LADAKH - Must Dos in Leh

Welcome to Leh! This is the first stop of my trip to Ladakh. I took the plane from Delhi and reached this paradise in the morning (Leh airport closes at 11am, take it in mind when planning your holiday!).

Ladakh is a quiet and paradisiac area in the north of India, close to Pakistan and China. It is highly recommended to settle one or two days in Leh before start exploring the area because of the altitude. In fact it's common to experience mountain sickness symptoms such as headache, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, lassitude, irregular breathing... But don't worry, it will be more than fine in the end! :)

Must do's in Leh:

  • Stroll along the Main Bazaar street, where you can find fresh fruit, every kind of nuts, colourful pashmina, the thangka (typical Ladakh woollen hat) and much more.
  • Visit the Tibetan refugee market where you can buy items from Tibet, Nepal and China. I bought a super nice necklace and a series of coloured flags with my favourite mantra written on them.
  • Pop to the Oxygen bar to make your oxygen level measured! In case it's lower than 80/90 they will give you oxygen for 15 mins with a mask :) 
  • Climb the hill behind the Old Town Market to reach Leh Palace. The ticket entrance is 300 INR and in my opinion is not really worthy, it's nice but the view from the nearby monastery is far better!! If you continue the track on the right side of the palace you'll reach Tsemo Gompa. Breathtaking view! Highly recommend during sunset to really feel in paradise :)
  • If you haven't planned the coming days or need a driver or a trekking guide, the city centre is full of local agencies where you can easily (and at a reasonable price!) plan next days. I highly recommend to go Samsara Travels (Mr. Dawa: dawahanupa@yahoo.com) that I personally used and everything went smooth and it was amazing! There are also many shops selling winter clothes in case you need for the hikes.
  • Go for some yoga and/or mediation to the Mahabodi International Meditation Center in Changspa Road (there are many branches in the area).

Take it easy the first days in order to properly acclimatize and get ready to explore! 

xx
Giulia 

LADAKH - 9 days of Happiness and Discovery!

Hi guys! This trip has been incredible! We did 9 days in this amazing region in the north of India, bordering Pakistan, China and the Tibet region. It's a wonderful mix of cultures, with Buddhism as the main religion, reason why we found monasteries and shrines at every corner.

Find our ITINERARY below, and a dedicated post to each step will follow soon! 


Leh - 1 night
Nubra Valley - 1 night in Hunder
Pangon Lake - 1 night
Leh - 2 nights for yoga and meditation
Trekking (Spituk, Jingchen, Yurutse, Shingo, Chilling) - 4 days and 3 nights

Some PRACTICAL TIPS for you, especially if you are planning to do some trekking:

  • bring a sleeping bag with you
  • bring Diamox with you, the medicine for altitude sickness, because those symptoms can ruin your holiday
  • travel as light as possible (during the trekking you have to carry your own backpack for the whole time)
  • bring tons of wet tissues, you'll understand why when reading the post about the trekking :)
  • bring soap and small size toiletries, same as above
  • remember the sun screen
  • be ready to get dirty, muddy and sleep in uncomfortable "beds" :) 
  • bring a heavy jacket, I had the 100g from Uniqlo and it was perfect!

Make sure you subscribe to the website to receive the following posts about this hidden Himalayas region! 

xx
Giulia

Dambulla & Sigiriya

The first stop of my trip to Sri Lanka is in the North of Kandy, an area called The Cultural Triangle, famous for its ruined palaces, temples and caves. Here I've visited Dambulla's cave temples and Sigiriya's Lion Rock! A great start that foretaste the wonderful nature and sceneries of this simply amazing country.

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Dambulla is famous for its five cave temples decorated with amazing murals. They're open from 7.30am to 7pm and it will take you around 45mins / 1 hour to visit them all. The best murals are in cave 3, cave 2 is the biggest and most spectacular and cave 1 hosts a 14-meter long sleeping Buddha. At the bottom of the steps up to the cave temples stands a Golden Temple of Buddha that claims to be the biggest in Asia but actually is not even the biggest in Sri Lanka :)

15km from Dambulla there is Sigiriya, famous for the Lion Rock! I highly recommend you to but the ticket (around 30USD) and climb it till the top! It will take you around 1.5/2 hours to visit the area, climb the Rock and enjoy the breathtaking view! The best times to visit the Rock is either early morning or late afternoon, less tourists and better light! I've done it around 5pm and was perfect. On the summit there once was the Royal Palace, but now only remain the foundations, a square brick platforms overlooking the green hills.

Bali - Risaie & Vulcano Batur -

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Eccomi qua con un altro consiglio che riguarda la scoperta di paesaggi magnifici! Per questa visita nell?۪interno di Bali ci siamo affidati ad un?۪agenzia locale, la Surya Jaya Tours??che organizza molte escursioni sia nel cuore dell?۪isola che lungo la costa e le isolette! Ve la consiglio perch̩ sono molto affidabili ed economici. La prima tappa ̬ il villaggio di Tegalalang, immerso nel verde delle famose risaie a terrazza! Lo spettacolo che creano queste gradinate ̬ davvero scenografico! Intorno siete circondati da palme e piante tropicali. Gli abitanti locali che troverete l?? costruiscono a mano cappelli intrecciando le foglie di palma, un souvenir d?۪obbligo!

Le risaie sono fondamentali per loro perch̩ il riso ̬ l?۪alimento pi?_ diffuso e si raccoglie ogni 4 mesi. La nostra guida ci spiegava che per gli ind?_ non ̬ importante mangiare, ma vedono il concetto di ???cibarsi?۝ solo per riempire lo stomaco. Per questo motivo la loro cucina ̬ molto semplice, non hanno cibi prestabiliti per i pasti ed alternano dolce e salato senza alcun problema. Sono un popolo molto spirituale e per nulla materialista.

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Proseguendo verso nord ci fermiamo a pranzo a Penelokan presso il Puri Sanjaya Restaurant, un ristorante tipico indonesiano dotato di una vista pazzesca sul vulcano Batur. Il piatto indonesiano per eccellenza ̬ il ???nasi goreng?۝ a base di riso saltato in padella con soia e altre spezie, ed accompagnato da verdure, pollo o gamberi. Altre specialit?? locali sono gli spinaci fritti, gli spiedini aromatizzati al cocco e come dolce il riso nero e le banane fritte.

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Il monte Batur, alto 1717 m ̬ uno dei due vulcani presenti sull?۪isola ed ̬ ancora attivo! Vicino al lago che si trova ai suoi piedi si pu?_ vedere la lava solidificata risalente all?۪ultima eruzione. Nonostante ci?_ sono aperti alcuni percorsi per fare trekking e scalare la vetta.

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Tornando indietro verso Nusa Dua, abbiamo attraversato piantagioni di mandarini e chiodi di garofano e siamo stati bloccati lungo la strada da una gara di marcia militare organizzata dai licei di Bali. Ogni squadra deve marciare 17 km a ritmo e rimanendo tutti perfettamente coordinati se no il punteggio che viene assegnato si abbassa! Davvero bello l?۪impegno e la seriet?? che ci mettono!

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Rimanere fermi a guardarli ci ̬ servito per imparare a contare :-)

Satu (1) ??? Dua (2) ??? Tiga (3) ??? Ampat (4) ??? Lima (5)