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Old 4th July 2010, 19:11   #31
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Excellent pics Tarunbull.

North-east is really beautiful and deserve greater tourism attraction then it has got so far. Reminded me our several visits to that reason during 2001-2004. But, yes, On Rajhdhani Exp. and Sumos only, not the driving trips.
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Old 4th July 2010, 20:01   #32
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Our driver tells us that Tenzing rock climb is an important point. Wow..Tenzing rock climb!!! As later turned out it was a small hillock where kids can climb using ropes and have some fun. Tenzing never saw this rock let alone climbing it.

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There is little bit drizzling again. We settle for darjeeling tea as the kids have fun in climbing.

The next halt is at the tea estates. Ladies and kids take turn to wear the traditional dresses and get themselves clicked. Gents get bored. But get themselves clicked with their respective Chaiwali.

We decide to halt at Chowrasta and shop for daily need items. We take our lunch and enjoy some nice aloo paranthas.

The last point of the day is Dhoom Gompa. We attend the evening prayers. The Buddha statue in the Gompa is fabulous.

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Old 4th July 2010, 21:07   #33
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Default Mirik

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Excellent pics Tarunbull.

North-east is really beautiful and deserve greater tourism attraction then it has got so far. Reminded me our several visits to that reason during 2001-2004. But, yes, On Rajhdhani Exp. and Sumos only, not the driving trips.
Thank for the appreciation.

We enquire for the DHR and were told that the train is not operating since last 2-3 months.

Kids are very disappointed. What now? We settle for a tour to Mirik Lake and Nepal border.

24 Sep

We leave for Mirik at 8AM. The drive is beautiful through the tea gardens. Ladies have a headache and some are vomitting due to cold air. We manage to reach at 9.30AM. The lake seems good but neglected. The surrounding beauty was good. It seemed like a place what it should be but is not. The so called garden is a small grassy patch. We decide to take the pedalling boat ride.

Well..the boat with my group is not behaving. The right pedal does not work. We change the boats and go for our ride for an hour.

Its time to leave. We traverse the route back through the tea gardens. We head towards Pasupati Market in Nepal. Ladies are excited on prospects of shopping. Their moods are elevated. We leave our sumo, cross the border walking 20m and catch a van from Nepal side. The market is few kms from the border. Nothing much to shop in the market. The same chinese stuff and overpriced. Some very nice copies of brands viz Rayban, Adidas etc. The van gives you time for an hour. So, its time to move. I love such asystem. Ladies disappointed. Gents happy. Kids busy with new found toys.
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Old 4th July 2010, 23:07   #34
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Default Darjeeling

We return back from Mirik at late evening. The experience was just average. Missed the DHR too much. All the gents played sweep and ladies chatted around till late at night. Next day we had to go out to see sunrise at Tiger Hill. The weather condition not too well when we go off to sleep at 1AM! The driver was to come at 3AM as there was an hours drive to the hill.

I get a call to wake up. I decline to go. Only three adults are ready to go. But I am not able to sleep again. The excitement wont let me sleep as one of them tells me weather is clear. I get ready quickly. Wife fast asleep and mumbles that she does n't want to go. So, finally four of us leave at 3:15 AM. We are there by 4AM. Boy!!! there was no place to go ahead. It was jam all over. We leave the vehicle and quickly march towards top. The driver to follow on own time. The upper deck is full and no tickets available. We settle for the lower deck. The floor is fully packed. It was a three storey tower for observation with glass windows all around. We can just barely manage a little space near the glass window and the wait for the sunrise begins......

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Old 4th July 2010, 23:17   #35
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I missed a camera stand and a better camera (which I still miss till day). The sun rise was at time but we got the view later on as there were clouds. But clouds added the colour to the scene. I just thought that had I not come here I would have missed something. I pitied the fellows who were in deep slumber.

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Old 4th July 2010, 23:25   #36
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Finally the sun could be seen. We stayed there for some more time as people started leaving the place. I had heard people not being lucky to witness the sunrise due to bad weather. And here it was me, who almost dropped this chance for some petty sleep .

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Old 5th July 2010, 00:40   #37
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Default Darjeeling to Kamlimpong to Rambik

After the sunrise at Tiger Hill we reach back at about 7AM. Everybody is awake and ready. We would tease them for days to come with our sunrise pics. We take breakfast and leave for Kalimpong. This time not pretty sure as to where we would be staying in night. Kalimpong or somewhere near Siliguri.

We get down Darjeeling and climb up Kalimpong. We can see Teesta for a long time. We head for Durpin Dara first. It provides some spectacular view of teesta, valley and mountains. There are some beautiful flowers there. As we reach there we find ourselves among clouds. What a beauty!

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Old 5th July 2010, 01:23   #38
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Aah, this travelogue made me nostalgic of my trip to Sikkim long time back. We couldn't go to Nathula pass as we couldn't collect the passes due to some stupid bandh or something. Nice travelogue and photos, keep them coming.
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Old 6th July 2010, 01:06   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Aah, this travelogue made me nostalgic of my trip to Sikkim long time back. We couldn't go to Nathula pass as we couldn't collect the passes due to some stupid bandh or something. Nice travelogue and photos, keep them coming.
Thanks for the compliments. The photos will continue today in the evening. Its an achievement to make to it to Nathu La considering various constraints of weather, time, permit etc. I feel myself lucky to do so.
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Old 6th July 2010, 14:18   #40
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Default Kalimpong

After capturing the beauty of Durpin Dara we head for the cactus Nursery. The name of Nursery is Pineview Catus Nursery. The gentleman is Mr Pradhan and he grows them as his hobby. There are some wonderful cactus plants there incl some rare ones. See for yourself....

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Old 6th July 2010, 14:31   #41
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The website of the nursery is as under :-

PINEVIEW NURSERY - The Exotic Cactus Collection nursery which has the largest collection of cacti, in the whole of Asia, holds a place of pride for the citizens, Christened the PineView Nursery, it has over 1,500 different varieties of cactuses.

They offer booking of the house too. Nearby there is a house where Noble Winner R N Tagore lived for some time. The cactus are grown in the green house tents maintaining the right amount of heat. Some cactus are rare. The cactus are available for sale too.

Disclaimer : I have never met them. The information is purely my experience and not a promotion.

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Old 6th July 2010, 14:41   #42
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There are some more. I just love the cactus with flowers. Never thought a cactus could be so beautiful. BTW they sell the cactus too. Remember the disclaimer?

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Old 6th July 2010, 14:54   #43
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We move on to a wild life museum. Nothing much there. We have a look at Dr Graham's Home from outside. The last place is Tharpa Choeling Gompa.

Let me bring out some disadvantages of such a long trip. The kids and ladies are specially tired of getting up early every morning and travelling in mountains. It would be a disaster if they keep sulking down.

So, we decided to cut down the stay at Kalimpong and head for Rambik along the NH and Teesta and a take one full day rest.

We reach the guest room in late evening. It is located at a height and gives an excellent view of Teesta and hydro power project. On 26 Sep we sleep till late. Play cards. Ladies arrange their baggage. We stroll in jungles. Kids play in a small park next to the guest room.

By evening, their moods are bright and they are raring to head for next part of our journey.
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Old 6th July 2010, 20:03   #44
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Hi TaureanBull

good snaps there. i have some basic question.

what is the difference in North East compared to . Delhi or North India or South India.

I am interested in knowing the difference in food habits, living methods, lifestyles, social enviornment, people behavior, language issues, security situation etc etc.

these would important for a newbei like mw when i plan to travel that part of India on my own/by own vehicle.
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Old 6th July 2010, 21:07   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi TaureanBull

good snaps there. i have some basic question.

what is the difference in North East compared to . Delhi or North India or South India.

I am interested in knowing the difference in food habits, living methods, lifestyles, social enviornment, people behavior, language issues, security situation etc etc.

these would important for a newbei like mw when i plan to travel that part of India on my own/by own vehicle.
Thanks for the appreciation. You know what you have asked can make for a full book. IMO you want to know from tourism point of view. What exact is the difference you will come to know when you travel.

Food Habits. The culture itself differs in entire NE. More popular are oriental dishes, momos and non-veg. However, this is popular among the locales, for a tourist everything is available from alu parantha to dosa.

Lifestyle/living Methods etc. They have their own style of dresses. In cities, you can find western dresses. The girls are pretty advanced in dressing. Discipline is better. Education level is very high.

Language. You will not have problem in speaking there. Everyone knows English. Most of them have workable knowledge of Hindi. So, no language problem.

People Behaviour. IMO whatever I dealt with people they were friendly and helpful. Persons related to tourism may be cunning at times but thats all over the world.

Security Situation Well..now except Manipur most of NE is peaceful and nothing to worry of. At the most you may get stuck in a Bandh which is observed pretty seriously. So, be on a lookout for these. Refrain from making any discussions/talks related to culture comparison and such like things.

Etc.,etc.

1. Its one of the beautiful places which is underestimated probably because of lots of political problems.

2. The road conditions are average. A high GC vehicle would be preferable. Petrol pumps are near the cities. May not get one for long stretches. Top up while leaving a city. No jerricans etc required.

3. Hotels are plenty and available for all budgets. Advisable to book before hand. Food is reasonably priced.

4. Wherever a permit is required viz Nathu La, be well informed. Like Nathu La is open only three of the days in a week. I dont remember exactly now. Its available on the websites. The permit would have to be procured a day in advance and it needs passport photo two for each person travelling (incl a kid) and photo ID. Dont forget to carry them. Cater for time for procuring the permit. Best go to a tour operator and pay money to obtain the permit.

5. Make an itinerary before you leave of a day wise program. Cater for time taken in mountain driving (25km/hr max average speed).

6. Carry adequate woollens (light if going in summer and heavy during winters). An umbrella may turn out to be handy.

7. IMO sep/oct are best months for visit.

8. Its India after all. Just relax and have a great time.

Any other query just bring it on anytime.
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