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					                          KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel

An Invitation to Sikkim: A Cultural Tour and Home Visit with
KarmaQuest -- Trip Dates: November 18 to 30, 2008
                                      KarmaQuest invites you on this specially designed journey
                                      to Darjeeling and Sikkim, allowing you “a day in the
                                      life” experience in a Himalayan kingdom. Hosted by native
                                      Sikkimese Karma Lama, you’ll be treated as honored
                                      family guests as you travel across this sacred and pristine
                                      landscape. In Kuzing and in Temi, you’ll stay with farming
                                      families and dine on home-grown organic produce. You’ll
                                      learn from village leaders about their efforts to conserve
                                      their cultural heritage and natural environment,
                                      assisted by a local NGO (ECOSS) and through a UNESCO
                                      program that Wendy Lama advises.
The tour begins in Darjeeling, northeastern India where we’ll stay in a charming heritage
hotel, sipping tea that is grown less than a mile away. Darjeeling became popular among
British ex-pats as a ‘hill station’ in the late 19th-early 20th centuries and retains a colloquial
charm. We’ll visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Museum, which documents Everest’s
climbing history with photos, early equipment and paraphernalia; the Zoo, housing rare
Himalayan wildlife such as the snow leopard, the Himalayan black bear, the red panda, and
numerous birds. We’ll also take a short ride on the famous Toy Train as it winds its way along
the steep hillsides. We’ll stroll along the old Chowrastha arcade and along ‘Darj’s’ winding
tree-lined lanes. A highlight of the visit is the drive to and from Darjeeling’s hilltop perch: a
vertical climb of almost 6000 ft on amazingly tight switch-backs, past tiny pastel-colored
cottages lining the road and through ecozones that change from banana trees and poinsettias
to cedar and rhododendron as we climb literally into the clouds.
Our tour of Sikkim begins with a visit to Sikkim’s pre-eminent Pemayangtse Monastery and
a stroll to holy Lake Kechopalri, where wishes are granted to the pure of heart. We’ll visit
Yuksom where we’ll be guided by members of the Kangchendzonga Conservation Committee,
an environmental youth group, on walks through the village and a
lovely oak and rhododendron forest. We’ll visit Tashiding
Monastery, with its giant mani (prayer) stones, and stay with
families in Kuzing, where ecotourism is benefiting villagers
through a UNESCO-affiliated home-stay program. After two nights
in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, shopping and visiting the
Institute of Tibetology – where historical Tibetan texts and statues
are displayed -- we’ll spend one night at Rumtek Monastery,
where we’ll stay at a quiet lodge in the forest.
Your host on this trip will be Karma Lama (right), who was born
and raised in Sikkim. You’ll spend two nights at a Temi farm-
house, where you’ll enjoy Sikkimese hospitality and family
specialties and a visit to a nearby tea estate.
This trip follows immediately upon an 11 day trip to Bhutan, which can be combined with
this trip for two very special and personalized travel experiences. Please inquire for details.

    KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel, 699 Spindrift Way, Half Moon Bay, CA 94109
   Tel: 650 560-0101 Fax: 712-8164 Email: karmaquest@earthlink.net www.karmaquests.com
                           KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel
Itinerary
Nov18:         Fly Delhi to Bagdogra, drive to Darjeeling: Drive 4-5 hrs to Darjeeling,
               arriving in time for afternoon tea. Overnight at a heritage hotel, Darjeeling.

Nov 19:        Darjeeling: Tour sights the Mountaineering Museum, the Zoo, and the Toy Train
               -- and overnight in a cozy Victorian room in Darjeeling.

Nov 20:        Darjeeling to Pemayangtse/Pelling: Descend from Darjeeling and enter
               Sikkim. Visit the ruins of the first capital of Sikkim. Overnight (O/N) in Pelling.

Nov 21:        Kechopalri, a Wish Fulfilling Lake, & Yuksom: Visit Pemayangtse Monastery,
               and drive to Khechopalri Lake, known for granting wishes. O/N in Yuksom
Nov 22:        Yuksom: Day Hike and Village Visit: Explore this little “Switzerland of
               Sikkim,” and hike into Kangchendzonga National Park. O/N in Yuksom.
Nov 23:        Tashiding Monastery, Homestay in Kuzing: Circumambulate the monastery
               and its giant painted mani stones. O/N in a traditional family home in Kuzing

Nov 24:        Homestay in Kuzing: Hike to a small local monastery and visit Ralong
               Monastery, making an offering to a high reincarnate lama. O/N in Kuzing.

Nov 25:        Gangtok: Drive to Gangtok and have free time to shop. In the evening, a local
               expert will speak about ecotourism in Sikkim. Overnight in Gangtok.

Nov 26:        Gangtok: See the main sights in Gangtok: Do-Drul Chorten, containing holy
               relics and the Institute of Tibetology. Free time to shop. Overnight in Gangtok.

Nov 27:        Rumtek Monastery: Drive to Rumtek Monastery, a masterpiece of color and religious
               art. Celebrate Thanksgiving with our Nepali hostess around the fireplace. O/N.

Nov 28:        Temi: Drive to a family farmhouse at Temi. Visit the nearby tea estate and
               enjoy a traditional drink of fermented millet called tongba. Overnight at Temi

Nov 29:        Temi: Hike to a lookout point… or just rest and enjoy family life before our long
               flight home. Enjoy a traditional farewell family meal. Overnight in Temi.

Nov 30:        Drive to Bagdogra, fly to Delhi and the US

Group size: 2------4 persons          Trip Cost: US $ 2,650         US $ 500 Single supplement
Group size: 5------6 persons          Trip Cost: US $ 2,480         US $ 500 “”
Group size: 7------10 persons         Trip Cost: US $ 2,250         US $ 500 “”

Trip Cost includes:
Karma Lama as Trip Leader, local guides, airport transfers and land transportation in Sikkim and
Darjeeling, sightseeing tours, welcome dinner, all meals in homestays, hotels and home stays in
Darjeeling and Sikkim, tips. Details to follow.
Trip Cost does not include:
International and domestic flights, hotel and airport transfers en route, excess baggage charge,
insurance, Personal medical kit, personal expenses, Indian visa. Details to follow.
     KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel, 699 Spindrift Way, Half Moon Bay, CA 94109
    Tel: 650 560-0101 Fax: 712-8164 Email: karmaquest@earthlink.net www.karmaquests.com

				
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