11 July 2019
Vedant Rander Ladakh Bike Trip : Manali Leh Srinagar
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
12 July 2018
Amit Rajput Bike Trip: Srinagar Leh Manali
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey.
12 July 2018
Shrikant Gai Bike Trip: Srinagar Leh Manali
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey. We passed through all the ranges of the Great Himalayas, starting from the Shivalik, Karakoram & Pir Panjal. The memories of “late night road journey from Jammu to Srinagar risking our life while crossing South Kashmir (Known for Terrorist activities), early morning (4 am) shopping at Awantipora, Dal Lake, Shankracharya Temple, Srinagar Market, Lunch @Lal Chowk, Eid Celebrations, Shalimar Garden, Noon & Kahwa Tea, Sonmarg, War Zone (Kargil, Drass &Batalik), Oldest Gompa Lamayuru, Rafting at World’s highest point (Zanskar river), Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Leh Palace, gruelling terrain & passes(Zoji La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs), Fotu La (4108 Mtrs),World’s highest Motorable road – Khardungla (5359 Mtrs), Nakee La (4739 Mtrs), Tanglang La ( 5328 Mtrs), Bara-lacha (4890 Mtrs) & Chang La (5360 Mtrs)), Crazy bath in Pangong Tso lake (-4 °C), cute Marmot, Yak, Deer & Pashmina Goats at Changthang Wildlife sanctuary, snow-capped Karakoram Ranges, Sand dunes at Nubra Valley, Diskit Monastery, the Gata loops (22 hairpin bends) at 4190 Mtrs elevation on Pang – Sarchu road, Suraj Taal, Whiskey & Brandy Nallah, Picturesque Jispa, Hiking at 4350 Mtrs Himalayan ranges and driving alongside the rivers across the two states” are never gonna fade away !! Thanks to Thrillophilia for making this trip awesome & memorable one.
24 June 2018
amith sandeep Leh Ladakh to Manali Bike Trip Package 2020
Your Destination would be a dream until you come out and step ahead to it and experience. Leh-Manali Bike ride is one such vibe which will resonate for many years to come. Here the journey was more scintillating then achieving those milestones and Thrillophilia ensured we had great time by organising it perfectly to last mile would like to thank Tarun and Chitransh. Tani and Amit who were our Tour Leaders were just amazing with their hospitality to the care taken through out the ride. Ride at Khardungla Pass, Gata Loops, Zing Zing Bar, Barlachala were just amazing.
Such an amazing bike ride, challenging but with thrill till the end. Make sure that you are prepared to prevent the cold, the rough wind, the altitude sickness etc because even the symptoms of sickness will affect your trip. Khardung La Pass is quite a challenging one, also there are different shorter and longer passes throughout the journey. The service was also nice, not many complaints. The guides will know the place better because they are doing it for long. But still keep the track of the route before you start the trip. The guide was nice to us, keeping everything coordinated. The accommodation and food were also flawless to me.
A great way to rent a bike and be secure about the condition and price for it. The bike of choice is also available and it is easy to book as well.
This was one of the best trips ever!!! We had an amazing time on the trip. The views were so mesmerizing and captivating. The entire trip was so well planned and the co-travelers were also nice. The tour guide provided was friendly and helpful. The accommodations were also so good at all the places, the food provided was quite good. Thanks Thrillophilia for an amazing Leh Trip.
17 November 2019
Kaustubh Bondre Ladakh Bike Trip : Manali Leh Srinagar
It was an awesome experience. Completed the tour in July 2019. We had booked for 8 persons on Thrillophilia. The facilities were good, Tani-the tour guide, was superb. Amazing tour, to say the least. I have penned down my entire experience of Ladakh bike tour on my blog. Sharing the link here.
17 November 2019
When we made the booking for 6-days trip to Ladakh via Thrillophilia, we had a lot of questions in our mind on how it's going to turn out, especially on whether it's a suitable honeymoon destination even for those who love a bit of adventure. That is primarily because the reviews of Ladakh were a bit scary. Almost all of the people who wrote reviews had a lot of things to warn you about- the extreme climate, sudden decrease in Oxygen levels, deserted/uninhabited places where it's difficult to get some help from anyone in case of any issues and so on. And there were some people who wrote bad reviews about Thrillophilia for some negative experiences they had to endure from the operators. But it was reassuring to see how Thrillophilia answered all the reviews, even the negative ones. They clarified how they assign tour operators based on customer reviews and in case of any negative experiences from the operators, there is not much Thrillophilia can help with apart from not assigning those operators anymore. As we were getting immediate response from Amit on all our queries on a timely basis, we decided to book the package. Cutting to the chase, we were contacted by the operator(Thupstan) the day before our arrival and he ensured that there was a taxi to pick us up on time. The tour guides and the driver of the backup vehicle he assigned for our group were so experienced that all we had to do was to keep riding until they ask us to stop. The halts were all well planned that we didn't have to worry about anything. And they were so approachable in case of any issues. And whenever we rode for a long time, they would come and inspect each bike and fixed any issues immediately. They were always willing to go the extra mile to make us comfortable. Let me quote an instance here - The driver of the backup vehicle had an issue with Blood Oxygen level when we reached Pangong. We had enough stock of Oxygen cylinders in the backup vehicle. But he didn't consider using it and hence took one of the bikes and rode to where he could find a pharmacy to get an Oxygen cylinder for himself. When one of us asked him on why he didn't use one of the cylinders that we had carried, he told us that the cylinders are just for our use and himself or any of the guides won't use that. Such was the concern they had for everyone in the group. In case anyone reading this still has a question regarding whether it's a suitable place for couples, the answer is YES. The accommodation they provide is suitable for couples as well. Even the tents are nice and safe. I could go on like this and I never thought this review is going to be this long when I started writing it. As others have mentioned in the reviews, it's such a beautiful destination and the experience is awesome. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Ladakh, go ahead and embark on this beautiful journey with Thrillophilia. I'm sure that you won't regret it.
"Enjoyed Every second. Very well organized by Thrillophilia "
People Also Ask About Biking in Ladakh
When does the Ladakh Motorbiking season starts and ends?The Ladakh motorbike season starts in June and extends till September when the Manali Leh highway opens. This is the best time to undertake the trip because the roads are clear. Other times there are chances of landslide or road blockage because of heavy snowfall.
Is it safe to ride over there?Answering this question is a little tricky, because safety depends on the person itself. However, saying this, it is recommended that seasoned riders take this trip. Patience is the key to everything, and if you are a patient, responsible rider you will find this ride very safe. There are no roads per se, as mountains hardly ever have roads, so there will be quite a lot of off-roading. Therefore, the safest bet is to go on a group tour. This is advantageous on many fronts. For one, you will have a group leader who will know the routes and there will also be back up vehicles available in case there is a breakdown.
How much is the cost of Ladakh Bike Trip?The cost of Ladakh Bike Trip packages vary according to the bike you choose to rent. The average cost vary anywhere between INR 30000 to 40000. The rates will differ according to the place you choose to begin your trip (Leh to Leh, Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh).
What are the best bikes for Ladakh trip?Well, to tell you the right thing, you can pick any bike or even a scooter to reach Ladakh. Yes, many of the thrillers have done that as well. Yet, let us help you in picking up some bikes for your utmost comfort.
- The Hardcore Royal Enfield: A choice for most of the Ladakh dreamers, Royal Enfield is surely considered as best for its power and capacity to handle all your long time luggage. Pick any, 350cc or 500cc, both choices are great, especially you have a pillion friend as well. Moreover, recent models in the market have been adorned with easy start and seldom kicks, powerful engine and air cooling system that are easy to bear Ladakh terrains. Make sure the bike density is quite heavy to handle, so in case you are riding an Enfield for the first time, be careful with your speed.
- Bajaj Dominar 400: Keep the fuel tanks up with smart ground clearance as Bajaj Dominar is perfect for your trip to Ladakh if Bullets are not your choice. Cruise through the terrains easy and swift, but only disadvantage could be for the one sitting behind. It is best if you travel solo with it and tie your luggage at the backend.
- Powerfully stylish KTM Duke: Having power of around 200cc and strong self-start option, KTM Duke is perfection on its own, giving out the adventure of Ladakh roads. Though it is best to carry it during solo trip, the bike will not disappoint in terms of carrying fuel and luggage for long rides. Make sure the bike is maintained well so that it does not break down as you move high.
- Bajaj Pulsar, ready for a sprint!: As much as the fan following the bike has on plain roads, Ladakh terrain also invites Pulsar very well. Call from 150 cc or 220 cc, Pulsar is a perfect friends for adventurers as the bike won’t duct down easy. Interestingly, the fuel tank is pretty loaded so will surely keep up the race when no petrol pumps meet you in midway. Yes, the pillion seat might not be great for the other friend of yours due to inclination, so it is recommended that you carry a seat cover along.
- Honda CBR 250, vroom down: A good tank capacity and tubeless tires will give you edge over other bikes in Ladakh. If your will permits, get your bike modified with the help of an expert and enjoy the whole time being there.
Can I rent a bike in Manali or Srinagar?Yes, you can talk to agencies and find out if they have an office in Manali or Srinagar. Usually, the agencies have their offices in these locations, as a lot of customers prefer to start the journey from Manali or Srinagar. Or you can also check here for renting a bike from Manali.
What things will I get with rented bike?You get unlimited kilometers, rider helmets, travel maps and safe luggage storage facility.
If I am renting a bike what about the security deposit?Usually, you have to pay around 40% of the cost as a security deposit.
Is it good to take my own bike or should I rent it?It depends on the condition of your own bike. If you are comfortable and your bike can traverse through the rough roads and survive the challenges thrown by Mother Nature then you can take it. It will also save your cost.
If I am taking my own bike then what should be the bike condition?The condition of the bike should be good enough to survive the rocky roads and unpredictable weather that will meet you on the way. Ensure you have checked the following before beginning your journey:
- Clutch plates: Make sure you get your bike’s clutch plates checked and replace them if necessary. It is very crucial to have clutch plates in suitable condition, otherwise you can end up with a motorcycle, which refuses to climb steep hilly roads of Ladakh.
- Piston rings: If your bike has been consuming engine oil lately; it is best to get the piston-cylinder kit checked for wear and tear.
- Timing chain: Another key thing you need to pay close care to is the timing chain, because it can end up causing serious mechanical failure during the ride or even worse, it make your motorcycle perform sub optimally.
- Drive chain and sprockets: Check the drive chain and sprockets for any signs of abrasion.
- Suspensions: Riding on the harsh terrain of Ladakh with a bike loaded with rider and luggage can take a toll on the suspension of your motorcycle. So, it is instructed to get the front and rear suspension checked, and if the need be, get them changed.
- Swing arm bush: Get the swing arm bush properly checked for slackness.
- Air filter/spark plug: If your air filter and/or spark plug is over 10000 km old or approaching this figure, get them changed. Don’t throw the old ones out, keep them as spares, might be of use later.
- Clutch and accelerator wires: If your clutch and accelerator wires are over 10000 km old, get them changed but keep the old ones as spare. If they are not in need of change then at least make sure to get them lubricated.
- Brake shoes/pads: Get the brake pads and shoes checked for wear and tear, and if they can’t last for 5000 km, immediately get them changed. Also get the brake fluid changed or just top it up, in case you had them changed recently.
- Con set: Con set is an essential chunk of the bike and if it’s loose, it can affect the handling of the motorcycle substantially. At the time of service get it properly checked and change it if the need be.
- Engine oil/filter: If the engine oil is over and above 500 km old, get it changed. Also do change the oil filter. In case your bike uses some oil strainer, make sure you get it cleaned.
- Electricals and battery: Get the electrical wiring checked, check bulbs to see if they are functioning properly. Also clean the headlight seal beam and brake light to ensure better visibility enroute. Make sure your bike’s battery is performing well, this is specifically important if your motorcycle does not have kick start.
- Fasten all nuts and bolts: Check and get all the nuts and bolts fastened properly, in case any is missing, get the installation done.
- Carburetor tuning: Keep the carburetor tuning as close to stock as it is possible. Running it rich will cause problems in high altitude areas and running it lean would lead to overheating in plains.
- General check: Ensure that everything is working properly and all the fluids are topped up, i.e. battery water, engine oil etc. Ensure all fuel lines are intact and there is no leakage anywhere.
- Tyres: Check both tyres for wear and signs of cuts. If either of them is nearing the end of their life, get them changed. If you need to change tyres, get these dual purpose tyres, since they perform well on and off road. Learn minor repair/servicing yourself! Now since you have gone through the above routine, your bike should hold through for the entire trip, but it’s always a good idea to ask your motorcycle mechanic to teach you minor chores like tightening rear brakes, adjusting clutch and chain, fixing puncture, replacing bulbs and changing cables. However, you can easily avoid so much hassle and book a group tour for yourself. The group tour will cover every aspect of the trip and ensure the bike is in the best condition. You can also choose the bike of your choice.
What riding luggage do I need?Here is a list of the riding luggage that you should carry:
• Good quality Helmet
• Waterproof riding gear, or suitable clothing to ride in cold conditions which protects you in an unlikely spill; like leather pants or jeans
• Rain gear, if riding gear is not waterproof
• Riding boots or hiking boots
• Riding gloves since it is cold out there and Enfield does not have heated grips
• Thermal inner wear
• Nightwear and casual clothing for time away from the motorcycle
• Flip-flops or spare set of boots
• Spare set of spectacles if applicable
• Driving license
• Headlamp with one set of spare batteries
• If you are on medication, carry them from home
• Riding glasses or shades
• Sleeping bag
• Dust goggles
• Ladies, if you use tampons, carry them from home
• Cap / hat
• Mosquito repellent
Is it necessary that I should be in the proper riding gear?It is absolutely mandatory to ride in appropriate riding gear. It will ensure your safety in case of unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, and also it will be a great protection from the unpredictable weather change. Be it rain, cold or snow, the riding gear will ensure your journey is not hindered. Always remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Do I need to learn how to be a bike mechanic for a Ladakh trip?It is always an advantage if you know how to fix your bike in case of a breakdown. But, don’t worry if you do not know the technicalities. Riding in groups becomes very advantageous and safe because you are sure to have someone who knows the necessary knowledge needed. Moreover, group tours often have a mechanic riding with them. So it is best to ask and ensure before booking, as different packages have different services. However, most group packages have a backup jeep – so do not worry either way!
Do I need to carry full set of bike repair tools?If you are traveling solo then it is requisite for you to carry a full set of bike repairs. This adds to your luggage and increases the weight you will carry considerably. However, this is again where going in a group package comes to an advantage as the backup vehicle carries every necessity without you having to worry about it.
Do I need tubeless tires for Ladakh Trip?Yes, you need tubeless tires for Ladakh Trip. There are a lot of advantages of tubeless tires, for one, it provides better safety. The risk of accidents decrease considerably due to sudden air leakage as it takes place slowly. The driver gets sufficient time to control the vehicle as the air can escape only through the point of puncture. The tires are also lightweight due to the absence of tube and therefore the fuel efficiency is better. There are less chances of damage during the case of flat running and better heat dissipation as the air is in direct contact with the rim. Moreover, it is a very cost effective option too as tube isn’t needed; therefore there is also no question of tube related problems.
Do I need puncture Kit and air pump for Ladakh Trip?Again, if you are traveling solo then it is requisite for you to carry a puncture kit. This adds to your luggage and increases the weight you will carry considerably. However, this is again where going in a group package comes to an advantage as the backup vehicle carries every necessity without you having to worry about it. Yes, if you are traveling solo then you need to have air pump in case of emergency. However, the group package doesn’t require you carry an air pump as the backup vehicle will carry it all.
What permits do I need for a complete Ladakh Bike Trip?Since Ladakh shares common boundaries with Tibet, locals and international tourists need to obtain an inner line permit (ILP). Although a permit is not required for Leh but Indians and foreigners need to register at Drass, Rumtse and Sarchu, in case they are traveling by road. If you are planning to travel from Manali, you need to acquire a permit at Manali’s DM office to cross Rohtang. This permit covers you and your vehicle both. The cost of Inner Line Permit comprises of INR 200 per person as environment tax, INR 20 per person per day for as wildlife protection fee, and INR 10 per person per day that goes in charity towards Red Cross Society.
For instance, if a person requires a permit for a span of 4 days, he will have to pay INR 320 [INR 200 + INR 120 (INR 30 multiplied by 4)]. However, if you happen to be a student, you only have to pay INR 20 for obtaining the permit, just by furnishing your school / college identity card. However, you don’t require permits on Manali-Leh, Srinagar-Leh highway and local attractions near Leh town. Apart from that, do carry some important documents positively.
What are the documents which are required for the trip?Here are a list of documents that are required for the trip:
- Driving License: This one goes without saying tha carrying original motorcycle driving license is essential and legally required. You will also require an IDP (International Driving Permit) in case you are not an Indian citizen.
- Registration Certificate: Carry your motorcycle’s original Registration Certificate/Smart card in your primary bag and carry an attested photocopy of it in your wallet or jacket pocket.
- Motorcycle Insurance Papers: Carry original insurance papers in your primary bag and an attested photocopy of it in your wallet/jacket.
- PUC Certificate: Carry the original PUC where it is easily accessible in case you need it.
- Medical Insurance Card: Carry your medical insurance card either in your shirt pocket or in your jacket. You can keep it anywhere, just avoid keeping it along with money. Since in case of a serious accident, you risk losing your wallet and money, which can end up leaving you in a state where you need the insurance the most and do not have your insurance card!
- Secondary ID: Carrying a secondary ID is a good idea to help establish your identity in case of a critical situation, so carry something like a PAN card, Passport or Voters ID Card as well.
- List of important contacts: Phones can run out of battery, go bad or can be lost. So make sure to carry a hardcopy containing phone numbers of essential contacts in case of emergency, or otherwise.
- Map and itinerary: Always carry a map, even if you think you aren’t going to use it. Since it can provide a good reference if you have to alter your plans. In case you are using one of the maps provided on BCMTouring, you can print your itinerary on the back of it to reduce the need of carrying multiple papers. Do not rely on phone maps because you never know when will the phone switch off because of battery.
Do we need to carry Fuel in a Jerry Can on Ladakh bike trip?Yes, it is highly recommended to carry fuel in jerry can as the petrol pumps are not located very close. You may get fuel in some of the villages you cross – however, the quality of the fuel is certainly questionable and thus advised to not use it unless absolutely necessary. If you choose to travel in a group package, the backup vehicle will carry enough fuel.
Mechanics will be available there or not?Most of the group tours often have a mechanic riding with them. So it is best to ask and ensure before booking, as different packages have different services. However, most group packages have a backup jeep – so do not worry either way!
I don’t know how to ride a bike. Can I be a pillion?Yes, you can be a pillion. It highly depends on the bike that one is taking and you might have to walk in some places where the roads are bad and dangerous.
Are the seats on the Royal Enfields comfortable enough for riders/pillions?In general the seats of Royal Enfields are very comfortable yes, but again it differs from model to model. The bikes of the Standard series have best pillion seats without a doubt. Pillion seats on Himalayan and Thunderbird are also pretty comfortable. But the ones on Classic are quite uncomfortable.
Should I carry Rain Gear?Yes. It is absolutely advisable for you to carry rain gears. The weather can be very unpredictable, and you do not want to take any risks. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to carry raincoats or water resilient jackets. Also make sure you have riding pants or rain suit for overall protection.
What about the road conditions in Ladakh?The roads on the way to Ladakh will not always be smooth. They can be rocky and very difficult to ride to. To be honest, you will not find “roads” at all – so this trip will involve quite a lot of off-roading, but in the hindsight this is what adds on to the adventure.If you are a ride lover and want to explore the best biking experience on biking tour in India click here
How to Prepare myself for A Ladakh Trip?In order to ensure you make the most of the Ladakh trip, fitness is the first box to tick. You need to be perfectly fit before you begin your journey, as the journey is very tiresome and demanding. We would recommend you to do cardio exercises regularly as it will also help you with the changing elevation and not make you sick. Cycling and swimming is also highly recommended to increase your stamina. You should try doing the following things to increase strength and stamina.
- Blow balloons: Whether the trip is well planned or not, you can always do this exercise of blowing balloons anywhere and everywhere. It increases your lung capacity with enough oxygen to meet bodily needs.
- Rhythmic breathing: The best way to go about this is to get your breathing in sync with the pedaling, precisely, in the ratio of 1:1. If that proves to be tough for you, you can try 1:2 in the beginning. Practice different combos, as riders say, it helps a very much. Mouth and nasal breathing: The ones who are suffering from any nasal problems such as sinusitis or nasal congestion, are suggested to practice breathing through the mouth at high altitude as they will then be able to move air rapidly and obtain a higher level of oxygenation.
- Exercises: Try to increase anaerobic capacity through exercises like holding your breath for a little amount of time. One can practice this off bike. Let the body get used to being under oxygen deprivation for a period of time. After a while, it will help. Secondly, book your bikes way in advance and do not keep anything for the last moment. Collect and collate all the necessary documents and all the equipment that you might need for the journey. Carry basic medicines, enough water and dry fruits positively. Before the day of your journey check if all of the lights, horn and indicators of your bike are working. Double check the fluid levels such as engine oil and coolant. Check tires properly for air pressure and/or puncture. Check if the chain is lubricated properly and isn’t too tight or too loose. You should also check for leakages. It is also recommended to carry out the inspection everyday before you begin your journey.
How fit should I be for a Ladakh trip?As your journey demands you to be riding on a very high altitude, you should be completely aware and prepared for the extreme weather condition and also take care of your health. It is recommended for you to be regular with cardio exercises. Since the air is very thin at high altitude like Baralach La, and Khardung la, and this is where the cardio will pay off it will be easier for you there.
How many minimum days do we need to explore Ladakh?The minimum days required to explore Ladakh on bike are 10. You can customize your trips according to your itinerary.
What is the mean travel duration each day?The average travel duration will depend day to day on the weather, the kind of path you tread (that is the condition of roads) and your health in general. It is mandatory for you to take regular breaks in order to avoid severe back pains and other health related issues that you may have to face. The average travel hours can range from 6 to 7 hours maximum.
Can I ride all day and night?No, you cannot ride all day and night. You will need to take regular breaks, as your body will get tired because of the changing landscape and increased elevation. You have to remember that you will be riding for a week or more at a stretch. Riding without break will result in immense backache. Moreover, there is often lack of oxygen, so it is mandatory for you to rest and let the body get accustomed to the changes. The roads are bad which makes riding at night extremely dangerous. In case, there is a breakdown you will not get any help and will be stranded. The entry in some areas is restricted as well at night. Your bike needs the rest as much as your body, too.
Should I go my own or with a tour group?If you wish you can go alone, but it is always recommended to go with a tour group because that ensures safety and security. Because the roads are not very good and the weather is extremely unpredictable, a group provides strength and company to overcome difficult situations. On a more technical front, traveling in a group means you will have well seasoned and experienced people to guide you throughout, they will be familiar with the route and in the case of unforeseen circumstances, they will know exactly what to do and where to go. A group tour also includes a backup vehicle prepared in case there is a breakdown or if someone falls sick.
What kind of accommodation is available in Ladakh?There is no lack of accommodation in Ladakh – as long as you book prior to your trip, you will get a lot of options to choose from. Generally, in Ladakh the hotels are segregated into four different categories, namely, A, B, C and D. The best way to understand the quality of A class hotels, their facilities and services are simply comparable to a standard 3 star hotel. Each hotel in Ladakh is designed with traditional architecture of the region and feature oversized rooms equipped with modern amenities. These rooms are beautifully furnished with Ladakhi and Tibetan décor.
Can I find any ATM’s in Leh?Yes, Leh has ATM’s owned by Axis Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India. It is strongly recommended to carry enough cash because can be non-functional sometime due to heavy demand. Also, there are no ATM’s available on the highways and places outside the Leh town, hence, it is highly recommended that you carry sufficient cash as even credit/ debit card acceptance will be an issue and most of these locations do not have this facility.
What network services can I find in Ladakh?The most important thing that you have to keep in mind is that only postpaid connections work in Leh Ladakh, limited to BSNL, Airtel and MTNL only. BSNL has the widest coverage followed by Airtel. Moreover, only some places like Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso (Lukung, Tangste 34 KMs before Pangong Tso), and Chumathang; and recently on the list, Hanle will have any connectivity and it will be erratic mostly. It will be a good idea to keep your friends and family informed in advance about your whereabouts.
What about petrol pumps in Ladakh?The first point of concern for everyone during a bike trip is the availability of petrol pumps in the highways. Petrol, the basic fuel for the road trip is a prized possession in the mountains as there are a handful of petrol pumps, mainly 4 on the entire 475 km route of the Manali-Leh highway. Motorists taking a Ladakh road trip are required to carry extra fuel in a jerrycan or other containers from Manali. Fuel is available in villages but as quality of the oil is very uncertain, it is advisable to not take such fuel unless absolutely necessary.
Do credit cards and Debit work in hotels and restaurants?Yes, most restaurants and hotels accept cards. However, a 2% service tax is levied. It is recommended to carry enough cash with you though, because most small places do not have this facility and they use cash as the sole medium for transaction.
What will be the facility for water and food? Do I need to carry some food or water along with me?You will get mineral water in Leh and other towns and villages. Carry mineral water for the travelling period. For food, it is advisable to carry dry fruits, energy bars, cookies and biscuits for the journey.
What is High Altitude sickness? How much time does it take to get acclimatize in Ladakh?Some common symptoms of high altitude sickness are giddiness, loss of appetite, lack of sleep and difficulty in breathing. The best way to get acclimatize in Ladakh is a natural rest for at least 48 hours before starting to explore and travel.
Is it possible to go to Manali to Leh with 1 stop at Sarchu?Yes, it is possible to go from Manali to Leh with 1 stop at Sarchu. However, you will have to begin very early for this trip. If you have enough time on you, it is strongly recommended that you cover the trip in 2 days and 2 night stops to enjoy the beautiful and serene views. The point of the trip is lost if you only spend it in riding. Moreover, it is extremely tough for your body to do it in such a short span of time.
Can you go to Nubra valley and come back in the same day?If you wish to take it up as a challenge and race up there, you can. The distance from Nubra to Leh is around 150km. Attempting to cover it in 1 day is a lost cause because you will not be able to enjoy the beautiful sights that the valley has to offer. The distance may look coverable on paper, but also keep in mind the terrain that you will be traversing. It will take a lot more than you expect. Also, do not forget that you have to conquer the Khardung La pass.
Can I go to Pangong Lake from Numbra Valley directly? Or I have to go Leh again via Khardungla?Yes, if you wish to not take a detour you can go directly to Pangong Lake to Nubra valley. The route that you can take is via Agam Shyok. From Khalsar you reach Agham rather than ascending to Khardung La, and from Agham you take the road that goes towards Shyok rather than ascending to Wari La, and from Shyok you reach Durbuk and continue towards Pangong. This is the most difficult of all the available routes but also the least time consuming. On this road, you can reach from Nubra valley to Pangong Tso within a matter of 6 hrs.
The best route to take while on bike is the Agham Shyok road. It is so because the ascent is not that steep and with motorcycles you can always make way even on bad roads. However, please be very careful while riding through this terrain. This road can be highly dangerous at worst of times and challenging at best.
Can small kids go on a bike trip?It is strongly recommended not to take small kids on a bike trip to Ladakh as the roads are not always very good. Moreover, the weather can get unexpectedly harsh, and it is a lot of risk for children.
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