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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What tips should one keep in mind while staying in Alchi?

Vineet Sharma DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

“Health is Wealth” as the famous saying goes and we are sure you will take good care of yourself and your dear ones while on this trip. But apart from health, there are always a few things worth keeping in mind while travelling to Alchi. We have listed some travel tips which might come in handy during your visit.

  • Acclimatization

    Though Alchi is at a lower altitude than Leh, it is about 70 kilometres from the town. It is not impossible to travel to Alchi on the same day as you reach
    Leh, but it is recommended that you rest and get acclimatised to the climate and lower oxygen levels. Moreover, you can buy your basic essentials from Leh before you set out for the village as some of the stuff might not be available in that remote area. If possible, avoid bringing children less than 6 years old to this place as they might have more troubles adjusting to the climate.

  • Clothing

    Even if the temperature ping-pongs between 20°C to 30°C, don’t underestimate the biting winds and the chill that settles down once the sun has bid its adieu for the day. So start airing out your woollens and choose the bigger suitcase, after all woollens do take up a lot of space. The summer afternoons are hot enough, so carry some light cottons, and swimwear if you plan to go rafting or simply get into the river. Also, the terrain is the complete antithesis of smooth dent free roads, so don’t forget to pack a good sturdy pair of walking shoes.

  • Stay

    Believe it or not, you are not the only one interested in a place like Alchi. The tourist season sees a lot of influx in the region, resulting in the hotels getting full. We suggest you book your reservations in advance. If you are a backpacker, there are a lot of small dhabas which sprout up during the summer season. Along with serving you hot meals, they also offer a you a place to stay for a pittance of INR 100 per night. And even this price is negotiable!

  • Things to carry

    We are pretty sure your bags will be bursting at the seams with all your personal necessities. But make sure to save some space for a torch, some extra batteries, sunscreen and shades (very important), a flask, first-aid box and solar charger (if you possess one). Carry some energy bars, fruits and nuts (remember health is wealth?) and chocolates - lots and lots of them, just in case you do not find a restaurant close by. Chocolates (specially the dark ones) and nuts will help in keeping you warm. Go ahead, you will never get a better excuse to gorge on these. A backpack or a pouch is more convenient to carry your stuff around in this terrain. A book or/an ipod will keep you entertained. And last but not the least, your camera and charger!

  • Things to avoid

    A slight chill in the air is always pleasant, but when the temperature goes down further, one might be tempted to warm up by having a drink or two (or even more). Well, try not to do that. If you are not used to the altitude, the low oxygen levels may make it more difficult to get over your hangover. Let’s face it - spending a whole day cooped up in  your hotel room, half green with nausea and half pale with a splitting headache, won’t give you much to talk about once you get back. And while you are avoiding alcohol, stay away from coffee or tobacco too. Try the gur-gur tea here, which is more than enough to jump-start your day.

  • Miscellaneous

    These remote area generally do not accept plastic money, so make sure you carry hard cash. Lots of it. But distribute it in different places so that even if you lose a bundle, you still have something to go on. Always ask for permission before clicking pictures of a monk or any local. If you wish to try the local cuisine, make sure you ask for authentic Ladakhi food or you will get the Indian and Continental menu. Plastic bags are banned in Ladakh, use biodegradable substitutes. For that same reason, you won’t easily find mineral water in shops or restaurants. Ask for double boiled water instead.

We think that’s enough ammunition to help you handle any setbacks that you might face during this trip. Have a quiet, relaxing trip at Alchi and make friends with the locals. They will always have some more interesting insights or tips about Alchi.

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