Mesmerising Markha Valley Trek (11D10N)

 

Depart Singapore:

05 Sep 2018 (Tuesday)

 

Depart Leh:

15 Sep 2018 (Saturday)

 

Trip Type:

This is a trekking trip Trekking

 

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Markha Valley Trek – one of the famous trekking areas in Ladakh and Zanskar, a perfect combination of beautiful trans-himalayan landscape with Ladakhi villages. It is actually an incredible journey to the “Little Tibet” where the vicinity is all set for the amazing hill vistas and dry mountains with rural parishes and lavish grazing lands altogether.

It involves crossing of high pass of Kongmaru La (5,274m) and walking on the banks of the Markha River. Some exciting waist-deep river crossing sections on Markha River to trails going across interesting Buddhist villages and rocky canyons are some of the features that give this trek a unique favour. One can also have the spectacular breath-taking views of the Karakoram Saser Kangri peak (7,670m), Stok Kangri (6,150m), Kang Yatse (6,400m) and Nun Kun (7,135m).

This trek being in the Hemis National Park, there is always an opportunity of spotting rare species of wild animals such as Blue Sheep and Ibex.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart Singapore

  • Depart Singapore evening for Leh, with a 4-5hrs transit at New Delhi International Airport.

Meals provided: -

Accommodation: -

 

Day 2: Arrive in Leh

  • Leh TownEarly morning, arrived in Leh at estimate 6.25am. After pick-up from airport, you will be driven to your guesthouse for check-in and some morning tea. You are advised to take complete rest in Leh today for proper acclimatization to adjust to the high altitude (Leh is locate 11,500 ft / 3500 metres above sea level).
  • The time is free in the afternoon for you to roam around in Leh town.
  • Overnight in guesthouse in Leh.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Guesthouse, Leh

 

Day 3: Leh Sightseeing (Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo)

  • Shey PalaceToday we will visit the local monastery in Shey palace, Thiksey monastery and Hemis monastery. Hemis Gompa, the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. This is biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh, built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and ever since has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family.Hemis is the headquarter of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries throughout Ladakh are administered by it. It also trains Lamas for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Bazgo. The Monastery contains gold statues and stupas decorated with precious stones and many priceless old Thankas.
  • Lunch at the Hemis.
  • In the evening, visit Shanti stupa, Leh Palace and Leh Market. Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa built on a hilltop in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura . Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. From its location, it provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and is also a good viewing point for sunset.
  • Leh Palace was built in the 17th century as a royal residence for King Singe Namgyal. After the royal family shifted to Stok Palace in the mid-19th century, it became desolated. The 9-storeys Leh Palace is now in ruins after suffering damages from cannon balls during wars. Still there is an old charm about it and is still an interesting place to visit.
  • Overnight in hotel in Leh.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Guesthouse, Leh

 

Day 4: Drive Leh to Chilling [3,195m] – Trek to Skiu [3,366m]

  • Trek Day 1: Walking time: 2 hours
  • Markha Valley TrekIn the morning, depart Leh and start to Chilling [3,195m]. The drive will take around 2.5hrs.
  • From Chilling, walk for an hour before crossing the Zanskar river via trolley. This will be an experience of a lifetime.
  • From the crossing, trek for another 2hrs to reach Skiu village.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tent, Skiu

 

Day 5: Trek Skiu – Markha [3,757m]

  • Trek Day 2: Walking time: 7 hours
  • Markha Valley TrekIt’s a very pleasant hike up the Markha valley today with the trail crossing numerous streams.
  • The trail follows the irrigation channel on the true right side of the Markha Drokpo (small river). Cross the Pentse Chu (river) to a new teashop called Chotak (roughly 1 hour). In another 50 mins of steep-sided gorge, cross a wooden bridge to the true left bank. The trail winds through some large shrubs and then crosses some alluvial debris to the tent-teashop at Nakding (20 mins, 3,553m). It is then an easy section of trail to the campsite at Sara (20 mins, 3,588m).
  • After trekking 20 mins from Sara, cross a wooden bridge to the partially ruined village of Chaluck. A slight climb around a rocky spur leads to Lhato Marpo (20 mins, 3,676m), the spot where locals believe a spirit guardian lives to protect the valley. Continue to climb gradually and the valley dramatically opens up and ahead is a large flat area covered in shrubs and poplar trees called Thinlespa. Among the shrubs is a homestay and campsite and a little further you have to wade across the river – choose your crossing place carefully as the current is surprisingly strong (1hr from Lhato Marpo, 3,727m). From the far bank, it is about 10 mins to the first homestays in Tongyet Yongma.
  • To reach the village of Markha, cross a small bridge and climb over a small spur to Markha Gompa and in the village below are four basic homestays (5 mins).
  • Markha is a quaint village with a deserted fort and a small village.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay, Markha

 

Day 6: Trek Markha – Hangkar [4,030m]

  • Trek Day 3: Walking time: 5 hours
  • Markha Valley TrekFrom Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded sections of the lower Markha is left behind.
  • One will be required to cross the river several times as there are no bridges here. Cross the stream that bisects Markha and leave the village on a broad grassy trail passing some more potential campsites. Remain on the riverbed as you wind up the true right side of a narrowing gorge. As the cliffs converge in about 30 mins, wade across the river and head towards an impressive rock spire. In another 10 mins, wade back to the true right bank where the river runs up against a cliff face. The wind around a rocky spur on which are some mani walls and chorten, and above is Techa Gompa. You can take some time to visit Techa gompa. The gorge now opens up to Homalong (30 mins, 3,876m) where there is a homestay and campsites.
  • The valley continues to broaden and after crossing another minor spur, you get the view of a finger-like rock spire and Kang Yatze II. Cross a broad grassy pasture, where there is a community-owned teashop at Da Amo. You will then reach Hangkar Yongma (1hr 15 mins, 4,030m) where you will stay for a night to acclimatise further.
  • Hangkar is the highest village in the Markha valley.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tent, Hangkar

 

Day 7: Trek Hangkar – Nimaling [4,858m]

  • Trek Day 4: Walking time: 5 hours
  • Markha Valley TrekHead up a narrowing valley, passing a tributary valley and cliffs soon appear on the true left bank. Remain on the true right until the cliffs begin to change to hillside, when you then cross a bridge to the true left side of the valley. Just beyond is the popular campsite and teashop of Tachutse (1hr 10 mins, 4,376m).
  • Do not continue to follow the main valley. Instead, bear right and climb the shallow valley almost to its end. This is an excellent view point and popular rest stop. Follow the ridge for about 20 mins to a small lake that marks the trail junction; turn left to continue to Nimaling.
  • Crossing rolling moraine for 30 mins to a ridge slightly above the Nimaling Plateau, to which you descend and then climb slightly to Nimaling camp (30 mins, 4,858m).
  • This is one of the most beautiful high valleys in Ladakh and is dominated by the Kang Yatze peak.
  • If you have time, you can climb the moraine hill towards Kang Yatze for afternoon views. There is a possibility for enthusiastic trekkers to hike to the base of the Kang Yatze glacier in a few hours from Nimaling

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tent, Nimaling

 

Day 8: Trek Nimaling – Chuskurmo [4,150m] via Kongmaru la Pass [5,260m]

  • Trek Day 5: Walking time: 6-7 hours
  • Markha Valley TrekStart early today to enjoy early morning views both on the way up to and on the pass. Cross the bridge near Nimaling teashop and head up a trail that rises from behind the dairy area. Easy switchbacks climb to a plateau which you cross to the base of the final climb to the pass (1hr, 5,116m). Then some more easy switchbacks take 25 mins to Kongmaru La (5,260m), the highest point of this trek.
  • The descent from the pass is a little steep – look out for Blue Sheep in the valley. Continue down into a gully and herders shelter. After a slight descent, cross the stream to the true right bank, this is the first of many river crossings for the next 2hrs until you reach Chuskurmo (4,150m).

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tent, Chuskurmo

 

Day 9: Trek Chuskurmo – Shang Sumdo [3,680m] – Drive to Leh

  • Trek Day 6: Walking time: 5 hours
  • Markha Valley TrekDaubes of white paint on boulders now mark the trail all the way to Shang Sumdo. Wind around the true left bank and then follow a trail that criss-crosses the watercourse, passing Changdok [3,905m] in about 20 mins. The trail continues to alternate between the true left bank and riverbed all the way to the end of the valley. Pass a tributary trail junction in about 40 mins (3,926m).
  • The main part of Shang Sumdo lies on the true right bank and as you pass on the opposite bank the trail becomes road. The road is broken further down, so you have to continue to the confluence with the Kitshan Chu (50 mins, 3,700m), where there are a couple of homestays, campsite and road.
  • Pick up by vehicle and drive back to Leh (45km, 1hr 15mins drive), marking the end of your beautiful Markha Valley trek.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Guesthouse, Leh

 

Day 10: Leh – Lamayuru – Leh

  • LamayuruToday we will go to visit the famous lunar landscape of Lamayuru and monastery.
  • On the way we will also visit Alchi Monastery./li>

Meals provided: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Guesthouse, Leh

 

Day 11: Departure

We will depart for the airport around 9am in the morning for your return flight home.

 

Note: Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the tour. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort and general well-being by informing the principal agent and with their approval.

Tour Price

Twin-Sharing (Price Per Pax)

SGD1,800.00

Single Pax

SGD2,000.00

(Price is for minimum 8 pax to depart. For solo traveller or other group size, contact us for pricing.)

** Prices quoted are for LAND TOUR only. Please refer to package exclusions for more details.

Package Inclusions

  • 4 nights’ accommodation based on Twin/Double sharing room with daily breakfast at guesthouse in Leh
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in tent (2-men) during trek
  • 1 night accommodation in home stay (very basic, shared between 3-4 person) during trek
  • Private transport and airport transfers
  • Meals as mentioned in above itinerary
  • One experienced trekking guide
  • Cook
  • One portable oxygen cylinder
  • Camping equipment, kitchen tent, toilet tent and full set of equipment
  • Horses to portage the kitchen equipment and food stuff and luggage
  • Rental of sleeping bag and trekking pole (to be returned after the trek)
  • Trekking permit, Wildlife fee
  • Entrance Fees for Monument, Monasteries & Museums (if any)

Package Exclusions

  • International airfare (Singapore – Delhi – Leh – Delhi – Singapore) and airport tax
  • Visa fees (if applicable) (SGD 49 per pax (for Singaporeans) + 2 photos)
  • Travel insurance
  • Donations to Monument, Monasteries & Museums (if any)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. Drinks, laundry, shopping and etc.)
  • Additional meals not mentioned in above itinerary
  • Tipping or gratitudes for driver/guide
  • Optional tours

Flight Recommendations

Important Note: Please note that flight information is purely for information purposes. We do recommend our customers who signed up with us to take the same flight though.

 

Flight cost and information as at 13 Apr 2018. Subject to availability and change.

 

05 Sep 2018 Singapore to New Delhi:

Air India (AI383) 2300hrs – 0220hrs (+1)

 

[Transit 4hrs 25mins]

 

06 Jun New Delhi to Leh:

Air India (AI445): 0645hrs – 0820hrs

 

 

15 Sep Leh to New Delhi:

Air India (AI446): 1155hrs – 1330hrs

 

[Transit 9hrs 45mins]

 

15 Sep New Delhi to Singapore:

Air India (AI380): 2315hrs – 0730hrs (+1)

Note: Arrival back in Singapore on 16 Sep 2018 0730hrs

 

Estimated price of return air tickets (inclusive of airport taxes and checked baggage (25kg on Air India), excluding miscellaneous): SGD813

 

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