Frequently Asked Questions for Ladakh Trip
No one can deny the fact that exploring Ladakh has been one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. And for most of you, this is definitely the dream destination which you would love to visit. Situated in the shadowed area of the Himalayan Mountains in the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is one of the most vibrant and the beautiful place on earth.
The main attractions of the Leh tour are its snow kissed peaks and panoramic views which act as the captivating factor for myriad tourists each year. Standing tall at an altitude of 11,500 feet above the level of the sea, this region is surrounded by the alpine desert and beautiful landscapes.
But before heading out to this beautiful land there might be a few questions in your mind about where to visit, how to visit and also about the Leh road trips. So if you have been searching the internet about this then let’s make it easier for you with these faqs. From the best places to the best time, bikes trip to road trips everything is detailed here.Apart from Ladakh trip, there are some more interesting biking tours in India that a bike rider must visit.
So spare some time check out these frequently asked questions for Ladakh trip:
Ques 1: How to reach Ladakh?
Ans: For reaching Ladakh you can get daily flights from Delhi to Leh Ladakh from all the major airports. If you are travelling by roads then there are two options, Srinagar and Manali. Your journey will take two days with one night’s stop through both Srinagar and Manali. These roads are open from the month of May to October.
Ques 2: Can I reach Leh by Train?
Ans: No, there is no train service to Leh. Get to Jammu and from there you can take bus or shared Taxi to Leh Via Srinagar & Kargil . Alternatively, you could come to Chandigarh by Train and reach leh via Manali by Road
Ques 3: How fit should I be for a Ladakh trip?
Ans: As you will be riding on a very high altitude you should be aware of the weather condition and also take care of your health. You should keep in mind that cardio exercises are your real friends for few days.
The air is very thing at high altitude like Baralach La, and Khardung la so if you keep yourself fit by doing some cardio exercises it will be easier for you there. Here is our guide that will help you to prepare you and your bike for Ladakh trip.
Ques 4: What are the best bikes for Ladakh trip?
Ans: For your best experience in the mountains Royal Enfields are the best bike to have the bike ride to Ladakh for your daring trip. These bikes are great and easily cruise on highways as well as the rocky terrain of Ladakh. It is advisable for you to choose a bike with higher displacements which will put less weight on a motor and you can cover bigger distances. Select the bike which suits you the best.
Also, Don’t forget to read Ladakh bike trips reviews.
Ques 5: What kind of accommodation is available in Ladakh?
Ans: Ladakh hotels are segregated into four different categories- A, B, C and D. When it comes to A class hotels, their facilities and services are simply comparable to any 3-star hotel.
Each hotel in Leh is designed with the traditional architecture of the region and feature oversized rooms equipped with modern amenities. These rooms are furnished with Ladakhi and Tibetan décor.
You can also check out the list of best homestays in Ladakh that will let you witness the Ladakhi culture like no other.
Ques 6: What kind of clothing is required for the trip?
Ans: While you are traveling to Ladakh always be prepared for the cold which you are going to face here. Make sure you cross check the list of all the essentials things you must carry for Ladakh trip. You also might be facing a zero degree temperature along with windy conditions. So carry woolen clothing with which should include:
- Woolen Cap
- Warm & wind proof jacket
Ques 7: What is the average travel duration each day?
Ans: Average travel duration is 6-7 hrs each day, besides the journey from Jispa-Leh (12 hrs) & Leh-Tsomorrirri. Total it might be around 8 to 9 hours according to your plan.
Ques 8: Is it very cold in Ladakh?
Ans: Yes it’s very cold, extremely cold. If you are on a journey on a motorcycle, then it’s even worse. When you will reach Khradungla the air will get thinner here and you will start to feel colder. Even though you will be covered with jackets and helmet the cold can be unbearable. So it is advisable that you wear warmers inside because Ladakh winters are extremely cold.
Ques 9: How long does it take to get acclimatized in Ladakh?
Ans: If you are travelling to a height of around 3500 metre, it is seen that most people abrubtly feel the changes all at once. The time taken to acclimatization may vary from person to person.
For some it might need the whole 1st day for rest and for some you can just carry on fine. Try to avoid alcohol at least for first three days, and drink water, juice and tea as much as possible.
Ques 10:Will there be any lack of oxygen in Ladakh?
Ans: Anybody who is travelling 10,000 above sea level will find difficulty in breathing or is likely to fall prey to altitude sickness. It happens due to low level of atmospheric oxygen.
Ques 11:What are the symptoms of High Altitude sickness? How long does it take to get acclimatize in Ladakh?
Ans: When you are in Ladakh the most common problem faced by the people here are loss of appetite, acute mountain sickness, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, nose bleeding, shortness of breath and drowsiness. These are the most common symptoms of High Altitude Sickness.
The best way to get acclimatize in Ladakh is a natural rest for at least 48 hours.
Ques 12:How many minimum days are required to explore Ladakh?
Ans: If you go with the minimum days then it will be around 15 days besides the first two of acclimatization. With many villages and Ladakh monasteries scattered at a lot of places, it will take some time for you to explore all the beautiful places. It might be possible that you want to try hands in mountain trek so you need more time.
Ques 13: Can small kids go on a Road trip?
Ans: Well it totally depends on the health condition of the children who are going on the trip. Dependent kids will be a challenge as weather on high altitudes can change any time so one must be mindful of this fact.
Always carry warm clothing for the children as much as you can if they are a bit ill. It is also advisable to chose the itinerary if you are taking a dependent kid with you which will also help them to adjust with the altitude.
Ques 14:What kind of clothes should we bring for Ladakh?
Ans: For the daytime you can go with T-shirts and shorts but after evening the climate gets chilly and one requires jacket and pullover. If you are heading out for trekking 4000 meters above sea level, you need warm woolen clothes. If you are traveling in the month of June and July and so you will need windcheaters and raincoats. For Ladakh trekking, a pair of waterproof shoes is a must.
Ques 15:What kind of toilet facility will be there?
Ans: While you are traveling to Ladakh there are proper toilet facilities with attached bathroom and running cold water. While at few places like Sarchu, Pangong and Tso Moriri you would not get hot water while you will get running hot water at rest of the places.
Please note hot water is not available 24 x 7, please check timings of hot water supply at the time of check in the hotel.
Ques 16:Are there Laundry Services Available?
Ans: You will get laundry service in Leh only. You can get it in the market as well as in the hotel where you are staying.
If the weather is clear and dry then you get the laundry the next day. If you are looking for laundry in the market which is cheaper, head to Changspa and ask for a laundry service and you will find a few shops providing this service.
Ques 17:Is a motorcycle rider’s license to participate on the trip?
Ans: Yes, a valid full motorcycle driver license (authorizing you to ride a 500cc motorcycle) and international riding permit are mandatory for riders to take part in our tours. However, they are not required for the co-rider on the pillion or passengers travelling in support vehicles.
Also, make sure you obtain the International Driving Permit (IDP) from your country of citizenship since it is not issued to foreigners in India. In due course, you’ll require obtaining a travel insurance which covers you for riding a 500cc motorcycle in India, before joining the tour.
Ques 18:What are the documents which are required for the trip?
Ans: On your Ladakh trip it is very essential for you to carry all the important documents with you so that you do not face any trouble during your trip.
- Driving license
- Registration Papers of the bike
- Insurance certificate
- Pollution under control certificate
- Photographs of yours
- PAN card
Ques 19:What kind of tourist vehicles is found in this region?
Ans: While you are visiting Leh you will find a good fleet of tourist vehicles which include Toyota Qualis and Mahindra Scorpio vehicles. You will not find auto rickshaws here.
Ques 20:What kind of bedding do we get while camping?
Ans: Whether you are heading out for a road trip or trekking there will be proper bedding with proper beds and proper quilts to keep you warm. You need not bring any sleeping bags to protect you from the cold. All your bedding and camping facilities will be well taken care of. The facilities are fairly well developed to cover for the basic needs of the individuals.
Ques 21:Are the seats on the Royal Enfields comfortable enough for riders/pillions?
Ans: Yes it is completely fine. It is comfortable for both the rider and the pillion. But there have been some cases where the riders/pillions felt varying degrees of discomfort on long days. However, there is no doubt in the fact that you will be better off with some kind of “motorcycle seat pads/cushions” like the Airhawk. So if you are going to be a pillion rider then it is better if your buy an Airhawk
Ques 22:Will there be any briefing session before we start our tour?
Ans: Yes, before to start any of your Ladakh tour there will be a proper briefing session provided by your guide. While at some places there experienced ride leader or support staff will take you on a familiarization ride on this day before you depart on the actual tour the next day. A 2-3 hour ride later you’d have quite familiarized with the controls and other aspects of riding the motorcycle in Indian conditions.
Ques 23:Are there any ATM’s in Leh?
Ans: ATM is available only in Leh, Manali and Srinagar. So plan accordingly. No fuel pumps accepts cards, so you must have cash for fuel and tolls and taxes that are charged along the way.
Ques 24:How much risk is involved on a road trip?
Ans: Needless to say, Motorcycle riding comes with its risks no matter which part of the world you are riding. In fact, any adventure activity has its elements of might be dangerous together with fun. As you be riding at a high altitude in the Himalayas just be a little cautious yourself so that you don’t face any trouble on your ride.
Ques 25: What about chargers/adapters in the car?
Ans: As a suggestion, it is better to make a halt on the way where there is electricity. When you reach at your destination, do take time to charge all your gadgets in the night.
USB port is now standard in all new Cars so if you bring your own USB charging cable then you are all set. Usually, electricity is available at all places except at Pangong. Pangong is totally offbeat and survives on tapped solar energy and it’s just the starlight that you have around after around 9pm.
Ques 26: What is the cost of fuel on a bike trip?
Ans: If you are on a bike trip along with your friends then your total cost for fuel will be approx Rs 7000. You might require fuel according to your rides.
Ques 27:Can 3 people adjust in a room?
Ans: Generally No, Hotels do not allow to accommodate more than 3 adults in a room, 4 people are possible with one extra bed only if one out of 4 occupants is aged under 12, and willing to share a bed with the parents.
Ques 28: What about a medical emergency?
Ans: An adventure activity of any kind carries its risk with it and motorcycle journeys are no exception. A comprehensive medical & first aid kit will be there with you all the time.
If you are going on a bike trip or road trip then, a ride leader who is certified in first aid and loads of know-how help in minimizing the possibility of adversity. However, for an emergency which requires hospital care then the nearest medical is there for your assistance.
Ques 29: Can accommodations be a mix of various categories?
Ans: Yes they can be. If you have reviewed all the choices in the itinerary shared and your research says that you would like to upgrade the accommodation at a couple of places, kindly ask your customer service executive to provide you the cost accordingly.
Ques 30:Will we have a tour Guide/Manager?
Ans: Yes there will be a tour guide for you for all your tours who will be there available for you all the time.
Ques 31:Will the driver be able to speak in English?
Ans: Generally drivers in this zone are able to understand English very well, and speak in broken accent.
Ques 32:What network services are good at Ladakh?
Ans: Only post-paid SIM works across Jammu & Kashmir, if you are having a pre-paid connection please note that same will be disabled once you enter the zone. Regarding Telecom Operator, below is the order in precedence from highest to lowest availability of network across Ladakh and rest of Jammu and Kashmir.
Ques 33:Is currency conversion available at Leh?
Ans: The local team at Leh would be able to help you for currency conversion at Leh. But it is advisable to convert the currency at Delhi Airport on arrival.
Ques 34:Do credit cards work in hotels and restaurants?
Ans: Yes, credit cards are accepted in a few hotels and restaurants but 2% service tax is charged.
Ques 35:Is it safe for female solo traveler?
Ans: On an average we have more females traveling for any Ladakh tours. Your tour guides and the drivers are the ones who are very trustworthy. There will also be a local team to reach out to you immediately in case of any emergencies.
Ques 36:Do we need to carry Fuel in a Jerry Can on Ladakh Road Trip?
Ans: If you are going on a bike, you must carry Fuel with you in a Jerry Can. For Folks going on SUVs/MUV/Sedans there is no need to carry Fuel.
Ques 37:What are the important things to bring on a the Road trip ?
Ans: While you are heading out for a road trip you should be very careful about the things which you will be carrying with you for Personal Medicines,
- Diamox for dealing with AMS ( Acute Mountain Sickness )
- Avomine for motion sickness
- General Pain Killer & Crocin ( Ibuprofen & Paracetamol)
- Medicine to deal with loose motion and acidity
- Anti Allergic ( Citrizine or Allegra )
Other things which you should carry with you are :
Sun Screen, to prevent skin damage as sun rays are pretty strong at high altitude & Sun Hat. One must carry sports shoes as there are plenty of nice walks in this region. Enjoy them with proper gear. As this is a cold desert area, the Air is very dry and you lose moisture very fast. Drink lots and lots of fluid so carry light water bottles.
Please travel light but at the same time is well equipped. Since you are travelling each day, you need to continuously pack and unpack each day
The clothing should be light cotton clothing. Remember to have clothing in layers which means, the temperature could drop to zero in the night while when the sun is bright it will be nice & warm. So, carry winter clothing even when travelling in summers on these high altitude road trips.
The winter clothing should always be handy with you in the car/bike as you may have to put on or remove clothing as the temperature varies even during your drive as you ascend to height above 12,000 ft while going from one destination to another.
Ques 38:Do I need to carry extra spare tyre/tools?
Ans: For you own safety it is best to have tubeless tyre and a battery operated Tyre Infiltrator. In case if there are any minor punctures it can be easily handled by filling up the air without wasting your time to change the tyre.
If you are riding on an SUV that are given on rent have 2 spare tyres then you won’t be allowed to carry spares unless you are doing some serious off-roading. The other most important tool is the tow strap which can help you pull out the SUV/Car if caught in a mess.
This must be carried and if you are travelling with Unwind Outdoor Self Drive trip, then this will be provided in every SUV.
Ques 39:Do I need to learn how to be a bike mechanic for a Ladakh trip?
Ans: If you are anxious to learn for your own knowledge then yes you should definitely learn some tricks of your own. Otherwise you do not need to learn as there will be spare mechanics with you till the end of your trip.
Check the bike before leaving Manali, because till Leh you won’t get anything. At Leh, there are lots of service stations, get your bike in good shape there again. Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso lakes also don’t have any bike stations, so check your ride before leaving for these destinations. On the way to Srinagar, you get lots of mechanics, so no trouble there.
Checkout our Manali to Leh Bike Tour for an amazing Expereince
Ques 40:What riding luggage do I need?
Ans: Always chose a good saddle bag, tank bag and hydration system. The hydration system is important, since drinking a lot of water keeps AMS at bay. When you are riding, sometimes you forget to drink enough water. With a hydration system, you won’t need to stop to take a sip, a must have item for a Ladakh trip.
Ques 41:What will be the facility for water/ Do I need to carry Food/Water along?
Ans: Bottled water is available throughout the trip even in remote locations. There are Dhabhas on the way and one can easily get Tea and basic snacks and biscuits along with Egg and Maggi and some rice and dal and roti.
If you feel hungry easily then it is advisable for you to carry then do carry premix / pre cooked meals like the MTR or Haldirams Ready to Eat Mix.
Ques 42:Is it possible to go to Manali to Leh with 1 stop at Sarchu?
Ans: Yes definitely you can, but you shouldn’t. This trip is all about appreciating natural beauty, so take at least 2 stops from Manali to Leh and go slow, enjoy the scenery. Also, if you take 2 stops, it gives your body more time to acclimatize to the high altitudes, reducing chances of getting AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Take some time to enjoy the beauty of Ladakh while you are heading out for the trip.
Ques 43:Can you go to Nubra valley and come back in the same day?
Ans: Yes it is possible theoretically yes but practically no. Nubra valley is reached by passing through Khardungla, the highest motorable road in the world. Passing it twice in one day isn’t such a good idea. Plus, Nubra valley is such a beautiful place you just got to spend a night there. Enjoy the views while you head out to this amazing land.
Ques 44:Are there local transportation provide for sightseeing?
Ans: Yes, there will be local transportation if you are going out for any sightseeing. Basically it will be a mini van or mini bus which will be there for you. If you are going to a small distance then there will be tuk tuk for transportation.
Ques 45:Is the drinking water safe here?
Ans: It is always advisable to drink bottled water such as Bisleri, Aquafina, Kinley which is widely available at most places. The mineral water is available in sealed bottles which are purified and quite safe to drink. Hot water is made available for drinking if you are heading out for any trekking in Ladakh.
Ques 46:Should I carry Rain Gear?
Ans: Yes. At time there can be situation when it starts raining. So it is advisable if your riding kit isn’t waterproof, then bring some good waterproofs. This will help you throughout your journey.
Ques 47:How much spending money should I carry?
Ans: You will need money for bottled drinking water, lunches, expenses of personal nature like laundry, Internet, phone calls, entrance to monuments & other such places, photography, tips etc. You can just roughly US$ 400-500 per person should be a sufficient amount for a 2 week tour.
Ques 48:What are the places I can see in Leh and Ladakh city?
Ans: There are a lot of Buddhist monasteries and monuments which are a must visit in Leh. You can visit the Shanti Stupa, located just outside the town.
You can also visit the Kali Mandir which is 800 year old and is located at the heart of the town on the top of a steep mountain. You can also stop to spin a huge prayer wheel on your way there. The 17th century Leh Palace, built in traditional Tibetan style, offers a captivating view of town.
Southeast of Leh, Thiksey Monastery is the place for seeing amazing sunsets. The Hemis Monastery is the wealthiest, oldest, and most important monastery in Ladakh.
Ques 49:What are popular peaks in Ladakh that can be visited?
Ans: There are few mountaineering peaks in Ladakh which is a must visit for you . They are Sasser Kangri 7627mts in Karakuram range; Nun 7135mts; Kun 7085mts; Zanskar range; Kang-yatse 6400mts; and StokKangri 6150mts in ladakh range.
Ques 50:Is Magnetic Hill dangerous to visit in Ladakh?
Ans: No, definitely not dangerous. Magnet Hil is strategically located near Leh in Ladakh, India; on the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar national highway, with an approximate distance of 30 km from Leh, at an impressive altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level.
The “Magnet Hill” has become a prevalent stop for domestic tourists, who are on the road journey in their vehicles. The placement of the road with background presents the illusionary effect that vehicles are drifting upwards.
Ques 51:What is the best time for festival in Ladakh?
Ans: Each year, the Ladakh festival is held in the month of September 1-15 in Ladakh and its neighboring areas. The festival takes place for 15 days distinguished as performance of folk song, dancing, besides sport activities like native, polo, archery etc.
Ques 52:Are there lakes in Ladakh?
Ans: Yes, there are 3 very beautiful lakes in Ladakh which are a must see attraction for you. PangongTso Lake, Tsomoriri Lake and Tsokar Lake are considered as the most beautiful lakes here. These lakes are immensely gorgeous and inspire the imagination of humans into the fairy world.
The popular fresh water lake- PangongTso transforms its colors each hour and turns from emerald green to hues of sky and velvet blue. Good time to visit these lakes would be summers (May to July). During the time of winters, these lakes are frozen and become rock solid, only to be used as the roads.
Ques 53:What are the monasteries found in Leh and Ladakh?
Ans: The principal tourist attraction in Leh and Ladakh are the monasteries. People across the world come here to get mesmerized in the scenic landscapes or visit monasteries.
There are various monasteries here referring to the Mahayana and Hinayana sects of Buddhism. These monasteries are dotted amidst the attractive backdrops of mountain, meandering valleys and meadows. The popular monasteries to visit in Ladakh include:
- Shanti Stupa
- Spituk Monastery
- Hemis Monastery
- Thiksey Monastery
- Lamayuru Monastery
- Shey Monastery
- Stok Palace
- Phyang Monastery
- Alchi Monastery
- Leh Palace
- Stongde Monastery
- Soma Gompa
- Takthok Monastery
- Sumda Chun Monastery
Ques 54:What is Local Cuisine of Ladakh ?
Ans: The staple food of Ladakhi people are Sku and Thukpa (made of wheat flour), Pava (made of sattu) and khambir (local bread). Tourists in Ladakh can try local Ladakhi food, which is nourishing and usually mildly flavored.
One can also find Thukpa, a thick soup with vegetables that provides a complete meal and delicious Momos or steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables, accompanied by a fiery chili sauce.
Ques 55:Should I visit Ladakh during winters?
Ans: Well it can be very cold in Ladakh during winters but winters are also the time when you can experience the real beauty of Ladakh.
It is basically off season but you can best enjoy the place when there is fewer tourists around you. Ladakh in winter is quiet. The landscapes are surreal, the festivals are attended by locals, you will have to search for tourists hard. And also you can have the whole place to yourself.
Ques 56:Which vehicles are being used, which state registration?
Ans: In Srinagar, the vehicles used belong to Srinagar Locals, beyond Srinagar it’s the vehicle operated by Ladakhi locals. At Manali, HP (Himachal Pradesh) registered vehicles are used.
Ques 57:Do I have to tip in Ladakh ?
Ans: There are no set rules for tipping. However, tipping should be avoided as the porters are paid their wages. Avoiding tipping makes them to learn to live on whatever they earn.