Leh to Pangong Tso Bus Service : Fare & Timings

by Vargis.Khan

Up until about a decade ago, only a few people were aware of the name “Pangong”. Then came the release of the movie “3 Idiots” post which this beautiful lake probably became the hottest tourist attraction in our country. Thousands of people visit Ladakh each year and the one place they all know to visit is Pangong Tso. While the best way to travel here from Leh is by your own vehicle, there is a regular public transport connectivity as well which you can use in case you reached Ladakh by some other mode of transport. In this article, I will provide details on Leh to Pangong Tso bus service including frequency, fare and timings.

leh to pangong tso bus

Leh to Pangong Tso Bus

Leh to Pangong Tso Bus Service

Traveling by public transport to a place like Ladakh becomes a little hectic when you have limited time and want to cover as much as you can. If you are traveling by your own motorcycle or car, then you have the liberty to plan as per your own convenience and schedule. However by public transport, you get bound by the timings and schedule of bus services. The only way to make this easier is to plan your entire itinerary as per the bus schedule; to ensure that on any day when you want to travel to a particular place, there is a bus available. If a trip to Pangong is on your Ladakh itinerary, then mentioned below are the days when you can travel there by Bus and draft your travel plan accordingly.

Also read: Leh to Nubra Valley Bus Schedule & Timings

Leh to Pangong Buses

Apart from the bus that go directly from Leh to Pangong Tso, there are a few other buses as well that you can board to reach the lake. The only difference is that the other buses may drop you at any of the nearby villages from where you will have to reach Pangong either by some other means of commute or walking. Mentioned below are the details.

Please note that you must buy your ticket at least a day in advance from Leh bus stand. If you did not book your seat, it is possible that you may not be allowed to board the bus at all in the morning.

Leh to Pangong Tso Bus: A direct bus from Leh to Pangong Tso leaves Leh every Saturday and Sunday at 6.00 AM. This bus reaches Pangong by late afternoon, halts there for the night and returns back to Leh the next day.




This is your best bet for reaching the lake and journey back. Fare per person is Rs. 250 one way. This bus may have the board put up as “Leh to Spangmik” as it ends at the small village of Spangmik near Pangong.

Leh to Chushul Bus (Sunday): If you missed your 6 AM bus on Sunday then there is another bus on the same day that you can catch. This bus starts at 6.30 AM every Sunday and travels all the way to Chushul via the small villages of Man & Merak, which are located right on the banks of Pangong Tso. Fare per person is Rs. 356 for Chushul and I think about Rs. 300 for Man / Merak. You can chose to either get down at Spangmik or Man / Merak.

Leh to Phobrang Bus: If you missed the Leh to Pangong lake bus on Saturday, then there is another one you can catch at 7 AM on the same day. This bus goes to Phobrang, a little ahead of Pangong towards Marismik La, every saturday. Until Spangmik, it pretty much follows the same route that Leh to Pangong bus does. Fare per person for this one is Rs. 263. Using this bus as well, you can get off at Spangmik.

Leh to Chushul Bus (Wednesday): If you cannot travel on either Saturday or Sunday, you can plan your visit on Wednesday as well. There is a bus that goes to Chushul every Wednesday from Leh at 6.30 AM. Fare per person for Chushul is Rs. 345 but for Pangong it will be less, around Rs. 250. This bus takes the same route until Spangmik like all the above mentioned buses but from there, it reaches Chushul via Chilam, Harong and Erath.

Leh to Tangste Bus: If traveling on Wednesday too is not an option that your last choice is to plan it on Thursday. A bus from Leh to Tangtse runs every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, starting from Leh at 6.30 AM. Fare per person is Rs. 164.The only problem with this bus is that it only goes till Tangtse which is about 45 kilometers from Pangong Tso. After reaching Tangtse, you will have to find another mode of travel for the last run of the journey. In peak tourist season, you can hitchhike as well.

All these buses are operated by JKSRTC. There is no bus on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and if you want to travel on either of these, you will have have to catch a shared cab. Several private tour operators too have mini buses running from Leh to Pangong so you can contact them as well to see if there is a choice available.

Leh to Pangong Lake Bus Fare

Your one way fare for traveling by JKSRTC bus is about Rs. 250 per person. For a return journey to Leh, the trip would cost you around Rs. 500. If you are on a budget trip, then you can stay at any of the chadar tents available for as less as Rs. 200 – Rs. 300 per bed. A round trip to Pangong from Leh would cost you about Rs. 1000 (500 for bus fare, 300 for accommodation, 200 for food).

Leh to Pangong Tso Bus Booking

All of the above mentioned buses are local government run ordinary buses and there is no advance ticket or booking available. You will have to reach Leh bus stand, board a bus and pay the conductor. If however you would like to book in advance, then your only choice are the mini buses operated by local tour operator.

Leh to Pangong Tso Bus Online Booking

There is no online booking available either for JKSRTC or private mini-buses.

Leh to Pangong Tso Distance

Distance between Leh and Pangong Tso is around 150 kilometers via Karu, Sakti, Chang La and Tangtse.

Leh to Pangong lake travel time

A journey from Leh to Pangong lake by bus would take you around 6-7 hours.

Pangong Tso Accommodation

Majority of the accommodation choices at the lake comes in the form of camp sites. On the cost effective side, your choice of stay are Chadar tents. There is only one cemented hotel here which is highly overpriced and booked months in advance. For further details read Accommodation at Pangong Tso : Hotel, Chadar Tents & Camp Sites

Pangong Lake Mobile Network

No mobile network works at Pangong Tso. Your phone will go out of service around Karu after you leave Leh.

Pangong Tso Altitude

Altitude of Pangong Tso is about 4,350 m (14,270 ft).

Pangong Tso Weather

Days are moderately warm and sun can be quite harsh. Nights however are extremely cold and you will need a heavy jacket if you want to step out of your tent after the sun goes down.

Bus from Leh to Pangong Lake

Mentioned below are a few other tips which can be helpful while planning your journey from Leh to Pangong Lake by Bus.

  • All these buses are just ordinary roadways buses; not even semi deluxe. Locals here use these buses to travel around and you should keep your expectations in terms of comfort to zero.
  • If you want to travel in a luxury or deluxe bus, there are a few tour operators who provide that service in form of mini buses. Contact any of the tour operators in Leh and you can get the details.
  • All these buses travel past Chang La so if you just want to visit the pass; you can board any of them.
  • If you intend on doing some photography; then you will have to carefully pick your seat or else you will just be clicking pictures of a mountain wall. After Leh, the valley is mostly on the left side until Pangong; so pick a seat along the door of the bus.
  • All of the above mentioned buses halt at Chang La top for a brief period of time, about 10-15 mins.

I hope the above mentioned information on Leh to Pangong Tso Bus was helpful. If you have any further questions; please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will be glad to answer. If you have traveled in Ladakh by the local bus service; and have any information that can be added here for other people’s benefit please do add it in the comments.

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64 comments

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Soumya Koley June 4, 2020 - 9:02 am

Can u please tell me the return bus service time from Pangyong to leh on next day?
2nd from lake to Nubra velly can visit by bus ?

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Vargis.Khan June 5, 2020 - 2:48 pm

There are shared cabs available everyday between Leh and Pangong.
There is no public transport between Nubra and Pangong.

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Leh to Nubra Valley Bus service - Fare, Schedule & Timings - Vargis Khan September 17, 2019 - 4:21 pm

[…] Also read: Leh to Pangong Tso Bus Schedule & Fare […]

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Namrata June 25, 2019 - 9:25 pm

Hi Varghis!
I’m travelling solo to Leh. Any idea on how much the shared taxi will cost from Leh to Pangong tso?
Also, is it possible to rent a bicycle in Leh?

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Vargis.Khan June 26, 2019 - 2:31 am

Hi Namrata,

Leh to Pangong – About Rs. 400 per person
Bicycle – Yes

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Vidyashree WS April 19, 2019 - 11:29 am

Hi Vargis,

Great Post!
We are planning to travel to pangong Tso in the first week of June. However that day falls on Monday, there’s less chance of getting bus toward Pangong Tso, right?

-If so shared cab, how much approx does they charge? where exactly at leh to get shared taxi?
– do you suggest if we could opt scooty ?
-How will the weather be during that period?
-Is it possible to get shared taxi if we go from pangong tso to tso morini? do you suggest we head back to leh?

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Vargis.Khan April 19, 2019 - 1:13 pm

Hi Vidya

1. Abt Rs. 500 per person approx, starts from Leh Bus stand
2. Yes you can do that too
3. Pleasant
4. No you will have to come back to Leh

Do take a look at the post below

https://vargiskhan.com/log/camping-at-pangong-lake-banned/

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Ashish Vasava March 18, 2019 - 6:12 am

I got so much information from your page. Can i get the boarding time of bus leaving Pangong for leh in the morning?
Ashish From Gujrat.

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Vargis.Khan March 18, 2019 - 12:00 pm

There is not set time, it starts at around 7 AM

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Kedharnath March 13, 2019 - 8:41 am

Dear Vargis Khan.

Thanks for your time and help. I have few doubts:
1. Are shared cabs available from Tangste to Spangmik
2. How do you recommend a return journey from Spangmik to Leh on Friday (if I’m taking bus from Leh to Tangste on Thursday)

Cheers

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Vargis.Khan March 13, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Hi Kedharnath,

1. Yes but these would be the ones coming from Leh and passing through Tangste
2. You can find shared cabs from Spangmik going back to Leh

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Samantha January 25, 2019 - 6:43 pm

Hi there thanks for this great info. Is it possible to camp independently if you have your own rent? Also are there any “hidden” sections of the lake or around it worth checking out?

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Vargis.Khan January 26, 2019 - 5:38 pm

No “hidden” sections left anymore. And yes, you can pitch your own tent as well.

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jung su September 5, 2018 - 3:14 pm

We go to panggong tso by public bus on Sunday.
Can I stay for two days and take a public bus to lhe on Tuesday morning?

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Vargis.Khan September 5, 2018 - 9:27 pm

If not bus then you can easily get a shared cab back to Leh.

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Deepen September 5, 2018 - 12:22 pm

Hi, vargis.khan,
may i have state transport fare list for
leh to pangong lake via changla pass
leh to neubravalley via khardunglapass

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Vargis.Khan September 5, 2018 - 12:43 pm

Leh to Pangong – As mentioned in the article above
Leh to Nubra – See this post https://vargiskhan.com/log/leh-to-nubra-valley-bus-service-fare-schedule-book/

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Nadia August 23, 2018 - 5:24 am

Hi Vargis! If I have to choose whether to stay for a full day in Pangong Lake or Tso Moriri, which place would you recommend? Also, how do we go back from Tso Moriri to Leh using public transport? Do we really need to get back to Leh the very next day? Is it easy to find shared cab from Tso Moriri or Pangong?

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sapna jain July 19, 2018 - 6:54 am

Hi, we r 3 girls travelling from srinagar to leh on 30aug 2018. My question is do we need to book the cabs through tour operaotr in advance? We hve talked to several they are costing us 40k for nubra pangong n tso moriri . Do u think we can go there n get the price much cheaper or will it be the same ?
And about camps also as u mentioned that there is no need to advance booking ..but is sept a peak or off-season? Kahin esa na ho ki hum 3 ladkian vahan phas jaye? Please suggest

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Vargis.Khan July 19, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Private cabs will charge you that much. If you want a cheaper option than you can try shared cabs but that would have to be boarded the same day from Leh bus stand. You cannot really book those. And yes, please book your stay in advance. There is a huge tourist rush in Ladakh this year and you may struggle to find a place to stay.

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Neha Garg Ahuja September 3, 2018 - 10:39 am

Hi Vargis

My husband and I are planning to visit Leh in September 2nd week. How will be the weather there? We are planning to go to Pangong Lake via bus, is it recommended during this time? Any chances of snowfall?

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Vargis.Khan September 3, 2018 - 12:36 pm

Hi Neha,

1. Weather will be very cold at morning and evening.
2. Yes bus and shared cabs will be available
3. Snowfall will only be at top of the passes, very less chances in lower areas.

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shivam July 18, 2018 - 7:22 am

Hi Vargis,

Thank you for the informative insights. I wanted your opinion on doing this trip on a rented motorcycle, I am traveling with my wife in first week of october and wanted to check if it is advisable to do so considering it will be end of the season, also I am not sure about the condition of the roads so if you could please guide me.

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Vargis.Khan July 18, 2018 - 1:29 pm

Hi Shivam – Yes you can do the trip on rented bike but it would be a bit cold by October first week so ensure that you are well prepared. Thermals and a good windproof and warm jacket will be a must..

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Lidya Natasia Putri July 9, 2018 - 5:54 am

Hi Vargis, i plan to go to Pangsong Tso by local bus on this Aug.

When exactly the bus will stop? Is it near Pangong Camp Resort JKDTC?

What do u suggest, to book in advance or on the spot?

Many thanks

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Vargis.Khan July 10, 2018 - 3:50 am

Hi Lidya – The bus stops at Spangmik, a bit away from the hotel. There is no booking system available for it though.

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Lidya Natasia Putri July 10, 2018 - 6:49 am

Is there any camps/tents accommodation near (within walking distance) the bus stop at Spangmik? Thanks

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Vargis.Khan July 10, 2018 - 1:43 pm

There are plenty of camp sites within walking distance, hardly 10 mins

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Lidya Natasia Putri July 10, 2018 - 6:52 am

Is there any camp/tent accommodation near (within walking distance) the bus stop at Spangmik? I’m worry about finding a good camp/tent since i’m travelling by public bus (not by car). Thanks

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Vargis.Khan July 10, 2018 - 1:42 pm

There are plenty of camp sites within walking distance, hardly 10 mins

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Lidya Natasia Putri July 10, 2018 - 8:36 am

Is there any camp/tent near (within walking distance) the bus stop at Spangmik? I’m worry that i will be less flexible since i travel by public bus, not with car/taxi. Thanks

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Vargis.Khan July 10, 2018 - 1:41 pm

There are plenty of camp sites within walking distance.

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Lidya Natasia Putri July 12, 2018 - 2:09 am

Thanks a bunch Vargis!

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Vargis.Khan July 12, 2018 - 1:52 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Irrfan Pathan July 1, 2018 - 7:46 pm

Assalamualaikum Vergisbhai. I’m at Srinagar I’ll start my travel on 2 July 18 to Leh & would like return on 9 July 18 to Srinagar.. please suggest me budget trip plan..!

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Nishant April 2, 2018 - 6:06 pm

I have been reading through many reviews of European travellers visiting this area. And all says that it is overrated. What is the reality according to you?

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Vargis.Khan April 2, 2018 - 6:21 pm

I will not say that it is overrated but has started to get crowded these days. The fact that still however counts is that it is indeed a beautiful lake, like none other in India and the drive is quite scenic. Europeans will definitely call it over rated because they have other lakes there that are equally beautiful but in India we do not. Most of the lakes in our country have people squatting next to them every morning.

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Jack March 20, 2018 - 8:00 am

Hi Vargis Sir,

i plan to visit Pangong from leh by shared transport, is it possible in 1 day i can travel from Leh to Chang La to pangong in the morning and then leave from pangong to return leh by evening.

Are there transport options available from Pangong lake to leh

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Vargis.Khan March 20, 2018 - 2:28 pm

Bhai it all depends on your luck actually. The Bus from Leh to Pangong does not return until the next day and by the time you reach there, the Pangong to Leh bus would also have left in the morning. Your only option is if you are able to find a shared taxi.

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Vargis.Khan March 20, 2018 - 2:29 pm

Chances are very less though. Traveling by public transport, you will leave Leh in morning and will not make it to Pangong well past noon. Then you will spend some time at Lake so it is safe to assume that you will be looking for a mode of transport for return journey at around 2 PM. This is a bit late.

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Jack March 21, 2018 - 5:20 am

Oh ok.. thnkx for the info.. appreciated.
And yes, i’l have to look for shared transport only… if i have to make it back by night same day

& is it realy true that one can see the star lines at night in parts of ladakh (Link below) or its nly a myth?

https://www.google.co.in/search?q=night+star+lines+in+ladakh&client=firefox-b-ab&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiw__Hs1PzZAhUJgI8KHTMoCd8Q_AUICigB&biw=1280&bih=884#imgrc=_

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Vargis.Khan March 21, 2018 - 4:46 pm

I will recommend that you stay for the night there and come back the next day. It is totally worth it. Spend the evening at Pangong and see the sunrise as well the next day.

And yes, you can definitely see the stars and Milky way from there. See the post below. I clicked these pictures myself.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/nights-ladakh/

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Praveen October 7, 2017 - 4:24 pm

Hi vargis ji,

Appreciate your effort and valuable time and inputs help us and guide our trip.

Does public transport/shared taxi/mini bus available to nubra valley / pangong lake available during icy October/November month.

Thank you in advance

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Vargis.Khan October 7, 2017 - 10:39 pm

Hello Praveen – Thank you for your appreciating words. Public transport may remain available until mid October but definitely not in November. Shared cabs you can definitely find in October but by November, those will be scarce too

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Nisith Ranjan Ghatuari February 8, 2018 - 7:50 pm

IS the bus service is available from 22nd April to MAy 1st – 2018 . i am travelling during this period.

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Vargis.Khan February 9, 2018 - 2:43 pm

Most probably it will be but if not, then you will definitely find shared taxis.

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Tanya August 19, 2017 - 9:42 am

Hi,
I will be in leh from 22-24th.. and would like to take a bus to pangong on 24 th . How convenient is it from karzu road, that’s where my hotel is in leh.

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Vargis.Khan August 19, 2017 - 9:06 pm

Leh is a small town, you can cover all of it on foot in a hour. The bus is from Leh bus stand and it is hardly a 15 mins walk at most from your hotel.

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Tanya August 20, 2017 - 4:10 pm

Thank you. Is it advisable to take a bus to pangong tso? And should I book a hotel in advance or is it easily available on the spot ?

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Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 1:28 pm

Yes, you can take the bus. It is a safe way to travel. No need to book in advance. You will easily be able to find accommodation on the spot.

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Tanya August 21, 2017 - 2:03 pm

Are there any buses to nubra valley from leh?

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Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 2:50 pm
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yungdung August 10, 2017 - 9:45 am

i was in Ladakh a year back and didnt find any buses to pangong like you mentioned. the buses only leave on thursday 6 am. that was the only day. no saturday or sunday. Since im a avid trekker, i took a shared jeep with some indians till half way and trekked the other half way. but there wasnt buses on saturday or sunday.

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Vargis.Khan August 10, 2017 - 3:08 pm

There is no direct bus to Pangong or Spangmik as such. You will have to ask or look around for villages that I mentioned the bus is scheduled for. Take a look at this post for 2017 schedule.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/ladakh-bus-service-2017-frequency-fare-schedule/

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Ananna July 15, 2017 - 8:18 pm

Hi Vargis,

Its really helpful, Thanks. Could u please tell me if I go Leh to Pangong Tso by bus, where the bus will stop and how to reach Pangong TSO Lake from there? and next day when the bus will return to LEH?

Thanks

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Vargis.Khan July 15, 2017 - 11:08 pm

Hi Ananna – The Bus will drop you at Spangmik village, right on the banks of Pangong Lake and yes, it returns to Leh the next day.

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Ananna July 16, 2017 - 2:02 pm

Thanks a lot. do you know the exact time when the but leaves from Pangong? If I reach pangong at evening & bus leaves at morning next day, then how much time will I have there? 🙁

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Vargis.Khan July 16, 2017 - 6:05 pm

It starts sometime in the morning. On the day you will reach there, the bus arrives at Pangong sometime towards afternoon so you will get the evening to spend there. If you want more time, then you can hitchhike or find a shared cab back to Leh, do not board the bus.

Read the travelogue at the link below if you are traveling by public transport. This person also went there by Bus, shared taxis and hitchhiking. Could be useful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask her in the comments.
.
https://vargiskhan.com/log/hitchhiking-to-pangong-tso-return-leh/

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leela June 16, 2017 - 10:34 am

I will be travelling solo to Ladakh. I have been to Ladakh twice . I am familiar with the terrain. But this time I want to spend a night at Pangong. Have been to Pangong earlier. Kindly suggest stay option for solo female traveler, Not too expensive.

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Vargis.Khan June 16, 2017 - 1:14 pm

Hello Leela – Please take a look at the article below detailing accommodation choices at Pangong.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/accommodation-at-pangong-tso/

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leela June 22, 2017 - 6:37 am

Hi Vargis,

Thank you for the information. You are doing commendable work by providing detailed information on various aspects of Ladakh, which is very much needed.
.

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Vargis.Khan June 22, 2017 - 1:24 pm

Thank you Leela. I am glad that the information was helpful.

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Shan May 27, 2017 - 2:32 am

Hi, during last week of October how would be the weather in Pangong Tso and Nubra valley? Will the accommodation be available? Can we expect snowfall at these places due to very low temperature? In fact we are ok with snowfall only thing is if the road is accessible and safe then we are ok…

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Vargis.Khan May 28, 2017 - 2:19 am

It will be extremely cold however chances of finding snow at October end will only be around Chang La top, nowhere else. Its highly doubtful that any of the camp sites will be functional that late in the season though.

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