Who doesn’t love a good vacation with a nice group of people who enhance the experience? Himachal Pradesh, in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, is the most sought-after destination by the youth these days. And Manali is an all-time favourite.
If you are planning a trip to Manali this year, this article will come in handy as a lovely guide. There are these usual pieces of advice about travelling to Rohtang and Mall road but skip that and instead, do this.
1. Skip New Manali, pick Old Manali:
There is a really vast difference between the vibe of these two areas in Manali. New Manali is where you meet crowd, crowd and crowd. While Old Manali is where you get the hippie vibe, lovely lanes of unique souvenirs and the best of it al – quaint, unforgettable cafes to visit. While the bus stand is in New Manali, you should simply pick a place to live in Old Manali. The latter is famous for its hostels and cheap accommodation. Don’t forget to visit Drifters Cafe on the Manu Temple road.
2. Pay the 20 bucks for the Nature Park:
The famous Van Vihar/Nature Park of Manali is lovely. It has huge pine trees, boulders and silence. It is like a forest within the city. It is also the best route to take while walking from New Manali to Old Manali or the other way around. Both these areas are located at a rough distance of 2-2.5km. So pay the 20bucks and get in. This is a perfect photo spot. The river Beas flows calmly at the edge of this park.
3. Go shopping on the Manu Temple road:
Like we said before, Old Manali has a lane full of shops selling lovely souvenirs. But some shops, in particular, are special. Visit Rocky Macrame for handmade ornaments that make great gifts or Lucky Gems to if not buy then look at amazing stones and natural crystals. You’ll be dumbfounded by the lovely dream catchers that hang outside the shops and will definitely want one for yourself. There are a couple of shops that sell stuff made out of Pure Hemp (legally). These are things you haven’t seen before.
4. Live in Zostel Manali or another hostel of your choice:
Zostel Manali is an experience in itself. You can skip the fancy hotels and live here instead. It is built inside a village – and like the host Pranav says – you might land on some cow shit on your way to the Zostel but you’ll enjoy waking up to the views of the Himalayas and eating the lip-smackingly delicious food cooked smilingly by the chef. You’ll also get to meet a lot of new people here. There are some other hostels like Bro’s Hostel (known for its pine tree decorations) that you can pick to stay. That will be a real experience.
5. Take the less-travelled path:
No it is not a poem. In Manali, there are many tiny paths that can take you to beautiful places that you hadn’t even imagined. When you are done with the usual Solang, Rohtang – take a hike. For example, trek from Manu Temple to Goshal village. The road there is only taken by locals and is a good 9-10 kms walk. It is a tiny, tree-lined road that gives you beautiful views of the valley next to you. A dog might follow you but its harmless. When you get back sip Himalayan Herbal Tea at Rocky’s cafe that marks the end of your hike. Their food is pretty good too.
If you skip all the touristy things to do in Manali, you might actually fall in love with the place. Tell us how your experience was!