“Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you.”
A quiet Himalayan village. Few cottages at the top of a hill. Silence all around. Nirvana. Yes – that was our focus while choosing the second destination of our “beat the heat” trip. Of-course after the chaotic Darjeeling, we desperately needed to shut off the worldly disturbances behind us.
So Tinchuley it was. Around 1.5 hours from Darjeeling on Peshok road, this hamlet seemed to be perfect to our cause. If you haven’t read the first part of our travelogue, so here is the link: https://honumanshongothon.com/2019/06/06/beating-the-summers-darjeeling-and-tinchuley/
How to reach?
Tinchuley took around 1.5 hours from Darjeeling through Jorebunglow. We had taken an Innova from our Hotel Sinclairs itself and were charged INR 3200/- for a drop trip. Road is mostly smooth, meandering through the hilly roads and forests except the last few kilometres. How does the road look?
Where to stay?
We could find primarily three home-stays – Gurung guest house, Abiraj Homestay and Rai resort. I found excellent feedback about the hospitality of Rai resort from our trusted friends at Weekendtrips Kolkata and also from our known cab driver from Siliguri. But on our travel dates, the resort was fully booked for all the bigger rooms (4-bedded rooms) and cottages. The only option was 2 double bedded rooms and seeing no choice, we booked those. On hindsight, this was a mistake. On checking in, we found it was an extremely small room with literally no place to move around – something extremely difficult for a family with kid. Luckily, there was a four bedded room empty (due to non-arrival of another traveller) and the owner Ajit Rai was happy to let us move to that room. Our other friends could only get another big room for the other night.
Charges: Double bedded rooms are INR 1800/- per night and Four bedded rooms are 2500/- per night. Food is INR 550/- per person including breakfast, lunch ,snacks and dinner.
Car rental and sight-seeing charges: We took a one day local sight seeing and a Bolero from the homestay cost us INR 2200/-. While returning to Bagdogra, we rented a Xylo and the charges were INR 4000/-. Worth mentioning that the charge is for no AC usage. If you use AC, then you need to pay INR 300/- per hour extra! Yes – we were visibly surprised to say the least.
Recommendation: If you are traveling with family and can get the any of the two 4 bedded rooms or the deluxe cottage, then only stay here and it will be worth. (The owner shared that post October’ 2019 few double bedded rooms would be increased in size post renovation)
The Honuman Feedback: The other than room debacle, almost everything about the resort is good. I cannot stop talking about the view – the verandah from the cottages, gives an unhindered view of the valley and ofcourse Mt. Kanchenjungha, on a clear day. Of-course, it was rainy and misty when we were there but that had a charm of itself. Food was nice and service was mostly prompt and always with a smile. However I feel with mainly 2 persons handling everything, they should get more hands to deliver.
What To Do
If you like to laze around with a cup of tea or coffee, idling at nothing, seeing the mountains or enjoying the rain, then just stay put here and take a walk down the main road. Trust me – it’s enough to rejuvenate your soul.
However with a kid, idling away is never an option 😉 ! Thanks to my stars, we found a very gentle four-legged friend here – thy name is Messi! Yes, a German Shepherd, he is your friend and guide here. He will be with you, stay near you and walk around with you. So wherever you go, Messi follows. If you all know me, then you must know how bad I am with dogs. But Messi did break that barrier and he was super fun for our kids – Rishaan and Aadit. Playing with Messi, their energy was very positively channelized. 😀
But we did take a day trip for local sight-seeing and there were lots to cover. Since lazing around was a primary goal, we took it slow and decided to visit only few places. We visited Gumbadara view point first. Basically it’s a high point next to tea gardens and overlooking the valley to Sikkim. Some photo-op will happen here for sure. That’s the charm of this place.
Then we went to Lamahatta which nowadays is quite famous and always full of tourists. We had been here last year as well but still it felt fresh and rejuvenating to walk amidst the pine trees and clouds. This place also serves as a good snacking point and we gorged into some great pipping hot momos at Mountain View homestay. The momos were awesome and the only great testament to that statement is that we have no pictures of it. All were gone before the camera came out! So all we have, are some images from the place itself.
Next we took a stop at the Lovers Point where Rangeet meets Teesta. The view from the top is worth a stop!
We had plans to visit the Orange factory at Bara Mangwa but by that time, it was raining hard, so we came back to the resort.
A night to remember…
I always hear that night skies are best experienced in the mountains. People go to the hills to see the Himalayan peaks and there is so much craziness about it. This time the peaks remained hidden behind the clouds. But what the hills gave me this time around was a clear night sky – dotted with stars. I was almost lost in the far far away. I rued the fact that I didn’t take my DSLR and that’s a regret I am going to have. But then, not everything can be captured in the lenses, some remain frozen in memories.
Tinchuley gave me those memories…
That’s all from your Traveller Monkeys this time. The planning for the monsoon roadtrip is on and soon, we will bring you another story from some other corner of our country. Leaving you all with a quote which keeps me going…
In the end, we only regret the vacation we didn’t take…