Manali, India: Tips for Traveling to the Himalayas
No matter which list of the best tourist destinations in India you check, Manali is sure to feature at the top. The peaks, meadows and lakes of this picturesque place make it a prominent figure in the bucket list of most travelers. Offering a variety of options for sightseeing, relaxation and adventure sports, Manali has everything needed to be a true traveler’s paradise.
So, are you planning to take a trip to Manali? We went there some time back and our experiences at Manali taught us a bit about what you should do to make the most out of your trip! So, here are some pointers to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable journey.
Choice of Transport
Buses are obviously the cheaper option compared to cars and taxis. Considering our limited trip budget, this was the option we went for – and the whole journey was extremely comfortable. The high-speed bus ride through hairpin turns and narrow roads was an exciting experience and adventure in itself!
But, once there, the transportation between different spots in Manali became a bit tough without our own car. We found that the buses’ fixed schedule affected our ability to spend enough time at the places we happened to like the most.
If you do choose to travel by bus, you can opt for a night journey. However, if you take a car, it is much safer to drive during the day.
Choosing the Right Time to Go
The best part about Manali is that it is a great place to visit throughout the year. The monsoon season does come with some safety concerns – but, the upside of going during this time is that it will be less crowded and the hotels are much cheaper.
As our whole group was more concerned with outdoor activities and adventure sports, the summer time was the natural choice for us.
The peaks, meadows and lakes of this picturesque place make it a prominent figure in the bucket list of most travelers. Offering a variety of options for sightseeing, relaxation and adventure sports, Manali has everything needed to be a true traveler’s paradise.MR
But, if you enjoy the snow and the pleasant sight of snowy mountains, you should visit Manali in winter – between the months of September and February.
Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
Well, this one comes straight from our personal experience! Do not jump into selecting a hotel just because it happens to be cheap. Please do check the reviews, rating and amenities before reserving your stay. Make sure that the hotel has all the basic facilities like water heaters, blankets and room service!
The hotel we booked happened to be nothing like it was described in its official website. So, if you are booking online, do tell them to show you a few pictures of the hotel rooms.
Pick Clothing Based on the Weather
The clothing you pack is very important with the extreme weather conditions in Manali. For our summer trip, tee shirts and shorts did fine. But if it’s the winter season, make sure that you carry some heavy woolen clothing. If it snows, gum boots are a useful accessory.
Most of the places we visited involved a fair amount of trekking and walking. Having shoes with durable rubber-soles would be of great help.
Carry Your ID and Documents
Authorized IDs should be carried with you at most times. We had to show ours at different tourist spots and also at the hotel we stayed in. There were a few times when we were stopped by local policemen, who did a thorough search of our documents. We suggest that you carry a soft copy of your documentation in your electronic gadgets as well.
Take Care of Your Health
It is better to avoid eating any food and snacks made by roadside vendors. Stay clear of small restaurants with poor hygiene. This is to avoid stomach and other health issues that could ruin your whole trip!
Do not drink any fluids served in open places. Always rely on bottled water to quench your thirst. Carry all the personal medication you need and a first aid kit for emergencies. During our trip, we found that a lot of tourist spots in Manali happen to be in high altitudes. Please be aware that having too much food before such trips can result in nausea.
Attain Proper Permission
Some of the tourist spots in Manali require proper permission before you can enter. The same goes with photography and filming in certain places. The adventure activities in Manali also require valid permission before you engage in them. Never try to break the rules and indulge in any of these activities without proper authorization.
We contacted a local tour guide in Manali. His experience and contacts made it much easier for us to get all the necessary permissions.
Use proper sunscreen during the summer months to avoid sunburn.
Sunglasses are a must-have accessory.
Even if you know how to swim, it is safer to stay clear of rivers and water bodies with heavy currents.
Keep these useful tips in mind on your next trip to Manali! It should be a pleasurable experience for you and we sincerely hope that you have all the fun you can.