Ladakh is a victim of its own beauty. Every view there is breath-taking, the snow-capped peaks, the green valleys, and the desert slopes. The type of tourism in Ladakh has changed to suit all types. It caters to trekkers, bikers, and car drivers of sorts and makes sure everyone is included. The pressure of tourism has also increased pollution and depletion of resources and it comes down to us, the travelers, to maintain its beauty.
Here are some ways to ensure your trip has a positive impact:
1. Don’t Buy Bottled Water
There is no need to buy bottled water in Ladakh. Filtered water is equally safe to drink. Many hotels and guest houses will offer you this. You can easily fill up on filtered water in the town as well. You can invest in a Steripen which sterilizes the river water to make sure you have something to drink while trekking.
2. Stretch Your Legs and Lungs by Trekking
Trekking is one of the main reasons people visit Ladakh but these days the number of people interested in getting sweaty has fallen. Ladakh gives you the opportunity to view the sights which cannot be viewed otherwise. This also provides employment to the local guides and also ensures minimal damage is done on the trekking paths. There are various treks of different distances for you to explore.
3. Give More Business to Simple Family-Run Hotels and Guest Houses
It is worrisome to think that up-market guest houses and hotels are getting more business than the local ones of Ladakh. One will obviously miss out on the Ladakhi culture by staying in high-end hotels as they cannot give the same experience and connection to the place. You learn so much simply by spending time with the locals which is an enriching adventure in itself.
4. Stay in Eco-Friendly Accommodations
One of the biggest challenges you will face in Ladakh is the lack of water. Most of the water comes from the glacier melt and in the high altitude, the desert land is pretty dry. There is hardly any rain so surviving becomes difficult during winters when everything is frozen. Water needs to be conserved by those living there. Be a part of that sustainable living and try to avoid overconsumption of water. Local guesthouses will also help you in becoming more aware and friendly about the same.
5. Share Transport
Another problem faced by Ladakhi is transport. There is a shortage of public transport and buses are the only option and those run only a few times a week as well. Visitors tend to hire private drivers which leads to a shortage of drivers and more cars with only 2 or 3 people sitting in them. You could share a taxi or book one driver for your whole trip, in fact, if you truly want to experience Ladakh, take a Bolero.
6. Buy Souvenirs Locally
There are a various gift and souvenir stores in Leh and they are packed with handicrafts. You can help the local business that is overtaken by big businesses and middlemen. You will find hand-knitted soft toys and lots of other beautiful items!
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