Q1: Does one experience breathing difficulties in Leh? Is there lack of oxygen?
Ans. When we travel above 10,000 feet, one tends to feel a bit uncomfortable in breathing. Yes, the atmospheric oxygen pressure is low in Leh. But if one acclimatises by resting for at least 2 days then such difficulties can be overcome easily.
Q2: What are the first possible signs of altitude sickness?
Ans. One might feel heavy in the head, nausea, dizziness/ giddiness, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing and lack of sleep. But if acclimatised, then one will not face such difficulties. We advise you to visit your general physician before coming to Leh. On your physician’s advice, do carry normal medicines for motion sickness, pain relief etc.
Q3: What should one do to not have altitude sickness?
Ans. The best way to get acclimatised once you reach Leh is by resting for 48 hours in your hotel.
Q4: Does one feel the altitude sickness during travelling by road?
Ans. Yes, travelling by road doesn’t guarantee that you will not have altitude sickness. So, you should rest for at least 48 hours in your hotel. Also, at some intervals, you can eat a handful of dry fruits, popcorn or chocolate, and lots of water. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoke. Keep yourself hydrated.
Q5: What should one pack and carry if travelling to Leh?
Ans. The following should be carried along:
a) Carry a government approved and issued photo identity card such as driving licence, Aadhaar card, passport etc.
b) Plastic bags are banned in Ladakh, so make sure you carry biodegradable/paper/cloth bags, if need be.
c) Remember to carry spare batteries for your camera and other electronic items, as the altitude and cold will drain them out quicker.
d) The weather is unpredictable. Afternoons are usually warm so carry some cottons, but mornings and nights are chilly. Please carry and wear warmers to stay comfortable at all times.
e) Consult with your doctor and carry general medicines. Avoid having Disprin before or during your journey and stay at Ladakh. Carry glucose, dry fruits, chocolates, popcorn and water. Consume 4 to 5 litres of water every day to stay hydrated.
f) For the skin, make sure you carry a good SPF sunscreen lotion, lip balm, moisturiser, UV sunglasses etc. Once you reach Ladakh, it is recommended to buy Apricot oil which works better than any other moisturiser.
Q6: How can we reach Leh?
Ans. By road: You can drive to Leh via Manali or Srinagar.
From Manali it takes 2 days to Leh (474 kilometres) via Keylong. You can also have a night stay in the tent at Sarchu, which is a popular tourist destination.
From Srinagar, it is at a distance of 434 kilometres, and will take 2 days to Leh via Dras & Kargil.
By Air: Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flights are twice to thrice in a week. Go Air has flights daily between Delhi and Leh. Starting March 25, 2017, Vistara has expanded its network to include daily services to Leh.
Local Transportation: To move in and around Leh, public transport is the best – either bus or a hired cab.
Note: If traveling by road, do keep a map handy.
Q7: What is the best time to travel to Ladakh?
Ans. The months between May to October are the best months to plan your trip.
Q8. What type of clothes should I pack when going to Ladakh?
Ans. Winter clothes for sure! One should pack ample of sweaters, jackets, muffler, woollen cap and socks, gloves, leg warmers, thermals, raincoat, and cotton clothes too like t-shirts, pants, as it gets a little warm during the day.
For footwear, extra pair of sturdy walking shoes or gumboots. No heels, no sandals, no flipflops are advisable!
Q9. Can children travel to Ladakh?
Ans. Yes, children can travel to Ladakh. In fact, children acclimatise quicker than adults. But it is always good to consult your doctor.
Q10. If one has any medical condition, can he/she still travel to Ladakh?
Ans. Well, people with these medical conditions must avoid Ladakh:
Q11. Is there any medicine that can help in acclimatising faster?
Ans. Yes, we advise to have tablet Diamox (after due consultation with your family doctor, of course!) two days prior to beginning this journey. Diamox helps the body acclimatise to higher elevations faster.