For tastes of the Northeast, elegant colonial architecture, and colourful cliff-top monasteries, Darjeeling can’t be beat: you’ll find all of these in walking distance of one another. Oh, and the tea’s pretty good too.
Forget about Yeti: At Kunga, have a dinner of authentic, home-style thenthuk and momos so juicy you might need to tuck a napkin into your shirt.
Head to Tiger Hill in the wee hours of the morning to see the sun rise over the peak of Kanchenjunga.
Darjeeling is a tea town, but I can’t go a day without coffee: the hip, sunny Himalayan Java has windows overlooking the mountains, and a mean pourover.
In the smaller town of Kurseong, stay at Cochrane Palace, a restored colonial governor’s home filled with explorable nooks and crannies.
Wander through the scenic Makaibari tea estate – it’s fully organic – to see some of the region’s remaining few century-old tea press machines.
If you’re traveling to mountains that happen to be in West Bengal, prepare for multiple climates in a day. Carry with you:
- Your everyday base layer: a breathable long-sleeve tee (Ukiyo Long Sleeve Tee)
- A light scarf, for warmth and wind-blown hair
- A light trench, for unpredictable bursts of rain
- Binoculars, to peer at Everest and Kanchenjunga more closely from the peak of Tiger Hill
- Fingerless gloves (so you can still take photos when it’s cold out)
- A first-aid kit (don’t forget to throw in some ear plugs)
- Comfortable, cool trainers
- A roomy tote, to hold a warm layer, gloves, water, and binoculars