Regular public bus services ply between the two main towns of Leh and Kargil on a fixed route basis; the other small hamlets and villages in Ladakh are connected to each other by mini-buses. The only air service is the flights into Leh from outside Ladakh. Visitors to Ladakh can hire cars, MUVs or 4WDs from any one of the many travel agents in Leh for excursions into the interiors of Ladakh. Hired taxis remain the most convenient and comfortable mode of travel within Ladakh, definitely worth the extra they cost. For travel to Nubra, Changthang & Dah-Hunu, it is necessary to hire vehicles from Tourist Dept recognized/ registered travel agencies only. A list of these travel agents is available at the Tourist Offices, as is detailed information on bus schedules.
There are Tourist Offices at Leh, Kargil and Padum that provide detailed information on all aspects of Ladakh. They can help arrange climbing expeditions, trekking, white-water rafting and plan out the best itinerary. It is also a good idea to keep them informed regarding the routes and schedules as they are best equipped to ring alarm bells and organise help in an emergency. The Tourist Reception centre in Leh is located on the road to the airport a little away from the centre of town. It is open every day from 10am -4pm except Sundays.
WHERE TO STAY
There is a variety of accommodation available in Ladakh - hotels, guesthouses, paying guest accommodation and tourist hostels. Hotels are classified into A, B, C & Economy categories while guest houses fall in the upper, medium and economy class. Quite a few hotels in Ladakh are family-run concerns and give tourists the opportunity of interaction with local families. Some monasteries allow guests and offer essentially basic accommodation that is available for the price of a small donation.
Leh has hotels with modern amenities as well as modestly priced establishments run by locals, some even throw in meals as part of the deal. Most of the hotels are around the main bazaar area, which tends to get rather crowded during the peak tourist season. Most hotels andd guesthouses close down in winter, mainly because occupancy is pretty low. Kargil has reasonably tolerable acommodation - hotels, guest houses, paying guest rooms in private homes - but nothing that is even remotely luxurious. In the newly open to tourists areas of the Nubra Valley, Tangse, Spangmik ( Lake Pongong), Drokpa and Zanskar, infrastructure is pretty inadequate except for the Tourist Department operated guest houses and hikers/trekkers huts. Tents and other gear for camping is available at the tourist offices. Accommodation is at a premium during the peak tourist season (May-Sept), so book in advance to avoid being disappointed
WHAT TO BRING
Even in summer, shades are substantially colder and evenings get chilly. Get enough protective clothing, good quality walking shoes, light to medium sturdy boots if any trekking is planned. Fo visitors coming in late, when the weather is colder, thermal inner wear is absolutely necessary. In the winters when layers of woollens providethe best protection, sweaters, jackets and overcoats or parkas/anoraks are required, so pack them in. A first aid kit with some Vitamin C and Aspirin tablets and other basic medication is a sensible precaution. The sun and UV radiation can cause in severe sunburn in the rarefied mountain climate, so carry protective sunblock, suntan lotion, lip salves, moisturisers, dark glasses and wide brimmed hats.