Can you help me ‘do’ Ladakh in 6 days?

Although I am not a travel agent, people apparently try to think I am and want to get Leh’d.

Excerpts from a conversation that might seem humorous to some of us :

Q. Hi Shubham. Randomly saw your ladakh pic n ur website

Can u guide me for ladakh? We r a group of 3-4 people planning to go in June by road.

Reply. Ask specific questions 🙂 (In my mind, I’m like – ladakh’s – L could have been a capital one. You could have randomly googled instead of taking the trouble of typing a personal message)

After a week long delay : 

Q. What are the camp rates at Pangong Lake? Cheapest and moderate?

Reply. Stay at a Homestay instead. (I’m thinking, the dreaded Pangong Tso surfaces again – whats that – Cheapest and moderate) Ha ha

Q. Why? I wanted to go camping for a night

Reply. Cheapest and moderate.

Q. Oops!

Reply. Exorbitant that side

Q. Give me an idea? N suggest a place to camp?

Reply. Google the rates 🙂 (I’m already trying to wriggle out of this conversation) and reply I am a backpacker and have never stayed in anything above 300-400 a night. I only stay in homestays – like a local.

Q. How do you get to stay?

Reply. Go and ask. That’s what I do. (There’s no rocket science involved in that?)

Q. Haha Anyways U were not of much help..thanks!

Good day!

Reply. Bye. But if you really want to plan your trip – then read up some on my blog. Lots of tips on Ladakh. (I breathe a sigh of relief)

Haha, anyway. Happy travels!

Q. Thats great..thats the essence! Im just gng a lil over budget

Reply. (In my mind, I’m like where did all those words disappear.)

Q. Already at 47k without camping.

Reply. That’s ok. Normal people travel 15-20 days a year. I travel for more than 200 days in a year.

The trouble started with Pangong Lake, (not Tso)
The trouble started with Pangong Lake, (not Tso)

Q. Wtf I hv a 6 day schedule

Reply. If you want a travel agent sort of help – then Jispa Journeys – Sherab Gyaltsen is my friend. If you tell him my name, he is a very nice chap. Google him

(And then I realise and laugh aloud,)… Reply. Oops. Only 6 days (Laughing smiley). Thats too less for Ladakh.

Q. I know…that’s all i cud manage

Reply. I’ve been for months together and yet can’t claim to have seen it all. (Ugh, the punctuation and spellings; I’m already feeling I shouldn’t have replied to the first message – but that would be so rude)

Q. Fuck

I know il go back again dre Hw r d taxi fares?

Reply. It’s ok. To each his own. The taxi fares in Ladakh are some of the costliest in our country. (I’m beginning to get angry here.)

Q. Like i thot il cover main 5-6 areas.. so how much shud i b expecting?

Reply. Google – taxi rates in Ladakh. The official chart is there on the internet. (What I’m thinking – If you have time to ask me, you have time to google it too. 5-6 main areas of the biggest district in India! )

I’ve never travelled by taxi. Either hitchhike or bus.

Q. But its got no package kinda deal Do dy offer some package deals? The taxi union?

Reply. Gyaltsen is a partner with my Lahauli friend Gombo, he can arrange a package.

No. The taxi union doesn’t offer a package deal.

Now comes the funniest part of the conversation :

Q. Ok N can u tell me what i shudnt miss in my 6 days schedule?

That includes acclimatizing too

Reply. Hahahah, I’m sorry but I don’t advise people to visit Ladakh if they have only 6 days. If I were you, I would just listen to the chants at the glorious monasteries and sit with monks and share food with them. (Although I’m happy to know that someone knows about acclimatising in Ladakh and AMS)

Q. Thats not what I asked.  (Mean smiley)

Reply. Ok. Then six days are fine to see Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley, Zanskar river rafting, Magnetic Hill and Thiksey & Hemis Monastery.

(I’m trying to be witty here) And also a small trek can be squeezed in.

Q. Khardungla? Indus n zanskar confluence? (Mouth shut smiley)

Reply. I send a picture of white Khardung La in the winter and write – Nubra Valley comes only after crossing Khardung La. And while you are on your way to the confluence, you can also see some hidden valleys, if time permits.

The other person understands I’m making fun and finally says ‘Thanks for d info (Happy smiley)’ – I am happy not to reply – signalling end of the conversation. 

So, I can’t claim to have ‘done’ Ladakh yet, or gotten ‘Leh’d’; but I have carried Ladakh in my heart, always.

To the kiangs that run wild in the Changthang,

and the Shayok that gives greenery to Nubra Valley

while the lamas chant at Thiksey

someone makes a mane wall at Pangong Tso

I eat salt from Tso Kar.

These lines were coined as I sat down and imagined all my time spent in Ladakh.

Check : Photo essay from Ladakh 

Check : Walking into the past along the frozen Indus in Ladakh





21 thoughts on “Can you help me ‘do’ Ladakh in 6 days?”

  1. The composition towards the end captures your love for Ladakh beautifully!! Do I see a budding poet there?

    1. Hahha, I try to do my bit for people who want to travel. Although it does take away a good bit of time, but hey – unknown people helped me too once. But eaten up letters, omg – was bad bad bad. 😛

  2. Haha, brilliant post! I thought you were very polite and helpful too, all things considered! Loved the opening remark too. Love that shot of Pangong Lake too. – Tasha

  3. Ha ha ha…… Most just visit a place n say we ve done it 😁…… The true essence of travelling is never there……. We do come across such ppl more often than not…… fun read and see now ur posts too ve poems like your pics….. 👍 ☺

  4. I was giggling the whole time I was reading this wonderful query on Ladakh (sarcasm and pun intended). I was trying to imagine the conversation between the two of you, I was in splits 🙂 :-). God save you!!

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