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Old 15th July 2023, 11:24   #1
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It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

The combination of Lazy Turtle and Sikkim has many memories and even after 9 years, I still feel very safe and most reliable in Lazy Turtle. On the other hand, the new THAR is waiting at home to hit the mountain and my brother wants to take me with him for the first time. It was only a couple of weeks after I returned from Chisang and Munsong trips (Tishan meets Chisang along with Munsong, Tukvar, and The Queen of Hills) so it was a little difficult to get long holidays. We could arrange only 2-3 days and extend the weekend to have a short trip to our all-time favorite Sikkim.

As the trip was very small, rather than blogging it day by day, let me just put the highlights of the trip and keep it short.


If I cut down the journey from Kolkata to Siliguri and Siliguri to Kolkata, then the overall journey is visible in the above shared map.

Day 0 and Day 1:
Kolkata → Kalna → Krishnagar → Dalkhola → Siliguri → Melli → Manchi → Ravangla → Borong → Phamthang[/FONT][/COLOR]

Day 2:
Phamthang → Unknown Road towards Tashiding → Back to Phamthnag

Day 3:
Phamthnag → Jorethang → Tukvar Tea Garden → Darjeeling → Mim Basti → Siamana Basti[/FONT][/COLOR]

Day 3:
Siamana → Mirik → Kolkata

The Phamthang Story:

We started the journey after our regular office work and had dinner at Krishnagar. From there we took very few breaks and drove directly to Phamthang. I am not sure if there are other options or not but as the homestay owner became a very good friend of mine after repeated visits to Borong, I decided to stay at Chandra Kala’s place and requested her to keep our lunch even though we were a little late on the journey. On a quick note, Chandra Kala is the homestay owner and on this trip, we mean me, my brother ( Tanmoy ), and one of my cousin brothers ( Debashish who was with me on the Ladakh trip).

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-20220811_174315.jpg
Starting from Newtown, Kolkata

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Morning on highway

On this trip, I was not much interested in driving the THAR, rather guiding my brother to drive on a hill and giving him some confidence. So initially I took the rear seat while starting from home, but after 100-150 KM I felt very uncomfortable in the rear seat of THAR and decided to take either the driving seat or co-driving seat. So for the rest of the trip mostly my elder brother found the rear seat peaceful as he did not have to fold the seat every time someone wanted to come out from the rear seat of the THAR.

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-20220812_131229.jpg

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-20220812_165354.jpg

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5528.jpg

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Some random snaps between Ravangla to Phamthang

As per the schedule, we reached Phamthang before Lunch on day-1. As it was the rainy season, We found many waterfalls here and there on the way. And getting there in Phamthang we discovered that it is a different world. The village has very little population and I have seen only one shop there. While my elder brother was more interested in sitting on the balcony and watching the panoramic view of Mt. Nursing from our stay itself, Tanmoy and I went out for a walk and explored the surroundings. The entire area was lush green and decorated with natural flowers. After we returned back from the walk it started raining and we lazy brothers spent the evening sitting in a tea house and looking at the mountains.

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Inside room

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Sitting are for tea snacks or some view

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Thar Possing on the first time

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Reflection

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Our Stay

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Happy Hours

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It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5621.jpg

To be continued ...

Last edited by Aditya : 16th July 2023 at 06:33. Reason: As requested
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Old 15th July 2023, 11:54   #2
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Phamthang Story Continued ...

The next morning while having a beautiful breakfast sitting in the garden surrounded by flowers and mountains in different layers, we discussed that nothing can be done better than just spending another day here. And as agreed we just spent the day in Phamthang itself. In the later part of the day, we thought of exploring the other roads and the area a little bit and that was a fantastic idea to try some unknown roads. Met some local people, one of them offered us tea and many interesting stories of their daily life.


It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-20220813_142230.jpg

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It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5811.jpg

To be continued ...
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Old 15th July 2023, 12:01   #3
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Phamthang Story Continued ...

Before returning to Homestay again, we visited our old friend’s house in Borong. Probably 5-6 times I was there when Mr. Y.B Guring used to run a homestay in Borong. As he is not running the homestay now and planning to build a new accommodation for guests, this time we missed his place. However, Mr. Gurung and his family welcome me and my brothers. Offered us some food and homemade wine and then packed many gifts and sine for our home. On the way back we again met our old friend Miss Sachita Gurung to have our all-time favorite tea in her house. Every time we meet she offers the tea and this is one of the best teas I have till now thanks to Sachita’s mom for preparing the ingredients of the tea at home.

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5826.jpg

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5835.jpg

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All-Time favorite Y.B's place



Again another silent evening at Phamthang and yet the best place I can remember to spend a lazy day alone doing nothing.

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It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5851.jpg

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Some more pictures of Phamthang after returning from Borong.

To be continued ...
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Old 15th July 2023, 12:12   #4
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

The Return Story:

We had no hurry to return home, yet we had no plan to visit other places. So we just started after breakfast from Phamtnag thinking that we will be driving towards Darjeeling. If the time matches, we can spend some time at Keventers and then we will see where to go next.

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5882.jpg

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5884.jpg
Returning from Phamthang

I wanted my brother to drive on the Jorethang - Darjeeling road for a good experience, so from Phamthang we came to Jorethang first and then took the road towards Darjeeling via the Tukvar tea garden. In the Tukvar tea garden, we met another friend who invited us knowing that we were traveling on the route and then when we reached Darjeeling it was raining cats and dogs. So I did not find it suitable to park the vehicle somewhere and then walk to Keventers in this heavy rain. We preferred to move ahead towards Mim Basti and it can be a place for our night stay. We reached ‘Little Forest Homestay’ which is absolutely a great stay in Mim Basti. However, it was overbooked for the day and we did not get any accommodation there. There is another homestay just before the homestay where the owner was suffering from a fever and was not interested in hosting anyone for the day. So with no options, we came back to Simana. We did not get any accommodation in Mim Basti. I think it was a nice experience getting there and the part about reaching the ‘Little Forest Homestay’ is very interesting.

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5888.jpg

It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5896.jpg

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It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5903.jpg
Tukvar Tea Garden


At Simana, it was still raining heavily and already dark. So we were ready for anything and any kind of stay for the day. But here we were literally Lucky. Found a good stay and a nice host Mr. Chamba Bhutiya. He not only offered us a very minimal cost for the day, but He also walked us through the story of his previous generation and many antique collections. We were overwhelmed by his accompaniment for the entire evening and at the same time we were a little upset thinking that we do not have time to spend a day here and explore some unknown place nearby he was talking about. It's parked for someday and there is always a next time.

The next morning we started a little early considering that we needed to reach Kolkata on that day. Took many halts in different places of Mirik to enjoy the greenery in the clouds, and drove another 600+ odd KMs to reach home and join the office the next day.


It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang-tkd_5908.jpg

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Random Snaps on the Mirik Road


Thanks for Reading -
PointZero
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Old 15th July 2023, 19:00   #5
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

I have worked close to these places for almost three years and was fortunate to explore some of them on my motorcycle.
Lovely pics I must say.
You have captured the true essence of Sikkim and North Bengal through your lens and very beautifully.
Since your posts are more focussed on photography, I would request if you could please post the EXIF data along with the photographs.
That would be a great help for learners like me. Thanks.

Last edited by aviator1101 : 15th July 2023 at 19:01. Reason: Added content
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Old 16th July 2023, 13:40   #6
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Vow, what a beautiful place. Nice travelogue and great photos. Do you have an automatic or manual Thar also is it 4x4? How was the performance and drive comfort. Especially the rear passenger, will you recommend the rear seat to a claustrophobic person. Can you please share the contact details of the home stays. Thank you.
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Old 18th July 2023, 00:02   #7
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviator1101 View Post
I have worked close to these places for almost three years and was fortunate to explore some of them on my motorcycle.
Lovely pics I must say.
You have captured the true essence of Sikkim and North Bengal through your lens and very beautifully.
Since your posts are more focussed on photography, I would request if you could please post the EXIF data along with the photographs.
That would be a great help for learners like me. Thanks.
Thank you very much Aviator1101, I will try to post EXIF data but it is not available for most of the photograph. If you want me to post exact location of a particular photograph, i can share you the location surely.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kkumar View Post
Vow, what a beautiful place. Nice travelogue and great photos. Do you have an automatic or manual Thar also is it 4x4? How was the performance and drive comfort. Especially the rear passenger, will you recommend the rear seat to a claustrophobic person. Can you please share the contact details of the home stays. Thank you.
Thank you very much Kumar,
The THAR is 4x4, Manual, Diesel. Frankly speaking it is very uncomfortable and rear seat not at all recommended for anyone. Infact I can not sit more than a hour in rear seat when my brother drive it.

Contact person for the homestay is - Chandra Kala Rai - +91 83730 65226
Location - https://maps.app.goo.gl/7E9vKgqksK4yE4AeA
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Old 18th July 2023, 18:39   #8
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Excellent writing with enchanting puctures. Keep it up.
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Old 18th July 2023, 19:55   #9
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

From a BHPian from these parts ,your post is really appreciated. My hometown is Ravangla, which is the nearest town from Phamthang. Also,the unknown road you mentioned you took from Phamthang to Tashiding is the Dhupi - Karzee road which goes through the villages of, you guessed it , Karzee and Dhupi Narkhola.
Cheers from Sikkim and I hope other BHPians are inspired from your post to visit our humble state of Sikkim.
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Old 29th July 2023, 12:18   #10
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Excellent thread and nice pictures. Thanks for taking the time and posting.

How was the experience of long drive from Kolkata to Siliguri in THAR. Also if you can share details on how THAR performed in the hills.
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Old 12th September 2023, 19:39   #11
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Re: It is difficult to be unhappy in Sikkim - Phamthang

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayata View Post
Excellent writing with enchanting puctures. Keep it up.
Thank you very much Sayata Da.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetroHeadRig View Post
From a BHPian from these parts ,your post is really appreciated. My hometown is Ravangla, which is the nearest town from Phamthang. Also,the unknown road you mentioned you took from Phamthang to Tashiding is the Dhupi - Karzee road which goes through the villages of, you guessed it , Karzee and Dhupi Narkhola.
Cheers from Sikkim and I hope other BHPians are inspired from your post to visit our humble state of Sikkim.
Thanks PetroHeadRig,
South Sikkim is always a favorite place for me and I have no counts of visiting Ravangla and Borong in last 10 years. Would you mind to PM your contact, I will be happy to meet you in my next trip to South Sikkim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kousikjana View Post
Excellent thread and nice pictures. Thanks for taking the time and posting.

How was the experience of long drive from Kolkata to Siliguri in THAR. Also if you can share details on how THAR performed in the hills.
Thanks kousikjana,
To me, journey of THAR is really tiring compared to my Bolero whereas THAR provide more power, powerful ac and better brakes compare to my Bolero. In hill both perform well, still I will say I feel more confident in Bolero as it is a BS4 and has very minimal electronics.
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