The local HRTC bus stops in Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, dropping tourists 7 kms from the real draw here, Kalpa. Budget travelers either foot the remaining distance or hire a tuk tuk. My need for a hotel in Reckong Peo was due to misinformation by locals in Kalpa, where I had roomed the night before. An Inner Line Permit is needed to continue past Spello, north of Reckong Peo by 90 minutes, which I did not have. Permits are obtained at the District Commissioner’s office located in Reckong Peo. I was attempting to travel on a Sunday, so as luck would have it, the offices were closed until the following morning. My plan was to stay near the offices so that I could be first in line and out of Reckong Peo, a rather depressing blue collar city that grew on me (slightly) as my time here wore on.
Ridang Hotel & Bar was my first choice based on location, parking, and room. The building is tucked into a hillside with multiple housing and businesses rising just past it’s rooftop. Guests check in on the ground floor inside the dining room of the on-site restaurant. A small reception desk reminiscent of the 1940′s welcomes you. Behind it, a rather efficient yet surly businessman who does not like to bargain. Several rooms were shown to me. Although the room I decided on was more than I wanted to spend, the lower cost room was tiny for one person, and I had my friend/driver in tow. We settled on a front room offering views of the car below and the mountain scenery.
The room came with a small table with seating for 2, a very small TV and a bed which nearly engulfed the entire room. The bathroom provided a Western toilet, shower and a hot water tank. TIP: Always inquire about the hotel’s water policy. Water was turned off after 8 P.M. here until 7 A.M. the next morning.
For Rs 700, the manager had my linens changed and the bathroom quickly scrubbed down. Thank goodness for flip flops, my own towel and TP since the latter two were not found here.
The bar is located on the first floor hidden behind a curtain that I did not look past. Bars are abundant and very popular in this region. Back on the main floor or in your room, a full menu of Indian and Tibetan food is available. Skip dinner here and make the short walk to Vikas Bar & Restaurant directly across the way. Breakfast should also be found elsewhere. My usual meal of gobi paranthas, boiled egg and chai was hard to choke down.
Summary. In a pinch…
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