Ladakh Mountains

10 Things to do in Ladakh you haven’t done before!

Last updated on August 14th, 2023 at 06:34 pm

“What are the things to do in Ladakh” We have been asked this question by many of our friends. Though there are many things to do in Ladakh, we started pondering whether we can list those things which a normal “tourist” would not do. Hence this list.
It is Time to go to Ladakh. You would have already planned your trip to Ladakh by now. Your itinerary would include visiting Thiksey Monastery, and Palace, Posing like Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor on Pangong Tso….. everything is packed and planned for you by your tour operator on what to do in Ladakh.
There is more to Ladakh than these typical touristy places. Here is our list of things to do in Ladakh during your visit next time which others might not have done before. Things that will enhance your Ladakh experience.
Read on…..
1 Stay with a Ladakhi family
We stayed and we loved it. If you want to have a true Ladakhi experience, then you have to stay in a Ladakhi homestay. Friendly people, they make you comfortable. You will enjoy the best Tibetan cuisine. You will be accompanied by family members for walks in the nearby hills if you wish to!
Things to do in Ladakh
Enjoying a meal in a Homestay (Photo Courtesy – Aimeebell)

For a list of Homestays in Ladakh, you may look at this link below.

Ladakh Home Stays

2 Go for Treks

You don’t have to be a mountaineer to climb a hill in Ladakh. It is easier to climb small hills and trek in the lovely valleys if you are well-acclimatised. Climbing small hills and going for day treks locally is easier if you are staying in a Homestay. If you have time, plan for longer treks. It is worth the experience.
Things to do in Ladakh
McKay Savage and team on Trek in Ladakh
We did Markha Valley Trek 2014. Here is a glimpse of it Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh – Just do it!. For a pictorial essay of another lovely trek in Ladakh click on McKay’s album here

There are many agencies specialising in trekking in Ladakh. Here are few

3. Watch a High Altitude Football match

Ladakh and Football? Yes. Though not as popular as Polo and Archery, Football is slowly getting a fan following in Ladakh and Ladakhis are fond of the sport. You can watch local clubs fighting it out at 11,000 feet above sea level! You may join them for a game if you are well-acclimatised. Else enjoy the match as a spectator.
Things to do in Ladakh
A football match in Leh Photo Courtesy – T R Dastidar)

4 Talk to a Monk

This is something we did in Mcleodganj and it was an enriching experience. Monks in the numerous monasteries in Ladakh are a pleasant lot and you can definitely spend time talking to them and understand their spiritual life in Tibetan monasteries. You can know more about the Tibetan form of Buddhism from them.
Things to do in Ladakh
A monk at his work table ( Photo Courtesy – Mihir Inamdar)

5 Attend a ceremony in a monastery

This will be something special which you should do. For this, you need to contact the monastery in advance and find out the timings. When we were there in Leh, the monasteries were deserted as His Holiness Dalai Lama had come to Nubra and all monks had gone there. You can watch chanting and other rituals which would be a memorable experience. You can also attend the festivals which will be held in many monasteries between May – September.
Things to do in Ladakh
A ceremony in Lamayuru monastery ( Photo Courtesy – Nityanand Shankar)

For a list of festivals in Ladakh, please click the link below

Calendar of Ladakh Festivals

Here is our experience of visiting Lamayuru Festival


6 Visit a remote lake

Forget Pangong Tso. Everyone goes there now. Go to Tso Kar or Tso Moriri or even further to Tso Yaye. Thanks to the Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, Pangong Tso gets crowded during the season. Head to other remote lakes to enjoy the serenity. You can either drive yourself or hire a Jeep in Leh.

Not only the lakes are spellbinding, but the drive to them is also an experience in itself.

Yaye Tso (Photo Courtesy – Romesh Bhattacharji)
We were in Tso Kar in 2014. Check out this Tso Kar, White Lake @ 15,000 feet!
7 Drive along Indus
You don’t have time to do Manali – Leh road trip? But want to experience a bit of it? No problem. Hire a cab and drive along the Indus river beyond Upshi for 100 KMs……May be up to Tanglang La. Leave early and do it as a day trip. You will love every minute of the experience.
Lovely Landscape on the way to Manali from Leh

You may check out our drive from Manali to Leh here in this blog.

Ladakh Diaries 1 – Manali to Leh, day One

Ladakh Diaries 2 – Manali to Leh, Day two

8 Sky watching in Nubra
Don’t miss carrying a Binocular when you go to Ladakh. We would say carry a telescope. Ladakh is the best place to do sky-watching. World’s second-highest observatory is located in Hanle near Nubra. Crystal clear skies at Nubra or Pangong Tso or anywhere in the region give you an opportunity to spot the stars.
A night sky over Leh! (Photo Courtesy – Puneet Vikram Singh)

9 Go to Lamayuru.

We can’t go to Moon. Can we experience moonscape? Yes, you can. In Lamayuru. Plan a day trip or stay overnight there to experience surreal moonscapes!

Moonscape!! (Photo Courtesy – Sandeepan Chetan)

10 Drink Ladakhi Rice beer – Chhaang!

We kept this as the last item. But don’t miss it. Light and tangy, the home-brewed rice beer is a good drink. Should be drunk freshly brewed. If you are staying in a homestay it becomes easier to get a drink.
The Bubbly! (Photo Courtesy – John Steedman)
Postscript – We will add another one to this list of things to do in Ladakh. Ladakah Marathon. If you are a freak and love running like us, this is the ultimate test! We are planning to do a 7 KM run in September in this year’s edition!
All details here –
Did we miss out on any other things to do in Ladakh which are unusual?  Do you have more to add? You are welcome to expand the list!
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