You probably already known our preference for homestays over hotels after having read this. We are budget travellers who don’t mind spending a little extra once in a while for special food&drink, adventure sports or a unique experience. If your outlook towards similar to ours, the is post might interest you.
Places to stay:
Manali is really crowded, right round the year and the traffic is a mess. We suggest you go couple of kms ahead into Vashist instead. Vashist has a variety of options for accommodation. The cheapest can be found near the main temple/hot spring area. Places like Kalpataru Guesthouse & Om Guesthouse are hot favourites with students and firang budget travelers, so it could be tough to find a room in peak season.
As you travel through the Manali -Leh Highway you will find numerous dhabas that let you rest there, you can even get a warm bed for Rs.100 a night.
Keylong is the last major town on the route. Here you can find ATMs, mechanics,bars,rooms with hot showers etc.
We stayed at one of the hotels spelt Geyspa/Jispa. You have your New Geypsa, Old Geyspa, Geysspa Deluxe and so on. Now I don’t remember which of these it was but it was at Subhash chowk, right in front of the statue. The hotel has decent rooms, hot water and a restaurant.
Leh ha everything from luxurious villas, to cheap hostels. Our first choice was Palace view guesthouse, but they were fully booked the night we landed in Leh so we chose to stay in a guesthouse that lent out a bed for Rs.100 a night. The only problem though was the lack of hot water.
We recommend you stay Palace View Guesthouse. They have both rooms and dorms, so it won’t be too heavy on your pocket, is a nice clean place and has hot water.
The hot spring guesthouse at Panamik is run by a nice little family and more importantly is barely a few meters from the hot springs. The rooms are spacious and clean, bathrooms are tiled and airy & the food is tasty. Enough said.
You’ll find many luxury tents and camps all round Pangong, with tariff going up to Rs.5000 per night. The homestays in comparison offer you a roof for anywhere between Rs.100-500 depending on the size of the room.
We stayed at the Padma Guest house & Homestay at Spangmik. They were constructing a large tented structure while we were there. That could be a nice camping option if you are traveling in a large group.
Just like Pangong, Tso Moriri has many luxury camping options and quite a few budget homestay/guesthouses as well.
The Mentok guesthouse in Korzok is a good option. They have a western toilet but it is a common toilet, so you have to wait your turn. Tso Moriri receives very little electricity so the lights go off pretty early, but you can always borrow a candle.
We spent the night in a car at Turtuk, so we really can’t recommend any accommodation at Turtuk.