Changthang & Hemis Festival | Ladakh| UFO Adventure Travel
Contact Us | +91 9756600449 | info@ufoadventuretravel.com

Difficulty

Easy - Moderate

Max. Altitude

4530m

Duration

8 Days

Best Time

Jul, Aug, Sept,

In A Hurry?

You can download our complete tour details and guide for OPT CHANGTHANG & HEMIS FESTIVAL. Also, you can schedule a callback from UFO Adventure Travel.


Tour description

This unique Changthang Hemis Festival photography tour will take you through a sensory experience second to none. Starting in Leh with an introduction to photography, the Hemis Festival tour ends after a week exploring the high plains of the Changthang Plateau. We begin our journey with the Hemis Monastery Festival. Here you will be privileged to see monks, believers and people from all over Ladakh as they participate in this festival, held annually at the Monastery. Moving south towards Ladakh’s eastern border with Tibet, we camp and trek through some of the vastest and hardly inhabited areas of the Changthang. This area is dotted with several beautiful lakes that provide a spectacular interval in the largely barren landscape. Changthang is a Tibetan word meaning western plains. It is inhabited by the Changpas who are a nomadic tribe and travel all over Changthang following the ancient grazing patterns. This great Changthang Hemis Festival adventure follows in the footsteps of many explorers and is a magical week of discovery, learning and above all, Ladakhi hospitality.


Virtual tour of
OPT CHANGTHANG & HEMIS FESTIVAL

Is this Holiday for you ?

On this holiday to Changthang Hemis Festival we will be constantly at an altitude of more than 3500m. Therefore, it is essential that you acclimatise well in order to make the best of the week. You will be advised by the UFO guide and mentor to rest and keep your body hydrated as much as possible on the first day of arrival. Your oxygen levels will be monitored from time to time to check on the level of acclimatisation. There is fair bit of walking to be done every day, and we would encourage you to do a bit of walking/running and breathing exercises to enjoy this Hemis Festival photography expedition to the maximum. There is no level of restrictions and anyone with a camera and a genuine interest in photography are welcome to join our Hemis Festival photography tour. If you have no camera and no interest in photography, you are welcome nonetheless. We will guide you as to what personal gear and camera equipment you should be carrying to capture the best images at the stunning locations we have for you. The UFO mentor has prepared a curriculum which we will try to follow. However, the UFO mentor can change the curriculum according to his or her perspective as and when the situation may arise.

Capture the splendour of the Hemis Monastery Festival

Explore the wild plains of the Changthang Plateu

Witness the beauty of the salt lake, Tsokar and the magnificent Tsomoriri Lake

Practical mentoring in photography





  • 8 Days, 7 nights hotel
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • max group size: 10
  • On the high plateau of Ladakh, the maximum daytime temperature low down on our trip (and at Leh) will be around 15°C, with night-time lows below 0°C. At high altitude, the sun has a very strong effect and at the height of the day it will feel hotter than the indicated temperatures. Ladakh is not adversely affected by the monsoon and we can usually expect stable, weather. However, mountains do generate their own weather systems and some rain or wind cannot be ruled out in July.

Please contact info@ufoadventuretravel.com for quotes.

  • Photography Mentor
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Leh Airport transfers as described
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • All permits and entrance fees
  • Oxygen tank (for emergency only)
  • All costs are applicable for double occupancy
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Some meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Airport transfers other than those described
  • Tips for local staff including the local guide and drivers
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
  • Personal camera equipment & gear
  • Flights and airfare
  • A single group transfer will be arranged from Leh Airport to the hotel in Leh. This transfer will meet the arrival of the flights from Delhi at 1030hrs. At the end of Hemis Festival photography tour there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel to Leh Airport at 7 am. This transfer will be after breakfast on Day 8 of the trip itinerary. A representative of our local agent will assist with the transfers between the airport and the group hotel. If the arrival transfer does not work with your flight, you will need to make your own transfer arrangements at Leh Airport. Should you require an airport transfer, these can be arranged by the hotel reception staff or alternatively please contact the UFO office.
  • During Changthang Hemis Festival trip the group will spend 7 nights in Leh, Tsokar and Tsomoriri at a tourist hotel. All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. All accommodations used by UFO adhere to hygiene and comfort norms. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please contact UFO office.
  • At around 8 a.m. breakfast will be under way with the wakeup call at 7 am for that important first cup of tea or coffee. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your day bag which you will be carrying with your essentials to enjoy Hemis Festival Photography tour. Your camera equipment, a wind cheater or water proof jacket, personal snacks, 2 litres of water packed lunch when provided will probably be the contents of your bag. Most of the travelling will be done on wheels with our taxi taking you from one destination to another every day. However, everyday there will be some amount of walking that will be required to get the best shots on your camera. Lunch will either be at the hotel/camp that we stay in or a local restaurant that we take you to. There will be some days that packed lunch will be given to you. We will also stop for tea every evening at a local shop or hotel/camp at 4 pm as per the itinerary. Dinner is served between 7-8 pm and is a great time of day for reliving the events of Hemis Festival photography tour so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature starts to fall and everyone will soon be tucked up in their beds.
  • Meals will be a mix of local and comfort food. Breakfasts will consist of bread, cheese, honey, jams, fruit, tea and Nescafe alongwith eggs, paranthas,etc as served by the hotel. Lunch can be taken on the way wherever we are going that day. Dinner will usually be a soup followed by lentils, vegetable curry and meat as available. Vegetarians can be catered for.

ITINERARY FOR THE TREK

DAY 1

MEET AT THE GROUP HOTEL IN LEH.

Meet at the group hotel in Leh. A single group transfer at 10.30 am from Leh Airport to the group hotel in Leh is provided. The first day of Hemis Festival photography tour is reserved for acclimatization and you will be advised to rest and drink water as much as possible. In the evening will be a short orientation session where the group gets to know each other as well as discussing camera equipment and itinerary. Lights out after dinner as we will have an early start on the next day of our Hemis Festival photography tour.



  Accommodation
Hotel in Leh
  Meals
D
  Curriculum
Get to know your group and equipment

DAY 2

EXPERIENCE HEMIS FESTIVAL

We will make an early start after tea and breakfast to catch the morning prayers at Thiksey Monastery. Affiliated to the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it is situated on a hill in Thiksey village and is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. After getting the blessings of the monks, we drive to the Monastery for the annual Hemis Festival honoring Guru Padmasambhava. We leave the Hemis Festival by afternoon and head towards Shey where a picnic lunch will be waiting for us. After lunch, we rest a bit and visit the Shey Palace and surrounding areas. You will be given sometime to yourself where you can explore the palace on your own and maybe a small assignment by the Mentor. A fixed time and place will be decided where the group will meet later and then head back to Leh.



  Accommodation
Hotel in Leh
  Meals
B,D
  Curriculum
Basics of exposure. Focus on colors and composition

DAY 3

DAY TRIP TO LAMAYURU, ALCHI & LIKIR.

We do the Monastery circuit today. After a hearty breakfast, we leave for Lamayuru Monastery while stopping at the Zanskar Confluence, Alchi Monastery and Likir on the way. Alchi Monastery is famous for its huge statues, elaborate wood carvings, frescoes and paintings which date all the way back to the 12th century. Likir Monastery is affliated to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Budhhism and is said to be established by the fifth King of Ladakh, Lhachen Gyalpo in 1065. You will notice the change in landscape on the way to Lamayuru Monastery. Said to be one of the oldest and largest existing gompas (Monastery) in Ladakh, it houses around 150 monks and was approximately built in the 9th century. We return to Leh and call the night early as we have an early start on the next day our Hemis Festival photography tour.



  Accommodation
Hotel in Leh
  Meals
B, D
  Curriculum
Basics of exposure.

DAY 4

DRIVE TO THE SALT LAKE OF TSO KAR

After an early tea and breakfast, we leave for a 5-6 hour drive to the white lake of Tso kar. Situated in the Rupshu Plateau, Tso kar is a fluctuating lake which was an important source of salt for the Changpa nomads, who have been known to export the salt all the way to Tibet. There is a good chance of spotting wildlife with wild kiang (wild ass), marmots, geese, terns and if we’re lucky a Tibetan wolf, fox or gazelle. We will ideally want to reach the camp by lunchtime. After lunch and short rest, we will go for a walk along the shores of the lake where you can take in the magnificent views of the lake. Night Photography lesson will take place if the conditions permit. We will stay the night in Tso kar in one of the fixed campsites.



  Accommodation
Hotel/Fixed camp in Tso Kar
  Meals
B,D
  Curriculum
Shutter speed

DAY 5

LEAVE FOR TSO MORIRI (GRASSLAND LAKE)

After a filling breakfast, we leave for the biggest high altitude lake wholly situated in India, Tso Moriri. Almost 35-40 sqm in size it is situated at an altitude of 4522 m in the Changthang Plateau, one of the highest in the world and borders Tibet. The area is now known as Tso Moriri Wetland Conservative Reserve and attracts a variety of birds and animals to its waters and surrounding areas. We will try and reach the lake by lunch which will give you ample time to explore Korzok, the village on its banks, catch the evening prayers in the Monastery and take in the stunning sunset views over the lake. We will stay the night in Korzok.



  Accommodation
Hotel/Fixed Camp in Korzok
  Meals
B,D
  Curriculum
Aperture

DAY 6

HIKE TOWARDS MENTOK KANGRI BASECAMP ABOVE KORZOK

This will probably be the toughest day of the Changthang Hemis Festival photography tour as we will take you hiking to higher ground to get even better views of the lake and the looming mountains in Tibet on the other side. After breakfast we get some packed lunch and head of the trail which takes us to the Mentok Kangri range base camp. The hike should take at least 2-3 hours (depending upon the speed of the group) to reach a point where we can have our lunch and take in and capture the views of the lake. We spend some time at higher ground and then head back to our accommodations. Tea and hot dinner will help with the tiring legs at night.



  Accommodation
Hotel/ Fixed camp in Korzok
  Meals
B,D
  Curriculum
Combining ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed

DAY 7

DRIVE BACK TO LEH

Today is our last day of the Changthang Hemis Festival photography tour, we bid goodbye to our local staff and guides at Korzok and leave for Leh after breakfast. The drive should take about 6-7 hours and we will stop at Chumathang to see the natural hot spring. We check into our accommodation in Leh by evening. The evening is at leisure and we can walk to Tsemo Gompa and Shanti Stupa if the group feels like it. After dinner, the Mentor will look at some chosen photographs by you and give his/her feedback and also a review of the whole itinerary and curriculum.



  Accommodation
Hotel in Leh
  Meals
B,D
  Curriculum
Review

DAY 8

DEPARTURE DAY

After an early breakfast we transfer by private vehicle to the Leh Airport for your onward journey. However, if you would like to extend your visit in Leh to visit the Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley or any other areas, please contact our team of adventure travel consultants.



  Meals
B

Why trekkers love us?

Traveling with UFO to Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, was a very enriching experience for me as i realized that traveling with a well seasoned team that goes out of its way to make your trip adventurous and fun is way better than traveling alone and wasting your time getting lost and figuring things out on your own.

Jasmine Singh

I have done 2 trek with Ultimate Frontier Outlands with Rumtse to Tsokar in Ladakh and Gosaikinda trek in Nepal. And I am sure I want to do my third trek with the same team. Thank you to the team for taking care of me. And I do recommend this company for treks any day.

Deepa Agarwal

UFO is certainly the organizer to go for treks with if you want personalized and customized service. The guides, food and equipment was spot on and the trek leader had specialist knowledge of the area. The days were planned way better than other groups we spoke with. Thus we had ample time to acclimatize and woke up fresh the next day. There was a proper questionnaire sent to us way in advance to cater to each of our individual needs.

Tilak Swarup

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Frequently asked questions

How do we travel to Ladakh?

There are three ways to reach Ladakh- a) you can take flight from Delhi to Leh from major airlines such as Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Indigo and Go Airlines. b) You can take road journeys either from Manali or Srinagar. It takes 2 day journey (474 kilometers) from Manali to Leh with a night stopover in Sarchu. On the other hand, Srinagar to Leh will take 2 days (434 kilometers) with a night halt at Kargil. All the roads remain open from May to October.

What are the symptoms of High Altitude sickness? How long does it take to get acclimatize in Ladakh?

Some common symptoms of high altitude sickness include giddiness, loss of appetite, lack of sleep and difficulty in breathing. The best way to acclimatize in Ladakh is a natural rest for at least 48 hours, keep yourself well hydrated and eat well. Even then it depends from person to person as to how long it takes to acclimatize before trekking in the Himalayas.

Am i fit enough for an adventure in Ladakh?

Anyone with an enthusiasm for the outdoors, different cultures and overseas travel and is prepared to be open minded and flexible. Our trips are fun and informal and attended by a wide range of people. We offer a range of trips which are all graded for difficulty to help you choose your holiday, if you would like advice please get in contact us at. You will always enjoy your trekking holiday in Ladakh better if you have a good level of fitness. Running, cardio vascular exercises or playing sports always helps.

What kind of food is provided during the trip?

Breakfast and Dinner during the stay will be at the hotel/resort that we stay in. It is mixture of local, continental and comfort food. Lunch is usually on the go at the local restaurant or packed, as we will be in the field.

What kind of accommodation is available in Ladakh?

There are various price points in Ladakh for accommodations. From homestay/guesthouses to boutique hotels to luxury hotels and camps, travelers can pick and choose according to the budget. We usually choose an A-class and luxury hotels with their facilities and services comparable to any 3-4 star hotel. Hotels in Ladakh are designed with traditional architecture of the region and feature good sized rooms equipped with modern amenities. We will be staying at a A class hotel for our stay.

How difficult is the holiday?

On this holiday to Changthang- Hemis Festival we will be constantly at an altitude of more than 3500m. Therefore, it is essential that you acclimatize well in order to make the best of the week. You will be advised by the UFO guide and mentor to rest and keep your body hydrated as much as possible on the first day of arrival. Your oxygen levels will be monitored from time to time to check on the level of acclimatization. There is fair bit of walking to be done every day, and we would encourage you to do a bit of walking/running and breathing exercises to enjoy this Hemis Festival photography expedition to the maximum.

Do i need to be a photographer to join this Outdoor Photography holiday?

There is no level of restrictions and anyone with a camera and a genuine interest in photography are welcome to join our Hemis Festival photography tour. If you have no camera and no interest in photography, you are welcome nonetheless. We will be more than happy to have your spouse,partner, friend or family join us on this holiday.

What camera equipment do i need to carry for the trip?

We will guide you as to what personal gear and camera equipment you should be carrying to capture the best images at the stunning locations we have for you. The UFO mentor has prepared a curriculum which we will try to follow. However, the UFO mentor can change the curriculum according to his or her perspective as and when the situation may arise.

Camera Lens - A wide angle (17-40/ 35/ 24-105 or any other that you may already have)

50 MM lens

Battery charger  with Spare batteries - please keep in mind that batteries drain faster in the cold and we may not have access to electricity at all times)

Battery Pack (not necessary)

Camera Cleaning equipment

CF cards/ SD cards

Hard Disk for back up