Accommodation in Leh
Leh is absolutely glutted with accommodation, most of it refreshingly neat, clean and excellent value. Budget travellers in particular are in for a treat. Most of the town's reasonable guesthouses are immaculately whitewashed traditional houses, set on the leafy outskirts, with sociable garden terraces that look onto green fields. Rooms in Leh's mid range hotels come with en suite shower toilets and piped hot water, while upmarket accommodation is limited. Off-season, prices can be slashed by as much as sixty percent.
Rooms in family houses, grouped in three main areas, account for the bulk of Leh's plentiful budget accommodation. Karzoo and Suku, northwest of the main street, are very central but become tourist ghettos during high season; if one is after peace, quite, idyllic countryside and mountain views, head for Changspa village, fifteen minutes' walk west of the Bazaar. More in the thick of things are the mainly Muslim houses of the old town. Crouched in the shadow of Leh palace, these are inexpensive and full of atmosphere.
Situated on a strategic corner between upper Thaka Road and Old Fort Road at one end of the market square, the Dzomsa Laundry provides a vital service in ecology sound washing, using literally means "meeting point", also serves delicious fresh apricot juice, which one can drink while sitting out side watching the world go by. If one has got empty mineral water bottles, one can recycle them here and have them filled with safe drinking water.
Libraries: The Ecology Centre's excellent library (Monday-Saturday 10.00 am - 4.00 pm) keeps books on everything from agriculture to Zen Buddhism, as well as periodicals, magazines, and files of articles on Ladakh and development issue. Serious students of Buddhism should check out the CIBS library in Choglamsar (Monday - Saturday 10.00 am -1.00 pm & 2.00 - 4.00 pm), where the helpful librarians speak English.
Meditation: Small classes are run by the Mahabodhi society in Changspa, which specializes in Vipassana.
Mountain Bikes: Mountain bikes may be rented through Highland Adventures in the Hotel Ibex complex.
Pharmacy: For Tibetan Medicine, try Dr Tsewang Rigzin Larje, whose clinic is by the old bus stand, south of the main bazaar, stock fresh film of all kinds, including slide film. If it's closed, try ND Dijoo & Sons on the main street. Also look around the area beside the Jami Masjid.
Post: The post office is at the Main Bazaar (Monday-Saturday 10.00 am - 1.00 pm & 2.00-4.00 pm). For parcels, go to the GPO (Monday-Saturday 10.00 am - 4.30 pm), out of town on Airport Road, whose unreliable poste restante counter is tucked around the back. One can also receive letters through the Tourist Information Centre on Fort Road.
Yoga: Small classes for all levels are run by a western teacher at Thanglang house, Changspa (Monday-Friday 10.30 am - noon).