Gangtok attractions we could have done without.
Gangtok Travel Blog› entry 95 of 251 › view all entries
June 6th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Seven days into said trip, it occurs to me that the itinerary (which I admittedly didn’t study too closely in advance) was developed for far different travelers… perhaps an elderly Indian couple. Today’s sightseeing trip around Gangtok was positive proof of this.
We visited six places in all, what they call a “six-point tour.” None of them was even vaguely interesting to either of us, so we managed to get through all of it before noon (it was supposed to last ‘til 3pm).
1) First stop was the Enchey monastery.
2) Next up was the Flower Show, a small hall filled with cut flowers, the majority of them way past their freshness date. I got one of my prettiest flower pictures, ever, there. Steve insisted that I also photograph the dead flowers, too, for a truer representation of the site. BTW, this place was full of Indian tourists. This is a rural area, so I guess there’s not a whole lot to do.
3) Then we went to a government-sponsored craft school, the Institute of Craft Industries, where children and young adults were learning traditional techniques in wood carving and weaving.
OK, we are halfway done at this point in our countdown of crappy sights!
4) Then we went to the Research Institute of Tibetology. Steve waited outside because he didn’t want to take off his shoes.
5) From there it was a short walk up a steep hill to the Chorten Stupa. Bult in 1945. I have seen enough of these to last a lifetime.
6) And finally, we took a cable car to the Nam Nang Viewpoint, above the city. I forgot all about being afraid of heights until after we had boarded and the rickety thing started off on its journey. The cable seemed too slack, our link to it quite tenuous, and it was incredibly hot in the overcrowded car. I felt shaky and nervous and inexplicably weepy.
Home at last! I set to work in the mothball-scented business center, managing to book airfare and hotels through Jordan. I was very productive! Then we had dinner, which was one of the best dinners thus far on this tour. It was comprised of the special boiled vegetables they now automatically make me for every meal, and some really tasty Indian food I have never had before (Paneer Bhujia, which is a homemade cottage cheese-like dish, plus a salad made of what I would describe as adzuki bean sprouts.)
Tomorrow we are off to Darjeeling, reportedly a five-hour drive. We are both feeling like, “oh, dang, we have three more days of this.” Hopefully the hotel will be better yet, although it’s quite likely to be like the rest: quaint, charming, scruffy, and low on the cleanliness scale.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!