This is a story about how the trip hashtagged #lehmegohome left us really wanting to go home at a certain point and later on wanting to go back with the memory forever pinned in our mind. This is a journey over the highest motorised road on earth to one of the most conflicted borders that involved us getting caught redhanded. 
The Glimpse before Landing at IXL
Leh, Kashmir 8.07.2017
July is a late summer month in Leh. Looking back to two years ago, I can’t even remember who raised the ideas of this place on the top of India, and essentially the world. All of us met in Delhi before taking a morning flight into the 22nd highest AirPort in the world where the runway is notoriously short. Flying over the Himalayas is a special feeling, when you look out the window you see peaks that look from afar like ripples ocean wave. The window seats are priceless.
Arriving at the Top of the World
Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is run by the Indian military. We were welcomed with armed soldiers which we later on realised how serious of a war zone this is. There’s one run-way, one terminal and one exit. This makes meeting people a lot easier, even without smart phones. The sky here felt brighter & bluer than anywhere else that I’ve ever visited, maybe it’s the altitude and the proximity to the sun. We’re somewhat on top of the world after all. 
Electricity Travels here too
It wasn’t a long ride toward our hotel, looking out the window, it’s a surprisingly dusty city but an active one. Cities are living things, with people as blood cells that fuel the organization. Speaking of blood cell, yes, one warm welcome that tourists here usually face are high altitude sickness — not enough oxygen to go around via our blood cells. It’s like everything is slightly heavier except our head leaving us feeling lightheaded. With that, our second stop was the hospital for one of our friend that found adjusting slightly harder. 
Not a bad Place to Wait
We were expecting this, the first day on high places are always considered rest & adjust day. Nothing aside getting used to as the world spins madly on in this highland. The wait wasn’t boring, not at all, when you’re hugged by the range of white capped giants. The afternoon went by with our friend recovering after fresh breathes of oxygen. Next stop, Tibetian Market Bazaar.
Tibetian Market Bazaar
Leh’s not as hectic as Delhi, and it felt different. Though crowded, the market felt like it’s a peaceful kind of crowded. Maybe it’s the magic flag that was hanged all over the city, maybe it’s being so close to the border war that makes you appreciate peace a bit more. We came back empty handed, but not empty hearted.
Castles above the Market
Afternoon Nap
Our hotel was a simple one above a small hill with no air conditioning and simple wooden furniture. The small size of the city, however, reminded us of how small we are whichever windows we look through. The first night went by, and I woke up early in the morning for a stroll hoping for a photography opportunities. Right out of the room, the morning mountain welcomed me while the moon was still refusing to leave the sky. I’m glad I woke up before everyone else, and it’s one awesome walk down the dirt road.

View from the Balcony
Dusty Road of Leh
The Flow
It’s Calling
After the refreshing walk, I head back for breakfast and get filled up for the itinerary for the day. Everyone was mostly adjusted to the 3.5 km above sea level dry oxygen. All 7 of us hop in our van and off we go to the palaces & monasteries around Leh city. 
Tikshay Monastery
Pride Rock Scenery
Afternoon Drinks Spot
The Royal Leh Palace
The Palace View
From the Giants
The Whilte Castle
Guardians in Heaven
After a full day through the Leh city. We ended our day at the Shanti Stupa to catch the sunset. We were lucky, there were exploding colors. Maybe it’s not luck, I believe there were something special about mountains and high altitude. It might’ve been the height, the shadow, the cloud formation with the geographic formation. I can guarantee you, sunset are much better at higher altitude. I used to prefer oceans over mountains, along the way, I changed. I was from then on, a mountain guy.
Shanti Stupa, where we went for sunset
Stok Kangri and its brothers
Castle over the hill
Twilight, Goodnight
We’ll continue our journey soon, we haven’t yet reach the most memorable point that made this my favourite trip ever. Next one involve crossing the highest motorable pass in the world, getting caught in one of the most conflicting borders ever, and the worry whether we will ever make it back on the other side again.

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