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Spiti Valley Checklist: 15+ Tips So You Don’t Get Tricked

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Whenever going to a new destination for a holiday or a weekend getaway, a lot of people tell you what to see there or what to taste or where to buy, or where to stay.

But nobody really tells you about how to save yourself from spending money when it isn’t needed, or from people who might trick you, or things that you might have found for cheap from a different shop.

All they ever do is make you regret it then, by saying,” Oh ho! You could have bought it from that shop instead of this one.

That shop offers the best quality products at a better price.” And the regret that haunts you for life at times is the worst.
Spiti in Summers. (Photo by Spiti Adventure)

When planning a trip to a place that you haven’t visited before, it becomes a nightmare thinking about every possible way that it might go wrong. And when someone gives you some tips which help you ease the tension, it is just a blessing.

And like any other place, Spiti Valley has its fair share of tricksters that may thug you for extra money.
Spiti Valley in Winters. (Photo by Devil on Wheels)

So here are some tips for you to follow to make your trip a tension-free one and not something that you’ll regret later.

Spiti Valley Checklist: 15+ Items

1. Check for availability/ permissions

Do carry your driver’s license, Aadhar Card, or any other identification card to have a smooth trip. As the place is near the Tibetan outskirts, some places do require certain permissions.

2. Health certificates required

Some places, where trekking is involved, require health certificates.

3. Documents required

Do carry your driver’s license, Aadhar Card, or any other identification cards to have a smooth trip.

4. The acclimatization issues

Spiti Valley is situated at a height of 3300 meters and hence requires each explorer to have significant acclimatization as going on such a height, especially for a person who lives in the plains or coastal areas, might become risky.

It is usually advised to influence your adventure gradually, either by starting from Shimla or Manali. Those with lung or heart conditions should consult their specialist before planning the trip.

5. A no-network zone

Due to the location of Spiti Valley at such a high altitude, there is almost no to zero phone network. Sims like BSNL and MTNL do work and hence it is always advised to take them for your trip to Spiti.

Even then, during the winters, as the network poles might get covered with snow, the connectivity drops to zero.

6. Emergency calls only

You can also use satellite phones at 2rs per minute at STD booths at Batal and Mudh villages for emergency calls.

7. The best month to visit

Visit during the summer months from April to September as the cold is quite bearable and all the roads are open. The valley is picturesque, lush green, and beautiful to look at.

8. The colder, the better.

The winters are very harsh and the valley looks like a cold dessert that is covered with snow from all sides. You can definitely visit if you are a fan of cold climates.

Though you must keep in mind the extreme winters, (at times) closed roads, and a lot of closed tourist places.

9. Time for some showers from heaven

If traveling during the monsoon season, be prepared for landslides, roadblocks, and overflowing rivers. The water from the rivers sometimes flows towards the roads, making it difficult to drive.

Carry rain-appropriate clothes and luggage like rain jackets, water-repellent clothes, and open footwear like crocs or rain boots.

10. A longer stay

As the weather is pretty surprising, especially during the monsoons and winters, do keep some buffer days as the roadblocks, landslides, snow, etc may extend your trip than you had originally planned.

11. Stock up money

The availability of ATMs is pretty rare as you may only find them at Kaza. So, stock up on enough cash which lasts you throughout the trip.

12. Fossils everywhere but no fuel?

Another rare sighting in Spiti Valley is the petrol pump. The only available petrol pump is in Kaza, so, fill your tanks enough to make your trip an easier one.

13. The adrenaline rushes

Don’t plan a trekking trip out of peer pressure or the adrenaline rush, as some of the treks are extremely difficult for even experienced people. Keep in mind your stamina and health before going on a trek.

14. What to take and what not to take. That is the question.

As some villages like Langza Village have an abundant number of marine fossils, as the village came into existence when the Tethys Sea dried up.

Even though the fossils look very attractive, you must remember not to take them with you as this disturbs the natural balance of the place. At the same time, beware of the local people selling your fossils.

Though it is always advised not to take the real fossils home in any form (bought or found), there may be people selling you replicas made of clay, in the name of real fossils, and that too, at a much higher price.

While it is okay to buy replicas, do make sure that you are buying them from an ethical store at a fair price.

15. Some new friends

Interact with the locals. Sometimes, befriending a local, especially when you are traveling alone, comes in handy.

The local might tell you the local tip to find something at a cheaper price, as sometimes the shopkeepers try to extract an extra amount from you when they know you are a tourist.

16. Local guide to be an expert

Befriending a local also helps you find some hidden gems, be it a café that serves the most delicious food, or a place that is pretty much untapped by most people.

We hope that the above tips help you prepare for your next Spiti Valley adventure better and have a better and tension-free experience, which you will cherish forever.

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