35 days- Shoe String Budget- Solo Girl Traveller- Explored Ladakh- I did it, you can do it too. Here are the secret tricks

Leh & Ladakh is at the top of almost every traveler’s bucket list. It was on mine too. I wanted to explore the region of Ladakh unaccompanied (Solo). I wanted to feel the peace and the depth of this place.

In this article of mine, I am going to share how I explored the region of Ladakh solo.  Let’s dive in!

I assure you that as a solo female traveler this is the safest way to travel. Something, your parents will agree to very easily.

I have culled out various ways by which you can explore the region of Ladakh in one of the best ways that too alone even if you are a girl. Let’s dive into this adventurous journey:-

WAY TO TRAVEL SOLO TO LADAKH

STEP-1

APPLY FOR INTERNSHIP WITH AN NGO WHICH WORKS IN THE REGION OF LADAKH: Here is the list of all the NGO’s which function in the region of Ladakh. Now, Send a quick e-mail to all these NGO’s by attaching your resume and letter of intent along with the email. We have a detailed article which deals with “How to apply for internship” which you can find here.

Why Intern with NGO?

  • SAFE PLACE TO STAY most of the NGO’s give you options for accommodation. Some of them would give you a list of homestays wherein most of their interns stay.
  • EXPLORER: You can work during the day and be a wanderer in the evening and on the weekends.
  • TRAVEL TO RURAL AREAS: Most of NGO’s function in the rural areas of Ladakh. Therefore, you get to see the real Ladakh.
  • PARENTS WOULD AGREE EASILY: Most of the parents would hate the idea of sending their kid to a far off place like that of Ladakh but if you bring into the loop an NGO. Things would be pretty easier for you.

MAKE SURE THAT THE WEEKENDS AND THE EVENINGS ARE FREE:

So that you have some time to roam around in the evenings. Also, make sure, you have your weekends free so that you can plan out trips to near-by tourist places in Ladakh.  I had my weekends free because of which, I could plan a lot of small trips around Ladakh which gave me a feeling of explorer.

PREFER AN NGO WHICH WORKS IN RURAL AREAS OF LADAKH:

Staying a Ladakhi village is amazing but you need to make sure that you are prepared to handle the following situations:-

  • Eating Traditional Ladakhi food for days together
  • Using traditional toilets
  • Drinking boiled water

If you are sorted with all the above-mentioned situations, choose an NGO which functions in the Rural areas. I chose one and I have no regrets about it!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INTERNING FOR SUCH A LONG TIME IN LEH & LADAKH REGION

  • Get to know the local tradition
  • Feel the peace
  • Get to visit the places like a localite
  • Become a part of the City

THINGS TO PLAN AFTER GETTING INTERNSHIP

Ones you have got hold of internships with an NGO. The next step is to plan the following things:-

STAY AT MANDARVA HOMESTAY: If you are a girl who is traveling all alone, I would prefer that you stay at Mandarva homestay. It is a cute little homestay which is completely safe for girls traveling alone.

PLAN THE MODE OF TRAVELLING: There are three ways to reach Leh, Ladakh. They are:-

  • Self Driving
  • Bus/ Cab
  • Airplane

Since I was traveling alone, I took a flight from Delhi to Leh.  When I reached Leh, I got to know about regular cab services which function from Manali. These cabs are a good option to travel by road if you are traveling alone.

SECRET PLACES TO VISIT IN LEH & LADAKH

I almost wandered like a nomad for a month in the region of Ladakh and like a Nomad, I discovered certain things which I would love to share with you all. Let’s begin

  •  Traditional Ladakhi Drink  at ‘The Nook’ 

This drink is something I dream of even now. Sometimes, I feel like catching a flight just to have this drink. It is something which no one knows about because it isn’t that famous yet but I am spilling the beans because I know that you are going to love this drink more than anything else. This red colored drink is neither wine nor alcohol, it just has a tinge of various traditional ladakhi herbs flavors which are hard to explain but are enjoyable when tasted.  So, there is this restaurant called ‘The Nook’ which serves this drink which is situated at the Old Fort road.

  •  Roadside Momos & the Kababs

Evenings are a completely different affair at Leh because there are tons of street vendors who cover the footpath and what they serve is sometimes the yummiest while the others it is not. So, though a dicey affair in their taste, you can always sit next to the footpath having the dicey tasting menus or Kababs and enjoy the sunset.

  • Walk down the streets of Leh

Yes, never give this one a miss if you love the music of the stream and silence. These pathways along the stream just leave you spellbound for days together.

  • Hang out in the main market 

The main market of Leh is beautiful because if you see on the left you will see the city palace and an old monastery situated on a hilltop while on the right you will see snow covered mountains. In the evening the sun, clouds, and mountains play the game called changing views within a flick of the eye. Yes, the sunset from the main market is a beauty. Also, you can buy fresh fruits which the local Ladakhi women sell, the apricots and carrots are too fresh, delicious and mouthwatering.

  • Climb a mountain

My city is in the foothills, so I can see the mountains while standing on the top floor of my house. I had seen various mountains, but never ever thought of climbing one. Whenever you get to visit  Leh make sure that you plan your trip in such a way that you climb a mountain or two because that is a completely different experience. It is something that will take you closer to feel peace.

  • Visit the village of Shey

Take a cab and ask the cabbie to take to this nearby village which is just a few kilometers away from the city of Leh. Be in awe for a while.

  • Watch the stars from the terrace or a wide space which has no buildings

At night, do sit on the roof of your room and watch those beautiful twinkling stars. I can bet, that is the most beautiful thing you will ever get to see in your life. If you can sit till 12’o clock the scenario changes to something you can’t even imagine.

  • Visit a monastery

Buddhism is a religion full of peace and the monasteries take you a step closer to that feeling of being at peace with yourself and everything around you. If I could I would have visited the monastery every day, but I couldn’t because waking up early is not my cup of tea.

  • Sunsets in Ladakh

Sunsets in Leh are something which you will always enjoy because the view tends to change every minute. The mountains, sun, and clouds they change their roles every now and then, they always keep you in awe.

TOURISTY STUFF

Other things which exist, but weren’t discovered by me, but you should visit them for sure. They are:-

  • Tesmo Gompa

  • City Palace

  • Pangong Lake

  • Rafting (Nimmo)

NOTES

EXPENSES: The trip for 35 days costed me for around Rs. 90,000- Rs. 1,00,000/- which included everything from Accommodation, Flights, Food, Transportation to shopping.

NGO, I CHOSE: I worked with 17000ft Foundation. I have an article wherein I have shared my experience with 17000ft Foundation, which can be found here.

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❤ Nikita Naiyya