Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tourism Season starts in Sikkim

GANGTOK, Oct. 23: Enticed by Sikkim's natural beauty and the pleasant weather that has settled during the festival period, thousands of foreign and domestic tourists have chosen to stay back for a few days more and so there is a mad rush for cancellation of tickets ~ both air and Rail. "I cancelled my air ticket for now as I want to visit more monasteries in Sikkim," said Mr Duff Macagon a tourist from Mauritius. "I could only visit Enchey and Rumtek monastries and now I am planning to visit Pemayangtse and Tashiding monastries," he said. Domestic tourists are more taken by the mountains and natural beauty of the state. "I arrived yesterday for a two-day break but now I have extended my holiday by canceling my train ticket. I heard there is snowfall at Nathula, Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir and so I have reserved a vehicle to visit these places," said Mr. Arindam Chowdhury of Kolkata. "I am planning to bring my grandparents next year and I am sure they would enjoy thoroughly," he added. The situation has given the tour operators an opportunity to earn a quick buck. If it is giving the locals some problem, none is minding it. "I have been waiting here for a taxi for the past three hours but have not been able to get one as all are packed with tourists," said a local Mrs Priyanka Chettri. The hotels are packed too with tourists. "All the rooms are packed in my hotel and some of the tourists have decided to overstay. I am worried with it since fresh guests who have made their reservations would start arriving tomorrow," said Mr Dhan Subba owner of hotel. "Now I have to plan alternative arrangements for the fresh arrivals. I cannot turn them back," he added.