In this article, I am going to share with you some dos and don’ts to help you make the most of your Leh Ladakh trip.
REST AND ACCLIMATIZE
If you plan to take a flight to Leh, try to take a flight that reaches Leh early in the morning. (Go Air has a direct flight to Leh from Mumbai which reaches Leh at 6.55 am) Reaching Leh in the morning allows you ample time to acclimatise to the high altitude. You must rest for the entire day. Sit in your hotel room and watch T.V. Avoid sleeping during day time. Even if you get bored, do not engage in any form of sightseeing. Else, you will be hit by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and ruin the rest of your Leh Ladakh Trip.
CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Visit your doctor a couple of days before you are to leave for your Leh Ladakh Trip. Your doctor may prescribe pills to you to adjust to the high altitude. Also, take medication from the doctor for all basic ailments. You don’t want to be running around looking for a doctor while you are travelling.
CARRY MULTIPLE THIN LAYERS
During your trips to Nubra and Pangong, you will first climb to a height of 18,000 feet and then climb down all the way to 10,000 feet. Similarly, your trip to Pangong will take you to a height of 17,000 ft and then you will come down to 14,000 feet. What this means is that the weather and the temperature will keep changing throughout your Leh Ladakh trip. So instead of carrying one thick jacket, carry multiple thin layers. This will help you keep your body as warm as required, without the risk of feeling too hot when it’s just moderately cold.
BOOK A WINDOW SEAT ON YOUR LEH FLIGHT:
Those of you who take a flight to Leh, make sure you reach the airport early and/or web-check in to ensure you get a window seat. The view from the aircraft is so spectacular, you simply can’t afford to miss it.
(Tip: If you do get an option, select the window seat on the left side of the aircraft on your morning flight to Leh!)
SAVE YOUR ‘LEH LADAKH TRIP’ RESEARCH BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Internet or Wi-fi is almost always unavailable. You may find free wi-fi in a lot of cafes, restaurants and even your hotel in Leh, but the speed will be really disappointing. Once you move out of Leh to Nubra and Pangong, you won’t even get network on your mobile handset (Except BSNL users), let aside getting access to the internet. It is therefore highly recommended that you save all your Leh Ladakh trip research and emergency contact numbers on your phone before you reach Leh. Save it in such a way that it is accessible even without any internet connection.
HAVE TEA AT KHARDUNG LA OR CHANG LA
After an exhausting journey up to the Khardung La or the Chang La, you will get off your car to click pictures and will be tempted to even have the free black tea offered at the army cafeteria. Don’t have it, unless you want to vomit it all out on your way down. The road condition after both Khardung la and Chang la is quite bad and the insides of your stomach will churn causing you to throw up. So unless you want to ruin your journey, avoid having the tea at Khardung la and Chang la.
EAT LUNCH WHILE TRAVELLING
If you are someone, who suffers from travel or motion sickness, leave for both Nubra and Pangong at around 8 in the morning. Have a light breakfast before you leave and then do not have lunch on the way. Travel at a stretch for about 5 hours, reach your destination and then have lunch. This will avoid travel sickness. Also, the journey to Nubra and Pangong is so picturesque that you don’t want to take a travel sickness tablet. It will put you to sleep and you will miss all the scenic beauty.
VISIT HALL OF FAME IN A RUSH
On your local Leh sightseeing day, you will be taken to the Hall of Fame which is a museum run by the Indian army. The time allocated to it by your driver or tour conductors is approximately half an hour which is just not enough. The museum has an in-depth documentation of all the wars fought by India. It also has actual war weapons and original letters written by soldiers on display. It is one of the best army museums you will ever visit and you don’t want to rush through it. At the end of your visit to the Hall of Fame, your respect for our army would have grown multifold. But for that, you will need to spend atleast an hour and a half inside the museum.
FORGET TO CHARGE YOUR CAMERA BATTERIES
On your trip to Leh, you will be surrounded by nature in its most beautiful form. Every frame is click-worthy. If you enjoy clicking photos, make sure you charge your camera battery and mobile phones overnight so that they don’t conk off during your journey.
Also, a lot of tents near Pangong Tso, do not have any charging point. It is best to charge your mobile fully before you leave from Leh for Pangong Tso.
BE FUSSY ABOUT FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION
On our trip to Leh, we saw many families who used to constantly crib about the quality of accommodation or the taste of the food. Please understand that you are visiting places which are at a height of over 10,000 feet. The living conditions in those regions are extremely tough. Despite numerous limitations, the locals are very helpful, friendly and honest. They are constantly working on making your trip pleasant. Thanks to the efforts of the locals, you are at least able to visit these regions. Do not keep complaining all along your Leh Ladakh trip. Soak the natural beauty and keep smiling to make the most your Leh Ladakh trip.
Enjoy your Leh Ladakh trip!
P.S. If you are looking for a good hotel in Leh, check out our review of the Hotel Auspicious, Leh.
(And no, it is not a sponsored review!)
Note: This post has been written with a regular tourist in mind and is not for adventure sport junkies and bikers. But if you are not a regular tourist, check out the story of travelling from Manali to Leh on a cycle!