The Bust station isnt in Mcleod Ganj
When you get off the bus in Lower Dharamasla you will probably be advised that the journey to upper dharamasala is about a hours drive. It isnt, this is a rouse to get you to stay in one of the hotels in lower dharamasala - which arent as good or as interesting as Upper Dharamasal.
Fun Alternatives: Be persistent.
Monks and Hidden Agendas
I left Dharamhasala with a rather cynical view. These words may not be shared by others but its my opinion.
Upon visiting Dharamasala you will find many Monks, some exiled some not, who are only too willing to sit and explain about Tibet, their life. Fine.
However, from what I saw, they want something in return. A meal at least.
Dharamasala is not a poor place. It is much richer than the valleys below. I found an obviously overweight monk begging for me to give him money unpleasant.
Unique Suggestions: Be suspicious.
Fun Alternatives: If you feel the need give to an organisation. Such as the monastery or school.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
I have a very very cheap hotel...25 hour hot-water
When you first arrive in McLeod Ganj you will either be coming in by public bus or shared taxi from Dharamshala (9kms down the road). The local hotelliers are very keen for your business and know the bus times off-by-heart. Thus the minute your bus or taxi arrives (even if it is a shared taxi crammed ful of locals) expect to be mobbed by porters and hotelliers. You will have all number of business cards thrust at you and will hear their constant mantras of "cheapest hotel in Mc Leod" "very sunny rooms" "25 hour hot water" ......
An amusing anecdote worth recounting here was that my friend Edwina was taking all the business cards and listening to them extolling the virtues of their respective hotels and a 6ft tall Tibetan Monk stepped into the fray and said to her "here, take my card, take my card" she looked up at him bemused that he didn't have a card at all to which he beamed back at her and the both enjoyed the shared joke amongst complete strangers!!
Unique Suggestions: How do you deal with it? Well, please don't get stressed - I suggest that you look at my tip called " Operation Simmer-Down "on my India page that describes a technique that my friend and I used successfully for the the first time here in McLeod Ganj...click away!
Fun Alternatives: I really don't think there is an alternative - be brave!!
The markets are expensive!We...
The markets are expensive!
We (my sis and I) saw innumerable things that were at least 60% more than they cost in Delhi. This, unfortunately, includes Tibetan handicrafts. Look around and remember to bargain as if your life depended on it.
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