Ladakh is a beautiful region in the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. Leh is the largest city in the Ladakh region of J&K. There are a few things you must keep in mind while visiting Leh Ladakh. Although everybody’s immune system is different but still almost everyone face one or the other issue if the Leh Ladakh trip is not planned properly. As this region is located at a very high altitude, you must plan your trip according to the points mentioned below.
Important Note : This article is written based on my personal experience from my recent trip to Leh Ladakh. Remember that you might feel normal upon Landing at Leh, but that’s an illusion which needs to be ignored because the effect of high altitude low oxygen level hits you slowly. It is important that you do not exert yourself on the first day after reaching Leh as your body needs time to acclimatize.
Do’s & Don’ts in Leh Ladakh
Let’s first check out the Do’s in Leh Ladakh :
- Before you plan to visit Ladakh do collect all information about the weather and road conditions.
- Take complete rest at least for a day after arrival to Ladakh.
- Ladakh is located at a high altitude; thus the level of oxygen in Ladakh is very low. So, it is advisable to move slowly and breathe deeper till your body becomes used to the high altitude and low level of oxygen.
- Take plenty of fluids and drink boiled or bottled mineral water.
- Always carry ample drinking water and dry eatables, dry fruits etc.
- It is suggested that you must start taking 2 Diamox Tablets per day 2-3 days prior to your Departure for Leh by Air and continue it within Ladakh till your Departure from Leh. This is to overcome the effect of High Altitude. It is highly advised that you MUST consult your Doctor and confirm if you can take diuretic medicines like Diamox.
- For all your tours within Ladakh, go for a local Taxi/Cab as outside Cabs are not allowed to move within Ladakh.
- In your initial days of arrival in Ladakh, avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
- Do remember to carry First-aid box along with all necessary medicines.
- In Summers (May – September), do carry Cotton wear, light woolens, strong walking shoes, rain proofs and in Winters (October – April), kindly carry heavy woolens, thermal wear, feather jackets, strong walking shoes.
- Before your leave for a tour in Ladakh, do remember to carry fully charged extra batteries/Power Banks for digital products like camera, mobile phones, etc because there is a lot of electricity problem in Ladakh.
- If you have a prepaid Sim Card of any provider, you would not be getting any Signals anywhere in Ladakh. In Ladakh, either only local J&K BSNL Prepaid/Postpaid Sim Cards work or Airtel/Vodafone/BSNL Postpaids from other states work.
- Ladakhi people are known to be very friendly and they love to interact with tourists. So interact with them to know more about their life and culture.
- All the bikers visiting Ladakh should go in a group of at least two or more. There are areas where you would not get help for kms, a group is always better than going solo.
- People can ask their Cab Drivers to carry oxygen Cylinders while travelling to high Altitude Location around Leh. They may charge a nominal amount for it. However, it can help you to breathe properly in areas where you have problems breathing.
- Make sure your have the Innerline Permit if you are planning to Visit areas like Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake. As of September 2017, they would charge your Rs.400 per person + Rs.20 per day per person for the permit. So, for a 3 Day trip, permit for 1 person will cost you Rs.460. You can also get the permit sitting at your Hotel, by paying about Rs.100 per permit. Note : Do carry your Address Proof document like Aadhaar Card, Driving License etc. because the photostat copies of your Address Proof documents will be needed for permit.
Let’s first check out the Don’ts in Leh Ladakh :
- Do not click photographs inside any monasteries without taking permission from the monk or the person in –charge.
- Do not use or carry plastic/polythene bags in Ladakh as plastic is banned in Ladakh.
- Do not carry short clothes like skirts/sleeveless blouses tops while you are travelling on roads, especially in Buddhist Gompa.
- Do not try and disturb the wild life.
- Do not exert yourself a lot by running or climbing quickly.
Final Words :
If is highly advised that you follow these tips on your trip to Leh Ladakh. I would suggest not to visit Leh Ladakh with Asthma patients or with people who have other breathing problems. People who keep themselves fit and do regular exercise/yoga, will feel a lot more comfortable in Leh Ladakh.