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Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

Sheffield, United...
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Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

Hi all,

We're a group of three 30-something moderately intrepid travellers planning a trip to Ladakh in late August for 6 days.

As we're flying in and given that we're setting aside 2 days for acclimatisation, we'll only have 4 days for our activities.

We were thinking of hiking the Sham monasteries on days 3-4. For days 5-6, we would quite like to go either Pangong Tso or Nubra valley. We can't decide!

I'm a keen photographer so scenic photographic opportunities are a must (this probably doesn't help, I know). Also, interesting villages, people or just unique (i.e. positive) experieneces would also help!

Ludhiana, India
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1. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

Keep one day for acclimatization. You save one day. Instead of hiking in sham valley take the taxi. you save one day. Pangong tso can be done in a day by taxi. you save one day. 3 days saved . You can easily do nubra now. nubra valley is very beautiful. so don't miss the photography option in nubra and also pangong. although hectic but is a once in a life time oppurtunity.

Pahalgam, India
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2. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?


Yes I agree with GPSGrewal, both places are a Must Visit so follow the itienary of Grewal ji.



Destination Expert
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3. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

"Keep one day for acclimatization. You save one day."

You will not be fully acclimatized for Leh´s altitude before you leave. Acclimatization is not the same as resting : after taking it easy the first day you can start doing more strenous walks etc , but you should still

plan the highest night last.

Two nights before trekking is a bare minimum - with the Sham trek it could work out , since you don´t sleep much higher than Leh.

I would do Nubra ( which is lower than Leh ) first , more basic acclimatisation , more chances of enjoying both Nubra and trek.

Pangong Tso as a day trip is safe , but gives you very little time outside the car.

Leicester, United...
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4. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?


I also suggest dropping the idea of trekking in Sham valley.

Day 1: just chill.

Day 2 : Sham valley : Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Nimmu confluence, Gurudwara Pather Sahib. Can be managed in a day and back to Leh to sleep overnight. Should not require too much exertion if you are careful. About 160 KM of driving for the loop.

Day 3: Leh- Khardung La- Nubra -Deskit/Hunder. After the obligatory camel safari overnight stay at Deskit or Hunder.

Day 4: Strongly suggests a visit to Turtuk ( a lovely village with unbelievably cute children and guarded by majestic Karakoram range).

Side trip to Panamik if you want to.

Back to Leh for overnight stay or travel from Nubra to Tangstey ( small village before Pnagong and at a lower altitide) via Shyok river route bypassing Leh altogether.

Day 5 : Leh to Pangong or Tangstey to Pangong. Stay overnight to enjoy it properly and drive a bit beyond Spangmik to Man, Merek along the shore line before the army sends you back packing.

Day 6 : Back to Leh at a leisurely pace with breaks at Shey and Thikse ( if you are not suffering from monastery fatigue already).

Declaration of interest: Never been to Ladakh but hoping to go in not too distant future :)

FAO Vistet: Do you see any major problem of acclimatisation with this ?


Edited: 16 July 2012, 03:59
5. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

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Sheffield, United...
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6. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

Thanks all. Now I'm even more confused!

Vistet, I agree - I do think that only allowing a day for acclimatisation is insufficient.

Supratik - you seem to know a lot about the place without having been to Ladakh!

Would anyone here recommend a good agent to arrange these? I've been in communication with a few, but it's always good to have a personal recommendation.

The lonely planet suggest arranging tours when in Ladakh (cheaper) - is there any truth in that?

Washington DC
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7. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?


Most of the people book their flights and hotel at Leh before they get there. Once you get to Leh, you can use one of the gazillion agents within Leh or through your hotel to make all the other arrangements. You can also walk to the Taxi station and bargain/haggle/plan with one of the taxi drivers and get the whole tour ride taken care of. The taxi rates are published, and supposedly you can get a 10% discount if you bargain hard enough.

If you want to, you can read Dheeraj's blog @ devilonwheels.com, you can find all the taxi rates/hotel info/taxi driver contacts/plus tons of other info.

I have not been to Leh either, but will be there this Aug.


Ahmedabad, India
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8. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

After 4 visits, here is my 2-pence worth:

1. 6 days is toooooo less for this Paradise-on-Earth. On an average, each one of my trips has been like 15days long so I never hurry or rush. Even in my two winter visits, I have spent quite some nights on Pangong (believe me, it is absolutely heavenly even in -25C -- have WALKED to the opposite shore!!).

2. As a rule, I remain below Leh for 2N/3D and 3rd night at Leh. Only after that do I venture elsewhere. Also, for acclimatization I have never taken any pills at all but that is just my personal experience. You must do as your doctor says.

3. IMHO, the beauty that Pangong has to offer to a photographer (I claim to be one, too) is more than that of Nubra. Though my #1 favourite is Lake Kiagar.

4. I have ALWAYS done advance booking of every little thing from permits to hotels to homestays to drinking water!! After spending so much time and money to be there, I do not want to spend a single second in worrying about these things. In Ladakh, I have much better things to do.

For more info, pictures, write DIRECT to me at {vu2pcd at gmail dot com}. Take care, be good.


Mumbai, India
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9. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

As you are three and not with too many days on your side I would recommend you booking things before time. Also a tour operator can take care of your inner permits before you land into Leh. Also having been there 3 times I would recommend you hire a 4X 4 so you can experience some driving as well on way to Nubra.

You can contact companies in Leh or anyother good DMC.



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10. Re: Itinerary help - Nubra valley or Pangong Tso?

After two decades as a recurring guest in Ladakh , my five paisa worth :

* I have never booked a room in advance , or had to go farther than the second guest house after arriving. Granted, I go often very late in the season or in winter - but a number of times in high season as well.

* Booking tours for Pangong Tso etc is easily done after arriving and yes , cheaper. If you want the most out of this follow what all specialist doctors say , and plan one night between Pangong Tso and Leh ( i.e. at Tangtse ) . See ISMM shortlinked at http://korta.nu/prev , CDC @ http://korta.nu/cdcalt ,WMS @ http://korta.nu/wem , the NHS site or any other reputable medical source on this. ( Flying in without medicating is also ignoring basic medical advice , btw - definitely something to consider on a tight schedule )

* First hand experiences : in every single thread on this subject you will people who have beaten the safety guidelines , and insists it´s safe from doing it repeatedly. I could do this myself as well , and this is equally pointless as in mentioning ignoring diving tables. Those of us who are repeat visitors and frequent posters are the winners in a genetic lottery , and will probably do equally well almost every time we beat the rules. The ones that do less well don´t come back or post their experiences : I have for example carried two persons from the vehicle , and they never returned or entered in any discussions on the subject afterwards. In EVERY group that goes outside guidelines you will have people going sick : from discrete hangover symptoms to more epic symptoms , and in a few cases ending up the hospital. One way of tracking this afterwards is to check the time stamps on the photographs , and see how few photographs are taken at the highest points of rapid ascents.