Leave aside the Goa trip with friends, which most times ends just in planning state for many gangs. Leh-ladakh - something that demands real grit was one of our bucket listed items for so long. Six of us, decided to explore the valley’s most exquisite beauty during summer. We were particular in making this a frugal and also a memorable trip of our lifetime. This post will be both a travelogue as well as a guideline for you to plan your trip.
Planning the Trip
Since both the budget and the effort needed are huge, it involves enormous planning. We, a gang of five people from Chennai and one guy from Mumbai, had multiple rounds of discussions for the trip. This blog post is fully based on our experiences and lessons learnt. Tried to make this like a travelogue as well as a small guide to customize and plan your leh ladakh trip.
Be sure what you really want to visit or do in ladakh region. It could be anything from visiting the Pangong Lake for a cool selfie or a royal Enfield ride along the ladakh region, or even rafting in the zanskar river. Consider everyone's wish as to what they really want to do in ladakh. Once and only after you set your priorities, you can start the actual planning.
We were mainly focused in riding bike and visiting two major places - Pangong/Chang la and Khardung La/ Nubra Valley.
Of course, cost was one of the key factors for our trip. We were particular about visiting the region right immediately after the start of the season to enjoy the off season discounts risking the hostility of the changing temperatures. We sat one fine night to check the rates via every vendor (goibibo paytm yatra mmt etc) offering every possible coupon code. It's advisable to maintain an excel sheet first and compare and book. Consider the amount per booking. For example booking 3 tickets twice with a coupon code might offer a better deal than using the code for all 6 tickets in a single shot. This works out especially when there is a ceiling on a cash back amount. Websites like sky scanner might find a better flight deal for you.
Visiting leh involves so much of consideration for the time to visit. While visiting in June /July gives you freedom to explore all the places using the bike while visiting in April end like us, gives a chance to live the extremes with limited biking options.
Having considered above factors, chalk out a temporary plan at a high level. Always ensure that your itinerary is highly flexible.
Day 1 Depart from Chennai
We reached home after a busy work day and had a power nap. With an unexpected traffic outside the Chennai Airport, we somehow managed to barge in just in time. Adding insult to injury was the terminal change. Ours was an Air India flight to Delhi for which we needed to go to the international terminal. We rushed from one end to other carrying our backpacks, praying Gods not to miss the flight. After so much of drama, we finally caught the flight. Three hours since then, we reached Delhi Airport. We had some five midnight hours in Delhi.