Manali Things to Do
It is all there. While on your way to Rohtang pass stay for a while if you have time and see Manali from the skies while paragliding.
Going on a hot air balloon is another good idear. Crossing river on rope is also an adventure people are engaged in and so is rafting.
Thoughout Himanchal Pradesh, there are several joints where one can put up for a night and go on river rafting!
Above all, trekking alone can take away all those extra pounds you have meticulously acquired. Simple brisk walking can also do you good!
Manali is known for dry fruits and woollen clothes and of course apples.
Shop as much as you like but like any other tourist place beware of buying cheap stuff and be ready to bargain a lot
Manali Tourist Traps
Something that really spoiled my mood. This is a very common practice, if you book room on net you might not get the same room that you paid for. Also you might be charged a lot more than was on tariff card.
So my advise is to book the room only for one day. If it is Okay then extend your stay or else try another one. We had no option but to pay the entire amount at Hotel Hollywood, where we didn't get the room that we had booked. Also, the rooms were stinking, service was bad. When I asked for tariff card the manager said he didn't have it.
Be cautious while booking on net.
Local taxi drivers also charge heavy and even if you have paid for an AC vehicle they don't switch on the AC. This can really cheese you off as Manali during days is quite hot.
Unique Suggestions: Only book for a day not more. Always ask for a tariff card.
Be strict with taxi drivers.
Manali Off The Beaten Path
Who so ever goes to Manali will definitely go to Manali but if you really want to avoid heavy regular traffic jam continued for hours start your journey at 4 in the morning. Take proper water with you. Though woollen clothes are available on lots of shops on rent I would advise to go for personal stuff.
One big problem area is no proper loo on the way. Though there are government makeshift loos in Rohtang but if you are down with loose motions or have a nerves problem this 3-hour journey can become really difficult for you.
But once you reach Rohtang, it's beautiful. Though the snow has become black with pollution but if you go at least two km further, you will get 360 degree view of snow capped mountains and serenity.
Though be ready to face uncertain weather conditions.