Saturday, October 24, 2009


Well, nothing's changed. Well one thing has ! I have got crazier.

Here is some crazy stuff done more recently.

1. Gate crashed a wedding, so that we could all go to the loo. Ended up taking some pictures with the guests :D

2. Fainted at the dentist's clinic, when she told me what exactly she was going to do to my poor tooth.

3. Watched 'Main aur Mrs Khanna'.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gangtok ahoy

Here is a low down on our Sikkim trip!

To get to Sikkim the first thing you need to do is get to either New Jaipalguri (NJP) or Baghdogra, since this is the nearest rail and airport to Sikkim

The quickest and the most expensive way - Bangalore to Kolkata to Bagdoghra by flight and Bagdoghra to Gangtok by Helicopter.

How we got there: Bangalore to Kolkata by flight 2.5 hrs, Kolkata to NJP by Darjeeling Express 8 hrs.

Having reached NJP quite early in the morning, we took a shared taxi ride to Baghdogra which is about 10-12kms away, our plan was to take the helicopter to Gangtok (2200 rs per person, flying time 40 mins), but at the airport we soon realised that the 5 seater helicopter was already booked.

So we had to hire a taxi to take us to Gangtok. 3 hour ride.

Things to be aware of when travelling to Sikkim

1. Make sure you have a hotel pre-booked (or at least expecting you)

A quick search on the net will tell you that Sonam Delek is the hotel with the best view in Gangtok, and that is absolutely correct, priced at 2200 per night the deluxe rooms are comfortable, clean and have a loveliest of views from the balcony. We stayed here

2. Make sure you have at least 5 days in Sikkim

Traveling around Sikkim is tiring, because the roads are all ghat roads, hence even small distances like 120kms take about 5-6 hrs of travel. Make sure you have sufficient rest before and after each excursion out of Gangtok.

3. If you suffer from motion sickness carry the necessary medicine along

I suffer from motion sickness, so we did carry along my medicine, but surprisingly despite all the travel on topsy-turvy roads I did not fall ill. whew!

4. Carry a Photo ID and passport size pictures

This is necessary to get a permit when going to places close to the Chinese border eg. Yumthang, Zero Point, Nathula Pass

5. Get acclimatised to the altitude before traveling further

Stay in Gangtok for a day at least, make sure you get used to the altitude and the thinner air.

6. Visit the tourist information centre

Its on M.G. Marg the main market area in Gangtok, they will not help you book travel, but they will definitely help you plan your travel.

What we did ?

1. Gangtok sight-seeing

The first day we spent in and around Gangtok. Hired a taxi (1800rs), to take us around. The popular trip is what is called a 10point tour, but we thought it a waste of time, so we picked and chose what we wanted to see. Rumtek Monastery, Limdung Monasatery, A couple of water falls and the very impressive views from Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok !

2. Yumthang Valley & Zero Point

Yumthang is an overnight stay kind of trip . Hire a taxi, leave early in the morning, the drive itself takes 6 hours but on the way there are stops at all the super waterfalls and for lunch!

Reach a lovely village called Lachung by dusk, overnight stay and the next morning head out to Yumthang, for a little more money (1600rs in our case) the driver will take you to zero point which is roads end! :) and not to be missed!

Zero Point

Yumthang valley's claim to fame is that it is covered in flowers in spring, but when we went it was just a beautiful view.

Yumthang Valley

You will reach Gangtok by 7pm.

note: Book this trip as soon as you reach Gangtok, with a travel agent.

3. Nathula Pass, Tsongo Lake, Baba Harbhajan Mandir

This is a nice day trip. nathula takes about 3 hrs from Gangtok, though it is just 50 kms away. The best point about Nathula is that you get to meet (see), the Chinese soldiers, who are a barb wire away. You can see them posing for snaps with some tourists, or having a word with our Indian soldiers.

en-route to Nathula

An Indian and a Chinese soldier at the border

Baba Harbhajan Mandir is the next stop, this is a nice especially because of the myth and the legend surrounding the young sikh soldier in whose memory the temple is built. Read more about him here

Harbhajan Mandir

On the way down is Tsongo lake, this 1 kilometre wide lake completely freezes over in the winter, but was a pretty sight when we visited it. If you so wish you can get an overpriced yak ride around the lake.

Tsongo Lake

note: Book this trip as soon as you reach Gangtok, with a travel agent.

Overall, this trip proved to be an expensive but nevertheless a very memorable one! We brought away, some lovely pictures, souveneirs and some very special memories of the mountains:)

Friday, October 09, 2009

10 things I learnt from 'Inglourious Basterds'

#1 - Speling.

#2 - If you are shot in the leg, you can still attend a movie premier, the very next day! oh remember to limp a little.

#3 - The much feared Nazi killer, the 'Bear Jew' looks more like a high school bully and has the acting talents of a wooden plank.

#4 - If you are a world renowned director, you can afford to do a super bad job of editing and nobody will notice

#5 - Hitler was really a comedian who provided some good laughs

#6 - If you are planning to take off your uniform, then Brad Pitt will tattoo your forehead

#7 - Chistopher Waltz (aka Col. Hans Landa) ROCKS!

#8 - The father of a new born baby always has a sub-machine gun handy, just in case.

#9 - Germans looooove '20 questions'

#10 - A few great individual scenes stiched badly together do not make a good movie, no matter what everybody thinks.