the little van that could

Bus ride to the Himalayan kingdom


Leh is a city in northern India and it is located at the altitude of 3524 metres (11,562 ft)!

“Leh was an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China for centuries. The main goods carried were salt, grain, pashm or cashmere wool, charas or cannabis resin from the Tarim Basin, indigo, silk yarn and Banaras brocade.”(Wikipedia)

Naturally there are deep Tibetan culture in Leh,

and many Tibetan Buddhism monks and temple are seen.

I took a local bus from Srinagar to Leh,

with a nice Sikh bus driver.

He stopped the bus and got out from the bus to pray when it was time.

Passengers were having tea or smoking cigarettes while waiting for him.

The road was quite narrow.

VERY narrow.

When there was an oncoming car, our bus had to move aside as much as possible,

or they, the oncoming car(usually another passenger bus or a huge track )move aside

to the edge of the road  without curb

the other side of the road was a cliff.

The Sikh driver was experienced and did not drive too crazy for Indian standard

and I actually enjoyed riding on his bus.

It was a long ride(about 12h plus staying over at the city on the way, and 10 more hours next day)

however it drove through mountains of 4000m and 5000m which have amazing view.

I was so glad when we actually arrived in Leh alive though!

It seemed so close to the sky.


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