Gangtok Experience: Although fairly commercial, Gangtok has a lot to offer as a destination - pleasant weather during the summer, beautifully designed and decorated Buddhist monastaries, amazing views of the Kanchenzonga mountain range, and shopping for exotic local, Tibetan and Nepali artifacts, jewellery, clothes, etc. Gangtok is the perfect base to explore Sikkim's other hill stations, national parks, trekking options, and high-altitude lakes.
The only con that Gangtok comes with is that it is not easily accessible to the rest of the country. Considerable time and money is required to reach Sikkim from most part of the country.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: There are many noteworthy monastaries, stupas, temples and palaces in and around Gangtok. If you are interested in Buddhist architecture, religion and culture, Gangtok will not disappoint. A one-day road trip will allow you to cover the jaw-dropping high-altitude lake - Tsangu, the Nathula Pass (India-China border), and Harbhajanji Temple - a temple dedicated to a fallen soldier during the Indo-China war.
Gangtok markets stock a wide variety of Nepali and Tibetan artificats, jewellery, clothes, winter wear, and a lot more.
Activities & things to do: There are several shorts hikes that can be undertaken in and around Gangtok. The hill station is also a perfect base to take on more rigourous treks into virgin mountains in west and north Sikkim.
River rafting can be undertaken on the Teesta River which is south west of Gangtok.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: The closest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal, about 5-6 hours drive from Gangtok. There are regular flights from Kolkotta, Delhi and other cities.
The closest train station is NJP (Siliguri) in north Bengal, also about 4-6 hours drive. Good roads connect Gangtok with Darjeeling, NJP, and Bagdogra.
Roads within Sikkim are really good. Avoid travel in the winter and monsoon. Landslides are common in the mountain roads.
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