Gangtok, Nathula, North Sikkim, Pelling, Yuksom - October end travelogue

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#1 Nov 5th, 2012, 20:03
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#1
We are a couple who visited Sikkim for around 10 days. My travelogue will follow after a high level summary of the itinerary below:

Oct 23 Bagdogra - Gangtok. AC Indica from the prepaid counter at the airport cost Rs. 2220 up to the South taxi stand. They did not have a non AC option. We paid an additional Rs.300 for the same Indica to take us to our hotel. Stayed in Hotel Pandim (Room 5 - facing the mountains) for Rs. 1550 + tax/night

Oct 24 Gangtok. Hotel Pandim. Local sightseeing of Rumtek monastery, Banjhakri falls for Rs.1000 on a Maruti Omni that we got at one of the local taxi stands.

Oct 25 Gangtok - Nathula - Baba Mandir - Tsongmo Lake - Gangtok. Checked out of Hotel Pandim (A room for today was not available) . Rs.5500 on a Tata Sumo (Mr. Karma@9563669991). Checked into Hotel Mintokling for 1850 + tax/night. We got a room facing the garden and the mountains.

Oct 26 Gangtok - Lachen. Checked out of Mintokling. Start of a 3 night package of North Sikkim by Marcopolo for Rs.10500/head. Gurdongmar was Rs.3000 extra and Zero point Rs.2000 extra to be paid directly to the driver. The vehicle was a Tata Sumo. Started at 10:00 AM and reached Lachen at around 5:30 PM. We stopped at Tashi view point, Seven Sisters waterfall, Singlik view point and Naga Waterfall. Had lunch at Chumtang. Checked into Gurdongmar lodge.

Oct 27 Lachen - Thagu valley - Gurdongmar - Chopta valley - Lachen. Started at 4:00 AM and had breakfast at Thangu valley. Proceeded to Gurdongmar and stopped there for 1/2 hour. On our way back, stopped at Chopta valley and returned to Lachen around 2:00 PM for lunch. Left Lachen at around 3:00 PM and reached Lachung by 5:30 PM. Checked into Snowlion mountain resort.

Oct 28 Lachung - Zero point - Yumthang - Lachung. Around 9 AM we left to Yumthang. Rented gum boots for Rs.50 each and proceeded to Zero point. We stopped at zero point for around half hour. On our way back stopped at the Yumthang valley. We returned to Lachung by 2 PM. After lunch, we visited the Lachung monastery (around 4 KM from the hotel)

Oct 29 Lachung - Gangtok. We started at around 5:30 AM and stopped at Singhlik again as Mt. K was visible in all her glory. We also stopped at Phodong monastery. Reached Gangtok by noon and checked into hotel Pandim. This time we got a bigger and very nicely decorated valley facing room (Room 1) for the same rate (it is Rs.300 costlier than Room 5) because our reservation of room 5 was taken by another guest who needed it for a long stay. After lunch we hired a taxi (Alto) for Rs. 600 for a round trip of the Zoo (Yes we saw the Red Pandas!)

Oct 30 Gangtok - Pelling through Ravangla. Hotel Pandim arranged a Bolero for Rs. 3000. We started around 9:30 AM. We stopped at the under construction Buddha park at Ravangla and had lunch at Legship. We were blocked by a road construction for an hour just before Pelling and reached by around 4:30 PM. Checked into Hotel Garuda @ Rs. 1200 (inclusive of tax)/night.

Oct 31 Pelling. Hotel Garuda. We hiked to Pemayangste monaster and Rabadanste ruins pre lunch. Post lunch we hiked to Sanga Choling monastery.

Nov 1 Pelling to Yuksom. Alto @ Rs. 1700 with stoppages at Rimbi waterfall, Rimbi rock garden, Kechopalri lake (also hiked up 20 minutes to have a magnificent view of the lake) and Kanchenjunga waterfall. Checked into Hotel Red Palace @ Rs.2200 + tax/night

Nov 2 Yuksom. Packed lunch from the hotel and hiked to Dudbi monastery - Tsong village - and almost made it to Hungri monastery (we were within 15 minutes when we were discouraged by a path leading to a river down and returned).

Nov 3 Yuksom - Bagdogra. In a Tata sumo for Rs. 5000. Started at 4:45 AM and reached the airport by 10:30 AM. We kept a 2 hour buffer before our flight to be safe.
#2 Nov 5th, 2012, 20:53
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#2
Welcome mate. Eagarly waiting for your writings through which I want to visit North and West. Hope for superb snaps....
#3 Nov 5th, 2012, 21:42
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#3
do continue with snaps now
.


Totaly confused how to explore the beautiful earth when one life is too short to complete my great India


Photo-Story: HARI-SILA or HARSIL Deoriatal-Chopta,
#4 Nov 5th, 2012, 23:29
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Thanks Debashish. Yes PKanti, will photo blog the trip starting tomorrow. Am currently sorting the large collection of photos we liberally clicked :-( Also thanks to all indiamikers who patiently and promptly replied to queries posed by me and made it a very memorable trip for us. It was almost panicky for us with only the flight bookings done three days before the trip. The indiamike and tripadvisor community made it all happen!
#5 Nov 7th, 2012, 00:26
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We checked into Hotel Pandim, Gangtok in the evening of Day 1 and this is
what we saw from our room balcony, the beautiful city of Gangtok covered
by hills all around. For a person from the plains, this first sight was pure bliss!

Name:  gangtok.jpg
Views: 17459
Size:  44.8 KB

More to follow tomorrow!
#6 Nov 7th, 2012, 00:56
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@ schumifactor

Quote:
More to follow tomorrow!
if you are planning to go with this quantity & speed Guaranteed!! I'll be not alive till to view the last post of your TR here

PS: apart from bad joke, nice capture
#7 Nov 7th, 2012, 06:25
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Hehe..I just understood the modalities of uploading photos here and it had become late. Will shift to the teaser third gear starting today
#8 Nov 7th, 2012, 12:00
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#8
schumifactor,

Nice write up and well, photo too.

[If you keep your own pace, we can enjoy more PKanti-sh comments ]
aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#9 Nov 7th, 2012, 14:24
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Good start mate ... Will wait for your TL.
#10 Nov 7th, 2012, 19:46
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We ran out of luck that night and early next day looking for tour operators, most of whom were closed for the puja holidays, to book our Nathula trip for the next day.
You can read more about it here

On our way, we zoomed in to see players practicing for the I-League football tournament at the Paljor stadium.


I hit a roadblock writing the rest of the report and will need to continue later tonight or tomorrow Wonder what Pkanti has to say
#11 Nov 7th, 2012, 20:04
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your TR inspiring me to live long.............thinking of quitting smoking & hundreds of bad-habits
#12 Nov 7th, 2012, 20:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKanti View Post your TR inspiring me to live long.............thinking of quitting smoking & hundreds of bad-habits
@kanti Da, we all know well you can not live without roaming & reading. So it's better to quit smoking & other bad habits. We need your guidance & inspiration. We all are with you like Congress with Robert Wadra & BJP with Nitin Gadkari.
"Don't mix bad words with your bad mood. You'll have many opportunities to change a mood, but you'll never get the opportunity to replace the words you spoke."
#13 Nov 7th, 2012, 21:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnpathak View Post @kanti Da, we all know well you can not live without roaming & reading. So it's better to quit smoking & other bad habits. We need your guidance & inspiration. We all are with you like Congress with Robert Wadra & BJP with Nitin Gadkari.
Absolutely Mr Pathak, he is a gem of IM....I've seen very few with such wicked(informal) sense of humour
So long live PKanti..........Hip Hip Hurrah
#14 Nov 8th, 2012, 17:33
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PKanti, now with the long life decided, will strive to make an worthwhile report
#15 Nov 8th, 2012, 23:36
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#15
We started our local sightseeing on a rickety Omni, that we got from a local taxi stand and travelled 24 KMs to Rumtek monastery. It was a hot and
bumpy journey and felt longer than it should. Rumtek was big and had a large number of resident monks. A few from the army were around as a result
of the clashes from years ago that you can read about here


The Banjhakri falls was next. I assumed our driver will take us back through Gangtok as the falls were on the other side of the city but we drove along
making a circle through the hills and reached the falls after a much more tortuous journey over rock and mud paths.

We shared a Thupka at the restaurant inside which tasted bad and oily! We had a great Thupka experience during a Ladakh trip many years back but
unfortunately could not relive that.

From Banjhakri, the distance to the taxi stand was less and were relieved once there. We walked towards our hotel and checked out the beautiful
and peaceful Chogyal palace closeby in Secretariat road.


After freshening up, we headed back to the bustling MG Marg packed with a number of tourists and localites to try out some local cuisine.


We soon figured that momo was the word most commonly used by tourists all around. Many a restaurants were short on staff because of the holidays and
the staff remaining behind looked pretty frustrated. Due to this we often visited Baker's Cafe quite a bit during our stay and it was lively and active.
We mostly ate continental food and snacked (the last thing we expected to eat here!). We liked the place though and had a good time listening to the
latest English music being played.


Watch out for sunrise and the Nathula trip next!
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