Darjeeling & Sikkim tailor made vacation, India

“A 12 day, tailor made vacation in this stunning Himalayan region of India, staying in a mix of accommodation from farmstays to forest retreats.”

Highlights

Bagdogra, West Bengal | Kurseong hill station | Toy train Kurseong to Darjeeling | Darjeeling and tour of tea plantation | Tiger Hill | Sunrise views of Kanchenjunga | Ghoom Monastery | Rinchenpong | Pemayangtse Monastery | Khechepori Lake | Pelling | Tashiding Monastery | Rumtek Monastery | Gangtok | Kalimpong

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Darjeeling & Sikkim tailor made vacation, India

Environment

Darjeeling and Sikkim occupy a particularly beautiful part of India, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas and with virgin forests and deep valleys. On this tour we stay in a number of different properties which have been selected not just because they are great places to stay but also for their contributions to the environment. At Yangsum Heritage Farm we stay on a working farm which grows its produce according to organic principles; within its 44 acres lie a wide selection of vegetables and fruits, which are used in the meals prepared for guests - food miles here are very limited!

Similarly in Gangtok we stay at the Hidden Forest Retreat, a charming guesthouse which produces its own organic vegetables and milk, while in Kalimpong we stay on an orchid farm situated within a botanical park.

Where practical we make use of public transport; India is blessed with a good train network and rather than drive to Darjeeling we take the train.

In our UK office we recycle extensively, from paper and envelopes to ink cartridges, plastic bottles and food packaging, with dedicated recycling bins. We minimise our use of electricity by turning off appliances and using energy efficient lightbulbs, and our toilets use reduced water cisterns to minimise our use of water

Community

We try wherever possible to ensure that our tours benefit the local communities we travel through. The hotels that we use on this trip are all locally owned; not just Indian owned but owned and managed by people from the communities we stay in. Locally owned hotels contribute far more to the surrounding economy than other hotels, where profits are spent elsewhere. In Kewzing we use homestay accommodation; this type of accommodation means that people who have traditionally been outside of the tourism industry are able to benefit from it as well.

We visit a number of monasteries on this tour, and are careful to ensure that travelers are given proper advice on appropriate dress and local customs so as not to cause any cultural offence, especially in more conservative areas.

We also work with guides from the local communities for any local excursions such as guided walks and village visits; not only does this ensure that travelers learn about places from the people that live there, but it helps to spread the benefits of tourism in more remote areas.

1 Reviews of Darjeeling & Sikkim tailor made vacation, India

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 11 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Going to Tiger Hill outside Darjeeling at 4am to see the sunrise on Kanchenjunga.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't worry about getting ill from the water. They are trying to reduce reliance on plastic bottles and have filtered water which is fine. It's warm in the day but cold at night, so you need a good fleece or padded jacket. You don't need much spending money - eating lunch out is about 3 per head and supper about 8 - 11 per head.


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes as we had a guide and a driver, and stayed in home stay farmhouses and hotels, which are local businesses. Our guide took us to the Tibetan refugee centre where you can buy crafts and support the Tibetan people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolutely wonderful! A beautiful part of the world with a fascinating history and culture. We ate delicious feasts from vegetables grown outside the farmhouse and everyone we met was friendly and kind.

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