Little Tibet and Ladakh Tour

 

Dates September 13th - 29th 2020

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In India there are valleys and roads that are legendary among those who choose to tour the Himalayas by motorcycle and this tour above all others promises to take you on an journey that will stay in your heart forever.

The route comprises both the previous Spiti Tour and Ladakh Tours and has never been ridden this way before by any other company.

Only opened to foreigners in the 90s Spiti Valley is one of the world’s last great rides.

You will ride into Spiti from the Shimla side which means you will have the benefit of gentle elevation over a period of days as you ascend through the temperate zones of lush verdant foothills gradually climbing up to the very highest motorable roads on this planet.

The roads after Sangla for about 50km become one of the world’s greatest feats of civil engineering and are completely exhilarating to ride on. The nights stop in Nako is a stones throw from the Chinese border and a remote high altitude oasis of great beauty.

The following days ride takes us into the cavernous Spiti valley whose vast walls change colour by the hour and Buddhist monasteries run precipitously down the sides of cliff edges. Spiti is one of the remotest valleys on Earth and was in the past a part of Western Tibet. The culture is predominantly Tibetan Buddhist and the local architecture conspires with the landscape to create an otherworldly land beyond normal existence.

Entry into Spiti is only possible for four months of the year and during this time the valley floor is awash with colour as the local farmers crops ripen among the trees. You will ride the whole length of the valley dropping in at some incredible ancient sites along the way including the 1000 year old Tabo monastery.

On this trip you are also going to make a detour deep into one of Spiti’s side valleys and spend two nights in a traditional village with a local family to get a real insight of what life is like here. The village surroundings and remote location will make this experience one of the many highlights of the trip.

Before leaving Spiti you will have a couple of nights in Kaza from where we will make the ride up to the stunning and gravity defying Ki Monastery which offers astounding views of the valley.

Next morning we will make a late season crossing of the mighty Kunzum La Pass at 4600m and drop down the other side into the green valleys of Lahaul where you are surrounded on all sides by majestic 6000m peaks with huge glaciers issuing from between them, some coming right down to the road.

The climate here is cool and pleasant and the valley floor is carpeted with grass and alpine flowers. This is a long day’s ride where the grandeur of the surroundings is unsurpassed and the road surface is excellent. To top it all you will be staying the night in the warm welcoming comfort of a local Tibetan owned hotel with a superb cook preparing dinner.

The following day you begin the climb to the Changtang (Tibetan) Plateau. The road winds upwards through a massive canyon seducing you with increasingly awe-inspiring scenes until you arrive at Sarchu where you will camp close to the stars at 4200m in luxury tents for the night. The landscapes here are just mind blowing, you are now in the middle of the pristine high altitude wilderness of the Himalayas and before you is 300km of wonderful riding over this, another of the world’s greatest motorbike rides.

This part of the journey is simply breath-taking. There are no words to describe the stupendous landscapes here. There is no permanent habitation on this part of the route as the winters are too harsh and we break the journey by staying in a yurt put up by local Ladakhis to provide shelter for travellers in the summer months. This is real adventure, and one can’t help but feel enchanted by the remoteness of the location. This night out in the wilderness with the Tibetan locals, eating our food around a fire is magical, and a preparation for the next morning when we will traverse the second highest motorable pass on the planet, the Tanglang La and pass through vistas that are beyond imagination.

Descending onto the other side of the Tanglang La you’ll ride through the oldest mountains in the Himalayas, formed when the two great continental plates first collided here millions of years ago. These mountains are purple in colour and riding alongside the tree lined river with them towering above is an unforgettable experience.

Finally we reach Leh, the ancient Silk Route trading centre, and capital of the region. Cosy restaurants serve a huge range of delicious food and a warm comfortable hotel awaits you right in the heart of the lively market area of this town high in the clouds and on the frontier of civilisation. You can get hold of everything you have been craving for while you were travelling deep into the furthest corners of the Himalayas.

The next day you can unearth treasures from the bazaars, visit the bakery for coffee and cake and take a ride up to the Khardung La and back, the world’s highest pass which is just 35km from the town centre….. or do all three and more…the day is yours to enjoy in the absolutely fantastic setting of Leh overlooked by palaces, monasteries and ancient stupas which are in turn overlooked by immense snow capped peaks in every direction.

The morning after, you will board your flight and take in the 360 degree panorama of the mountains you have just ridden through as you contemplate the incredible and indescribable experience of the journey you have just accomplished.

After arriving in Delhi from Leh, we then meet at around 2pm to go out for lunch and a look around the sights of Delhi.

Another part of the trip not mentioned so far, is the train ride on the Unesco World Heritage toy train built in 1906 by the British to take them up to their summer retreat at Shimla. You will take this train on the second day, carrying you up from the crushing heat of plains where you will head off to stay in our wonderfully quaint family run hotel from where you can start to enjoy the cool breezy heights of the Himalayas….superb!

This voyage of discovery is not only just about the greatest riding experience you can have in your life but also takes you into the hearts, minds and homes of the incredible Tibetan culture that is lived by the people who inhabit some of the most inhospitable regions on Earth.

As ever, we look forward to meeting you and riding with you on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Route

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Accomodation

On this tour as ever you will be staying in the very best accommodation available.

This means characterful mid-range hotels that are full of charm and are our insider traveller’s secrets that we don’t even tell our friends about lest they get too booked up! For the remote parts of the trip you will be staying in everything from peoples mountain homes that are converted to receive guests in the summer months (homestays), to the most comfortable luxury yurt style tents (with ensuite bathroom) out in the high altitude wilderness. Your base in Leh is in the absolutely splendid heart of the old town.

Food

Food will be simple tasty and good. We have to eat what the locals eat up in the mountains because you guessed it, there isn’t anything else available! Never mind, because it is just exquisite. Local seasonal produce, fresh ingredients and home cooked family recipes tried and tested over centuries and laced with delicate spices ensure that whatever is being cooked really has never tasted so good. These dishes are not hot and spicy like in South India but deep and flavoursome in a way you would not have tasted Indian food back home. You will get some organic free range meat too in most places so whether you are a carnivore or a veggie, rev yourself up for a superb culinary experience that varies between every place you eat.

Road Conditions

Although some of the terrain is extreme, this is not an extreme biking trip; it is a holiday, albeit an adventurous one. We are not racing through it without time to drink in all the wonders you will see. As with all of our rides we want you to have the time to enjoy and take in the landscapes you are riding through, chat with the locals and just relax in some really wonderful locations. Nevertheless as you can see there is some very tough riding to be done, so by necessity some of the days will be long as there is simply nowhere to stay between some of the places you are travelling to. However, you won’t be facing any mad main highways, as on your second day, you will take the train up from Delhi up to the peaceful heights of the Himalayan foothills from where you will begin your trip. At the end you will fly back from Leh to Delhi where you will stay a couple of nights and have a full day for sightseeing and shopping before departing home.

We will always have the back up of the support team and vehicle with us so if at some points ie a river crossing you need some help, we will be there for you, and in the small groups we like to travel with, a team spirit quickly forms as everyone chips in to help each other.

This trip is less about the difficulty of the road than your ability to ride it. When the going is tough we ride at slow speeds. Riders will often split into groups on the road according to their confidence and we encourage this so that everyone is riding within their comfort zone. There are two guides with assistants so everyone is well looked after.

The weather in these regions can be unpredictable. Although we choose the best time of year to ride here the climate can intervene and force us to rapidly change the itinerary. This is all part of the adventure and in joining this trip you must take this into account. We will always do our utmost to ensure the best experience for you despite what the weather throws at us.

For those of you who would love to join us but are unsure of your ability to handle it, please do give us a call and we can discuss it with you.

Pillions with some rough road experience are welcome, don’t worry you can get in the 4 wheel drive for any river crossings if you like.

Live India

Below you'll find, at a glance, what's included in the price of the tour, and what isn't. This trip is ALL INCLUSIVE with no hidden extras. From the moment you touch down in India to the moment you leave you will be looked after and catered for in splendid style (where available) every step of the way.

  • All accommodation (16 nights), in your very own room unless you specify otherwise.
  • Professionally maintained Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc with electric start, five speeds, and the gear selector/rear brake in the “correct” positions.
  • Small group size limited to 8 riders.
  • Our fully equipped support team including luggage vehicle, guides, outriders, tour manager, medic, and mechanic.
  • Staff to client ratio of around 1:1 giving you an exceptional level of service.
  • Two expert guides. One Indian, one English.
  • All your food, breakfasts, lunches, dinners... and snacks along the way.
  • All Drinking water/tea/coffee/juice while you are on the road.
  • An alcoholic beverage of a selection with your dinner.
  • Domestic flight. Leh to Delhi. No bus rides!
  • First Class train to the mountains plus UNESCO World Heritage railway tickets.
  • All petrol for your bike.
  • Airport transfers in full air-conditioned executive standard vehicles.
  • All parking fees.
  • All permit fees.
  • All entrance fees.
  • All tips for waiters/porters/room staff en-route
  • As much pre-trip preparation help as you need with visas, flights and insurance etc.
  • A set of professional photographs of your journey after you return.
  • International Flights to arrive/depart Delhi (Approx £550 from UK),
  • Indian visa (£90),
  • Medical Insurance (Our recommended package is £130)
  • Extra alcoholic drinks
  • Team tips at end of tour (£50 all in)

Little Tibet and Ladakh Tour

Rider
£4250 Own room
£3950 Shared room

Pillion
£3950 Own Room
£3650 Shared room

Seat in vehicle
£3950

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M.Taylor
Roof Of The World - March 2019
Highly recommend this trip, its the most amazing experience.

Roger Turner
Bhutan Tour - November 2018
Just to say thank you to you all for your fun and cheerful company on what was an amazing and unforgettable trip.

Paul Hanson: Roof Of The World - August 2018

It's been about 6 years since I did this and it's still one of the best things that I've ever done.

Tom B. Little Tibet Tour - October 2018

Certainly, the highlight of my year was our Himalayan adventure! Still working on a return to India....Leh and Nubra Valley need to be ridden! (2020?)

Ben Williamson January 2018

What a trip we had though, I miss it everyday. Was the best trip I have ever been on.

Susan J. December 2017

Big big thanks Andy & LiveIndia for another amazing wonderful experience in India.

Chris Edmunds
Goa & Beyond - December 2017

Thank you, Andy, thank you India, t’was another amazing trip. I’m truly grateful for everything - it was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new! Love to you all.

Ciaran Gannon.
Goa & Beyond - December 2017

Thanks Andy, another awesome Indian adventure.

Philip Deacon July 2017

I'm struggling to decide which was my favourite place and moment. There isn't a day that goes by without us reflecting on where we have been and what we have seen.

R. Hine
Malabar Coast Kerala - Jan 2017

Thanks for pictures...was indeed a fantastic trip and thank you for making it a great experience...Hopefully we will meet again.

Peter Daniels
Roof Of The World - March 2017

I keep getting wonderful flash back images of our trip and that unique countryside

Peter Laws 
Rajasthan - October 2016

Thanks from Will and I for a fantastic trip. I can only endorse Roger’s comments below: It really was a very special time.

Ciaran G. October 2016

You did everything you could to ensure an amazing experience, always with the safety of the group in mind. The team of people you have built there, to cover all aspects of the tour, is superb. Awesome job!

Roger T.
Rajasthan - October 2016

Most of all it was lovely to share the experience with such good company. Many thanks for all your hard work which succeeded in making it such a success.

Michelle R.
Roof Of The World - July 2016

I have been on a lot of motorcycle tours in my life but I just wanted to tell you that this was the best one I have ever been on.

Valerie F.
Goa & Beyond - January 2015

India was never on my bucket list. And now I want to go back and see it all.

Nick A.
Little Tibet - November 2014

We often talk about our Indian adventure and have nothing but fond memories of the trip.

John Fisher
Himalayas Tour - October 2014

What a great time was had by all, I hope. A great adventure. Thank you all for making my birthday special.

Dick & Ruth B.
Himalayas Tour - April 2014

We still have to pinch ourselves when we think back to what really was a trip of a life time. Would we do it again – Yes.

David Armand
Goa & Beyond - January 2014

Thanks again for encouraging me to do this and taking care of a newbie. Was brilliant!

Jon Mitchell - Himalayas Tour - April 2013

Hi Andy, can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my trip, it has help me appreciate the life and challenges of the beautiful people of India, and hope to join you for your Bhutan trip in 2014.
Again many thanks for a life altering experience, something that I will never forget, and I think you may get a few interests from Aussie, on my recommendation.

Paul Kemp
Roof Of The World - August 2012

Dear Andrew,
I can’t thank you and all the boys enough for the great adventure
and the friendships formed during the trek was magic.

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