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North India

(New Delhi, Rishikesh, Dera-Don, Amrizer, Darhamsala, Manali and Simla)
Enjoy India.

In Delhi: Anoop hotel, in the Main Bazar (30 meter after Hari Rama, on the right). They have good air-conditioned rooms (very important), the restaurant on the roof is OK, and you can order to your room (good musli) the roof of Hari Rama better restaurant. There's a drink called Mazza. It's a pure mango juice in a bottle. It's a wonderful drink. At the Conat Place there's the "Mohansin place" shopping mall, in it, on the second floor, there's Audi Jeans. It's very small, but they make great pants and overalls. The Musk (Misgad) is nice, especially when the sunsets, at noon they don't allow tourists to enter, I think that between 13:30 to 16:00, but you have to have long sleeves. It's a Muslim place, you know... In Hari Rama, Avi is the name of the local tour manager. He has an agency and he can help you with everything.

If you take the New-Delhi tour make sure it goes to the house of Gandi (which is a museum now) , to his grave (close to the red fort, and there's a 24 hour shift of believers who sing there) and to the house of Indira Gandi, where she was murdered. check about a taxi or a day bus to Rishikesh. The place I stayed in there is Rajdeep Hotel. It was a nice one with balconies and trees around it. They offer special prices for Israelis. The restaurants there are nothing special, just go to the crowded ones. In the evenings (just before sunset) go to the "Gat" for the Atri ceremony (fire and water) on the Ganges banks. f you want a bigger and a very impressive ceremony - 30 minute by bus is the town Dera Don. Half a million people come there every day. 5 KM from Rishikesh (up river) is a nice waterfall. 50 Rs by jeep, take as many people as you can to cut costs. It's a very relaxing place. In Rishikesh they have a lot of places that give Yoga lessons morning, noon, evening and night. Join one to see the real thing.

Simla is a mountain town, good weather, long car-less streets and beautiful views. Besides that there's not too much interest in that place. Amrizer: Golden temple, try to get there for sunset or early morning. Breakfast and some explaining are available on the far side from the entrance. Bring a hat, because you can't get in without a head-cover, and you don't want to wear what they give you... In Amrizer they have the best Lassi (bring your own bananas). Ask the riksha driver, he'll take you there. Kristal is a good restaurant close to the center. Gulab Jamun is a delicious desert. It's a kind of cheese and honey balls, fried and served with "Roses juice" (what ever that means). You have it everywhere, but in Amrizer I tasted the best. Darhamsala: take a mini-bus to McLoud Gange. There is the real Darhamsala. Panda is a nice coffee place in the middle of the main street (close to Koko hostel). Friends Corner offers good steaks (sizzling) and other kinds of food (on the junction of the main street and the one leading to the Dalai Lama's palace). Green hotel is the biggest there, good apple pies in their restaurant. They have a waterfall too, it takes a little walk to get there, but it's really a beautiful place.

Manali: Sleeping is recommended at Vashisht. It's on the other side of the river. Hotel Brighu is nice, the shower there isn't. Back to the other side of the river is Manali, and if you take a right at the square, after climbing the hill from the river, you'll get to Old Manali. Many hotels there (some are even better then in Vashisht), like River View or Dreams. Where you cross the river again to get to these hotels there is an Israeli restaurant. To the left (up hill) is the Full Moon Cafe. All the "High" Israelis are there all day. They play trans music morning till night. Further up hill is the real Old Manali; an old village with real native Indians, not the advanced touristy ones. Take few hours for that. It's worth the walk. Next to the square, in Manali itself, there's Chop Sticks, a good Chinese (and others) restaurant. Down the street the market begins. It is mostly active in the evenings. Argue for prices. You can find there lots of sweaters, shawls, cloths etc.

Basically, if you plan to shop, the good places are Delhi and Manali. All the other places in the north don't offer much. Remember that.

Hope I didn't forget much, have a great time and take care.

Sent by Yo -Man, Israel