It is hard to understand the Ladakh region without mentioning the people. Descending from kings of old Tibet, Ladakh was an independent kingdom for 900 years. In Ladakh, immigration from Tibet over a thousand years ago overwhelmed the original population, the Dard's racial characteristics. It is a region of vast empty distances and of high altitude and isolation. Snow closes this region's access by road for 5-8 months out of the year. This isolation affects food purchase, tourism, travel, and many aspects of Ladakh life.