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Old 9th April 2010, 08:27   #136
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Awesome pics near the lake & no words to describe feelings & Rs 150 for room is like killer; were they marie biscuits thrown in the lake for the ducks?

A month of leave from office & 2 weeks stay at Samphelgang (sounded Swamp Hell Gang to me) with daily visits to lake sounds WOW to me.

The hotel snowwhite is way to expensive I guess, they extract money even to smell Chowmein, tea & coffee
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Old 9th April 2010, 11:01   #137
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Rs 150 for room is like killer; were they marie biscuits thrown in the lake for the ducks?

A month of leave from office & 2 weeks stay at Samphelgang... with daily visits to lake sounds WOW to me.
Yes, Marie and Parle-G seem to be the fishes' fav diet. 2 weeks there is perhaps a great holiday idea.

Now that we've seen the Pemayangtse Monastery, we need to move on towards Darjeeling.

My usual vehicle inspection reveals this spare tyre on the Sumo.

It looks bald at first glance, but it is actually a brand new tyre covered by a tube section. Why? Because it then looks old, and that reduces chances of theft. Our owner-driver, J B Tamang, says theft from cars is rampant in the Darjeeling area.
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Some pictures from the road...
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Quote:
These hot water springs are popularly known as Phur Cha Chu sulphur baths in Reshi, 4 km. from Legship. Near the hot water springs is the ‘Cave of the Occult Fairies’or Kah-do Sang phu, which has sacred significance for the local people.
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Hydel project work in progress on the Rangit River.
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We find this easy rider cruising along at a steady 35 km/h, enjoying his ride.
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We stop along the way to attend to the task of making Sikkim greener, and I hear a hiss from the rear left tyre. It's deflating slowly. I call Tamang over, and he looks at me incredulously. How did you know? Well, we change the tyre, and discover the cause.
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Stop at a tyre shop at Nayabazar to repair the tyre, but no joy.
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Cross the bridge into Jorethang, and no luck there either.
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After trying 3 shops in Jorethang, we finally find one who is willing to do the repair. Monday is a holiday at Nayabazar and Jorethang, therefore our predicament.

We find this brand new Figo in Jorethang!
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And we cross back over the Akar Bridge and move on towards Darjeeling.
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Gorkhaland, here we come...
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Last edited by SS-Traveller : 9th April 2010 at 11:08.
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Old 9th April 2010, 11:34   #138
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Once we are into West Bengal (hush... never say West Bengal here, it's Gorkhaland) and headed towards Darjeeling, the road becomes narrow, steep and poor, but the scenery is spectacular. We wind through tea gardens with plenty of wheelspin (no 2WD climbs these roads during the rains, they become so slippery), past little villages with pretty houses and children going to school...
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...until we are stopped by the unofficial Gorkahaland police - the GLP as they call themselves, and members of the Singla-Tukver-Samasty (STS).

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They look inside our baggage for liquor from Sikkim, make me delete photos I take of them (though they wouldn't explain fully who they are or why they want their photos deleted), and finally let us go. The two pics above were taken on the sly.

Subsequent conversation in Darjeeling with a Gorkhaland sympathiser reveals the real identity of the people at the checkpost, and the reason they don't want their pictures taken - because the West Bengal Police start looking for and harassing them. The above photos do not identify any person, therefore I feel they are publishable (not that I am pro- or anti-Gorkhaland - I really don't have any opinion regarding this).
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Old 9th April 2010, 11:48   #139
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Soon after the checkpost is Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung's village. Plenty of roadwork going on here.
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The fog suddenly rolls in as we approach Darjeeling.
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Two Land Rovers parked on the side of the road - and after this, I didn't sight even one during the rest of our stay in Darjeeling!
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We enter Darjeeling and manipulate through its chaotic and disorderly traffic...
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...and arrive at our hotel - the Dekeling, strategically located next to the Planters' Club.
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Only problem - the hotel is on the fourth floor! So how do we get our baggage up there? Like this...
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Old 9th April 2010, 17:16   #140
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SS, please finish it off by today if possible.
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Old 9th April 2010, 18:12   #141
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Originally Posted by Proxima View Post
SS, please finish it off by today if possible.
I'll try, but doesn't look like I can. Sent you a PM.

As the fog continues to dim out the sun over Darjeeling, we are ravenously hungry. Keventer's nearby looks inviting, and the sit-out on the first floor verandah gives us a great view all around. For the committed non-vegetarians among you, there's no place like Keventer's to eat to your heart's content. Artery-clogging, VLDL-rich, super-high-protein, and totally anti-medical-advice, but could you possibly have such a full non-veg lunch for 5 people for Rs.700 (including an ultra-strong flavourfully large pot of coffee) anywhere else? Enjoy the view...

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At the end of your meal and coffee, with a view over Darjeeling like you have, you'd look as philosophical as this gentleman does.

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And if it is a clear day and the Kanchenjunga can be seen in the distance, heaven would have competition from this location.

(Vegetarians please don't flame me...)
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Old 9th April 2010, 18:19   #142
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Wow, the food looks mouth watering. Any place like this in Sikkim - Gangtok, Peeling, Lachen, Lachung?

Got your PM, thanks a lot. Will call you tomorrow morning to get some last minute tips.
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Old 10th April 2010, 21:13   #143
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Originally Posted by Proxima View Post
Wow, the food looks mouth watering. Any place like this in Sikkim - Gangtok, Peeling, Lachen, Lachung?
Can't recall any like this, but don't forget to try out Cacao at Gangtok (M G Road) for some terrific chicken patties, pastries and coffee.

==========================

Other interesting places to eat that we tried out in Darjeeling include the Glenary's Cake Shop, and of course, street food.

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Old 10th April 2010, 22:04   #144
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To continue on the subject of food, here's a pic of Keventer's price list from 1966!
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A stroll on the mall reveals many interesting sounds, sights and characters.
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Tuesday, 30th March, 2010:
Everybody who visits Darjeeling goes there. So we must too. It is inconsequential that the weather is cloudy, cold and foggy, and there are more chances of spotting the yeti than of seeing the sun. But it's destination Tiger Hill, at 4:30 am.
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The place is now seriously commercialised, and thirty bucks each gets us into the Deluxe Lounge...
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...along with about a thousand other people in a room that can accommodate about a hundred - while below you there are five hundred cars in a parking space that can accommodate about 50.
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A bad-mouth yells his lungs out selling prints at three times their regular price...
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...and if you are good at rugby you can grab yourself a free cup of tea, drink it and toss the plastic cup out of the window, to help conservationists turn over in their graves.
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Of course, we neither see the sun rise, nor catch a glimpse of the snow-capped peaks that look so glorious as they are lit up by the first rays. What the heck, we didn't even see a toy train in operation - just an engine doing trial runs because ECL sent DHR some useless coal which messed up the engines. The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | North Bengal & Sikkim | Fresh coal fails to fire toy train ride. So here's a pic of both pics!
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Next stop - the Ghoom monastery. Less a place of worship, more a fish market.
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The Batasia loop with its Gorkha Memorial is also a market more than a memorial,
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...and there are enough idiots in this world who believe that telescopes and binoculars give them x-ray vision to see through fog at mountain ranges!

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Other stops - the Japanese temple and Peace Pagoda (nice, clean, really peaceful inside, and a change from the other places)...
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... and the zoo (well-maintained, though "Bengal" is a much-hated word in Gorkhaland, so the Indian tiger finds residence here.
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Old 10th April 2010, 22:57   #145
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Once we are into West Bengal (hush... never say West Bengal here, it's Gorkhaland) and headed towards Darjeeling, the road becomes narrow, steep and poor, but the scenery is spectacular. We wind through tea gardens with plenty of wheelspin (no 2WD climbs these roads during the rains, they become so slippery), past little villages with pretty houses and children going to school...
Really SS, you have outed one of my "secret" roads. (If on a bike, you can try Manjithar. Also ... No, no let some secrets remain secrets)

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...
Rs.700 (including an ultra-strong flavourfully large pot of coffee) anywhere else?
(Vegetarians please don't flame me...)
Sacrilege. Coffee in the land of tea. (Keventers- you will be dealt with separately). Tea lovers:- Pls. unite and flame SS

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 10th April 2010, 23:12   #146
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Really SS, you have outed one of my "secret" roads. (If on a bike, you can try Manjithar. Also ... No, no let some secrets remain secrets)
Well, some day, I'll go back and find those roads... if my handle on the forum means anything...

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Sacrilege. Coffee in the land of tea. (Keventers- you will be dealt with separately). Tea lovers:- Pls. unite and flame SS
Finding good Darjeeling tea in Darjeeling at reasonable prices is tougher than finding a shop that does not bear the label of "Gorkhaland". It took us 2 days and some help from a relative to discover a small shop in the depths of a market on Hill Cart Road, from where we bought over 3 kg of tea of terrific quality, including some white tea!!! Individually packed in small quantities to retain the flavour, and at prices that are way below the stuff available in branded shops on the Mall. For me, tea is sacrosanct; if there is no good tea available, I prefer coffee.

But then, you're the tea specialist...

Edit: Oh yes, I carry my own tea and kettle during my travels.

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Old 11th April 2010, 00:58   #147
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Finding good Darjeeling tea in Darjeeling at reasonable prices is tougher than finding a shop that does not bear the label of "Gorkhaland". It took us 2 days and some help from a relative to discover a small shop in the depths of a market on Hill Cart Road, from where we bought over 3 kg of tea of terrific quality, including some white tea!!! Individually packed in small quantities to retain the flavour, and at prices that are way below the stuff available in branded shops on the Mall. For me, tea is sacrosanct; if there is no good tea available, I prefer coffee.

But then, you're the tea specialist...

Edit: Oh yes, I carry my own tea and kettle during my travels.
MY house is right here. infront of Big Bazaar and beside GPO.
Gross Travelling Happiness - Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling-mahakal-my-house..jpg

and about an authentic land rover sighting. You should have walked little further and would have been able to sight my LR in the Garage.

The two LWB that you saw has mazda engine. Preety wrecked up. One is owned by an old chap, I give him lot of parts as he used to work in our saw mill long ago.


About the Tea!

Just below the Capitol Building (clock tower) and further just there is Nathmulls. They are veteran in this field.

For authentic garden fresh, haven't you visited Makaibari, its on the way down to Siliguri, the Pankhabari Bypass.

Last edited by SirAlec : 11th April 2010 at 01:00.
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Old 11th April 2010, 12:37   #148
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Well, some day, I'll go back and find those roads... if my handle on the forum means anything...
Handle or signature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Finding good Darjeeling tea in Darjeeling ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
...
About the Tea!
....
For authentic garden fresh, haven't you visited Makaibari, its on the way down to Siliguri, the Pankhabari Bypass.
Seriously?
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Old 11th April 2010, 14:56   #149
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MY house is right here. infront of Big Bazaar and beside GPO.
...without you in the house! Well, better luck to me next time!
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Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
About the Tea!

Just below the Capitol Building (clock tower) and further just there is Nathmulls. They are veteran in this field.

For authentic garden fresh, haven't you visited Makaibari, its on the way down to Siliguri, the Pankhabari Bypass.
Nathmulls is good, so is Makaibari (though we didn't get the time to stop at Makaibari on the way down), but the gentleman we located at the market gave us very good prices for great quality.
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Handle or signature?
Both. As well as the avatar.
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Old 11th April 2010, 23:11   #150
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Seriously?
Yeah they have been doing this for many generations.

they have range upto 50k per Kg that are exported and bought by crazy british mostly.

Nathmulls :: Show Room
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