The rules for travel of Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti (Small Tibet), India.
Guidelines and rules for photo travelers in Ladakh, Zanskar, Spiti & Lahaul, Little Tibet.
On this page we have tried to give the detailed information about preparing for tours and photo tour to Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti Valley (Little Tibet) for our travelers, as well as the conditions and rules of safety in these journeys.
Please read carefully this and information, and if after reading you still have questions about the preparation for the tour to Little Tibet - ask your question through the form at the bottom of the page, we answer the most detailed.
Should be understood that travel to Ladakh, Little Tibet are essentially no sightseeing tours but expeditions to distant places of our planet and therefore have marker Extreme, which means that during these tours we may face different unexpected circumstances that we have tried to foresee and describe in this manual.
1. General provisions on the preparation for tours of the Little Tibet:
1a. Marker of photo tour is Extreme: altitude and health requirements, weather, accommodation, food, medical care and insurance, availability of telephone, availability of Internet, availability of electricity and hot water, possible changes in the schedule of the photo tour.
1b. Air tickets and documents: air tickets, visa, insurance, required documents, the money exchange.
1c. The beginning and the end of photo tours to Tibet: internal and external flights, hotels and tours in New Delhi, meeting of the group by organizers.
1d. Organizational issues in the photo tours: seats in the cars, time of departure, stops in the road, workshops and private lessons, timetable of guides.
1e. Skype conference with participants of tours / photo tours to Little Tibet.
1e. Recommendations for tourists in India.
2. Photography Equipment for photo tours in Little Tibet.
3. Personal medical kit for photo tours in Little Tibet.
4. Clothing and personal equipment for photo tours in Little Tibet.
5. Possible additional costs during the photo tours in Little Tibet: food, optional excursions, meals, personal expenses, souvenirs.
6. Additional features of our photo tours of Little Tibet.
7. Safety and force majeure.
1. General provisions on the preparation for tours of the Little Tibet:
1a. Marker of photo tour is Extreme:
altitude and health requirements, weather, accommodation, food, medical care and insurance,
availability of telephone, availability of Internet, availability of electricity and hot water, possible changes in the schedule of the photo tour.
All photo tours of Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti (Little Tibet) marked as Extreme and conducted at altitudes above 3,500 meters.
It means that:
The altitude and health requirements.
Mandatory requirements for the participants of photo tours to Tibet - health is not below average, the lack of serious chronic diseases:
first of all - diseases of the cardiovascular system, asthma, mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions.
And most importantly - a complete understanding - where you are going and readiness to difficulties.
We try to make the journey to the Little Tibet as comfortable for participants of photo tours as possible, but it should be understood that Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti Valley are distant mountainous regions of India.
I.e. the idea of comfort in Tibet is very different from the idea of comfort in Europe.
Also it assumes that we do not always live in the hotels, but in guest houses, and campsites as well.
Therefore, wishing to take part in a photo tour / tour in Tibet must be ready for objective difficulties:
eventful days, quality of housing of non-European level, poor infrastructure in the region, altitude sickness, the restriction on electricity, hot water.
In general, the climate in Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti (Little Tibet) is nival: dry and cold.
In preparing for the trip to Tibet we recommend that you read the weather forecast in the valley of Ladakh on the websites: Weather in Leh or Weather in Leh (Meteonews).
It should be in mind that during daylight hours it can be very hot at the sun , but once the sun goes down or hides behind the clouds, temperatures can go down to 10-15 degrees.
There is cold and windy on the passes.
Therefore, you should always have in the car warmed jackets and hats.
The sun at high altitude is very active, there is a risk in the sunburn if you are under the sun for a long hours, so be sure to bring your sunglasses, hats and sunscreen.
On the route of our tours in Ladakh, Zanskar, Spiti Valley (Little Tibet), we try to provide a comfortable (as far as possible at high altitudes) accommodation in hotels, guest houses and campsites.
Of course, the most comfortable accommodation are in Leh, the capital of Ladakh valley, but it should be understood that the stars of the local hotels do not correspond to the world level, and there are local perceptions of comfort.
On journeys to distant mountainous areas we also try to provide the most comfortable stay for our travelers, but there is no constant telephone communication with guest houses and campsites in all remote areas , there may be unforeseen circumstances of different kind, and there are situations when the organizers have to change the place of the accommodation at night. In this case, it is possible that high-mountain guest house (there are no hotels in general) can be replaced by camping or homestay accommodation in the homes of local residents.
In any case, we try to make your stay as comfortable as possible, we try to make available all the necessary and sufficient conditions for photographers.
However, it should be understood that the journey to Little Tibet marked as Extreme and occur at high mountains and remote areas, and depending on weather and environmental conditions, there may be unforeseen circumstances.
It is also necessary to understand that having a regular telephone and Internet communications in Little Tibet - is impossible, and electricity and hot water are not always provided on schedule.
Meals in the valleys of Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti (Little Tibet) is amazing, all the vegetables and fruits here are natural, grown without fertilizers, but it is worth bearing in mind that dishes are mostly vegetarian.
It is possible to order dishes from chicken meat or canned fish (tuna) in the restaurants in Leh, but in the high mountains - often exclusively vegetarian cuisine.
Medical care and insurance.
Medical insurance is required to be purchased by every traveler in the country of residence.
In Leh the medical care has European level: a great local clinic, very qualified doctors, a lot of pharmacies, also you can visit the center of traditional Tibetan medicine Men Tse Khang.
But as soon as we leave the Leh - access to medical care becomes very limited and therefore we strongly recommend to have individual first aid kit.
ATTENTION! In all journeys the health of the participants of our tours has the first priority, and so if someone from our travelers needed medical advice - we send one of the cars with a guide to Leh.
The accommodation in the hotel in this case if it is not in the schedule of tour program, paid by the participants, as well as unplanned mileage for the use of the car.
Availability of telephone communications.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir, in whose territory is the valley of Ladakh, is a border state in India, and purchase of individual sim-cards for phones in the state is not possible.
Any other than local SIM cards, as well as roaming in the territory of Ladakh are not working.
In Ladakh may only use SIM cards purchased here, on the territory of Ladakh:
2015 our Ladakhi partners provided the opportunity to rent a local SIM card during your stay in Ladakh.
Cost of service is 1000 INR + Money on the balance.
With the card you can make international calls, have a mobile internet connection, but it is very weak.
The card works only within Leh and surrounding areas.
At the end of the tour SIM the card is returned to the organizers of the Project PhotoTour with zero balance.
To make international calls from Leh also possible at the points of international communication, or - if absolutely necessary - from a mobile phone of any of the guides (and is paid additionally).
Outside Leh international telephone is often unavailable.
ATTENTION! SMS on the territory of Ladakh also do not go, It is impossible to receive and to send SMS here.
Availability of of the Internet.
Internet in Little Tibet is only in the major regional centers: Leh, Padum, Kargil, Srinagar, Kaza - in Internet clubs.
There is no internet in hotels, as usual.
Internet connection in the territory of the Little Tibet is not fast, and sometimes it is absent.
The appearance and disappearance of the internet connection here is unpredictable, even in Leh.
Availability of electricity and hot water.
Throughout mountainous India the electricity is supplied by the hours: no more than 8 hours a day.
The guide informs the group about the schedule of electricity supply daily. Usually, we have time to recharge our power supply for cameras and it is not a problem.
Hot water in Ladakh is usually in the morning and evening - at the same time as the electricity.
In distant mountainous areas the availability of hot water is confirmed, and if possible discussed with the staff of the hotel / guest house / camping.
There are unforeseen power outages across Ladakh in emergencies indefinitely.
We recommend having spare batteries for the camera.
Possible non-contractual changes on the route of photo tour/ tour of the Little Tibet.
Schedule and movement along the route of the tour / photo tour to Little Tibet can be changed in two cases:
1. In case of unforeseen circumstances and the organizers of the tour consider further following the route of the tour / photo tour unsafe. In this case, the tour organizers offer participants a safe version of the route of the tour.
2.At the request of participants of photo tour / tour: in this case, any unexpected change photo tour / travel are coordinated with the organizers and participants an additional .
3.In all other cases, the traffic on the route of travel takes place only at the point indicated in the photo tour program / tour on the website and in the contract.
1b. Flights and documents: air tickets, visa, insurance and necessary documents.
ATTENTION! The participants buy air tickets by themselves.
If necessary, we can advise and assist with the purchase of air tickets for internal and external flights.
To purchase tickets for domestic flights in India, we recommend using the Web site: http://www.cleartrip.com/
Please read site rules and regulations of baggage transportation on domestic flights of airline company, where you buy tickets.
For tickets in economy class, it is usually not more than 15 kg of baggage per ticket + 7 kg of hand luggage.
Surcharge for each additional kg is 350 INR.
In 2015, the rule for overweight: when registering for a local flight you must show your international ticket, and if the difference between flights is no more than 12 hours, the excess baggage is not taken into account.
However, the return flight Delhi-Leh, this rule will not work.
We are not responsible for the unscheduled flight, schedule changes, baggage rules, etc., But we try to inform participants about these changes.
It should be keep in mind that cheap flight Delhi-Leh-Delhi makes sense to buy in advance, because they are cheaper.
We present estimated cost of airfare from the experience of last year on our site.
The cost of air travel can be changed suddenly- unfortunately, Indian carriers are highly unpredictable.
For our part we are seeking options for opportunities for cheap flights, for example, at high cost, we recommend only buy a ticket Delhi-Leh and ticket Leh - Delhi we buy in Leh, and usually at a lower cost.
In any case, if you are faced with high prices for flight Delhi-Leh-Delhi, please go to the verbal communication Skype il-il-il - we will try to help you.
If necessary and by special arrangement we can buy out tickets for domestic flight for participant of photo tour / travel, if the participant sent the necessary funds to the bank account of Project PhotoTour.
ATTENTION! Visas to India the participants order themselves.
In exceptional circumstances - if necessary and to the extent possible, we provide advice in the making of Indian visas.
From November 27, 2014 for 150 countries of the world, India has introduced a visa on arrival or online-visa, you can find the details at the website of the Consulate of India or Indian Embassy in your country of residence.
The information about tourist visa in India.
For countries that are included in the list of on-line registration of visas, we recommend to get these visas on arrival at the International Airport of New Delhi.
The confirmation of booked hotels is not required for on-line visa.
When filling out the online questionnaire in the graph about recommendation person in India, please specify:
Travel company PROJECT PHOTOTOUR PRIVATE LIMITED, telephone number: + 91 95 96 796 372
For our guests staying in the countries which are not included in the list of online visa on arrival, we will send confirmation of your reservation of hotels while traveling required for visa to India.
For hotel booking confirmation, please send an e-mail to Nina Lozenko email@example.com.
All necessary permits are get by the organizers of the tour / photo tour to Little Tibet and registration of permits is included in the travel, the cost of permits is paid by participants of the tours / photo tours separately.
ATTENTION! Medical insurance is obligatory purchased by each participant of the tour to Little Tibet themselves in the country of residence.
Each participant of the tour / photo tour in Little Tibet should always have:
1. 2 color photographs 3 x 4 cm required for issuing of permits in the internal border zone of Little Tibet.
2. Two copies of the first page of the passport and visa to India, as required for registration for the Interior of permits in the border zone of the Little Tibet.
3. Copies of air tickets to external and internal flights. Without presentation of the ticket copy at the entrance of the airport to security it is impossible to go inside.
We recommend to change money in the presence of the organizers of the project PhotoTour on arrival in Leh or Srinagar.
The Delhi airport has the low the exchange rate, so on arrival at the airport, we recommend to exchange no more than 20-30 dollars for the first expenses.
It is worth remembering that you are not always able to pay for the purchase, or to withdraw money from your credit card in Ladakh, we recommend you to have cash in dollars.
1c. Start and end of tour / photo tours in Little Tibet:
internal and external flights, hotels and tours in New Delhi
ATTENTION! All of our tours / photo ours to Little Tibet begin and end in the city of Leh (or Srinagar).
Participants get to the starting point of the tour / photo tour independently.
We meet members of our Tibetan photo tours upon arrival in Leh / Srinagar, at the exit of the airport building: a guide with a sign “PhotoTour”.
At the airports of New Delhi and Leh in completing the questionnaire on arrival about the place of stay, please specify the hotel in Leh:
LEH - HOTEL DRUG,
FORD ROAD, LEH - LADAKH,
tel: + 91 94 274 19 735
After the meeting at the airport guide delivers tour participants to the hotel where you meet with the group.
Similarly, after the photo tour, we deliver all the participants of photo tour to the airport, Leh / Srinagar.
Please, after purchasing tickets for domestic flight Delhi-Leh-Delhi, send us a copy of your ticket to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can meet you at the time.
For our part, we provide all kinds of advice, and may organize a meeting of participants in the international airport in New Delhi (by arrangement and for a fee), but this point is not a mandatory part of the program because the international airport of New Delhi Domestic Airport has free shuttle buses.
To move from Delhi International Airport airport to domestic airport, you have to show any employee of Airport your tickets for domestic flights and they will point you to the parking of shuttle bus that takes you to the airport of local airlines.
If necessary, a separate agreement for an additional fee, we can organize accommodation and tours of Delhi for the participants of our programs.
1d. Organizational issues in the photo tours / tours:
placement in cars, the time of departure, stops on the road, workshops and private lessons, timetable of guides.
Placements in cars on the route of photo tour / tour of the Little Tibet is specified in the program of photo tour / tour and in the contract and can range from triple occupancy in a jeep to the 6-14-occupancy in the mini-bus.
If in the photo tour / tour "comfortable cars" is specified - it means that we will use several types of transport: bus-aquarium, mini-bus, Travelers, jeeps - depending on the route and the cost of the photo tour / tour.
In any of these cases, all the cars running on the tour, are comfortable for photographers – this point has a special attention.
Seats in jeeps share according to the wishes of the participants and recommendations of organizer of photo tour.
Departure time is recommended by the organizers of the tour and is agreed with the participants of the tour.
Stops are made at the time of the road according with the wishes of the members of the crew of the car for taking pictures or to satisfy personal needs and requirements.
Stops can be made only in places that are suitable and safe for parking cars.
Stops can be regulated by time or canceled by the organizer / travel guide in the event of lack of time or unfavorable weather conditions.
The timing of the workshops is determined by the organizers of the tour / photo tour. Workshops can be held in the evening in the hotel, or during the day time at non-shooting time in Gonpas, during stops in suitable locations - at the discretion of the organizers. Organizers inform the participants about the time of the master-class in advance.
Visiting the workshops is voluntary, but if the participant did not attend the workshop, it can't be repeated.
Individual lessons and review of footage at the request of the participants is possible only by personal arrangement with a guide-photographer, with the free time and the conditions for such activities.
ATTENTION! While we try in every way to give as much time as consultations on the photos, it is necessary to realize that photo tours are not the same as lessons in photography school and we teach the basics of photography only upon request and on availability of such studies.
The main topics of our workshops in the photo tours / tours to Little Tibet related to the ethnographic photography in Ladakh and knowledge of cultural nationalities of Little Tibet.
Timetable of the photo tour guides to Little Tibet.
Photo tour / tour guides are with the group during daylight of excursion day.
Also we build our schedule so that the organizers of the project were available for the group around the clock for information and helpping to solve any possible problems of everyday life, as well as to provide full counseling and information assistance.
But the marker of the day "Free Day" means a day off for the guides and organizers of the Project PhotoTour, and a photo tour guides in these days work only by prior arrangement and mutual agreement with the participants and at an additional cost.
Guides and organizers provide detailed information on how you can spend free days and are always available by the telephone.
1e. Skype conference with participants of tours / photo tours in Little Tibet.
We made individual and group chat by Skype with members of our travels in Ladakh, Zanskar, Spiti valley.
Such communication allows to get more detail about the preparations for the journey.
The traveler, who refused the verbal communication on Skype, gets all the information from these instructions, and if necessary asks questions in writing - either via the form at the bottom of this page, or - on e-mail email@example.com
Please do not contact us in the personal accounts of social networks: The internet connection in Leh is very weak and social networking pages are often not loaded.
1e. Mandatory guidelines for the Little Tibet.
Before the tour / photo tour in Little Tibet strongly recommend to look into the section of our website Guide to India and study carefully the following materials of our website:
Travel Tips. Rules of behavior in India. Safety in India. and Introduction to India: An educational program for beginners.
2. Photography equipment for photo tours / tours in Little Tibet.
- Cameras and video cameras, lenses and filters, according to the preferences and habits of photographers. Desirable neutral gray and polarizing filters.
- Lens hood.
- Tripod for photography of landscapes, panoramas, for a photo shooting in the morning and evening, for a photo shooting in dimly lit rooms.
- On-camera light (flash + light-box, a source of constant light) to take pictures indoors. It should be borne in mind that the use of flash-light in monasteries is strictly prohibited.
- Emergency power supply for the cameras and other devices.
- Spare memory cards for cameras and camcorders.
- Devices for archiving, viewing and editing photos and videos. We recommend to take a laptop, an external disk and a card reader, or consider another convenient way to archive footage.
- Bags and backpacks for storage the photographic equipment during transport and when shooting. It is understood that when taking pictures in a crowd or in small rooms the using of large bags is uncomfortable, so the photographers according to their own preferences is desirable to ensure their mobility, for example, to have a separate bag to carry photographic equipment, and lightweight backpack / bag / belt with Lens / vest for photography outdoor. It should be noted that the cars are constantly accompany us (except independent photo-walking) and are always in close reach and you keep in the car all your photographic equipment in the car, which you can take at any time.
- Item Set for cleaning photographic equipment.
- Extension cord, adapter for a European-style sockets.
- For the landscape photographers: Head for panoramic photography. The Little Tibet has so many photo opportunities of wonderful mountain panoramas.
- For photographers who shoot still life: it is very desirable to have a mobile light reflectors.
3. Personal medical kit for photo tours / tours in Little Tibet.
Before the trip, you should consult with your doctor and take with you individually recommended medications.
In addition, we recommend to read the article of physician-climber Igor Pohvalin: Adaptation to hypoxia at high altitudes.
It should be understood that Igor writes about a height of over 7,000 meters and about the professional climbers, but these recommendations are fully applicable to the conditions of 3000 to 5000 m., And, of course, we don't have conditions such as climbers at altitudes above 7000 m.
Also be sure to have an individual first aid kit, which ncluding:
- Headache pills, pain killers, antispasmodics.
- Cold remedies.
- Stomach medicine: as a consequence of the change of food the problems with the stomach can appear, so please bring medicine from diarrhea and gases recommended by your doctor.
- Sunscreen, chapstick for lip.
In Leh is wonderful medical care, excellent doctors and availability of almost any medication, but should be borne in mind that medicine has an Indian name.
There are health centers outside Leh also, but very modest doctors often do not speak English.
4. Clothing and personal equipment for photo tours / tours in Little Tibet.
For photo tour in Ladakh, Zanskar, Spiti Valley (Little Tibet) should be provided clothes and shoes, in which you feel free in movements, you do afraid to stain, leaning against the wall, sitting on the ground, or shooting in nature after rain or melting snow.
- Seating mat - a piece of camping mat with a belt is used in photography, sitting on the ground.
- Shoes: slippers, sandals, comfortable shoes with thick soles or tracking shoes for cold weather and high altitude.
The main requirement for shoes: comfort of movement.
It is not recommended genuine leather shoes, because we are here in the area of Buddhism, and in the monastery the clothes and shoes of animals leather are not welcome.
The same applies to the belts and saddlebags: please, if possible try to avoid wear tings made of leather visiting the sacred places.
- Loose pants, shorts below the knees.
- Several T-shirts, jerseys, fleece or sweater, a set of thermal underwear.
- Windproof jacket, feather sweater (light puff), down jacket.
- Head sun hat, warm headgear.
- Wool socks - 2 pairs.
- We recommend to take a small electric or boiler.
- For women - is desirable to have a hair dryer.
- You can take with a lightweight sleeping bag - for overnight stays in the highlands outside of Leh.
This paragraph is not mandatory, but if you prefer to sleep in a sleeping bag - we recommend you take it with you. From our experience - we do not use the sleeping bags in the summer.
- Towels, personal hygiene items.
ATTENTION! Lightweight down jackets, sleeping bags, flashlights, thermos can be bought in Leh on the first day upon arrival here.
Prices for all this equipment is much lower than in Europe, for example good down jacket is in Leh is about $ 50, the price of a sleeping bag - 30 to $ 120 - depending on the quality.
5. Possible additional costs during the photo tours in Little Tibet:
meals, optional excursions, tips, personal expenses, souvenirs.
5.1. Food: food costs during the photo tours in Little Tibet are near 10-15 dollars a day.
For those who smoke - is recommended to take a cigarettes, the cigarettes in the Little Tibet are expensive and of poor quality.
For our part, we strongly recommend you to refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol at high altitudes.
5.2. Additional tours and independent visits of sightseeing places in your free time are paid by the participants on their own.
Please read carefully what is included and what is not included in the page of photo tour.
Expenses on taxi: if you want to go anywhere by yourself at the free days or evenings, you should take into account your spending on taxi.
From our experience: the maximum spending on taxi of the most active participants in our photo tours do not exceed $ 50 for the entire photo tour.
5.3. Also, paid additionally if you want: a consultation with a doctor at the center of traditional Tibetan medicine Men Tse Khang (with assigned herbal medicines cost up to 30 dollars), consultation with the Tibetan and Hindu astrology (from 20 to 100 dollars), the purchase of Tibetan herbal teas, herbal creams and so forth., personal puja in the monasteries (cost on request), an organization of individual photo-shooting in the national Tibetan clothes and so on.
5.4. Tipping: in the Little Tibet it is usual to pay tips to drivers working on the photo tour.
Gratuities are $ 1 per day per person.
Please consider this amount when planning your expenses for a photo tour.
The participants gives tips to the drivers of their car at the end of the journey.
Tipping the guides on our photo tour are given at the discretion of the participants.
5.5. Personal expenses: in Leh, capital of Ladakh, the various equipment for hiking - puffs, sleeping bags, clothing's tracking and just beautiful colorful ethnic clothing are very cheap.
The cost is 3-4 times lower than in Europe, the quality is lower, but almost the same.
5.6. Souvenirs: ethnic dishes, ethnic everyday objects, ceremonial objects.
6. Additional features of our photo tours / tours to Little Tibet.
During our photo tours / tours to LittleTibet at the request of the participants are various options of very different kind, such as: conducting more specialized tours of the interests of the participants, consultation with oracles, clairvoyants, specialized doctors of Tibetan medicine, astrology and so on., Visiting the morning and evening pujas not mentioned in the program, visit the temple ceremonies not mentioned in the program.
All these activities are negotiated and paid separately by agreement with the organizers of the Project Photo Tours.
7. Safety and force majeure events.
In order to comply with safety during the tours in Little Tibet we require from the members of our travels to fulfill the following rules:
1. Strongly recommended not to use alcohol and drugs leading to altered states of consciousness at an altitude.
Members who violate this rule will be directly responsible for the consequences that may result from the use of alcohol and drugs.
The organizers reserve the right to remove a participants from photo tours / tours in Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti who use alcohol and drugs, without compensation of payments for the journey.
ATTENTION! The use of alcohol and drugs at a height is dangerous for health and life!
That is why we can go to extreme measures.
2. Participants must always say the guides and tour organizers about the plans to go for free days.
3. Participants shall comply with the recommendations of the guides and organizers of the tour about the regime of the excursion day.
Rerouting and sightseeing tour is possible only in agreement with the organizers of the project Photo Tours.
4. Members should follow the recommendations of guides and tour organizers, who warned the participants of any unsafe acts that may lead to undesirable consequences.
If you have booked a place to participate in one of our photo tours / tours to Little Tibet, it automatically means that you accept the rules of participation, described on our website.
It also means that you carefully read the tour program / photo tour and these rules and recommendations, and you are completely satisfied with the schedule of excursions, activities, travel times, and listened carefully to our recommendations and regulations for travelers to Little Tibet and took them.
In offense of rules of participation in the tour / photo tour, leading to the unsafe situations on the route of the tour / photo tour, the contract between the participant and the company Project PhotoTour can be broken by a representative of the company Project PhotoTour without reimbursement, paid to the company Project PhotoTour.
Please read our rules and follow them.
From our side we will do the best for you, and try to make your stay in the high mountains comfortable, safe and very interesting.
Also it is necessary to realize that we are not responsible for force majeure circumstances, such as: lost baggage, weather disasters, which led to the changing of flight, air transport, etc.
But we are always and at all times support the participants in our photo tours and tours and, if necessary, try to provide all possible assistance.
If reading you have some questions to us - please ask them through this form: