Arrival in Rinchenpong
Today, you’ll drive north from Darjeeling into western Sikkim, passing rich, green tea fields on the way. As Sikkim lies at a lower altitude than Ladakh in North West India, the countryside here is far more verdant, with dozens of little streams trickling down the valleys between the emerald hills. When you reach the tiny village of Rinchenpong, you’ll settle into your authentic family-run farmstay, where you’ll be treated to delicious meals made with vegetables from the farm.
After breakfast, you are free to explore the local area independently. The farmstay is situated on 44 hectares of land and there are all kinds of vegetables, fruits, flowers and trees growing here. Your friendly host family will happily take you on a tour around the land and tell you more about their daily life in the hills.
Rinchenpong to Pelling
After breakfast, your journey continues towards Pelling. Just before lunch, you’ll reach the Pemayangtse monastery, nestled between the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. The monastery provides a home to more than a hundred monks and serves as a religious school for Buddhist studies. You can gaze in awe at the amazing colourful murals, finely detailed wood carvings, and prayer wheels You’ll spend tonight in Pelling, and from your hotel window you’ll have a breathtaking view of Mount Kanchenjunga.
Khecheopalri Sacred Lake, Yuksom & Departure
Early this morning, you’ll set off on foot to the Sanga Choling Monastery. Perched on a hill with beautiful views of the green hills and snowy peaks, it’s the oldest monastery in Sikkim. Next, you’ll head to Khecheopalri Lake, surrounded by prayer flags fluttering in the wind between the trees. Steeped in serenity, this is a sacred lake for both Hindus and Buddhists.
From here, you’ll travel to the mountain village of Yuksom, passing tiny remote villages on the way. The original inhabitants of Sikkim, the Lepchas, live in these remote villages and have their own language and their own traditions. You’ll stay in one of the best hotels in town, which mixes traditional Tibetan and modern architecture.
The next day you’ll get ready for the journey to your next destination.
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