state travels) available. this one is latest, you can also visit new bus stand in leh, take a latest picture and consult the same, while you are in ladakh. (they do not have printed time-table to offer)
HTH. Have a good time traveling in Ladakh.
PS Now that the basic info post is over, My experience as both text and photos, is coming up shortly.. till then Happy Traveling :)