Many times readers at Discover with Dheeraj ask me, “What are the most important things to consider for a Ladakh trip?“. Well, mostly, it ends up being an open question with so many things to suggest and opens up a series of questions.

There are so many moving parts when you plan a Ladakh trip that one straight answer can never suffice. In remote parts of the Himalayas, things can differ greatly from our day-to-day lives. Hence, it is always better not to make any assumptions or take things for granted, for example, assuming medical facilities will be around.

In this article today, I will share with you some of the most important things you should consider when you plan for a trip to Ladakh.

7 MUST-KNOW things before you plan Leh Ladakh Trip in 2024 | Tips for Ladakh Road Trip by Car-Bike

Things to consider when you plan a Ladakh Trip

In the recent past, I have already talked about the top 9 Mistakes People Commit on a trip to Ladakh and Top 12 Myths About Traveling to Ladakh. These articles pin-pointly talk about what you should care about and what you shouldn’t care about when you travel to Ladakh.

Today’s article is a simplified version of things everyone must consider when hopping on to this adventure deep into trans-Himalayas.

Things to consider for a Ladakh trip
Things to consider for a Ladakh trip

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this infographic guide for important things to consider for a Ladakh trip. If you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

No matter how fit you are in your homeland, you must consider acclimatization as the most important factor for a successful trip to Ladakh. AMS does not matter concerning any age or sex or fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age, sex or fitness level, I shall say. I have personally seen the fittest of the fit kneel and cry like hell when AMS hits them.

So, do consider the principles as suggested by the acclimatization schedule and try to follow them to minimize the chances of getting hit with AMS which as a result will spoil your Ladakh trip. You must read the article on tips about Acute Mountain Sickness.

Piles of Prayers at Tso Moriri, Ladakh
Piles of Prayers at Tso Moriri, Ladakh

2. Breakdown in the middle of nowhere

Most parts of the Manali Leh Highway, almost about 300+ km, run barren and desolate with no hint of civilization. You must be prepared for a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. You should expect it to happen and must have a contingency plan in place.

For example, puncture repair kits or puncture protection foams, especially for bikers, are life saviors. You must have enough food, drinking fluids/water, blankets/sleeping bags, and maybe a backup tent in case possible, to survive for 2-3 days without any help.

When things go wrong, they do not knock on the door, and hence, best is that you always prepare well in such remote regions. This situation is true for many desolate routes within Ladakh as well where it is difficult to spot a settlement and shelter for food and stay.

Rare moment when you smile over a puncture on Ladakh trip
A rare moment when you smile over a puncture on Ladakh trip

3. Lost connection with the world

Many parts of Ladakh and almost three-fourths of the Manali – Leh Highway do not have any phone connectivity or any means to connect with family or friends. You must consider that help will not be just a phone call away. Hence, you must be able to prepare yourself to survive for a few days on your own. The best is that you follow these 10 Tips about Mobile Phone Connectivity in Ladakh

4. Flash floods, landslides, snow slides or shooting stones

Landslides, snow slides, or shooting stones are part of the day-to-day lives of the Himalayas, including Ladakh. One must always expect to witness hardships or get stuck for a few days due to any of these natural events. These events happen in the Himalayas, often enough.

Your trip can be delayed, canceled, or extended by any of these events. Hence, whenever you plan for a Ladakh trip, you must always plan to keep a day or two as buffer days.

Yes, I know - Traveling to Ladakh ain't that easy as it looks..
Yes, I know – Traveling to Ladakh ain’t that easy as it looks…

5. Drive or Ride with Caution & Care

You must be a very good rider or driver in plains but the roads in Ladakh or other parts of trans-Himalayas are nothing like those roads. The faster you drive, the sicker the passenger feels. The margin of error is minimal and a lapse in concentration can cost you lives.

Due to loose gravel or ice, falling while riding is pretty common because people are so used to applying front brakes on bikes. It does not help at all as a minor injury could end up in a pretty ugly state because health care is not next to the corner in Ladakh. It may take a day or two to get the required medical attention or help in such cases. Hence, it is essential to ride or drive with very much caution and care, always !!

6. Availability of Medical Facilities

When traveling in Ladakh, medical help can be more than a day away. It is in your best interest to not to plan a trip to Ladakh if you already have any medical symptoms. Even untreated diarrhea can be fatal in Ladakh.

Hence, do not take any health symptoms lightly. You may be used to neglecting it in your hometown where a Pharmacist or Doctor lives next door in most lanes of your city. However, this is not true when you travel to the remote corners of trans-Himalayas, including Ladakh. I always recommend carrying a basic medical kit with you and a consultation with your doctor before your Ladakh trip starts.

7. Losing Your Soul Forever

Last but not least, you might end up losing your soul forever in Ladakh. As I said for myself, ever since I went to Ladakh about a decade back, it is the mere mortal body of mine that has just returned. My soul has been lost somewhere up in that heavenly place forever.

Every day when I close my eyes, my wandering soul in heaven transmits back the majestic vistas of Ladakh. Every day I wish I could go back to heaven in search of my soul and bring it back. However, I always overlook the fact that some things in this world are still impossible, and bringing back your soul from heaven is one of them.

Each time you visit Ladakh, you will fall more and more in love with the place, people, and culture of Ladakh, no matter how harsh & tough the terrain is to survive. It is nothing but the MAGIC of the heaven named Ladakh. All my heart always says — There is no other place like Ladakh in this world…

And the boards say it all...
And the boards say it all…


I hope you will consider the things outlined above in the article while planning your Ladakh trip. I have tried to be simple and realistic, taking into account 10000s of people I communicate with every season, which goes for the Ladakh trip. I am sure there are many more things that one must consider, but for the brevity of the article, I have tried to outline the most important ones.

Have a travel question?? You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment to ask your travel questions about traveling to the Himalayas.

Do you have any other suggestions that one must consider while traveling to Ladakh?? If yes, feel free to share them in the comments section of this article.

Also, do not forget to share this article with your friends/loved ones who are struggling with the things to consider for their first Ladakh trip.


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, I would like to take a moment to thank you for giving the wonderful information.
    We prepared our Itinerary – Private Car From Chennai to Leh ( 11th – 27 th Aug). While finalizing it, we come across Taxi Mafia gang attack for Private / Self driven cars in recent days @Leh and very hesitant to proceed with our Itinerary. We need support to understand the current situation and was the news published in media is real ?,. with mixed information about mafia attack still in confusion stage. Please advise, thanks

    • Thank you Sakthi !!

      There is no attack at all since last few years and there was just one single off ugly incident when it happened. I am not sure where you got mixed info. With private personal vehicle, there is no issue at all in Ladakh as far as I know and community members are posting in forum updates.


    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for your advice for our Leh Ladakh trip which I recently completed on 26th may. Your technical advise was of really helpful. Specifically for taking the Pangong to Tso Moriri direct route via man, merek chusul…. This route is simply outstanding.
    Thank you

    • Thank you Uday, glad it was helpful and you had a memorable trip. How about sharing some travel tale or photo tale or some important updates/reviews that might help others too in their plans.

  4. Vishal Nagar on

    Hello sir ,
    I am planning for Delhi -manali -leh trip, for 10 days. Me nd my wife will reach Delhi on 11th may at night. From then I have to plan. From where should I start my trip manali or leh ?? So how should I plan. please Suggest

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi with stopovers at Sarchu, Manali. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

      Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. You can fit in plan I suggested in above para in this plan

  5. I am going for an internship in Ladakh for 4 weeks. After that I want to go to srinagar. I wanted to know that is the way from leh to srinagar generally open by the end of MAY if i want to travel by bus?

    • Yes Parnita, Srinagar to Leh road will be open by the end of May and you can travel by bus at that time or also use shared taxis too.

  6. Thank you soo much for mentioning so many cautions. This is really helpful for the ones who decide on riding to Leh. It would be great if you could share some places to spend night along the way.

    • You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

  7. Good Morning,
    Is it advisable for going with family on Leh – Manali high way. which time is suitable for family. We are four persons. we will reach Leh on flight from delhi. Our plan is to cover leh – manali- Amruthsar and come to delhi in 10-12 days. Request suggest itinerary in economy way. If any other join with us most welcome
    Thank you

    • Hello rammohan,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-12% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.

  8. Uday sankar saha on

    I am planning a trip to leh Ladakh, My journey dates are 19th to 26th may 2017 by flight to leh. Please suggest the below mentioned itenary is ok or not.13, 2016 2:27 pm Ali
    Dear Mr. Uday sankar,
    Please find below our best possible discounted rates and send us confirmation email as soon as possible.
    Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
    On arrival transfer to hotel.
    Day 2 | Leh to sham valley.
    Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib

    Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Deskit – Hunder
    Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Deskit. On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La. DO NOT stay more than 10-12 minutes.
    Deskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari.About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and at Khardung La.
    Day 4| Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs.Overnight at Leh.About 7-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between.

    Day 5| Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
    Cover either of Thiksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik orLukung) About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

    Day 6 Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake via Changthang (Merak – Chusul – Nyoma)
    You can go to Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso directly via the remote and ever beautiful Changthang region. The drive between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri is one of the most beautiful drives in whole Ladakh region. Foreigners are not allowed to go beyond Man – Merak Villages as permits are not issued to them for this route. Hence, they need to follow the indirect, slightly longer route to Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso. You need to mention all the places mentioned in the route below on your permit form in order to under take this route. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:Spangmik (Pangong Tso) – Man (9 KMs) – Merak (12 KMs)– Kakstet (4 KMs) – Chusul (24 KMs) – Tsaga La (33 KMs) – Tsaga Village (20 KMs) – Loma (23 KMs) – Nyoma (22 KMs) – Mahe (25 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Tso Moriri / Korzok (53 KMs) = 235 KMs
    Day 7 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
    Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh.Cover Hemis, on the way towards Leh.Overnight at Leh.About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in .
    Day 8 flight to Delhi.
    Today pick up from Hotel and transfer to airport to board the flight.
    Look forward to hear from you as earliest.
    Tour End
    Tour cost:
    On Triple sharing the Net cost is Rs.26500/- per person
    Is the cost acceptable.

      • Uday sankar saha on

        Thanks,your website and information about the whole himalayas is amazing.
        Happy new year 2017 and good health always.
        Love uday.

        • Uday sankar saha on

          My travel dates are 19 may 2017 reaching leh by flight at 7.20 am. and leaving leh at 26 may 2017.
          Hope the travel time is OK.
          Love Uday.

    • Place can be changed to kolkata from kolkata..
      Please reply 9749853813

  9. Shankara Narayanan on

    I owe you a big thanks for a while now… I took all the tools that you provided during my trip last year and it was really an awesomatic one… Will definitely replan one in the years to come.. onset again, you made the planning lot easy.. THANK YOU