Ignored by most travellers en route to higher trekking trails and the great gompas of west Sikkim, southern Sikkim nevertheless offers quiet charm, its lichen-covered forests draped with a stunning array of orchids and inhabited by rare and endangered animals. The region is dominated by the great, forested peak of Maenam – towering high above the town of Ravangla – a challenging day-trek and famous for its plants and flowers and for the tremendous view from its summit. Easier options such as the delightful jungle walk to the lesser heights of Tendong are just as rewarding, while high above the district capital Namchi, the gigantic statuary of Samdruptse and Solophok are clearly visible from as far away as Darjeeling. Sikkim’s sole tea garden, the organic Temi Tea Estate, welcomes visitors and provides a good base from which to explore the area.
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