West Sikkim

Towered over by the sublime Kangchenjunga, West Sikkim's breathtaking landscape is strung out along spectacular mountain ridges draped in evergreen alpine forests. A handful of intriguing monasteries, villages and waterfalls add to its overall appeal, and make it ideal for a spot of walking. The fabulous Goecha La trek, which takes hikers to the icy base of Kangchenjunga, begins in the village of Yuksom (which is also the trail head for a few pleasant day hikes). Comfort seekers, on the other hand, can simply settle for stupendous mountain views from Pelling.

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Pelling

Pelling is famous for its stride-stopping view of Kangchenjunga at dawn (weather permitting, that is!). A 2km stretch of boxed-out tourist hotels that line its main thoroughfare, it's otherwise a characterless town frequented by hordes of local tourists through the year. Unsurprisingly, there's more noise and vehicle exhaust here than you bargained for, so once you've taken in the good views, consider moving on.

Pelling is nominally divided into Upper, Middle and Lower areas. A focal point of Upper Pelling is a small roundabout where the main road from Geyzing turns 180 degrees in front of Hotel Garuda. At the same point, minor roads branch south to Dentam and southwest to the tourist office and the helipad – which affords magnificent panoramic views at dawn.

GREAT IDEAS FOR FAMILY REST