1. Bus Seat Dilemma in NJP
The bus journey from NJP to Kalimpong was pretty cool. Mayukh was sitting on the window seat and I was sitting beside him. As the weather was hot, Mayukh quickly grabbed the window seat. But there was a downside, we were sitting on the left column and it was directly facing sunlight. Mayukh has a skin condition due to which intense sunlight agitates the skin. Now, he was regretting his decision and asked me to exchange seats. Now knowing all this I did the most obvious thing that any good friend would do, and I declined 🤣.
2. Wildlife Sanctuary in Siliguri and Extended Journey from NJP to Kalimpong
After a few kilometres, we could feel a cool breeze. I was feeling good now. Mayukh was also now feeling at peace. We passed one wild-life sanctuary, I don’t know the name but Sandeep mentioned that Elephants and tigers are habitants of the sanctuary. I would recommend exploring this sanctuary on the way from NJP to Kalimpong.
The bus journey from NJP to Kalimpong was longer than I expected. It was supposed to take 2 hours, but it took around 3 – 4 hrs. I will skip right to the part when we reach the hotel.
3. Kalimpong Hotel Orchid Arrival and Scenic Bliss
By the time we reached the hotel, it was already 3 pm. Mayukh’s relative met us at the hotel, and the view was worth it all the fatigue and exhaustion was gone. It was grandiose, at least for me as I saw mountains for the first time. Almost everyone immediately started photography without even getting fresh or changing clothes, started photography 🤣.
4. Munching and Refreshing from NJP till Kalimpong
In the meanwhile, housekeeping brought us chai. It felt good to drink something hot after a long journey. We had two rooms booked, a three sharing and the other one a two sharing. The balcony for both of the rooms was connected. And the balcony was pretty big. 8-10 people could sit on that balcony, so it was pretty spacious for the five of us.
We were also feeling pretty hungry. While on our way to Hotel Orchid(the place where we were staying) from Siliguri, we were munching on the snacks we had earlier bought for the trip. That munching continued even after reaching the hotel, we had some Haldiram’s Samosa, with sweet and spicy chutney. We got fresh and took a bath in cold water, it kinda recharged the mood.
5. Local Tour with Chitradip Da
After taking a rest for an hour or so and hanging out on the balcony Chitradip Da (Mayukh’s Relative) came to pick us up to give us a local tour. He was very helpful, to be honest.
Chitradip Da had stayed back in Kalimpong that day for us. Otherwise, he was going to travel back home, to Malda. Malda is just at a distance of 3-hour journey from NJP. He had been posted just a few months back in Kalimpong for assisting and setting up a new branch for his company as he was one of the Senior employees.
Chitradip Da showed us a local shop near the bus stop which was cheap and good, a Bengali cuisine meal shop, and the local viewpoint, and gave us directions to a small local museum, as it was already 8 pm and by now closed. He showed us the local market, half of which was already closed.
6. Dinner at The Melting Pot Bistro Kalimpong
Chitradip Da headed back to his place for the night after bidding us good night and while we were on our way to the market, I spotted a Bistro. I recommended that place for dinner, as no one had any other place in their mind.
The food was pretty amazing but a little expensive if you take my opinion but my friends had mixed feelings. They didn’t seem to like it that much. For starters, we ordered a Ceasar salad recommended by Shobhit, which was pretty amazing. After that, a large Mexican pizza which had around 12 slices and I ordered Gyoza and each one of us had one (It belongs to a family of Momo just the shape and size are a bit different along with the stuffings). And I don’t remember what other folks ordered drinks, I had a Virgin Mojito (which I always do 😅). I remember someone ordered a Pina Colada.
The main course we had was the traditional Thukpa. I had the Veg one, and Shobhit, Sandeep and Omkar had the Chicken one. Mayukh tried something out of the box, he ordered a couple of huge egg dumplings. It had some typical northeastern name(I don’t remember 😅). The bill was around 2000 – 2200 INR, which I thought was pretty decent for 5 people, keeping in consideration the size and quality of the meal along with the vibe(My folks thought otherwise).
7. Memorable Evening View of Kalimpong
After this, we headed back to our hotel which was just within walking distance. It was around 9 or 10 pm. There were barely any people on the streets, only a couple of stores opened. So my recommendation would be if you’re planning to explore the local market or shop, do it before 6 pm. As most of the shops and stores close by 6 pm.
After heading back to the room, I didn’t expect such an amazing view from our balcony. I had seen such views only in movies, the whole city of Kalimpong was completely lit up, but sadly our cameras didn’t do justice to the landscape.
8. Nightcap and Calling It a Day
After having some soft drinks and hard drinks(we kind of had a mixed group), we called it a day. And that’s it, this was our small bus tour from NJP to Kalimpong and a local evening tour of the place. See ya in the next one! 😉
You can read part 3, here.