HOT INFO On The Road

Katalin in India

September 15 2001, CHITKUL

in Sangla valley, SE from Sangla village, at the end of the road. N India, HP state.
From Sangla: jeep
25Rp/p, Bus around 12-13:00, and 16-18:00. ?Rp

Amar GH. :
sb 100 Rp C3. It is run by a family in their house. Owner usually meets travelers in the bus. 2 doubles and 1 triple. The new rooms are being built. Make sure he does not charge extra for hot water buckets.
H.P. Public work Department Guest House:
C3 Grey house with white window frames. Hidden sign, but big house next to the road, 50 m back from bus stop. d sb (hot water tap!!!).
There are more GHs.

No restaurant. Only a small cay shop (bisquits). Don't let him overcharge you. All GH owners will provide meal on your request. The cay shop owner is planning to open a restaurant soon.

Simple quiet village life. Some small temples. Walk on nearby hills. There are some very small shrines that are open only for 10 minutes several times a day.

to Sangla:
around 14-15:00. Maybe there is a morning bus, around 5:00
Change your bus at Sangla to other destinations.

September 10, SANGLA

HP state in N India. approx 40 km S from Rekong Peo, (NE from Shimla)

Ask locals. 5 GHs in the village. Almost all was full with Indian tourists when I was there. No singles or doubles in this villages
Mount Kailash:
sb dr75Rp.
Trekkers' Lodge Mr. Negi:
sb d60R C3. Mr. Negi is building new bungalows down in his orchard.

Some small restaurants. Tibetan food opposit Trekkers' Lodge.

to Rekong Peo:
Buses, 7:00 11:30
to Shimla: 6:30 (this starts at Chitkul 5:00)
to Rampur: 12:30 approx.

Old houses
in lower Sangla.
KAMRU village: near Sangla. Very nice old houses and an old temple. You have to wear a hat, and a waist-string (belt). It is open only for the services, around 8-9:00 and 19-21:00 Sometimes special services on the evenings of Full Moon.

September 05 , 2001, Kelpa

HP state, in N India, 8 km NW from Rekong Peo.
Ask your bus driver to drop you off at the GH, othervise it is a 15min walk (part of it uphill) from the village centre.

Blue .....GH,
ab d400Rp.

Sh...GH: up hill,
sb d300 Rp (no shower only tap) The prices depend on how many tourists are around. If not many, you might get better rate .
Auktong GH:
sb(tap&bucket) d175Rp, C4, Nice views. Try to get the room on the second floor at the corner!

Some small restaurants. I ate only at Auktong GH. They have wide menu at reasonable prices. But they are not always open as they have to work on the fields sometimes!

Sights :
scenery (view of Kinnaur Kailash ) , nice walks.

to Shimla:
bus at 6:30
to Rekong Peo: several, I took one at 8:30.

August 28, 2001, Rekong Peo to Kelpa
from Rekong Peo
public buses
run several times a day. No schedule. I took a bus around 5:00. 30-40 min, 5Rp
Some of the buses, that go on the villages after Kalpa, will stop on the road near Kelpa. Follow locals, it is only 5 min walk to Kalpa centre.
Taxi: 100Rp
. Taxi drivers will try to cheat you saying no public transportation to Kalpa.

August 23, 2001, Rekong Peo:

NE from Shimla, 10h by bus from Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh state N India. I just passed this town on the way to/from Kalpa. You can come here by bus from Sangla 7:30 and 11:30

There are some hotels and restaurants.

Internet: Not available

Tibetan Buddhist Monastery:
on the hill. A new monastery with a huge standing Buddha statue in the garden.
To get there: take a bus, too steep to walk..... Ask locals where to get off (near hospital).

In Rekong Peo you can get the "inner line permit". If you want to go further East on the road near to Tibetan border.

Direct bus to Sangla
(probably goes on till Chitkul) 9:30, 16:00.
The bus from Delhi passes through Rekong Peo around 10:30
To go to Sangla valley, get off at Karcham junction, then walk to Karcham village (1500 m approx.) then take shared jeep-taxi to Sangla village (if 10 people; 30R/p) It is also a scary road, I was happy to travel on a jeep and not on the bigger and wider bus.

Augsut 16, 2001, From Yangthang to Rekong Peo:
Normally a bus going down to Yangthang in the morning, around 7:00 but sometimes it doesn't run. Walk downhill to Yangthang. It takes 45 min with backpack.
bus at 7:30,
58Rp, 5.5 hours. It stops once for lunch.

August 08 2001, NAKO

Himachal Pradesh state near Tibetan Border.
You need INNER LINe PERMIT. Get it in KAZA or REKONG PEO. 2 photos (if you have only one, you can photocopy it, or get your photos taken in Kaza or in Rekong Peo -only black and white). passport data page copies(2) and Indian visa copies(2). The permit is free of charge.
From Yangthang there are 2 buses a day (morning and afternoon. no schedule.) When I was there , there was no afternoon bus. Jeep with 10 people:
20R/p. 7-8 people: 30Rp/p.

3 GH in village. But only one was open when I was there. This is where the bus/jeep stops in the village. Big yellow building.
sb dr 50Rp (4beds), ab d150R.

No restaurants. GH owner cooks simple meals. not expensive, good taste.

Nice location, beautiful views. Quiet village and also the neighbor village is nice(15 min walk). There is a pond and a gompa in Nako.

August 07, 2001, Tabo to Nako
Bus from Tabo, 3 hours, 32Rp. Get off at Yangthang then probably you have to (or you'd better to) walk the last 2-3 kilometers before Yangthang because of landslides. On the bus stay near to a door...

August 05, 2001, TABO

A town in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh state, N. India, near to Chinese border (Tibet).
You can come here from Rekong, Nako or Tangthang as well as Kaza.

Gompa Guest House:
sb dr75, d200, ab d250 C4, bathroom C3.
nice GH with small library (limited opening hours). There are other 2 GH in the village.

A few simple restaurants with Tibetan food. Good, not expensive. All similar.

The Gompa:
(10th C. Buddhist monastery) You have to ask the manager-monk to open all doors. You will be asked donation. They give you a receipt and the money goes to their school. Taking photos inside of the most temples is prohibited. (Unless you have special permit from Delhi)

Caves: 2 caves on the hillside opposite from Tabo village. They are visible from the road or from the village. One is Hindu, the other is Buddhist with wall paintings. Nice view. Ask for the key. Probably the manager monk will walk up with you

August 04, 2001, Kaza to Tabo
From Kaza, buses 7:30, 14:00, 35 Rp

July 31, 2001, KAZA

Many GH, but some of them are too basic. 3 nice places near the river. Ask locals where the guesthouses are (just say the name). Kaza has no straight streets, it is very difficult to explain the direction but eventually you will find a place because it is a very small village.
Snowlion GH:.
ab d150 Rp C3 (no shower, only tap as at most of the GH in North India)They were building a restaurant next to the rooms.

Many small restaurants offering simple meals. Almost same menu at every restaurant. Water is expensive, only one restaurant, next to the bus station sells Nestle water for
14Rp. The others for 16 - 20 Rp.

Day trip to Ki and Kibber.
(450 Rp for the jeep) Very beautiful scenery. You can stay overnight in Ki monastery for small donation. Our trip was approx 7 hours with enough time to wander around Kibber village and have lunch on the rooftop of a guesthouse there. There is a very old and beautiful monastery there. You can walk down to Kaza from Ki, but I suggest not to try to walk from the opposite direction (uphill). take lot of water.

July 30, 2001, From Manali to Kaza (NE),
Bus: 12 hours journey on public bus, 125 Rp. This route crosses 2 high passes.

July 20, 2001, Mandi/Manali/Bashisht

Raj Mahal:
sb s100R C3
(far from bus station if you carry a heavy bag:)

Old Manali:
It is full with Israeli tourists. Plenty of accommodation.
Negi GH: sb s40Rp C3 the "bathroom" C1 dirty toilet was shared only with one room, but I think that toilet has not been cleaned for 10 years. It is popular with Japanese.
GH Klapatru:
looked nice d ab(I am not sure I think it was 200R I did not stay just visited a girl who stayed there.

Manali: It does not worth to stay.

Many restaurants in Bashisht.

Manali: Government Telecommunication Office
opposite from the Post office. Cheapest internet. If there is connection, then it is fast. 35Rp/h. Othervise the other internetcafes charge 60Rp/h.

Hot spring in Bashisht:
from Mandi I went to Manali, then walked to Bashisht because they demanded 40Rp(auto riksha) for the only 4 km journey!!!! Too many tourists there. In Bashisht (or spelled Vashisht)everybody smokes ganja both locals and tourists. Many Japanese were there when we went to the public hot spring in the temple around sunrise. Because later the water is getting dirty, and the spring is very full with people. At 5:00 sometime I was alone in the women's onsen. onsen is really hot, sometimes even for Japanese. I could stay max 5 minutes, but one day it was even hotter, so only 2 minutes.

July 15, 2001, From Tashijong to Mandi
Tashijong -> Baijnath 15 min 2Rp
9:30-> Mandi 13:00 47Rp

July 13, 2001, Tashijong
Tashijong Gompa GH: ab d150Rp C4 Beautiful setting, nice gompa. small eatery Dolma Cafe order food at least an hour in advance. Dolma speaks good Englsigh cheap good food.

July 10, 2001, McLeodGanj

Loselling GH:
sb s50R. d75Rp C4
no view, but nice receptionists. Bathroom cleaned regularly.

Bus prices I copied at Mc Leod: Delhi 350Rp, Kullu, Manali 220Rp, DehraDun 250Rp, Dalhousie 110Rp

July 05, 2001, From Amritsar to McLeod
Amritsar -> Pathankot 2.5 hours 42Rp
Pathankot -> McLeod
(bus waits some time in Dhs) 3 hours 60Rp

June 30, 2001, McLeod Ganj
Loselling GH:
sb s50Rp d75 Rp C3
no view, but nice receptionists, clean bathrooms

May 26, 2001, Chandigarh

I have not stayed, only visited these places. Both are 5-6 minutes walk from the bus station SW on Himalaya Marg.
Hotel Divyadeep: As coming from Bus stn , just before BHUJ vegetarian Rest. No name , only "Hotel" is written at the door. You see directly steps, go uptairs, reception is on 2nd floor. T705191 or T721169,
ab f s250 d300, Economy (air cooler) s350 d400, Executive a/c s450 d500, luxury a/c, big room) s500 d600, C4 Maybe can get better rate, these are that printed on a broschure.
Hotel Satyadeep: 20m same side of road. T703 103 or T721165
Similar, same prices (no d room in ordinary category) C4. Nice big rooms

Amritsar was very very hot, I have just seen golden temple
Riksha from golden temple to bus station, bicycle riksha 10 rupee. Accomodation in Guru Ram Das Sarai is
free (donation expected) in a dorm that is a room with ceiling fan and 3 matrasses C2 common bath, very Guru Hargobinnd Niwas (both niwas are at the back of Golden Temple. Go to tourist information first, very kind people at tourist info)

In guru Hargobind niwas, room cost 50r. You pay 200r (50r plus security deposit) . When I left in the morning, the receptionist said: "you leave here 50 rupees donation, OK?" I say, all right, I will put in to the donation box" He say: "No, you leave it here" I was so shocked and could not react (it was 5 am) so I just said, OK. But I was so angry, this is very ugly way telling people how much donation should they give, and it stayed in the pocket of the guy, I am sure he kept it.

So I left with a bad feeling.

May 16, 2001, Deli, India

Here is the continuing of Delhi:
I am in Delhi again extremly hot, not my favourite city. I spend a lot of
money in McDonalds... (air con!:)

The Goverment Tourist Information Office: near to Connaught Palace (on Janpath Road, 88) is closed due to renovation. The other office is in Shop No5, Kanishka Shopping Plaza, Ashok Road, New Delhi.

Internet: Paharganj area many small shops, Usually 20 R/hour. Sometimes fast, sometimes not so much fast.

I really did not like Paharganj area, so decided to stay at an ashram in South Delhi. I anted to take an autoriksha to Connaught Place, (20R) because from there is a pre-paid autoriksha booth. But the riksha man asked me "Where are you going with taxi, maybe I take you there." So I told him "I am going to Mehrauli" (over Qutab Minar). He said he will take me there free if I go into 2 shops. Because they get money for taking tourists there regardless if I buy something or not. I agreed because I had lots of time. Finally he asked me 3 shops cause my destination is far. Anyway I went to 3 shops, the first one took me 30 minutes to get away, 2nd and 3rd shops maybe 15-20 min. I did not buy anything. The driver took me to my destination, was really kind because it was difficult to find my ashram (thought at the beginning I asked him 3 times if he knows where is the place and he said :yes, of course... : )

In this ashram you can stay & study yoga for 300 R/day (room 150 , 150 food free) Qtab Minar is approx 1 hour walk from ashram. I got there at 7:30 am and I was told it opens at 9:00 am... so I climbed in. Looked carefully around, climbed out, and then the guard catched me, but I was already outside. Not to make him too angry, I ended up paying 100 R (firstly he wanted 1000 R )

From Mehrauli bus station bus #533 (8R, 50-60 min) goes to ISBT (Interstate bus terminal) I took the bus to Chandigarh. Delux bus 217R you buy ticket on the 2nd floor, state owned booth at #35. There are many departures. In the morning; 7 am, 7:20 am and 8:40 am. I took ordinary bus. You buy ticket on the bus or at the bus stand at small booth. 109 R. Duration same, but ordinary bus has more simple 2seats - corridor - 3 seats. It was OK, not too crowded. Ord, bus dep approx. every 15 minutes. I took bus at 8:09 am platform 10 (state bus, not private, price same) Arrived at Chandigarh 13:30.

Tourist office
on mezzanine floor at bust terminal building. You see closed doors on 2nd floor saying tourist office, but that is not the real tourist office. Ask around . It is opposite (upstairs) from the cloak room. (Luggage room) This is ISBT number I at sector 17 (the centre of town).
Good and cheap (10-20 R / dish) fast food style Indian restaurant "Chef" at the bus stn building.
There is other bus terminal ISBT II at sector 43. From ISBT, I take local bus (#20 - I took this, they told me that #8 is good too.) 7R approx 20 min. From ISBT II. I wrote down the destinations that were posted on the walls:
Katra, Pathankot,AMRITSAR, Jalandar, Talwara, DHARAMSHALA, Hamipur, MANALI, KULLU, Mandi, Bilaspur, etc.
I did not check what buses leave from ISBT I, so always check before. I think DELHI buses leave from ISBT I . I took bus to Amritsar - ordinary 105R. I left at 9 am arrived at 15:00 There are maybe hourly departures. The bus makes some stops usually 1 long and few short. (And of course when picking up people many times stop for few seconds.)

To be continued

I stayed at Servas old lady, but I checked 2 hotels 200-250 meters from the
edge of Bus station.

May 10, 2001, New Deli, India

$1 = ?r


New Deli
Thai airport tax (paid at the airport 500 B)
Delhi airport to New Delhi train station pre-paid taxi 180 R
I met a Korean boy at the airport so we shared. I told New Delhi Train Stn to the taxi because afraid of hotel-scams. Arrived daytime, so safer then night arrivals. Still, taxi driver stopped at an agency saying: I run out of gas...
I pretended I don't speak too much English (the Korean boy did not need to pretend.. : ) - and insisted on getting to New Deli Train Stn. Finally we got in an other car and got to the station. Of course meantime driver kept on asking which hotel we will stay. I said I meet my friends at the train station and stay same hotel, I don't know yet which one. He was insisting but gave up... I was stronger.

Next day I met a couple who arrived at night and they were taken to an other hotel than they asked to go. The driver simply refused taking them to their booked hotel. So at 3 am they had to shout and fight finally they stayed at the taxi driver's hotel paying 300 R. Next morning the hotel wanted another 300 R saying it was a per person rate. They had LP and read about this scams but they could not do anything as the driver refused taking them to their hotel and there was no other cabs around.

Buses from airport: 3 different companies. The bus leaving at 18:00 cost 50R to New Delhi train stn. Maybe other bus cheaper? could not find out as ticket seller did not answer...

Paharganj: noisy, smelly, busy, terrible street, you cant walk 10 meter without 5 salesman or tout approaching you. Del Paharganj street begins at New Delhi RS stn. Down

Town Hotel in side lane. OK rooms C2and a half - : ) bathroom not so good: the toilet seat is terrible at least 20 years old. Sheets are clean. f ab s125R all d rooms.

My Hotel a lane further away from the train station. nice reception hall. f ab s250R d350 R C4.

Red Fort entrance fee for foreigners 235R or $5. Plus 2R for each museum inside (if it is open... and if you want to see them...) For video, 100R extra charge.

From Rerd Hotel to Jama Masjid 10R bicycle riksha.
Jama Masjid free entrance. Camera (photo OR video) 100 R.
Tower entrance fee 10R
They try to charge for the clothes they give you if your shoulders or legs are uncovered. Also try to charge for shoe-guarding - Take your shores with you in your hands.

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