Trip Report - Kinnaur Spiti Lahaul - June 2010

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#31 Jul 19th, 2010, 16:05
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#31
Hi KShil

Thanx for sharing your experience of the treat ..... could you please share how much the cab owner charge you for the trip I am planning to go in October and have received a quote of 2700 for Tavera ... also did you undertake your travel through any agent .... thnx
#32 Jul 19th, 2010, 16:18
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#32
hi shewta,are u going in groups
#33 Jul 19th, 2010, 17:13
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#33
Quote:
Originally Posted by shveta gupta View Post Hi KShil

Thanx for sharing your experience of the treat ..... could you please share how much the cab owner charge you for the trip I am planning to go in October and have received a quote of 2700 for Tavera ... also did you undertake your travel through any agent .... thnx

Hi Shveta,

If you have read my post, I mentioned it there itself, it's 2200 per day for a 2009 model Scorpio, with the quality driver we got, it's more than value for money.

2700 for Tavera is definitely not a competetive price but having said that I can tell you it's all about economics and based on demand/supply price may change dramatically.

Just bargain to your best as that's the rule of the game even though October would be an extremely busy season specially if you go during Durga Puja.

I spoke to many tavel agents but finally made the deal directly with owner as there are three distinct advantages the moment you bypass the agents

1. You get obviously a better quote and negotiate a better deal.
2. More importantly you can make sure you have discussed at length about itinerary and distance details with owner and driver in a 3 party conference before fixing the price. This would surely help you later to counter any unpleasant surprise when driver declines to cover a place that you earlier planned.
3. You are sure about the Car and Driver details much before you start. I got pics of Car and Driver a week back and was assured I was going to get the same car I was promised (a 2009 scorpio runs around 30K km).

I would recommend the person whose service I took, Vinkle (Mobile - 9459262520), give a call and talk to him directly on rate. He own a new Tata Sumo and can easily manage a Scorpio and Innova (may be a Tavera too) based on your choice of cars. Ofcourse based on make year of car and model the price would change.

Have a nice and safe trip.

Cheers!!
#34 Jul 29th, 2010, 16:06
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#34
Hi kshil

I did talk to Vinkle and he came across as a nice guy ... he offered me 2650 per day as the best price for Innova and 2350 for Scorpio .... do you think that is fine or should I negotiate further .... also he mentioned that we don't need to book accommodation in advance as it can be dome on the spot ... would you agree with that .... thnx again for all the help ....
#35 Jul 29th, 2010, 21:10
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#35
Quote:
Originally Posted by shveta gupta View Post Hi kshil

I did talk to Vinkle and he came across as a nice guy ... he offered me 2650 per day as the best price for Innova and 2350 for Scorpio .... do you think that is fine or should I negotiate further .... also he mentioned that we don't need to book accommodation in advance as it can be dome on the spot ... would you agree with that .... thnx again for all the help ....
Hi Shveta,

Vinkle is indeed a nice guy and if possible I myself would comeback to HP even before October with him
As I mentioned the pricing is function of demand/Supply and season. As I gone in June middle when the schools were opened after summer holidays, I got it relatively lean where as October would be high season and you are aware Fuel Price gone up recently and that's the reason probably you would get a higher base than what I got that time.

But to understand how much higher it should be, I would suggest you to keep in touch with certain other operators who are well known and get an idea about the rates during that time. But having said that, I would suggest it's better to hire someone who would actually owns/drives the car rather than an agent because that would help you to counter any false commitment if made during negotiation.

Some other tour operator where I spoken are:

1. Man Mahesh Tours and Travels : Mobile: 9418021444
2. Ambassador Travels (P) Ltd., The Mall Shimla Ph.0177-2811139
3. Apline Tours & Travels 01772804025 /6
4. Asia & International 01772804067
5. Debonair Tour N Travels
+91-9816966627, +91-9418020501 / 9817020501/ 9857720501
91 - 0177 - 2650570
vickydim9@gmail.com
6. Great' Himalayan Travels: 9816036912
Mohit Sharma
ghtravels@yahoo.com
7. Ganga Tours and Travels: 01772653518
8. Monal Tour N Travels: 9816020229 - Anuj Sud
9. Shimla Maxi Cabs
Satish : +91-9816024440

Most of them are Shimla based operators and I found them somewhere in net from a list of tour operators approved by HP Tourism. You can call a couple of them and check what they say about rates but remember most of them are agents and may subcontract the car/driver.

Have a safe and nice trip.

Cheers!!
#36 Aug 1st, 2010, 18:47
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#36
Hi Kaushik

Going by your suggestion I have almost decided to go with Vinkle he has finally come down to 26500 for Innova for 10 days.

I have the following itinerary in mind. Do let me know if you think this is fine or should I make some changes:

Day 1 - Leave Delhi to reach Sarahan(Via narkanda) and night stay at Sarahan (should we break this into 2 days with a stay at Narkanda / Hatu Peak??)
Day 2 ---- sarahan to Chitkul via Sangla and night stay at Chitkul
Day 3 ---- Chitkul to Kalpa via recong peo and night stay at Kalpa
Dat 4 ---- Whole day sightseeing at Kalpa and night stay at Kalpa
Day 5 ---- Kalpa to Tabo via Nako , and night stay at Tabo
Day 6---- Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar monastery and night stay at Kaza
Day 7--- Kaza whole day ( langic,comic.kye kibber) and night stay at Kaza
Day 8--- Kaza to Keylong and night stay at Keylong
Day 9 --- Keylong to Manali , and night stay at Manali
Day 10 --- Back to Delhi

Vinkle suggested that besides Narkanda we do not need to pre book accommodation and can get it easily when we get there ... do you seem to agree with him .... thnx again
#37 Aug 1st, 2010, 20:18
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#37
kshil. Excellent description, excellent photographs, excellent information. Thanks.
#38 Aug 1st, 2010, 20:36
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#38
a great write-up.. nice pics and great details .. especially phone numbers ..

thanks aton
#39 Aug 2nd, 2010, 02:55
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#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by shveta gupta View Post Hi Kaushik

Going by your suggestion I have almost decided to go with Vinkle he has finally come down to 26500 for Innova for 10 days.

I have the following itinerary in mind. Do let me know if you think this is fine or should I make some changes:

Day 1 - Leave Delhi to reach Sarahan(Via narkanda) and night stay at Sarahan (should we break this into 2 days with a stay at Narkanda / Hatu Peak??)
Day 2 ---- sarahan to Chitkul via Sangla and night stay at Chitkul
Day 3 ---- Chitkul to Kalpa via recong peo and night stay at Kalpa
Dat 4 ---- Whole day sightseeing at Kalpa and night stay at Kalpa
Day 5 ---- Kalpa to Tabo via Nako , and night stay at Tabo
Day 6---- Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar monastery and night stay at Kaza
Day 7--- Kaza whole day ( langic,comic.kye kibber) and night stay at Kaza
Day 8--- Kaza to Keylong and night stay at Keylong
Day 9 --- Keylong to Manali , and night stay at Manali
Day 10 --- Back to Delhi

Vinkle suggested that besides Narkanda we do not need to pre book accommodation and can get it easily when we get there ... do you seem to agree with him .... thnx again
Ha Ha, good bargain, update the last price you got, based on that I have to start next time

How are you coming from Delhi to Sarahan? By Car?? Then it would be too much, also would you coming via Chail or via Shimla? Narkanda is a nice place to stay for a day and you can consider staying there rather than taking such a long day from Delhi to Sarahan. Though it would merely be a night stay and I believe to enjoy Narkanda you need to spend a full day there.

On Accommodation front my suggestion would be not to depend much on Vinkle or any other car/ travel agents, they have their own networked hotel, accomodations where they might want you to be where as my idea is when I am paying for it, why not choose what is best suited to my needs. I can't tell about Oct, but in June when I gone, I found yes it was available almost all places except Narkanda. But having said that things like sudden closure of Kunzum can make it difficult to find accommodation Kaza or similarly closure of Barlacha/Rohtang may seriously impact the hotel availability in Keylong. In that region, I reiterate, keep in touch with Lotey (you would get his phone number in my trip report) and he can be extremely helpful.

About your itinerary, I would say,

1. Day6 - You should include Pin Valley, amazing place in whole Spiti, you shouldn't miss it.
2. Day7- Langza/Komic and Kye/Kibber in one day possible but would be very stretched, also roads in these places are not very reliable. So consider that while planning.
3. Day8- Why you are going to Keylong for night stay, checkout the map, unless you have plan to visit Lahaul, just going to Keylong for night halt is meaningless. Either proceed to Manali on that night or if you want to have a taste of Lahaul, stay at Sissu, one private hotel and one PWD GH are there there, checkout availability. Much better place in my opinion than Keylong, which is nothing but a town.

Cheers!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aupmanyav View Post kshil. Excellent description, excellent photographs, excellent information. Thanks.
Thanks Aupmanyav for your encouraging words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zack View Post a great write-up.. nice pics and great details .. especially phone numbers ..

thanks aton
Thanks Zack for your kind words, yes the phone numbers are so precious, I wasted several days getting them together, so thought of sharing them in common places but would be really good if people who would travel later can keep on updating that list.
#40 Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:35
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#40
exactly .. details of hotels at hptdc site is messed and outdated! plus its limited in number!

this is a precious thread!
#41 Aug 6th, 2010, 14:17
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#41
Hi kaushik

we would be going to chandigarh from Delhi by Shatabdi and would reach chandigarh somewhere around 11:30 and would start the journey by car from there ..... as far as coming from shimla or chail does it make any difference, I thought they fall on the same route?

Since I wish to cover Manali in another trip is there an option of skipping Manali and reaching chandigarh directly .... that way we can have one extra night which we can stay in Narkanda in the beginning ..... I had mentioned Keylong since came across that place in most of the itineraries shared by fellow IMikers .....

Vinkle suggested staying at Raksham and Dhankar instead of the main towns do you agree ....

thnx again

Mod Note
Your near duplicate post (the post before this one) has been deleted. I see this one has additional details to it.
Last edited by shveta gupta; Aug 6th, 2010 at 16:55..
#42 Aug 6th, 2010, 14:39
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#42
Quote:
Originally Posted by shveta gupta View Post Hi kaushik

we would be going to chandigarh from Delhi by Shatabdi and would reach chandigarh somewhere around 11:30 and would start the journey by car from there ..... as far as coming from shimla or chail does it make any difference, I thought they fall on the same route?
Good bargain, ofcourse!! Great to know the deal. Is it the same Scorpio, I took? If yes, it's wonderful too. See I started from Chandigarh airport at 11.00am dot and reached Narkanda at 8.00pm. So it's long and remember being in June I fully utilized the long duration of day, at 8.00pm when I reached Narkanda, it was still not complete dark. In Oct, I doubt whether you would get sun even at 6.00pm or not. By the way if you are coming by Kalka Shatabdi, why not coming till Kalka instead of Chandigarh, the more you cover by train is better.

The Chail and Shimla route are different, Chail route diverts at Kandaghat and joins back to NH22 at Kufri. This is more scenic and would require more photostop and so would surely take longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shveta gupta View Post Since I wish to cover Manali in another trip is there an option of skipping Manali and reaching chandigarh directly .... that way we can have one extra night which we can stay in Narkanda in the beginning ..... I had mentioned Keylong since came across that place in most of the itineraries shared by fellow IMikers .....

Vinkle suggested staying at Raksham and Dhankar instead of the main towns do you agree ....

thnx again
Great idea, to skip Manali as I never find that place interesting enough comparing to Kinnaur/Lahaul/Spiti. This is more of a town. But in your case, you actually don't have much option to skip manali, reason being, coming from Keylong/Sissu and crossing ever problematic Rohtang would eat up your time and I never suggest you take chance of going to delhi on one day from Keylong/Sissu. What could be a viable plan to get an extra day for Narkanda is, on day 8, from kaza proceed to Manali straight. Next time when you cover Manali, cover Lahaul along with that.

I already mentioned, there is no point in keeping Keylong in your itinerary. Vinkle seems to be graduated to an excellent trip guide Yes I fully agree with his opinion, you would enjoy the nature more closely if you choose to stay little off places and Rakcham is superb to be close with Baspa river and I personally like it more than Chitkul or Sangla. Dhankar stay is ideal, if you want a trek to Dhankar lake at early morning to see the famous mirror in lake or the breathtaking spiti valley in late evening. Only concern is in these off places number of options of accomodation would be extremely limited and in a rush time if you can't get some kind of prebook/assurance, it's more of luck.

Cheers!!
Last edited by kshil; Aug 6th, 2010 at 16:21..
#43 Aug 6th, 2010, 16:08
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#43
thanks
Last edited by shveta gupta; Aug 6th, 2010 at 17:09..
#44 Aug 6th, 2010, 16:19
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#44
Kaushik request you to edit your post and remove the final quote as a mark of respect to Vinkle
#45 Aug 6th, 2010, 16:43
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#45
Shveta,

I completely agree with you, actually any bargain deal shouldn't be made public in open forum, though we can surely discuss about prevailing rate, I deleted the section of quote as I too feel it's not ethical to disclose a rate that is hard bargained. Sometimes people can think it as a base and start negotiating further.

Rate of Innova is even better and in June 27th I saw the innova, brand new, white one with odo reading of 1200km. So would be a nice experience but personally I feel, in that road Scorpio is much better performer than Innova.

I hope you get a good weather specially weather pattern of this year is worrying, I am sure you have seen the news of Leh already.

But one thing I am sure you would find Vinkle as an extremely nice person and an efficient driver in that terrain.

Cheers!!
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