Arriving into Gangtok, Sikkim up the hill from Darjeeling was an exciting prospect. This place always had a mystical quality to it, knowing it was another fabled land of Buddha, and an incredibly ethnic Asian-y, yet totally different than anywhere else of the people. It kind of felt like Darjeeling, it also kind of felt like Tibet but all different unto its own. The town of Gangtok is situated on a very steep hillside and if a huge earthquake struck, and they are known to do so, it felt that the whole city would go sliding downhill.
Gangtok isn’t as accessible as Darjeeling because of the steepness, and to walk anywhere, say even the pedestrian mall known as MG Marg, requires a strenuous walk down stairs then back upstairs. So in that sense, I preferred Darjeeling. Yet I was taken in just for the vibe of the area, the people, and stunning beauty of the mountains, including the 28000’ Mt. Kanchenchunga. I also stayed at a very friendly hotel with amazing views of the mountains. Unfortunately, most of the days were foggy, misty, and rainy, except for that one day.
My awesome hotel guy, Pintu, set me up for city tour with a family from Assam, and we spent a very fun day together taking various places in and around and above Gangtok, and on the tour which offered amazing crystal clear views of the mountains, holy Hindu temples, Tibetan temples, and the ambiance of Rina, Angel and totally mature way beyond her 14 years, Dhiya. We even dressed the part which was a lot of fun. A great day and made friends with them all.
The second tour arranged by Pintu was with three ladies from Russia, which I thought was unique onto its own. We went up to Changu Lake, up 12000’ and there we walked around the snowy banks of the lake and took in pure Himalayan beauty of the area. We just had to get out of the way of the continuous stream of the yak safaris. But It was a very fun day and glad I went because I almost didn’t.
The rest of the time, I hung around the hotel and as always made friends with the staff, and had my amazing view room. I spent a total of ten days in Sikkim altogether, and of course there were more places to stay which would have required more road trips, but I had to move on. I will certainly remember this fabled and enchanting and beautiful area and its diverse and curiously amazing looking people.