Zanskar 2016: Padum Phuktal Stongde Zangla Yulchung - Padum, Karsha, Bardan

Padum is an old trading post with many Muslim traders and a few dark, atmospheric hotels which we’ve avoided. It’s a cowboy town with drinking dens, loitering youths and a manly atmosphere. But we’ve come to like it. We eschew the newer hotels and stay right in the centre of town. Bucket hot water and repetitive food but large enough rooms. We have a mission to track down the one time King of Padum, or at least his descendant. He lives a short walk away in the old town which we never knew existed. He’s at home - and what a delightful man he is, in his seventies and alert to what’s happening in the world. The email service has failed him and he’s lost touch with many old friends, we try unsuccessfully to get him set up with a new account but at least, once we get home, we can send out messages for him.

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