9 Cities in 15 days in India Part 2

by - March 06, 2017

Day 5 & 6 - Dharamsala 達蘭薩拉

Amritsar to Dharamsala was quite an adventure, we took Ravi Express to Panthakot, it took us 2.30 hours and then we took a bus up Dharamsala which was another 2.30 hours. I could clearly remember asking for a first class bus hoping that I could enjoy myself a little bit but they told me they only have fast class and then I knew what they meant. The ride literally gave me a heart attack, the bus was speeding all the way though the mountains and you could see the cliff right beside you. By the time we reach Mcleodganj, a town in Dharamsala, we had to take a cab to Naddi village, around 20 minutes, where the hotels are located.

  Tidbits on the train, I'm not sure what it is but it was delicious, this man came up with his stall and started selling.
This place is a great retreat, there is no wifi but in India is no matter where you go there's satelite TV and I was accompanied by HBO, AXN and Starmovies. To overcome my boredom I hiked up a hill opposite our hotel to catch the sunset, again I have to repeat the view was amazing, I wished I've taken more pictures.
Came back to the hotel for dinner, nothing too fancy just the usual briyani, fried mee and cottage cheese. The accommodations were fine and staffs were really friendly.

Dharamsala is known as the home of Dalai Lama, there's a large population of Tibetans here.
I was really excited to explore the town, woke up early and asked the hotel to send us into town but everything was closed when I arrived and the only cafe open was Cafe Coffee Day with no choice given we had our breakfast here before visiting the Dalai Lama Temple.

As I was walking back to my hotel today, I looked up to see that the sky was this resplendent blue, it was so clear and the clouds were perfect!

Day 7 & 8 - Manali 馬拉里

We hired a driver, Vinod, to drive us to Manali, it was a 10 hour ride but we had fun taking stops as we like. By the time we go into town it was late night, everything was closed and our driver tried recommending us to a few hotels but it was too dodgy and far from town. I turned him down nicely and found ourselves a nice hotel.

January is off season in Manali so most hotels are up for bargains up to 50% off. You'll get to enjoy snow activities in Manali with less crowd as well but it is also very cold for me.

Stayed at The Piccadily Manali, the hotel is located at a very nice location, it was near Mall Road, where you get to do all your shopping. Since it was off season so we got a really good deal, the rooms were clean and neat but there's no water heater, call the receptionist and they were nice enough to boil me hot water for a hot shower in the middle of the night.

The main attraction in Manali was Hadimba Temple and Solang Valley, the rest was spent at Mall Road because we just love shopping.

Hadimba Temple has been there since 1553, the temple of four wooden stories is located inside the forest, sound magical? There were also yak rides available and I had fun trying it out! 

SolangValley, this is where you get to do snow activities ie skiing, snowboarding, etc. Ricky was up for some adventure for it so he went paragliding and I took my own sweet time enjoying a cup of masala maggie.

The view up the valley was just spectacular.

It was our last night in town, I will miss this place, had dinner at Johnson Lodge, I love the lodge and I told him I will come back to Manali someday and stay here. They have 14 cabins available and each cabin has it's own fireplace!

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