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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Dec 2, 2004 - Back into the hands of Buddha

Sikkim: I am back in Shangri-La. After a taxi-ride through a war zone, a 17-hour, hideously oversold train, and a 6-hour jeep ride over several mountain passes, I am in Gangtok, Sikkim---high in the Himalayan kingdom. The air is cool and clean! The indigen are Buddhist, have beautiful bone-structure, and in an act of sheer compassion-- they ignore us!! There are no horns honking, no piles of trash, and I haven't seen a cow in days. There are no touts, wallahs, saddhus, or guides. And I am school-boy crush giddy about it all. Though a...

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ROVING ENOPHILE

Nov 11, 2004 - Back from Sikkim

Hi, Well, just got the official bad news about the PNG material, yes it is definately sent back due to lack of phytosanitary cert. Its very depressing but at least I have DNA material, pickled material and photos. I am trying (hard) to look at the bright side. Well, every day is an adventure here. We drove 4 hours up to Gantock, the capital of Sikkim, to go to the BSI herbarium there. They were expected to have good collections of native Passiflora geminiflora and P. perpera. When we got there (after a frightening taxi ride) we found only...

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Field Work 2004

Nov 5, 2004 - Chilling in Darjeeling

(Updated by: Giles) Darjeeling has been 'the' place to relax in India. It feels like a different country from the rest of India, this is probably due to the fact that 'Indians' only make up 10% of the population, the rest being predominantly made up of Nepalese (60%) and Tibetan (30%). I think we'd almost forgotten what it was like to be able to walk down the street and not be continuously sold to. Another peculiarity of Darjeeling is the fact that most moped/motocycle riders where polo hats (as opposed to the rest of India where they tend...

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Oct 28, 2004 - Getting to Darjeeling

(Updated by: Giles) The train from Jaipur arrived at Delhi on time at 6.30am and we needed to get to the airport by 9am to check-in for our flight to Bagdogra (80km from Darjeeling). One upside to 1st Class perhaps was that we met a business man in our cabin who insisted on taking us to this house for breakfast and then getting his driver to take us to the airport ! There really are 2 types of Indians, those that want your money (pushy, hasslers) and those that don't (friendly and extremely welcoming), unfortunately as 'travellers' we are...

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Oct 15, 2004 - Almost Heaven in the Himalayas

Here I stand in Darjeeling, on the edge of the Himalayan Mountains. The temperature has dropped, the air has thinned and cows have seemingly disappeared...now only a dense mist wanders the streets with impunity. Floating in the midst of this dreamlike environment are faces as diverse as the Himalayan topography - people of Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan and Bhutanese origin all make this area home. While walking in the clouds has been amazing, it has cost me a good look at Khangchendzonga (8598m). I caught a brief glimpse of it a couple of days...

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Oct 3, 2004 - Darjeeling, India

Hey Yall... Guess where I am now? Darjeeling - Queen of the Hills. It was a 4 hour-long shared-jeep ride to get here and no...it wasn't a bone-jarring ride this time. Good grief...don't think my butts could handle another one so soon! ;-) I did not know Darjeeling was high up on the mountain at 2134m and thought it was somewhere down in the valley like Napa, California. It is well known and famous for raising and selling Darjeeling tea. With its tea plantations, cool climate and English colonial houses; it is definitely quintessential hill...

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Sep 30, 2004 - Anyone for tea?

We're now in Darjeeling, West Bengal, 7000ft up on the edge of a Himalayan peak with views of Khangchendzonga (world's 3rd highest mountain) and hopefully soon Everest. Ten miles to the west is Nepal, 20 miles to the east is the secretive kingdom of Bhutan, 90 miles to the north is Tibet, and 30 miles south is Bangledesh. The journey here wasn't the easiest but it was well worth it. After negociating Delhi train station (chaos in extremis) where some walk over the train lines to change platform, we had a 22 hour journey on a sleeper train....

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May 14, 2004 - Darjeeling

I had hoped to travel direct from Agra to Darjeeling, but with it being Indian summer vacations all of the trains were fully booked so I had to return to Delhi to reserve my tickets. Even though I was purchasing my return ticket about ten days in advance I could still only get on a waiting list for a ticket. The train journey from Delhi was miserable. I will never understand how transport ticketing in India works. Even though I had a reserved seat I still shared the 6 person area in which I was sat with 11 others, most of whom did not have...

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Genty's Asia - 2004

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