If you have any symptoms of breathlessness after a little exercise, heart problem, or scared of height, then you should not visit Leh at all.
Take rest the first day, drink lots of water, eat in moderation, but more frequently.
And rest means REST, and also sleeping all through the day.
Beware of going to Leh in WINTER. Yes the scenery, with the snow and the numerous bare but colourful dogwood-type shrubs, is stunningly beautiful. But the very cold weather means a level of discomfort beyond simply being cold. (We were there end Nov 06, rarely got above zero). Few hotels provide any heating, I am told. Ours, the Oma Sila, did provide an effective but fume-emitting bottled gas heater in our room.
The low temperatures meant that the cold water pipes were frozen. We had an ensuite bathroom with no running water. We had to "order" buckets of hot and/or cold water.
We ate dinner in the hotel every evening because no high street restaurant would agree to provide any sort of heating, even when we offered extra money (I guess if we'd offered enough they'd have agreed!). Our hotel restaurant had minimal heating - I ate with my hat on. Again the problem of oily fumes from the rickety stove - not pleasant while eating. In winter there are no fresh vegetables, not even frozen ones. All vegetables were out of a can and it was the same meal every evening with no "choices" available. We took hotel-supplied packed lunches for daytime eating - it's amazing what they can do to a cheese sandwich to make it taste so odd.
There are no bars in the town, as far as we could see, and the hotel served only cans of beer. There is an off-licence shop of sorts but it was always closed.
On the subject of altitude sickness - beware of the "relax on the first day then you'll be fine" message. I was absolutely fine the first two days, then on the third day we took a (superb) day hike up a valley, gaining greater height. I started to feel unwell on the way down, and the feelings of nausea and headache (and bizarrely very swollen skin around the eyes) did not subside until I landed back in Delhi two days later. In spite of all the above, Leh and its surroundings were a unique experience that I would highly recommend!
Please do not exert yourself on the day u reach..just relax and sleep through the day.....i guess you'll be fine.......i have heard about it but nothing happened to us....just slow down on the first day to ensure your full trip does not go to waste.......
As far as leh is concerned all is fine...however if u plan to go towards Khardungla as well as pangong...be careful if you are driving ...though the roads seem fine but u cannot say...due to constant melting of snow the water tend to destroy the roads...so there are always chances of landslides so ple dont venture torards the edge of the roads......
Beware of this agency. The initial contact via e-mail is very easy and a lot of promises are made, far less are kept. The idea of the agency, is to deal with your entire stay in Ladakh from the moment you step out of the plane, thus giving you a discount global price for your entire stay. Here's what trapped me, firstly, they answer your mails very fast and thus create a sentiment of confidence, then they presented the trip in such a way that it seems like though you'll be going to different areas, you won't ever be returning to Leh, like a continuous trip which will allow you to stay in different places. Also, the trip was presented as: we'll be sleeping in fixed camps, own camps with own cooks and sometimes in guest houses.
Thing is, I'd already reserved a GH for the two 1st nights in Leh, and I informed the agency of this. They still sent someone to pick us up from airport, almost kidnapping us off into the owner's hotel and pretending not to understand what I was saying when I said we were supposed to be going elsewhere. Then, I go to see the owner in his office, the trouble was I'd already paid an advance, so thought we'd stick with them, but he was very rude to me and demeaning of the guest house I was staying at like "what are you staying in that place for, it's no good, it's so far from everything", well actually, being far from the noisy town center was what I wanted!! Anyway, to end up with, between each trip we came back to Leh, and he each time put us in his hotel (the only place in Ladakh where hygene was a true problem)- we just changed and went to an other GH, even if it ment paying more, cos his hotel was SO awful, and we're really not difficult, we stayed in much more simple places, but there was a better atmosphere. When we did stay at his hotel, we'd see him in the morning completely drunk walking around the premises and being sick in the river. Then he made us stay only in Guest Houses, when the original idea was camping most of the time.
there is 25% less oxygen in the atmosphere in Leh, so be ready to face some sickness. Even the sturdy ones face dizzyness in the beginning.
Another caution is not to buy things from souvenir shops as they charge exorbitant amount for even simple objects. Better to buy from the roadside.
There is a large army presence in Leh because of the proximity of the border with China and the Kashmiri situation. There isnt a problem in the town but you do need to use a bit of common sense.
Airport security is tight. It is better to have no handluggage and batteries are forbidden. Remove them or you might get you camera confiscated. On leaving Leh you will be searched at least 3 times. Be patient.
Dont wander around taking photos of soldiers or military "things". At best.,your camera will get confiscated.
Be aware that certain areas require special permits (Nubra Valley) and have check points that require that checking of passports. I would suggest that its easiest to always carry your passport.
We used a hired jeep and driver in Leh and as support vehicle for the journey back to Delhi. We had to dodge about to avoid the taxi mafia who tried to block our progress on a few occassions. When leaving Leh we were stopped by this unofficial group and had to "pay" a leaving fee to get out. Unsavoury incident and only the threat of reporting them to the local tourim minister managed to get us off with a subsrtantial reduction in this illegal levvy. Be warned! I've not seen this reported anywhere else and its only tourists that seem to be targeted.
We used a hired jeep and driver in Leh and as support vehicle for the journey back to Delhi. We had to dodge about to avoid the taxi mafia who tried to block our progress on a few occassions. When leaving Leh we were stopped by this unofficial group and had to "pay" a leaving fee to get out. Unsavoury incident and only the threat of reporting them to the local Tourim Minister managed to get us off with a substantial reduction in this illegal levvy. Be warned! I've not seen this reported anywhere else and its only tourists that seem to be targeted.
ladakh (leh) is at the altitude ranging from about 10000 feet and above and existed atmosphere contain low oxygen concentration... so the people visiting from lower altitude region and costal area may face hihg altitude sickness syndroms in first 48hr.... so its recomended to acclaimatize(normally 24 to 48 hr rest) self before engaging in any physical activities. although leh medical centre likeSNM hospital are fully equiped to face this kind of problem.
Acute Mountain Sickness
Acute mountain sickness can occur to anyone at an altitude above 10,000 Ft. from the sea level. The most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness are headache disturb sleep, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lassitude and lack of concentration. Since Leh Town is situated at an altitude of 11,500 Ft. above sea level. It is advisable to take the following precautions, so as to acclimatize your body properly.
Take complete rest for the first 24 hours of your arrival in Leh. However, this period may vary with different individuals.
Your body should get used to the lower oxygen levels.
No matter how physically fit you are do not run or exhaust your body for the first day.
Because of the Army and borders Ladakh has well equipt Army hospital where the facilities of an Oxigen Chamber is available in case of emergency.
The SNM hospital at Leh is also good and Docters experienced in treating Acute Mountain Sickness.
Telelphone SNM Holpital Leh: 252360
narrow roads, rocky roads, blind corners, rockslides, altitude sickness... This pic was taken at the worlds highest motorable road - though this little bit was about to become rather unmotorable... taken just seconds before a rockslide hit this exact spot!