If you are visiting the famous old Silk Route in east Sikkim, Padamchen should be one of your prime destinations along the route. You can stay at many places but Padamchen will provide you a unique separate charm. There are no luxury hotels or resorts yet but there are quite a few home stays at Padamchen which would provide you basic needs and are worth staying couple of nights.
Tourists traveling to Gangtok via Silk Route from Rongli’s side tend to stay at Zuluk, Nathang Valley, Lungthung, etc. because these places are more commercialized compared to Padamchen. There are more home stays at these places compared to Padamchen. One would hardly know about the place because most of travel agents would either suggest a stay at Zuluk or Nathang Valley. This is just a business to them. It is not that places like Zuluk and Nathang Valley are not that good. These places have breathtaking scenic view all around but I personally prefer to stay at Padamchen these days if I am on a short trip. If I have got time, I would surely stay overnight at Nathang valley. Actually I love more serene and tranquil places and avoid places dominated by travel agencies.
I have been traveling to Silk Route since its inception as one of the tourist destinations in the map. Silk Route in Sikkim came into limelight since 2005 when a local person there started promoting places like Zuluk, Nathang Valley, Lungthung, etc. Local people started providing home stays as these would be their scope of income. Certainly Zuluk and Nathang valley gained attraction and tourists started visiting the place. With more and more tourists, local people built more and more home stays and thus these beautiful places got more development in the form of home stays, stalls, etc. I was not actually loving that steady development because with each new home stay and stall, those places were losing the value and the places were losing the beauty. So I started looking for nearby and other destinations along Silk Route when I came across the beautiful home stay at Padamchen named Silent Wood Retreat. The owner of Silent Wood Retreat – Mr. Penjo is a Buddhist Monk (lama) from Tibet who owns many other properties along Silk Route. He has got his brother Navin as co-owner of the home stay at Padamchen.
They are also into social work. They have a school too at Padamchen which has got more than 250 students. They provide free education and food to many students. They have a students’ hostel too nearby the Padamchen home stay. To sustain the social work, to get adequate fund for the school, they got into this business of providing home stays to tourists traveling along Silk Route in Sikkim. I came across the Mr. Penjo at Padamchen who I consider to be one of the most humble and friendly persons I have met till date. I found the home stay to be so beautiful that I opted to stay at the property and since my first stay there, I have stayed at the same Padamchen lodge many times. In fact, I have been staying there on all my visit after that.
My last trip to Padamchen home stay was on November, 2016. I went there on my Honeymoon trip. It was not the first time that my wife visited Padamchen. We went there many times before but she is just in love with the place. It was she who insisted to visit the Silk Route including Padamchen on our Honeymoon trip. She is also a fan of Mr. Penjo as she loves his humbleness, friendliness and politeness. Mr. Penjo also went on sightseeing along the Silk Route with us. Not just that time but each time I visit there, he loves to travel along with us. He is the person who manages my stays and all my transports.
If you are planning a trip to the famous old Silk Route in Sikkim, you must spend couple of nights in the serenity of Padamchen and you should stay at Silent Wood Retreat. You can mail me or call me if interested and I can connect you to Mr. Penjo – owner of the home stay at Padamchen.