Travel Responsibly To Ladakh In 2023 With These Essential Ladakh Travel Tips
What happens when you book one of the famous Ladakh tour packages? Well, preparing for a trip to a place like Ladakh could give you so much fun and excitement; we read a lot about the place on the internet, keep our favourite playlists ready, share our thoughts with friends and sometimes, even picture ourselves being there. But, what most of us forget is- to prepare for responsible travel in Ladakh. Therefore, Ladakh travel tips become an essential aspect. It is vital for a committed traveller to be respectful towards the place he or she is visiting and give more than take while travelling.
When I was planning for my first Ladakh trip (it was a month-long stay), I did overarching research so that every day could be made memorable. I read tons of blogs on tips for travel in Ladakh, watched several videos on travelling responsibly in Ladakh and gathered every possible information about the place for my stay. Since then, it has been four trips in three years, and I still remember each day of all my trips to Ladakh. So, from all my research and experiences of travelling, I have whipped out this list of some essential Leh Ladakh travel tips for your next travel to Ladakh.
Be Fit For Travel
The first tip in this list of Leh Ladakh travel tips is also the most essential one, as a traveller needs to be fit for travelling, After all, you can enjoy the entire stay and relish all the fun only when you are both mentally and physically fit. Besides being healthy while travelling, it is also essential that you take suitable precautions to avoid transmitting any infectious diseases to others during and after travel. You may also carry a medical kit and understand its full use. Further, it is also essential to be aware of things that ensure a fit trip, like acute mountain sickness in Ladakh.
Drive Carefully & Follow The Local Traffic Rules
One of the most common tips in Leh Ladakh travel tips and also the most important one, is driving carefully. Ladakh is renowned for its rugged terrain and narrow roads which host some of the best road trips in India, and are a favourite among adventure lovers and those who love to drive off-road. However, at times, all that glitters is not gold and therefore the same roads on which you’re having the time of your life and can turn out to be fatal too. Therefore it becomes absolutely important to drive carefully and to follow all the traffic rules too in the region for safe and sound travel in Ladakh.
Stay At Homestays In Ladakh
Next up in this list of Leh Ladakh travel tips is the one that might change the way you stay during your travel in Ladakh. Instead of staying in a luxurious hotel, I would suggest you stay at some of the traditionally built finest homestays in Ladakh. They are budget-friendly and offer home-like hospitality. Besides maximising your experience, staying at a homestay in Ladakh helps the local community to boost its economy. It also helps in sustaining ecology by reducing migrations and preserving local culture and traditions. Moreover, the government is planning to introduce homestays in monasteries as well.
Shop Locally Eat Locally in Ladakh
The biggest part of travelling responsibly is supporting the local community- helping them develop and flourish and that is the next tip in the list of Leh Ladakh travel tips. When you choose to shop and eat from local setups, you not only get the authentic experience but you also help the local economy to boost. I always make sure to shop from a local shop (not owned by outsiders) and eat from a small cafe owned by the locals. This helps me to interact more with people along with a pure experience.
Keep Your Carbon Footprint To The Bare Minimum
Another important side of a responsible journey is to be mindful of the impact we have while travelling. Doing small things can really make a big difference in keeping your carbon footprint to a minimum such as carrying a bag for your leftovers, taking public transport, using less water (after all it is a desert, though cold) and travelling in groups. I always carry an extra bag with me to take back all the trash that I create while I travel.
Regard the Locals and the Culture Of Ladakh
A true traveller is one who not just respects the place he/she travels to, but also its people and culture. Even if you do not like or do not agree with anything or anyone, make sure you are warm and kind in your behaviour. Also, we need to understand that this place holds far more significance for the local than any of the travellers. We are the outsiders and should always respect the place and its people in all small and large ways. I have too made an effort to be respectful in my approach during my stay in Ladakh. I also learned a few common greetings in Ladakhi like hello (Joo-lay), good morning (Nato Deleks), good evening (Photog Deleks) and please take care (Don-lay). Just a smile has worked wonders for me and it always earned me a smile back. It can work the same for anyone.
Keep Away From Wild Animals in Ladakh
One should never forget the fact that Ladakh is a cold-wild desert and a home to many wild animals. It is an ecosystem for snow leopards, antelopes, yaks, wild asses, golden eagles, rock buntings and many other wild faunas. These animals might harm you as they often try to protect their territory and young ones. So, it is better to keep away from them than get bitten or scratched and spoil your trip.
Use Shared Taxis
Global Warming, a term which we all are familiar with in the modern world has been one of the biggest concerns over the years, and when talking about global warming associated with a place like Ladakh, what could go wrong comes to mind. Global warming has been a concern for a long time in Leh Ladakh, with the melting of glaciers and rise in pollution due to toxic gases like CO2 and NO2. Therefore it becomes a duty and responsibility of every individual to do his or her share in order to combat the issue, hence using shared taxis becomes one of the most common and convenient ways to contribute towards it. While using shared taxis will help in the reduction of pollution and carbon footprint in the region, if you’re travelling solo to Leh Ladakh or as a couple, using shared taxis will also act as an opportunity to make new friends and interact with the locals, taking your travel in Ladakh even better and interesting.
Use Local Dry Toilets
Dry toilets are a common concept in Leh Ladakh for a long time now, which serve a plethora of purposes for the locals and the environment too. In Ladakh, dry toilets usually consist of two floors, the upper floor is used as the washroom, while the ground floor is where the excrement rests and goes under a natural decomposition process. These local toilets are beneficial for the environment as minimal usage of water is involved and the excrement also serves the purpose of being natural manure.
Besides your responsibilities towards the environment while travelling in a high altitude region like Leh Ladakh, you also are responsible for yourself and your well-being too. So scroll down and read about some essential Ladakh travel tips for a safe and sound travel experience.
Acclimatize To The New Surroundings
Probably one of the most essential tips in this list of Leh Ladakh travel tips is acclimatising to the new environment. Leh Ladakh is located at an altitude of 3500 metres above sea level, and high altitude means less oxygen. Therefore after stepping foot in a high altitude region, one can get struck with Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh, which can sometimes be fatal too. Acute Mountain Sickness is oa myriad degrees and types. Acute Mountain Sickness can be mild, moderate and severe, while the types include HAPE and HACE, which are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and High Altitude Cerebral Edema, which severely affect the lungs and the brain, respectively. Therefore it becomes very important to rest for a minimum of 24 hours before taking part in adventure activities or heading to some of the amazing places to visit in Leh Ladakh so that your travel in Ladakh is the best among all.
Pack Appropriate Clothing
The weather in Ladakh is absolutely unpredictable and can change anytime, that too very quickly. Therefore it is very important to pack appropriate clothing which can suit and sustain the changes. Clothing articles like warm jackets, gloves and hats can be a good option to carry. It is also important to wear layers of clothes so that you can remove the layers as per the weather conditions. Moreover, while packing clothes, one must also keep the local customs and traditions in mind too; since Ladakh is a Buddhist region, it is important to carry clothes which are in accordance with the beliefs of the people there. Need more information and guidance with what to pack for your Ladakh tour? Then don’t forget to check out How To Plan An Ultimate Trip To Leh Ladakh.
Hiring A Reputable Tour Operator
Not your ordinary tip, when talking about Leh Ladakh travel tips It is always suggested that you hire a reputed tour operator for your travel in Ladakh. This is because they can provide you with a safe and comfortable experience. They also guide you through the safety measures to take during your Leh Ladakh trip and will also provide you with information about local customs and traditions and about the things to do and don’t. Moreover, hiring a reputed tour operator also means that they will be able to handle everyone’s travel necessities, and they are the ones who will do the best travel analysis.
Besides safety and security, a good tour operator will also ensure that you have the best of everything, from accommodations, delicacies, and transportation to every other thing that ensures you have the best travel in Ladakh.
Movement in high altitude regions can cause dehydration, which then messes up your vitals, like your heart rate can become abnormal, your blood pressure can go to extreme highs and lows, which can lead to dizziness and can even cause you to faint, which surely will become a hindrance to your travel in Ladakh. To avoid situations like these, this addition in Leh Ladakh travel tips comes to play. Staying hydrated is the key to survival in high altitude regions like Leh Ladakh. Besides staying hydrated, you should also avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine as they too can cause acute mountain sickness.
Be Prepared For Emergencies
Leh Ladakh, located in the northernmost region of the country is also a remote region, therefore in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, getting help can be a bit difficult and can usually take time, and at times delayed help can cost you your life too. Therefore it is always better to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. It is highly recommended that during your travel in Ladakh, it is suggested to keep a first aid kit along with you at all times or inform your tour operator or hotel about your travel plans to be on the safer side.
Besides the first aid kits, you should also carry essential medicines like Diamox ( which helps in dealing with high altitude sickness), Dolo or Paracetamol, which help in dealing with body aches or lowering body temperature. Carrying these will surely ensure smooth and safe travel in Ladakh.
To have a pure experience of the land of High Passes, one should indulge oneself in its land, its air, its people and its culture. Think of what you can get by travelling responsibly in Ladakh and the joy of knowing that you’re doing your something for the betterment of the environment.