Treasures of Sikkim
- Price from:
- 368 GBP /person
- 01273 322044
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
Last updated: 02/19/2009
Travel off the beaten track to lush green Sikkim - paradise for orchid lovers! Explore atmospheric Tibetan communities and richly decorated monasteries in tranquil Gangtok and Kalimpong.
Darjeeling - GangtokThis module begins in Darjeeling. The day begins early with a 7 hour drive to Gangtok in the mountains of Sikkim. From the tea hills around Darjeeling, you'll travel north over twisting roads. Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, towers over all of the scenery, making everything else seem very small. The contrast between the snow-capped background and the gentle green foreground is stunning. The driver will be happy to stop on the way whenever you need an extra few moments to admire the spectacular views and take a few snapshots. This is a big advantage of individual travel.
At the end of the day, you'll arrive in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. This beguiling city, perched high on a mountain ridge, is home to a large population of Buddhist Indians. Your comfortable family hotel is a place of rest and harmony, where only the chirping of the birds in the lush garden can be heard. The centre of Gangtok is about 2km away and easy to reach on foot.
Gangtok - Monastery tour The monasteries close to Gangtok are not often visited by tourists and still retain their original, authentic character. You'll travel along a bumpy road to Phodang and Labrang. These are brightly decorated monasteries full of rainbow swirls and curling dragons - far more flamboyant than anything you'll find in Ladakh or Tibet. Each monastery will give you sweeping views over snow-tipped Mount Kanchenjunga, looming powerfully above you.
At the end of the afternoon, you'll head back to your hotel in Gangtok and your evening is free to do as you wish.
Gangtok - Kalimpong Today you'll head to Rumtek monastery, perhaps the most wonderful of all the monasteries in the area. Every last inch of its interior is covered with brightly coloured murals and fine wood carvings. You are welcome to sit in on a session with the monks and listen to their mystical choral chanting whilst enjoying (or trying to keep down) a cup of Po Cha- salt butter yak tea.
In the afternoon, your driver will take you to the market town of Kalimpong. Here, you can wander through the local market searching for souvenirs or take a walk through the woods that surround the town. Kalimpong was conquered and colonised by Bhutan for over 100 years, and there is still a typical Bhutanese monastery in the town. It is also the oldest monastery where traditional ceremonies are still held. Monks can be seen seated opposite each other at long tables alternating between chanting and making music. In Kalimpong, you'll stay in small, cosy huts in the middle of a green oak wood.
Kalimpong - End of module Your Sikkim adventure ends this morning, and you can either stay in the area and relax for a few more days or we can arrange a transfer either to the airport at Bagdogra or the railway station in New Jalpaiguri. Both of these transfers would take around three hours. Then, from the airport or train station, you can travel on to Varanasi, Dehli, or Kolkata.
Kalimpong is also an excellent departure point for trips to the original Bhutan. A separate website for Bhutan is currently under development, so ask your travel specialist about the possibilities for travel in Bhutan.
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation with breakfast, excursion with guide, transport by private car
- Exclusions -
- International flights
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