Here’s How You Travel to Ladakh – Budget and Safety

Everyone who visits Leh for a road trip either carries their own vehicle hires a car or rents a bike. However, you cannot fail to notice that riding a bike on the land of high passes brings you an adventure and joy of a different kind altogether. There are many tourists who come in the car but just to feel the experience of the bike ride on the roads of Ladakh, they hire a bike in Leh.

There are two ways to ride a bike in Leh. Either you rent it from Srinagar or Manali and drive down all the way to Leh, or you come to Leh by flight and hire the bike for the rest of the journey. Both ways are possible, but it’s an awesome feeling to drive on the beautiful roads under the brown mountains and blue skies once you reach Leh. 

Finding ways for a Budget Travel to Ladakh : 

You will spot many bike rental agencies in almost every corner of Leh. Finding a motorcycle of your choice from these agencies is no problem at all. In a small city of Leh, most of the mechanics, travel agents or tour operators will give you the option to hire a bike. You may even inquire from the Hotel where you are staying, and they will definitely guide you too. 

Also if you have rented a motorcycle from Manali or Srinagar, you are allowed to ride on it only as far as Leh. Locals here will not allow you to visit the nearby areas like Nubra Valley or Pangong Tso on a motorcycle from another city. Hence for commuting within Ladakh, you will have to rent another motorbike from Ladakh.

If you are planning to come to Ladakh on your own self-owned motorbike, you can drive it wherever you want. In that case, you don’t need to rent another bike. You can freely roam around.

In case you are planning to hire a bike in Leh and drop it at either Manali or Srinagar, then there are a few agents or tour operators who do provide this service. This service additionally will cost Rs 10000/- to 15000/- including dropping the motorbike in either Manali or Srinagar. 

The route from Manali to Leh is very challenging; hence if you are not a biker or who rides a bike frequently it is advisable to rent a bike in Leh rather than from Manali or Srinagar. Renting motorbikes is a large process of the tourism industry in Ladakh, hence finding a bike of your taste is no problem at all. Never overestimate your riding skills and be safe.

Overall the bike trip to Ladakh is definitely going to bring a big change in your life and you may want to come back for this adventure again and again. 

Is it safe to travel to Ladakh ?

Ladakh is a remote, barren terrain at a high altitude having cold weather conditions and tough roads, hence the question concerning the safety of tourists in Ladakh is obvious. Besides this, Ladakh is geographically located at the borders of China, Pakistan, and Kashmir. Considering the recent events of unrest in Kashmir due to incursions by China and Pakistan, there is definitely a question concerning the safety of tourists in Ladakh.

Going to a place like Ladakh raises a lot of concern and invites an amount of preparation when it comes to health and safety—being geographically located touching borders of the country. Despite the above, let me assure you that Ladakh is absolutely safe for tourists. Thousands of tourists do the Leh Ladakh tour all through the year – either solo, with friends and family, including children as well as elderly people too. Security is not at all a problem here.  Let me give you a brief on each of the above safety concerns supporting the claim that Ladakh is perfectly safe to travel.

Tension in Kashmir

Kashmir is prone to internal unrest, but the locals are highly dependent on their income from tourism in Kashmir and recognize that very well. Note that most popular tourist destinations are rarely affected by these incidents. They are protected by the locals’ interest in the growth of Ladakh’s tourism. Hence, when traveling to Ladakh via Srinagar, it is advisable to avoid including any off-beat locations apart from the popular destinations in your itinerary. Ladakh is unaffected by the unrest in Kashmir as it is a two day’s journey by road from Srinagar. 

High Altitude region:

High altitude areas experience harsh cold weather and low oxygen levels in the air. Getting hit by altitude sickness is common to those getting exposed to this sudden change in altitude and weather conditions. There are some basic preventive measures that will help avoid this:

  • Exercise to build up your stamina before heading out for the trip
  • Allow time to acclimatize – Take the Srinagar to Ladakh route that has a gradual and slow climb up to Ladakh giving your body enough time to acclimatize or stay and rest indoors for at least a day on reaching Ladakh
  • Maintain your regular fluid intake despite the cold and not feeling thirsty
  • Avoid heavy physical activities that cause exertion or breathlessness
  • Consult your physician and always keep your medicines handy
  • Best time to be in Ladakh:

    Most of the tourists pick the summer season for traveling to Ladakh to avoid the extreme cold of Ladakh. But if you must travel in other months, then make sure you are sufficiently equipped to deal with near or sub-zero temperatures. Let’s see below what are the things to carry on this trip :

  • Thermal inners, fleece jacket or pullover, down feather jacket (preferably windproof), and water-resistant jacket.
  • Hand Gloves, preferably windproof and woolen socks
  • A beanie or a woolen cap for covering the head and ears
  • A scarf or muffler for the face in windy high-altitude locations
  • The challenging journey through the tough roads:

    Surely the roads in the mountainous terrain are non-tarmac, rough, and in bad shape. Besides, the terrain combined with the weather also makes accessibility to the roads unpredictable. Talking to the locals before starting the trip helps get an update on this. Ladakh tour is all about experiencing the journey of a lifetime more than just getting to the destination. Navigating through the roads should not be a problem if you have fair experience in driving or riding. If you are not confident of this, then the best option would be to hire a local driver. They are aware of the routes, used to driving on this terrain and help in inquiring around with the local people.

    The locals in Ladakh are very friendly and helpful. Many will go beyond their way in their own capacity to assist you in case of any difficulty. The serene beauty and peaceful landscapes will reflect in every stage of your journey through Ladakh. So, go ahead and plan your travel to this perfectly safe haven called Ladakh without any further hesitation.