Singalila Ridge trekking holiday in India
Optional single supplement £410.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Singalila Ridge trekking holiday in India
Set your sights on a Singalila Ridge trekking holiday in India and you’ll find yourself immersed in the tea plantations, hill stations and rhododendron forests of the northeast Indian state of Sikkim which is bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal.
This area has only recently become much more accessible with a Singalila Ridge trekking holiday in India now incorporating time spent in Darjeeling featuring rides by ‘toy train’ and views over the third tallest peak on the planet, Kanchenjunga.
A Singalila Ridge trekking holiday in India is as much about discovering the culture and spirituality of the region as it is about those all important Himalayan horizons with chances to spot Makalu, Lhotse and Everest adding to the intense clarity of a clear day spent hiking on rarely-stomped trails.
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1 Reviews of Singalila Ridge trekking holiday in India
Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by Julian Symes
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Views of the Himalayas from the singalila ridge
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
A non-stop activity holiday. Lots to organise- read and reread the trip notes. You will need a Visa, vaccinations, cold weather equipment, and be able to pack
your "stuff into a moderately sized bag.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I had no insight into the impact of my holiday on the local population
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
A full on sensory experience- fantastic
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, and use local businesses in order to leave behind a positive cultural exchange. Also in visiting cultural sites and National Parks (such as Singalila), our fees and donations contribute to the upkeep of these places.
Water is a really important issue with trekking trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Lack of recycling is already a massive problem in India so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. You will be provided with boiled drinking water on trek but it is also advisable to bring purification tablets/liquid such as Biox Aqua to treat water. Burnable rubbish will be burnt on trek and we ask each trekker to keep a rubbish bag for non-burnable rubbish to take back to Calcutta or UK.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We spend 7 nights in hotels, 5 nights in full-service camping, 1 night in a lodge and 1 on a sleeper train. You will find that the vast majority (if not all) of the staff are local people and that the hotels are locally run. In Gangtok, for example, we stay at the Netuk House Hotel, which is a traditional Sikkimese family house, now run as a small hotel with splendid food and traditional service. We find that avoiding chains is an effective way of having a more positive effect on local economy. All grocery and other items used during treks are purchased from local shops only in Darjeeling.
Local Craft and Culture:
Despite spending most of this trip trekking, there are still plenty of cultural activities on the itinerary. We visit a number of markets, monasteries and even have a chance to ride the infamous ‘toy train’ to Ghoom. Darjeeling has a particularly popular market and plenty of small eating and craft stalls where clients can get an insight into daily life of locals and spread their money to local people. There are also Tibetan refugee shops here which clients are encouraged to use to by handicrafts and souvenirs. In Gangtok, there are Sikkim tribal handmade items on sale and tourism is an important avenue of income here, whilst also keeping up traditional methods of production.
We make charitable donations to causes selected and appointed by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO). This governing body ensure that charities are legitimate and that contributions are used judiciously. In the past we have contributed to a number of projects such as the 2013 flood relief in the Garwahl Himalayas, building up schools in remote villages and Red Cross initiatives in the country. We also abide by the eco code of conduct set out by the IATO which sets out guidelines for prevention of deforestation, recycling, protection of natural environment and respect for local culture and customs.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.