Village in Around Leh

Rumbak's compact old core has an architectural coherence that makes it one of the most appealing of Ladakh's roadless villages. A fine saw-toothed mountain horizon adds to the scene. Barely three hours' walk from Zingchen (and an easy taxi hop from Leh), Rumbak (along with Yurutse) makes a good one- or two-day hiking escape from the capital, and nine families here offer homestays.

In March, Rumbak is a popular starting point for snow leopard-watching treks. In summer you can hike to Stok, in a strenuous seven to eight hours, via the 4900m Stok La (Namling La) pass: turn left and descend at the second mini-pass. (If there’s cloud on the pass, don’t attempt this without a guide.) You might also stay in Rumbak before scaling 6121m Stok Kangri, or as you hike the longer variant of the Markha Valley Trail.