Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a 3-hour drive from Glenburn. Located at 5,800 feet, this picturesque town is famous for its monasteries, colourful bazaars and parks. Places of interest within Gangtok are the Namgayal Institute of Tibetology- a renowned center for Buddhist study, the Enchey Monastery, the Flower Exhibition Centre (open April-June and September-November), the Do-Drul chorten (stupa), and a number of view points on the outskirts of the city.
From Gangtok, one can visit the Rumtek Monastery, (24 kms away) - the largest monastery in Sikkim and the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa sect - the Botanical Gardens (24 kms away) and the Nathula Pass (56 kms away).
Nathula is a pass on the Indo-Chinese border. The road from Gangtok to Nathula passes through Tsongo Lake, and is covered with snow throughout the year. Indian tourists are allowed to get close to the international border and the Chinese soldiers can be seen protecting their side of the border. On specific days the Chinese authorities also allow tourists to visit the area and on these days tourists from both countries can see one another. Photography is prohibited around Nathula.
Indian tourists are allowed to visit Nathula only on specific days of the week. There is a restriction on the number of vehicles that can visit Nathula on any given day. Tourists are advised to make reservations for the Nathula visit well in advance in order to avoid disappointment. Foreign tourists are not allowed to visit Nathula. They have to return from Tsongo lake
Pelling: Situated at 6,800 feet, 74 km away from Darjeeling and about a four and a half hour drive from Glenburn, this little town in Sikkim is famous for its fabulous views of Mt Kanchenjunga and the surrounding mountain range, and of course, the famous Pemayangtse Monastery. Founded in 1705, this is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim and is the headquarters of the Nyingma Sect. The monastery houses a beautiful collection of wall paintings and sculptures. In January/February every year, a religious dance called "Cham" is performed.
Other places of interest in Pelling, are the Sangachoeling Monastery, the second oldest monastery in Sikkim (a 45 min walk from the town) and the Sangay Waterfall.
Kechopalri Lake, also known as "wishing lake", and held very sacred to most Sikkimese, is a 45 minute drive from Pelling.
Another 45 minutes beyond the lake is Yuksom, a lovely village at the end of the road, and the start of the trekking route to Dzongri and the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Being the oldest village in Sikkim, there is lots of history and lovely monasteries, including the Dubdi Monastery (Sikkim's oldest monastery), a steep hour's walk above the village. Tashigang Hotel is the only real hotel of note, although the service is terrible out of season!
Driving back towards Glenburn from Yuksom, you will also cross the famous Tashiding Monastery (Sikkim's most sacred monastery), also about a 45 minute steep climb from the main road and only accessible on foot.
If visiting during the times of the year when the views of the mountains are clear, we would recommend an overnight stay at Pelling to watch the sun rise over Kanchenjunga, and 2 more at Yuksom where there is more walking to do and things to see. However, if the weather is hazy, you could stop in Pelling for lunch and a visit to Pemayangtse, and then proceed directly to Yuksom (via Kechopalri Lake) for 2 nights.
Glenburn to Yuksom is about a 5-6 hour drive.
For trips to Gangtok and Pelling, we would recommend an overnight stay. We would be happy to organize accommodation for you at either of these places.