While traveling to high altitude regions like Ladakh, travelers must make note of certain factors and implement them carefully as they can be crucial to ensuring a good, safe and healthy holiday in Ladakh.
Acclimatization: On reaching Leh, it is important for travelers to rest for atleast a day and get acclimatized to the high altitude of this region. Some might feel slight giddiness, headache, churning in the stomach etc. on arrival. Just rest, relax and sleep on the first day and allow your body to adapt to the lower oxygen levels in the air. Venture out for sightseeing and road trips to Pangong Lake and Nubra valley only after that else acute mountain sickness can ruin your holiday.
Clothing: Temperatures can dip suddenly so carry adequate warm clothing especially when travelling via the high mountain passes to Pangong, Nubra etc. Multiple layers keep you warmer. A cap or hat also helps protect from the direct rays of the midday sun.
Protective Footwear: The passes and lake sides will be extremely cold and windy. So ensure you are wearing multiple layers of sock and covered footwear – sports shoes, boots etc are comfortable and keep your feet warm and dry.
Sunglasses: The sun is very strong as you are at an high altitude and your eyes need good protection from the harmful rays. Wear a sunglass with good UV protection specially in the snow else you might end up with snow blindness.
Sunblock: During the day, sunburn is a common problem in the high mountain regions. Wearing a sunblock with minimum 50 SPF is a must to protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
Carry a Medical Kit: Ensure you carry all medicines prescribed and OTC that might be required during your travel in Ladakh. Medical help might not be readily available in the remote hilly areas.
Click here for a List of basic medicines:
Water Intake: In the high altitude areas it is all the more important to drink adequate amounts of water. Ensure you carry sufficient stock of water bottles while traveling.
Food Stock: Remote areas have very few eating options. So make sure you carry adequate packed food items. Ready to eat packs, tinned food & fruits, dry fruits, biscuits, chocolate, candy and energy bars are good items to carry.
Carry extra locks: If you are staying in a tent in Pangong, Deskit etc. make sure you zip it down and lock it before venturing out to safeguard your belongings.
Gifts for local children: Small gestures go a long way, so try to carry some pencils, crayons, candies etc. for the children in the remote areas. People in these remote areas endure extreme harsh conditions and hardships through the years but they are sure to win your hearts with their smiles and hospitality. So shouldn’t we do our part?
Petrol: Fill up petrol/ diesel in your vehicle at Leh as there are no petrol pumps enroute in the remote areas. Petrol pumps are available only in Leh, Keylong and Deskit. While driving from Manali to Leh, fill up at Tandi as the next petrol pump is 365 kms away.
Carry Required Documents: Photocopy of Photo ID (Passport/ Aadhar Card/ Driving License) and 3 passport size photographs for permits to travel to the protected areas like Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley.
Carry a Road Map: GPS on your phone might be network connected in remote areas.
Camera with extra battery and storage: With such magnificent landscapes, you will need backup power and storage for your clicks.
Have the Right Expectations: Considering the challenges at such high altitudes and the remoteness of the place, one must not expect much more than the basic amenities. The beauty of Ladakh makes up for it manifold.
Prepare Yourself for the Trip:
√ Exercise : Since you are travelling to a High Altitude Region, it is extremely important to be physically fit to avoid falling ill during the trip. Due to the high altitude terrain of Ladakh, the oxygen levels are low in the air. This commonly causes high altitude sickness including headaches, upset stomach, fatigue, loss of energy, loss of apetite, sudden loss of sensation in the legs etc. Hence one must prepare for the trip by maintaining a regular exercise routine which could include jogging, walking, cycling, cardio exercises, strength training, yoga or simply walking up and down steps as per ones comfort level and inclination.
√ Eat Right: Along with exercises it is equally important to eat right to be healthy. Include lots of fruits, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, paneer, tofu, sprouts, nuts & dry fruits, fish and milk in your diet. Avoid oily and fried foods. Make it a habit to drink atleast 8-10 glasses of water everyday and keep yourself hydrated.
Here’s a healthy yet lip-smacking Broccoli Recipe:
√ Read up on Ladakh:
Visiting a new place becomes all the more interesting if you know a little about the history, culture, demographics, local specialties, places to see, must do activities etc. So spend a little time reading up about the places you will be visiting in Ladakh. There is a lot of information available on the internet. This will kickstart your excitement way before the travel date!
Best season to Travel to Ladakh:
July – September.
Leh Taxi Union:
For booking a cab to Pangong Tso call 01982-252723, 253039.
More Information on Leh-Ladakh: