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All You Need To Know About North Sikkim

Zero Point

Prologue : (Un)Fortunately, North Sikkim is no more an untouched heaven on earth. It receives huge rush throughout the year except when mother nature collapse herself. And touts around it have raised like hell. If you go through Trip Advisor Sikkim Forums or Trip Advisor Gangtok Forums, you’ll find hell lots of thread created everyday asking various questions about North Sikkim. Various helpful members are always volunteering there online to make most out of your trip with their suggestions. I’m writing this post, just to add my 2 cents to all the volunteers out there who are consistently and constantly helping out people exploring the heaven on earth, North Sikkim.

Let me start with a short introduction to North Sikkim. No doubt, due to such huge rush or should I say due to the bad demand supply system, various touts exists for North Sikkim. And most tour agents try to squeeze most out of the tourists due to various misconceptions. North Sikkim tour mostly comprises of night halt at Lachung and Lachen with sightseeing to Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley and Zero Point and a new destination coming up lately, Katao. I also notice various misconceptions exists for Zero Point which is actually known as Yumesamdong. But I have seen various touts, misguiding people, to Zero Point as Katao. But Katao and Zero Point (Yumesamdong) is completely different place.

Way To Chungthang

North Sikkim Itenary : So let’s take a look at how a common tour to North Sikkim looks like. North Sikkim tour need minimum 3 days with the following itenary.
Day 1 : Gangtok to Lachen via Chungthang. O/N at Lachen.
Day 2 : Early morning trip to Gurudongmar Lake. Post lunch proceed to Lachung. O/N at Lachung.
Day 3 : Early morning trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point (Yumesamdong). Post lunch back to Gangtok. O/N at Gangtok.

The above tour is a 2N/3D tour to North Sikkim, that is bare minimum time you require, to explore the beauty. Else, if you are unfortunate to allocate 2N/3D, you can also go for 1N/2D trip and explore either Lachen – Gurudongmar or Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point i.e. either one of the below itenary

Itenary 1 :
Day 1 : Gangtok to Lachen via Chungthang. O/N at Lachen.
Day 2 : Early morning trip to Gurudongmar Lake. Post lunch proceed to Gangtok. O/N at Gangtok.

OR

Itenary 2 :
Day 1 : Gangtok to Lachung via Chungthang. O/N at Lachung.
Day 2 : Early morning trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point (Yumesamdong). Post lunch back to Gangtok. O/N at Gangtok.

On Day 1, you’ll start a bit late around 10:00 AM or so. It’ll be around 6:00 – 7:00 PM when you’ll reach Lachen. Your Day 2 will start very early at around 3 ‘o clock in the morning as you’ll be heading to Gurudongmar Lake. After sightseeing at Gurudongmar, you’ll come back to your Hotel at Lachen and post lunch you’ll proceed to Lachung and you should reach Lachung within 5 o’ clock if everything is on time. You’ll start for Yumthang and Zero Point at around 5 o’ clock in the morning of Day 3, post lunch at Lachung hotel, you’ll proceed towards Gangtok and will reach by 6:00 – 7:00 PM.

Way To Chungthang

When To Visit : Best time to visit North Sikkim is on April – May and October – November. So it’s just 4 months. Now depending on weather and luck you can also visit North Sikkim on March and on December. Though December will be very cold. Rest of the year, the road is blocked due to heavy snowfall or road gets collapsed due to heavy rainfall. So you must avoid it on Monsoon and January – February at any cost to avoid the risk.

Booking : There are various agents in Gangtok through whom you can book packaged tour to North Sikkim. You can book 2N/3D Lachung-Lachen Package or 1N/2D Lachen or Lachung package. All these packages comes with Fooding, Lodging and Traveling. So you have no expenses there except personal expenses of which scope is very low.

You must submit photocopy (Xerox) of your Voter ID Card / Passport and a color Passport Size photograph while booking. One must book this trip at least a day in advance.

NOTE : Zero Point (Yumesamdong) is not included in this trip. Don’t even try to book this through tourist agents as they charge hefty amount. Just pay the driver Rs. 1000/- – Rs. 2000/- or so (depending on your bargaining skill) and you’ll be fine.

Zero Point

Cost : This is what most people is bothered about and most people are being fooled around on this section. Precisely, by Shared Cab, North Sikkim trip should cost around Rs. 3000/- per person for the 2N/3D North Sikkim trip and with exclusive vehicle it depends on number of persons and type of vehicle. Still for a rough idea, a small vehicle with 2 persons the 2N/3D trip should cost around Rs. 18000 – Rs. 20000/-.

For 1N/2D (Either Lachen – Gurudongmar or Lachung – Yumthang) should cost around Rs. 1500/- per person on shared cab and Rs. 8000/- – Rs. 10000/- with exclusive vehicle.

These are rush season prices, so don’t fall in to the touts of increased prices due to rush season. You should get lower price than what I quoted above in lean season.

NOTE : Zero Point (Yumesamdong) is not included in this trip. Don’t even try to book this through tourist agents as they charge hefty amount. Just pay the driver Rs. 1000/- – Rs. 2000/- or so (depending on your bargaining skill) and you’ll be fine.

Zero Point

Weather / Clothing : North Sikkim being situated on very high altitude, it’s very cold throughout the year. You’ll get snow at Gurudongmar and Zero Point throughout the year. So one must carry winter clothes and wear it in multiple layers instead of wearing one single one.

Precautions : North Sikkim being situated on very high altitude, almost 98% people face some breathing problem at Gurudongmar and Zero Point (Yumesamdong). Just carry some Camphor to smell and some popcorn to eat and you’ll be fine. Those items helps you to regain oxygen in your body thus minimizing the need of getting the same while you breath.

Gurudongmar Lake

Misconceptions Regarding North Sikkim : Let us quickly scan through some misconceptions, before we go into the detailed part.

Misconception #1 – North Sikkim can’t be done on your own : If you have ever planned for North Sikkim, you’ll know about this tout. But it’s completely (Or should I say partially?) wrong. One needs to have permit to visit North Sikkim which are issued on the same morning of your journey. So if you are determined enough to run around govt. offices (multiple times) and even loose a day to save few bucks, you can do it on your own. The actual thing is, tourists agents throughout Gangtok have created this hoax to fool tourists to take the benefits out of High Demand and Low Supply for North Sikkim. They bribe the Govt. Officials heavily, to make you run around various offices for the permit, of which you’ll loose your hope and go with tourist agents only.

Now, if you are not in mood to loose a day to run around for permits or even ultimately ruining your trip, it’s always better to book through Travel Agents. You’ll hardly save Rs. 2000/- – Rs. 3000/- by doing everything on your own. So the effort you need to put to run around everywhere doesn’t goes with the amount you save.

But if you can get hold of a good driver who can arrange the permits for you then consider yourself the luckiest person on earth. 🙂

Gurudongmar Lake 13100 Ft

Misconception #2 – Shared Vehicles Means Shared Accommodations : Not many can afford the hefty price of exclusive vehicle to North Sikkim. So a sheer amount of people tends to go for Shared Vehicle. But many people misinterpret this is sharing everything. Shared vehicle or shared trip means, you’ll be sharing the car only. Accommodations will be private to you, allocated based on Double or Triple person per room within your family. If you are travelling Solo, then also you’ll be allocated one single room. So don’t worry.

Misconception #3 – Choosing hotels or taking a review of hotels from Trip Advisor or Internet at Lachung and Lachen : Well, most accommodation facilities are very basic there with basic amenities, though clean and cosy with warm hospitality. Consider all of them as Homestays. So there’s nothing to search about Review or something. Different operators have tie up with different hotels. So you don’t gain much by staying at one over the other.

Recently, some good hotels are coming up, of which you can find a website in Internet and get reviews on Trip Advisor too. But those will generally not be offered to you on shared trip, as those hotels costs high amount over the homestay’s. And believe me, to enjoy North Sikkim truly, you must stay at Homestay’s only.

Yumthung Valley

Misconception #3 – Planning with Elderly people or Young Kids : North Sikkim, specially Gurudongmar is situated at around 17k feet above sea level. So ofcourse that’s a due to very high altitude there’s scarcity of oxygen. So please avoid planning with very elderly people who have breathing problem and same goes for very young kids as they might have a lots of problems. You can plan Yumthang though with them, but avoid Zero Point (Yumesamdong) at any cost.

Legally, Sikkim Govt. doesn’t permits kids below 10 years, but you’ll come across many situations where people have made a trip to North Sikkim with kids of 5 – 6 years old. That’s fine I believe as long as your kid is able to absorb. But don’t take risk with kids younger than 5 to 6 year old’s.

Though there were no rule for senior citizens, but recently, Sikkim Govt. stopped allowing citizens above 60 years old. So think again before planning with senior citizens, he/she may be denied an entry.

Way To Zero Point

Quick Facts Regarding North Sikkim : Time for some quick facts, which will help you to gather some preliminary ideas regarding North Sikkim

  • So if you really don’t want to ruin your trip running around permit for all the day or even more, just book through agents around Gangtok or hotel. You’ll find hundreds of such agents in M.G.Marg and all over Gangtok. It works just like that.
  • You’ll not be asked for choice of hotels, as there’s no point in doing so. All are very basic, extremely clean homestay’s with very basic amenities. You can’t go wrong here by choosing one over the other. So no point in worrying.
  • Shared trip means sharing the vehicle only. Accommodations will be exclusive.
  • The trip to North Sikkim is very hectic due to the road condition and strict timings that you have to follow. But believe me, if you can make it, you’ll gain a lifetime memory.
  • The cost includes all of your Fooding, Lodging and Traveling expenses.
  • As a proof of document, only Voter ID Card and Passport is accepted. So if you don’t have either of them, try to get one of them by not wasting your time taking chance. Though I have seen many operators accepting Driving Licence, but PAN Card is strictly not acceptable.
  • The Day you reach Gangtok, can’t start the journey to North Sikkim. Same goes when returning. While returning from North Sikkim, you must halt a night at Gangtok before proceeding further with your plans next day.
  • Gurudongmar is situated at very high altitude, so avoid planning North Sikkim with elderly persons with breathing problem or very young kids. You may approach Yumthang Valley though, but you must avoid Zero Point.
  • Most people tends to book North Sikkim at the beginning of their trip. So I have seen many people wondering whether they should keep their booking at Gangtok too, to keep their luggage. So, if you have further plans for Gangtok after returning from North Sikkim, you might not want to carry all the luggage to North Sikkim, that’s absolutely normal. Most hotels in Gangtok is aware about the same, so just talk to them and they will keep the luggage in their store room if you have further bookings at that hotel.
  • Zero Point (Yumesamdong) is not included in any of the North Sikkim trip. Just pay the driver some thousand bucks and he’ll be more than happy to take you to Zero Point (Yumesamdong).

Zero Point

At this point of time, I’d like to refer you to my Experience From My Trip To Gangtok and North Sikkim for a detailed view tour to North Sikkim.

Contacts :
Personally I have traveled with Lama Tour & Travels and was extremely satisfied. You can call her or WhatsApp her at +919832079292 / +919734983536.

Though I do not have any personal experience with other tour operators, but you may try one of the below..
Yak and Yeti Travels
Nature Beyond
List of Govt. Recognized Registered Tour Operators

About Author

Hi, I'm born and bought up in Kolkata in the midst of what bongs are best known for - Eating, Sleeping and Travelling. A developer by profession and a traveller by passion. As I was facing a lack of budget-friendly information on the internet while planning my travel, I started drafting my travel experiences here to help you all having a pocket-friendly smooth travel experience.

105 Comments

  • Pratap Biswas
    July 11, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Hii…krish da..you are great.
    I have a plan to visit gangtok in mid october with my elderly patents.I need your advice.
    1.In that pick season of puja spot hotel booking will be available there for low budget?Shall I find it easily Or I have to rome here and there for rooms?
    2.I want to avoid Gurudongmar/zero point for my parents.can you suggest me any other places to enjoy snow at lower altitude?How to plan it?
    I will egarly wait for your reply.
    With regards
    Pratap

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 11, 2016 at 4:59 PM

      Hi Pratap, Thank You for your approciations 🙂

      1. October is peak season. So it’s always better to book hotels in advance if you are keen on some specific hotel. Infact most good budget hotels are already full as of now. Even I had a hard time getting a booking.

      Now that being said, Gangtok have lots of hotels and you’ll still find hotels on spot. But for that you have to roam here and there and mostly try on areas bit far from MGMarg. Like Development Area, Tibet Road etc. all of which are within 5-15 minutes walking distance.

      So again, if you are okay to roam here and there to find a sweet deal and dont mind staying a bit far off from MGMarg and mostly if you are not keen on some specific hotel you’ll find hotels on spot.

      2. Other than North Sikkim, you can find snow at Nathulla Pass in October. If they are very aged, carry some popcorn and camphor as a precautionary measure.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
      • Pratap Biswas
        July 17, 2016 at 9:58 AM

        Thank you very much dada..

        Reply
      • Anindya
        April 20, 2019 at 5:43 PM

        Hello krishnendu da…I have contacted the lama tour and travels for my north sikkim tour in coming oct2019, but they v’not disclosed the price and also told that during puja all of their drivers would go on leave as all of them are hindus…:(
        However could you suggest me some other travel agents with good reviews for North sikkim tour…thank you 🙂

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          April 23, 2019 at 8:17 PM

          Hi Anindya, Well who told you that the drivers will go on leave during Durga Puja? It’s not true at all. They go on leave during Bhai Duj (Bhai Phota) which is an auspicious festival amongst Nepali’s.

          Well for North Sikkim tour there are lots of tour operators. You can also check with your hotels. I personally went with Lama when I visited there. So I haven’t explored others. However you may check Authorized Tour Operators of Sikkim for more tour operators

          Reply
  • Nandan Baruah
    July 11, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    Fantastic work and noble service that you have provided. Must appreciate. I have read almost every content in your blog. Still require your final words.
    Planning to travel Sikkim during first week of October for 4-5 days (excluding Darjeeling part) with my wife and son (1.5 years). You’ve mentioned visiting North Sikkim with small kids is risky. Is there any alternative place to visit to compensate the 2-3 days?
    Thank you in anticipation.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 11, 2016 at 6:35 PM

      Thanks a lot Nandan for your appreciation 🙂

      First of all let me inform you that Darjeeling is not in Sikkim, it’s in West Bengal.

      Yes with kids of 1.5 years North Sikkim is not at all recommended due to high altitude and scarcity of oxygen.

      For 4-5 days you may follow the below itinerary
      Day 1 : Arrive at Gangtok
      Day 2 : Gangtok Sightseeing
      Day 3 : Day Trip to Tsongmo Lake and Baba Mandir. (Avoid Nathulla with 1.5 years kid for the same reason as of North Sikkim)
      Day 4 : Gangtok to Pelling via Ravangla
      Day 4 : Pelling Sightseeing
      Day 6 : Deperture

      Let me know if this looks good to you 🙂

      Reply
      • nandan baruah
        July 12, 2016 at 4:49 PM

        Thanks so much. Its has been a pleasure interacting with you. Kind regards..

        Reply
  • Vishal Jariwala
    July 13, 2016 at 2:14 AM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    We are group of 6 people planning almost same itinerary with 2 days more in Darjeeling on our way back from Gangtok.

    One of our friend is completely wheelchair bound. We can carry him on wheelchair for few stairs but overall we need to plan hotel / excursions having direct vehicle accessibility.

    From your first hand experience, we could really use some tips. 1. Would like to know for places / points we just cannot do with wheelchair?
    2. Particular hotel to look from in Gangtok / Darjeeling / Lachen / Lachung?
    3. Is it better to book private car in sikkim for 3 days or go with local fixed rate taxis like you have done?
    4. Can vehicle goes all the way to Nathula pass? We know it goes till gurudongmar lake?

    Thanks for your help

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 13, 2016 at 7:25 AM

      Hi Vishal, Good Morning 🙂

      1. Though most of the sightseeing places are slopes but avoid Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok etc. As for those you have to climb up fair amount of stairs. But points like Rumtek and all though you have to climb up a bit but that’s just hilly road and not stairs. So it’ll be easy carrying him around. Please take a look at https://krishnandusarkar.com/experience-from-my-sikkim-trip/. The sightseeing points that I covered are all on hilly roads with no stairs.

      2. I’d suggest you to look at Trip Advisor. The hotel where I stayed in Gangtok i.e at Ma Yang there were rooms as Ground Floor so you don’t have to carry him through stairs. I don’t think you’ll get hotels in Gangtok and Darjeeling who have good accessibility options, but you can always look for rooms on Ground Floor. And in Lachung and Lachen, inform your tour operator to allot ground floor or first floor rooms while booking. As that’s something completely managed by the tour operators.

      I’d suggest you to have a look at Trip Advisor for hotels.

      3. Depends on you guys. Whether you want it to do in Budget or want to have a little convience and luxury.

      4. Yes it goes upto Gurudongmar, Yumthang and Zero Point in North Sikkim. But not till Nathulla Pass. The point where car will be parked you have to walk a bit on slopy road and then climb up few sairs to reach the rooftop of the building to see the pass.

      Hope that clears your queries. Let me know if you need help with anything else 🙂

      Reply
      • Vishal Jariwala
        July 13, 2016 at 9:43 PM

        Thanks Krish…This would really help.

        Reply
  • Nandan Baruah
    July 16, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Hi again Krishnandu, this is Nandan again (the one with a 1.5 yr kid and decided not to visit North Sikkim this time.)

    I have worked out and my plan is almost ready.. Just one thing..
    from leaving Gangtok on 10th Oct (morning) till reaching NJP on 12th Oct (to catch train in the evening ) Pelling is on my list. Need your suggestions here ,
    1. Leave Gangtok in the morning, Sightseeing and stay at Ravangla.
    2. Full day Pelling tour and back to Ravangla and stay.
    3. Proceed to NJP.
    OR
    Stay at Pelling from 10 to 16 (heard that staying at Pelling is more exciting)
    One important aspect is the return journey to NJP (distance, road condition, topography etc.). Dont know whether Pelling – NJP is better or Ravangla – NJP..
    One more thing… Are Darap Homestays good?
    I shall be grateful for your kind suggestion.
    Thanks..

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 17, 2016 at 12:14 AM

      Hi Nandan, Full Day Pelling Sightseeing from Ravangla and going back to Ravangla is not possible and feasible. So do this instead…
      10th : Gangtok to Pelling via Ravangla
      11th : Pelling Sightseeing
      12th : Pelling to NJP.

      Ravangla to NJP and Pelling to NJP is more or less same, doesn’t matters much.

      Sorry I haven’t visited Darap Homestay’s, so can’t comment on that at personal level. But looking at internet it looks like they are great.

      Reply
  • Nandan Baruah
    July 19, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    Thank you very much Krishnandu,
    With your inputs I have finally fixed my entire trip. Your suggestions have been very helpful. Thank you very much.

    Regards,
    Nandan

    Reply
  • Zubin Mohta
    August 6, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    Hi krishnandu,
    We are planning a trip to sikkim and was going through and gathering the information, and i am glad i cam across your blog. Your article is really helpful. Keep up the good work.
    We are planning a trip to sikkim from 10th to 20th sept. and would like to visit north sikkim. My itinerary is as follows:
    day 1 IXB to gangtok
    day 2 gangtok to nathula pass
    day 3 gangtok local
    day 3 lanchen
    day 4 lanchen to Gurudongmar lake
    day 5 lachung yumthong and zero point
    day 6 ravangala or rabangala/
    day 7 kaluk, hee or other similar places

    want ur valuable advise if the itinerary is ok. want to visit some of the offbeat places of sikkim. so instead of going to pelling we are thinking of going to kaluk and hee. Is it a good choice and how many days do we need for these places.
    also do we need to stay overnite at lanchung or we can proceed to rabangala.

    Please advise and would appreciate your suggestion.

    Thanks

    regards

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 6, 2016 at 4:14 PM

      Hi Zubin, Thanks and I’m glad that you liked it.

      Your itinerary is perfectly fine. On Day 5 you’d move to Lachung for night stay after Gurudongmar. And then again on Day 6 it’d be evening when you’ll reach Gangtok after Yumthang and Zero Point. So you need to proceed to Ravangla as per your itinerary next day only.

      Kaluk needs one night stay and you can cover Hee, Bermiok, Dentam and Chaya Taal as sightseeing while going to Kaluk.

      You may check my posts on the above places at the below links
      Trip To Gangtok and North Sikkim
      Trip To Kaluk, Hee, Bermiok, Chaya Taal, Dentam and Uttarey
      Trip To Ravangla

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
      • Zubin Mohta
        August 7, 2016 at 4:07 PM

        Hi Krishnandu,

        Thanks for your valuable inputs and your prompt response. Truly grateful. few more queries….
        is it feasible to stay in pelling and from there go to ravangala one day… and next day hee, chaya taal and kaluk. which is better place to stay…. pelling or Kaulk.
        also we are travelling on our own…. so how to get the permission for nathula pass and zero point.

        Thank you in advance.

        regards,

        zubin

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          August 7, 2016 at 7:19 PM

          HI Zubin, Both Pelling and Kaluk is good. One can’t just compare two destinations just like that.

          Well the route is like Kaluk > Hee > Bermiok > Chaya Taal (is a small detour) > Dentam > Uttarey > Pelling > Ravangla.

          So if you are coming from Gangtok to Pelling, then you’ll go through Ravangla only. So in that case, there’s no need to waste another day. You may do it like..

          Day 1 : Gangtok to Pelling via Ravangla. OR Gangtok to Ravangla (if you wish to stay at Ravangla)
          Day 2 : Pelling Sightseeing (if you wish to, needs one full day BTW)
          Day 3 : Pelling to Kaluk via Hee, Bermiok, Chaya Taal, Dentam.

          Reply
  • Khushi Jain
    November 3, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    is this place will be icy or moderate between 24 Nov to 28 Nov, as I am visiting Gangtok

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 3, 2016 at 8:52 PM

      It’ll be icy at Gurudongmar and Zero Point. But North Sikkim is generally colder throughout the year 🙂

      Reply
  • Ratan rateria
    January 12, 2017 at 7:30 PM

    Your suggestions and write ups are excellent. You are helping the other travellers a lot with your experience. Ratan Rateria

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 12, 2017 at 9:13 PM

      Hi Ratan,
      Thanks a lot 🙂

      And exactly that’s the reason I started this blog 🙂

      Reply
  • Debdeep Banerjee
    January 13, 2017 at 11:06 PM

    Nice Post! Listen, I am planning a trip to N.Sikkim on 8th feb (next mnth), so can u tell me whether I can visit Lachung and Yumthang then? Also, is zero point feasible?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 14, 2017 at 12:01 AM

      Thank You Debdeep 🙂

      No. North Sikkim is generally not accessible at that time.

      Reply
  • Anonymous
    February 27, 2017 at 8:25 PM
  • Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 at 11:34 PM
  • Dheeraj
    April 20, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Amazing blog! 😀
    I was wondering whether Is it possible to camp in North Sikkim? Like near a lake or something? We have our camping equipment!

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      April 20, 2017 at 1:31 PM

      Hi Dheeraj,
      Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Camping is not possible within that area, as the area being a border area belongs to Army. Tourism is also permitted based on Army’s approval.

      Reply
  • tarun
    April 25, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Hi ,

    thnx for your information.
    can i visit north Sikkim with my 4 year old child(boy) in may?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      April 25, 2017 at 2:49 PM

      Hi Tarun, No. It’s not recommended to travel North Sikkim with kids below 6 years. The level of oxygen up there is very thin and I don’t think it’s worth taking the risk.

      Reply
  • Shubham
    May 15, 2017 at 5:31 PM

    Hi,

    First of all, thankyou for writing such a nice article.I am planning to travel to north sikkim in second week of june this year. I am concerned about monsoon at that time. Would it cause much hindrance?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 15, 2017 at 6:55 PM

      Hi Shubham, It’s not recommended to visit North Sikkim during monsoon as the road being land slide prone zone it’s dangerous to travel in monsoon there.

      Generally June is just start of monsoon and it just drizzles a bit for first 2-3 weeks of June but rains have already arrived in the hills this year a bit early and weather in hills is very unpredictable.

      So I’d suggest you to travel with a flexible plan. If you see it to be drizzling a bit or so then fine, you may proceed. Otherwise if you see it to be raining badly for last few days after your arrival, I’d suggest you to ditch North Sikkim.

      Reply
      • Shubham
        May 15, 2017 at 7:08 PM

        Thanks for prompt reply??. What about old silk route trip in second week of june or some other itenary you can suggest for 6nights 7 days which can be covered in rainy season. I hope I’m not asking for much?.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          May 15, 2017 at 7:13 PM

          Hi Subham, You may consider North Sikkim if it’s not raining. And if it’s raining then then travelling beyond Zuluk too is not recommended. But it’s not that as risky as North Sikkim.

          For Silk Route you may follow..

          Day 1 : NJP – Reshikhola
          Day 2 : Reshikhola – Mankhim
          Day 3 : Mankhim – Zuluk
          Day 4 : Zuluk / Gnathang
          Day 5 : Zuluk / Gnathang – Gangtok
          Day 6 : Gangtok Sightseeing
          Day 7 : Gangtok – NJP

          You can do the reverse too. Please note that if you do the reverse way, you’ll able to do Nathulla while going towards Gnathang. But while coming to Gangtok from Gnathang, going to Nathulla won’t be possible.

          Otherwise, you may also consider West & South Sikkim..

          Day 1 : NJP – Gangtok
          Day 2 : Gangtok Sightseeing
          Day 3 : Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass
          Day 4 : Gangtok – Pelling via Ravangla
          Day 5 : Pelling Sightseeing
          Day 6 : Pelling – Namchi
          Day 7 : Namchi – NJP

          Reply
  • Binal
    July 25, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Hi,

    As you have mentioned in this post that ………. Zero Point (Yumesamdong) is not included in this trip. Don’t even try to book this through tourist agents as they charge hefty amount……..so are the drivers readily ready to take us to ZERO POINT with some extra amount in shared cabs.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 25, 2017 at 2:29 PM

      Hi Mr. Bimal, Generally Zero Point (Yumesamdong) is not included in the package. If you ask your tour operator to include the same, they will do it but the charges will be more. However, once you start, you can negotiate with your driver for Rs. 1000/- – Rs. 2000/- depending on the season and he’ll be more than happy to take you there. That’s what most tourist do.

      In case you are travelling in Shared Cab, the issue is, all of the tourists needs to agree to go there and pay their part of the amount discussed. But I didn’t faced any issue with this ever. As most of them goes for first time and no ones wants to miss the place for a mere Rs. 200/- – Rs. 300/-

      Reply
  • Gunjan choudhary
    September 8, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    How was the hotels in lachung and lacheng that was included in your package?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 9, 2017 at 11:05 PM

      Hi Gunjan, There are only 2-3 hotels came up last year in Lachung and Lachen. Else all are homestays with very basic infrastructure but clean. So unless you are going for any of those * Rated Hotels (which are very costly obviously), all the homestays are same in terms of service.

      Warm Hospitality and Clean. But no amenities and very basic infrastructure.

      Reply
  • Jyoti Sridharan
    October 23, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    You have no idea on the feeling i got when i read your blog. it came to me like a respite from all the horrific things i read over the past 2 days about travelling to North Sikkim. I plan to travel in December(7th onwards from Bangalore) and via Kolkata, NJP to Gangtok. Obviously, the pictures have me mesmerized and I too like many others want to travel to North Sikkim and if time permits probably a li’l bit of West too (It’s just too tempting though the limited time). However, I was in great dismay on reading on various sites that travelling to North Sikkim can ONLY be done via a Travel package. I have NEVER in my life traveled with a package deal. I find them too confined and exorbitant for my taste. I plan on doing an 8 day trip. I wish to cover Nathu la and Tsongmo, then up North-Lachen, Lachung along with Gurudongmar, Zero point, and Katao. I also heard about a very nice view point at Singhik. And if at all I can maybe a li’l bit of West (Pelling , Ravangla and such)

    This would be a dream trip for me as I’ve always wanted to see the North East. I’ve always done backpacking trips and therefore this is new to me. Hope you can help me with my dilemma:
    1.Is it really necessary to take a package or can we book hotels online and rent out vehicles with driver on daily basis.
    2. How should I plan my itinerary If i’m not taking a package, and what sort of budget can I expect for a standard hotel/guest house (Nothing fancy) and transportation and how do I book them. I am open to all suggestions as you seem to know the place really well.
    3. Any suggestions on lodging, food, vehicles rental, etc.

    Really looking forward to your reply and help.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 23, 2017 at 7:49 PM

      Hi Jyoti, I’m glad that you liked it 🙂 It’s a great feeling when readers like your articles!!

      Anyway, coming up to your questions…
      1. No. As I have already mentioned, you can completely do it on your own. But then you need to have 1-2 buffer days in Gangtok to get the permits by running after Govt. officials. And then there are only 1-2 hotels in Lachen and Lachung and rest all are homestays. The hotels costs a huge amount, so if that’s not something matters to you then it’s fine. Else contacting homestays on your own is an issue. Once you book the hotel, as I have already mentioned you can hire a driver on your own and visit North Sikkim accordingly. But in that case you have to hire full vehicle. So if you are looking for shared cab it won’t work this way.

      So that’s why it’s recomended to take Packaged Tour to North Sikkim from Gangtok based tour operator to save all these hassles. But yes, if you can get contacts of Homestays and a Driver and can allocate 1-2 days in Gangtok to get the permit on your own, you are fine to go ahead. Most prople who drive their own vehicle does this.

      2. The itinerary would be same. But you can modify it accordingly as per your preference, such as 2N Lachen and 2N Lachung. Except 1-2 hotel at Lachen and Lachung, all are homestays with very basic amenities and infrastructure, but warm and clean. Small vehicles cannot ply to North Sikkim and thus you need to hire a Bolero / Xylo / Scorpio / Jeep etc. which would cost you around Rs. 4000/- – Rs. 4500/- per day (including fuel and driver’s TA/DA)

      3. Lodging, as I said on Point #1, I do not have contacts of the homestays, but if you want to stay in the standard hotels (they are luxurious actually), you can check Yarlam at Lachen and The Apple Orchard at Lachung. Nowadays you can also see some Standard hotels (promoted from homestays actually) coming up online. So you can also book those.

      Fooding you need to take at your hotel only or at shops there. That you can decide on spot.

      Regarding vehicle, I know one fellow, Santosh Kr. Gupta : +91-98512-68777 / +91-98324-44666. He drives an white Innova. You may contact and check with him.

      But as I said, doing this on your own might cost a bit higher, due to extended number of stays at Gangtok and hiring a vehicle on your own and also booking the hotels. So you can also check with Tour Operators in Gangtok for the rate. Well I’m definitely not suggesting you to book your whole tour through them, but only the 2N/3D North Sikkim trip, same as like I did.

      In case, you want to visit other parts of Sikkim, you can check out the respective articles at Travel With Krish – Sikkim

      Reply
      • Jyoti Sridharan
        October 26, 2017 at 5:20 PM

        Hi Krishnandu

        Thank you so much for the prompt reply. Thanks to your suggestions, I too have decided to take the 3D/2N package offered by Lama travels (it fits the budget, others were crazy expensive). However, as you mentioned, it does not cover Zero point and Katao. I actually want to see both. As the stay in Lachung is only for a day is it possible to cover Zero+katao and depart for Gangtok the same day? If not, how do you suggest I can cover these places?

        Also, Nathu La…. Should I ask for the trip to Nathu La directly at the Hotel (and they might arrange something on the spot) where I might stay or does that too require a tour operator/package?

        Thanks again…

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          October 26, 2017 at 9:06 PM

          Hi Jyoti, 2N/3D North Sikkim plans do not include Zero Point and Katao. For Zero Point, directly negotiate with the driver. It’d cost somewhere between Rs. 1200/- – Rs. 2000/- for Zero Point depending on season. So if you are opting for shared vehicle, you need to divide the decided amount. Zero Point you can cover same day, post Yumthang. You need to drive further Yumthang to reach Zero Point (Yumesamdong).

          For Katao you need to halt 2N at Lachung. Then you need to opt for 3N/4D Plans. It’d look like…
          Day 1 : Gangtok – Lachen
          Day 2 : Lachen – Gurudongmar – Lachung
          Day 3 : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Lachung
          Day 4 : Lachung – Katao – Gangtok

          But definitely 3N/4D would be a bit costly. And also Katao is not that worth specially after you see Gurudongmar, Yumthang and Zero Point. So you may safely skip it. But it’s your wish 🙂

          Nathulla also same thing, restricted area. So yes you need to book package for the same. You need to book it 1 day in advance. A day trip to Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass costs Rs. 800/- per head in shared vehicle or 4k – 6k in exclusive vehicle.

          BTW most hotels in Gangotk have their in house travel agencies too. So they can also offer you a package. Or sometimes, they do it via some tour operator keeping some commission themselves!!

          So if you are taking both the tours from Lama Travels, then you can negotiate a bit more for some discounts. 😛 You might refer my name, as because of this blogs she gets lots of contacts, so that might help too.

          Reply
          • SHARMISTHA DUTTA
            December 24, 2017 at 4:30 PM

            Hi Krishnandu, Thank you so much for publishing such a lovely informative blog. This is so helpful for all travel enthusiasts and specially the ones going to Sikkim for the first time.
            We are a group of 4 people, 3 adults and one kid, planning to visit sikkim next month (2nd week of january) We definitely want to do Yumthang and Zero point, and I loved the photographs you have posted !! (big fan now)
            Please tell me if travelling to this area in january is possible. From your previous reply to others I have figured that
            @ 2-3 days is enough for us to do this tour and get back to Gangtok.
            @ Also If I book directly from a travel agent in Gangtok, he will be able to get us permits in a few days.
            @ Gurudongmar is even further. So I have my doubts. But do suggest if this is doable in the same time slot of 2-3 days
            We might want to hire an exclusive vehicle (scorpio) for this journey. How much approximately would this cost us per day?

            Thank you so much
            warm regards
            Sharmistha

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              January 3, 2018 at 11:14 PM

              Hi Sharmistha, First of all sorry for getting you back a bit late, as I was travelling with limited internet connectivity.

              Thanks a lot & I’m glad that you liked my post.

              As you are planning North Sikkim and you have a kid, I hope you are aware that it’s not recommended to visit North Sikkim with kids below 4-5 Years. For Gurudongmar it’s around 6-8.

              Well if you have 3-4 days, then you may do it like…

              Day 1 : IXB / NJP – Gangtok
              Day 2 : Gangtok – Lachung
              Day 3 : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Gangtok
              Day 4 : Gangtok – NJP / IXB

              However as you can see you are missing out on Gangtok. So if you haven’t been to Gangtok before, better consider enjoying such short tour at Gangtok itself.

              Reply
  • Souvik sett
    October 25, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Hi dada,

    I was finding a source for visiting north east india and found this site very very useful and informative. Now I’m fan of it.
    We are going to visit North Sikkim this year on 22nd december to 25th december. We’ll not go to Lachen, we’ll just visit Lachung. Please help me on two questions,

    1) In zero point should I go with my father and mother? They don’t have any problem, still I’m asking.
    2) Normal sweaters, jackets and windcheaters are ok, or we have to take gumboots, gloves, heavy jackets etc on rent?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 25, 2017 at 11:31 PM

      Hi Souvik, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      1. Yes you can go. What’s their age? Zero point has a thin layer of oxygen. So if they are having problem just ask them to be in car. And also carry camphor and popcorn just in case they are having problem.

      2. Yes heavy jackets would be required. But if you don’t have them, don’t worry, wear sweater and windcheater. That should suffice. Yes you need to hire Gumboots from Yumthang. You may also rent jackets from there if you wish to. Do carry gloves then your hand will go numb 😛

      Reply
      • souvik
        October 25, 2017 at 11:44 PM

        Thanks Dada. My father is 61 and mother is 45. I think will not be a problem. And Yes, as per your suggestion we’ll be taking one inner woolen body warmer, one sweater, one windcheaters for all. And also will buy gloves and caps. Will hire boots from there.

        Thanks a lot. I’ll be reading more your site, its very nice and easily explained.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          October 25, 2017 at 11:46 PM

          Ahh 61 is fine!! Yeah there won’t be any issue at all. Don’t worry!!

          Thanks!! I’m glad!! Enjoy your holiday 🙂

          Reply
  • Manab Kumar Mal
    November 6, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Hi Krishda,
    I am Manab Kumar Mal, becomes great fan of your forum after read your amazing articles here. I have read all your articles in your forum regarding North Sikkim Trip (https://krishnandusarkar.com/all-you-need-know-about-north-sikkim/). We, group of 7 (2 married couple, 3 bachelors) want to go North Sikkim from 1st March, 2018 to 4th March, 2018. We have booked our train on 28th of February night from Sealdah, will reach NJP on 1st of March 06:45am and our coming back train is on 04th of March 9:00 pm from NJP. As per your suggestion I have contacted with Binita Lama, Lama Tour & Travels (+919832079292 / +919734983536) via WhatsApp, but her response is not so louder, only gave some itinerary and from then not responding from last few days. I have read your itinerary also, you suggested not to go directly from NJP to Lachen, we should stay a night in Gangtok, But if so our 2D/3N trip will not be complete, we want to go both Lachen and Lachung for Gurodongmar lake, Yumthang valley and zero point as our coming train in on 4th of March night.?So can you please suggest some itinerary by which we can cover all the above places and also suggest some good Travel agent with your personal experience who can help us regarding that.
    Binita gave me following:

    [8:18 PM, 11/2/2017] Binita Lama: 01- ARR NJP- TRANSFER TO GANGTOK- AFTER FRESHNING UP START FOR NORTH SIKKIM- LUNCH ENROUTE- REACH LACHEN BY 7PM- EVENING TEA WILL BE SERVED FOLLOWED BY DINNER- OVERNIGHT HOTEL

    Day 02- Early morning visit Gurudongmar- breakfast at Thangu- back to Lachen for lunch- Transfer to Lachung- evening tea, dinner will be served- o/n hotel

    Day 3- after breakfast visit Yumthang- back to Lachung for lunch then transfer to Gangtok

    Day 04- TRANSFER TO Njp??So, is that good?
    I think we can do that. But first day will that be possible to reach Lachen on 7 PM starting from NJP on 7am on that day? also it includes 1.5 hours of refreshing time (bathing + Lunch) on Gangtok on that day.??also for that accommodation I have requested her if she can gave us 2 rooms with 2 double bed in each room then we can manage. I have not discussed with fooding yet with her.
    For the travel she told me she will give a sikkim permitted mahindra xylo for entire journey. ??So, please help us by giving your expert opinion we are doing fine or not, tell us if you you have any precaution for that journey. Hope you will reply here soon, thank you.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 6, 2017 at 7:26 PM

      Hi Manab, Thanks and I’m glad that you liked my posts. But first please let me clarify that, while on my tour I ended up with Lama Tour and Travels and was satisfied with their service and price too. But I really cannot guarantee it’ll be a good experience for everyone. So it’s just a recommendation of tour operator not endorsement (as I do not get any commission 😛 ). Regarding replies, sometimes due to rush they get a bit busy!! BTW she was out of town during last weekend for her own holiday 😛

      Well there’s not much issue with the above itinerary, considering
      1. You are reaching early morning at NJP. 7AM is absolutely fine. You’d be in Gangtok by 11 AM at max, Even if you start by 12 after quick freshen up, you’d reach Lachung by 8 PM.
      2. You guys are young, and not getting tired for 12 hours long journey from NJP – Gangtok – Lachen with some short breaks on the way. Add last night’s train journey to that!!

      But wait, this is going to be one hell of a hectic trip. As next day you need to start by 3AM in the morning (Waking up by 2 AM or so) 😛

      But as you don’t have much time, and planning it for exactly 3N/4D, there’s no other option left too.

      Yes Xylo would be more comfortable than Sumo / Bolero / Jeep.

      The above itinerary is covering all the palces right? You are anyway doing a lot in your 3N/4D tour. You can’t accommodate anything else.

      Regarding travel agent, for North Sikkim, I dealt with Binita Lama only. So you already have her contact.

      NOTE : The time you are visiting, during early March, North Sikkim might not be accessible based on weather which is highly unpredictable. Generally North Sikkim gets inaccessible post 2nd week of December due to heavy snowfall which generally lasts till Feb and starts clearing up from late March onwards. So, no one can guarantee accessibility during these period. So better go to Gangtok and then based on the situation take your decission. Also you may ask Binita about the accessibility about 2-3 days before and based on that you can decide.

      Reply
  • Anonymous
    February 14, 2018 at 3:22 AM

    1.5

    Reply
  • Vijay Bhaskar
    April 24, 2018 at 11:25 AM

    Hey Krish, Reading through your North Sikkim Travelogue article and patient replies defines you as wonderful person. Never did I get such a warm feeling as I had now reading your article and replies. Keep up the good work friend!

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 9, 2018 at 11:24 PM

      Hi Vijay,
      First of all sorry for replying a bit late. I was out for a trip throughout last week with limited connectivity.

      Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked my blog 🙂

      Reply
  • Vijay Bhaskar
    April 24, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Hey Krish, Reading through your North Sikkim Travelogue article and patient replies defines you as wonderful person. Never did I get such a warm feeling as I had now reading your article and replies. Keep up the good work friend!
    ** Good and plain people are rare commodities **

    Reply
  • Vijay
    April 24, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Hey Krish, Reading through your North Sikkim Travelogue article and patient replies defines you as wonderful person. Never did I get such a warm feeling as I had now reading your article and replies. Keep up the good work friend!
    ** Good and plain people are rare commodities **

    Reply
  • Anonymous
    May 18, 2018 at 5:00 PM

    2.5

    Reply
  • Partha biswas
    May 30, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    Thumbs up to your blogs…Minute details are meticulously covered…I understand that visits to Gurudongmar lake and zero point are not advisable for elderly and kids below 5 years. My son is 4.5 years old and I’ll have my parents, one of them is about 62 years old…So, I would definitely avoid those places…Is it still worth to make a visit to Lachung and Yumthang valley as I won’t visit zero point? Your statement – ‘permit may be denied to senior citizens for north Sikkim’. I presume, north Sikkim covers Lachen and Lachung also (in addition to the Gurudongmar lake and zero point). Well, in that case, I need to drop the whole travel plan. Is my understanding correct? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Regards,
    Partha

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 30, 2018 at 11:36 PM

      Hi Partha, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      For Gurudongmar, it’s 8 years. Well frankly speaking, permits won’t be denied as it’s a source of income for them. However you might be stopped by the army while proceeding to Gurudongmar. Moreover due to the high altitude and low level of oxygen there it’s best not to travel Gurudongmar with such young kid.

      Yes you can go to Lachung – Yumthang instead. It’s not an issue at all though. You can even go to Zero Point, depending on the health condition of your kid and parents.

      Reply
  • Ria sen
    June 3, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Hey..!! Krishnandu..
    I’ve made my plan for Sikkim but still need your guidance..
    Take a look & suggest me the better way to explore..

    Day 1 : NJP to Peiling via Ravangla
    Day 2 : Peiling sightseeing
    Day 3 : Peiling to Gangtok via Namchi
    Day 4 : Gangtok sightseeing
    Day 5 : Gangtok to Lachen via Chunthang
    Day 6 : Lachen to lachung via Gurudongmar lake
    Day 7 : Lachen to Gangtok via Yumthang valley
    Day 8 : Return

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 3, 2018 at 9:39 PM

      Hi Ria,

      Well Ravangla doesn’t comes in between NJP – Pelling. Instead cover Namchi on your way to NJP – Pelling which comes on the way. And cover Ravangla on Day 3 which comes on the way to Pelling – Gangtok.

      Well rest is fine 🙂

      Reply
      • Ria Sen
        June 3, 2018 at 10:06 PM

        That means…….
        Day 1 : NJP to Pelling via Namchi
        Day 3 : Pelling to Gangtok via Ravangla

        If i wanna visit Nathula Pass then I’ve to stretch this trip right??

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          June 3, 2018 at 10:16 PM

          Right. Perfect.

          Yes you’d need one more day for Nathula or else you can skip Gangtok Sightseeing on Day 4. As City Sightseeings are anyway not that much attractive or nothing unique in nature. So instead of Gangtok Sightseeing on Day 4 you may go for Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass. However make sure Day 4 is not either of Monday or Tuesday in that case.

          And if you have a night train on Day 8, you can just cover Rumtek Monastery which is the only point that’s interesting, before proceeding to NJP.

          Reply
          • Ria Sen
            June 4, 2018 at 1:06 AM

            Thanx alot..
            Can uh tell me the name of the budget hotels out there??

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              June 4, 2018 at 10:20 PM

              You may check Hotel Tibet, Hotel Silverline, Hotel Doma Residency.

              Reply
  • Ria Sen
    June 6, 2018 at 12:17 AM

    Can we get snow in October??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 6, 2018 at 12:05 PM

      Yes chances are there. If planning during the 2nd Half then high chances are there 🙂

      Reply
      • Ria Sen
        June 6, 2018 at 2:47 PM

        But we will miss Nathula Pass that time, right??

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          June 6, 2018 at 10:57 PM

          Why so? I already suggested you to change your Day 4 : Gangtok sightseeing to Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass as City Sightseeings are not much attractive. And on your Day 8, you can cover Rumtek Monastery (the only interesting point within City Sightseeing) on your way to NJP

          Reply
          • Ria Sen
            June 6, 2018 at 11:12 PM

            Yeah, i meant to say we won’t visit Nathula Pass during snow time, right..?? Actually i heard from somewhere so that i asked uh..

            Otherwise uh helped me so more, “thanx” is not enough to say..
            N one more thing, tell me the name of any budget hotel (Lachung)..

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              June 6, 2018 at 11:19 PM

              Not really. These high altitude places are always dicey. But during October there’s very less chance of snowfall. Experiencing snow and experiencing snowfall is a different thing.

              High altitude places like Nathula, Gurudongmar, Zero Point etc. gets blocked in case there’s snowfall. And chance of that is very very less in October. But you’d find snow, that’s a different thing.

              So accessibility chances are very high for Nathula. So don’t worry on that.

              You are welcome!!

              Well, don’t go by that way. At Lachung and Lachen, except 2-3 hotels all are homestays and all of them provides same level of service. So if you are staying at homestays it really doesn’t matter which one you choose.

              Also are you booking North Sikkim on your own? Let me warn you that, if you try to do that, you need to run after permits yourself which is a daunting task and would need 2-3 buffer days for that.

              Else recommended way is to book packaged tour to North Sikkim from Gangtok based tour operators. That’s more convenient and cheaper as well.

              Booking Vehicle and Hotels seperately on your own for North Sikkim means a lot of trouble, regarding the permits. Unless you are planning to self drive, there’s no point in going through all these hassles.

              Reply
  • Anup Kumar panja
    June 8, 2018 at 3:00 PM

    We are planning to visit North Sikkim during end of October with my family having 6+ child. Is it advisable ?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 8, 2018 at 9:27 PM

      Yes it should not be an issue with 6+ years kid. But if you are planning to visit Gurudongmar, then better consult a physician to be sure.

      Reply
  • Anup Kumar panja
    June 12, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    Thanks for your suggestion regarding visit to North Sikkim with 6+ child. If we cancel Gurudongmer lake, then what would be the Journey schedule for us which will be easier to travel in and around Gangtok and we can touch ice. Please help us.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 12, 2018 at 7:07 PM

      High probably you won’t have to cancel out Gurudongmar. The recommended age is around 7-8 years. So 6+ shouldn’t be an issue at all, as lots of tourists visits Gurudongmar with their 6+ year old kids.

      Still if you had to cancel it out, then you can continue with 1N/2D Lachung – Yumthang tour, There you can cover Zero Point where you’ll get snow.

      You can utilize the remaining 1N at Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass. Also depending on when you are visiting, you might also get snow at Tsomgo Lake and/or Nathula.

      Reply
  • Saurav
    June 17, 2018 at 12:16 AM

    Hi Krishnandu Da,

    Want your guidance on my coming tour to North Sikkim. Actually I want to travel North Sikkim with my family. I want to take my father and mother as they are crazy to go at this age 75 and 68 respectively to go North Sikkim.They are having good health by god blessing and they don’t have any problem even they are more active than me.

    Kindly guide with your expert knowledge and looking for a great support from you.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 17, 2018 at 9:38 AM

      Hi Saurav, Well I do understand your situation, as even I took my mom and dad to Gurudongmar. Same is the case with my dad. I, due to my smoking habits, continuously keeps panting if I need to walk in the hills, whereas my dad at this age of his, is very active and fit more than me.

      Frankly speaking, it’s really not recommended but I took it at my own risk. So you have to do that at your own risk too.

      Visiting Lachung – Yumthang is not an issue, however at Gurudongmar, Army might stop them and that completely depends on your luck 🙂
      As recommended age for Gurudongmar is 8 – 60 Years. Although you won’t have any issue getting the permits.

      Reply
      • Saurav
        July 3, 2018 at 12:12 AM

        Thank you Krishnandu Da for guiding us.

        Would like to know from you that whether there is any possibility to get the individuals permit from Mangan instead of Gangtok. I want to Skip Gangtok for the permission. Is there any alternative way to get the permission instead to visit Gangtok.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          July 3, 2018 at 10:13 PM

          Well, all the permits are issued from Gangtok only. But you don’t need to be present there yourself. So if you are visiting through a tour operator, talk to them and they can manage accordingly. And accordingly, the vehicle can pick you up from Mangan.

          Reply
  • Mithun
    July 5, 2018 at 3:53 PM

    Hello Mr. Sarkar. hats off to your blog.
    Never seen such detailed information. I am going to sikkim from 19-26 Oct 2018
    19 Arrival to Bagdogra
    20th Rest in Sikkim
    21 22 23 North Sikkim
    24 25 either of these days at Nathula pass. Please advise how to manage the trip to North sikkim because agents way to expensive.
    26th departure

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 5, 2018 at 9:01 PM

      Hi Mithun, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Well the best and most convenient way is to book North Sikkim through agents due to various levels of corruptions in permits.

      You can opt for shared vehicle if you are few persons and private vehicle seems expensive to you. Talk to various agents. And also you are visiting during peak season, so there’d be a bit inflation due to that.

      You may check Experience From My Sikkim Trip for a detailed information.

      Reply
      • Mithun
        July 7, 2018 at 11:31 AM

        Thanks Mr. Sarkar. Wizzride is a life saver, I have just spoken with them. For north Sikkim the tour agents charging 23K for 2 people excluding zero pass.

        Where shall I go in Gangtok to ask for share cabs?

        Reply
  • Mithun
    July 6, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Appreciate your last answer.

    will there be shared jeep available from Bagdogra airport. How much they charge? Is it safe? and how long will it take to reach Gangtok?

    What are the charges for cabs?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 7, 2018 at 11:07 AM

      Hi Mithun, Yes check Wizz Ride and book in advance. Yes shared cabs are safe, however you should understand that it’s local’s way of transport, so defintiely you cannot consider it comfortable. It’ll take around 4 – 4.5 hours to reach Gangtok.

      You can even travel North Sikkim in shared cabs, which would be around Rs. 3000/- per pax for 2N/3D Lachen – Lachung, including accommodation & Fooding. However obviously this rate will inflate a bit (Rs. 3500/- – Rs. 4500/-) during Puja Vacations.

      But again, in shared cabs, they would fit, 4 pax in back row, 4 pax in middle row and 2 pax beside driver i.e. 10 pax. So defintiely the journey is not comfortable. So you need to choose between comfort according to your budget.

      Reply
  • Himadri sen
    August 26, 2018 at 4:17 PM

    HI,
    I have been reading your blog on Sikkim and north bengal , very informative.
    After reading your blog on sikkim , i have a itinerary for sikkim for your review :
    Day1 Bagdogra – Sillery Gaon
    Day2 Sillery gaon to Dzuluk
    Day3 Dzuluk to Gnathang
    Day4 Ganathang to Gangtok
    Day5 Gangtok to Lachen
    Day6 Lachen to Gurudongmar to Lachung
    Day7 Lachung to yangtham valley to zero point – Katao-Lachung
    Day 8 Lachung to Mangan to Dzongu valley
    Day9 Dzongu
    Day 10 Dzongu to namchi Via temi tea garden to ravangla
    Day 11 Ravangla to yoksam to Pelling
    Day 12 Pelling to Bagdogra

    I am really confused with day10 to day 12 , i have a flight at 12-20 pm to catch. is it safe to stay at pelling for this reason or can you tweak at bit , so that the travelling time is less on last day ?
    Regards

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 26, 2018 at 6:54 PM

      Hi Himadri, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Well there are few issues with the itinerary…
      1. I’d recommend to travel Gangtok > Silk Route, because you can’t go to Nathula if doing Gnathang > Gangtok. You won’t get permits on that route.

      2. Day 10 is a long journey. Skip Namchi and stay at Ravangla instead.

      3. Practically this would be really hectic. Leave out Yuksam. Even though you’d have tough time covering all the points at Pelling.

      4. Pelling – Bagdogra is around 5 hours. Better do it like Bagdogra > Pelling > Ravangla > Gangtok > Lachen > Lachung > Dzongu > Gangtok > Gnathang > Dzuluk > Sillery Gaon.

      Reply
      • Himadri sen
        August 26, 2018 at 7:06 PM

        Thanks brother, keep the good work, I will relook the itinerary the way you suggested. Where are you going next..?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          August 26, 2018 at 7:47 PM

          Hi Himadri, No plans as of now!!

          Yes you can easily do that. Dzongu to Gangtok is just 3 Hours. Same vehicle might not, but the driver you are booking for Silk Route can arrange the pickup.

          Reply
      • Himadri sen
        August 26, 2018 at 7:31 PM

        Is it possible to return from Dzongu early morning and reach Gnathang in a single day via all view points ( for reversing my itinerary)
        if i book the silk route , can the driver pick me up from Mangan or singhik?

        Reply
  • RAM
    December 24, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    Hi !

    I went through your blog which is very informative.

    I am planning to go to Gangtok during the peak season i.e. May 2019 and I want to do the 2 D 3 N tour of Lachung and Lachen. I have been contacting travel agents in Gangtok but no one seems to offer a shared trip. Do you think it makes sense to directly book for a sharing itinerary once I arrive in gangtok or do I book well in advance considering it is a peak season in May. Kindly advise ..

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 24, 2018 at 7:30 PM

      Hi Ram,
      You may check Experience From My Trip To Gangtok & North Sikkim and contact Lama Tour & Travels : +919832079292 / +919734983536 and check if she’s offering shared package.

      However if you can’t find any, then you may book shared packages after your arrival. Yeah May is peak season but as you are opting for shared package, it’d not be an issue though.

      Reply
    • Vishal Aggarwal
      April 19, 2019 at 3:18 PM

      Hello Ram,
      Which dates are you planning for? I am planning north Sikkim for 4-5th May. If by any chance, out dates coincide, we can travel together.
      You can reach me at vishalaggarwal5@gmail.com.

      Reply
  • Deep
    March 25, 2019 at 7:57 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    We are planning trip to Sikkim in May.

    We would be covering Nathula Pass, Lachen, Lachung, Naamchi and Ravangla. I’m trying to understand how feasible or accessible these places are for physically handicapped person. Especially Nathula Pass.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Deep

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 25, 2019 at 9:25 PM

      Well, to be very frank, you need to walk to most of the sightseeing points from the point where vehicle drops you. And that involves steep walk / climb through stairs almost for 85% of the cases.

      For Nathula too it’s not anything different. You have to walk and them climb few stairs to reach the point from the point where vehicle drops you.

      I don’t want to demotivate you, but you have to decide based on the upcoming challenges.

      Reply
  • Srivatsa
    March 31, 2019 at 11:18 PM

    Hello Krishnandu da. I found your blogs really very informative. Thank you. Can you please tell me how will the weather in North Sikkim at around the end of May? Can we witness snow?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      April 2, 2019 at 10:47 AM

      Hi Srivatsa, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Well, end of May is good season. Although sometimes if monsoon is early, then it starts drizzling during end of may.

      You can witness snow only at Gurudongmar and Zero Point (Yumesamdong) during that period.

      Reply
      • Srivatsa
        April 2, 2019 at 10:31 PM

        Oh okay thanks. ?
        What about temperature in general?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          April 3, 2019 at 8:10 PM

          Well in North Sikkim it’d be around 5 to 10 degree. However Gurudongmar and Zero Point would be colder.

          Reply
  • Pallavi
    June 7, 2019 at 8:53 AM

    Hi Krish
    Is it OK to travel around 15 – 20 June to Lachen from Gangtok and then Lachen to Gurudongmar
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 7, 2019 at 10:28 AM

      Hi Pallavi,
      Yes, you can, unless heavy monsoon begins by that time. So maybe call up someone there (while booking) and try to get an idea about how is the weather there as of now.

      Generally, by the end of June, monsoon begins in those regions. So going by that, 25th – 20th June is safe.

      But please remember, during the end of May – mid of June, it starts drizzling a bit. So if that’s not something you are bothered with, please go ahead!

      Reply
  • Supriyo Sarkar
    July 5, 2019 at 12:50 PM

    I am also planning to visit Sikkim very soon. Hopefully I will have a great time with family.

    Reply

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