There is no doubt that one of the best tourist hubs in the north and in fact in India, is Leh Ladakh. This remote region has been loved by tourists and many seem to throng the place each passing year. Ladakh is a place full of surprises because of its unusual landscapes, for instance, there are snow-capped mountains but cold deserts are present too. Ladakh has recently been turned into a new Union Territory with its capitals Leh and Kargil. Apart from being a freezing place, it also shares borders with countries and there is sometimes a bit of unrest in the region. Therefore, it becomes essential to carefully and meticulously plan a trip there keeping in mind various factors. Use this post to guide yourself in making a foolproof Leh Ladak plan.
Things To Remember For Leh Ladakh Tour
Whether you are traveling via a tour agency or planning on your own with rented or own 2 or 4-wheelers there are certain things common that you have to keep in mind.
Choose the ideal season
It is no surprise how cold the weather is in the Union Territory of Ladakh. Considering that, winters are the harshest there. So, it is only wise to choose an ideal time to visit especially if you are traveling with your family. Most of Ladakh’s roads are open from mid-May to mid-October. So, for convenience select, these months for the best experience as the climate in Ladakh is just perfect during these months. However, if you want to experience trekking in the winter months or go for the coveted “Frozen River” trek then you can consider visiting from January to March when it has already snowed but the weather is less harsh.
To travel means to take the bare minimum of essentials so that you enjoy the most of your trip. This is why you should carry as few things as possible to Ladakh but those which are of actual importance. One reason is that many a time the oxygen levels are low in places in Ladakh and it will prove difficult for you even to carry yourself around. Thus, take only very important things. Here is a list of important items which you cannot live without in Ladakh:
You need to be well hydrated during your trip because there is an inherent risk of dehydration arising due to physical stress on your body (breathing in oxygen-deficient places and traveling). As this is a remote area you will not find many potable water sources sometimes for miles. So, you should carry and refill your supply of water. Dehydrating yourself will make you lethargic and even susceptible to altitude sickness.
As cash is the main medium of monetary exchange in Ladakh, you are left with fewer options. So, it is best to carry enough cash along with some spare for your trip. You should keep your cash separately in different sections of your luggage or pockets so as to minimize losses just in case.
You can also Do Bir Billing Tour Package as it is a very amazing package.
Because you are venturing into a Union Territory, you will need to show proper identification from time to time. Many of the places are guarded by the Indian Armed forces as Ladakh is at the Indian border which is why you will be asked for identification by the personnel.
You cannot survive the harsh weather of Ladakh without a good set of warm clothes. Needless to say, in one of the coldest places on earth, you will be needing warm clothes with you. They are a must and you should have more than one set. Your warm clothes must include one pair of warm inner wears, a pair of good jeans and one fleece jacket.
If you have medical conditions, it is better that you carry your own supply because there are not many hospitals in Leh Ladakh.
Quite frankly a trip to Leh Ladakh is incomplete without shooting pictures and videos of your entire trip. For this, you need your photography and videography kit at its best. If you are biking then it would be ideal to have a good-grade head-mounted camera like GoPro. Make sure your recharge your mobile phones and camera whenever you get time as there are not many towns in Ladakh.
You need to have a power bank to charge your mobile and gadgets as you cannot depend on having charging facilities in a remote place like Ladakh.
You may find yourselves in rain during your ride and that is why it is better to have a raincoat to avoid getting wet. You should also take one or two waterproof bags to carry your belongings.
Your bike renting may or may not give you a puncher kit. In that case and also if you are taking your own bike then carrying a puncher kit with you is a must because you will be riding for many kilometers before finding a village or town. Also because Ladakh is a remote place, you are better off being on your own.
The dictionary meaning of acclimatization is “the process of adapting to a new temperature, altitude, climate, environment or situation”. True to its meaning, one cannot visit places in Ladakh without acclimatizing there that is, our bodies are not capable of handling extraordinary temperatures really quickly. We should ideally get our bodies familiar with the cold conditions for ideally one day without doing much activity before we can move to an even colder or higher altitude. Otherwise, there is an increased risk of getting high altitude sickness which is also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). The most common point for acclimatization is usually Leh, especially, if it is the first place you visit. There are many places to visit within Leh where you can look around while acclimatizing. Another important detail is that you should not halt at high altitude passes like Khardung La or Zoji La for more than 15 to 20 minutes as the temperature is extremely low in these passes and it can cause AMS or other conditions.
There is a reason why you almost every time see young people in pictures of Leh Ladakh trip on the bike. That is because you need to be in optimum physical health so as to tour Ladakh without any problems in order to survive in places with low levels of oxygen. Increase your stamina by doing physical exercises before your trip begins. This will help you to prepare physically and also help your lungs to become strong.
Sometimes even the fittest of persons can face problems there if the lungs are not healthy. Therefore, people with lung conditions are not advised to visit because there are not many advanced medical facilities available due to the remoteness of the location. If however, you have mild conditions and are hell-bent on going then you could go at your own risk but with your medication and be mentally prepared.
When it comes to biking through mountains and high-altitude grounds, consumption of alcohol is a strict no-no. This is because of two reasons:
- You will be dehydrated quickly
- Biking or being under the influence of alcohol may put you at various risks
Passes and Permits
Places in Leh like the famous Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley require visitor permits. Although these can be taken online it is better to get them by yourself. You can get them when you reach Leh city and these are available even in hotel lobbies.
You should follow the news about the climatic as well as political conditions in Ladakh. As the roads can sometimes be narrow and treacherous and are also prone to landslides you should look out for news updates about the upcoming roads to avoid any mishaps. Although, Ladakh is not much affected by political matters it is better to pay heed to the news surrounding it.
Now that you have gone through the list of things to remember while touring the Leh Ladakh trip on a bike, you can go through your plans again for anything you might be missing out on. The Leh Ladakh bike trip is a great opportunity to connect with nature and oneself. Don’t let the little things bother you and plan ahead and go stress-free on the trip of a lifetime.