India Journals

India 2013

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2013 trip to India by koshkha

Ibis Mumbai Airport Hotel Photo, Mumbai, India More Photos
Quote: The first few reviews from our trip to India

Yarlam Resort

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "In the middle of nowhere"

Yarlam Resort Photo, Sikkim, India
Quote:
The Yarlam Resort in the tiny Himalayan town of Lachung in North Sikkim is almost certainly one of the most remote places I’ve ever stayed in India. Our drive from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, was about 120 km but it took seven and a half hours to get there. The condition of the roads was shocking, and by the time we arrived, it’s a wonder I wasn’t concussed from all the times my skull thwacked against the car window as we bounced about in the back of the vehicle. I felt a great sense of relief when we finally got to Lachung and the hotel seemed like an oasis of calm after a long drive. The surrounding mountains are some of the steepest I’ve ever seen and it was like another world, ev...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 18, 2013

Yarlam Resort
Lachung
Sikkim 737135

Gaden Tharpa Choling Monastery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Such a shame you can't take photos"

Gaden Tharpa Choling Monastery Photo, Kalimpong, India
Quote:
Our second Kalimpong temple was the Gaden Charpa Choling Monastery which sadly does not allow photography inside. If it had, I’m sure I’ve have shot hundreds of pictures because it was such a lovely place. Everything about this place was lovely - starting with the beautiful golden fittings on the front door which were shaped as garudas, dragons and dragon heads. A lovely mural by the door showed a grey elephant turning into a white elephant as it got more holy. We signed a visitors book and headed inside. A young monk strolled round with us, speaking quite good English and answering our questions. The structure of the building was a two storey construction with an inner double heigh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 18, 2013

Gaden Tharpa Choling Monastery

Kalimpong

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery

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Attraction | "Joining the Monks at Prayer"

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery Photo, Kalimpong, India
Quote:
When we were dropped at the first temple/monastery in Kalimpong, we quickly realised that we’d turned up during prayer time. The vibrations of chanting, drums and horns could be felt in the prayer wheels outside. At first we wondered if we really ought to go inside, but it was raining and ‘inside’ was going to be a lot warmer and dryer than outside. We took off our boots, propped our umbrella across them, and headed inside in our socks.The temple was spectacular but there was no way I was going to walk around taking photos whilst dozens of monks were praying. It just didn’t seem appropriate at all, so we joined half a dozen locals who were sitting cross legged on mattresses around th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 18, 2013

Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery

Kalimpong

Pineview Nursery

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Attraction | "Cactus Heaven"

Pineview Nursery Photo, Kalimpong, India
Quote:
I knew we’d be going to a nursery in Kalimpong but for some strange reason – actually it’s because it was on the itinerary – I was expecting orchids. I certainly wasn’t expecting what we found at the Pineview Nursery.It’s located about 10 minutes drive out of the town up lots of winding roads. We arrived at around 9.30 am and there was no sign of life. We thought maybe we were just early but we weren’t. We’d made the mistake of turning up on a public holiday. Fortunately our driver managed to find a lady who worked at the nursery, explained we’d come a very long way and she agreed to open up for us.Admission to the nursery is 30 rupees (about 30 pence) although locals go for fr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 18, 2013

Pineview Nursery
Dimdima Bridge, Kalimpong Khasmahal, Kalimpong, West Bengal
Kalimpong 734301

Ibis Mumbai Airport Hotel

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Hotel | "Ibis Mumbai Domestic Airport"

Ibis Mumbai Airport Hotel Photo, Mumbai, India
Quote:
Of all the international budget hotel brands, it’s hard to find one that’s more standardised than Ibis. I know exactly what to expect if I pick one of their hotels, regardless of where it is. We needed a place for just one night – between arriving in Mumbai on the Saturday afternoon and taking a domestic flight early the next morning. I had a ton of A-Club loyalty points and I was keen to use them to make a saving on my holiday. I went through the list of Accor group hotels in Mumbai and I found the Ibis Mumbai Airport which ideally located really close to the Domestic terminal. Our flight had a 5.30 am check in so this looked perfect. I ‘paid’ 4000 A-club points and made my booking many months ahead ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 2, 2013

Ibis Mumbai Airport Hotel
Plot No F 77 Ville Parle East
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400099
1-800-391-3613

Mumbai Airport Domestic Terminal

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Story/Tip

Quote:
We have previously flown from Mumbai’s International airport terminal but never from the Domestic terminal – even when we’d flown domestic flights with Air India’s budget arm, Air India Express. This time we were flying with ‘Air India proper’ and using the Domestic Terminal. We’d spent the night at the Ibis hotel near to the terminal and arrived at around 5.30 am for a flight to Delhi that was due to leave at 7 am on a Sunday morning. I would guess that it’s not the busiest time of the week and that anyone who could afford to fly a little later probably wouldn’t opt to be there quite so early. It was also a festival – Dussehra – so once again, most people who wanted to travel for the holiday would pr...Read More

Air India Domestic Flights

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Story/Tip

Quote:
A few years ago we took a flight with Air India Express from Mumbai to Kochi. The flights were very cheap, but boy did the experience FEEL cheap. The plane was old, battered and the seats were so squeezed in that we almost had our knees under our chins. I said to myself that I wouldn’t do that again, that I’d pay a little more and go for a ‘proper’ airline. This year we did that and upgraded from the ‘Express’ to the proper Air India. I wasn’t expecting much as I’d read many reviews slating their international flights, but I knew I’d had Air India flights in the past as parts of pre-arranged tours, and I didn’t have any recollections of anything too horrendous.We took four domestic flights...Read More

The Soods Garden Retreat

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Hotel | "A Room with a View?"

The Soods Garden Retreat Photo, Kalimpong, India
Quote:
Soods Garden Retreat is located on a narrow but quite noisy road just outside Kalimpong. It’s about a fifteen to twenty minute walk from the market. Kalimpong itself is quite a spread out sort of place so I suspect it doesn’t matter too much where you base yourself. Technically the address of Soods Garden Retreat is ‘8.5 miles Kalimpong’ – presumably 8.5 miles from wherever the nominal centre of the town is supposed to be but I’m not sure if we ever found that centre.Check in was easy – we handed over our passports, signed some papers, and the receptionist took photocopies to complete the rest of the paperwork. Our room - Suite 101 – was right next door to reception. There are three ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2013

The Soods Garden Retreat
8.5miles, Rishi Road
Kalimpong 734301
097 33 123113