Solo Ladakh Trip in Winters

Travel QuestionsCategory: Ladakh & Zanskar ValleySolo Ladakh Trip in Winters
Jeevan asked 1 week ago

Dear Dheeraj,
Your guidance is commendable. Your website and articles have been the main source for research for me and after reading everything, I have decided to write a comment asking for some help.
I am 37 and am planning a solo trip to Leh on the 28th November to 7th November. In the past I have experienced Winters and Snow in UK and Europe but nothing close to -20 degrees as this number keeps coming up. I have also done the Deoriatal Chandrashila 5 day Trek last year. I will be flying in and out of Leh.
1. If I am a single person, what would be the best option to follow your 8-day itinerary without breaking the bank? I am aware it will be extremely cold, is there a possibility, I can take the gear and try riding a bike to visit places or will this be outright foolish?
2. If the bike is not possible, what could be the next possible option to get around and see places that are listed on your itinerary?
3. I can hardly find any accommodation around Rs. 1000-1500 mark, even the accommodation you listed as 1000-1500 come up as 4000+ online. Will they offer such difference if I call them? I will be doing that right after this comment.
4. Should I book all my accommodation in Leh itself? I have read that booking can be done on the spot, how does that work? Do I take a cab from the Airport and ask him to take me to the best accommodation? Isn’t that how we used to get ripped off in the good olden days?
5. For your suggested 7 – 8 Days Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh in Winters, how much would it cost approximate apart from the air tickets, if possible and if you know it instantly, please give a figure, else, please don’t take the trouble of taking out time for this point. It would be nice to know approximately how much I will need to spend.
I have a million other questions but I will stop here. I have to thank you for the time you put into this website to inform travelers. You can only do this out of passion and not for monetary gains.

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5 Answers
DHEERAJ SHARMA answered 1 week ago

Thank you Jeevan, glad to help and sorry for late reply. Have been busy in work for sometime now. Please find my replies below:

1, 2 Bike ride will be big no from my side especially if you are not into such winter rides in the past. Best will be to use public transport or look for handful of tourists/travellers around that time to share the taxi costs. You need to be flexible in such a case. Pangong Tso will be difficult without dedicated taxi or group of people.

3. Well, over the Internet things gets bloated as you don’t know how many people gets added in the food chain for commissions or heavy discounts over a bloated list price, especially for such remote regions. It is winter, there will be no dearth of places to stay in Leh. Many homestays and guest houses remain open now a days, so you should be able to hunt on the spot as well within your range.

4. That good old days rip off tricks have not yet reached the people of Ladakh 🙂 … The drivers are very humble, get paid well so there is no craving to rip off tourist and above all no where in the world we used to find people like Ladakhis or Spitians. Things are changing over couple of years, but most drivers being old chaps, are still strongly in their grooves of values and honesty.

5. If you plan to visit Nubra and Pangong Tso on private taxi, it will cost around 20K. If people share, it will come down. Then for food and stay, keep about Rs 1200-1500 per day for yourself.

Thank you for warm words and feel free to post further questions. I have moved it specifically in Q&A section for better tracking of long trail of questions and answers.

Regards
Dheeraj

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Jeewan answered 1 week ago

Dear Dheeraj,
Thank you for the response and the expert guidance. I have gone through your response and it is very helpful. Especially the prices and about the Ladakhi people.
I understand Bike riding is not possible.
I will start calling up the places directly for better prices.
Spending Rs. 20,000 is out of the question (That’s 2k less than my airfare). So I will have to embrace the option of travelling with others if I find anyone or a group.
I am just going for some tranquillity and definitely not to tick boxes like a typical tourist. Hence, I would prefer to just stay at a nice place in Leh and pass time by walking around, meeting the local and so forth. Is this something that can be done? Is there something of interest within walking distances? Is this a good idea? I know it will differ from person to person but please give your impression on this.
I also plan to visit Leh during the season with friends and family, so I can always tick boxes later.
If I were to do the above, if possible can you please recommend 1-2 places to stay which would be perfect or close to perfect to spend 10 days in Leh without much travel if it were not possible, in case I did not find a group willing to share their ride. I ask this just because of your experience and I am very sceptical about arriving and looking for a place as Leh is notorious for delayed flights and I could land after sunset. Also kindly let me
Also kindly let me know if in fact, I were to scout for a place after I got off my flight, how do I do it?
It is heartwarming to know that the people of Leh are nice, I would love to spend some time with them whenever possible during this trip.
I run a web development company specializing in WordPress and PHP, please let me know if you require any assistance. I am sure you will have a team in place, but if ever needed, I am here to help out.
Regards,
Jeewan
 

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DHEERAJ SHARMA answered 1 week ago

The idea of travel you have for this winter trip will perfectly suit the conditions. This means you will not be rushing out, may be do a day trip to Sham Valley from Leh and I am sure many people visit Ladakh now a days in winters. Since, you are on no run, you can work out your schedule to align with them. Roam in Leh main market, visit monastery or two and also visit Hall of Fame. You can walk over to taxi stand and ask drivers around for shared taxi tours. Also, the bus to Nubra Valley should be running, so hop on to it to visit Nubra Valley. It will come next day back to Leh.

So, stay near main market. Check with Kidar Guest House, Khan Manzil, Padam Guest House, Panorama Guest House, Greenland Homestay, Paul Guest House, Ladakh Continental, etc.. Some of them should be running in winters. Try to visit Leh local, Sham Valley, Thickey Monastery & Hemis monasteries and Nubra Valley. No flight in Leh land after 1 PM, last I knew because of air pressure and climate conditions. So, don’ worry about landing after sunset 🙂 … However, please ensure to book a pick up from the airport and driver will help you with taxi as well.

You can leave a DoW Travel Calendar entry as well, who knows people are looking out online for the same dates of your travel 🙂

Thank you so much Jeevan for the help offer. I do not have any team though, I maintain this site on my own along with a full time job. Sometimes, that’s why things get delayed. However, I have labeled this thread and will surely be connecting with you whenever I plan to expand and customize things beyond my expertise 🙂 … I am sure your expertise with this technology stack would be a of great help at that moment.

You can call the local drivers directly to connect with them and check the more comprehensive List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for DoW community members.

Regards
Dheeraj

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Jeewan answered 6 days ago

Dear Dheeraj,
Apologies for this late acknowledgment. I was actually waiting to get a notification, then I checked this page to see that you had immediately responded. I am pretty much in the clear now. I will plan as proposed and let the community know how it went.
Many thanks for the advice.
Regards,
Jeewan

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DHEERAJ SHARMA answered 5 days ago

Awesome, have a great trip Jeewan, will look forward to your travel tale.

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