Travel tips for Ladakh

Here are some travel tips for your trip to Ladakh. This section covers health precautions, weather, transport and other aspects you need to keep in mind before your trip.

weather | health | getting there | getting around

Wheather

You might think that the Himalayas are bathed in snow all year round, but our summers here are wonderfully warm, and spring is incredibly colourful.You might think that the Himalayas are bathed in snow all year round, but our summers here are wonderfully warm, and spring is incredibly colourful.

To help you plan your trip to Ladakh, here are some average temperatures for Leh:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max -3° 12° 17° 21° 24° 24° 21° 14°
Min -14° -12° -7° -1° 10° 10° -1° -7° -11°

Health

Altitudes over 3,000 metres can be a problem. If you're flying into Ladakh, you'll benefit from a restful couple of days to allow your body to get used to the reduced oxygen. If you notice any early-warning symptoms (headache, nausea, sleeping problems, dizziness, general uneasiness), descend at least 300 to 500 metres and rest.

In your first few days at altitude you should drink at least 3-4 litres of liquids each day and consider asking your GP about medicines such as Diamox (acetazolamide).

Extremes of temperature aren't uncommon. The temperature can rise or fall in a very short space of time. Take plenty of layers in winter - even on hot days, the night-time temperatures can be very low, and be prepared for very hot days during the summer when you're out trekking.

Vaccinations aren't required for Ladakh, but you should ask at your local travel medical centre for up-to-date advice on travel to India. Malaria isn't a problem above 2,000 metres, so you don't need any precautions while you're in Ladakh, but you should take advice from your GP about travelling through other parts of India on your way here.

Dehydration at these high altitudes can be a serious problem, especially while you're acclimatising. Don't assume that you're OK if you aren't thirsty. Drink water or tea regularly and aim for at least 2 litres a day once you have acclimatised.

You should always talk to your GP before making any long-distance journeys, and consider buying a traveller's health book for more detailed advice.

Getting there

Road: The road links are usually open during the summer months (May/June to September/October) and run from either Manali in the south or Srinagar in the west. The recommended road route is by bus from Manali, with an overnight stop on the way. Check the current status of the roads here.

Air: Flying to and from Leh is cheap and easy. Indian Airlines has regular flights via Delhi, Jammu, and Srinagar. Jet Airways flies regularly via Delhi.

Getting around

You should be able to see everything in Leh travelling by foot. Taxis are available from the taxi stand behind Main Bazaar and buses travel throughout Ladakh from the new bus station at the bottom of the town. Both taxis and buses offer fixed-prices fares. Oriental Travel and Trekking company also owns a small fleet of cars and can serve you on a taxi basis or arrange dedicated tours around Ladakh. Ask us for more information and for our recommendations.

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