How safe is it to travel to Leh-Ladakh?

Leh Ladakh is absolutely safe to travel. I was in Leh Ladakh from 9th August to 20th August 2019.

August 5, 2019, announcement giving union territory status to Ladakh has, in fact, sparked a positive reaction in Ladakh.

Most Ladkahis support the centers decision as they feel cutting Ladakh off from Kashmir will bring them much needed attention. Ladakhis expect higher investment from the central government in health and education from UT status.

But, irrespective of this announcement Leh Ladakh has always been safe and I have experienced this in my several visits (six occasions) in the past.

Leh Ladakh has reported a very rare untoward incident ever in the past.

As per Ladakhi culture, they give a lot of respect to tourists and they go out of the way to take good care of them.

But since Leh Ladakh is situated at a high altitude of 11,480 feet (3500 meters), you need to have proper acclimatization to enjoy Leh- Ladakh.

Any place above 8000 feet you are susceptible to AMS i.e., Altitude Mountain sickness, especially if you do not have proper fitness. The cold Leh Ladakh temperature which dips t night adds to the deteriorating health of tourists.

You need at least 24 hours of proper acclimatizing at Leh before you can embark on various tourist spots like Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri Lake or Khardung La Pass.

But some tourists take acclimatizing very lightly and depart the very next day after their arrival. These are the ones who find it difficult when they are in Leh Ladakh.

I have noticed a few Visitors who had AMS symptoms but didn’t want to undergo a medical check. They fear if they are diagnosed with AMS by the doctor and advised rest they may miss the tours.

Most tourists invest a lot of money on this dream destination for their travel and hence they don’t want to miss out on the experience even if they have AMS. Sometimes they don’t even know they have AMS. Unfortunately, some organizers also compromise on the acclimatization and medical checkup aspect.

The situation aggravates when these unfit tourists visit Pangong or Kahrdung La which are at even higher altitudes and fall sick.

Fortunately, the Ladakh administration has now made an awareness campaign about AMS and standard procedures for tourists to prevent AMS.

Getting accustomed to the cold climatic conditions is another difficulty of the Leh Ladakh.

Dressing up well and keeping yourself warm is very important when you are Ladakh. Dress in at least 3 to 4 layers of warm clothes and have your head and ears covered with a woolen cap especially before sundown.

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