Despite its harsh environment and extreme weather, Leh Ladakh remains a dream destination for all nature enthusiasts. People line up to get a chance to go. If you are a bike enthusiast, it would be a crime not to take a bike trip in Ladakh!
These are some things to think about when planning a road trip to Ladakh.
Most ideal time to travel
It is common knowledge that there is only a small window of opportunity to take a bike trip to Leh; the roads to Leh are only open to tourists for about 6 months of the year on both routes. Beginning mid-May-June first week and ending mid-October-November first week. As a result, the months of June through September should be considered safe. However, the passes may become difficult to navigate during the monsoon season in July and August (i.e. Zojila pass on the Srinagar- Leh highway, Rohtang pass on the Manali- Leh highway). In general, the best months to travel are June and September, but you can always be a little more adventurous during the monsoon season.
Medicines must be properly packed
Traveling by bike to Leh-Ladakh has a serious impact on people’s health; they suffer from ‘altitude sickness’ or ‘acute mountain sickness (AMS), which can be excruciatingly painful; therefore, taking precautions does not make you a wimp. Different people have varying levels of altitude resistance. You are the best judge of what your body is capable of. Some people suffer greatly, while others suffer only mildly. A mild case of AMS is comparable to a hangover. Before traveling to Ladakh, consult a doctor and bring the prescription with you. For thrill-seekers and bike enthusiasts, the Leh-Ladakh bike trip is a popular attraction.
Carry only what you need
One of the most important things to remember is to pack light; you cannot afford to be extravagant with your outfits on a bike trip. Because of two reasons: first, the weather doesn’t allow for much fashion, so choose comfortable and warm clothes and stick with them even if you have to repeat one or two outfits, and second, you’ll need the extra space to pack things like a sleeping bag, possibly a tent, and some energy bars for emergencies. You should also bring extra petrol with you on some stretches of the Leh Manali highway, especially if you are going to Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri lakes.
Bring your bike toolkit and spare parts with you
You should have your bike serviced before and after your trip to Leh. You should learn some basic bike repair skills if at all possible. Bring extra clutch and accelerator cables, fuses, tubes, a puncture kit, and an air pump, among other things. There will still be mechanics on the road from Jammu to Srinagar to Leh, but they may be missing parts. So, ask your local mechanic for some pointers on how to fix common problems with your bike. Except for emergencies, the Leh Ladakh bike tour packages include almost everything you need.
Permits for the Leh Inner Line/Protected Area
Indian citizens must obtain Inner line permits (ILP) and foreign nationals must obtain Protected area permits to visit Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake, Tso Moriri Lake, and other protected areas (PAP). Many tour operators in Leh can arrange this for you, or you can go to the DC office in Leh and obtain the permits yourself. It will be much cheaper if you do it yourself, and the process is not difficult. Bring extra passport-sized photographs with you when you travel to Leh.
According to a circular issued by the Leh DC office, Indian nationals do not need an ILP and must only present a valid photo ID at the checkpoints to visit the above-mentioned locations beginning May 1st, 2014. Foreign nationals, on the other hand, continue to require PAP; these rules are subject to change, so it is critical to conduct preliminary research before embarking on a trip.
Use a Balaclava or a clean cloth to cover your mouth while riding at high altitudes
Due to the low oxygen levels, one tends to breathe through the mouth when riding at high altitudes. You may end up inhaling water vapours in the air as a result of your heavy breathing, and water may accumulate in your lungs. I realise it sounds terrifying. There hasn’t been much research done on this specific fact, but why take chances when the solution is so straightforward? A motorcycle ride from Leh to Ladakh can cost between 30,000 and 50,000 rupees.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
I’m not saying don’t party, but you must be extremely cautious in this situation. Alcohol dehydrates you and does not help with altitude sickness treatment. Know your limits and stick to them. Never test the limits in these areas. A bike trip to Leh Ladakh can be physically taxing; this tip will help you avoid overexertion.
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