Gangtok is a pleasant town located in the Sikkim state of India.
In the Eastern Himalayas, the city is gorgeous and populated by a mixture of Nepalis, Tibetans, and Indians.
One of the highlights was riding the Gangtok Ropeway, a cable car that offers some incredible scenery of the mountains and city.
Gangtok is most easily accessible by jeep.
The closest railroad station is about 4 hours away and there are many neighboring villages that are reached by jeep on dangerous bumpy roads.
Many people in Gangtok are extremely friendly and this group of students were excited to have their photo taken.
Being in the mountains, getting things like cooking gas can sometimes be challenging.
While walking around one day, I noticed a long line of residents waiting patiently to get refills on their LPG tanks.
One of the nicest aspects of Gangtok is the walking street.
Off limits to motored vehicles, MG Marg road is a nice street that's lined with flowers and home to businesses and restaurants.
Since Gangtok is inhabited by a diverse quantity of ethnicities, there's a variety of cuisine.
Central Indian food and snacks like onion pakoras are widely available and delicious.
Tibetan / Nepali foods like steamed momo dumplings are also extremely popular.
These momos from Taste of Tibet restaurant were filled with chicken and I couldn't resist a big dab of hot sauce on them before devouring them all.
Just a 45 minute jeep ride away is the Tibetan Buddhist Ranka Monastery.
There are quite a number of temples and monasteries around Gangtok and some of them make a great day trip.
At the top of the Gangtok hill, where the ropeway begins is a mountain park that offers some spectacular views.
The windy trees are decorated with countless Tibetan Buddhist prayers flags adding to the lovely atmosphere.
Gangtok is a beautiful little town that's nestled in the Himalayas.
Though there aren't too many attractions to see, the beauty, the scenery of the mountains, and the pleasantness of the town make it a great place to spend some time.
Editor's Note: Dave here. Mark's photos bring back memories of my own journey to Sikkim in 2008.
In addition to exploring Gangtok, you can book a variety of jeep tours to Tsomgo Lake (where you can ride a yak), and further north on precarious roads to Tsopta Valley and Yumthang (Valley of Flowers).
Mark was raised in central Africa before migrating back to the U.S. for University. After graduating, he decided to continue traveling the world. On Migrationology, he shares the cultural side of travel from a slow-paced local perspective that often revolves around his love for eating all forms of food. Join him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @migrationology.