2015 - Ladakh India Adventure Day 5

Ladakh the Land of High Passes in the Himalayas
The 4th International Festival of Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh from 21 Aug – 01 Sep 2015 (12D/11N)

I was amazed by the spectacular scenic view of Nubra Valley, the valley of flowers.

Day 05 (25.08.2015) – Leh to Nubra Valley (136km) via Khardung La Pass (5,600m / 18,380ft), world highest motor-able road
 
We departed for Nubra Valley at 9.10am. The road journey to Khardung La Pass was about 40km and took us almost 2 hours before arriving at 11.30am. The first 20km of the road was good, but the next 20km was really bad as there were numerous landslide due to heavy rain two weeks before we came. We stopped at the pass for about 10minutes and then proceed on as we could not stop for long as we might suffer from AMS. Khardung La Pass at 5,600m / 18,380ft is higher than the Everest Base Camp at 5,364m / 17,598ft. Many of us suffered the super bumpy rock and roll roads (not roads but mountains treks) which made this journey a most thrilling memory of our life.

 
The 90km road journey down from KhardungLa to our resort in Nubra Valley was passing through North Pullu, Khardung, Tsati, Khalsar, Diskit Village before reaching Hunder to stay at Himalayan Eco-Resort.


At 1.30pm after almost four and a half hours of travelling time we stopped for an hour lunch at Maiterya Midway Café a garden restaurant on Nubra Road. At 2.30pm we proceed for Diskit arriving at 4.00pm. By 4.45pm we arrived at Hunder and checked into Himalayan Eco-Resort with a tea reception. 
 
At 5.30pm we went to Hunder Village (7.8km) for a walk by the sand dunes and the camel ride. Hunder is popular as the 'Land of Sand dunes' and these sand dunes are spread between Diskit and Hunder, around 2-3 km from the village. The famed but small surviving Bactrian camels are a legacy of the ancient trade road that dates back centuries. Ladakh was a stopover place for caravans from India to central Asia. We then came back to the resort for dinner at 8.00pm. 

Sleeping at Himalayan Eco-Resort, Hunder, Nubra, Leh-Ladakh
Proprietor: Tsering Lanzes email: tlanzes14@gmail.com
Our group photo together with uncle Vijaya and aunty Amita.

Saying goodbye to Dr Tan Ho Soon who had to return back to Malaysia.

The four Malaysian Lady Musketeer - Ruby Song, Angie Ho Siew Eng, Elaine Low and aunty Amitha.

A view of a new village out of town.


Our first convoy stop for a view of the scenic valley landscape.

This is truly a green desert in the mountain valley.


Our first stop at this view point.


One shot for the photo album.

We were driving on this Ladakh Range until we reached Nubra Valley.

Our second convoy stop for the scenic valley landscape.

Ruby Song wanted this photo for the blog.

The check-point at South Pullu where we had to show our Inner Line Permits before proceeding for the final haul up to the pass. 

Ladakh is very dry in general, and as the altitude increases, things become drier and colder.

It was fun driving up this one huge mountain side and with every hair-pin bend we quickly rising up in altitude.


It is very difficult to cycle up the mountain with thin air, but, there were many of them.

This scene looks like the end of the dirt road...



The first 20 km by road, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point 16 km the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt.

I must say that the road between South Pullu to North Pullu was deadliest, strongly recommended for person with good driving skills.

We as we continued our way to Nubra valley, the roads were so bad and at some places there were no road, it was just stones and sand. However, I enjoyed it very much as it reminded me of my 4x4 days during the Camel Trophy and the Marlboro Adventure in USA.  


Once we reached there the feeling was quite different, as we parked our vehicle I went to the toilet first before I clicked some photos and enjoy the beauty.  For sure there was less oxygen as I was breathing from my mouth. As written on the board that we should not stay here for more than 20-25 minutes.This is the KhardungLa with snow-cap on its side.
There were so many tourists present there because the weather was good to visit. KardungLa was built in 1976 and opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and duly maintained by the Border Roads Organisation. The pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Nubra or Siachen Glacier region.


During winter the temperature may drop to -40 degrees Celsius with almost 10 feet of snowfall and in summer the temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius, but the freaky weather could suddenly be bitterly cold.

Bro. Teo Chiang Wee and Mike Khaw standing beside the temple bells with lots of prayer flags flapping in the wind.

Khardung La Pass remains closed annually from October to May due to harsh conditions.


Just have a leisurely stroll with the cool refreshing mountain air caressing your face I felt rejuvenated. Happiness is the thrill of visiting the highest pass in the world. A photo taken with the Indian Border Guards.

We stopped here for toilet after coming down from Khardung La.

We did not see any Buddha park here, but only car park and toilets.



Standing L-R: Patrick Phoon Yew Fatt, Simon Looi, Mike Khaw, Jerry Ong, Poh Wee Fah, Datuk Seri Victor Wee, Jeannie Heng Sok Giang, Tai Yoke Lin, Teo Chiang Wee, Angie Ho Siew Eng and Lye Yu Choong.
Squatting: Sara, Ching Neng Bin, Elaine Low and Ruby Song


At 1.30pm after almost four and a half hours of travelling time we stopped for an hour lunch at Maiterya Midway Café a garden restaurant on Nubra Road at Khardung Village, which is about 74km from Leh.

This Cafe has a beautiful open space garden and open rest room with amazing view of the village. It was a good relaxing place to have buffet meals of Indian and Chinese cuisine.

Datuk Seri Victor Wee and Angie Ho going for the Ladakhe noodles.


Bro. Jerry Ong and Mike Khaw enjoying the meal.



Sara and Ruby Song also enjoying Ladakhe noodles.

I was standing on this side of Ladakh Range taking photos of the valley below and opposite is the mighty Karakorum Mountain Ranges divided by the Nubra River.

The enchanting Nubra Valley is formed by the meeting of the Shyok River with the Nubra or Siachen River, separating the Ladakh and the Karakorum.

The Nubra River valley also known as Siachen River valley.

On the right is Ladakh Mountain range and on the left is the Karakorum Mountain range divided by the Nubra River valley. The Karakoram Mountain is where K2 the second highest mountain in the world is located.
The enchanting Nubra Valley is formed by the meeting of the Shyok River with the Nubra or Siachen River, separating the Ladakh and the Karakorum.


Driving on Ladakh range along the Nubra River and the Karakorum Range to the north the views are simply magnificent with the white snow-capped mountain peaks.

The sand dunes of Nubra Valley seemed to have accumulated since years due to natural phenomenon whereby the Shyok River and many smaller streams drain the soil from the mountains down to the valley.

Another reason is the continuous erosion and silt carried down by the river and later dried up.


This road took us to the villages along the Indus Valley and cross the mountain passes and up the serpentine road to Khardung-La Pass, and down to Nubra Valley, the “Valley of Flowers” on the other side.

Sleeping at Himalayan Eco-Resort, Hunder, Nubra 

Situated in the picturesque village of Hunder on the banks of the Shyok River of Nubra Valley. Located 124 kms North of Leh between the Karakorum and Ladakh Ranges of the Himalayas.

It was a long drive through the Hunder village before we reached our resort at around 4.45pm and we were hungry but we forgot for a while after watching our rooms, it was so beautiful. We had not expected that much from a resort which is almost out of nowhere and from the rest of the country.
The Nubra Valley literally means the valley of flowers. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 feet above the sea level.

The beautiful flowers at Himalayan Eco Resort.




A tea reception for us on arrival at Himalayan Eco Resort.

The sand dunes of Hunder have attracted many tourist to the Nubra Valley.




See how we junp...

We were trying to break this wooden bridge....

The crystal clear stream here had fishes swimming in it and at this altitude and such dry landscape, it was a pleasant surprise.





The main attraction of the Nubra valley is the Bactarian Camels (double hump Camel). These camels can be seen around sand dunes.
Most tourists flocked here for a camel ride at late noon and evening.


The famed but small surviving Bactrian camels are a legacy of the ancient trade road that dates back centuries. Ladakh used to be a stopover place for caravans from India to central Asia.

Today the sand dunes of Hunder are the most popular destination in Nubra Valley.

I took a long walk with Simon Looi on the sand dunes and noticed the demarcation between the sand dunes and the grass covered mud was so contrasting.




Lilian Agumo Estolas posing with the camel.

Jeannie Heng Sok Giang, Tai Yoke Lin and Catherine Tham Yoke Leng in "Lawrence of Arabia".

Sara getting ready for action...

Here comes Poh Wee Fah and Gary Lim Soon Kiat in "Lawrence of Arabia".

Last but not least was yours truly, Ching Neng Bin in "Lawrence of Arabia".

This mother camel taking a rest while her baby camel sucking milk.

Camel milk is considered a complete food and can be consumed exclusively while meeting all nutritional requirements.



Towards late evening the valley was windy and on the western horizon, the mountains were sparkling yellow. Wind carried dust and with the blue sky as if a yellow dragon had landed. Wind and water shapes the land more than anything. After so much of fun it was time to get back to our Himalayan Eco Resort for dinner. 



Videos:
  1. At Mahabodhi, Leh, Ladakh 2009 
  2. International Meditation Centre, Leh-Ladakh 2011 
  3. A soldier becomes a Monk, Mahabodhi Ladakh 2013
  4. Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre diary 2015 
  5. Mahabodhi Devachan Campus the Himalayan Oasis 2015 
click below to view:
Day 01 (21.08.2015) – Kuala Lumpur flight to Delhi, India
Day 02 (22.08.2015) – Delhi domestic flight to Leh, Ladakh (3,524m / 11,562ft)
Day 03 (23.08.2015) – Thicksay and Shey Monastery, Leh, Ladakh
Day 04 (24.08.2015) – Leh to Hemis Monastery (41.2km) Ladakh
Day 05 (25.08.2015) – Leh to Nubra Valley (136km) via KhardungLa Pass
 

Day 06 (26.08.2015) – Nubra Valley to visit Disket Monastery (14.5km)
Day 07 (27.08.2015) – Nubra Valley returned to Leh, Ladakh (136km)
Day 08 (28.08.2015) – Visit Devachan Campus, Leh, Ladakh
Day 09 (29.08.2015) – Leh to Tingmosgang (90km) Ladakh
Day 10 (30.08.2015) – Bodhkharbu on the way to Lamayuru Monastery
 

Day 11 (31.08.2015) – Basgo Monastery, Tekchen Chosling and Alchi Temple
Day 12 (01.09.2015) - Leh fly to Delhi to catch the night flight back to KL 
Day 13 (02.09.2015) - Arrived KLIA at 6.55am
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3 comments:

  1. Teoh Han Seong11 October, 2015

    Mr Ching
    Thanks for sharing the Ladakh photos.
    Fantastic. Sincerely appreciated.
    Thank You and Best Regards,
    Lt Cdr (R) Teoh HS
    Super Clean Holiday & Tour Sdn Bhd
    Email: hsteoh@hotmail.com
    Website: http://www.navaltown.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Driving along the treacherous Ladakh range on the way to Nubra Valley-oh my! It's winding dirt road that leads to no road at all-as Ching put it. Cycling in the highlands where oxygen doesn't come easy, probably it's energy sapping task. Double humped-back camels looks funny though definetely not lovely, they seem to be smaller in size than those I saw in Inner Mongolia many years back. Could be fun rding them! NB Ching has some charming female followers of his blog of the good looking kind-wanting to pose with him for shots of pictures. I saw happy faces in friendly company of the group-all were elated and cheerful, perhaps anticipating enlightenement of the quest for peace at the Ladakh land of high passes. That's so important for a tough travel to strange land of unusual landscapes. Accommodations, tea party, meals all look good and satisfactory. These facilities make going there fullfilling and rewarding. Regards, from Alan Kok

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  3. Harban Singh19 October, 2015

    Dear Ching, Thanks. So nice to read with the beautiful sceneries and landscape. You guys had a wonderful time. The experience is awesome, I am sure. When is yr next such trip? May want to join you all lah!

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