Between the Himalayas and the Karakorams
This issue of the newsletter is devoted to Ladakh, on the border of India and Pakistan. It's a fascinating place and we think you will find the information interesting even if you have no plans to visit. But as usual, before exploring the delights of this little-known gem, we bring you the latest news from Thai Airways International.
With its new winter schedule 2003/2004, THAI will introduce three new destinations, namely Chennai in India,Guilin in China, and Luang Prabang in Laos. New routes will also be introduced in both the international and domestic networks: Sydney-Melbourne-Phuket-Bangkok, Tokyo-Chiang Mai, and Chiang Mai-Rangoon. The following routes will have increased frequencies: Bangkok-London v.v., Bangkok-Frankfurt v.v., Bangkok-Copenhagen vv, Bangkok-Seoul v.v., Bangkok-Jakarta v.v., Bangkok-Colombo v.v., and Bangkok-Krabi v.v. This is due to the increasing number of passengers as well as delivery of two new Boeing 747-400 aircraft in October 2003. The winter schedule will begin on 26 October 2003 until 27 March 2004.
If you want to know more, see the full details on:
"For nine months of the year, Ladakh is virtually cut off from the outside world". If this doesn't sound good then Ladakh may not be the place for you. But if you like something different and especially if you like Buddhist temples, then this site will whet your appetite. "A keen visitor could spend a month in the region and visit a different monastery every day".
This is a small site with a few pictures, but it will give you a quick taste of what is to come.:
"The remote and inhospitable land of Ladakh has always fascinated city-dwellers with its images of a stark and barren landscape juxtaposed alongside lush green fields, monasteries precariously perched on mountain tops, and an intriguing blend of cultures."
And if you are fascinateds, then this site will give you all of the important information you need when preparing a visit. Clothing suggestions, medical and communications facilities, accommodation and transport are all covered. The sightseeing section includes information on monasteries, trekking, adventure and river rafting.
A useful site at:
This is the Official Website of Jammu & Kashmir Government, India. It is also, in my view, the definitive site on Ladakh. A bit short on photos but it makes up for that in useful information. It covers:
You can find this gem at:
A thought provoking piece, written in 1986, that I have included because I think it makes a good point and makes it well. The author says "when I arrived there in 1975, life in the villages was as it had been for eight hundred years". Her description of that way of life is fascinating and surprising, observing that here was a society that had taken a different route from the industrialised West, but a route that captured the joys and perils of a country lane rather than the stress and predictable security of the motorway.
Regrettably, by 1986 there had been a "Tragic Change" although efforts are being made to undo the damage.
I strongly recommend this article, which you can find at:
STOP PRESS: After writing this section I received an email from Christina Dietrich which said just a few weeks back I returned from wonderful Ladakh (6 weeks tour on my own) and the photos are now online on my website. I took a look and they are wonderful photos. You really must take a look at them on: http://www.ontheway.ch/
I couldn't find a site with a really good selection of photos of Ladakh, but there are a lot of good photos scattered around the web. So I have provided the following link whcih will enable you to see all (around 6000!) of the various photos in a single location, thanks to the image search facilities of Google.
The link you need is:
For useful books if you want to know more about Ladakh, you will find a comprehensive listing with prices and reviews on my ConnectedGlobe Ladakh books page on:
There is excellent hotel accommodation available in India at international standards. However, you don't need to pay international prices. There are substantial discounts available if you know where to look. Our research suggests that the best deals are usually available from the Agoda reservations system which you can find on:
Back issues of this newsletter are available. You can find them on:
The countries covered in other issues are:
Far East Air Fare deals from ConnectedGlobe
There are some excellent prices to be found on flights to India. For flights originating anywhere in the world use the ConnectedGlobe fare finder page.
Other Useful Links