Traveling around Ladakh by motorbike has notable points, different from traveling to Ladakh by van or taking a tour. You need a careful preparation to have a smooth and safe trip, bringing many great experiences when riding a motorbike in the snowy Himalayan mountains of Little Tibet of India. So, which month is best for Leh Ladakh bike trip? Let’s check out our Ladakh bike trip blog and Ladakh bike trip guide with the best tips and best time for the Ladakh road trip by bike (Ladakh motorcycle trip) as follows!

Ladakh is extremely beautiful in autumn | Leh Ladakh bike trip blog
A monastery in Ladakh
Ladakh monk
Zanskar valley

Below are some Ladakh Ladakh bike trip guide & tips for first-timers.

First you need to apply for an Indian Visa Online

To fly to Ladakh, you first need an Indian visa. To apply for an Indian visa is quite simple, just apply for an online visa, also known as Evisa. You just need to go to this link

The Dal Lake ferryman.
  • Check that your passport is valid at least 6 months before your planned departure date.
  • Prepare a recent photo of your card, avoid using old photos. The card image should be square in size, JPG file format, no more than 1MB, taken with a straight face, white background, no glasses or light lenses, no shadows on the face or behind the background.
  • Scan the information on the passport and convert it to a PDF file with a capacity not exceeding 300KB.
A lifetime journey, I will remember forever! | Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

In winter, the temperature here can drop to -40 degrees.
A boy in the Zanskar fall | Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

Note that the type of visa you are applying for is e-Tourist Visa. There are 3 visa options that can be applied for online:

  • 30-day visa, can enter the country 2 times. The visa price is $10 from April to June, and $25 from July to March.
  • A 1-year visa costs $40, allowing multiple entries within 365 days, with each stay in India not exceeding 90 days.
  • A 5-year visa costs $80, and also allows multiple entries and exits during this period, with each stay in India not exceeding 90 days.
  • Note that the visa cost does not include the 2.5% payment fee.

When accessing the link, click “Apply here for e-visa” and follow the instructions on the website to fill in the information. Please patiently fill in the information step by step! In the final steps, the website will ask you to upload a photo of your card and a copy of your passport. Upload the files you prepared earlier!

Regarding visa payment, there are 3 options. Please choose the appropriate payment method. In addition to PayPal, two other options can also be paid by international payment cards such as Visa and MasterCard. I recently chose to pay via Axis Bank.

After completing the visa application process, you will receive an email notifying you of the storage of your declared information. Then you just need to wait about 72 hours to receive the results via email. In case of online visa application for India, the waiting time usually does not exceed 24 hours. If the result returned is “GRANTED,” this means your visa has been approved.

| Leh Ladakh bike trip blog
Ladakh in spring
The main street in Ladakh | Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

A small tip when you check in is to ask the staff to seat you at the window on the left so you can see the rolling snow mountains.

How to book air tickets and enter India properly? (#Leh Ladakh bike trip blog)

Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi Airport)

The easiest flight from Vietnam is to fly through New Delhi and then from New Delhi to Leh – the capital of Ladakh. According to my experience, you should land in New Delhi to complete immigration procedures. Move to the domestic terminal at the airport to catch the earliest flight to Leh. Because entering the country in New Delhi takes quite a long time, because of the large number of visitors and the processing time is so long.

Note that you should prepare yourself a ballpoint pen at home, so you can have one at the airport to fill out your immigration form. After filling out the form, I picked up my luggage and it was already around 2 or 3 a.m., so there was no need to book a hotel, just stay at the airport and continue. You can stay in New Delhi for 1 day and then fly to Leh, but according to my experience, you should go right away. After going to Ladakh, then return to New Delhi to explore for 2-3 days.

A little tip when you check in is to ask the staff to seat you at the window on the left so you can see the rolling snow mountains.

See the beautiful snowy mountains from the plane

Rest and get used to the altitude in Leh (#ladakh bike trip guide)

The first thing you need to do when you arrive in Leh is rest to get used to the altitude. Driving in such a hurry is very dangerous because the altitude in Leh is 3,500 m, so altitude sickness can easily occur. This is quite an important thing when traveling to Ladakh on your own.

The high altitude Zanskar valley is located in the Ladakh region.

In addition, when you go to Leh, you should also exchange money, buy a SIM card, and buy some things at Leh market. If you are afraid of altitude sickness, you should also buy anti-altitude shock medicine first. And use it before landing in Leh, don’t get altitude sickness then use it.

Arriving Leh to rest and eat apples is a must-try experience | Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

Do I need to change my international driving license when traveling to Ladakh by motorbike? (#ladakh road trip by bike)

If you can, then you should change. If you can’t change in time, then in my opinion, it’s okay. Because here, they rarely check driver’s licenses. The police here are quite few, especially riding motorbikes in remote areas.

| Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

However, there is one thing you must have: a permit to travel to areas for foreign tourists traveling in Ladakh. For example, if you live in Singapore and want to go to Tibet, you need a permit to go to Tibet, something like that.

Permit checkpoint before entering Nubra

So where can I get this permit when traveling to Ladakh on my own by motorbike? The easiest way is to ask a rental shop to do it. Just give them your motorbike itinerary, so they can apply for a permit for you. The price is about 700 Rupees. To know more accurately, please contact the motorcycle rental shop.

What vehicles are available in Ladakh and which type should I rent?

Most of the motorbike here are Royal Enfield and Himalayan Adventure. Most of these models are large displacement, clutch levers, so if you don’t know how to run a clutch, you should practice first. If anyone likes to run at fast speeds, they can go on high-roam adventure lines.

| Leh Ladakh bike trip blog


As for someone like me who is not good at driving, I like the low-slung classic model. Especially when going into slippery snow, low-lying lines will be less likely to fall. When I was driving through Chang La Pass, the snow was white and the road surface had a few high roaring lines continuously, I had a low car so I almost didn’t fall because the car was steady so it was easier to drive. So when you travel to Ladakh on your own by motorbike, you should pay attention to the type of vehicle according to your preferences as well as the weather.

This is the classic bike I drove, it was very smooth

Is the food in Ladakh easy to eat?

Most people in Ladakh are vegetarian, here I saw a lot of vegetables. The food is not too curry-flavored like in New Delhi. However, you should also bring your local food so you can eat more.

Ladakh food

During my trip I brought dried fish and salt, but I forgot to bring fish sauce. Bringing food with you will help you eat a lot without getting bored, ensuring your health for driving. And according to my experience, you should bring chocolates. These types are rich in energy so you can eat them on the go.

My meal in Leh was delicious with Vietnamese food I brought

Are people in Ladakh kind?

Most people in Ladakh follow Buddhism, because this region is called Little Tibet of India. So their people are very gentle (or maybe I was lucky), especially the more you go into the wild countryside, the more you see their simplicity.

| Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

I have a lifelong memory of riding a motorbike and getting lost in a deserted area at 9pm. We couldn’t find a place to stay, so we stopped in front of the police station to check our phone. The police officer saw this and immediately came out to talk to us and let us stay for one night.

Are the roads in Ladakh easy to ride on a motorbike?

According to my novice motorbike driving level, this side of the road is difficult to navigate and drive. The pass is very long with many sharp bends. In particular, there are many passes lying steeply across the cliffs. On one side is a deep abyss. When running in cold weather, the oxygen is diluted and it resonates, making me very stressed.

So when planning your itinerary, you should divide the routes into short ones, about 80km a day. Don’t try to run too long because you will be very tired and you won’t be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the road much.

According to my experience, you should not go alone, because there are many deserted roads without anyone, quite scary. Go in a group of at least 2 people for safety, 2 people can go with 1 motorbike, not necessarily 2 motorbikes.

Which month is best for Leh Ladakh bike trip?

Ladakh’s beautiful season usually starts from June and lasts until mid-October. If you go early in the season, the leaves will not turn yellow but you will have nice weather, not too cold. I went around late September and early October when the leaves were bright yellow, but the weather was cold. Some areas have ice and snow, and if you’re unlucky, the road will be blocked.

In my opinion, it is best to go around mid-September, the leaves are just yellow enough and the weather is cold and the sky is clear for beautiful pictures. And you should also check the weather before going to make sure. Because the weather has been changing a lot lately.

My Ladakh motorbike itinerary

Leh – Hunder (Nubra valley) – Pangong – Leh. These are the routes I drove, a day of traveling somewhere around 150km is quite tiring. So when you go, you should divide it into 80-100km a day, don’t drive too much. And you should bring a 5-liter spare gasoline tank to fill up because there are many routes where there are very few gas stations.

| Leh Ladakh bike trip blog

Hotels are available in villages and tourist areas, with prices ranging from $23-$31 depending on the place to stay. You can book directly on Booking or Agoda or book directly at your location. There are some areas where you cannot book on the booking websites.

How much does Ladakh bike trip cost?

Below is the total cost I spent for the trip. This will vary depending on the person and time. You can refer to it.

See the article: Cost of traveling to Ladakh by motorbike

  • Round trip Vietnam – New Delhi ticket is about $237
  • Round trip New Delhi – Leh ticket is about $200
  • Hotel average room price $25/night, total 5 nights about $120
  • Eating and drinking is about $16 per day, total about $200 including incidentals
  • Renting a car is $19 per day, total for 5 days is about $91
  • Gasoline is about $60
  • Permit for tourists entering and leaving areas $9 per person
  • The cost incurred is about $79
  • Total airfare $435 + $9 permit fee + $465 gasoline, hotel, and food costs.
  • If you go alone, it’s about $909-$989.
  • If go with another person and share living expenses, it will be about $593-$709.

Basically, I find it quite easy to ride a motorbike around Ladakh on my own, but safety should come first in everything. You need to prepare carefully to make the trip more complete. You should also buy clothes to wear in cold weather.

The post first appeared on Cuong Chan and was translated by Living Nomads. If you find any images or text that belong to you, please contact us, so we can credit you or give us permission to use them. Thank you very much!

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Leh-Ladakh-Zanskar you can refer to

Warm and peaceful.

Read more Ladakh trip blog: Ladakh trip blog — The journey to the fairyland of India and India guide here.