Do you wish to stroll along the world’s highest saltwater lake, visit the serene white-domed Shanti Stupa, drive through scenic Nubra Valley, and offer prayers at Diskit Monastery? Then, this complete ‘How to Prepare for Ladakh Trip’ travel guide will come in handy.
In this Ladakh travel guide, know all you need about the type of clothes to carry, what documents are required for Ladakh bike trip, how to deal with AMS, permits required for Ladakh travel, cost of travel, how to travel to Ladakh with kids and senior citizens, and much more.
Clothes to Carry for Ladakh
What to wear in Ladakh can be a little tricky provided its temperatures fluctuate throughout the day especially in summers. The kind of clothing you would carry to Ladakh in summers will differ from that of winter. Below is the list of types of clothes you must carry on a Ladakh trip according to the summer, winter, monsoon seasons. Whatever the season might be, always be prepared.
While packing for the Ladakh trip for summers, make sure to carry less heavy woolens and more cotton clothes. Carry clothes that you layer easily like t-shirts, thermals, light woolens, and windproof jackets. The temperature during summer is very unpredictable. You might be wandering around in a single t-shirt during the day and need a woolen jacket at night.
If you are planning a trip to Ladakh in the monsoon, you must pack waterproof or fast-drying clothes made of polyester material. There is no need of carrying the extra weight of heavy jackets when you can get away with wearing light woolens and windproof jackets.
On your ‘things to carry for Ladakh winter trip’ put heavy woolens, a lot of thermals, a windproof jacket, insulated socks, waterproof shoes, woolen monkey cap, and sunglasses. Ladakh in winter experiences sub-zero temperatures and putting all the woolens in your house would be an understatement.
Things You Must Carry to Ladakh Trip
Make a checklist before you start packing, in case you might forget something important. While packing clothes for your trip, make sure to pack the essentials to avoid the last-minute hassle. Carry all required documents, medicines, electronics, eatables, and other necessary items you need for your Ladakh travel.
- Documents - Voter ID, driver’s license, passport, or Aadhar Card, itinerary, copy of flight ticket, hotel reservation, medical insurance, and more.
- Medicines - Diamox tablet, pack of glucose, cough, fever, headache, and other basic medicines.
- Accessories - Sunglasses, sunscreen, cap, and gloves.
- Toiletries - Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, towel, etc.
- Eatables - Dry fruits, chocolates, disposable spoons and forks, and mineral water.
- Electronics - Chargers, spare battery and memory cards, and power bank.
- Cash - Carry cash as there are no ATMs after the Manali or Srinagar route.
- Phone Connectivity - Get BSNL/MTNL postpaid connection.
Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
Whether you are on a bike trip to Leh Ladakh with an alleged company, or a self-drive trip, some of the essential items you must carry on your trip are -
- Basic tool kit including jack and spanner
- Air Compressor and foot pump
- Puncture repair kit
- Spare tyre and tube
- Jumpstart cables
- Fuel refills
- Good pair of muffler/scarves
- Bungee CordsProtective gear
How to Rent a Motorcycle to Ladakh?
A bike trip to Ladakh is a dream of many bikers. But when you don’t have a bike and still wish to travel in Ladakh by bike, don’t go and buy one. Just rent it! Depending on your itinerary, you can rent a bike to Ladakh from Manali, Leh, or Srinagar. Remember to not pre-book a bike anywhere. Just reach the destination and ask around and then decide on the spot.
How to Travel to Ladakh
Traveling to Ladakh is easy. You can take your car, hire a taxi, or simply board a flight. There are no direct trains and the nearest airport to Ladakh is approx. 700 km away in Jammu. And nobody wants to travel that much. Right? Therefore, here are the easiest ways to reach Ladakh -
Ladakh by road Ladakh can be easily reached by road. You can plan a road trip to Leh Ladakh by bike from Srinagar and Manali. For more information - -Traveling from Srinagar to Leh -How to Travel from Manali to Leh.
Ladakh by air If you are planning to travel to Ladakh by air, then the nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. It is located in Leh and is well-connected to many international airports in India including Delhi. You can board a flight from Srinagar, Chandigarh, Jammu, and other major destinations in the country.
Bike, Car, or Taxi: Which transport is better for Ladakh?
Well, there are several ways you can travel to and within Ladakh. Of course, traveling to Ladakh by bike is the most preferred way by bikers and adventure enthusiasts. If you are traveling by family, then traveling by car/taxi is the best option. You can also board a bus from Manali, Srinagar, and ISBT Delhi. If traveling solo, taking shared taxis is one of the best ways to save some pennies. LINK
Permits Required for Ladakh trip
For those who don’t know, Ladakh is located in proximity to the India - China border and to visit here, one requires a permit from the District Magistrate’s Office. This issued permit is not applicable for visiting Leh but other areas such as Pangong, Tso Moriri, and Nubra valley. Further, if you are traveling from Manali, you need to get a separate permit for Rohtang Pass, which can be obtained from Manali itself. Here are the following permits for Ladakh -
Inner Line Permit or ILP - This permit is issued by the Indian government for Indian nationals that live outside the state. It allows you to enter the restricted areas for a limited period.
Read complete detail: Innerline Permits in Ladakh
Rohtang Pass Permit - This permit is divided into two parts. The first one is called ‘Permit for tourism purpose’ and is required by those vehicles who are traveling till Rohtang Pass only. The second one is given to vehicles that need to cross Rohtang Pass towards Spiti or Lahaul Valley and is called ‘Permit for travel purpose’.
Protected Area Permit or PAP - It is also issued by the Indian government to foreign nationals. With this Ladakh permit, they can enter the restricted areas like places near LOC (Pakistan) and LAC (China) for a limited period.
Fuel Availability in Ladakh
Due to the increased number of tourists and avid bikers, the fuel availability in Ladakh has improved a lot. Whether you are coming from Manali or Srinagar, there are many places you can get fuel at. Also, carrying some extra liters wouldn’t hurt anybody.
Petrol Pumps on Manali Leh Highway - Tandi is the only petrol station between Manali to Leh. You can also find one at Karu as you will get closer to Leh city.
Petrol Pumps on Srinagar Leh Highway - When coming from Srinagar, you will find numerous petrol pumps on the way. If traveling from Srinagar, there is a little petrol pump before Sonamarg, and from the Leh side, the petrol pump is at Khalsi, which is about 90 km from Leh.
Spare Fuel - Carry at least 10 liters of fuel if you are coming from Manali. Otherwise, you can get spare fuel at Karzk and Kargil.
How to Deal with Acute Motion Sickness in Ladakh?
Being at a place where you’ve never been before, at such an altitude, in new climatic conditions with low oxygen levels can lead to altitude sickness. Therefore, it is very crucial to the causes, symptoms, precautions, medicines, and remedies to handle AMS in Ladakh.
Causes of Acute Motion Sickness - Ladakh is situated at a high altitude where there is less oxygen level. This causes stress and uneasiness in our bodies and leads to Acute Motion Sickness in Ladakh.
Symptoms of Acute Motion Sickness - AMS symptoms are not very unique. High fever followed by vomiting, headaches, chest pain, nausea, etc. can continue for a few hours to even a day. It depends on the individual. But if you have never been to a high latitude place, you are bound to feel few AMS symptoms in Ladakh.
How to handle AMS? - To handle it, avoid smoking or drinking, move slowly, do not turn the heater on, get a good amount of sleep, hydrate yourself, and eat nutritious food.
Medicines for AMS - Diamox or Acetazolamide is the preferred medicine for AMS. It helps the body to get used to the altitude and reduces minor AMS symptoms. You can take it a day before you climb and then for the next 1 to 2 days. And please consult a doctor before consuming the medicine.
Home Remedies - Ginger, clove, garlic oil can benefit a lot during AMS.
Traveling to Ladakh with family
How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh With Children
Planning a trip to Ladakh with kids, infants, children, and toddlers have its challenges. Make sure that your child is between 1 year to 18 months of age. It will make things a little easier for you. Also, you need to always keep a check on their behavior and look for any symptoms that may cause AMS.
How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh With Senior Citizens
Before planning a Ladakh trip with elders, make sure to consult a doctor. If your elders have a history of any health conditions or are currently going through one, avoid traveling to Ladakh. The high altitude can cause serious problems to them. Apart from this, if you visit Leh with senior citizens, and they complain about any symptom of AMS at Pangong or Moriri, cancel your plans and return to Leh.
What to Buy in Ladakh
It is impossible to come empty-handed from Ladakh as it has plenty of options to choose from. On your visit to Ladakh, do indulge in some shopping time and get yourself and your loved ones something to look back to and remember. Some of the most famous things to buy in Ladakh markets are Tibetan handicrafts - prayer wheels, Buddhist masks, Gur tea churners, and Buddhist flags. Ladakhi jewelry - blue stone jewelry, and Ladakhi silver jewelry. Handwoven Pashmina products - stoles, caps, gloves, and socks. Handicrafts - t-shirts with themes, hand-woven rugs, and carpets.
Must-Try Foods of Ladakh
A great combination of Tibetan, Chinese, Continental, and Korean dishes, Ladakh cuisine is very popular in India. On your visit to Ladakh, savor some of the best dishes prepared by the locals. Thukpa, momos, Skyu, Chhutangi, Tingmo, Chhurpe, butter tea, Chhang, Khambir, and Apricot Jam are some of the famous foods in Ladakh that you shouldn’t miss.
Cost of Ladakh Trip
Honestly, the cost of the Ladakh trip varies a lot. If you are traveling to Ladakh in a taxi/car, then the budget will include things like taxi rate, accommodation rate, sightseeing, etc. On the other hand, if you are planning a trip to Ladakh by bike then you need to consider - the fuel, spare fuel rate, accommodation, motorcycle rent, etc. You can easily plan a budget trip or a more luxury one, depending on how much budget you decide.
Average budget for visiting Ladakh
INR 25,000 to INR 38,000 is the average cost for visiting Ladakh. *Prices are subject to change.
Is Ladakh safe for tourists?
Yes, Ladakh is safe for tourists. There is no crime rate and the people are extremely simple and humble. Of course, you must not take any unnecessary risks, visit areas that are not meant to be visited, do not wander around, and have your proper documentation.
How much time is enough for visiting Ladakh?
It simply depends. If you travel by car, then 7 days are good, otherwise, bikers need 12 to 14 days to cover maximum places in Ladakh. Ladakh cannot be covered in a rush. So take your time, get acclimatized, and make the most of your time in Ladakh. Also, to be more precise and clear, make a day-by-day itinerary, and if not, choose a trusted destination management company like Leh Ladakh India, which can make a curated Ladakh itinerary for you.
Hope this helped! Now that you have all the required information for How to prepare for the Ladakh trip, go ahead and plan one! Choose a reliable company to help guide you through your Ladakh tour and help you gain the best experiences that will last for a lifetime!