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Ladakh & Zanskar
Nestled at the top north of India, Ladakh is the eastern region of the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) state, and has borders with China and Pakistan.
This mountain amusement park has a surprising variety of formations, landscapes, monasteries, villages, spirits & people. The people are mainly buddhist, apart from the Kargil area, where Islam takes on as the main religion, all the way down towards Kashmir. Buddhism comes back when going back up towards Zanskar.
Treks, with or without a guide, are therefore greatly advised, in order to visit the mountains “from the inside”, letting you walk in places you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise and staying in homestays to meet the local people.
Winters being, as you can guess in the Himalaya, very rough, the region is accessible by road in the summer only, basically from late May to late September.
If you like extreme conditions and don’t want to see almost any tourist, winter is your time, and you can only access by plane.
Military presence is unmissable, almost oppressive, due to the proximity with China and Pakistan. Thankfully, not a single shot has been fired for many years, and the military also allow the roads to be well kept, are of great help when in a accident, and might also give you a lift when hitchhiking!