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Essential Tips for Women Exploring Ladakh

Discover the hidden gems of Ladakh with these essential tips for solo travellers. From acclimatisation to cultural etiquette, unlock the secrets to a fulfilling expedition in this breathtaking mountain retreat.

Essential Tips for Exploring Ladakh

Much as I am smitten by the beauty of one of the most exotic mountain retreats in the world, Ladakh – the land of Lamas and monasteries is much more than what meets the eye. It is one of the coldest snow deserts and has a lot more to offer. However, there are a few very important things that you need to know, especially if you are a single woman (or even a man) travelling for the first time across this heaven.


Also Read: Solo Travel for Women: Your Ultimate Packing Guide for a Solo Trip

Acclimatise: Perhaps the most important thing to do whenever you are travelling to high altitude is to acclimatise yourself well. Do not start your adventure the very morning you land in Leh. Plan your trip in such a way that you have at least 3 days (while it is advisable to acclimatize for a week) in hand. Take rest. Get used to the altitude, weather, and water. Drink plenty of water and always keep yourself covered up. Even if you feel the slightest discomfort, consult a doctor. Remember to get your BP checked and do not indulge in extensive traveling if you have high BP. You might feel the dryness of the throat and nose, which is okay.

Layered Clothing: Always have layered clothing on. You might feel that just a T-shirt and jeans with a heavy jacket are enough to keep you warm, but no, that’s not the way to go about it. Ladakh is a very windy place, and by windy, I mean the kind of wind that makes your eyes burn and bones freeze. Get your thermals on. Always wear socks and hand gloves. And the most important bit: keep your head covered – no matter how warm you feel already with all the clothes on.

Shoes: Yes, all of us girls love to take our fancy boots out the moment we step into a cold hilly region. But Ladakh is not a place for fashion. Get thick-soled lightweight trekking/mountain shoes. I would recommend only trusted brands like Woodland, Quechua, Solomon for this. If you really want to enjoy the region, you might want to trek a long ways. These shoes will help you get a solid grip and enough comfort while climbing uphill.

Food and Luxury: If you travel in Ladakh, you need to have an open mind. While places like Grand Dragon, Summer Harvest, and Tibet Kitchen in Leh offer amazing food (especially Chinese), be prepared to taste anything and everything. Also recommended is this little café in Leh called Lamayuru Café, which serves some of the cheesiest pizzas ever. If you are travelling towards Zozila, do stop by at Zozila Residency at Kargil for some delicious momos and wazwan. However, you might not get the most luxurious places to put up at.

Local Etiquette: While Leh is a very modern town and buzzing with tourists during the peak season, certain parts in the region may not be that happening. The barren terrain is home to Buddhists and Shia Muslims. The closer you move towards the Kashmir Valley, the more you find the Sunni population dominating. It is advisable to respect the peace and nature. Cover your head. Do not show skin and be polite. These are very simple and friendly people who understand Hindi and English as well and are ever-smiling and helpful. Do not take pictures of the local people without permission.

Plan Well: Ladakh is not a place that you can visit just about any time. Do your homework well. The NH1 and the passes connecting the region are usually cut off during winters. Zozila Pass opens only after May 15. The best time to visit is between June and August. July 26, celebrated as Op Vijay Diwas, is a day one should be at the Kargil War Memorial in Dras. There are regular flights from Delhi to Leh; I usually prefer the early morning flight that takes off at 8.30 and takes 1hr 20 mins to reach Leh.

There is a lot more that can be written and discussed when it comes to this amazing land. However, I will let it rest here. Go ahead, plan a trip, and have some of the best moments of your life.

What do you think?

Written by Swati Tewari

A dreamer, a reader...and a crazy party animal, who loves to write. Trying to create something different each time, looking at the road ahead, gazing at the stars, wondering what their smile says...

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