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Experience From My Sikkim Trip

Gurudongmar Lake

Hello, It’s been some time that I bought this domain and installed WordPress out of curiosity but never found anything to write about. But recently I have been to Sikkim and thought of writing about my experience which may help others to plan their itenary and for me, helping myself to make the setup useful πŸ˜›

So, it started off by my mom, who suddenly said, “Hey, it’s been a long time we have not done any trips, let’s go somewhere”. Yeah, I know she was right, I got really busy into my professional life and the rat race to make money. I always loved travelling and previously we used to go every year to some tour, but suddenly it’s been 2 years I started running after making money.

So thought of taking a week off and after going through few places I fixed on Sikkim. I always prefer Mountains over Beaches and I have never been to North East. So this was my chance to explore the beautiful state of NE.

Well, I better stay off from the details of Sikkim, it’s altitude and all etc. Who thinks about all these while planning for a trip? Well, if you disagree, then Wikipedia is there.

We all of us, in my family loves DIY Backpacker Tour instead of going with any Tour Operators. DIY is fun, starting form gathering all information, probable risks, scams etc. to fixing on destinations and everything. DIY allows me to do the tour in my own way instead of relying on someone else to plan my tour. Though there’s nothing wrong loving packaged tour, that eliminates all your headache. But we love DIY, as we don’t always go by fixed itenary, we may increase days at some destination if we like it.

It’s always better to catch a train at night, so that you can reach NJP (New Jalpaiguri) at morning and can go upwards on that day only. But due to my schedule we couldn’t do that so we started off our journey by catching the train at morning and reached NJP at around 7:30 PM. As it was too late to go further, so we stayed in Siliguri for the night and explored Hong Kong Market. Siliguri itself needs 2-3 days to explore, but we have been to Siliguri previously, so it didn’t matter much for us. Enjoyed the delicious Toasts and Half-Boiled Egg in Netaji Cabin. I always go there if I’m in Siliguri.

Teesta River

Teesta River

Next day early morning we took Shared Jeep to Gangtok. Shared Jeep’s are always available in Siliguri and NJP for different areas such as Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok etc. They have fixed rate, so no chances of being scammed. Right now, the cost of shared jeeps are 200/- for Gangtok and 150/- for Darjeeling per person. One can also go for private car but as you can guess it costs higher but is more comfortable. Private cars cost between 1500/- to 4000/- depending on the car you are hiring. The shared jeeps takes total 10 person (4 Back + 4 Middle + 2 Front), so it can be very uncomfortable if you are a bit fat and not much open minded. In that case I’d suggest to go for private car as once you start the journey you won’t be able to negotiate anything. If you are on a budget trip you can also go for 2 tickets to make yourself comfortable. We as backpackers, always prefer local mode of transport, that helps us keeping the cost within range and also to enjoy the local culture.

Sikkim Checkpost

Sikkim Checkpost

The cars of WB is not permitted to go beyond Deorali in Sikkim. So the cars from WB will drop you at Deorali Stand and from there you have to catch local cab to Hotel or M. G. Marg. The journey from NJP / Siliguri to Deorali is around 3.5 to 4 hours with a nashta break in between. Have your breakfast / tiffin over there with Tea or Coffee. Don’t forget to enjoy Momo which is served with cutney, as you are in the land of Momo’s. Also note that, in Sikkim they do not have any concept of Chicken Momo, Mutton Momo etc. It’s Veg momo everywhere. Though you may find some stalls at M. G. Marg selling Chicken Momo, but it’ll be rare, very rare.

If you can catch the cars going back, that came down from Sikkim to NJP / Siliguri, then you don’t need to change the car at Deorali. From Deorali it’ll be around 200/- to your hotel (depending on the location) or M. G. Marg. Remember that though these are Taxi, there’s no meter system in Gangtok. They have fixed rate for fixed distance for locals. So bargain it accordingly before the ride. Also, maximum 4 person is allowed in a cab, so if you are more than 4 person, then you have to hire more than 1 cab.

We stayed at Hotel Ma Yang in Gangtok, Development Area. It’s a bit far from M. G. Marg. Hotels in M. G. Marg will generally have higher rate, while on Development Area or Lal Bazar Road you will get cheaper options. From our hotel, shared cabs were available to M. G. Marg for Rs. 10/- per person so it was not a problem for us to roam around.

Hotels throughout the Sikkim are available on AMP (American Meal Plan) / EP (European Plan) / CP (Continental Plan). Ours was with AMP. Though it may seem first that with AMP it’s going to be on higher side, but ultimately at the end you’ll realize it’s not. In Sikkim, it works in a different way.

If you are not aware about the Meal Plan systems, below is the basic idea of all the Meal Plans.

  • AMP (American Meal Plan) – Room with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • MAP (Modified American Plan) – Room with Breakfast, Lunch / Dinner
  • EP (European Plan) – Room only
  • CP (Continental Plan) – Room with Breakfast

AMP is generally preferred which serves Bengali Cuisine, rest you can be sure that you won’t be disappointed. Different dishes will be served in every meal. So rest assured dishes won’t be same on all the meals for all the days. One can also go for MAP if your itenary is something which won’t allow you to have Lunch at the hotel. You can also go for EP / CP if you want to try out local dishes. But beware that, in Hilly Regions everything gets closed at sharp 9 PM and food in M. G. Marg can be a bit costly with the ratio of quantity served.

Gangtok

Gangtok

Once thing I loved and amazed about Gangtok is, everything is well organized and it looks like planned city. First thing that amazed me as soon as I was entered Gangtok, is the Footpath and Footbridges. Here in Kolkata we do have footpath, but I never seen anyone to use that, instead peoples walk along the main road. Well how would they? footpaths are filled up with different stalls. But here in Gangtok, I was amazed to see, that everyone is walking along the footpath and using footbridges to cross the road. That way both the cars running along the road and the peoples walking, don’t interfere each other.

Way To M. G. Marg

Way To M. G. Marg

Next thing, I loved is, the organized Cab system. Like, cabs that bring you from Deorali to the City can only run along the same route and they cannot hop into short distance passengers or cannot run in different route. So the cab that runs within the city for short distance cannot hop into other passengers too. Each cab has the licence stucked on the front window which determines it’s route. Also, they have different Cab Stand (multistoried buildings) for these. Like the cabs that runs from Deorali to the Gangtok City have different stand than that of cabs running on short distance within the city or than that of the cabs going to North Sikkim or West Sikkim. Everyone have different stand with different set of Cabs.

After checking in to hotel and having lunch we took rest for few hours and went for a visit to M. G. Marg. Again, it was simply stunning. With the lighting and decorations everything seemed planned. Had some delicious Momo and Tea and walked around the Marg. It felt awesome in Chilly 5 Deg C. Well that’s what my mobile showed me πŸ™‚

M. G. Marg

M. G. Marg

M. G. Marg

M. G. Marg

M. G. Marg

M. G. Marg

Sikkim is one of the state for Spirit lovers. So don’t forget to buy Liquors / Beer. It’s a tax free state so prices are much lower than that of your hometown (if you are not coming from another tax free state). Branded Beers are available for 55/-. Local beer is available for 50/-. We bought Antiquity Blue and VAT 69 for 710/- and 1050/- respectively.

Low Price + Chilled Weather = Enjoy the drink.

Next day after breakfast, we left for 3D/2N North Sikkim tour (also known as Lachung – Lachen tour). Cab from our hotel to North Sikkim Cab Stand took 200/-. The Lachung – Lachen tour is generally available within 3000/- per person (everything inclusive i.e. Accommodation and Food). This tour comes in various forms and can be booked from your Hotel or in Tour Stalls in M. G. Marg or in Siliguri / NJP while catching the cab to Deorali / Gangtok.

The North Sikkim tour comes in various forms, such as

  • 2D/1N – Lachung with Yumthung Valley
  • 2D/1N – Lachen with Gurudongmar Lake
  • 3D/2N – Lachen – Gurudongmar Lake & Lachung – Yumthung Valley

All the above tour comes with accommodation and meal plan. You cannot deviate from this i.e. you can’t book hotel yourself. The reason is, at that high altitude you won’t find anything. The hotels are very basic, so keep your expectation low. Though, they are more of a Lodge rather than Hotel. You will be served Bengali Cuisine throughout your stay. These hotels runs depending on these tour operators in Gangtok. Each tour operator have collaboration with a particular hotel accordingly.

Let me warn you, that all of the North Sikkim tour is really hectic and tiresome. Specially the 3D/2N tour. Also you will be climbing at very high altitude (17,100 ft above sea level), so be prepared and plan accordingly specially if you have aged person with you.

Also note that, you need to fix the tour with you tour operator / hotel, a day before you are willing to take this tour and submit Photo ID Proof along with 4 Passport size Photos, as these places are situated in Indo – China border, getting permission is required for the same. If you are not Indian, then your permission will be very limited

INFO : North Sikkim Tours are available both in Shared and Private options. This is in terms of the vehicle. Accommodation will be private to you if you are travelling alone or in double sharing mode if you are travelling in a group. Shared Option is recommended for Budget Tourists, however please keep in mind that due to the hectic journey, this won’t be much comfortable though. Of course, if you don’t want to shell out 6X amount on private vehicle, you don’t have any other option.

North Sikkim being restricted region, you need Restricted Area Permit (Restricted Area Permit) / Protected Area Permit (PAP). On booking of the tour package, your tour operator would arrange the same for you on submission of a photocopy of Voter ID Card and Passport Size Photo for each member. And considering the current costing of the package (with both shared and private vehicle), this is the best option. Because getting the permit on your own is theoretically possible but practically very tough (because of local politics) and hiring a vehicle for the trip along with booking the homestays separately would cost you more than the package cost. So practically it’s not worth the effort.

But believe me, if you take this tour instead of all the obstacles, it’ll be your lifetime memory

Way To Chungthang

Way To Chungthang

Way To Chungthang

Way To Chungthang

We started at 11 AM and reached Chungthang at around 6 PM in the evening with a 30 mins lunch break in between. Gangtok to Chungthang is 6 Hours journey. From Chungthang the road gets divided to Lachung & Lachen. Generally Lachen is covered first and then Lachung. So after having some Momo and Tea in Chingthang, we started for Lachen again without wasting much time.

Note that, Chungthang is the last destination where you’ll get Mobile tower. So take your time to make any calls or surf internet if you needed to. After this point, only BSNL will work. So you’ll be out of coverage area for 2 days if your provider is not BSNL.

UPDATE (2018) : Airtel, Vodafone etc. works really great throughout Lachen and Lachung now. You can even access 4G Data. There’s no coverage at Gurudongmar, Yumthang and Zero Point though.

We sighed when we reached Lachen after around 1.5 Hours. Finally we were at Lachen at 7:30 PM starting from Gangtok at 11 AM. We checked in to the Hotel. It was -10 Deg C and what I loved is, as this sort of temperature stays throughout the year, all the hotel sells liquor. I sat with a Beer. After an hour or so, we were called for Dinner.

Way To Gurudongmar Lake

Way To Gurudongmar Lake

Next day early morning at sharp 3’O Clock in the morning we left for Gurudongmar Lake. We reached Thangu, the last village of Indo – Chinese Border at around 7 AM. It’s mostly covered with the military base so be ready to be amazed to see different Regiments, Armour, Tanks, Shelling Equipment’s etc. I felt proud when I saw how hard our Indian Army works to protects us throughout the year on -15 Deg C. I felt proud watching them how they sacrificed their life, their family and is always there standing on the border so that we all Indians can go to sleep without worrying.

“Jai Hind”

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake

So finally at 7:30 we reached Gurudongmar Lake at 17,100 ft. Many of tourist felt ill due to low oxygen and started facing breathing problem. The hills looked awesome, it was like made of Gold. The beautiful and awe inspiring lake remains milky in color throughout the year. According to a legend, since the lake used to remain frozen most of the year, it was not possible to use its water for drinking purposes. When the Guru Padmasambhava passed by, while returning from Tibet, the local residents are reported to have approached him for providing source of water. The Guru obliged. A portion of the lake touched by him does not freeze in extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the ‘blessed’ water in bottles.

  • Gurudongmar Lake 13100 Ft
    Gurudongmar Lake 13100 Ft

Don’t try to find logic or science within this story, but be amazed to see, how it’s not frozen at -15 Deg C when everything around it is frozen. πŸ™‚ Be amazed, to see the Hills, well the last hills of India.

While coming back to Lachen we had breakfast at Thangu and spoke to some of our Army mens regarding the border conditions. Finally we were back at Lachen again at 12’O Clock. Took rest and a nap for an hour and then we were called for Lunch. Taking rest for few mins we left for Lachung at 2 PM.

While going to Lachung, we had a break in Chungthang. Again we were back in coverage area, so made few calls back home to inform that everything is fine. We reached Lachung at 5:30 PM. Took rest for the evening as all of us were really tired after the hectic trip of 2 days, well still 1 day remaining. We were called for Dinner at around 10 PM and had a Beer afterwards and went off to sleep.

Yumthung Valley

Yumthung Valley

At 5’O Clock in the morning we left for Yumthung. Yumthung is famous for varieties of Rhododendrons and known as “Valley of Flowers”. Though as we took this tour in October, we couldn’t see any flowers there. Bad luck, we missed the natural beauty.

  • Yumthung Valley
    Yumthung Valley

It was around 7 AM, we thought of extending it to Zero Point. Generally Zero Point is not covered in the tour, but you can always negotiate with the driver. Don’t negotiate about Zero Point with the Tour Operator beforehand, as it requires permission which will raise the cost. Instead pay your driver 500 – 1000 bucks and ask him to take you to Zero Point.

  • Way To Zero Point
    Way To Zero Point

We reached Zero Point at around 9:00 AM. Finally after enjoying and playing a lot with ice bergs, we left for Lachung at around 10:30.

  • Zero Point
    Zero Point

At sharp 12’O Clock we reached Lachung, back to our Hotel again and left for Gangtok at 2’O Clock after having lunch and freshening up a bit.

Ahh…So finally we are back to Gangtok at around 7 PM. We all were really tired from this 3D / 2N North Sikkim tour. We planned for visiting M. G. Marg but we couldn’t, as we didn’t had any energy left. Got a beer ourselves and we soon hit the bed after dinner.

Next day Morning, we planned for Nathula Trip, but our hotel suggested to shift it next day, as it’d be really hectic for us as we were just from a hectic trip of North Sikkim. Well, yeah, he was right, so we shifted the Nathula trip to next day and planned for local sight-seen. After breakfast, we arranged a reserved 10 Point Half-Day Tour which cost us around 1000/-

There are many sight-seen packages like

  • 3 Point Half Day
  • 7 Point Half Day
  • 10 Point Half Day
  • 10 Point Full Day
  • Mixed Point

Points are fixed for all the tours unless you go for Mixed Point. For Mixed Point, you need to plan it yourself, what points you’d like to visit.

On our 10 Point tour, we went to Tashi View Point, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Bakthang Waterfall, Enchey Monastery, Flower Exhibition Center, Handicraft Center, Chorten Stupa, Institute of Tibetology and Ropeway Cable Car.

  • Gangtok From Tashi View Point
    Gangtok From Tashi View Point

Well, we didn’t went to Cable Car as we didn’t think the price is justified for the timings. It’s just that, you’d be able to see the Gangtok from cable car. So if you have never been to cable car then this can be a nice experience. But we had ride cable car many times before. So this didn’t attract us.

I heard of Rumtek Monastery a lot, and I had planned to visit it from the very beginning when I started to research on my tour. But those are included in 10 Point Full Day tour as it was on the opposite side of all the above points. So, I thought of booking a 10 Point Half Day and then I’d try to negotiate directly with Cab driver as that would save the money and also I was not interested in other points of Full Day tour except Rumtek Monastery. So, as I had planned, we negotiated with our cab driver for 500/- and he agreed, as that amount will exclusively go to his pocket.

View From Rumtek Monastry

View From Rumtek Monastry

View From Rumtek Monastry

View From Rumtek Monastry

Finally, we were at Rumtek Monastery. What should I say, Awesome. Simply Awesome. Our driver was very friendly guide, he narrated us the story of the Monastery on the route.

Way To Rumtek Monastry

Way To Rumtek Monastry

Rumtek Monastry

Rumtek Monastry

Rumtek Monastry

Rumtek Monastry

Way To Golden Stupa

Way To Golden Stupa

After this, he took us to Botanical Garden, though we didn’t asked for it and it was closed too due to Diwali. And, with this, we ended our so called 10 Point Half-Day Tour (or should I call it 10 Point Quarter Tour :P) and back to our hotel.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

We took a nap after having our Lunch and later in the evening we went to M. G. Marg. It was Diwali, and people were burning crackers all over and it was just stunning. Watching colorful shells in the mountain with Tea and Momo, is just different and awesome.

Diwali Celebration at M. G. Marg

Diwali Celebration at M. G. Marg

Next day, after breakfast, we went for Tsongmo Lake – Nathulla Pass – Baba Mandir Tour. This tour generally costs 800/- per head (With Nathulla), and 500/- per head (Without Nathulla). The first stop was Tsongmo Lake. I don’t know, but may be after all the scenic beauty of Gurudongmar and Zero Point, I didn’t find this much interesting. So we didn’t wasted much time here.

Tsongmo Lake

Tsongmo Lake

Tsongmo Lake

Tsongmo Lake

We had Thukpa as our lunch in a small jhoops near Tsongmo Lake and headed for Nathulla. Words can’t describe the feeling when you are standing in your country’s border watching the bunkers of India and China and the LoC. Just a step forward and you’ll be in China.

  • Way To Nathulla
    Way To Nathulla
Nathulla Pass

Nathulla Pass

While returning back from Mathulla, we visited Baba Mandir. Though the use of word Mandir which means Temple, it’s not a Temple actually. Baba Harbhajan Singh was an soldier who died near the Nathula Pass. He is revered by soldiers of the Indian army as the “Hero of Nathula” and the army men have also built a shrine in his honour. He has been accorded the status of saint by believers who refer to him as the Baba (saintly father). Many of the faithful people, chiefly Indian army personnel posted in and around the Nathula Pass and the Sino-Indian border between the state of Sikkim and Chinese occupied Tibet have come to believe his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, the Baba is said to also grant favors presumably to those who revere and worship him.

  • Baba Mandir
    Baba Mandir

And finally we were back in Gangtok again.

Mera Bharat Mahan

Mera Bharat Mahan

It was 11 PM, chilled weather with a Chilled Beer in hand watching the peaks. Last night of our tour. What can I say, I thought I’ll miss this place, the trip, the enjoyment. The friendly nature of all the Nepali people around who helped us a lot throughout this trip of ours.

Next day, we left for NJP after breakfast. Throughout the route, I kept my eyes closed and every details of our trip went through my mind. I was missing it badly. And more than that, I was afraid of going back to that so called rat race life again. But what can I do? That’s the way of life. Right? I kept telling my heart that, Let’s go back, earn more money, so that you can again pack the bags and leave for another awesome place again.

Memory

Memory

Last but not the least, this trip would not have been successful without

Thanks a lot to all the volunteers out there in Trip Advisor, who helped me a lot researching about destinations and various suggestions. DIY is fun, it helps us to be informed about the destinations and pick up them according to our choices, probable scams which helps us to keep our cost low avoiding them.

Any critics and suggestions is welcome.

Costs Involved:
NJP -> Siliguri : Reserved Auto = 200/- (For 5 Members)
Siliguri -> Deorali : Shared Car – 200/- Per Head x 5 = 1000/-
Deorali -> Development Area (Hotel) – 200/- per car. As we were 5 members we took 2 taxi’s. So total is 400/-

North Sikkim 2N/3D Tour : 3000/- Per Head x 5 = 15000/- (including accommodation and all the meals) + 1200/- given extra for Zero Point (Zero Point is not included in the package)

If you are planning to hire a private vehicle it costs around Rs. 16,000/- for 2 Pax and around Rs. 20,000/- for 4 pax including accommodation and all the meals.

Gangtok 10 Point Sightseeing : Exclusive vehicle for 5 members – 500/- + 500/- Given Extra for Rumtek Monastry = 1000/-

Nathulla Pass Tour : 800/- Per Head x 5 Person = 3200/-

Hotel Maa Yang @ 1200/- Per Day x 4 Nights = 4800/-
We, 5 persons, stayed in a single room. And this price includes MAP i.e. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and Tea 2 times (Morning and Evening).

We were there for total 6 Nights, out of which 2 Nights we spent in Lachung, Lachen. So the Hotel Costs is of 4 night with all the meals.

As far as I remember, our total cost for the trip from Home to Home was 40k for 1 week for 5 persons. Ofcourse that includes too many Momo’s @ 30/- and Thukpas here and there.

Development Area -> M.G.Marg shared cabs take 10/- per head. But while returning from M.G.Marg you’ll never find a shared cab. So you need to book it exclusively for 80/- – 100/-. Depends on your bargaining. Some day we got for 70/- and some day for 90/-.

Contacts:
Hotel Maa Yang : +919748659918 / +919432491159

North Sikkim, Nathulla Pass and Sightseeing Tours booked from Lama Tour and Travels. It’s run by an young women, Binita Lama. You can call her or whatsapp her at +919832079292 / +919734983536. She has recently started her Hotel Business too in Development Area, Gangtok. Lamaz Residency : Lamaz Residency

We didn’t stayed there, as the prices were a bit high than our budget. We had a budget of around 1000/- for a room (for 5 people!!). Though she gave us a discount, still it was too high for us.

Sightseeing Driver [SK 01 T 1077] : +919734008523. Well I asked a lot but he didn’t told his name. Instead he kept on insisting by saving his name as Uncle. So I saved the contact as Uncle on my phone πŸ˜› He’s really a good driver and a guide himself. He told us the story behind Rumtek Monastry on our way.

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.

958 Comments

  • Nerevarine
    January 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    Amazing blog m8.. really really well maintained formatting

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 11, 2015 at 6:17 PM

      Thanks Bro πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • SHIVJIT GHOSH
        July 5, 2016 at 5:27 PM

        HELLO KRISHNENDU
        I AM GOING TO TRAVEL NORTH SIKKIM WITH MY WIFE IN THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER’16. IS THAT WOOULD BE THE SUITABLE TIME TO VISIT?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          July 5, 2016 at 5:47 PM

          Hi Shivjit, Yes from last few years North Sikkim was accessible till December 1st or 2nd Week. So given that you can plan safely for North Sikkim.

          But I’d suggest to not to book the trip in advance and go woth flexible plan. You can book the trip once in Gangtok after checking the condition of the road with the tour operators and hotel.

          But don’t worry much, as it’d be accessible in December 1st Week. But as we all know no one can predict weather, so just keep it flexible.

          Reply
          • SHIVJIT GHOSH
            July 6, 2016 at 5:20 PM

            THANK YOU DADA

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              July 6, 2016 at 6:17 PM

              You are welcome πŸ™‚

              Let me know if you have any other queries.

              Reply
              • yasar arafath
                August 28, 2016 at 9:29 PM

                hi dada, am from kerala living in dubai for the past 30+ years. i and my wife planning gangtok and darjeeling trip in mid sept not more than 7 days. Would it be a good time to visit and the days enough to visit both places? I appreciate your advice.

                Reply
                • Krishnandu Sarkar
                  September 1, 2016 at 11:07 AM

                  Hi Yasar, Sorry for replying late. I’m not sure how I missed your comments. But it’s always better late than never.

                  Anyway, coming to your query, September is end of monsoon, but still a monsoon in the hills. So rest assured it’d not rain heavily throughout the day but some drizzling is expected. I’d have surely suggested to go if you were from West Bengal or nearby states. But if you do want to enjoy the post monsoon lush green view of the hills, then you may visit in September.

                  But as you’d be coming from Dubai and I believe it won’t be possible for you to visit again and again, I’d suggest you to visit in November. You can also visit in October, but due to various holidays in October, it’s the most rush season out there. So November is considered to be the best season (according to me), as the crowd is not much, and you get to enjoy everything as like October without loosing on anything.

                  Hope that helps πŸ™‚

                  Reply
              • Aaditya Budhia
                May 15, 2017 at 4:38 PM

                Dear dada,
                iam planning to visit gangtok and north sikkim in august end ? Can tell me if thats a good time to go?

                Reply
                • Krishnandu Sarkar
                  May 15, 2017 at 4:51 PM

                  Hi Aaditya, Monsoon will be at it’s full swing during that period. North Sikkim is not at all recommended during that time.

                  For North Sikkim better to plan around Mid Oct – Mid Dec and again on April – May.

                  I visited in November.

                  Reply
                  • Aaditya Budhia
                    May 15, 2017 at 4:53 PM

                    Thank you so much dada , great help!

                    Reply
          • Rajib Das Adhikary
            September 15, 2016 at 2:17 PM

            Dear Dada,
            I planing Darjeeling and North Sikkim tour October 23, 2016
            So, dada please help me travelling plan and save cost.

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              September 15, 2016 at 6:36 PM

              Hi Rajib, How many days do you have?

              October is highly rush season and prices can be a bit inflated on that time.

              Please go through my post above in details. I did it on a shoestring budget. So you can refer to those same informations!!

              Reply
              • Rajib Das adhikary
                September 29, 2016 at 4:39 PM

                Dada,
                please detail help me. Can I advance booking in sharing basis? which is the best traveling agent in sharing basis. I going to sharing basis please cost provided me please.

                Reply
                • Rajib Das adhikary
                  September 29, 2016 at 4:44 PM

                  Dada,
                  4 person, in sharing basis North Sikkim and 1 night Darjeeling so, 6n/7d programme. So, how many total cost?

                  Reply
                  • Krishnandu Sarkar
                    September 30, 2016 at 11:43 AM

                    Cost depends on you Rajib. It’s up to you that how you travel and what hotel you choose etc.

                    In October, due to rush season, the cost would be higher.

                    North Sikkim 2N/3D in Shared Cab costs 3000/- per head (including fooding and lodging)

                    Budget Hotel would cost you around 1500/- per room per day.

                    For Fooding keep Rs. 500/- per person per day.

                    NJP to Gangtok or vice versa is 250/- per person in Shared Cab.

                    NJP to Darjeeling or vice versa is Rs. 200/- per person in Shared Cab.

                    Reply
                • Krishnandu Sarkar
                  September 30, 2016 at 11:40 AM

                  Hi Rajib, Yes you can book in advance. But there is no best agent. You have to discuss with various agents and find out who are offering lowest price.

                  Reply
        • Aaditya Budhia
          May 15, 2017 at 4:43 PM

          And which month did you travelled sikkim?

          Reply
      • Kundan
        October 13, 2016 at 1:20 PM

        Hello dada,
        Nice article.
        I am also staying in Kolkata.
        I am planing to visit 3N in Gangtok and 2N in Pelling with my wife and 1.5 yrs old son from 9 Nov to 14 Nov 2016.
        Is it advisable to plan the trip (from cold weather and long routes point of view ) keeping in mind of the age of my son.?

        Please guide.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          October 18, 2016 at 12:00 PM

          Hi Kundan, First of all extremely sorry for late reply as I was travelling in East, West and South Sikkim throughout last week with limited internet availability at such high altitude. Thus I couldn’t get back to you in time.

          Well, many tourists visit Sikkim with their kids of age like yours. So I don’t think there’s much issue with that. Though weather is pleasant in November but you’d need to carry proper winter garments.

          If you are only planning for Gangtok and Pelling, it’s not at all hectic. So that’s not an issue at all.

          Reply
          • kundan
            November 5, 2016 at 11:09 AM

            Hello dada,

            Thank you for replying and sorry for acknowledging so late.

            Hope you are doing great..
            Since I am coming with 1.5 yrs old son, would there be any chance of having breathing problem?
            In such and general cases, what do travelers do for such young kids to prevent breathing problem?

            Thank you.

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              November 5, 2016 at 12:05 PM

              Hi Kundan, Breathing issues occurs at High Altitude areas such as Nathulla and North Sikkim. As you won’t be visiting these areas there’s no issue.

              In Gangtok and Pelling there’s not much problem.

              Reply
      • Prasenjit Datta
        May 25, 2017 at 6:49 PM

        Beautifully written:) However I have a question if I can go with my wife and my son who is 4 years old only. We are planning for North Sikkim and Gangtok.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          May 25, 2017 at 10:19 PM

          Hi Prasenjit, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

          You may visit with your wife, but it’s not recommended to take kids below 6-8 years to North Sikkim. However you may do the same at your own risk.

          But if you personally ask me, I’d say wait for your son to grow up a bit and plan after 2-3 years πŸ™‚

          Reply
    • sneha
      March 22, 2019 at 3:20 PM

      Excellent blog. very informative. Id like to add to this. While your excursion seems to be well planned and quite independent, many inexperienced tourists find themselves at the wrath of local taxi mafia. It would be good if you can throw some light on these nuances. There’s a chain of operators who operate on whatsapp. They will meet you outside the airport, and everything will be good as they wheel you away from the market and other players. Once they have got you to gangtok, you are stuck with them. They ruin your trip, dont turn up in time, provide awful vehicles and everything else that can go wrong. Plus, theyre also very creepy and you never know when they attack.They have common names like sikkimcabs, etc. after charging the ignorant tourist for a large part of the sum, they keep them on tenterhooks by extorting advances. then they cartelise so that you cannot engage anyone from the open market, leaving you no choice and slithering in the midst of your vacation. They have everyone involved so you cannot even complain to the police. This is especially the case for people operating out of siliguri. It is better to get services from people in gangtok than be stuck with someone who operates out of bengal. Sikkim is an amazing place to visit except for the local mafia of these cab services. I just thought its advisable for anyone planning a trip to keep this in mind.

      Reply
      • Krishnandu Sarkar
        March 25, 2019 at 9:15 PM

        Hi Sneha, What you said is very much true. Thus I always emphasise everyone to take services from locals. And if you are opting for a tour operator then better verify their credibility and at your own risk.

        When you go with the locals things doesn’t go wrong generally. My tour was completely unplanned though.

        There are lot of operators, who are operating out of Siliguri / NJP. Their most common offer to lure the customers is by offering cheaper rates to drop tourists to their destination (be it Sikkim / Darjeeling / Whatever) and they always mention that you have to hire vehicle for sightseeing through them only or even book hotels through them.

        I REPEAT, IGNORE THEM. DON’T FALL INTO TRAP.

        If you tell them that you don’t want to avail other services, but just the drop, they will go away.

        Reply
  • Souvik Ray
    January 11, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Hi Krishnendu…. Amazing blog, very informative. We are planning to go 23rd Jan. Do you think we’ll be able to go Yumgthung and Gurudongmer lake?? Or will it be blocked due to snowfall.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 11, 2015 at 8:54 PM

      Thanks Souvik. I think North Sikkim will be closed now duw to rainfall and roadslide. You can verify it once from TripAdvisor Destination Experts though.

      Reply
  • Vyom
    January 11, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    Nice, long and detailed guide to Sikkim journey! The guide is very detailed so it will be very useful for anyone visiting this beautiful state.

    You are right about feeling bad about being in a rat race. But the line about getting back and “earn enough money” to go on another adventurous trip made me chuckle.

    Here’s hoping to see more articles from you. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 12, 2015 at 2:20 AM

      Thanks Vyom. This is my first writing ever. Hope I improve over time πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Sujay Kirti
    January 12, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Great travelogue nandu da !!

    Reply
  • Kaushik
    January 14, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    nice. Well written. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Muhammed Khalid
    January 22, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Awesome post man!

    Loved the way how you described your stay and the place.
    The pics which you included here are truly exotic and I understand why people tell that sikkhim is a lovely place.

    BTW found the article on thinkdigit forum. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Ki Ananda
    May 22, 2015 at 5:38 AM

    Love your writing style. Good photos, too.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • mumpy
    July 4, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    need some details

    Reply
  • mumpy
    July 4, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    I am planning this trip between 24 Jan to 27 Jan , can i cover all the places that you have seen in these days??? I m going to follow your itenary, can i get a cost estimation we are 5-6 people

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 9, 2015 at 9:05 PM

      Hi Mumpy, Well to be frank, I really doubt whether you’ll be able to do North Sikkim in January. The reason is, the route to North Sikkim is very rough and high chance of land slide. Also it’s at 17,100 ft above sea level. So you can guess, what the temperature can be in January. If the road is open, then you are good to go, else it won’t be possible.

      I’d suggest you to ask in TripAdvisor. Members there will be able to help more.

      Regarding cost, I’d say, everyone’s choice and taste is different. Cost depends on how you are travelling (exclusive vehicle or shared), the kind of hotel you are staying at and the kind of food. But if you are like me, a backpack traveler, I did this whole trip in 40,000/- from Home to Home for total 6 person.

      Reply
  • rajib mallick
    July 9, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    Awesome travelogue. Mind boggling pics of gurudongmar….. Great going m8. Only if u could give details and costs of Gangtok hotels and how to book north Sikkim tour ( and the costs)…..pls do respond.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 9, 2015 at 9:00 PM

      Hi Rajib, Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

      Regarding Hotels, I’d say try Tripadvisor. Everyone’s taste and choice is different. We are kind of backpack travelers. So we always tend to find clean lowest possible. We stayed at Hotel Ma Yang (@ 1200/- per day which includes fooding and lodging both. We 6 person stayed in single room. You can contact Ma Yang @ +919748659918 / +919432491159.

      The hotel is in Development Area. Hotels in Development Area is much cheaper than that in M.G.Road. So if you are looking for something cheaper then you can always look at Development Area. It’s walkable distance to M.G.Road or you may even take shared taxi’s @ Rs. 10/- per head.

      North Sikkim tour cost is generally 3000/- per head (i.e. 3D/2N everything included) or if you want more comfortable journey then you can book exclusive vehicle. Charges for exclusive vehicle depends on the type of vehicle which ranges from anything between 10,000/- to 20,000/-.

      Once you reach Gangtok, you can contact any Travel Agents, across M.G.Marg for booking this tour.

      We booked it from Lama Tour & Travels run by a young lady Binita Lama. You can contact her @ +919832079292 / +919734983536. She also started her hotel business at Development Area. You can check out @ https://lamazresidency.com/

      Though the tariff is on higher side, but you can always negotiate it with her if you are planning to book everything.

      Please reply if you want to anything else, will be glad to help πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Pawan Singh
    August 6, 2015 at 5:56 PM

    Hi we are planning trip in first week of October can u tell me what kind of view gurudingmar lake offer at that point of time?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 6, 2015 at 9:20 PM

      Hi Pawan, You’ll get the same view as I did. If you specifically meant snow, then don’t worry you’ll get a lot of it πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Pawan Tomar
        September 26, 2015 at 2:34 PM

        Hi Sarkar,
        Extremely grateful for your generosity.
        Would also like to ask whether we need to carry meagre winter clothes (like thin sweaters or sweat shirts) or kinda thick winter clothes (like jackets)?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          September 26, 2015 at 3:37 PM

          If you are planning to visit Lachung – Lachen, then carry thick ones and wear in multiple layers. In Gangtok, normal sweaters and jackets will be fine. But up above, you need both in multiple layers. Also keep woollen gloves and socks.

          Reply
          • saheli saha
            June 1, 2016 at 10:42 PM

            Well krishnandu since me and my friends are planning for bike trip I had a query for u. While visiting lachen,lachung,yumthang and gurudongmar did u see petrol pumps over there? Or could you tell me from where do those drivers fill up petrols in their car?
            Plz do rply…

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              June 1, 2016 at 10:57 PM

              Hi Saheli, I don’t remember whether I noticed any petrol pump over North Sikkim. But drivers generally fuel up their car fully and carry some for emergency on bottles or jars.

              BTW are you guys planning for North Sikkim on bike? I must say that’s very risky due to rough terrain and it’d be very tough to get permits yourself.

              Reply
              • saheli saha
                June 2, 2016 at 12:12 AM

                Thanks… and yeah we r planning for north sikkim. Since many groups has already visited sikkim by bikes,and the nature is charismatic we thought that it is worth the risk.
                and ur travelogue was awesome!

                Reply
                • Krishnandu Sarkar
                  June 2, 2016 at 7:12 AM

                  Hi Saheli, Yes if you are determined to take the risk then please go ahead, you’ll have a great adventure.

                  Yes many peoples have done sikkim by bike but very few of them goes to North Sikkim by bike.

                  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to demoralise you, but I just want to make you aware about the consequences you are goin g to face.

                  Check out All You Need To Know About North Sikkim.

                  It’s just that you might need to run around variously govt. offices for the permits. So just keep one or two exta days in hand for this thing. And if you are lucky they may co-operate with you, who knows!!

                  All the best!! Once you are back I’d love to read about your experiences!! πŸ™‚

                  BTW when are you planning for it?

                  Reply
                  • saheli saha
                    June 2, 2016 at 10:26 AM

                    Yeah I understand ur concern because of rough terrain. I will for sure take take ur advice nd will fiscuss it with my friends.
                    And we r planning for march ,2017.
                    if u have any more advices that strike you, plz feel free to give,I surely take that into account.
                    well had another q for u. While visiting gurudongmar 2 woollycotts and a jacket with gloves will be fine? And do we need trekking boots or normal boots will be ok?

                    Reply
                    • Krishnandu Sarkar
                      June 2, 2016 at 12:49 PM

                      Yeah. Another thing is getting permit. If you try to get permits on your own then in that case you might need to run around government offices for 1-2 days (depending on your luck).

                      No you don’t need any kind of trekking shoes, normal shoes woll suffice.

                      Yes, jackets and wollicots with gloves will suffice!! Just take some kind of caps to cover your ears as the wind there is very harsh.

                    • saheli saha
                      June 2, 2016 at 1:01 PM

                      Thanks a lot…

  • Anirudh
    August 19, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Hi Sir, I am planning a holiday in sikkim in from 21 to 27 of Oct. for 7 days 2 adults . We will arrive and return from bagdogra via flight.
    Our current itinerary plan is as follows:

    21st Oct 2015 Day-1 Arrival at Bagdogra airport and transfer to Gangtok. Evening free to roam around M G Road (Mall) or local Shopping center – Over Night stay at Gangtok.

    Day-2 Excursion to Tsmogo lake , Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass (Full day) -Over Night stay at Gangtok.

    Day-3 Early morning breakfast – Reach Lachen late afternoon / early evening – The snow capped peaks, the Shingbha wild life sanctuary, Gurudongmar Lake, Chopta Valley, Thangu – Check into a hotel – Evening free to stroll and visit the Lepcha Village – Overnight stay at Hotel in Lachen.

    Day-4 Early morning breakfast – Visit to Gurudongmar Lake – After lunch drive to Lachung – Chopta Valley and Thangu are the other places of interest Check into hotel at Lachung – Evening free to visit Lachung Monastery – Overnight stay at Hotel at Lachung.

    Day-5 After breakfast drive towards Yumthang situated at an elevation of nearly 11800 feet – On the way visit to the famous hot spring which is known for its curative properties of skin diseases – Return to hotel at Lachung for Lunch – Transfer to Gangtok – Reach Gangtok in the evening – Check into hotel – Night stay at Gangtok.

    Day-6 After breakfast visit Gangtok local sightseeing – Rumtek Monastery, Nehru Botanical Garden, ShantiView Pt., Do-Drul Chorten, Tibetology, Handicraft Centre & Flower Show. Back to the hotel. Night stay at Gangtok.

    27thOct 2015 Day-7 Drop at Bagdogra airport for departure.

    Queries:
    1. Is there any local transport like bus or something from gangtok to lachen and Is there any further local transport in lachen to cover north sikkim trip?
    2. If there is no such public transport then can we get shared taxi for 2N/3D ie from 23 to 25 Oct for North sikkim trip?
    3. Can we get home stay experience at Lachen?
    4. According to you what should be the minimum budget for the above mentioned trip excluding flight fares for 2 person?
    5. If I am missing something good nearby in my itinerary then Kindly suggest.

    Regards

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 22, 2015 at 10:00 PM

      @Anirudh, First of all I’m not any Sir, so you can just call me Krishnandu πŸ˜›

      Your itenary looks fine. Now, regarding your questions

      1. Is there any local transport like bus or something from gangtok to lachen and Is there any further local transport in lachen to cover north sikkim trip?

      A: Nope. Due to rough terrain and high altitude, car is the only option available.

      2. If there is no such public transport then can we get shared taxi for 2N/3D ie from 23 to 25 Oct for North sikkim trip?

      A: Yes, both Shared Cabs and Private Cabs (exclusive) are available.

      3. Can we get home stay experience at Lachen?

      A: Yes. Infact almost all the hotels in Lachung and Lachen offer homestay experience. As they are very remote places and in high altitude, hotels are very basic and don’t expect anything luxury. If you are looking for Homestay kinda experience, you’ll just love it.

      4. According to you what should be the minimum budget for the above mentioned trip excluding flight fares for 2 person?

      A: Well, budget depends on your taste and choice. Like the choice of Hotels, Food etc. Rest assured, I have done this exact trip for 33k for 5 persons. And my home to home cost was 40k.

      5. If I am missing something good nearby in my itinerary then Kindly suggest.

      A: I think your itenary is perfectly okay. Have a great trip πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • shaehzad
      November 12, 2016 at 9:50 PM

      great , can i join you guys

      Reply
      • Krishnandu Sarkar
        November 12, 2016 at 10:33 PM

        Hi shaehzad, Thank You πŸ™‚

        You are asking that to me or Anirudh?

        As of me, I generally travel with family and/or friends.

        Reply
  • Kalpana Choudhury
    September 3, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    This is the best blog for the north sikkim tour I read so far. Thanks a lot for such detailed travelogue and replying to all the queries so nicely. Please do help me too for planning my trip to north sikkim.

    We are 2 people. We are planning this trip from 17th October to 24th October. I will be reaching Kolkata on 17th, planning to leave for Siliguri in the night. Reach Siliguri by morning via bus. And for returning, I have my train on 25th from Kolkata, so I want to be back by 24th night.
    The places I wish to visit are- Gurudongmar Lake, Gangtok, Lachung, Lachen, Nathula pass, Zero point and what all lies in the between and can be covered. This is my first backpacking trip so I do not have much idea how to go about making the itinerary.
    Can you please suggest me how to go about planning the trip day wise. You have already provided quite useful hotel and contact information.
    We have a budget of Rs.30,000 almost. We want a decent trip and not a luxury one.
    After reading a lot on net I tried to plan the below itinerary. Please review it nad let me know what changes are needed πŸ™‚

    DAY 1– Reach Siliguri in Morning, Leave for Gangtok. Night Stay in Gangtok.
    DAY 2– Excursion to Tsmogo lake , Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass (Full day) -Over Night stay at Gangtok.
    DAY 3to5– Book a 2N/3D trip to North Sikkim, covering Gurudongmar Lake,Lachung, Lachen, Zero point, Yumthang valley and Chungthang etc.
    DAY 6– Return to Gangtok, do local sightseeing.
    DAY 7– Leave for Siliguri from Gangtok.

    1) The time period of our trip is fine? Is it a good season to visit North Sikkim?
    1) All the permits required for Gurudongmar Lake and Nathlu La are arranged by the tavel agent?
    2) All these places are they possible to cover in the stated time?
    3) The budget suggested is ok for the trip? As we want a budget trip?
    4) The cabs and buses will be easily available?
    5) We are a 2 people travelling, me and my male travel partner. As it is a budget trip we dont want to book 2 seperate rooms for oursleves. In many cities the hotel owner have issue in booking rooms for travelers like this. Will we face any such problem? I will contact the mentioned hotel by you prior and ask about this too.

    Please do reply to my queries. It will be of great help.
    Thanks in advance. πŸ™‚

    Warm Regards,
    Kalpana Choudhury

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 3, 2015 at 4:08 PM

      Hi Kalpana,

      This is the best blog for the north sikkim tour I read so far. Thanks a lot for such detailed travelogue and replying to all the queries so nicely. Please do help me too for planning my trip to north sikkim.

      Thank you and I’m glad that it helped you πŸ™‚

      We are 2 people. We are planning this trip from 17th October to 24th October. I will be reaching Kolkata on 17th, planning to leave for Siliguri in the night. Reach Siliguri by morning via bus. And for returning, I have my train on 25th from Kolkata, so I want to be back by 24th night.

      From where you’ll be coming from? Can’t you directly find any train to NJP from your Source Station and the same for return? Or if you are flying, then you can directly fly to Bagdogra.

      Just suggesting, because as per your statements, it looks like you do not have anything to do in Kolkata.

      For Siliguri, if you are comfortable by bus, then it’s fine, else you can try train upto NJP, but chances are too late that you’ll get tickets now during Puja vacations. Generally tickets gets booked up before 4 months.

      DAY 1– Reach Siliguri in Morning, Leave for Gangtok. Night Stay in Gangtok.
      DAY 2– Excursion to Tsmogo lake , Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass (Full day) -Over Night stay at Gangtok.
      DAY 3to5– Book a 2N/3D trip to North Sikkim, covering Gurudongmar Lake,Lachung, Lachen, Zero point, Yumthang valley and Chungthang etc.
      DAY 6– Return to Gangtok, do local sightseeing.
      DAY 7– Leave for Siliguri from Gangtok.

      Well, it’s perfectly fine. BTW just a correction, you’ll return to Gangtok on Day 5 only, and it’ll be around 6PM – 7PM to return Gangtok on Day 5.

      So you have full day for Sightseeing on Day 6.

      The time period of our trip is fine? Is it a good season to visit North Sikkim?

      Yes. Absolutely.

      All the permits required for Gurudongmar Lake and Nathlu La are arranged by the tavel agent?

      Yes. You just need to provide a Photo and Photocopy of your ID Proof.

      All these places are they possible to cover in the stated time?

      Yes. As already stated above, you’ll return to Gangtok on Day 5 only. So on Day 6 you have full day for Sightseeing.

      The budget suggested is ok for the trip? As we want a budget trip?

      Looks like. The same plan costed us 33000/- Siliguri to Siliguri but for 5 persons. Let’s calculate from Siliguri to Siliguri

      Hotels : You’ll get hotels at around 1000/- per day easily in Development Area. As it’s a tourist season, they may not negotiate much. If you want it with fooding and lodging you’ll get it within 1500/-

      So if you are only interested in Lodging, it’ll be 1000/- x 4 Days (Day 1, Day 2, Day 5 and Day 6) = 4000/-

      Fooding : Again depends on your taste, but keep 500/- per person per day min. So again 500 x 2 (person) x 3 Days (Day 1, Day 2 and Day 6) = 3000/- + 1000/- (Only Dinner on Day 5) = 4000/-

      Nathulla Tour = 800/- per person by shared cab. So 800/- x 2 (person) = 1600/-

      2N/3D Lachung – Lachen tour = 3000/- x 2 (person) = 6000/-

      Note that, this 2N/3D Lachung-Lachen tour price is inclusive of Fooding (Lunch & Dinner), Lodging and Transportation.

      The cabs and buses will be easily available?

      Yes. Throughout your tour, you’ll always get shared cabs and private cabs without any issues.

      We are a 2 people travelling, me and my male travel partner. As it is a budget trip we dont want to book 2 seperate rooms for oursleves. In many cities the hotel owner have issue in booking rooms for travelers like this. Will we face any such problem? I will contact the mentioned hotel by you prior and ask about this too.

      All the places I have been to, till now, I have never seen anyone asking for Marraige Proof and all. Only VoterID card of one person suffice, specially in Tourist spots.

      In cities it’s different story, due to different issues you know.

      Rest assured, Sikkim kinda follows Matriarchy culture. So you won’t face such issues.

      Let me know, if you need anything else. I’d be glad to help πŸ™‚ Happy Journey πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Kamalesh Bhowmick
    September 4, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    Nice Blog Krishnandu.

    We are 4 people (2 male and 2 female). We are planning this trip from 1st November to 8th November. Please find my query below:
    1. Should we need to book hotel and cab in advance?
    2. If we avail exclusive cab, can you give a breakup of cost of cab? So that I can negotiate accordingly. ?
    3. Will we get snow at that time?
    4. Any medicine we have to carry?
    Here I attached my tour plan for your reference:
    Nov-1, 2015 (Sun): Train Number- Garib Rath (12517) 21:40. Journey starts from
    Kolkata to NJP.

    Nov-2, 2015 (Mon): NJP Station to Gangtok, 130kms in 4 Hrs. – Drive to Gangtok (Alt 5550Ft /1675M). Check in at Hotel. Free Evening, Overnightat Gangtok.

    Nov-3, 2015 (Tue): Gangtok to Lachen, 130kms in 7hrs – Morning drive to Lachen in
    North Sikkim (Alt 9175Ft / 2750M). On the way visit Singhik, Seven Sister Water Falls,
    Chungthang Confluence. Lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Check in at local Guest
    house or hotel. Free evening and Overnight at Lachen.

    Nov-4, 2015 (Wed): Lachen to Thangu, Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake (for
    Indians Only), Total 120kms in 6hrs – Early morning drive to Thangu Village (Alt
    13625Ft / 4100M), a remote high altitude village of Tibetan Nomads and also proceed
    further to Chopta Valley (Alt 13325Ft / 4000M) to get some breathtaking view of alpine
    valley of frozen rivers. From Chopta Valley drive for another 30kms in 1.5hr to
    Gurudongmar Lake (Alt 17375Ft / 5225M) close to Tibet Border, the one of the Highest
    and biggest fresh water lakes in Sikkim. Back to Lachen for Lunch.
    Lachen to Lachung, 50kms in 2.5hrs – Check out from Lachen and drive further to
    Lachung (Alt 8075Ft / 2425M) via Chungthang. En route visit Chungthang Confluence
    and Vimnala Water Falls. Check in at hotel. Free evening. Overnight at Lachung.

    Nov-5, 2015 (Thurs): Lachung to Yumthang Valley Excursion 25kms in 1.5hrs (One
    Way) – Early morning drive to Yumthang Valley (Alt 11925Ft / 3575M), an Alpine flower
    valley in North Sikkim. Enjoy the scenic landscape and Hot spring and visit Zero Point. drive back to Lachung for Lunch. Return to Gangtok via Chungthang by evening. Overnight at Gangtok.

    Nov-6, 2015 (Fri): Gangtok to Tsongo Lake with Baba Mandir Excursion – 52kms in
    3hrs – One way (Timing: 7.30AM to 2.30PM). After breakfast drive to Tsongo Lake (Alt
    12000ft/3600M), a high altitude alpine lake close to Indo-China Border. Proceed further
    to Legendary Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir. Nathula Pass (Alt 14000Ft / 4200M) on China Border can also be arranged (Except Mon,Tue) for Indian Nationals only with 30 Days Advance Request at an additional cost. Afternoon is free for personal activities. Overnight at Gangtok.

    Nov-7, 2015 (Sat): Full Day Ravangla Tour. Char dham, Buddha Park, Temi Tea Garden and Other visiting places. Free evening Overnight at Ravangla.

    Nov-8, 2015 (Sun): Rayong Sunrise View Point and other sightseeing or any other place where we can visit. Ravangla to NJP Station. Train Name: 12344 (Darjeeling Mail) @ 20:00

    Looking for your reply.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 4, 2015 at 2:40 PM

      Thanks a lot Kamalesh πŸ™‚

      Now regarding your questions…

      Q .Should we need to book hotel and cab in advance?

      A. Well if you are keen on some specific hotel then yes, book it ahead as it’s a tourist season. But if you are kind of backpacking tourist and looking for on spot deals then you can just land up there without any bookings. There are lots of hotels and you’ll find one even in tourist season.

      Q. If we avail exclusive cab, can you give a breakup of cost of cab? So that I can negotiate accordingly. ?

      A. Exclusive vehicle will generally cost you 3000/- to 3500/- per day if you keep it on disposable basis.

      If you mean point to point booking, In that case NJP to Gangtok will cost you 200/- per head in shared vehicle.
      Lachung-Lachen tour exclusive vehicle will cost you around 15k – 20k or 3000/- per head in shared vehicle.
      Nathulla Pass – Baba Mandir – Tsongmo Lake exclusive vehicle will cost you around 2000/- and shared vehicle generally costs 800/- per head.

      Q. Will we get snow at that time?

      A. Yes. πŸ™‚

      Q. Any medicine we have to carry?

      Well, saridon or other medicine for headache will suffice as it’s a common problem when you climb to Gurudongmar and Zero Point due to the temperature and altitude.

      Remember to carry popcorn and kapur for beathing problems at that altitude.

      Reply
      • Kamalesh Bhowmick
        September 4, 2015 at 10:23 PM

        Thanks for your reply.

        Today I had talked with a driver, who give me INR 41000 for the trip.
        NJP to Gangtok-2500
        Lachen and Lachung tour package – 24000 (Fooding,Lodging,Transport and permit)
        Tsongo,Baba Mandir,Nathula – 7500 (with permit)
        Gangtok to Ravangla-2000
        Ravangla and Namchi Sightseen – 2500
        Ravangla to NJP-2500

        This is not included Gangtok and Ravangla Fooding and Lodging.
        I feel this is little bit higher side he is asking. Can you share your views?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          September 4, 2015 at 10:54 PM

          Well the price looks on a bit higher side. Contact Binita Lama. You can call her or whatsapp her at +919832079292 / +919734983536. We took our Lachung-Lachen, Nathulla and Sightseeing tour from her and she really offered great price.

          Reply
    • Dilip
      February 8, 2016 at 3:17 PM

      Dear krishandhu,

      I am planning for my gangtok visit for 4 days from 29 feb. can my daughter (2 years) manage the cold there??
      so far I am not booked any hotel in online, as some hotel are cheating very badly.
      just confirm, in 29 feb can i get room?? as i am reaching there @ morning.

      Reply
      • Krishnandu Sarkar
        February 8, 2016 at 4:08 PM

        If you are planning for Gangtok then it’s fine. Gangtok doesn’t watch much cold temperatures.

        Yes, Feb is off season there and there are lots of hotels in Gangtok so you can easily manage a room onspot. Don’t worry.

        Reply
  • Ranjit
    September 13, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    hi very good review n informable,can I minimize below rs 3000 for zero point visit from gangtok taxi stand?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 13, 2015 at 10:49 PM

      Hi Ranjit, Thanks a lot. I’m glad that you liked πŸ™‚

      The booking doesn’t includes Zero Point. It’s only upto Yumthung Valley. Just negotiate with the driver for Zero Point. If you book for Zero Point from the stand only, then they will charge very high.

      Also regarding the price, yes you can negotiate at stand but that depends on when you are visiting them. Lowest they will charge you for 2N/3D package is 2200/- to 2500/- per head. But again as I said, it depends on when you are visiting. If it’s season time, then chances are very low that they will agree.

      Reply
  • Subhasish Chatterjee
    September 17, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    Hi,
    We are(me with my wife & son aged 6yrs) going Gangtok from 24th Sept’2015 to 29th Sept.Hotel booked @1000/- per night.We want to take the option of 2N & 3D Gurungmer &Yangtham tour(26 Sept – 28 Sept) and local sightseeing for Rumtek Monetary for 29 Sept upto 12 noon.
    Is the tour okay ?
    any suggestion ?

    Regards,
    Subhasish

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 17, 2015 at 11:06 PM

      Hi Subhashish,
      You will be on 2N/3D tour from 26th to 28th September. So your booking of hotel for those 2N will be a wastage. That means you are paying 2k extra.

      Other than that everything looks fine. Happy Journey πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Subhasish Chatterjee
        September 18, 2015 at 12:40 PM

        Thanks for your prompt reply.
        Not able book any tour yet for said Gurugongmer & Yamthang tour. I have contacted with Ms. Lama over whattsapp and also ckntacted the driver uncle over phone but no body confirmed my tour booking.
        Please give me suggestion
        Subhasish

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          September 18, 2015 at 4:37 PM

          Hi Subhasish, Below are few references of other Tour and Travels in Sikkim. You can contact them. Else be rest assured that you can always find one on M. G. Marg after going there.

          Nature Beyond, Pallav Bhattacharya 09733000591 pallab@naturebeyond.org

          Yak & Yeti Travels Expedition Phone 03592280075, +919434117418, 09933008822 sikkim@live.in

          Skyworld Tours and Travels. Ramesh Basnet 09832089339, 09743141606. toursgangtok@gmail.com

          Dikcha Tours & Travels Phone No. : 03592200131, 9475709392, 9832327936. dlama_123@rediffmail.com

          Reply
  • ranjit.sikdar@gmail.com
    September 21, 2015 at 7:40 PM

    Hi Krisnendu
    Again I saying thanks for your good explaination and quickly reply,we belong from adventure journey family so please suggest how far we can Carry my 1.5years baby along with us to journey lachung trip?can I stay along with baby in small village cottages on lachen area?I mean not going zero point and gurudongmers stay only cottages?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 21, 2015 at 8:23 PM

      Hi Ranjit, I’m glad that you liked the blog πŸ™‚

      Wellas far as I know, kids below 9 years are not issued permit. So there is very low chance that you can take him / her upto Lachen or Lachung.

      And if you are looking for suggestion then I’d say drop the idea of carrying your baby with you. Its too early for him / her. Don’t risk it. Even if you get allowance any way, Lachung and Lachen is both at very high altitude and too cold for your baby. He / she may suffer due to low oxygen at that high altitude.

      Instead plan for Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi, Kaluk, Uttarey, Richenpong, Yuksom etc. from Gangtok.

      Reply
  • Arpit Basu
    September 27, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Friend, I am planning to go to Gangtok and North Sikkim in January 2016.. Can u tell me whether hotels in Lachen and Lachung serve non-veg meals or not? If possible if you can mention the full food menu of these hotels…..

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 27, 2015 at 7:07 PM

      Hi Arpit,
      Yes they can serve you veg meals. Tell them the same to your tour agent and driver.

      And regarding menu’s you do not have much choices here. Generally they serve rice / roti, dal, one sabji and egg / chicken.

      It’s not like they will ask you before preparing te meal. It’s kind of fooding and lodging system. Generally at that high altitude they have very low access.

      Reply
  • Kaushik
    October 12, 2015 at 12:57 AM

    Hi,

    We are a group of four and we are making a trip to Yumthang and Gurudongmar lake for 2 nights and 3 days from Gangtok. I have already made the booking from Kolkata through a travel agent for 1st and 2nd of November 2015.I want to visit the Chola mu lake and Donkiala Pass after visiting the Gurudongmar Lake.
    Please brief me about the permissions and the process for getting the same [is it possible from kolkata?] for visiting Cholamu lake and Donkiala Pass.We will be travelling in an exclusie vehicle [Scorpio or Bolero] for the tour.
    Waiting for an early reply.

    Regards,
    Kaushik.

    Reply
  • Kaushik
    October 12, 2015 at 12:57 AM

    Hi,

    We are a group of four and we are making a trip to Yumthang and Gurudongmar lake for 2 nights and 3 days from Gangtok. I have already made the booking from Kolkata through a travel agent for 1st and 2nd of November 2015.I want to visit the Chola mu lake and Donkiala Pass after visiting the Gurudongmar Lake.
    Please brief me about the permissions and the process for getting the same [is it possible from kolkata?] for visiting Cholamu lake and Donkiala Pass.We will be travelling in an exclusie vehicle [Scorpio or Bolero] for the tour.
    Waiting for an early reply.

    Regards,
    Kaushik.

    Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 3:12 AM

    krishnandu da, a very nice article indeed. we(5 people) are travelling to sikkim on the first week of jan…our budget is 10000 per head…will it be enough for the whole trip??? our itinerary-
    day 1- reach gangtok
    day 2- local sightseeing
    day 3- tsomgo lake, baba mandir, nathula pass
    day 4- reach lachen
    day 5- gurudongmar lake, thangu village, chopta valley, reach lachung
    day 6- yumthang, zero point, reach gangtok
    day 7- reach pelling
    day 8- local sightseeing
    day 9- leave pelling for station
    just like you we are backpackers and like everything as cheap as possible…we are all friends so want to spend our money on enjoyment…
    since we are travelling in early jan will we miss out on any locations due to snow in north sikkim???
    thanks, uttaran

    eagerly waiting for your reply

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 8:08 AM

      Hi Uttaran, I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

      Well, if you are low budget travellers and do not have high expectations then 10k per head is more than enough. Infact it’s a great budget, considering you are travelling in off season.

      You may miss North SIkkim, because Jan is not the best time to visit these places, and due to high snowfall the road to North Sikkim may get closed.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    thanks krishnandu da, but i’ve heard from many people that north sikkim is the place to be during winters, they told me that snowfall engulfs the state from middle of jan so i really want to give it a try. in your view, what are the places i’ll may miss out due to snow?? and also can you give me a tentative budget for 2D/3N packaged tour at this time from gangtok? also, i’ve visited pelling a number of times so is there any better place than pelling at this budget???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 1:56 PM

      Hi Uttaran, Yes you have heard it right. North Sikkim offers different flavours at different season. Just like Kashmir. But sometimes due to heavy snowfall the road gets closed. Well you can’t really do much on this, you have to decide it on spot.

      Other than Pelling you may explore Kaluk, Richenpong, Uttatey. These destinations are close to each other. So you can cover the other two as day trip by staying at one destination. Or you may choose to stay at all the destination if you wish to.

      Else you may explore Ravangla, Namchi, Yuksom. Or if you like light trekking then you can do Hilley-Barsey by making your base at Okhrey.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    thanks again krishnandu da. i really want to visit north sikkim in winter but do you think i may miss out on all the locations or some of them??? how much the tour operators charge for a 3D/2N trip to north sikkim in jan???? and also, is silk route possible at our budget after doing north sikkim???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      It’s not like missing all of them. Everything depends on road conditions. Don’t be afraid, many peoples have done it too.

      I’d suggest to take Silk Route as a different tour. If you have 3 days in hand you can go for Silk Route. The same can be done in 2 days too but you may miss the charm of visiting there. As per my opinion minimum 3 days is required for Silk Route.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    or what is the most viable option at our budget after doing north sikkim?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      At your budget you can choose any of them.

      You can choose any of the options. North Sikkim will cost you 3000/- per head (sharing). But as you are visiting in January, negotiate it for 2500/- or less.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    thanks a lot. so gonna give north sikkim a try. after north sikkim which place should u suggest considering our budget??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 3:29 PM

      Sure go for it. If you find that te road is closed then you can move to Silk Route.

      And after te North Sikkim trip it really depends on what you are looking for. If you want more snow then go for Silk Route else if you want to do light trekking go for Okhrey-Hilley-Barsey otherwise if you want to enjoy the nature then try Kaluk-Richenpong-Uttarey

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    i leave it up to you. after north sikkim which place should i try??? what would u’ve done in my place??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 4:52 PM

      Well I’d have choosen Kaluk-Richenpong-Uttarey and just relax on the lap of nature with a 180 deg view of Mt. K

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    thanks a lot. one last question though…is gangtok, north sikkim and kaluk tour possible within 10k?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      You mean per head? Ofcourse. But that depends on te type of fooding lodging you opt for.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    yup per head…thanks…we want standard rooms and food thats all…do you think other than gurudongmar lake any other place will be inaccessible due to snow in north sikkim??? everybody has told me that the only place i may miss out due to snow is gurudongmar lake and yumthang valley and zero point is accessible during that time..what do u think???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 6:13 PM

      No. Only roads to North Sikkim can get closed due to heavy snowfall. Others are absolutely fine. And make sure you take Nathulla Tour on Wed – Sun. As it’s closed on Mon and Tue.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 16, 2015 at 7:46 PM

    thanks a lot krishnendu da…so that means if i reach north sikkim then i can visit every place…

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 16, 2015 at 7:53 PM

      Not necessarily but kind of. Actually they first take you to Lachen and then Lachung. And Gurudongmar is situaated at much higher altitude than Yumthung and Zero Point. So technically if Gurudongmar is accessible then Yumthang and Zero Point will also be.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 17, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    so basically it means if gurudongmar is accessible then the others will be as well…can u give me the contact details of the travel agency from where u booked the north sikkim package???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 17, 2015 at 2:17 AM

      Hi Uttaran, We booked it from Mrs. Lama of Lama Tour & Travels. You can contact her or whatsapp her at +919832079292 / +919734983536.

      There are numbers of stalls at M.G.Marg. You can try them too if they are offering lower package.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 17, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    thanks again…how much time do they need to avail the permit??? because we are travelling on 3rd and will reach gangtok on 4th…if we hear that north sikkim is fine can we immediately book and leave on 5th??? we really want to do north sikkim as quick as possible…or we could do the gangtok sightseeings and nathula, tsomgo, baba mandir in 2 days and then leave…we want to do north sikkim as early as possible because it starts to snow heavily after the 2nd week of jan

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 17, 2015 at 11:50 AM

      Your plan is perfectly fine. You just need to submit the documents in one day advance. So as soon as you reach Gangtok try checking with your hotels and other Tour agents and see whether North Sikkim is accessible, then you can submit the documents to your preferred agent. He/she will make all the necessary arrangements.

      Yes if you arrive Gangtok on 4th you can leave for North Sikkim on 5th. But you have to submit all the documents on 4th itself.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 17, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    okay thanks a lot!!! happy pujas

    Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 18, 2015 at 1:22 AM

    accha one more thing if the no. of people decrease will the price per head increase???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 18, 2015 at 2:07 AM

      Well, it may. Like if you are booking a exclusive vehicle then it’ll increase. But if you are doing the trip by shared vehicle then it wont. And it also depends whether you are sharing the room fare too.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 18, 2015 at 1:32 AM

    for a permit does everybody require their id proofs??? if yes, will ration card be taken as id proof???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 18, 2015 at 2:08 AM

      I’m only aware that they ask for Voter ID Card and Passport Size Photo. For children less than 18 years, school certificate is okay. Not sure whether they will accept Ration Card. You need to check with the tour agency.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 18, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    pan card wont do???

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 18, 2015 at 12:53 PM

      Might be, but as I already stated, I’m only aware of Voter ID Card. Please confirm with one of the tour operator over phone before visiting there.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 18, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    okay thanks again ?

    Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 19, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    do i need a permit to enter sikkim???

    Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    October 20, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    thanks da πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Soham Kar
    October 24, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    Hey Krishnandu..Thanks for the awesome blog.. loved the snapshots mate !
    I have several questions. I am reaching Gangtok on 25th december 2015. I am going to book the 2N/3D package of lachen lachung yumthang valley. In the http://www.sikkimtourismindia.com it is showing INR 4200. U have mentioned that it costed you around 3K . So which is a better option ? booking before hand from kolkata or booking from there? Its christmas time and there will be rush ryt?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 25, 2015 at 2:13 AM

      Thanks Soham πŸ™‚

      The above rate is too high. They generally charge 3k in high season. In low season (like Dec) you’ll easily get it for 2.5k.

      No need to book the package beforehand. You’ll find plenty of tour stalls in M.G.Marg. You can negotiate it better at that time.

      No, there’ll be no rush, as generally in Dec, North Sikkim route gets closed due to heavy snowfall, so chances are less that you’ll be able to do the tour itself.

      Still if you want to pre-book you can contact Lama Tour & Travels – +919832079292 / +919734983536. We took our 2N/3D North Sikkim tour from them.

      There are plenty of them. I’d suggest just go to Gangtok and check the price with your Hotel and the Tour Stalls in M.G.Marg. You’ll get much better rate.

      Reply
  • pranab
    November 7, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    krishnandu da,we(6people) are going to Gangtok first week at Feb..2016 we miss out any location due to snow down.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 7, 2015 at 11:15 PM

      That’s a really dicey question. Depends on weather. But in Feb chances are there that the roads may get blocked. In that case you may miss North Sikkim tour and Nathulla. But it really depends on how much snowfall is going to happen.

      Reply
  • pranab
    November 8, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    Dada, everybody has told me that the only place I miss out due to snow is zero point and lake. what do you think? and palling,namchi road is ok?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 8, 2015 at 11:48 AM

      Yes, Gurudongmar Lake and Zero Point is in North Sikkim. As I mentioned in my previous comment, whole North Sikkim may be inaccessible. In that case you will miss out, Lachung, Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley and Zero Point. Even you can miss out Nathulla Pass too.

      Yes, Pelling and Namchi road is okay. No issues in West and South Sikkim.

      Reply
  • pranab
    November 9, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Thanks krishnandu da

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 12, 2015 at 6:27 PM

      No problem Pranab. Let me know if you need help in anything else

      Reply
  • shantraj sadhu
    November 12, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    was looking eagerly for gangtok trip but sincerely didnt knew it had this much or its location but after readind ur experience i feel like i was also travelling with u
    most probably liked budget
    planning to visit by april
    surely with my experience
    thanx….. krishnandu

    Reply
  • S K Singh
    November 14, 2015 at 3:49 PM

    I along with my wife will be visiting Sikkim from 27-31 Dec, 2015.

    As we are only two persons, we would like to share the cab with other small group or couple to cut the transportation cost.

    Interested persons may see for their comments.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 14, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      Hi Mr. Singh, Shared vehicle is available throughout the trip. You don’t have to worry about getting co-passengers yourself. Driver / agent / booking administration manages that.

      But, if you are thinking of booking a exclusive vehicle and then sharing the cost with some another family traveling on the same dates as of yours is a different thing altogether.

      Reply
      • SANTOSH SINGH
        November 14, 2015 at 4:57 PM

        Thanks !

        We are planning to take prepaid taxi from Bagdogra to Gangtok.

        as advised by you we will approach travel agent on day one for the permit and can get shared taxi for full day sightseeing.

        So as ad

        Reply
  • pranab
    November 14, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    Hi,
    we r six(6person).we r traveling eight(8days) Darjeeling & Gangtok
    approx 20th FEBRUARY 2016. Please u tell me schedule.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 14, 2015 at 10:10 PM

      Hello Pranab,
      Below is the itenary that you may follow

      Day 1 : NJP / Bagdogra to Darjeeling. Stroll at Mall in the evening. O/N At Darjeeling

      Day 2 : Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastry, Batasia Loop Sightseeing Trip in the Morning. Followed by Peace Pagoda, HMI, Zoo, Tea Garden after Breakfast. Evening at leisure to stroll around Mall in the evening or do some shopping if you wish to. O/N at Darjeeling.

      Day 3 : Darjeeling to Gangtok. Stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening. O/N at Gangtok.

      Day 4, 5, 6 – North Sikkim Tour (Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Lachung, Yumthung Valley, Zero Point). Return to Gangtok on Day 6. O/N at Gangtok.

      Day 7 : Local Sightseeing. O/N at Gangtok.

      Day 8 : Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathulla Pass. O/N at Gangtok.

      I assumed 8 days without your journey dates. Please confirm if 8 days includes your Journey Dates, then I’ll be glad to re-modify your itenary.

      Reply
  • pranab
    November 14, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    yes 8days including by journey

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 15, 2015 at 3:07 AM

      Hi Pranab, Then you may follow the below itenary

      Day 1 : Boarding Train.

      Day 2 : NJP / Bagdogra to Darjeeling. Stroll at Mall in the evening. O/N At Darjeeling

      Day 3 : Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastry, Batasia Loop Sightseeing Trip in the Morning. Followed by Peace Pagoda, HMI, Zoo, Tea Garden after Breakfast. Evening at leisure to stroll around Mall in the evening or do some shopping if you wish to. O/N at Darjeeling.

      Day 4 : Darjeeling to Gangtok. Reach early so that you can take the Sightseeing Tour on the same day itself. Stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening. O/N at Gangtok.

      Day 5 – North Sikkim Tour 1N/2D. Either Lachen-Gurudongmar (I recommend this) or Lachung-Yumthang-Zero Point. Return to Gangtok on Day 6. O/N at Gangtok.

      Day 7 : Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathulla Pass. O/N at Gangtok.

      Day 8 : Departure.

      Few Points, I’d like to mention :
      1. I assumed your journey is by train which will take overnight. If you are travlling by Flight, you can re-arrange the dates.

      2. If you start early from Darjeeling, you can take the Sightseeing tour on the same day itself. But if you are looking for Leisure holiday, then take the day off and replace it with Day 7. In that case you’ll have to miss out Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathulla Pass.

      3. Nathulla Pass is closed on Mon and Tue. So make sure your Day 7 doesn’t falls on those days. In any case, let me know your exact travel dates I’ll re-modify.

      Hope this helps πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • pranab
    November 15, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    Thanks kreshnendu da.
    Exact travel date not sure.I well confirm 2-3days.then u guide me.

    Reply
  • Amit Jaiswal
    November 16, 2015 at 1:17 AM

    Hi Mr. Krishendu, Nice description of your journey. I loved every bit of it. I am visiting Sikkim with my wife (Honeymoon) from 19th (Starting from Delhi to Bagdogra) to 26th (Train from NJP at 5:00 PM). Following is my itinerary. I need a private vehicle throughout my journey. Shall I book the Travel assistance in Advance? I have talked to few of them, they said it is rush time.
    β€’ 19th December (Day 1)
    Delhi Airport to IXB Bagdogra Airport
    Day 1: Arrival at Gangtok
    β€’ 20th December (Day 2) (Sunday)
    NathuLa, Baba Mandir, Tsogmo Lake
    21st December (Day 3)
    Sightseeing at Gangtok (10 points Full day including Rumtek Monastery)
    β€’ 22nd December (Day 4)
    Morning from Gangtok to Lachung, Night Stay at Lachung
    β€’ 23rd December (Day 5)
    Lachung to Yumthang and Back to Gangtok on same day, Night Stay at Gangtok
    β€’ 24th December (Day 6)
    After Breakfast, Gangtok to Pelling, Night Stay at Pelling
    β€’ 25th December (Day 7)
    Pelling Sight Seeing and Night Stay at Pelling
    β€’ 26th December (Day 7)
    After Breakfast move for NJP station train at 5:00 PM

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 16, 2015 at 8:02 AM

      Hi Amit, First of all Congratulations πŸ™‚

      Your Itenary looks perfectly fine. Yes you should book in advance as during 25th December there’s high rush.

      Reply
  • Amit Jaiswal
    November 16, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Thanks Krishnandu
    Thanks for your reply. One Maple tour and Travels (Gangtok) is asking for 30K for complete travel (from pickup to drop) in Innova + Lachung stay (including all means). Is it a good deal? Do you have any review about Maple tours and travels? Can you suggest few other agents? Thanks again. You blog is serving many tourist like me.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 16, 2015 at 11:43 AM

      Hello Amit, Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad to help.

      I always do my trips on my own. So I really do not have any idea about Maple Tours and Travels. You can try googling for reviews about them.

      Regarding the cost it looks fine to me provided you are hring exclusive vehicle that also Innova thriughout your trip and including meals.

      I had done my bookings of North Sikkim and Nathulla Trip through Lama Tour & Travels – +919832079292 / +919734983536. You may contact them as they provides Packaged Tour too.

      Other than that you can try gettig prices from the below mentioned agents too. And check yourself for competitive pricing.

      Nature Beyond, Pallav Bhattacharya 09733000591 pallab@naturebeyond.org

      Yak & Yeti Travels Expedition Phone 03592280075, +919434117418, 09933008822 sikkim@live.in

      Skyworld Tours and Travels. Ramesh Basnet 09832089339, 09743141606. toursgangtok@gmail.com

      Dikcha Tours & Travels Phone No. : 03592200131, 9475709392, 9832327936. dlama_123@rediffmail.com

      Reply
      • Amit Jaiswal
        November 16, 2015 at 2:11 PM

        Thanks a lot. That was really helpful.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          November 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

          I’m glad that it helped πŸ™‚

          Anyway, Congratulations Have a Happy Married Life and Happy Journey πŸ™‚

          Reply
  • Amit Jaiswal
    November 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Can you please give me points name for Gangtok sightseeing for a full day trip including Rumtek monastery ? Thanks for your time. I am highly obliged.

    Reply
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