May is the peak tourist season in Ladakh and traveling during this month will offer you a memorable experience of your life. The weather is warm with a cool breeze, which makes May one of the best months to visit Ladakh. And if you are traveling to this land of adventures, we have a comprehensive guide to help you plan a trip to Ladakh in May.
You will see an influx of tourists from around the globe in Ladakh who visit here and gain the most cherishable memories of their life. From avid bike rides to families, friend groups to solo travelers, and even families and honeymooners prefer to visit Ladakh for a summer vacation.
Want to know more? Scroll down to know the things to keep in mind while traveling to Ladakh in May, clothes to pack, routes that are open, weather conditions, local transportation, and accommodation.
Ladakh in May – A Complete guide
Is May A Good Time to Visit Ladakh?
Yes, May is a good time to plan a trip to May. The weather is pleasant, most hotels and guest houses are open. Adventure activities get started welcoming adrenaline-seekers from all over the world. Internal roads leading to Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso, and Nubra Valley are open too.
Bike rentals, taxis, and public transport services are also easily available. Thus, you want to enjoy your holiday in Ladakh and indulge in fun-filled activities.
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Weather Conditions in Ladakh in May
Unpredictable. This perfectly describes the weather in Ladakh in May. The temperature during the day ranges between 15°C and 20°C and during nights drops to 3°C. However, there will be differences in weather and temperature, for example, Leh and Pangong Tso. Leh will be warmer than Pangong Tso. At high-altitude passes, it will be a bit cold but you will get comfortable once you start to drive down. One moment it will be warm and the next cold. So, pack accordingly.
Routes to Reach Ladakh in May
There are two routes for Ladakh – Srinagar Leh Highway and Manali Leh Highway. The Leh-Srinagar road opens in April but the Leh-Manali road opens in late May or early June.
Srinagar to Leh by Road in May
Visiting Ladakh in early May? Traveling from Srinagar to Leh by road is your only choice. However, it also depends upon the weather conditions. This highway may or may not be open in the early part of May, so it is best to plan a Ladakh trip in the middle or end of the month. Also, check the road Srinagar Leh Highway Status and road conditions before visiting. There is no snow on the road but avalanches at ZojiLa are common, which results in road blockage for days.
Manali Leh Highway in May
Manali to Leh Highway in May is closed for most of the month. It opens up in late May or early June. Thus, planning your Ladakh trip in May by this route is not recommended. Like the other route, this one is also cleared of snow, but the road conditions are worse. During this time, BRO works rigorously to make the road safe as much as possible but it consumes a lot of time. If you want to travel by this route, plan during the last days of the month.
Is It a Good Option to Arrive Leh Ladakh in May By Bike Over A Car?
Yes. Traveling to Ladakh by bike is much preferred by avid riders over a car. Keep in mind that only Srinagar to Leh Highway in May is open but the road conditions are terrible.
Crossing the watery snow at Khardung La, Zoji La, Chang La can be dangerous but it will be much easier if you are on a bike. This does not mean that you cannot travel by car. Only avoid it in the early days of May.
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Is It a Good Option to Arrive in Ladakh By Air in May?
Yes. If you are traveling with family, we recommend arriving in Ladakh by air in May. It is the most convenient way and prevents you from all the hassle en route. Even if you are short on time, you can reach on time and your Ladakh trip will not be canceled. This will also give you more time to explore the attractions in Ladakh, which cannot be possible if you come by road. Book your tickets in advance at affordable prices on airfares to avoid last-minute troubles.
Public Transportation in Ladakh in May
You will face difficulty if you choose public transportation as the HRTC buses from Manali to Leh do not operate in May. It starts in June. From Delhi too, the buses start in the second half of June. You may get buses from Srinagar to Leh in May but that highly depends upon the weather. Shared cabs will be the best option for Srinagar and Manali.
Local Transport in Ladakh
Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri can be reached by buses. There are shared cabs too that you can find in Leh. Note that the prices will be higher than the bus but cabs are frequently and easily available.
The worst road conditions you will face will be between Sonamarg and Drass in the form of Zoji La. There will be a lot of slushes while crossing this pass. Exact same situation will be with the Manali Leh Highway. Damaged roads and sections under repair by BRO will be a normal scene. Internal roads in Ladakh will be open in May so you can explore the places easily.
Places to Visit in Ladakh in May
There are a lot of places to visit in Ladakh that you can visit in May. Some of the top tourist places to visit in May in Ladakh are Zanskar Valley, Tso Kar, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley, and more. Places to stay at Nubra and Pangong are open and offer a comfortable stay to travelers.
Things to do in Ladakh in May
Ladakh is a place where at every turn you would want to take out your camera and take millions of photos.
So, apart from photography, you can indulge yourself in these activities in Ladakh in May –
- River Rafting
- Experiencing local culture
- Savoring local food
- Attending the festivals
Read Also: Things to do in Ladakh
Festivals Celebrated in Ladakh in May
Ladakh celebrates a few festivals in May. Buddha Jayanti (Vaisakha Purnima) and Ladakh Monlam Chenmo Festival are celebrated in Leh in May in Ladakh that you can attend. Also, Saga Dawa Festival is celebrated at the end of the month.
Where to stay in Ladakh in May
As May is a peak tourist season in Ladakh, the guesthouses and hotels are open. You can find them throughout the region up and running including Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. You can either book them in advance for a hassle-free trip.
Clothes for Ladakh Trip in May
May is rather a warm month, thus you must pack accordingly. The temperature remains at 16°C during the day and dips to 3°C at night. If you have kids, make sure to carry extra woolens with you.
Here is the list of clothes to pack for the Ladakh trip in May –
- Windproof and waterproof jacket
- Cotton t-shirts and shirts
- Light woolens for night
- Light gloves
- Woolen cap
- Good pair of sports shoes
- Sunglasses and sunscreen lotion
- Cold cream and lip balm
Other than this, pack toiletries, pain relief spray, first aid kit, basic medicines for fever, cold, and cough with you.
Tips for Traveling to Leh Ladakh in May
Keep these few things in mind while planning a trip to Ladakh in May –
- You might feel Acute Motion Sickness when traveling by flight to Ladakh. Thus, you must stay in the lower part of Leh Ladakh to acclimatize.
- Leh is the only place where mobile connectivity will be at its best.
- Only postpaid connections work in Ladakh.
- Medical assistance will only be available in Leh and Kargil. There are no hospitals in Nubra, Pangong, etc. for medical emergencies. In such cases, you can also approach the nearest Indian Army post.
- AT such altitude, the oxygen levels get low and this may cause altitude sickness. You must know the remedies to handle AMS in Ladakh.
- While traveling with family in May, follow all the precautions and take care of your health to avoid any unnecessary issues.
- You can even see snowfall at the top of Khardung La in May. So make sure to visit here.
- You can stay at honeymoon hotels in Ladakh for a memorable trip.
- Due to unpredictable weather, it can be difficult to follow the exact itinerary you have planned.
- So, keep buffer days in between to get maximum experience on the Ladakh trip in May.
Hope this Ladakh travel guide will guide you on your trip to Ladakh in May. Take all the imperative measures and you will have an unforgettable and safe journey in Ladakh.
Read Also: Places to visit in Ladakh for couples
Frequently Asked Questions for Traveling to Ladakh in May
Ques. Is there snow in Ladakh in May?
Ans. Yes, you can find snow in Ladakh in May. Visit the top of Khardung La. However, there will be no fresh snowfall and there will be no snow in Leh city. Also, there is melted snow on the highway leading from Srinagar to Leh.
Ques. Does it rain in Leh in May?
Ans. No. It hardly ever rains in Ladakh in May. The sun shines brightly this month, so make sure to carry sunscreen and sunglasses with you.
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