nordic visitor: plumtree apartments SHidden Forest GUESTHOUSE $$ (%205197;…

Apart from its vaguely interesting Sunday market, Geyzing is most useful as West Sikkim s transport hub. Frequent shared jeeps go to Jorethang ( 60, 1 hours), plumtree apartments Legship ( 25, 30 minutes), Pelling plumtree apartments ( 25, 20 minutes), Tashiding ( 60, 1 hours) and Yuksom ( 70, 2 hours). Several serve Gangtok ( 140, seven to nine hours, 7am to 12.30pm), Ravangla ( 68, one hour, 9am and 11.45am) and Siliguri ( 150, four hours, 7am and 12.30pm).

NORTH SIKKIM TOUR TIPS A group size of four or five people plumtree apartments is ideal for sharing costs while not overfilling the jeep. To find jeep-share partners, try asking around at the cafe at New Modern Central Lodge (p 533 ) in Gangtok, around 6pm a few days before plumtree apartments you plan to travel. Less than four days is too rushed to comfortably visit both Yumthang/Lachung and Lachen. Three days is enough to see just Yumthang. Three-night, four- day tours range from around 6500 to 8000 per person for groups of four, depending on accommodation and vehicle plumtree apartments standards. A budget two-night, three-day tour starts around 4000 per person in a group of seven. Leave Gangtok early on the first day: it s a shame to arrive in the dark. Your (obligatory) guide is actually more of a translator. Don t assume he ll stop at all potential points of interest without prodding. Bring a torch (flashlight) and warm clothes. The little strip of roadside restaurants at Phodong (1815m) make it a popular lunch stop. About 1km southeast, near the Km39 post, a 15-minute walk along a side road leads to the Phodong Gompa (established in 1740), belonging to the Kagyu sect. The beautiful two-storey prayer hall contains extensive murals and a large statue of the 9th Karmapa. A rear room contains a hidden statue of Mahakala, a protective deity of the monastery.

This covered market is interesting for its range of traditional Himalayan produce, including churpi (dried cheese on a string), cow skin snacks, Tibetan tsampa (ground roasted barley), dried phing noodles and circular yeast patties used for brewing chhang (millet beer).

SHidden Forest GUESTHOUSE $$ (%205197;; Middle plumtree apartments Sichey Busty; s/d 1800/2000) A wonderful, friendly family-run hideaway on the edge of town, secluded on more than a hectare of fruit trees, orchid and flower nurseries. The
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