What’s up readers?
Any Kung Fu Panda fans in the house? Wanted to see a real life Master Shifu prancing around (not specifically nailing Kung Fu poses)? Well, the state of Sikkim is just the place for you! For you will have a chance see the nearly extinct red panda In Singalila National Park in the state. Although don’t be surprised to see the red panda lazing around instead of performing difficult postures!
So talking about Sikkim tourism, it would be a great idea to know that the state is divided into four divisions north, south, east , west and there are different tourist locations in each zone.
During my three day long trip (I know, its short and cruel, but what can be done now?), I visited tourist locations in East Sikkim and some destinations of North Sikkim.
This state lies in the lap of Himalayas, so it can rain and get chilly on any day, without any warning. So it would be a great idea to pack an emergency umbrella, torch light ,extra pair of clothes and woolens for your trip. I suggest instead of going for sport shoes, go for Crocs as a safer option. You never know, when the weather decides to shower its blessings on you and you might fall sick.
Sikkim doesn’t have an airport yet, so from whichever state you book a flight you will land at Baghdogra Airport(16 kms west of Siliguri) and then a shared taxi ride of about 2-3 hours would take you to your hotel.
A good choice of hotel would be Golden Star Continental Hotel & Spa for comfortable stay and great food! (They did not pay me to advertise, but their hospitality deserves a mention).
I have divided the destinations and their respective itinerary according to days on which I visited them. So here’s the list.
- Gangtok Rope way – This is the closest to all the accommodations. The hotel authorities would arrange a driver and a full day cab for you on demand. Since, Sikkim lies in a mountainous region, transportation is bit difficult. This is the reason, shared cab culture is prevalent in the region. I suggest you to not be shocked of passengers who would ask for a ride despite seeing you seated comfortably in the cab. Also, this place is extremely safe for ladies so if you plan to embark on a solo trip, and want to explore the streets at nights, you can go ahead with it with no apprehension! Coming back to the rope way, it is nothing but a journey in a glass cabin which provides you with a stupendous view of the state. Watch ‘Qarib Qarib Single movie’s last scene for reference. It was shot there. Make sure not to pull out your cameras out of the windows of the cabin to capture the scenic beauty. The ride can be a bit jerky and you might end up losing your camera/phone!
- Namgyal Institute of Tibetology- After the rope way ride, your driver would take you this monastery cum museum. You will have to climb an apparent steep slope to reach this place. As you enter the monastery, you will have to touch these revolving pillars and then gain entry into the inner part of the monastery. It signifies inner peace and respect for the self. As you finish visiting the monastery, remember to keep the entry ticket safely, as the small piece pf paper would allow you to take entry into the museum. It is a wonderful place to know about the Tibetan culture in detail. However , no photographs can be clicked here, so sorry people, you would have to visit the place yourself to see the artifacts!
3. Ban Jakhri Falls- So nature lovers, prepared to be amazed at the beauty that these resplendent waterfall ooze. You will come across many picturesque locations here, which can be used to increase Instagram and Snap chat followers! Various water sports are also offered at these falls. A word of caution, wear water proof clothes and shoes or carry an extra pair of clothes. Also, while in water take small, balanced steps and be cautious of the slippery surfaces. All the boating lovers, instead of paddling in huge lakes, here you will enter in a small pool with statues all over the place and rough edges which makes boating difficult. So a big no to boating here, from my side.
4. Flower Exhibition Center- Trust me, it is one of the most beautiful flower exhibitions I have ever seen in life. The myriad of flowers can blow your mind with their delightful fragrance and epitome of beauty. If you plan to visit Sikkim anytime, take out time to visit this exhibition once. That reminds me the best time to visit this state is between the months of March-June. The rest of the months are either too cold or unsuitable for tourism.
An erratic power supply can be experienced in the region, so always carry a power bank. And wake up a little early to enjoy the feeling of living among the clouds.
Visiting all these places in one day can be a little tiring for bodies and reading an extremely long blog can be exhausting for eyes so with an end to day one in Sikkim,I end my blog for today.
I would be back tomorrow with all the places I visited during the remaining period of my trip…
Till then be happy and be awesome
Comments about your experiences in Sikkim are welcome!Let’s see if you and me have something to share from our trip to the state!