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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Dimmock

Likir Monastery and Stok Palace at 4 months old

Having booked our flights home for 31 May, we could now resume the trip and so we back tracked to Alchi Monastery taking a car and driver for 3000 Rs (£34) to drop us in Alchi and checked into Zimskhang Holiday Home on Thursday 16 May. We had to bargain like mad over the room price but eventually got a lovely room in their new wing for 2500 Rs (£28). I honestly can’t recall how much they wanted but I’d say at least twice that!

It was fairly cool at night time so we just had dinner in their restaurant and a beer! I managed to stumble here and fall over cutting my knee and gashing a hole in my trekking trousers whilst Tiger was in the baby carrier… but whilst I was a bit wounded she didn’t notice the commotion and was completely fine!

The next day, Friday, we actually visited the Alchi Monastery built between 958 and 1055. The Buddhist monastery is lovely to visit, very peaceful bedecked with prayer flags but it is no longer home to monks and is simply administered by nearby Likir Monastery.

A huge highlight of Alchi was visiting an absolutely amazing restaurant called Alchi Kitchen. It was so good that we went back for breakfast the next day which for Tiger and I is absolutely unheard of as it is so hard to actually get up for breakfast.

On Saturday 18 May we got another car and driver to go back to Leh at a cost of 4000 Rs (£45) but stopping at Likir Monastery and Stok Palace. Likir Monastery was absolutely brilliant and for me, much better than Alchi as it is a living monastery with a monastery school (so lots of little monks running around – worth noting that you can stay there as a guest of the Monastery School on a first come first served basis, no booking possible) and a huge Buddha statue outside.

I last visited Stok Palace some 13 years ago and wow has it changed! Absolutely massive investment, a café, and the museum has literally been transformed. Highly recommended!

We finally arrived back into Leh and booked into a hotel much closer to town that our Changspa one called Grand Willow for 2000 Rs (£23). Absolutely perfect for us… walking distance of everything, wifi was perfect and very spacious room. It was also here that we celebrated Tiger’s 4 month “birthday” and where she rolled for the first time on the bed whilst I was in the bathroom!

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