there: To get to
, the nearest airport is at Bagdogra (near Siliguri) and the nearest
railhead is at New Jalpaiguri (also near Siliguri). The journey into
is made by road (Siliguri to Gangtok -- 125 kms -- covered in 4 hours).
Numerous, daily bus services ply from Siliguri to Gangtok and Jorethang
Foreign tourists require a special permit, which is conveniently
available (for 15 days stay) from all Indian missions abroad.
has plenty of hotels and restaurants covering the entire range of most
tourists' budgets. Advance booking during Durga Pooja holidays is
, (connected directly by bus services to Siliguri) is now opening up as an
alternate destination to Gangtok -- especially for "second-time"
. There is a clutch of basic hotels at Pelling around the bus stand.
Yuksom -- the starting point of the Dzongri Trekking trail -- is deeper
. Though it is difficult to reach, it has two excellent budget hotels --
Hotel Demazong and Hotel Dzongrila.
is yet to find itself on the tourist map. Hotel Norbulingka at Namchi is a
homely place to use as a base to explore the towns and treks of
Season: The tourist
season is from April to October -- with a peak during the Durga Pooja
holidays. However, I recommend the months of February and March. The
weather may be severe during the nights, during these months -- but,, the
absence of crowds, the warmth of the locals towards the odd-tourist and
the solitude, make
truly a Shangri-La.