Sham Trek is one of simplest hikes in Leh. You can do it in alpine-style. Spend nights at local guesthouses and / or home stays (1) to get a “close-up” of the local lifestyle, (2) to stimulate the local economy, and (3) to save energy required to lug camping equipment. The following villages offer an opportunity to experience the Ladakhi lifestyle during the hike:
- Gyabcho Guest House
- Gaph Chow Palace Eco Resort Guesthouse and Camping Site
- Old Likir Guest house (http://www.oldlikkir.com/)
- Karboo Guesthouse and Restaurant
- Padma Guesthouse
- Solpan Guesthouse
Lung Guesthouse and Camping Site (https://plus.google.com/101569926683115895999/photos#101569926683115895999/about)
Dongzospa Home Stay (https://sites.google.com/site/dongzospahomestayang/)
Temisgam Home Stay
You can also stay at guesthouses in Tarutse and Ulley villages. But do remember that the white washed traditional stone houses offer only basic facilities. For example,
- Guestrooms feature hard beds with mattresses.
- In some guesthouses, you may have to sleep on the floor.
- The washrooms may have Indian-, traditional Ladakhi-, or western-style toilets. Sometimes traditional toilets are located outside the houses and shared by whole family and guests. A traditional toilet has a hole in the floor, a pile of mud in one corner, and a shovel to cover human waste with mud.
- You may have to manage with bucketed water. You may have to collect water from a hand pump.
- In some home stays, you may get electricity.
- The meals consisting of local food, including chapatti (flat Indian bread), dal (lentil), rice, and sabji (a vegetable dish) are served in traditional kitchens. Sabji is made from locally available vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, onion, potato, and spinach. You can have apricots and walnuts for dessert.
- During meal time, you have to sit cross-legged on the floor.
The rates for home stays are modest. You can easily get a room for less than ₹ 1,000 per person, per night inclusive of three meals.