How To Plan An Ultimate Trip To Leh Ladakh- All FAQs answered!
Since everybody dreams of opting for Leh Ladakh tour packages and going on a trip to Leh Ladakh once in their lifetime, it is pretty evident that a trip to Ladakh needs a lot of planning.
A traveller’s mind is no less than a quiz book when it comes to planning a trip to Leh. With hundreds of questions like what to carry to Leh Ladakh, how to rent a bike from Manali to Leh, or whether is it even safe to travel in Ladakh, many of the plans never meet reality because some question or the other remains unanswered. So that you finally live your dream of travelling through the mountain passes of Ladakh, we’ve answered all your frequently asked questions below.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Ladakh?
Seasons do not affect the beauty of a place. The only concern is accessibility.
While Ladakh looks nothing short of a white wonderland in winter, a road trip to Leh Ladakh remains impossible due to heavy snow. Ladakh’s temperature during the months of November to March drops as low as -14 degree Celsius. Major connecting roads are closed down at this time. However, you can make the most of subzero temperatures and go for the famous frozen river Chadar Trek.
Summers begin to bloom from April to May in Ladakh. This is the time when tourism resumes, and a new life breathes into the valley. However, during these months, not all roads from Manali to Leh are operational and accessibility might still be an issue to reach Leh Ladakh by road.
So easily the best time to visit Leh Ladakh begins in June. It is now that the summer sun shines bright in the vivid landscapes, and sheets of snow melt into beautiful pristine lakes.
The Peak season to visit Leh is from July-September. During this time, tourism in Ladakh is in its full glory. You can witness the best panoramas and also attend the local Ladakhi festivals.
Winter begins to seep in again in the regions of Leh Ladakh in October. There is a drop in the number of visitors and also tourism facilities. However, you might be able to find some cheap deals during this off-season!
Must Read: 50+ Amazing Places To Visit In Leh Ladakh
Is It Safe To Travel To Leh Ladakh?
The straight forward answer to this is-YES.
Proximity to China border or continuous military supervision in the Ladakh region often instills fear regarding the safety in traveler’s mind. While we totally understand the reasons for such speculations, but here’s a reality check.
It’s true that many incursions have taken place in the past but the areas of unrest have been far away from tourist destinations. The fact is tourism is Ladakh’s bread earner. The Indian Army based in Ladakh is pretty helpful to all tourists, and this adds to the safety provisions in Ladakh.
Now unless you are planning to barge into the borders, Ladakh remains one of the safest places to visit in India. Ditch those inhibitions and go live your best days in the Land of High Passes!
Must Read: 13 Best Places For Shopping In Ladakh
What Are The Places To Visit In Ladakh?
Every place will look worthy of a stop and gaze the moment you will set your eyes on the majestic mountains on your trip to Ladakh. We are sure that the Pangong Tso Lake of the 3 Idiots fame is surely on your Ladakh Itinerary, but there are many other exotic locations to explore in this region. Below is the list of must visit places in Ladakh which will help you navigate through your Leh Ladakh tour plan a bit easily.
Must Read: 20 Popular Restaurants In Leh Ladakh
Gata Loops(21 hairpin bends)
These extremely challenging and picturesque road bends are for sure an interesting encounter on your way to Leh. Apart from the treacherous curves, the Gata Loops have an interesting myth to them. The locals believe the presence of a ghost on the roads that allows the passengers to cross only if they shower offerings at his hut.
While we can’t say whether the story is true or not, but offerings in form of mineral water and cigarettes can definitely be seen in abundance at the mysterious hut.
This is the most interesting pit stop for all travelers and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Leh. The Magnetic Hill in Ladakh defies the law of gravity outright where vehicles appear to move uphill on the downhill road!
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A beautiful white domed stupa that represents Lord Buddha’s message for peace draws a lot of tourists for its panoramic location. Located at a height of 11,841 feet above sea level, the Shanti Stupa shines brightly as diamond during the full moon night.
Hall of Fame
When you are out on the roads of Leh, you must not forget to pay your gratitude to those who ensure your safety throughout the valley and even beyond it. The Hall of Fame Museum lies on the Leh-Kargil Road and is a museum built in the memory of martyrs of Indo-Pak wars and displays the artifacts and remains of war. We strongly think that it is one of the must-visit places in Ladakh and should not be missed.
The Leh Main Market is a colorful street where you can purchase the intricate Tibetan carvings, artifacts, and woolen clothes. It is a great place to spend your evening at Leh. With some bargaining skills on the sleeve, you can easily take home a few souvenirs for friends and family.
Pangong Tso Lake
This place needs no introduction, thanks to the movie 3 idiots. The Pangong Tso is reckoned a favorite place in Leh for all travelers alike. The beautiful lake changes its colors into multiple shades of blue and green many times a day. A picture on a yellow scooter with the panorama of Pangong Lake is certainly a hit amongst the tourists. The Pangong Tso lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Leh Ladakh that surely deserves a visit.
The rustic landscape of Nubra Valley nestled along the Shyok River is a perfect place to know about the local Ladakhi culture. You can experience the best Ladakhi food, butter tea and chit chat sessions with the locals here. Diskit Village is the headquarter of this valley and the Diskit Monastery is one of the major tourist attractions of Nubra. This place is also ideal for you to acclimate yourself to the high altitude of the entire Ladakh valley.
Tso Moriri Lake
The Tso Moriri Lake is the highest Lake in India and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes in the World. A calming stretch of blue waters is a treat to your eyes and also to your camera. However, there the accommodation options around the lake are limited hence a trip to Tso Moriri needs some advance planning with your tour operator.
A ride across the KhardungLa Pass is for the ones who are out in Ladakh to savour the extreme thrill and adventure the valley has to offer. Although its status of being the highest motorable pass in the world is debatable, the ride to this pass is sufficiently challenging. The entire road is laced with splendid vistas that and can surely satisfy your greed for scenic beauty.
Also Read: Monasteries to visit in Leh Ladakh
What Are The Essential Things To Carry On Your Ladakh Trip?
The beauty of Ladakh lies in its remoteness from the contemporary world. While this is a boon, but the aloofness might leave you deprived of certain facilities you are used to availing in other tourist destinations.
Below you’ll find a list of essentials things to carry to Ladakh. It has been prepared on the account of numerous travellers who’ve visited the place. Make sure you keep all these things in mind while you are packing your bags for your dream trip to Ladakh.
ID Card And Other Documents
The first and foremost item to keep with you while packing to ride through the mountain passes is your government ID card. To get your inner line permit, you will also need multiple passport photos of yourself.
Make sure you carry sufficient photocopies of your procured permit and your id proof to enjoy a hassle-free journey through the roads of Leh Ladakh. To know more about the permits, you must checkout our blog, permits for a Ladakh road trip.
There is an acute shortage of ATMs in this region. You will encounter only a few ATMs on your entire journey from Manali to Leh and the availability of cash is again not guaranteed. Hence it is advisable to carry sufficient cash with you to last during the entire trip.
A SIM Card that works!
Only BSNL/MTNL postpaid connection works in Ladakh. You can purchase a temporary SIM or else be prepared to enter the network free zone for a major part of your trip.
Lots of UV protection
Harsh weather combined with direct sunlight won’t be pleasant to your skin and eyes. It is recommended that you carry a pair of UV protection sunglasses and sufficient sunscreen and lip balms.
Warm Clothes and Comfortable Footwear
Even if you hit Leh Ladakh in summers, you must carry warm and comfortable clothes to last you throughout the trip. Also, a good pair of hiking shoes is a must when you are on the journey to such challenging terrain.
Ladakh is a high altitude area and acclimatization to such a place takes time. You must carry medicines for headaches, diarrhoea, and altitude sickness along with other first aid essentials.
What is Acute Mountain Sickness and what are some tips to prevent Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh?
Acute Mountain Sickness is a condition which is caused by a reduction in air pressure and oxygen levels, the condition usually happens at an altitude of over 8000 feet and when a person ascends to high altitudes too quickly. Acute Mountain Sickness is also known as pulmonary edema and is of various types.
The symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness usually include dizziness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and in rare cases the Acute Mountain Sickness can become serious and can even lead to complications with the brain and the lungs. Acute Mountain Sickness comes in various degrees and types.
Mild AMS, Moderate AMS, and Severe AMS are the three degrees of Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh, which are very common in the modern day. Some rare types of Acute Mountain Sickness include High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, which leads to the production of excess fluids in the lungs. High Altitude Cerebral Edema is the formation of excess fluids in the brain which causes swelling of the brain.
Some tips to prevent Acute Mountain in Ladakh include:
- Climb Slowly: The major reason why Acute Mountain Sickness happens is during the ascend, people climb rapidly, and the body doesn’t get the time to get acclimatised to the new environment. Therefore it is highly suggested that one climbs slowly and give the body enough time to the new high-altitude surroundings.
- Avoiding Alcohol: Consuming alcohol, cigarettes, or medications like sleeping pills before a trip to high altitude can make the Acute Mountain Sickness even worse, therefore it is suggested that you stop consuming them 48 hours before the trip.
- Drinking Water: It is highly suggested that you keep consuming water at regular intervals to avoid the AMS affect you.
- Carry Proper Medication: Acute Mountain Sickness can hit you at any point in time, therefore it is suggested to carry proper medications like Diamox and Acetazolamide to treat the sickness in case it gets to you.
What’s the suitable age bracket to go on a Ladakh trip?
Ladakh, being a high- altitude region has less amount of oxygen and at times can produce harsh weather conditions, therefore it is safe to say that Ladakh is not meant for all, especially for the fainthearted.
Though travelling to Ladakh has no specific age bracket until one has a medical condition or a history of a medical condition, it is however suggested that people falling in the age bracket of 18 to 45 should visit this adventure paradise.
Everyone who visits a high-altitude region like Ladakh suffers from Acute Mountain Sickness, unless he/she is someone who has been to similar areas before too. It is because of the Acute Mountain Sickness, it is not recommended to travel with children to Ladakh or any other high altitude region of the same kind.
Is Ladakh a good place for a Workation?
Absolutely! The very thought of working from one of the highest peaks while enjoying the breathtaking views of paradise can become a reality in Leh Ladakh. A workation in Leh Ladakh is where business combines with adventure; since the concept of workation is on the rise, having one in Leh Ladakh will give you the ultimate thrill.
However, there are a few things that one should keep in mind before heading out for a workation in the mighty Leh Ladakh. Some of them are as follows:
Stays and food: In Leh Ladakh, there are a plethora of options for accommodations, and due to the unpredictability of the Ladakh weather, one should choose their accommodation wisely. Ladakh has accommodations on the cheaper side like dorms which costs somewhere around INR 400 per day only. Those looking for luxurious accommodation too will find one easily.
Internet: When it comes to a workation, a good internet connection is probably the most important thing. Since Ladakh is a high-altitude region with limited internet service providers, one should research well beforehand, about the hotspot zones or cafes or hotels which will be having a good internet connection and bandwidth.
Transportation: Commute in Ladakh can be very expensive, and venturing out after a hard day’s work too is necessary, therefore you if you can bargain for low-cost transport, then it’s all good, otherwise, you should look out for a place which is near the attractions to where you can walk to after toiling.
These are some of the important things to look for when planning your workation to Ladakh.
What are some of the do’s and dont’s in Ladakh?
Ladakh, despite being a very popular tourist spot is also a secure area and has an inclusive culture; therefore it is necessary to follow some do’s and dont’s for travelling responsibly in Leh Ladakh.
Consulting a doctor before your Leh Ladakh trip
As mentioned before, Leh Ladakh is not a place for people with a medical condition or with a history of medical issues like heart or lung diseases. Therefore it becomes important and highly recommended that you see your doctor as they might prescribe you some medications before your trip.
Stay At Hotel That Have Oxygen Supplies
Since Ladakh is a high-altitude region, Acute Mountain Sickness can happen at any point of time, therefore it is important to stay at hotels which have a good oxygen supply, so in case if you feel that Acute Mountain Sickness is getting to you, or feel that your oxygen level is dropping, then you can immediately breathe in oxygen to spike up your oxygen levels.
Take a rest day after reaching Ladakh
The excitement of exploring a new place can take over the best of us, however in Ladakh, that can be a bit problematic. This high land is located at an altitude of over 18,000 feet therefore the oxygen level in the surroundings is less, it is suggested that after reaching Ladakh, you take a rest day to acclimatise to the new surroundings. Moving out immediately after reaching Ladakh can cause AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness.
Carry a bottle of water and some snacks everywhere you go
Ladakh, does not have a lot of grocery stores everywhere, therefore it is highly recommended to carry a bottle of water and snacks everywhere you go.
Avoid the use of drones
Ladakh, besides being an amazing tourist attraction, is a secure zone too, therefore using drones in the area is prohibited. Usage of drones in the area can land you in legal trouble too.
Do not use Google Maps
Using Google Maps in Ladakh can lead you to the wrong place sometimes, therefore it is suggested not to completely rely on Google Maps since a good internet connection too, is dicey in the place. Asking locals for directions is a better option in the place.
Do not use plastic bags in Ladakh
The government of Leh Ladakh has officially banned the use of plastic bags, therefore it is suggested that you carry jute bags or store the garbage in your own bag until you find a designated garbage dumping spot or dump the garbage in your hotel.
How To Rent A Bike For Ladakh?
A bike trip to Ladakh is definitely the best way to explore the beauty of a mountain desert. The journey is so much fun when you are out there riding a beast machine through the challenging yet equally picturesque roads.
While many people travel from Delhi to Leh on their own bikes, you can also rent one from your pit stops. Bike rentals are easily available at Srinagar, Manali and Leh City. All you need is your Driving License as a proof of identity to secure a bike for yourself. The average Leh Ladakh bike trip cost for 10 days comes out to be around 45k including the fuel. Also, few rentals shops do charge some amount of money as security which is either refundable or adjusted in your overall payment.
You also have the options of hiring a bike from Manali to Leh and dropping it at Leh instead of a round trip. However, you have to pay an extra amount to the mechanics to bring back the vehicle to the shop. Also, keep in mind that a bike from Manali can only be driven until Leh City. To drive through other parts of Ladakh, you need to hire a bike from Ladakh.
And now that all your queries are sorted, get your friends together or hop on solo to live. We are offering Leh Ladakh Tour Packages from pan India so that nothing stops you from taking this trip of a lifetime. If you still got any other queries, connect with us to help you out. #AbTohLehChalo!