A quiet state, replete with gorgeous green mountain ranges to refresh your city lungs, Sikkim has a lot to offer. While Gangtok and Pelling continue to be the most popular destinations, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover – one of them being Borong. Getting here can be a bit of a journey but once you reach the tiny hamlet nestled in forests and flowers, every bit of it will seem worth it. Accommodation is difficult to find in Borong, but your best bet will be a cosy cabin in the Icebeards Wildflower Resort. True to its name, there are wildflowers growing on almost every inch of the property, besides plenty of local fruits, vegetables and tea which they use in their kitchen to cook the homeliest meals you can expect to find away from home. If you are still not convinced, there is a giant fluffy German Shepherd you can befriend.
The best thing to do in Borong is to simply take in your fill of fresh mountain air on an early morning walk. Make stops on the way to pick some wild ferns to keep in a book or take a shot or two of the Pandim, Narsingh and Simvo peaks for Instagram creds. The Maenam Sanctuary nearby ensures that the area is frequented by all sorts of uncommon birds, so keep an eye and ear out for them too. After a hearty breakfast, you can hire a car to go check out some local sites: There is the stunning Ralong Monastery, smaller shrines you can stop at, pretty little waterfalls, a suspension bridge, and a “Titanic” viewpoint in Namlung which offers breathtaking views of the South Sikkim hills and the River Rangit flowing below. If you are itching for bigger adventures and have time (and shoes) to spare, ask around for trek routes which might be open during your stay.
Lastly, pay a visit to the Borong-Polok handmade paper factory (on the premises of the Wildflowers Resort) to take a peek into traditional paper making processes and stock up on goodies from the tiny store next to the manufacturing unit. Pick a couple of notebooks and lanterns for friends back home, a pint or two of the charming local rhododendron wine for yourself, and bid adieu to Borong after a weekend’s worth of oxygen and organic food in your system.
Getting there: Take a short flight to Bagdogra (or the brand new airport in Pakyong) or an overnight train to New Jalpaiguri, get a cab till Ravangla - following the calm flow of the River Teesta – and then brave a bumpy ride uphill to get to Borong.
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