Ladakh in May

Introduction

Summers commence from the last week of May and it is probably the best time to visit Ladakh too. Although there is a constant debate on visiting Ladakh in May, there are still many perks of traveling to the union territory early in the peak months.

From the end of May, Srinagar-Leh Highway reopens for tourists, and the visitors can enjoy early birds, discounts on hotels, and a lot of other things. It is one of the two routes to reach Ladakh by road in May. The month of May means less crowd in Ladakh and a better chance to witness the high snow walls on both sides of the roads.

 For those who want to enjoy a bit of adventure, May is the perfect time to go! Hence it won’t be wrong to say that May is one of the best times to plan vacations amidst the snowy Himalayas and rugged valleys.

In this guide of “Ladakh in May 2022”, we have covered all the possibilities and questions that you may have in your mind regarding your Ladakh bike trip.

Factors That Contribute to the Decision of Traveling to Ladakh in May 2022

There are a lot of factors that constitute the decision of traveling to a certain destination, and that also happens when you plan your trip to Ladakh by road or any other means. It is the weather, temperature, transportation options, highway status, things to know before you go, and other similar information. The land of cold desert, Ladakh lures tourists of all age groups to arrive and spend some time amidst the tranquil environment. 

But before you pack your bags and head to Ladakh, there is a certain thing to know about it! This will make your trip smoother, better, and more convenient. So, let’s discuss the best possible ways to travel to Ladakh in May 2022. It includes motorbikes, cars, air, public transportation, things to carry, information on accommodation, etc.

Ladakh Explained: Briefly in All Three Seasons

The terrain of Ladakh challenges thrill-seekers in winters, lush green lovers in monsoon, and family holiday lovers in summers. It entirely depends on the tourists' travel theme which month or season they choose to visit Ladakh. We will dig deep into every possibility of traveling to Ladakh in May 2022, including motorbike, car, air, public transportation, things to carry, information on accommodation, etc.

You are allowed to jump to any section that interest you:

Is May A Good Time to Visit Ladakh?

Yes! May is a good month to visit Leh Ladakh in 2022 but towards the end of the month. It is the time when Ladakh becomes accessible with snow melting away. But you still can enjoy the snow at high altitude passes like Khardung La. Weather in Ladakh in May marks the summer season and not a lot of tourists visit here during this month. You can consider Ladakh in May as a shoulder season which delightfully results in lower accommodation prices and less tourist crowd.

How Many Routes Are There to Reach Ladakh in May?

Although, there are two highways to reach Leh Ladakh; Srinagar-Leh Highway and Manali-Leh Highway. But you can travel through Srinagar-Leh Highway only! Manali-Leh Highway remains closed till June due to snowfall. 

What About the Srinagar-Leh Highway Status in May 2022?

Srinagar-Leh Highway usually reopens towards the end of May for tourists but it is highly advisable that one should check the weather forecast before heading. The total stretch of this highway is 434 kilometers (approx.). However, Border Road of Organization officials try to clear the snow as fast as they can. It will not cause any hindrance in your travel plan except a few road challenges due to water streams and still snow. 

What About the Manali Leh Highway Status in May 2022?

The Manali Leh Highway remains closed in May, and it reopens up in early/mid-June for travelers. The snow cleaning operation is in process and depending on the weather conditions there would be allowance for the visitors.

Is It a Good Option to travel to Leh Ladakh in May By Bike?

Yes! It is a good option to travel to Leh Ladakh by bike in May because the thrill is in store for you. Remember that you can only travel via Srinagar-Leh Highway and the roads will still be highly challenging because of the recent snow melting and there will also be water puddles at multiple places. Crossing and overcoming the slush at Zojila, Khardung La, and Chang La will also be thrilling, even for avid bike riders. However, it does not signify that car travel to Leh Ladakh is not possible in May so you can pick between these two vehicles and you should go for the one that you are proficient in. 

Is It A Good Option to Arrive Ladakh By Air in May?

Yes! Ladakh is accessible through the air throughout the year and even in May- it will be a good choice to pick this mode of traveling. And if you are traveling with your family, this will be the best way- at least in May. Moreover, this approach will remove all the ifs and buts and assure you that your trip will not get canceled at any cost. Traveling to Ladakh in May will also be a good choice if you are short on time and wish to take a quick trip. Reaching Ladakh by air gives you the assurance that you can spend more time in the serenity of the union territory because a road trip to Ladakh is supposed to be 9 days (approx.) or more! We suggest you book your flight ticket a few months in advance before your travel dates. 

Advice: The only challenge to reach Ladakh by flight is Acute Mountain Sickness. To overcome it, take time to acclimatize yourself for at least 1-2 days in the lower altitude regions in Leh Ladakh.

How is The Availability of Public Transportation to Reach Leh Ladakh in May?

If you are planning to take public transport to Leh Ladakh in May then the best thing is to take a train to Jammu Tawi and then take a bus from there. Otherwise, you will have to change multiple buses throughout your travel. Before deciding this, make sure that buses are allowed on the route. Because at times, even when the roads get cleared; buses are barred from plying in the initial days. Just for the safety purpose. 

Is Public Transportation Within Leh in May Smooth?

Yes! Once you reach Leh, you will find public transportation easily for several routes. This includes Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. There are bus stands from where you can hire shared/private cabs and commute within Leh. Remember, buses mostly leave Leh in the morning to cover the major attractions. In a very rare case, you will find less availability of buses, moreover, buses do stay at multiple attractions for quite sufficient time. You will easily find Sumo or Bolero for commuting within Leh and its famous attractions for the safer side. However, the price of private taxis/cabs is higher than public transportation like buses.

How About the Weather and Temperature in Ladakh in May 2022?

The weather in Ladakh in May 2022 would be comfortable and one can enjoy sightseeing throughout the union territory. But it still feels cold at night and chilly on days when you visit higher altitude regions. The sun shines brightly in the daytime and it becomes comfortable whenever there is a clear sky.

with an average temperature of 15°C to 20°C (approx.), and nights turn pleasantly cold. Overnight temperature can drop by 5°C (approx). If you are lucky, you will get a chance to see snowfall at the top of the Khardung La and other high-altitude regions. However, such a sight is rare to behold! To know more details about Weather in Ladakh

Are There Any Specific Clothes to Wear in Ladakh in May 2022?

Yes! Even when you visit Ladakh in May, you will have to wear a few warm clothes to keep away the cold. Windproof jackets, light woolens, thermals, and regular cotton clothes are the clothes that you will have to keep while visiting Ladakh in May. It is because, at such a high altitude, the weather is highly unpredictable and tricky. By this, we mean to say that within Leh, you will find several different elevations where the temperature goes down abruptly in a matter of minutes. There is a huge difference in weather when you are in the capital Leh, and at Nubra Valley or Pangong Lake. During the nights, the temperature would be cold in high-altitude regions like Stok Kangri, near the lake, and at high altitudes.

Can I Witness Snow in Ladakh in May 2022?

Yes! You can witness snow in Ladakh in May 2022 at higher altitudes like Khardung La, Chang La Pass, and Baralacha La Pass to say the least. But it completely depends on your luck. Most of the snow would have melted away till May. You can also witness the snow walls on both sides. 

Must Try Experiences in Ladakh in May 2022

Make your Ladakh trip in May 2022 memorable with the best experiences like visiting Buddhist monasteries, trekking to the Himalayas, meeting with heartwarming locals, and satiating your dream of mountain biking across Ladakh. You can also visit multiple attractions and go for a sightseeing trip to different places.

1. Enjoy the Thrill of Mountain Biking Across Khardung La

Khardung La pass is one of the best places to visit for people who love mountain biking. If you seriously want to satiate your hunger for wanderlust, you should land or arrive at Leh, rent a motorbike and go on a day trip to Khardung La Pass. It is just 40 kilometers (approx.) from Leh. You will find lots of nooks and corners that are photogenic.

There are a few roadside eateries selling mountain tea and Maggie. Enjoy the lip-smacking food while gazing at the breathtaking snow-capped vistas all around the Khardung La point at 5300+ m above sea level. Khardungla Pass is the paradise for snow lovers in India in May and the rest of the year as well!

2. Explore the Monasteries That Stood the Test of Time

Respect the cultural beliefs and follow the rules of Tibetan Buddhists at monasteries in Ladakh. By doing this, you will get access to the centuries ago monasteries like Shey, Thiksey, Alchi, Hemis, Stok, and Spituk. Leh Ladakh monasteries in May 1st week start getting visitors. This experience is an amazing one for the people who want to witness snow in Ladakh in May 2022.

3. Witness the Emperor of Himalayas - Snow Leopard

Don’t miss out on the wildlife at the Hemis National Park in Leh Ladakh in May 2022. It is where you will get the opportunity to spot the rightful emperor of the Himalayas, Snow Leopard. It is always advised to go on a guided trip to the national park and spot the Himalayan Beast. The only way to explore the park is on foot.

  • Note: The entry fee for Indians is 20 INR (approx.) and 100 INR (approx.) for foreigners. You should avoid night trekking because Hemis National Park is a hunting playground for Himalayan animals.
  • Advice:  Keep the map of Hemis National Park with you and try to get a guide for the trip!

4. Get Bewitched With the Partially Frozen Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso Lake is one of the finest places to visit in Ladakh. The pristine Pangong Lake is unique, serene, and beautiful. While you stay overnight at the camps here, get ready to watch how colors change in the Pangong Lake from the morning to evening! This lake is just like a heaven on earth for wandering nomads. The distance from Leh to Pangong Tso is 225 kilometers (approx.).

Note: Inner Lines and Outer Line Permit is required to visit the Pangong Tso Lake and regions like Nubra Valley and Turtuk Village. The reason behind this is the Indian Armed Forces presence in these regions due to national security purposes.

5. Watch the Textures and Colors of Nubra Valley

Located 116 kilometers (approx.) from Leh; Nubra Valley is a beautiful place where beauty meets adventure. At some places, you will find green hills; and at some places, there is a cold desert, and rocky in some. Nubra Valley is another enchanting reason to visit Ladakh. Don't miss to enjoy the double-humped Bactrian camel safari. When you go from Diskit to Hunder village in Nubra Valley, don't get surprised by the ever-shifting dunes. You would require an Inner Line Permit to enter into Nubra Valley.

Do’s And Don’ts In Ladakh

There are a few do’s and don’ts that one should follow while visiting Ladakh. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Do not forget to get the inner-line permit for your journey onwards from Leh.
  • Make sure that you keep enough water and snacks in your backpack. Ensure that you keep yourself hydrated.
  • Do not drink or smoke while in Ladakh and refrain from doing this at all cost. 
  • Do not take Acclimatization as a joke and do respect the heights. If you are taking a flight, just let your body adjust to the altitude changes.
  • If you are planning on a road trip to Ladakh in May, just have a look at the weather forecast before leaving. 

Conclusion

I hope this ultimate guide to travel to Ladakh in May 2022 makes you realize that a Ladakh trip is possible after ending April. Depending on the travel interest and comfort, you can choose to visit Ladakh either by road or airways. Make sure you need to acclimate yourself to the changing environment in Ladakh to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness. Renting a bike option is available in Leh town.

FAQs About Ladakh in May

Ans:Yes, you can see snow in Ladakh in May at higher altitudes. But that all depends on your luck because this is a very rare thing to happen.

Ans:The temperature remains between 15°C to 25°C. At times and at places the temperature can go below 10°C and higher to 28°C at other places in the daytime.

Ans:There is only the Srinagar-Leh highway that reopens in the last week of May. So, you just have one way in this month.

Ans: The weather will remain comfortable throughout the day unless clouds come in. You will have to wear a cardigan or a windproof jacket if the weather becomes chilly. Ladakh is located at an astonishing altitude and you need to be prepared for adversities as well.

Ans: We can’t compare because both of them have their share of comfort, enjoyment, and thrill. But most people prefer a bike trip.

Ans: Manali-Leh highway remains closed in May and at times in early June. It completely depends on the snow clearing process and weather. But mostly Manali-Leh highway starts to function for travelers from June.

Ans: Yes, it is open in May and is the only way that makes Ladakh accessible by road.

Ans: There are no festivals that are celebrated in Ladakh in May.

Ans: Sightseeing, exploring, visiting multiple attractions, enjoying the local market, and savoring the local cuisines are some top things to do in Leh in May.


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