After a lot many Tours, Experimentation, Testing, discussion with Guests & Drivers; & personal Visits, I am in a position to differentiate the stay between Jispa (3200m, 10500ft) & Sarchu (4290m, 14070ft) for our Leh Travelers.
Here goes the analysis the simplest way:
Altitude Manali (2050m, 6726ft), Jispa (3200m,10500ft), Sarchu (4290m,14070ft), Leh (3524m, 11562 ft)
Few of my Questions to people planning to stay at Sarchu on first night post Manali on previous night!!!
Q1: Please look at the altitude difference between Manali & Sarchu, Manali & Leh, Manali & Jispa??
Ans: Manali & Sarchu- 7344ft
Manali & Leh-4836ft
Manali & Jispa-3774ft
So, please note that if you have chosen Sarchu over Jispa, it implies that you will be sleeping at an altitude EVEN HIGHER than Leh today. STRICTLY NOT RECOMMENDED.
Result: Visitors have been observed vomiting, having severe headaches next morning, in most of the cases due to non acclimatization with altitude.
Q2: Are you fine staying inside Tented accommodation or you are also the one who always needs a bricked accommodation?
Ans: At Sarchu, there have been only tented accommodation as the only stay option; however Jispa offers you the variety ranging from Tented Campsites, Bricked Hotels & Traditional Homestays (at Keylong) as er your choice.
Result: Sarchu being at higher altitude gets chilly & windy during the night. Visitors have been found feeling cold during late night hours.
Q3: Are you fine, if you miss a few landscapes, landing at Sarchu late evening?
Ans: Rohtang la has been observed as a major block/hindrance for Leh tourists, killing at least of 4-6 hours to pass through. Ideally, one should reach Sarchu in 7hrs if Rohtang does not play a spoilsport. Consequently, opting Sarchu makes it delayed, leading to reach there by late night.
Result: You arrive late at Sarchu, also missing the daylight view beautiful landscapes of Baralanchala (just before Sarchu)
Q4: Telephone/Cellphone Network?
Ans: While being on such a trip, its not always once priority to be in touch with outside world, especially when you ask me. So here Sarchu wins over Jispa. Jispa is well connected through BSNL network as far as cellphone connectivity is concerned, .
Q5: Will you require any kind of Medical Aid?
Ans: Sarchu being a remote, far flung barren land does not have much medical facilities besides an army camp. So, beware if you are traveling with kids or old age or you keep on having any medical requirement. Jispa is well connected/nearby Keylong, Community Health Centre, having all basic medical facilities, if at all required by you.
However, if you are returning from Leh, your body must have already acclimatized, you would have traveled to higher altitudes, you have complete choice to opt any of the two.
Still, if you are short of time & planning to depart from Manali, the very next day VOLVO (3:30m), you are again advised to give a stop at Jispa on previous day. This will surely help you to save time & reach Manali on time to board the VOLVO
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