I arrived in Manali and I couldn’t believe I was still in India. This is for two reasons. Firstly, there is a mass of unspoilt land overlooking the Himalayas which you just wont find anywhere else in India. Secondly, I have never seen so many people trying to (re?)discover themselves and I can only imagine this is what the 70′s were like. Additionally, I’m sure many people are attracted here is because the weed literally grows on the side of the street.
However this is confined to Old Manali, and with just a short walk to new Manali you can feel like you’re back in India. Walk a little bit further and you will hit the town of Vashisht, which is where many of the Indian tourists tend to stay. Vashisht is also the starting points to many treks into the Himalayas and therefore has many wonderful viewpoints.
As with any tourist town in India, you will find the snake charmers (here’s a video if you’ve never seen one). But what I particularly enjoyed was a street show by two tourists which attracted all of the locals: