Darjeeling Gangtok Tour Package from Malaysia – Sikkim
Last year on 29th June 2018 my visit to Sikkim along with a group of 12 travelers from Malaysia was a remarkable experience, which I will never forget. I was a group leader and my duty was to take care of all the arrangements. Today I am writing this post to cherish memories of last year. I am the owner of a small tour company and organize tours to all parts of India and I have clients from all over the Globe. Usually, I would not accompany the Tourist’s Group; I used to send a representative of my company along with the Group, But this time on request of my old friend Mr. Manian who was also a member of this group, I accompanied the Malaysian Group. I had also organized group tours to several parts of India, I would share my experiences later in another post.
It was the monsoons of 2018 and not a single person said anything good about traveling to Sikkim in June end. Until then, few had ever traveled for pleasure to Sikkim in monsoons. But we all were ready to take the leaps and bounds of visiting Sikkim during monsoons. I booked the flight tickets very early for all the people and did all the bookings very early to avoid any type of issues later.
Over the last few years, Sikkim has been promoted as one of the top tourist destinations in the country owing to its culture, breathtaking scenery, and biodiversity. The state promotes ecotourism to help local communities and protect its beautiful environment.
Our Sikkim Group Tour Start from Today
Which is Nearest Airport for Gangtok Sikkim?
Bagdogra is the closest airport and is serviced by most major domestic airlines. It is a six-hour drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok. After 2 hours of driving, we were in the lap of a beautiful green valley and took a short break en route. The journey was a little bit tiring from Bagdogra to Gangtok, but the excitement of reaching our destination overcame the fatigue of travel. We reached Gangtok late in the evening and settled for the night at Lindsey Hotel in the heart of Gangtok.
It was a quiet luxury hotel with supportive and well-behaved staff. The hotel was so beautiful; the view from the hotel was mesmerizing me. I was enjoying the view with coffee in the morning because at night I was tired, so I preferred to have my dinner and went to bed early. I went to many sightseeing places in Gangtok with group members and enjoyed it a lot. Gangtok is truly a charming place. We loved its scenic beauty, lush green forest, and flowing rivers.
It was a great feeling to arrive in Gangtok and see the beautiful city of the northeast – a modern city with a very deep sense of history. We will never forget when we first drove through, passing the canals and seeing the beautiful hills. It was love at first sight.
I was Group Leader and had to arrange for the entry and permit to visit North Sikkim. My local agent “Bijay” had helped me a lot and also provided a guide for Lachung’s visit so that he could guide me and also provide help during the tour. I had completed all the formalities before leaving for Lachung.
Lachung Sikkim Tour Start Today
The next morning, we started early towards Lachung, A beautiful place in the heart of Mount Kanchenjunga, the route from Gangtok to Lachung is covered by the high mountains, natural river streams, and beautiful valleys. The scale of the scenery is not easy to comprehend in the photos but everything was huge and we were a speck in the big picture. The waterfalls were huge, so were the mountains and the river.
We had two SUVs (Innova and Mahindra Xylo) driven by a young courageous driver called lama and phurdin. We reached the evening by teaching and checking into the Hotel Lachung Continental. The hotel was very traditional Buddhist style and the food served was very good vegetarian food. The staff of the hotel was very nice and tourists felt at home there.
Lachung means the ‘Small Pass’.Lachung is a small mountain village at an altitude of 8,610 ft and located about 118 km from Gangtok. Many waterfalls come down the rock faces, lush forested landscapes, and scenic views all around. Yumthang valley is about 25kms from Lachung located at an altitude of 11,800 ft and takes about 1.5 hours of drive. The name Yumthang Valley means ‘Valley of Flowers’. But it is the ‘Valley of Rhododendrons’. Because here rhododendron flowers are spread for miles and in many different colors like purple, blue, red, pink, etc.
The next morning we started at Yumthang and Zero Point. Without another tourist in sight, the off-season adventure was unraveling rather delightfully. The intimacy of a landscape shared only with you and no one else was a rare joy. The obscured mountainscapes and bone-chilling weather were no match to the incredible beauty of the resplendent greenery veiled in a coat of grey mist. Driving along the flower-filled grazing pastures of Yumthang and the desolate high grounds of Zero Point, we wished with all our might that the landslide would be cleared even as were being lambasted by relentless downpour without a single minute’s respite. Zero Point is the last outpost. No motorable road is ahead. It is calm and quiet. Later we returned to Gangtok, reached there late evening, and after dinner, we took a long sleep after a tiring hilly journey.
While returning the whole valley was resplendent and the rain created a magical atmosphere. One where waterfalls can be heard but not seen and one where mountains cannot be seen but felt. Visibility was as low as 3-4 meters. There was mist all around and the journey was very dangerous.
The next morning we started the Trip towards Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir
It is a 54 km drive from Gangtok to Nathula Pass. The road to Nathula follows the ancient Silk Route and passes along Lake Tsongmo, a beautiful glacial lake on the north side. Make sure you stop here and enjoy the scenery against the backdrop of mountains and colorful prayer flags. For those who want to do more, there is also the option of taking a yak ride. A little ahead you also get a view of the twin lakes, lying side by side reflecting a dark green shade of water.
As for that, there is a lot of rain and due to bad weather, we’ll not be able to visit the Nathula Pass and Baba mandir. We come across many waterfalls. The road is not good. There was a landslide and the road has been destroyed. Big small stones are spread on the road. The work is going on. We were surprised by the skill of Lama who was driving on such a bad road. The beautiful Mt. Kanchenjunga stood majestically and the sight enthralled us in its beauty that we momentarily forgot how cold the early morning winds were.
The next day we left for sightseeing Gangtok, The world-famous Rumtek Monastery is located on a hilltop and hence we had to walk a long way. As we reached, I stood there contemplating the appealing beauty of this magnificent architect. The edifice itself was revealing the rich Tibetan culture. We got to see the huge Buddha statues, the scripts, the paintings, and the Lamas. My eyes caught some papers which were currencies of different countries. Later one of the Lamas told about the huge inflow of tourists every day from different parts of the world. There we had our breakfast in a stall below and bought some mementos. Next, we enjoyed a ropeway ride (1/2km), from where we could see the whole Gangtok, a wonderful sight and a thrilling experience.
In the evening we went to MG marg, a lovely place to move and stroll about. We also visited the Lal Market. To know a place and its people, the market is the best place. Gangtok is absolutely beautiful and the hospitality of the people is remarkable. But Gangtok on foot is all the more splendid. The law and order and maintenance of public places are worth mentioning. I simply love this place and look forward to coming here again sometime.
Pelling, Sikkim Trip
I found this place more beautiful than I have heard. Pelling is an approx 5 hour journey from Gangtok. We reached Pelling late evening and en route visited the Large Gautama Buddha statue in Buddha Park of Ravangla. Believe me, selling in Sikkim is unforgettable throughout your life. It is located at a height of 7200 ft above sea level. This place took my breath away. Its beauty was something I can’t explain in words. There were several waterfalls and breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga and Himalaya; the two main mountains. We did capture some memorable photographs there and see hundreds of waterfalls along the way.
We also visited Siddhesvara Dham (2011) which is a unique pilgrimage-tourism venture of the Sikkim Government. Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling inaugurated this. 87-ft statue of Lord Shiva and replicas of four Dhaams of the country, all at one place on the Solophok hilltop in Namchi. There are replicas of the “Dwadasa Jyotirlingas” (the twelve jyotirlingas) of Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Viswanath, Trimbakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageswar, Rameshwar at Rameswaram and Grishneshwar surrounding the statue of Lord Shiva and the Char Dhams. There is a grand statue of Kirateshvar Mahadev and a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba too.
We saw Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkim government in honor of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia who owns several football schools all over India.
Pelling Sikkim Sightseeing
The next morning we visited some places near Pelling. Here I am sharing pictures of the Pemayangtse Monastery near Pelling, Singshore Bridge, Kanchenjunga Falls, and the holy Khecheopalri Lake. I cannot begin to describe the peace I felt visiting such a spiritual place. The noise pollution is close to nil, the vast landscape filled with greenery and there is peace all around! You can feel the calmness entering your body and well to me this was what I’d expected out of my journey.
Darjeeling Trip from Sikkim
The morning after breakfast we started for Darjeeling, Today’s journey was full of hurdles. As the road work was going on, many times we had to stop. We had so many experiences. At one point they were repairing the road which was damaged due to landslides. Once road diversion was given so again a long run! We stopped to witness landslides. After the road was cleared, we started our journey. On the way I stopped at a tea estate cafe to have tea. After all, we all Reached Darjeeling safely late in the night.
Darjeeling is situated in a pine-clad valley, with the town clinging to the steep mountainsides, consisting of small houses, shops, and taller concrete townhouses linked by numerous small narrow streets, alleys, and steps. We walked up the hillside, slightly out of breath, due to a combination of the steepness and also the altitude, to the Mall. The Mall, which sits high up on the mountain should have spectacular views but we were thwarted by low clouds and mist, is a square surrounded by small shops selling tourist fare, an excellent bookshop, tea shops, and restaurants.
Today was the last day of our unforgettable Sikkim Darjeeling tour. After breakfast, we departed from the hotel towards Bagdogra airport, en route to visit Tea plantations covering vast areas of the mountainside, as you might expect in Darjeeling. We had an interesting tour of the Jay Shree Tea Factory, seeing the labour-intensive and largely manual processes of tea production. Later we reached the Bagdogra Airport to catch a flight to Kolkata, Kolkata the group had to board the flight to Malaysia. This unforgettable tour now comes to an end and leaves beautiful memories forever.