Kongchen Lyang

A  360° Immersion in the

SIKKIM HIMALAYAS

A first-of-its-kind travel program transforming villages around the Kangchendzonga National Park - A UNESCO World Heritage Site - into self-contained eco-tourism destinations. 

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This is a Flexible, Free-Flowing Itinerary

A personally curated journey for people who don't like tours. 

 A community travel program that gives freedom for solo exploration.

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Views

Wake up to 360° views of some of Sikkim's finest looking peaks including guardian deity Mt. KongchenDzongkha -

The world's 3rd highest and India's highest peak.

 
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Paint a Monastery

A Map My Stories Initiative.

Intricate design lessons from a local Monastic Artist.

Our village monastery will be your canvas

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Caving

Explore a cluster of natural caves* hidden in the Eastern Himalayas

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*Requires a bit of crawling through narrow spaces.

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Riverside Indulgence

Picnicking at pristine spots by the the Teesta*

Our best finds.

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Immerse in Rong Heritage & Folklore

The Rongs are a minority community indigenous to Sikkim.

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Craft Your Own Sustainable Souvenir

A Map My Stories Initiative. 

Handicraft lessons from a Sikkimese craftsman. 

Seasonal Treats*

Chase Secret Waterfalls (April-Early October)

Swim in Secluded Natural Pools (April-Early October)

Walk through Golden Paddy Fields (Late September- Early October)

Follow Cherry Blossom Trails (Late November to March)

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*Seasonal. Subject to Availability.

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Forage Trek

Trek* through thick sub-tropical forests and cardamom plantations to forage for Sikkim's culinary secrets.

*The trek is short but steep and may take 2-4 hours to complete. 

General Fitness & Prior hiking/trekking experience is recommended but not mandatory. 

Forest produce is seasonally available.

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Discover soul-soothing Indigenous Music 

An Intimate Live Performance from an underground Lepcha Music Collecive

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*Musicians are subject to availability due to their busy schedules.

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Discover soul-soothing Sikkimese Music 

An Intimate Live Performance from a local Band and Jam Sessions

A Map My Stories initiative to support local artists.

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Culinary Lessons

Local Delicacies from our Friendly Home Chefs 

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Winemaking

Learn to brew/make* the local beer/wine from freshly foraged produce. The perfect accompaniment to fireside conversations and jam sessions.

*Fermentation periods vary with seasons. In case of longer fermentation periods, a partial brewing experience will be arranged.

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Stargaze with a mug of local beer

Can you spot shooting stars?

*Views affected by weather

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Monastery

Travel inward in quaint, old monasteries and find your inner peace.

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Map Your Kongchen Story

A day to do whatever you feel like.

(Check Add-ons for ideas)

 
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Experiential Gems* to unearth in Kongchen Lyang

*Extend your journey with these Add-on experiences

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Natural Hot Spring Baths 

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Uncharted Treks

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Birding & Butterfly watching

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Social Farming

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Community Games

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Immersive Storytelling from a local Academician

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Camping in the wild

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Offbeat Day Hikes

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Sikkimese Festivals 

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Baking lessons in a rustic kitchen

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Guided Photography Hikes

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Football with the locals - Sikkim's favourite sport

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Slow down and enjoy the art of doing nothing :)

 
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Stays*

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Basic Homestays (Cemented) & Rustic Homestays (Wooden + Stone/Cement)

Hosts: Local Sikkimese Family

Maximum capacity: 3-4 Persons

Sleeping Arrangements: Clean & Hygienic. Shared Rooms with Single Beds (Furnished)

Washroom: Clean & Hygienic. Shared. Western.

Food: Organic, Home-cooked Meals and local beverages

Cuisine: Sikkimese & Indo-Sikkimese Fusion

(Vegan, Vegetarian & Non-vegetarian options)

Perks: Organic Farm, Hot water, Mountain Views and Good vibes.

 
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ARRIVAL

Arrive at Bagdogra (IXB) LATEST by 10 AM.

OR

Arrive at New Japlaiguri (NJP) LATEST by 10 AM.

+

6-7 Hours Cab Journey

DEPARTURE

6-7 Hours Cab Journey

Depart from Bagdogra (IXB) NOT EARLIER THAN 3 PM.

+

OR

Depart from New Japlaiguri (NJP) NOT EARLIER THAN 3PM.

Note: The cab is included in our pricing and will be shared with your trip mates.

Accurate details will be shared on registration.

 
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Customised

&

Scheduled

Journeys

 Upcoming Scheduled Journeys

Sold Out | Filling Fast | Slots Available
Nov 6-12
Dec 13-19
Jan 13-19 (2023)
Oct 2023 (TBA)
A small group of 4-6 carefully selected travellers
Minimum**
7 Days &
6 Nights 
INR 33,000/Person*
+ Air/Rail
*Flexible Payment Option available.
**Your journey can be extended with these Add-on Experiences.
 

INCLUSIONS

  • Meals & Accommodation for the scheduled 7D/6N program

  • Transportation (Including transfer from/to IXB Airport or NJP Station)

  • Trained, Knowledgable Local Guides for all 5 days.

  • A Map My Stories Representative to ensure and enhance the quality of your experience.

  • Fees for Handicraft workshop, Monastic Arts, Culinary lessons and Musicians.

  • Ingredients for beer brewing/wine making, 

  • Firewood for bonfire (seasonal),

  • Materials & tools for handicraft workshop. 

  • Paints for Monastic Arts Session (paint brushes need to be brought by you).

  • Permits and Permit Fees. 

  • Basic Medical/First Aid Kit during the trip.

EXCLUSIONS

  • Airfare, Railfare, Busfare etc.

  • Optional local Guides & Transportation for 'Map Your Kongchen Story' Day

  • Optional Add-on Experiences. Some of the Add-ons need to be booked in advance. Map My Stories does NOT charge a booking fee or earn commissions from Add-ons.

  • Any food and beverage cost apart from the ones mentioned in itinerary.

  • Trip extensions, Buffer days etc. 

  • Paint brushes for Monastic Arts workshop (Kindly bring your own)

  • Binoculars for Birding/Butterfly watching (Optional).

  • Any Tips (Our local guides are paid generously. However, we are completely on board if you feel the need to tip the local guides etc. We do not however encourage tipping the local children or buying them chocolates and other packed foods.)

  • Tiffin box, water bottle & spoon for packed lunch. (Kindly bring your own as we want to minimise single-use plastic as much as possible.)

  • Costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions, political unrest and any other circumstances beyond our control.

  • Any personal Expenditure (Shopping, medicines etc)

  • Travel Insurance

  • Any items / services not specifically mentioned under the head ‘inclusions’.

 

Check-list (Our Recommendations):

  1. Paint brushes for the Monastic Arts. 

  2. Your own toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap.

  3. Toilet Paper (Non-toxic).

  4. Water bottle (Should not be single-use plastic)

  5. A fully charged torch. A head lamp is recommended over a normal hand torch for caving.

  6. Comfortable breathable clothes for sunny days.

  7. Warm clothes (thermals, insulating jacket, cap/muffler , socks and gloves) for cold nights. Note: Thermals, Cap/Muffler and Gloves won't be needed during Spring/Summer. 

  8. A poncho

  9. A bath towel

  10. Trekking shoes. I recommend ankle length, water-resistant shoes with good grip to decrease chances of slipping or getting bitten by leeches.

  11. A pair of floaters/slippers/shoes to wear casually.

  12. A trekking pole is recommended but not mandatory.

  13. Water resistant trekking trousers are recommended over jeans for trekking.

  14. A hat/cap to protect against the sun.

  15. Your medications.

  16. A yoga mat if you feel like doing yoga in the monastery or anywhere else (optional).

  17. A pair of binoculars for birding (optional)

  18. A rug-sack is recommended over suitcases, carry bags or trolley bags.

  19. Appropriate swimming clothes.

  20. A pair of slippers.

  21. 2 big plastic bags for storing soiled clothes and any single use plastic generated or found during the program (Single use plastic cannot be disposed in the mountains. Needs to be carried back with you to the plains)

  22. A lunch box and cutlery (for packed lunch)

  23. Sunscreen

  24. A small daypack (with waterproof covering) for hiking

  25. Original ID (Passport/Voter ID) & 4 photocopies

  26. Passport size photos- 4 copies

  27. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19

  28. RT-PCR Tests are not mandatory but highly recommended.

  29. Valid Indian Visa & 4 Photocopies (for foreign Passport holders only)

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How big will the group be?
Each group will have a maximum of 4-6 carefully selected, like-minded participants. Quality over quantity, always.

I am a foreigner and I would like some guidance on how to reach & other formalities (paperwork etc). Can I get help?

Yes! Providing personalised pre-travel virtual guidance (on registration) is part of our services. 

Why are these journeys more expensive than the average tour packages ?

  • Our personally curated/vetted journeys offer more unique experiences than most companies (workshops, immersions, hidden gems etc)

  • Offbeat destinations (especially Northeast india) are pricier due to poor connectivity, higher cost of goods etc. We are going to be in locations that are not developed for mainstream tourism - far away from crowds.

  • Our group size is small (4-6 only) which increases each individual's shared costs such as guide fees, transportation, workshop fees etc. 

  • Along with local guides, A Map My Stories representative will be joining you to ensure and enhance the quality of your experience.

  • We pay our local hosts and guides generously and don't feel comfortable bargaining with them. Owing to all this, the costs might seem a bit high at first glance, but they are totally worth it. (Check Testimonials on Instagram)

What kind of fitness levels are expected in these journeys?

The day treks are short but require decent amount of endurance and fitness. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

I want to extend my journey and visit other places not part of the itinerary. Can you help me plan my extended journey?
Yes! We have a growing local network and will be happy to connect you with the right people and plan your extended journey.

What do I need to Bring with me on this journey?

Here's a list of things that will help you out :)

Is it safe to travel these locations?

YES. We have personally vetted these locations for safety :)

 

Disclaimer

This journey is for you if you’re fascinated by culture and thirsty for adventure. You’re flexible and don't mind the challenge of the unexpected. You aren’t intimidated by bumpy roads or no electricity. Landscapes thrill you and cultures intrigue you. Meeting locals and getting a feel for a place is more important than getting a perfect Instagram shot and ticking a million bucket list items.

This journey is NOT the best choice for you if you need the luxury and comforts of home while traveling, or want to travel as fast as possible. Wifi, mobile data and electricity aren't always available. Local foods comprise the majority of our diets unless you have restrictions. Accommodations in remote areas can be basic or rustic at best. We'll be exploring at a relaxed pace; we're not trying to see every single sight in a day.