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If you are planning a trip to Spiti valley anytime soon, this list will show you what to do, and more importantly what NOT to do, when in the magical depths of the region. Also known as "middle land" or "Little Tibet" and starting from Manali in Kullu valley, passing from heavenly places in Kinnaur valley such as Kaza, Reckong Peo and Kunzum pass you will be taken to this absolute beauty of Spiti. Once you make a checklist out of this trip guide to Spiti, you won't need to worry about anything.

Getting there

Trip Guide to Spiti-1

Q- How to reach Spiti from Manali?

Ans- By Bus- You can take a state-run bus from Manali in Kullu valley which will be cheaper and efficient. It’ll cost you somewhere between 300-400 bucks. Don’t expect much comfort; transit time is long and the roads are very bumpy. The journey of around 7 hours might make your back sore so keep the blood flowing by doing regular movements, even inside the bus.

Shared Cabs- If you are the “spending” type, then you need not worry, there are many shared cabs that run from Manali to Kaza on a shared basis and usually charge around 1200 bucks per head. Drivers squeeze in as many passengers and luggage as is physically possible and won’t leave until either the cab is full or someone agrees to pay for the empty seats.

And if you have your own vehicle, then just strap on that seat belt and get lost in the wonders of Spiti.

Tips

It can get precarious after dark, so try to avoid traveling during nights because of the poor conditions of roads. It’s best to leave early in the morning and reach your destination in daylight. You also won't find a lot of hotels and guest houses around, brace yourself up for camping or homestays.

Best time to visit 

Best time to visit Spiti Valley is from the month of May to October.

Adjusting to the Altitude

Trip Guide to Spiti-2

Q- How to get over the breathing issue?

Ans-The natural beauty of Spiti valley has been preserved due to minimal human interference which is because it’s hard to undergo industrialization at such a high altitude. So, keep in mind, acclimatization to the height itself takes a while.

Control your adrenaline and don’t exert yourself too much in the influence of excitement (or alcohol or weed). You will start feeling the air getting thin once you cross Rohtang Pass.

Tips

  • Take deep breaths and keep yourself hydrated all the time. Carrying a small air pump will also help for instant relief if you feel the oxygen is getting too low.
  • I can’t stress this enough DO NOT smoke. Cigarettes will make your breathing heavier as your lungs will demand more and more oxygen which is not present in the air.

Cold Air

Trip Guide to Spiti-3

Q- How to combat the chilling temperatures?

Ans- You should be well aware that the temperature of Spiti is very low even in July-August. The region of Spiti experiences a cold desert like climate.

When that inner extra caring heart of yours asks you to keep woollen clothes, you follow without questioning, and always keep an extra layer(s) of clothing within that backpack of yours because temperatures drop below zero, generally during nights.

The sunlight can get a little harsh, especially during the summers, so you get a dual sensation on your skin, the burning of skin as well as chilled air on the same spot.

 

TIPS

  • Carry sunscreen and cold cream(s) and moisturizers at all points of time, since dryness and UV ray exposure are both pretty common.
  • A Pair of sunglasses to counter the sunlight will sooth your eyes.

Medication

Trip Guide to Spiti-4

Q- The medicines to have when the going gets tough?

Ans- Altitude sickness is a common problem so keep a small air pump in your bags.

Your luggage must contain the basic medications for cough, cold, fever, etc., with extra stress on those pertaining to bowel regulation, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation.

Excessive exertion can sometimes cause light-headedness, headache, and nausea because our lungs (the people hailing from plain areas) aren’t up to match with the rest of our body. So it will take a while to adapt to the environment.
NOTE: Before taking any medication, consult a doctor about the possible side effects or allergies. Any medical tip that we give is statistically working, and may not suit everyone. So, do take the precautionary check. We are not responsible for any negative impact of any medical drug. We also discourage the recreational ones (ahem) since they are banned by the government.

 

TIPS

You will end up with an upset stomach soon enough if you don’t take care. So eat light and nutritious and avoid having the sodas and colas while there.

Food & Water

Trip Guide to Spiti-5

Q- What are the dishes to expect when that belly starts signaling?

Ans- The 'chaiwallahs' and street side vendors that we are used to are not present there. So don't expect to find small vendors nearby you. In fact, in some areas, you might not even find exclusive vegetarian food. So be prepared for such circumstances.

*Don't worry vegetarians, Maggi is legal again after all. 

Water is your trusted partner again, as always. With direct sunlight looming above you, dehydration is a big possibility if you do not keep yourself hydrated. So always stock up on drinking water, since the local sources might offer water unfit for drinking. 
Carry glucose sachets chocolates and biscuits since they will provide instant energy to keep you going. 

 

TIP

Try to avoid drinking water directly from the river streams and/or lakes and ponds (no matter how much exciting they sound).

Miscellaneous

Trip Guide to Spiti-6

If you are going by your own vehicle, always carry multiple documents pertaining to your identity. Like any other camping trip, always carry a portable set of essential toiletries. Carry cash all the time when there because Spiti valley does not have many ATM machines. Charge all your gadgets beforehand, and carry extra battery packs and memory cards for your camera. You will not find any pre-paid networks, once in the region and postpaid telephones are a rarity to eyes, so prepare yourself accordingly.

MUST VISITS: Spiti river, Tabo monastery, Chandra Tal, Kunzum Pass, Pin Valley National Park

You can also take our help in planning your trip to make it hassle-free and an unforgettable experience!

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