The curtain has not fallen yet; the sun has not yet set; and the carnival is still on. The roads to Leh/Ladakh are still wide open. You may have done all the research on the places to visit here, but there’s a lot more to this trip than just research.
You must prepare – with the fervor of Sherlock, with the spirit of Columbus. So, while you’re free to do all the research you can, ixigo brings together 35 tips you should remember before/during Leh/Ladakh visits .
This is your checklist; make sure it matches.
1) Do not take a night halt at higher altitudes; AMS will hit you sooner or later.
2) Keep yourself hydrated; drink water every 40 minutes / 1 hour.
3) Do not indulge in strenuous physical activity until you have acclimatized sufficiently.
Read also: Rajasthan
4) Prepare for this trip in advance; build stamina, go jogging, do all the yoga in the world you can think of.
5) AMS hits everything; it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve hit the gym in the plains, or how fit you are.
6) AMS hits most after crossing 10,000 feet; be prepared for a lot of pit stops after crossing that mark.
7) Leh / Ladakh is a place you simply don’t go for 4 days / 5 nights packages. These are not Andamans; there is much to see, behold and, of course, prepare even when you have reached it. Go for at least 10 days.
8) After each advance of 3000 meters; do not go further than 1000 feet.
9) 75% of people who go to the region are affected by AMS; how severe or not so severe the symptoms are. So, relax.
10) ORS is your savior for this once in a lifetime journey. Pack in packs and packs of it.
11) Stay away from alcohol/smoking on this trip.
12) Avoid sleeping for extended stretches; enjoy light physical activity to keep yourself alive.
13) If you take Leh/Ladakh road, Srinagar-Leh highway is a better option as it offers the relief of gradual accent.
14) If you take the Manali-Leh highway, keep in mind that Malling Nullah is the landslide zone. Be careful crossing this stretch.
15) Be careful as you pass through villages on the way to Kaza . The roads here are narrower than you could ever imagine. Fortunately, motorized roads are being worked on.
16) As you flutter through these roads, enjoy the wonders. Like the village houses!
17) Walk carefully. Just to let you know, roads from the city of Shimla to Kaza are considered to be one of the deadliest in the world.
18) Stick to a group. Being in a convoy always helps. Aside from reducing the risk, you won’t have a hard time clicking your own photos!
19) A stay in Jispa is recommended because of the relatively lower altitude.
20) Also keep in mind that Sarchu has more decent lodging options.
21) If you like to burn rubber, it is recommended to have a 4 x 4 car.
22) Although it would be very cold, UV rays will affect you badly. So take plenty of precautions, starting with a more effective sunscreen and goggles.
23) Rather than relying on ATMs for cash, it is recommended that you carry more cash with you. Just to comfort you, there are now 4-5 ATMs in Leh, so you wouldn’t be completely out of cash.
24) Using Vodka in places with windshield washer fluid is advisable as it will not freeze even at higher altitudes.
25) If you are taking a car, it is advisable to have it fitted with emergency kits which are easily available for around INR 4000.
26) Choose vehicles that offer more ground clearance. Moreover, you can also consider going for a lower abdominal set.
27) You may need to tow your vehicle at certain times, especially cycling. And it could be water that you might be treading. So go for several pairs of shoes, preferably rubber ones.
28) Tow Rope is something that is a must for this trip.
29) Taxi fares are fixed for almost all routes. So, all you have to do is inquire.
30) Just looking for a taxi, a taxi at Spiti is easier than taking a taxi at Zanskar Region .
31) For a general idea, the fares on the route are usually – (they may differ for various reasons)
Manali to Leh – INR 16,000
Leh naar Nubra – INR 8500
Price – INR
Hair Removal – INR 10000
Leh to Srinagar – INR 23.000
32) Two essentials for the travel medical kit are Disprin and Camphor (makes breathing easier) .
33) Go for a fast descent if AMS hits you; it is the quickest help you can do for yourself.
34) Dress in layers. A light jacket is always a must.
35) If you are looking for a tour partner for sightseeing / taxi sharing around Leh, please note your route on the white boards outside the restaurants / cafes in Leh with your contact details. You’ll soon have company.
When you are back from this epic tour, don’t forget to write us. We are waiting for more tips for the list, join us. I know this list is read as great preparation and intimidating at the same time. But hey, safe isn’t always good. A trip to Leh/Ladakh isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a sip. Travel, learn, enjoy.
Check out this route map to Leh from Manali if you are thinking of a road trip. It is especially for cyclists.
And yes, happy travelling.