I arrived to Sikkim which was independent kingdom until 1975 – like Bhutan it was considered one of the last Himalayan Shangri La’s. It took 4 hours by jeep from Darjeeling to reach Pelling. From Darjeeling it is a 2 hour shared jeep ride to Jorenthang which is the transportation hub in Sikkim. From Jorenthang we waited several hours for a shared jeep to Pelling. I arrived at the jeep stand in Darjeeling at 8am and by 4pm I arrived in Pelling. The jeep stand was only a few meters from the Kabur Hotel where I stayed, and a good thing as it was rainy and cold by the time I arrived. The evenings were so cold; the hotel staff brought water bottles to each room at night.
I was lucky to see Khangchendzonga at 8,586 meters. I woke up at 5.30am and I saw from my window above the clouds the long range of white peaks. The highest one was Khangchendzonga – third summit after Everest and K2. The spectacle took about 30 minutes, and then all was covered again by the mist for the next three days! Pelling has a few interesting walks to monasteries which are additional climbs over the 2000m altitude of Pelling. Pelling is a hotel only village so it is not so interesting.