• image

    Chasing the Rhododendrons

TOUR OVERVIEW

This tiny state in India, sticking out like a sore thumb, is anything but that! Blessed with nature’s bounty and beauty in every corner, Sikkim is definitely one of the less explored places in the Indian tourist map.

Come with us, set foot on one of the most stunningly beautiful and amazingly hospitable landscapes in India. Walk amidst the bloom of Rhododendrons in Barsey, soak in the snow covered peaks and the mighty Himalayas, seek peace in the Buddhist monasteries and wrap yourself in incredible Sikkimese hospitality as we stay with the locals and live their lives for 9 days.
Life slows down in Sikkim. People there are still to catch the urban disease of running around in concrete jungles. People smile readily and are willing to talk provided you let your prejudices go. Come with an open heart, and get more than your heart can contain.

Day 1 - 24 Mar 2018

We reach Bagdogra Airport and proceed to Okhrey. This will serve as a base for our trek tomorrow. Check – in the homestay and relax. Overnight at Okhrey

Day 2 - 25 Mar 2018

A half day trek to the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary will transport you to a garden of blooms. The Rhododendron trees are set ablaze with the blooming reds or seem candy ridden with the blooming pink. Pick your metaphor, and click your masterpiece. Enjoy a cultural evening. Overnight at Okhrey.

Day 3 - 26 Mar 2018

Go for a morning walk to the local monastery and enjoy the flowers around the village as well as the scenery. Start for Pelling and visit a suspension bridge, a heritage house and a lot of interesting places on the way. Spend the evening around the camp fire. Overnight at Pelling.

Day 4 - 27 Mar 2018

Today, we visit places around Pelling like the Kocheopokri Lake, Kanchanjunga Falls, Pamayangtse Monastery. Visit Rabdantse ruins for the sunset. Explore other parts of this beautiful West Sikkim town. Overnight at Pelling.

Day 5 - 28 Mar 2018

Visit the Rabandste ruins in case you missed it yesterday and move to the lesser known village of Kewzing. Kewzing in local Sikkimese Bhutia language means the “Land of wheat Fields” and is also known as Sosing “land of chestnut forest”. The village has a mere population of two hundred people majorly Sikkimese Bhutia community and is blessed with nature’s bounties. Go for a nature trail and enjoy the Bhutia hospitality. Overnight at Kewzing.

Day 6 - 29 Mar 2018

We visit the famous Buddha Park in Ravangla and proceed to our stay in Gangtok. If weather permits we can go for paragliding in the beautiful valley of Gangtok. Spend the evening shopping at the bustling MG Road area and trying out some famous cafes. Overnight at Gangtok.

Day 7 - 30 Mar 2018

After breakfast we take our day trip to Changu Lake. This glacial lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in India and it’s setting amidst the might Himalayas, makes it appear surreal. A visit to the Nathu La, Baba Mandir and the War Memorial is also on the cards, depending on weather conditions and permit. Overnight at Gangtok

Day 8 - 31 Mar 2018

Visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology after check out. Start for Siliguri. Go for a rafting stint at Teesta, if weather permits. Reach Siliguri by evening.Overnight at Siliguri.

Day 9 - 01 Apr 2018

Transfer to Bagdogra airport after breakfast. Tour ends.

Inclusions

  • All meals and evening tea/coffee starting from evening tea on Day 1 till breakfast on Day 9.
  • Accommodation for 8N/9D on double sharing basis.
  • All transportation in Innova or similar vehicles. Tempo Travellers do not ply in Sikkim.
  • Cultural program at Okhrey
  • Guided natural trail at Kewzing
  • Permits and tolls
  • Entry charges
  • Your F5 guide

Exclusions

  • Food, snacks other than mentioned
  • 5% GST
  • Camera charges
  • Activity charges other than mentioned
    • Paragliding will cost 2500/ pp for an 8 minute flight and 5000/pp for a long haul flight that will last about 15 minutes. Rafting can accommodate 6 persons per raft and will cost approximately 5000/raft for an advanced trail may be lasting about 20-30 minutes.
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Medication
  • Flights from your city of residence to Bagdogra and return

Terms & Conditions

REFUNDS/CANCELLATION:

If cancelled 90 days or more in advance, cancellation fee is 12% of the trip amount.

25% of the trip cost if cancelled 89 – 60 days in advance.

50% of the trip cost if cancelled 59 to 16 days in advance.

Last 15 days – no show – entire amount will be forfeited.

If you use our services to book flights, cancellation charges of the flights will apply.

Option of Deffered trip:

You have an option of parking the paid amount with us for a future trip, if you wish to cancel joining this trip 60 days or more in advance.
Following conditions apply:

You need to choose the trip you would like to go with instead (the deferred trip) within 2 months of deciding to cancel.

The travel start date of the deferred trip should be within 6 months from the day you decide to cancel.

There can be only one such change and once you decide the deferred trip, the cancellation policy of that trip applies.

You cannot choose a short trip (less than 5 days) as a deferred trip.

Disclaimer

  • This is a non-smoking and a non-alcoholic trip for all practical reasons.
  • 50% of the trip cost is required to confirm the booking.
  • The booking does not include flights as the flight rates are extremely unpredictable. However, we can help you book your flights for the trip
  • All our trips are well-researched, including identifying access to medical facilities. In case of a medical emergency, F5 will assist the traveler in getting medical attention.
  • F5 Escapes is in no way responsible for any untoward incident happening due to the ignorance/negligence of the guests, natural/man-made calamities, accidents or any other events that are out of human control during the trip.
  • F5 reserves the right to cancel the trip under certain conditions – in such a case, the amount will be refunded in full.

Arrival & Departure timings

This trip is Ex-Bagdogra airport.

Reach Bagdogra by 2PM on Day 1 and fly out after 10 AM on Day 9.

Weather

This will be spring in Sikkim and weather will be pleasant ranging from 6 degree in night to around 18 degrees during the day. Warm clothings and jackets will be required. Weather at Nathu La and Changu lake will be cold. Layers will be required.

*Please note that now a days, climate/ weather is dependent on many factors and unpredictable hence above information might be subject to change during your actual travel days

Stay

We will be staying in beautiful homestays with the locals. Please do come with the view of respecting the sanctity of a home and appreciating the warmth and hospitality.

Food!

  • Simple Indian food such as rotis/dal, rice etc. Toast/Omlettes will be available.
  • There will be some local Sikkimese dishes too. Option of continental food will be available at MG Road Gangtok.
  • If you have special dietary requests, please let us know beforehand.

Note > Prepare > Accept > Embrace:

  • Higher altitudes require certain level of fitness. We will be trekking at a couple of places (around 8000 to 10000 ft altitudes). These treks are classified as easy/moderate. But it will still require a basic level of fitness.
  • Changu Lake is at 12,000 ft and Natu La is over 14,000 ft. While there is no trek required to visit these places, being at these altitude will be exhausting due to oxygen rarity and low temperatures. We will share with you the do’s and don’ts of travelling to high altitude places and will also suggest some medication. Please consult your physician regarding the same.
  • In line with the ideology of F5 Escapes, we will be staying in small guest houses and homestays during our trip. Please come with an open mind about sharing someone’s home and maintain the sanctity. This trip is about actually understanding a culture which is different and yet, is our own.
  • Sikkim is a 100% organic state and people there live as naturally as possible. All stays will have water heating facilities and in case of a power cut, the hosts will provide you hot water from wood-fired heaters. Please do not insist on a diesel run generator and have patience.
  • Sun rises early and sets early in the North East India. So our days will start early and end early. To cover everything that is promised, it is important that we maintain the timings. Although distances are less, the mountain roads make it difficult to maintain the average speed of more than 25kmph.
  • We really want to take you to Nathu La, War Memorial and Baba Mandir. However, the area is army controlled and faces unpredictable weather turns. Hence the permits to visit these places are allotted just a day before. Thus, please be prepared for an eventuality of bad weather and trust us to try our best.
  • All adventure activities are optional as some may not be comfortable doing them. They are all dependent on weather conditions and hence cannot be guaranteed.
  • Mountain states may get rainfall/snowfall unexpectedly sometimes. Hence we have planned the last night stay at Siliguri. This is to ensure that no matter what, you will be able to catch your flights the next day. We do not want a mad rush from Gangtok to the Bagdogra airport the last day.

‘F5 Escapes’ is a Bangalore-based, experiential travel company, with a focus on crafting and executing all-women travel experiences in India. The premise of F5 is an ambitious dream –  to put India on the global travel map as a preferred destination for women.  Come, join us, as we work towards redefining the way women travel India.

We all need regular breaks, be it a day’s off from our daily chores, life’s chaos, the work stress, the urban traffic or a relationship crisis. Be it anything, what matters is the break that you need. How often is that idea put into action? Well, we don’t blame you for the inaction. We have been there, done that and hence the idea of F5 Escapes. Let us help you travel. Sustainably, responsibly, safely.