9 Mistakes People Commit on a Ladakh Trip

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In the last article, I introduced you with the top 12 myths of a trip to Ladakh. In this article today, I will share the top 9 mistakes people commit while considering a Ladakh trip. Enough stress has been put on the importance of acclimatization and AMS for making a memorable trip to Ladakh. BUT, still many other factors drive people towards believing in its importance in reality. I will try to make you understand some of the such common factors or mistakes for making a successful trip to Ladakh or any other high altitude place in trans-Himalayas.

Piles of Prayers at Tso Moriri, Ladakh
Piles of Prayers at Tso Moriri, Ladakh

Top 9 Mistakes You May Commit on Your Ladakh Trip

Given below are the most common mistakes people make while making a trip to any high altitude place including Ladakh. Why I am sharing with you? The problem is that people start abusing the places like Ladakh for their horrible trips and tag them as harsh, unforgiving places. However, they forget that it is not the place or region which is harsh or unforgiving, people still live up there in such place. It is the way you planned or executed your trip to such a place what causes horrible experiences.

1. I am very fit and have good body, I do not need acclimatization

AMS does not matter with respect to any age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness level I shall say :D… I have personally seen the fittest of the fit kneel down and cry like hell when AMS hits them. So, do consider the principles as suggested by acclimatization schedule and try to follow them to minimize the chances getting hit with AMS which in result will spoil your Ladakh trip.

2. I have done many high altitude trips, I do not need acclimatization now

No matter how many trips you under go to Ladakh or other high altitude places and how many times you under go every year, AMS just won;t spare you if you break its basic principles. Been there in trans-Himalayas countless times in last 7 years and having suffered AMS twice very badly, believe me, it is not something to be taken lightly. It cries the death out of you when it strikes and in such remote terrain you know what it is to be in India for survival !! Hence, you need to understand & accept that your body needs time to adapt to high altitude and you should respect that basic natural principle rather than boasting any stupid reasons.

3. I have clocked 100,000 Miles, I will breeze through the roads in Ladakh

Never be over confident that you are master of driving or riding or you have done Rohtang Pass ‘x’ number of times, you are a champ driver in plains with 100K miles of driving/riding experience, etc.. because driving to Ladakh especially via Manali – Leh Highway could be one of the strangest and adventurous drive you will ever undertake in life. Never think that any overlying stone will not hit the underbelly, never think that the road ahead is straight as an arrow like runway and you can cruise through it, etc… Such a thinking can get you/your vehicle stranded in the middle of no where for hours to up to days.

Even the smoothest and straightest of the roads, which look super fine, newly laid tarmac are washed in between or have sudden bumps in them which can badly hurt your vehicle. If you see a big rock lying in between on road especially at sections with loose gravel then it is always you better step out and throw it away to make your way instead of taking any chance and getting your car’s underbelly hurt with it.

Drive with caution on Ladakh trip, things can go wrong to the best of us
Drive with caution on Ladakh trip, things can go wrong to the best of us
4. I never plan my trips, I give a shit on planning a trip and so for a Ladakh trip too

Well, this is what I hear most and those commenting consider themselves coolest stud on the planet BUT PLEASE always keep in mind, “Trouble never comes knocking your door” !! 😉 😉 … It is good to be impromptu in travel but with a remote place such as Ladakh where even a diarrhea can lead you to death path if not treated in time, I will personally suggest that please plan at least basic things before making a trip to Ladakh. I am advising you just because I do not want your family and loved ones to go through what one of my knowns and I went with just that cool mistake in the past…

5. I can follow his WRONG plan because he had no issues on his Ladakh trip

This is mostly fine, if you are following a plan suggested by an expert and covers basic principles of acclimatization. However, it horribly goes wrong in cases when people try to copy anything including short crazy drive plans just because they read an account of someone who did it. Believe me, 80 out of 100 times you may just be fine with mild headaches and few sleepless nights BUT what if you end up in that remaining 20, vomiting blood like him & documenting the experience here for the sake of others well being 😯 😯

6. I have done 800 KMs drive in a day, so, 400 KMs in a day in Ladakh is nothing in for me

You may be a great driver or a rider having done 1000s of KMs in a day BUT keep in mind these are trans-Himalayas and they RULE the time and life up there. You may be able to do 400 KMs in Ladakh on a last day, which is perfectly fine because you are going to descend to lower hills where your body is used to live. However, things change when you plan something crazy as doing Manali – Leh Highway in single day while going to Ladakh. Again, it is completely possible but just imagine a very possible situation of running without acclimatization and having a tire puncture just below Taglang La pass. Man, you are in mess in that case !! 😯 😉 …

Rare moment when you smile over a puncture on Ladakh trip
Rare moment when you smile over a puncture on Ladakh trip
7. I can take my infant baby because I have seen many pictures where people took theirs too

It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!! Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

8. I can drink alcohol because there have never been issues

I know you are a champ when it comes to patiala pegs BUT bhai, please hold on to them in Ladakh or high altitude places because any kind of tobacco, smoking and alcohol or other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillisers, and sleeping pills etc..  decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of the AMS symptoms. The alcohol actually dehydrate your body further which does not help a bit in acclimatization.

9. I can remove my shirt for a selfie at Khardung La or Chang La 😉

Wow, that is the MOST coolest thing that you SHOULD NEVER do in Ladakh 😀 😀 … The highest motorable road and a sleeveless or shirt-less selfie up there does make a deadly, super cool combo for your next profile pic on Facebook BUT always remember that exposing the bare parts of the body, especially the chest or lower neck, to the cold winds at that high altitude with less acclimatized body also makes a FATAL combo which can lead you to being seriously ill or just take that next morning flight from Leh back home in horrors 🙂 🙂

Those extra pegs can cost you the Ladakh trip
Those extra pegs can cost you the Ladakh trip

Conclusion

With years of experience of traveling to high altitude places, I have been able to bust these myths outlined in the last article and mistakes in general people commit for a Ladakh trip in this article. I hope this will prove helpful to you in making your upcoming trip to Ladakh as memorable as it can be without committing such common mistakes now that you know about them in detail.

Do you know or have you experienced any other mistake you committed while making a Ladakh trip or any other trans-Himalayan trip? If yes, do share with us here too so that it helps other fellow travelers in planning a memorable trip to Ladakh.

If you found above article useful, then PLEASE stay connected with us on Facebook or Twitter or Email Subscription for any himalayan travel queries or travel updates / tips / news / guides on Traveling to Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kashmir and other parts of Himalayas. Travel, off the road with us...

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107 Comments

  1. Aarun Sharrma on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am visiting second time Ladakh on 21st September 2016 and will be returning on 26th Sept Morning (by flight). During my first trip, I have covered Nubra, Pangong, Sham Valley and all the local sight seeing. This time, I would again like to visit Pangong and rest I am open for suggestions. Being an expert, could you please help me with an itinerary. Thanking you in advance.

    Thanks and Regards
    Aarun Sharrma

    • Hi Aarun, the biggest trouble with Ladakh trip is acclimatization and to explore other parts of Ladakh your body has to be acclimatized properly otherwise as it is your second trip, you know what can go wrong. First two days will be strict rest days and acclimatization around Leh. You are left with 3 days where last day I will suggest for Pangong Tso day trip. On Day 3,4 you would have a choice of Nubra Valley but then that you have done, so better make a trip to Kargil – Batalik – Dah Hanu – Lamayuru in these two days.

      • Aarun Sharrma on

        Thanks a ton Dheeraj,

        Please advise as to where can I stay overnight while doing Kargil-Batalik- Dah Hanu- Lamayuru and what all places I can explore. Thanks.

        Thanks and Regards
        Aarun Sharrma

        • Aarun, you should make the trip to Kargil via Lamayuru and stay overnight at Kargil and then next day cover Dah Hanu going via Batalik and reach Leh by evening.

  2. It’s a mistake what I did –
    I fly in to leh flights were cheaper and will always be you just need to keep checking it at different time before departure – drastic change in flights rate –
    But opting for arrival leh flight is always cheaper then departure flight from leh airport for the same reason as – flight industry understand your need to quickly go out of the place and reach home so that you can meet up your schedule like office on Monday or other thing .. And flight is a easy and quick option – so the departure leh flight are always expensive then arrival – never think to book departure leh flight at the last moment as it will be too expensive .
    So the basic is
    For arrival flight keep checking rate till the last moment , you may get the ticket at the half price but for departure flight book before as ur budget suggest as the last minute booking will cost u double or more price ..

    Dear dheeraj it was a suggestion – as your information are really very good and appropriate ..
    But these flight operator just taking an advantage of the natural transportation issue ..
    From srinagar flight rates are similar not much change –

  3. Hi Dheeraj,

    Superb article!! I’m happy to say that I strictly followed your instructions on this blog last year and had a cool trip with 2 other friends last year!! We followed the guidelines of controlled hydration, staying at Leh for a day to acclimatize etc. I got away with just minor headaches.

    Thanks to you and this wonderful website! 🙂

  4. HI Dheeraj,

    Its is nice article, I thank you for taking this effort and write here. I need your advicee on below things.

    1) If I plan to fly directly to Leh from delhi, how much time will it take for acclimatization for 32 year old (normal) person.
    2) Is it a good idea to take road from leh to srinagar after sightseeing in Leh for 4 days.
    3) Is it advised to stay in one hotel and take round trips in Leh to nubra valley, leh – pangong lake and leh – tsomorri lake or I need to change hotels and stay overnight somewhere on each day.
    4) Do I get shared cars for the trips especially for Leh to srinagar

    thanks for your advice
    thanks,
    -Diwakar

    • Hi Diwakar,

      1. It takes about 2 days to acclimatize in Leh and some people may take more time. It depends upon how much rest you take initially and how much body you keep hydrated.
      2. If you have to take the road, better fly in to Srinagar and fly out of Leh.
      3. In just 4 days after 2 days of acclimatization, you can make 2 day trip first to Nubra and then to Pangong Tso
      4. Yes, you should be able to get it with ease.

      • It’s better to fly in to leh and later take the road route leh to srinagar and fly out –
        Reason
        1-Flight from srinagar to Delhi or other places are cheaper then from Leh
        2-plan about leh laddakh is such that in start if u reach srinagar you feel like reaching to laddakh first thus making the Srinagar around trip waste .and if if you try Srinagar at last then you may have time or no time to try out the places around Srinagar –

  5. Hi Dheeraj, I read your articles and loved the information provided in them. I wanted to ask that we are group of few people planning to travel Delhi to Leh-Ladakh by bike in June end. I have my Suzuki Gixxer 155CC (which is new and in fine condition). So this bike is ok or do I need to rent Royal Enfield only.

    I don’t know about the bike specifications for this trip. Thanks!!

    • No Rohan, the bike will do just fine. Make sure you have done service of bike about couple of weeks before the trip so that you have a chance to ride it within plains after service and figure out any overseen issues.

  6. Hello Dheeraj, loved your blog and the details therein about places. We are planning to go to leh by air from Delhi in the first week of June 2016 for 9 days. We are a group of 8 adults and 4 kids ranging from 3.7 years to 13. Would you kindly point out the important things we need to keep in mind regarding the younger kids? Also pointers regarding acclimatisation? Thanks . Anu.

    • It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

  7. Nitin Kashyap on

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning for ladaakh in June. I just want to know where we can pitch out tent ⛺??

  8. Nice article Dheeraj. I have already completed delhi-manali_leh twice, and this year planning for Delhi-Srinagar-Leh from 26th June 2016.
    I liked this article coz I loved the way you pointed out common mistakes. In fact I also feel, there is no proud in hitting Manali-Leh road wit out any preparation. Yeah I do agree, most of them may not face any problem, but few people may. So it is always advisable to understand the conditions very well.

    keep up the good work bro.

  9. simran jain on

    Hi dheeraj

    I am planning a trip to ladakh in the first week of june. We will be travelling there for the first time. We live in bangalore. We were planning to go on our own instead of a package. We are 3 couples. Is it ok if we go by road to ladakh from delhi? Or it ll be better if we directly go to ladakh from bangalore? We wanna go by road because they day tht d road trip to ladakh is just amazing. Can u please help me out?

  10. HI Dheeraj,

    We are a couple who are first time travelling to Laddakh in may end. We have only 7-8 days in hand to cover Ladakh.
    We are planning to Fly direclty to Leh from mumbai.
    We want to take the direct route from Nubra to Pangong if possible , so that we could go on a trekking trip that starts on 29th May from Leh. Can you please help us in planning the trip?
    🙂

    Thanks
    Anshu

  11. Manish Yadav on

    hey Dheeraj..
    we are 5 friends and planning a trip to leh via manali buy a sedan car. Can u tell me time when the manali leh highway will be opend compltly for tourists. we r planning to leave around May 10.

  12. Can you update on manali leh highway, your article says it will open in march-april.. so is it open as we are planning to leave in first week of june and reach rohtang pass by 15th june.

    • No sunny, due to snowfall in April month, in fact couple of days back too it snowed heavily, snow clearance operations are stranded and it will take about a month to open Manali – Leh Highway

  13. Hi dheeraj
    Your web site has lot of Information for ladakh travel. My question to you is that I am travelling first time bike trip to ladakh. So what is d best time to do this, my preference is June second week. So is it perfect as I want to experience snow as well at the same time have a easy road journey too. Also if you know any bike travel groups who plan the entire itinerary. Secondly you suggest to start from Srinagar so this remain same for bike as well?

    • Sunny, when going to Ladakh there is nothing easy ride. If you want easy ride in comparison to rest of season, do it in last two weeks of September when water crossings are tamed and there is snow slush. Yes, going from Srinagar remains the same.

      • Thank for quick reply. Can u tell me how does the weather play’s in June? Does it rains as well? And if you could share your experience and important information for bike travel will be very handy.

        • Sunny, yes sometimes it rains but it should not be of bother unless you are absolutely out of luck. I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread for bike trip to Ladakh or any other part of Himalayas at the link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

  14. Alok patel on

    Hi Deeraj,
    We are 4 people from Surat(Gujrat) planning to do self driving(Tata Safari 2*2) to Leh starting from surat.
    We have planned for 20/24 days excluding the days spent.
    We wanted to cover the route Surat -Amritsar-srinager–sonmarg-kargil-leh-nubra valley-pangonglake – Manali-kaza -sacha pass-Dalhusie-Chamba-surat.
    Can you please suggest us the important spots to visit on the listed place?
    How much time can be spent on each place to cover the above ?
    Would be great if you can customize the itinerary to suite us.

    Regards
    ALOK PATEL

    • Hello Alok,

      You can follow the below plan:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Jammu / Patnitop
      — Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop

      Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
      — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 3 | Srinagar – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 4 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La

      Day 7 | Hunder – Sumur/Kyagar – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik)

      Day 10 | Pangong Tso Lake – Shey – Thicksey – Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 11 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 12 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 13 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
      — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 14 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Jispa

      Day 15 | Jispa – Chandratal
      Day 16 | Chandratal – Kaza on the way (Ki, Kibber, Gette)
      Day 17 | Kaza/Langza Homestay (Hikkim, Koumik, Langza)
      Day 18 | Kaza – Pin Valley – Dhankar – Tabo
      Day 19 | Tabo – Kalpa
      Day 20 | Kalpa – Narkanda
      Day 21 | Narkanda – Chail / Shimla – Delhi

      I will suggest that you make the trip to Sach Pass some other time. Or you really want to include the trip of Sach Pass in this only?

  15. Nice article, sensible hints; did this trip many times, last summer too, after a few years away from the Himalayas; amazed by the number of Bullet riders, mostly Indians; nowadays riders are hardly a space oddity in Ladakh (Zanskar or Spiti a bit more though). My record was 15hrs solo from Leh to Manali, October around road-closing time, no camps left, didn’t feel like pitching in the snow, so direct. wouldn’t advise it at all, if only for the fact that where is the enjoyment if one does not take the time to discover this amazing scenery!
    Full puncture repair kit, spare tube and tools, and previous practice are essential; I wasted 2 hours on top of Tanglang-La last september, to help a group of Northbound Israelis who had no clue nor adequate tools to fix their puncture; “thanks” to them I had to ride solo by freezing night till the camp down from More plains checkpoint…;+)

  16. Vinod Chawla on

    Hii Dheeraj,

    I am planning a road trip to leh from Delhi in first week of june with 3 of my friends. Would really appreciate if you could guide me the route, stoppage points, precautions, places to stay. Would really need your advise, also we luv to see kashmir too, what do you suggest it would be better while going or on the way back. thanks for all your help

    • Hello Vinod,

      You can start from below suggestion

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.
      While going from Srinagar to Leh, you might need to work out few things as there have been some tensions now in taxi unions and to settle it out what they have done is that they have a transit point just before Fotu La while going to Leh from Kargil. All Leh taxis stop there and kargil taxis too. They exchange passengers and move back in respective directions. Leh taxis take passengers to Leh coming from Srinagar/Kargil and Kargil guys take passengers to Srinagar/kargil coming from Leh

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.

      To know about AMS and acclimatization including the tips to combat AMS, please DO READ: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

  17. HI Dheeraj,

    Firstly I would like to thank you for taking time to share your experience and advises which are very helpful.

    I am planning for Ladakh trip with my friend, for now there is only two of us committed for this trip, we have fixed our dates for this trip from 6th June – 16th June.

    We are travelling from Mumbai – Chandigarh – Mumbai.

    Our plans are to start the trip from Manali, would you be so kind to help us plan our trip.

    This is our first trip and we are very confused as to how we start out trip.

    Thanks again will wait for your response.

  18. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to visit Leh in August or September for around 10 days from Delhi. Can we plan like below:

    1. Delhi to Srinagar via Flight. Then Srinagar to Leh via Road
    2. Return to Delhi via Manali

    Please assist as we would like to enjoy the scenic beauty in between which we could miss if travelling by air all the way.

    Waiting for your reply.

    Thanks
    Aarti

    • Hi Aarti,

      I will suggest to add few more days and plan something like below:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Srinagar
      — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

      Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 7 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

      Day 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 10 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
      — Stay overnight at Sarchu

      Day 11 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 12 | Manali – Delhi

      With August, it will be monsoons so you should have some buffer days as well to mitigate landslides.

  19. Nitin Pathak on

    HI Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip from Ahmedabad to Leh ( 3 of friends). I had been reading a lot on other websites and following / making notes of answers. This website (and your writing style) is hands down the best information I could get. What a time to stumble upon your website.

    Precise information on Myths, Mistakes travelers make are amazingly written.

    I have recommended your web-link to my other friends as well.

    Really wonderful, I will keep following it daily till the time I finish this memorable trip !!

    Thanks a ton brother.

    Nitin
    Ahmedabad

    • Hemal Raichura,Mumbai on

      Hi Nitin, When you are planing to for trip? is it by Road/Bike trip ? i AM FROM Mumbai.I wish to go for trip & looking for company to go.

  20. Hi dheeraj..for acclimatisation what are the precautions a traveller should take on a trip to leh..are there any medicines which needs to carry

  21. Hi dheeraj. Thanks for the information ,I hv already booked a flight to leh on 12th may..;when I am reading the article it says road open by 2nd week..not sure if I hv planned the day right;should I reschedule

  22. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for tremendous information out there. I am planning a bike trip starting 3rd week of April, Manali to Leh. Reading all your threads, I am not sure if roads are open or not in this route. Also given that bikes out of Leh are not allowed for sight seeing, would you recommend fly from Delhi to Leh, hire a bike in Leh?
    I am travelling to spend some time out alone..Also I have heard Hemis monastery can allow visitors to stay in their monastery, do you have any idea on this?
    I am planning to just go around Leh, for about 2.5 weeks. Any quite and serene place..

    Thanks

    Dr G

  23. Hiiiii Deeraj …We are planning 5days leh trip 19th to 23rd September 2016. Plz advice how can we plan it ?we are above 50.

        • So, you just have 5 days only 🙁 ..

          You can only do something like below in that case:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
          — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
          — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
          — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
          — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
          — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
          — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
          — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
           
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
          — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
          — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
          — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          — Overnight at Leh
           
          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

          Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
          — Do not plan to stay overnight at Pangong Tso as you will not be acclimatized and may fall sick. So, make a day trip only.
          — Overnight at Leh

          Last day will be tiring, I will suggest to spend in Leh or around

  24. Sabyasachi Patra on

    First time when I went to Ladakh in 2002, I was stuck with altitude sickness. I thought I will die but could survive it. Those were the wild days and I had pushed myself to the limit to photograph without acclimatising. Will never ever do that. However not every body is fortunate to do a mistake and come back alive. God Bless!

    • Very very true Sabyasachi bhai !! Sometimes the small ignorance resulting as a part of arrogance can result fatal and you just need that one bad moment only to turn your life upside down. I believe if there are means to know, prevent and take care of it, once shall always follow. I am hopeful, people will understand and will not commit such mistakes by learning from the likes of our mistakes.

  25. hi dheeraj loved ur article… im planning a trip to leh in may 2016. will I be able to see some snow anywhere? can u help me out wid an itinerary as to wat I shud do there? thanks…

    • Sumaiya, there will be loads of snow at all high altitude places you will be passing through to different sightseeing in Ladakh. How many days you have in hand?

        • Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
          — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
          — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
          — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
          — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
          — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
          — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
          — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
           
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Acclimatization
          — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
          — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
          — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

          Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh – Taglang La – Pang – Sarchu – Jispa
          — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Jispa BY late evening
          — Overnight at Jispa

          Day 6 | Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
          — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          — Overnight at Manali

          Day 7 | Manali – Delhi

        • thanks a tonne! dis definitely makes things much easier for us… to be honest v were apprehensive initially but now I think v handle it.. thanks again for ur help

  26. Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning to visit Ladakh in the last week of April. I was looking for a modest budget package for the same. I’ll be glad if you can suggest me one

  27. Vipul gandhi on

    Yes dheeraj .. Will surely post … Any update on road status please let me know ..thanx

  28. Manik Sajnani on

    Hi Dheerej,

    Im planning to do a bike trip in the first week of may. Ideally I intend on hiring a bike from Srinigar and dropping it off at Manali but can’t find any bike rentals who would give me that option. Is it a good time to go?
    and is there another way to do Srinagar to Manali?

    • Hello Manik,

      Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      This year as per reports, rule is going to be stricter. Manali rental guys have formalized a deal that for the days Manali bike is parked in Leh and Leh bike is rented, they will charge 50% of the rent of the bike. So, confirm with Manali rental guys first about this signoff.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops

      The one way bike rental is quite costly and leave a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali. Be sure if you are ready to make that investment or not or if at all it is worth the money spent. My suggestion is unless you are hard core biker and cannot live up the passion of biking, it is not wise to spend that much money just for the pickup of bike.

      I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread for bike trip to Ladakh or any other part of Himalayas at the link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

  29. Ted Spirakis on

    Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125mg twice a day, and drinking plenty of water: Works for me.

    Thanks for the great article (I will be traveling throughout Ladakh in May)!

    Travel Safe,

    T.S.
    USA

  30. Vipul gandhi on

    OK …I did read ur link.I know travelling from Srinagar is good option but train tickets is issue right now …… I have w/l train tickets to Chandigarh as well as Jammu tawi from Mumbai but I guess Jammu tawi chances of getting confirm are less .. Let’s c .. Also pls send me link of one article which shared numbers of few car operators in leh . I’m not able to get that article …thanking you.. You have been good help

    • For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.
      While going from Srinagar to Leh, you might need to work out few things as there have been some tensions now in taxi unions and to settle it out what they have done is that they have a transit point just before Fotu La while going to Leh from Kargil. All Leh taxis stop there and kargil taxis too. They exchange passengers and move back in respective directions. Leh taxis take passengers to Leh coming from Srinagar/Kargil and Kargil guys take passengers to Srinagar/kargil coming from Leh

      • Vipul gandhi on

        Thanx a ton bro for all valuable inputs . . really appreciate it .. If I do this leh trip I will owe u this trip. Thanx a ton again

  31. Felicia Nazareth on

    This is amazing. Will surely share it with my friend who is planning to go to Ladakh… Thanks for such a great post.

  32. Vipul Gandhi on

    Hey..I’m planning manali leh road trip on 21st may .. Is it possible .. Planning with my wife n 10yr old kid .. Do you think its good idea .. Also any input regarding trip will do .thank you in advance

    • Vipul, this year owing to less snow it is highly likely that Manali – Leh will open by mid of May but still I will say you have a chance of about 20% that it might not open. How many days are you planning?

      • Vipul gandhi on

        Hi again…planning for around 10 days.. I know it may open it may not but I need to keep things ready in case its opens…also will like to know is it possible to get decent average rooms to stay if no booking is done . as I have train tickets to Chandigarh I will b starting from manali to leh n back to Jammu.. All this in 11 days..is it possible n advisable?

        • Yes Vipul, with little search you should get the room. Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here
          It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

  33. Manish Swarup on

    Great job you are doing Dheeraj, indeed a very good and extremely informative site you have developed. Thanks. Is it possible to give an approximate budget for a 10 to 14 days trip to ladhak with pangong lake with, with fuel, accommodation with a family of four or two in your next article.
    In a four wheel vehicle.

  34. Gurpreet Singh on

    Very true. I was also hit by AMS despite taking all precautions at Pangong lake on 4th day of trip. I will suggest fellow travelers to carry mini LPG cylinder on Laddakh trip. Which came very handy in case of road blocks.

  35. Very well written article bro.People always assume that they have done some Himalayan trips so there won’t be a problem but Ladakh is really different. Things can go horrible if not planned correctly.

    • Very true Gurpreet bhai and only someone who has been through such trouble or have seen someone mostly respect this very true fact. I hope the above article helps many other saved from the hassles.

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