12-Day Ladakh Photography Workshop
Join us for an epic road trip through the Land of High Passes
Translating as “The Land of High Passes“, Ladakh is a curious corner of the earth nestled between the Karakorum and Himalaya mountain ranges. Spoilt for natural beauty, the region is also rich in culture and spirituality, dubbed by many as India’s “Little Tibet”. And so as well as indulging in the scenic beauty of northern India, from dusty moonscapes to unspoilt starry skies above mountain vistas, we’ll also have ample opportunity to practice reportage photography at the many quaint Buddhist monasteries and traditional mountain villages featured in our trip. Ladakh is truly a photographer’s paradise.
Highlights of the tour
- Leh, the capital of Ladakh
- Indus Valley & Nubra Valley
- Buddhist monasteries & the daily life of monks
- Lamayuru monastery
- Tso Moriri & Tsokar lakes
- Nomadic mountain peoples
- Stok, the Royal village of Ladakh
- Heritage houses and the families caring for them
June 5-17, 2023 –
USD $3,750 (single supplement $500).
Small group: 3-6 Participants only.
We believe in quality, personalised tuition, and so our host-to-guest ratio is always 1:6 or better.
Comfortable 3-star hotels with more basic accommodation in more remote areas.
…everything went like clockwork. Details were taken care of behind the scenes and never interfered with our itinerary and shooting.
Overall, Angkor Travel Photography always gives me the best experience and memories of the place we have travelled to. read more
12-Day Ladakh Workshop Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
This morning you will arrive in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, a small desert town at 11,800ft/3,600m encircled by a vista of Himalayan peaks. After a short drive to the hotel, you’ll have the remainder of the day to relax and acclimatise to the altitude. We’lll meet in the evening for dinner and get to know each other better before the adventure begins the next day!
Day 2: Leh/Indus Valley
Our first day of adventuring starts in a leisurely fashion, exploring the traditional mountain architecture of the Indus Valley, taking its name from the river that winds its way through the valley to the north. We’ll visit the most visually stunning of the Indus monasteries in Shey Palace and the imposing Thiksey, where we may have our first opportunity to meet Buddhist monks.We’ll also call in at a secret monastery hidden in the mountains with an incredible lamp room, blackened over time, presenting incredible people opportunities. The evening will be spent at your leisure in Leh.
Day 3: Leh – Lamayuru
After breakfast we’ll drive to Lamayuru village, located in the almost-lunar landscape to the west of Leh (130km/4hrs). The desert mountain vistas are like something from another planet, and there will be plenty of opportunities along the way to stop and indulge in some landscape photography. Lamayuru is home to what we think is one of Ladakh’s most visually commanding monasteries. We’ll have the unique opportunity to spend the night in Lamayuru, something very few tourists do, to really maximise our time with this incredibe example of Ladakhi architecture. We’ll spend the evening relaxing in a local hotel/guest house.
Day 4: Lamayuru – Alchi – Leh
After breakfast we’ll drive back toward Leh, calling in at Alchi, an ancient monastery considered to be one India’s Seven Ancient Wonders. We’ll have a chance to enjoy a local lunch before continuing our drive, winding our way through the mountains to Likir Monastery, home to a copper-gilded Buddha from the 16th century. Here we may have the opportunity to meet with local monks, and we’ll photograph the temple against a backdrop of desert mountains, before spending the evening in Leh.
Day 5: Leh – Nubra Valley
We’ll begin the morning with a drive to Nubra Valley, crossing the Khardongla Pass, one of the world’s highest motorable passes (complete with the one of the world’s highest coffee shops). We’ll take opportunities to stop along the way to photograph shrines and prayer flags in the snow, as well as a host of landscape offerings. In Nubra, we’ll have the chance to witness camel trekking against an incredible vista of sand dunes and rocky mountains (the double-humped camel is found only in this region, so far as India is concerned). We’ll finish the day at the beautiful Hunder Monastery, where we’ll be able to photograph Buddhist novices studying, as well as a huge seated Buddha facing to the west, glowing in the sun during the day’s last light with a distant mountain monastery behind it.
Day 6: Nubra
After breakfast we’ll drive into another part of the Nubra Valley to Sumur village; here we’ll have the chance to photograph a much greener, oasis village where we can walk around and engage with locals, witness people kneeling before prayer wheels, and explore the unique street photography possibilities presented in a place with no other tourists. We’ll also call in at a nearby school where we can meet Buddhist novices, and will have the chance to photograph women in traditional Ladakhi clothing. We’ll spend the night in the village.
Day 7: Nubra – Leh
After a relaxed start to the morning and some breakfast, we’ll drive back to Leh (5-6hrs, inc. lunch stop). Depending on the time of our arrival, we may have the chance to review our images, including an engaging group discussion, as well as learn some of the secrets of post-production to help bring the images we’ve captured so far to another level.
Day 8: Leh
We’ll start early to witness morning prayer at Thiksay Monastery. The temple is incredibly photogenic and there are a large number of Buddhist monks living here, giving us a more-or-less guaranteed opportunity to capture images of praying Buddhist novices. After breakfast, we’ll have a chance to rest a little before heading back out for the afternoon. We’ll start with Namgyal Tsemo, a temple built in the 16th century, with its incredible vantage point over the valley below.
Day 9: Leh – Tso Moriri lake
We’ll start the morning with a drive out through the wilderness to Tso Moriri Lake (220km east of Leh). There will be plenty of opportunities to stop to photograph beautiful landscapes along the way. We should arrive at the lake in mid-afternoon, just before the light becomes most photogenic (all going well with the weather). In the evening we’ll travel to the nomad village of Korzok, where we’ll have the chance to see and photograph an entirely different way of life, with people living in small traditional Ladakhi yurt-like tents. We’ll stay in basic accommodation nearby.
Day 10: Tso Moriri Lake – Tso Kar Lake – Leh
We’ll start the morning with a drive to Tsokar Lake, stopping along the way visit the unique geo-thermal hot springs near Puga. The landscape will change dramatically on the way to the lake as we traverse India’s second-highest pass before descending into another lunar landscape. The saltwater lake is an unusual sight with unique photographic opportunities, including bird photography for the wildlife enthusiasts. Once done here, we’ll head back to Leh.
Day 11: Leh – Stok, the Royal village of Ladakh
After breakfast, we’ll enjoy some time at a local market. Here we’ll see local sellers, bakers, and a whole host of other people going about their daily business. At lunch time we’ll head to Gyab-Thago Heritage Home in Stok, the Royal Village of Ladakh. Here we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch with a local family before proceeding to photograph them in their incredible, old home. Many of the family members will be wearing traditional Ladakhi clothing, making for a truly unique local experience. We’ll enjoy our final meal together in Leh in the evening, before saying our farewells.
Day 12: Leh departure
After an early breakfast, transfer to Kushok Bakula terminal for your flight to Delhi. Time to say your final farewell to Ladakh.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Accommodation (3/4-star hotels, and more basic accommodation in remote areas)
Private transport throughout the trip
Breakfast and dinner (beverages not included)
Guiding/Tuition from a Western professional photographer
Local English-speaking tour guide
All permits (including Inner Line Permit) and entry fees required during tour
Round-trip airport transfers
Airfare to and from Leh
Lunches and beverages
Tips for guides/drivers
Entry visa for India
Extra cost for hotel and transfers in case of flight cancellation and/or road blocks, or any other factors beyond our control
Insurance (travel and medical)
Is there a minimum level of fitness?
While Ladakh is a region well-known among trekking enthusiasts, our tour is more of a road trip. You won’t need to walk much further than a few hundred metres from the car. For any of our previous guests who’ve joined us in Cambodia, Ladakh is a much easier tour from a physical perspective.
Should I worry about the altitude
Much of Ladakh is located at high altitude, and so it’s true your body may not perform quite so well as it does at sea level. While we’ve never experienced anything beyond mild altitude sickness with previous guests. Increased fluid intake, taking it easy, and proper acclimatisation work best – you may wish to arrive a couple of days early in Leh to give your body time to adjust. There are also a range of medications available to help you deal with the effects of altitude; always consult a physician before taking any medication.
HOW DO I RESERVE A PLACE?
Simply fill out the form on this page to let us know your dates and preferences. We’ll need a USD 500 deposit via Paypal to reserve your dates. The remaining balance will be due on or before 60-days prior to the commencement of the tour.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL?
We understand that plans change, but please consider your deposit a firm commitment. In the event of cancellation, you will be refunded any amount outside of your initial deposit so long as you give us at least 60-days notice. Please check with us before making travel arrangements.