Things To Do in Darjeeling:
1.) Tea Tasting :
When you think of Darjeeling, the first thing that pops up in your head would be tea, but there are so many stores selling so many different varieties of tea that you may just end up getting confused on what to pick. You can go to the Government store that sells handicrafts and tea right in the market, (just ask anyone) as they will sell you products at the right price. The most famous and oldest tea stores in Darjeeling are Golden Tips and Nathmulls Tea but they are three times more expensive than the rest. If you have a relaxing day ahead of you, then you can spend your afternoon at the Oxford Book Store situated at the end of the market, they have a huge variety of books some of them being 100 years old and they also sell tea packets for you take along at the cash counter. What I like to do is spend hours reading books and then go to Golden Tips Tea Cosy for some tea tasting and snacks in the rains.Oh! The smell of pages and tea leaves is a good combination.
2.) Watch The Sunrise On Mt. Kanchenjunga:
If you want to go watch the beautiful sunrise then you can book your own vehicle or share it with other passengers. This will cost you between Rs.1,200-3,000 per vehicle (price fluctuates according to season).You will have to wake up at 3am and drive to Tiger Hill in order to watch the sunrise. From this point, you will be able to see the sun rays gleaming softly upon Mt. Kachenjunga. You have to leave on time to make sure you don’t miss the sunrise. The taxis are shared and the drivers might have to wait for other passengers which could make you late. So my advise is, try squeezing into already occupied vehicles so that you don’t miss the beautiful sunrise.Trust me, it’s worth the effort.You will find traffic on the road at 3am and a mob of other people walking to get to the point just in time before the sun rises. You need to make sure that you keep yourself warm, so carry a sweater with you, as it’s freezing cold in the mornings. Grab a cup of tea/coffee at the Hill and enjoy watching the sun rise with hundreds of other tourists.The energy here is so positive and full of serenity, it will keep you smiling throughout the day.
3.) Joy Ride in Toy Train:
By noon,you can go on a ride in the Toy Train, just for fun. The train actually rides alongside the cars and all the hustle bustle. It works right on the road and follows certain traffic signals too (yes, it’s the same train you saw in Barfi).It will take you to Batasia Loop and the Ghoom Monastery. It shows you Darjeeling at a glance, with its breathtaking landscapes, cutting right through the steep mountains and curves.
4.) Go for The Singhalia Trek:
The other thing you MUST do is, go for the Singalila Trek at the Singalila National Park. If you are adventurous and share a love for mountain treks then this is one that you shouldn’t miss out on. The Kanchenjunga Peak is visible from here throughout the trek and also if you can camp over night out here at the hut shaped lodges or tents. Do not forget to carry a sweater, some odomos, a sleeping bag and your passport (compulsory).
5.) Visit Himalayan Zoological Park & Mountaineering Institute:
Although, I am not really a fan of keeping animals in cages but wildlife has always seemed fascinating to me. You will get to see all the animals found in the Himalayan regions at the zoo here. They have Jackals, Wolves, Himalayan Deer, Markhor, Snow Leopard, Black Leopard (that i like to call Bagheera) and the West Bengal Tiger to name a few. It is thrilling to look at so many animals.Also, my mom asked me to add that the shopping outside the zoo is better than the main market as they have unique things being sold at lower prices. They also have a mountaineering Institute and a museum adjacent to the zoo for tourists interesting in rock climbing courses.
6.) Eat at The Glenary’s Bakery:
No matter what you do and how much time you have on your hands, the MUST VISIT place is Glenary’s Bakery. It is the best eatery with the most beautiful ambience according to me. You can take a table along the balcony and sit there for hours alone and just watch the sun set. The assortment of cakes, pastries and tartes is mouth watering and very very reasonable.There is also a bar and dining place in the basement of the bakery called “buzzed” which many people do not know about.
7.) Happy Valley Tea Garden:
Any way, After this we headed to the Happy Valley Tea Garden, because obviously if you are in Darjeeling , you have to visit the Tea Factory and know how the finest tea is made. They take you through the entire process of how the tea is plucked and processed. You can also visit Kusum at the Happy Golden Cafe to sip on some amazing hot tea.
8.) Go Shopping in The Main Market :
If you love shopping then Darjeeling won’t disappoint you. Make sure you book a hotel close to the Main Market. You could visit the main market to do all your shopping for handicrafts ,Buddhist artefacts, Tibetan jewelry, Tea, Umbrellas and Imported bags and shoes. Darjeeling has a lot of trendy clothes, bags and shoes that are imported from China and Korea.
The best kind of food in North East is Momos ! You will get to eat the best momos here ! They are nice and hot with a spicy chilly sauce to go with it. They also serve butta (corn) on the roads here and some yummy noodle soup with tea/coffee.You will also find some homes that offer food and function as restaurants. You can sit at their house and actually enter the kitchen to see them prepare your dishes. Hasty Tasty, Gatty’s Cafe, Sonar’s Kitchen and Hot Stimulating Cafe are a few famous restaurants here.
10.) Visit The Peace Pagoda:
The Peace Pagoda (Japanese Temple) which as the name suggests is a very blissful and serene place to awaken your senses. From the Peace Pagoda you can see the entire Kachenjunga Range. It is truly a breathtaking view! You may also catch a sight of the monks walk around the street at 5am with drum rolls and women doing yoga at the Peace Pagoda.
PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS!
HAPPY WANDERLUSTING TO YOU !