Changspa Road is right behind the ridge on the Shanti Stupa road and is like a universal village. It is a new sprung colony which is sustained by tourism. There are far more hotels and guest houses than permanent residence at Changspa Road. It is truly a tourist’s colony, designed and dictated by the wants and popular demands of tourists.
Almost 90% of foreign tourists in Leh live on the Changspa Road or around it. There are many budget hotels and guest houses here. Tourists own the place as much as the locals do and Changspa is considered to be safe and friendly. Another good reason is that most tourists prefer living with foreign tourists rather than Indian tourists. Thirdly, there are far better cafes and restaurants at Changspa Road than in the rest of Leh. Also, most of the travel agencies are located along this road and tourists don’t have to go far to book a ticket or consult for travelling. It makes everything so much easier.
Changspa Road has an exuberant charm. It has everything within its one street confine, from money changing facility to beautiful garden café with Wi-Fi facilities. It looks young and happening. Some restaurants including the ‘Wonderland’ are among the most popular restaurants of Leh. They serve amazing food abiding by western standards (that’s what they say).
Changspa road is a world in its own. It is exotic to the locals and foreigners alike. Side by side there are cozy western café that serves pie and just opposite there are shops that sells Indian trinkets. It is this charming blend that keeps the place alive.
Room tariff may differ slightly but you’ll even find room charging as low as Rs.100 for a night. Normally budget hotels are within the range of Rs. 200-300. Cheap, but nice clean rooms are one major factor for the influx of tourists. If you compare the hotels to that of Srinagar; a normal room in Srinagar charging Rs. 600 will be available at half the price in Leh.
It is ironically funny that hotels and guest houses here, charge Indian more than they charge foreigners. There is just one blatant explanation for this. Indians come here for just few days and they are willing to spend while foreigners came for stay not less than a month, some even for six months. So they would bargain every ounce of their time to make the stay as cheap as possible. They spend a lot more on food.
Changspa Road may as well be a considered as a blueprint for a perfect destination.