Ladakh in 5 days or Less December 21, 2016 – Posted in: Blogs

I had written the below post on an online travel forum a few years back. Re- posting it on our own site as I think the rush to see Too much in Too little time is getting maddening. Even Tripnme organizes short 5 days tours/trips/holidays/adventures to Ladakh by Air or Road.

– Sumedh

But we still strongly recommend to read the below and think before planning your next trip to Ladakh.

Recently I see a lot of queries and itineraries which want to accomplish Leh, Pangong tso, Nubra and every other monastery in the region in 5 or lesser days. Just thought this might be a thread where such people can be referred to instead of giving them the same responses. Here are some tips for travel.

There can be 2 options to reach Leh

  1. By air
  2. By road

1. By air if you plan to do the usual hotspots in 5 days then you might be able to do some of the places

  • Day 1 Reach Leh – Acclimatize, visit shanti stupa and get permits
  • Day 2 Around Leh – Leh palace (which is not really interesting as per me, but then that is me) OR drive to magnetic hill and drass war memorial
  • Day 3 Go to Nubra (And I would request experts to correct me here), This can be tricky as you might not be acclimatized. Read about AMS and know the risks. Stay in Diskit or Hunder
  • Day 4 Back To leh.
  • Day 5 – Hemis and other Monasteries and back to Leh


  1. Day 1 and 2 same as above
  2. Day 3 Hemis and other Monasteries
  3. Day 4 Pangong Tso and night halt (Know AMS and the risks, This can be really risky and I am sure other IMers will find this day risky and a bad suggestion by me)
  4. Day 5 Back to leh

2. By Road – If you plan to have a trip from Delhi or manali and want to finish it in 5 days then the best bet is to forget the trip and plan something else.
If you have 5 days in Leh then do something as suggested above.

Note – Keep 2 days for travel from Manali/Srinagar to and fro from Leh. A total of 4 days. (this will reduce your acclimitazation days to some extent)

For the newlyweds who are planning a romantic + adventurous + trip to Leh – Why not evaluate some other options before thinking about this place which you can do later in your life.

  • You don’t want to be sick with AMS on your honeymoon
  • You don’t want motion sickness to ruin your honeymoon
  • You might not find the cold desert romantic as it appears in the movies or in the pictures. Ladakh is beautiful but it is also tough and harsh. It is a dessert. It is a long days drive to reach pangong tso. And the lake is a cold salt water lake. Just so you know.

Overall the entire concept of doing ladakh in 5 days might not be accepted by me or many others on IM.

But I thought this thread is essential as I am tired explaining the same things to every new IMer who JUST wants to see everything in Ladakh in his few (difficult to get) leaves.

Getting leaves is tough these days but then that is no justification in trying to cover ladakh in that short period. You might end up only travelling, and missing out the real charm of ladakh.
Understand that this is one of the places that needs time. If you do not have time then better not try to do this. If you cannot extend leaves do not plan to see everything, limit yourself to see only what can be done in those number of days and go back to your life.

The Himalayas will call you soon. Trust me They will (I am still trying to figure out when do I go back)

Fellow IMers please add in if I am missing on something.

Important Points

  • Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh in a day – If this is what you plan in your ittinerary due to shortage of days then please do not think about it. In my opinion it is not about if this is possible or not, it simply is not worth it period.
  • Leh-Khardung la-Leh in a day due to less days in hand- Yes you will reach the highest motorable road (disputed with marsmikla) but then is it all you want to achieve and miss the beautiful nubra valley? Can this be done in a day? Again yes this can be done in a day but definetly not worth it. This needs a minimum of 2 days to start from leh and spend a night in nubra and back to leh on day 2. period

Please read the entire thread before posting a question, most of the questions to bargain the entire ladakh in those few leaves have been discussed and answered.


The entire thread and discussion can be found on the famous Travel forum known as

Credits to Indiamike for letting me post the views when we did not have our own platform.

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