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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.

982 Comments

  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    December 20, 2015 at 11:29 PM

    that means itshould be around 17k for the whole trip…thanks da…he’a asking for 20k

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 20, 2015 at 11:37 PM

      You are welcome πŸ™‚ Try to negotiate a bit and contact others too for verification of rate. All the numbers I have provided can arrange whole East Sikkim trip.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    December 20, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    thanks da for all the helps u’ve provided…u deserve a treat

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 21, 2015 at 12:05 AM

      Hahaha!! I’m a foodie..and m always ready for a treat πŸ˜›

      Anyway, have a great holiday bro πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    December 21, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    thank you…fingers crossed…really want to travel with you someday

    Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    December 21, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    mrs.pema asked for 3500/day for a car but she said she’ll drop us at gangtok rather than ravangla…whereas sherpaji said he cant arrange nathang and we have to stay at zuluk for 2 days but he’ll drop us at ravangla…what should we do??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 21, 2015 at 6:56 PM

      That you have to decide bro. How can I take the decision for you? You have all te data points, now it’s upto you to choose a particular agent.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    December 21, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    i know…okay thanks anyways πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • mohan babu
    December 28, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    we are 9 adult and 5 kids,planing to travel in between April 20th to may 15th , my kids are interested to play with snow,kindly guide us which places we can plan in gangtok , our plan is for 6 days,trip is purely for kids and spend some time

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 28, 2015 at 6:28 PM

      At North Sikkim you’ll definitely get snow. But I need to know how old are they? Also do you have 6 days except two way travelling dates or including that?

      Reply
  • Rohit
    December 29, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    Hello,

    We are 6 persons including a 4 year old kid. We will reach NJP on 6th Feb 2016 and plan to travel for 5days/4 nights (departing on 10th Feb afternoon). Please plan my itinerary considering the weather conditions and small kid. We would love to see snow and experience natural beauty.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM

      Hi Rohit, I’m afraid that the places where you’ll get snow is not recommended with 4yr old kid because of efficient in oxygen. Even adults like me and you face problem while breathing at that high altitude, leave aside the temperature.

      So I’d suggest to limit the trip to Gangtok, Kaluk amd Pelling. You can cover the mentioned places within your time frame.

      Reply
  • Rinky
    December 30, 2015 at 2:38 AM

    Hi
    Krishnandu,
    First of all I realy like ur writing.dats give a great idea about whole trip.
    I want to go for a Gangtok-lachung-gangtok trip from 29th feb to 1st March.pls suggest me.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 30, 2015 at 8:07 AM

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

      Ofcourse you can do the trip if the road is clear. Sometime due to heavy snowfall in winter (Dec – Feb) the road get’s blocked. Which is generally cleared in March & April.

      So I’d say take your chance. But, as you have mentioned, if you are only planning for Lachung (Yumthung) then it should not be any issue.

      Reply
  • Rohit
    December 30, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    Hello Krishnandu,

    Thanks for your prompt reply. Can you suggest me how to go about the trip i.e from where to start and how to end from Day 1 to Day 5 considering I am interested in visiting Gangtok, Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi, Kukul and Dargeeling if possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 30, 2015 at 10:54 AM

      Well, you can’t cover everything in single trip within 5 days. I’m providing you two itenary, you can choose one according to your needs.

      Itenary 1 :
      Day 1 : Reach NJP in the Morning and move to Darjeeling. Stroll around Mall in the evening. O/N at Darjeeling.
      Day 2 : Tiger Hill trip in the morning and Sightseeing at afternoon. O/N at Darjeeling.
      Day 3 : Darjeeling to Gangtok. Stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening. O/N at Gangtok.
      Day 4 : Gangtok Sightseeing. O/N at Gangtok.
      Day 5 : Gangtok to NJP.

      Itenary 2 :
      Day 1 : NJP to Gangtok. Stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening. O/N at Gangtok.
      Day 2 : Gangtok Sightseeing. O/N at Gangtok.
      Day 3 : Gangtok to Pelling. O/N at Pelling.
      Day 4 : Pelling Sightseeing. O/N at Pelling. (Ravangla can be covered on this day itself as a day trip)
      Day 5 : Pelling to NJP.

      Reply
  • Krishnandu Sarkar
    December 30, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Also if you want you can do it like

    Itenary 3 :
    Day 1 : NJP to Gangtok. Stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening. O/N at Gangtok.
    Day 2 : Gangtok Sightseeing. O/N at Gangtok.
    Day 3 : Gangtok to Kaluk. O/N at Kaluk.
    Day 4 : Day trip to Pelling. O/N at Kaluk.
    Day 5 : Kaluk to NJP.

    But no way you can cover all Gangtok, Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi, Kaluk and Darjelling in 5 days

    Reply
  • surojit
    December 31, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    You are rt dear , Lachung and Lachen Hotels offer home-stay experience. As it is a very remote places and in high altitude, hotels are very basic and don’t expect anything luxury. People and visitors like the Home-stay kinda experience and we try our best to make them fill comfort.
    Apple Valley Inn (Lachung)
    http://www.applevalleyinn.in

    Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    January 4, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    acha krishnenduda is zero point included in the north sikkim package or we have to negotiate with the driver??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 5, 2016 at 8:06 AM

      Nope. It’s not included in the package. And don’t try to talk to about it before hand. Else the agent will charge you a hefty amount. Negotiate with the driver on the route.

      Reply
  • Uttaran Chowdhury
    January 5, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    okay thanks again πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Rinky
    January 6, 2016 at 2:05 AM

    Thanks.and we have decided to cover lachen too ?.however spoke to few agent for lachen lachung trip only they are asking more than 20k.can u pls suggest me some good agent details.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 6, 2016 at 7:54 AM

      When are you visiting? 20k seems to be a good deal provided you are looking for exclusive vehicle.

      Reply
  • Rinky
    January 6, 2016 at 2:29 AM

    One more thing.we are reaching Gangtok on 28th evening and next day we want to start for lachen.We don wanna take any risk after reaching Gangtok so we want to do pre booking.but If we failed to do so can we get good and safe deal from there?for us safety is very important as we 2 person gonna travel only.pls suggest

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 6, 2016 at 8:04 AM

      1. Generally that trip varies from 15k to 20k depending on season. So if you are unable to afford that amount you can go for shared vehicle. Shared vehicle will cost 3000/- – 3500/- per head (depending on season) including fooding and lodging for the 2N/3D Lachung – Lachen trip.

      2. Yes don’t take any risk of planning for Lachung Lachen trip on the same day itself you reach Gangtok. Chances are higher that you’ll miss it. Better go for it next day. We did the same.

      3. Yes, generally charges are fixed and almost all of the agents charge same amount with a little amount varying in between. There are hundreds of Tour Stalls in M.G.Marg. So if you fail to pre-book for any reasons, you can book it from there in Gangtok.

      We took our trip from Lama Tour & Travels. You can call her or whatsapp her at +919832079292 / +919734983536. Check our her prices, what she can offer now.

      Reply
      • rinky
        January 6, 2016 at 9:14 AM

        20k they are askng for share basis only

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          January 6, 2016 at 10:14 AM

          Hi Rinky, They are asking 20k for 2 person? That’s definitely a rip off. It’ll cost 3000 – 3500 per head including fooding and lodging.

          Contact Lama Tour & Travels that I have shared with you.

          Reply
  • Vijay
    January 6, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Very Informative post!
    Loved the way you described everything. One will be having no hustle visiting the beautiful place Sikkim upon reading this.

    Sir, Can you please help me a bit:
    I am planning solo trip for Sikkim during February 2016. I have only 3 days. Should I opt North Sikkim or west? Gangtok or ?

    Which places should be on my priority list specially during the time of February.
    Though I have no experience of Snow Fall and Hilly areas, but I believe I will be having no problem to visit them. I am ready to go for heights.

    Note:
    1. I will be starting my journey from Jaipur.
    2. I am Single person in my journey πŸ˜‰
    3. Budget is tight! (20th, Student)

    Kindly provide all minor details as much as you can. I will be very thankful of you.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 7, 2016 at 8:05 AM

      Hi Vijay, I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚ Thank You πŸ™‚

      Do you have 3 days including the day of arrival and departure? In that case, I’ll suggest to stick to Gangtok only.

      Reply
  • sameer pande
    January 11, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Hi krishnandu…firsr of all thanks for ur valuable blog..it was remarkable to read ur blog it was best among all other that i hav seen…
    i am newly married and planning for honeymoon tour to Darjeeling & sikkim..so which one was perfect place??
    i am planning to reach NJP on 24 jan and want to spent 2 days in Darjeeling & 1 day in kalimpong…and remaining 5 days in sikkim i.e.2days at Gangtok and as per ur guidance 3D&2N for north sikkim…so pelling ll little bit adjustable..
    as i m from maharashtra so never hav any idea about that region but ur blog simply awesome and further guidance is necessary…

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 11, 2016 at 10:31 AM

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

      Firstly Congratulations and Have a happy married life πŸ™‚

      Well your plan looks fine, but regarding the North Sikkim trip, I’d say, try to contact with the tour operators and check if it’s still allowed. As Jan & Feb is extremely cold and generally the roads to North Sikkim gets closed due to roadblock occurring from heavy snowfall.

      Let me know if you need any more details.

      Reply
      • sameer pande
        January 11, 2016 at 11:07 AM

        Thanks krishnandu…
        I ll supposed to takes guide from you always…
        one question in mind that if north sikkim was supposed to block then ll it be a good option to back to NJP after(Darjeeling,Gangtok and pelling)and furthur move towords Shillong with 2 more days extend in tour plan…

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          January 11, 2016 at 11:31 AM

          Hi Sameer, Don’t try to include too much places just for the sake of saying that you have been there. That way you won’t be able to enjoy either of the places.

          I’d suggest to leave Meghalaya for now, as Meghalaya itself needs 5-6 days in minimum and 9-10 days for exploring in and out of it.

          So I’d say, if North Sikkim is blocked then cover Darjeeling, Gangtok and Pelling for now. Well, Pelling might seem to be a single destination, but actually by staying there you can cover whole West and South Sikkim i.e. Kaluk, Richenpong, Uttarey, Hee, Berimok, Dentam, Pelling, Ravangla, Borong, Namchi etc.

          So if you want, you can plan a stay at Kaluk / Uttarey which is great destination for Homeymooners or even at Chaya Taal if you want to be away from hustle bustle of the city along with Pelling.

          Hope that helps πŸ™‚

          Reply
  • sameer pande
    January 11, 2016 at 3:14 PM

    thanks that much clear my idea…ll contact you whenever need some guide…see you later..

    Reply
  • Prakash Jallan
    January 20, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Reading all the above converstion i have had got a perfect plannind dude. only a single query is stuckin somewhere in my mind that when u went for 3d/2n trip did ur group carry all your baggage with you in the trip. Reason behind asking this question is that all the group mebers of ur trip a going for the first time out without family members soo we will use ur experience in the manner to carry baggage sy it may be a duffel bag may be a hikking bag or any such.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 20, 2016 at 12:40 PM

      We kept all our luggage in the hotel at Gangtok and carried a single luggage with necessary clothes on North Sikkim Tour.

      Reply
  • Tapash Sen
    January 22, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    Hi….Mr. Krishnandu,
    Amazing Blog….Just Awesome…I am Speechless….

    Me & my friend are planing to trip for Gangtok & North Sikkim in 1st week of April’16. Can you please guide me?

    My Trip Itinerary:-

    Day-1, 2nd April,16- Arrival Gangtok.
    Day-2, 3rd April,16- Visit Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass
    Day-3, 4th April,16- Gangtok Sightseeing (10 point sightseeing)
    Day-4, 5th April,16- Gangtok to Lachen. Sightseeing on the way. Night stay in Lachen.
    Day-5,6th April,16- Lachen – Gurudongmar- Lachung. Night stay in Lachung.
    Day-6, 7th April,16- Lachung – Yumthang Valley- Zero Point. Back to Gangtok
    Day-7, 8th April-16- Gangtok for hole day
    Day-8, 9th April-16- Gangtok to NJP

    1.Is this Trip Itinerary ok?
    2.What type of weather at that time in Nathula & North Sikkim?
    3.Can we see snow at that time in Nathula & North Sikkim?
    4. Can we booked the hotel after reaching Gangtok?
    5 Can we booked the sharing trip for Nathula & North Sikkim after reaching Gangtok?
    6. Our budget is not so high. So we want budget trip. Please advise me.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 28, 2016 at 11:33 AM

      First of all sorry for late reply, as I was busy on my wedding and new life πŸ˜›

      Anyways, thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it.

      1.Is this Trip Itinerary ok?
      A. Yes, it’s absolutely fine. As you have placed North Sikkim trip later in your itenary, it’ll help you to get acclimatize with the altitude.

      2.What type of weather at that time in Nathula & North Sikkim?
      A. The temperature remains moderate on April and you’ll enjoy colorful valleys as this is the time when Rhododendrons blossoms fully.

      3.Can we see snow at that time in Nathula & North Sikkim?
      A. Not sure about Nathulla, but you’ll definitely get snow at North Sikkim.

      4. Can we booked the hotel after reaching Gangtok?
      A. Of-course you can.

      5 Can we booked the sharing trip for Nathula & North Sikkim after reaching Gangtok?
      A. Yes. You can. There are numerous stalls at M.G.Marg. You can bargain hard with them and your hotel for arranging the trip.

      6. Our budget is not so high. So we want budget trip. Please advise me.
      A. Don’t worry, I’m a budget traveler myself and have completed the same trip on 40k Kol to Kol with 5 persons in my group.

      Let me know if you need anything else.

      Reply
  • Tapash Sen
    January 28, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Hello…Mr. Sarkar,
    I am still waiting for your reply.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 28, 2016 at 11:26 AM

      Hi Tapash, I’m really sorry, was really busy into my wedding and setting up a new life πŸ˜›

      Reply
  • Tapash Sen
    January 28, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Wedding wishes for my dear friends. I hope your life together will be filled with joy, happiness and lots of love!

    Reply
  • Tapash Sen
    January 28, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    Thanks for the information.

    Already I have contact with hotel Maa Yang & they are charging Rs.7500/- per head for this trip including everything like fooding, loding, Gangtok sightseeing & North Sikkim trip. Also they are telling me that hotel Maa Yang is good but Lachen & Lachung hotel will be very bad. I have contact with couple of hotels & travel agents in Gangtok & they are charging Rs. 9000/- to 11000/- per head like Hotel Saikripa, Hotel Kaarlo, one of the travel agent name of Sikkim travel info run by Mrs. Tara Cheetri. I have already search the hotel name in their website. Those hotels are good. Hotel Maa Yang is cheaper.I am trying to search Hotel Maa Yang in google but didn’t find any result. Now I am getting very confused. I can’t take any discussion. Can you please help me?

    1. You had also staying in hotel Maa Yang. What was your experience? Are you recommended this hotel?

    2. What type of hotel in Lachen & Lachung? Is there any electricity problem? Is bathroom attached with the room?

    3. Are you recommended above mentioned hotels & travel Agents?

    Reply
  • Krishnandu Sarkar
    January 28, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Let me answer your questions first, then I’ll provide you few tips.

    1. You had also staying in hotel Maa Yang. What was your experience? Are you recommended this hotel?
    A. Let me clearly tell you, experience depends on your expectation. To be precise, I’m a budget traveler and I generally stay at Hotels ranging from 800/- – 1000/-. Very rare I go upto 1500/-. So according to this, my experience with Hotel Ma Yang is good. I’d not say very good as you can’t expect high class hospitality from a budget hotel. So if you are a budget traveler like me, then you’d have no issues with Ma Yang. Rest depends on your taste and expectation.

    2. What type of hotel in Lachen & Lachung? Is there any electricity problem? Is bathroom attached with the room?
    A. I got same kind of responses before my trip to Lachung and Lachen. Those are very remote places so you can’t expect things like Gangtok there. Thus all the travel agents and hotels clearly mentions these things. But it’s not that bad as they says. They do that, as people expects high class amenities but basic facilities like electricity, water, heater etc. is available.

    Generally mostly all of them are home stays and to tell you the truth, I quite liked the hotels as I like those kind of environments only. Again, depends on your expectations.

    So finally, to simplify, if you are used to stay at hotels above 3000/- per night, you might have issues, else you’ll love it.

    3. Are you recommended above mentioned hotels & travel Agents?
    A. If you are asking for taking North Sikkim tour from them, I’d say NO. 7500/- (As quoted by Ma Yang) is too high. Shared fare would be 2500/- – 3000/-. But as April is considered as high season, hardly they will charge you 3500/- – 4000/- at max.

    See, generally hotels, ties up with the travel agents and thus they charge a bit more. But this is not the case with all the hotels. Most hotels have their own travel agency too, or read it like most Travel Agents have their own Hotel business too. So if you go with them, you’ll get good rates.

    I had done my bookings of North Sikkim and Nathulla Trip through Lama Tour & Travels – +919832079292 / +919734983536. You may contact her.

    Other than that you can try getting prices from the below mentioned agents too. And check 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
  • Tapash Sen
    January 28, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    1. Actually hotel Maa Yang charging Rs. 7500/-including all (Hotel in Gangtok with fooding & lodging, Trip to Nathula, Baba Mandir, Tsomgo, Gangtok 10 point sightseeing & 3D/2N North Sikkim Trip)

    2. Sikkim travel info charging Rs. 10,000/- including all (Hotel in Gangtok with fooding & lodging, Trip to Nathula, Baba Mandir, Tsomgo, Gangtok 10 point sightseeing & 3D/2N North Sikkim Trip). They are also telling me hotels name for this trip
    In Gangtok- Hotel Kaarlo
    In Lachen- Hotel Mt. Pandim
    In Lachung-Hotel Kunzang

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 28, 2016 at 2:17 PM

      Well, in that case, 7500/- looks great. So the final decision is up to you.

      Reply
      • Dr Y N GOWTHAM
        March 7, 2016 at 2:18 PM

        This Dr Gowtham, can we take our own vehicle to north Sikkim,my vehicle creta

        Reply
  • Tapash Sen
    January 28, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  • Rinky
    January 28, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Hi,
    I spoke to lama for North sikkim tours.for each person she has quoted 3500/-.but not providing us lachen and lachung hotels name.can u give me some idea what kinda hotels u guys got during your North sikkim trip??pls reply

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 28, 2016 at 11:18 PM

      I’d say don’t concentrate on the hotels much for North Sikkim. All of them are kinda homestays and are very basic but full of homely atmosphere and hospitality.

      I didn’t noted down the hotel names at Lachung and Lachen.

      Reply
  • Anurag verma
    January 30, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Hi Krishnandu ,
    Best article that I have read till date on North Sikkim travel.
    Please help me with your expert advice as I am planning a trip to Sikkim in May 1st week . We are 2 couples & & the itinerary is as follows.
    Day 1. Arrive at Bagdogra & then leave for Darjeeling.
    Day 2 . Full day sightseeing at Darjeeling .
    Day 3. Leave from Darjeeling to Gangtok.Evening at Gangtok.
    Day 4. Full day sight seeing in Gangtok .
    Day 5 ~Day 7 – North Sikkim including Lanchen , Lanchung , Gurudongmor , Yumthang valley etc .
    Day 8- Back to Gangtok
    Day 9- Back to bagdogra

    Should i include peeling also ?
    Should i choose pelling over darjeeling ?
    Should I modify mu itinerary ?
    Will i find snow on any of the above places ?
    Will I have to take prior permissions to visit any of the places ?

    Thanks in advance .

    Regards

    Anurag

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM

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

      Your itenary is fine, but just a small correction, You’ll be back to Gangtok on Day 7 itself from North Sikkim 2N/3D tour. So you can use Day 8 to visit Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass.

      Should i include peeling also ?
      Should i choose pelling over darjeeling ?
      A. Both places are really good and I won’t suggest one over the other. Both have their own charm.

      Should I modify mu itinerary ?
      A. I’d say, follow this itenary for this trip.

      And make another trip for covering South & West Sikkim later to cover Pelling along with Kaluk, Richenpong, Uttarey, Hee, Bermiok, Dentam, Chayataal, Ravangla, Namchi, Borong etc.

      Will i find snow on any of the above places ?
      A. Yes, you’ll find snow at North Sikkim (Gurudongmar Lake & Zero Point) and may be at Nathulla too.

      Will I have to take prior permissions to visit any of the places ?
      A. You don’t need to arrange the permissions yourself. Your travel agent will make the necessary arrangements.

      Reply
  • anand.cs89.83@gmail.com
    January 30, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    This is Anand from Bangalore, I have planned for North-east buthan ride.. I just need one information. Is bikers allowed to yamthang & zero point?

    Br,
    Anand Nayak

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 30, 2016 at 12:35 PM

      Hi Anand, I’m sorry, I have no idea whether biking is allowed on North Sikkim route.

      Reply
      • anand.cs89.83@gmail.com
        January 30, 2016 at 1:08 PM

        Thanks..

        Reply
      • Dr Keval Sutariya
        February 6, 2016 at 8:42 PM

        Hello
        Krishnandu ji
        I am from Gujarat, travelling with my family (2+2) to Darjeeling and sikkim.
        total 12 days in April 2016.
        I read your blogg and impressed with your passion about travel and explore new world.
        you may guide me as my iternory as below.
        D-1: landing at bagdogra airport leaving for gangtok
        D-2:gangtok local
        D-3: leaving for 3d/2n North sikkim.. lachen
        D-4:lachung
        D-5: come back to gangtok late evening
        D-6:gangtok around
        D-7:gangtok to Peling
        D-8:Peling local
        D-9: Peling to Darjeeling
        D-10: Darjeeling
        D-11:Darjeeling
        D-12:Darjeeling to NJP railway station.
        please best suggestions if any.
        waiting for reply

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          February 6, 2016 at 9:33 PM

          Hi Dr. Keval, The itenary is perfectly fine. Have a happy journey πŸ™‚

          Reply
  • Ashabari Banerjee
    February 9, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Hi krishnendu..me and my husband want to travel kalimpong lavs lolegaon rishyap north sikim and pelling in first week of April .in this season can we get snow in north sikim ?

    Reply
    • Ashabari Banerjee
      February 9, 2016 at 12:40 PM

      Hi krishnendu ,me and husband are planning to travel kalimpong and north sikim in April of this year
      Our itinerary are as follows
      03 Apr ,train at night from Howrah
      4th ,stay in kalimpong
      5th ,after break fast drive to lolegaon.then lava..finally night stay at rishyap
      6th..early morning sightseeing tiffindara after lunch drive to Gangtok
      7th..baba mandir nathula tsomgo lake after lunch dirive to lachen
      8th,gurudongmar lake.chopta valley..after lunch drive to lachen..
      9th,yumthang, zero point.after lunch drive to Gangtok
      10th,Gangtok to pelling evening free for local sightseeing
      11th,full day felling sightseeing.
      12th,pelling to njp for train.

      Is this planning is OK ? For north sikim if we want to share vehicles what should we do for that? How much will be the amount for vehicles ? Please reply

      Reply
      • Krishnandu Sarkar
        February 9, 2016 at 3:42 PM

        Hi Ashabari, your plan for Day 7 is wrong. Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla needs more than half day and all the car for North Sikkim departs at early morning within 10-11 AM. You can’t start for North Sikkim on that day.

        Even if you book exclusive vehicle it won’t be possible. As it’d take 8-9 hours to reach Lachen. So you can’t club those two tours on same day.

        Shared car generally costs 3k per head but as you are going there in high season cost would be bit high, approx 3.5k to 4k at max. If you manage to get it within 3k then its great.

        For shared vehicles you can contact tour operators from here only otherwise you can reach there and book the North Sikkim tour from there only. They’re thousands of tour operators at M.G.Marg.

        In case you want reference we took the North Sikkim tour from Lama Tour & Travels run by a young lady Binita Lama. You can contact her @ +919832079292 / +919734983536.

        Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 9, 2016 at 3:32 PM

      Yes, you’ll get snow throughout the year at Gurudongmar Lake & Zero Point. Infact in April you’ll see full blossom at Yumthang.

      Reply
  • Ashabari Banerjee
    February 9, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    Thank u for your suggestion .will u pls help me to plan for north sikim.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 9, 2016 at 10:47 PM

      Hi Ashabari, You are welcome. Sorry for late rep as currently I’m traveling in Bhutan, so i have limited access to Internet.

      Surely I’ll help you plan your tour

      Reply
  • Ashabari Banerjee
    February 9, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    We have 7 nights 8 day for north sikim and spelling.pls help to plan accordingly.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 9, 2016 at 10:51 PM

      Well I think tell plan you posted below exceeds 7N/8D. Just thought of letting you know if you are not done with the tickets already.

      Reply
  • Ashabari Banerjee
    February 9, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    If we plan…
    7 th,baba mandir,tsomgo lake ,nathula pass
    8th,drive to lachen_evening free to roam .
    9th,gurudonmar,chhopta valley..after lunch drive to lachung.
    10th,yumthang, zero point, after lunch drive to Gangtok
    11th,gangtok to pelling
    12th,full day sightseeing
    13th,pelling to njp
    Is this OK ?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 9, 2016 at 10:50 PM

      That’s perfectly fine. But one thing, there’s nothing to roam at Lachen. You’ll be reaching Lachen at around 6-7 PM and again you’ll have to start at 3AM in the morning for Gurudongmar Lake πŸ˜›

      Reply
  • Ashabari Banerjee
    February 9, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    Thanks a lot…

    Reply
  • Dilip
    February 10, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Thanks Mr.Krishendu,

    for valuable tips.Actually i m planned my sikkim tour (specially nathula), non of my travel agent advised that nathula is not posible with 2 yrs baby.
    anyway I wil be happy, if you re-plan my trip to hangtok & dargeling from 29 to 4 march along with my 2 yrs baby.
    some one told, since that alcolol is sale only for sikkim, is it valid/legal to carry 4/5 bottle?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 13, 2016 at 12:33 PM

      Well, it’s finally upto you.

      29th Feb : Reach NJP and drive to Darjeeling. Stroll at Mall at evening.

      1st March : Early Morning trip to Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastry etc. and back to Hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast go for half-day sightseeing tour around Darjeeling.

      2nd March : Move to Gangtok and stroll at M.G.Marg in the evening.

      3rd March : Gangtok 10 Point Half Day Sightseeing

      4th March : Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Trip.

      See, if it matches your requirement.

      Reply
    • Munna
      March 13, 2017 at 2:20 AM

      Hi Dilip, did you travel to nathula pass with your 2 year baby. If yes, did you face any issue. Can you suggest some safety tips for travelling with infant to north sikkim.
      Also did you take your 2 year kid to lachen / lachung and how was your experience there

      Reply
      • Krishnandu Sarkar
        March 13, 2017 at 10:15 AM

        Hi Munna, It’s not recommended to take such young kid to Nathulla & North Sikkim. Infact govt. too have restrictions of not allowing (& issuing permits) to kids below 5 years (for Nathulla) & 8 Years (for North Sikkim) and Senior Citizens, but due to our permit system not being so strong, you can get it though, but I’d highly suggest to avoid taking such young kid to those high altitude areas.

        Those being high altitude areas, there is a thin layer of oxygen, which is an issue to us adults too, let along the kid.

        Reply
  • Rahul
    February 13, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Hi

    I am going to north east from Pune on 15 may and returning on 28th may.

    My plan is as below

    Reach Kolkata 15 may
    Kolkata to new jalpaiguri on 18

    Reaching jalpaiguri on 19th morning.

    Then return to jalpaiguri on 27 and take train to Pune.

    Please help to plan my itenary for
    3 days in kolkata ..what shall I see and where shall I eat and stay

    Then Darjeeling and Gangtok sight seeing how much time I stay there at each places what shall I see and how much will taxi cost for full day.
    Where shall we stay

    Things to be taken care and avoid.

    And how will be weather in May

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 13, 2016 at 12:54 PM

      Hi Rahul, first of all I’m sorry for late reply, as I was travelling in Bhutan.

      Whoooaaa you are coming for a long holiday. Let’s try to plan it perfectly.

      So you have 3 days in Kolkata…

      First day, 15th May, do the “White Town” part of Kolkata, this is British Kolkata, with beautiful architecture and stately buildings, old churches, graveyards etc. It’s easy to spend a morning around Dalhousie. Tram rides are possible. Apart from the buildings the streets are also very interesting. In the afternoon go see Victoria Memorial and the Gardens around it. There are buggy rides around the area as well.

      Second day, 16th May, head out to Belur and Dakshineshwar. On the way you will go through Howrah, I suggest you spend some time photographing the morning flower market at Howrah. Visit the rail station, and then go to Dakshineshwar and Belur. These make for great photography as well. Belur doesn’t allow photos inside, but if you approach by boat you can photograph from outside.

      Third day, 17th May, I suggest “Black Town” i.e. the native area. Here you can visit the potters’ colony which you mentioned earlier (Kumartuli). But apart from that, there is a huge amount to see and do in Chitpur; the bazaars, the food, the streets, the Marble Palace, fish market, wholesale vegetable market etc etc.

      Or if you are not much interested to see Kolkata exactly, then you can take a 2N/3D trip to Sundarban.

      Now the NE Part…

      19th May : Reach NJP & Drive to Darjeeling & stroll around Mall in the evening.

      20th May : Take 3-point tour early in the morning to watch sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga from Tiger Hill, followed by visit to Ghoom Monastery and famous Batasia Loop and drive back to hotel for Breakfast. Post breakfast go for Half-Day Darjeeling Sightseeing Tour.

      21st May : Drive to Gangtok & stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening.

      22nd May : Take 2N/3D North Sikkim Trip. Drive to Lachen.

      23rd May : Drive to Gurudongmar Lake in the early morning and drive to Lachung post lunch.

      24th May : Drive to Yumthang & Zero Point and drive back to Gangtok via Lachung post lunch.

      25th May : Go for Full Day 10 Point Gangtok Sightseeing Tour

      26th May : Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass tour (Note : Nathulla is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

      27th May : Drive to NJP for the train to Pune.

      Ahh…I can see a perfect plan there now πŸ™‚

      Enjoy your holiday πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • […] Well, to tell you the truth, I’m planning a trip to Bhutan ever since I returned from my Sikkim Trip. Previously I planned it with my family but then various things happened and finally my marriage […]

    Reply
  • Manas
    February 23, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    Hello Krishnandu,

    What’s the best possible Sikkim itinerary one can manage in 4 days? To be specific, we want to leave from Kolkata on Tuesday evening/night (22nd March)and reach positively by Saturday midnight (Sunday 12 AM).. We have a 6AM flight from Kol on Sunday.. Pls pls help..

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 23, 2016 at 4:07 PM

      Well if you have to reach kol by Saturday midnight (26th March) then you can catch morning flight to Kolkata from Bagdogra.

      22nd March : Catch train at night.
      23rd March : Day 1 : Reach NJP and drive to Gangtok.
      24th March : Day 2 : Go for Full Day Gangtok Sightseeing.
      25th March : Day 3 : Go for Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass.
      26th March : Day 4: Drive to Bagdogra and take a flight to Kolkata.

      If you don’t want to take flight and travel by train then drop the plan for 25th March (Day 3) and move to NJPand board train on that day. Then you’ll reach Kolkata by 26th Morning. You can take rest for the day before boarding flight.

      But I’d not suggest that, because in thay case you’ll be going to Gangtok for only 1 day which is not at all a value for money idea. You’ll be travelling for around 10 hours (Train) + 3 Hours (NJP – Gangtok) = 13 hours x 2 (while returning) = 26 hours just to spend 24 hours.

      Hope thay helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
      • Manas
        February 26, 2016 at 1:26 PM

        Hello Krishnandu,

        There’s has been a bit of change in the scheduling. Here’s the new one. Please let me know if it’s convenient.

        19th March Saturday: Leave from Kolkata (overnight train)

        20th March Saturday: Reach NJP and drive to Gangtok

        21st March Monday + 22nd March Tuesday: 2D1N trip to North Sikkim (need your inputs here as regards how we can accommodate the best of Lachen & Lachung in the limited time available)

        23rd March Wednesday: Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass

        24th March Thursday: Local sightseeing at Gangtok + return train at night to Kolkata!

        I would have loved to make time for a short trek and also a visit to Pelling though I am entirely sure the limited time we have won’t let us venture into that arena.

        Having said that, we are just 2 people. What is the approximate budget we can expect per person to shell out for the overall trip? We intend to keep it on the lower side and would prefer budget stays. There’s also another concern with respect to travel nausea considering it’s a hilly terrain. What do you suggest on this front?

        My sincere apologies. I know I am asking a lot out of you.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          February 26, 2016 at 3:45 PM

          Yes, the plan is fine. But I’d suggest to alter your plans for 23rd and 24th. I’d suggest to go for local sightseeing on 23rd and go for Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass on 24th. Because the road to North Sikkim is terrific and you’ll be tired next day after such a hectic journey. So it’s better to relax next day as all the sightseeing trips are within the vicinity of Gangtok and the road condition is good.

          And, I’m sorry but you won’t be able to cover both Lachung and Lachen on 1N/2D trip to North Sikkim. You can only cover either one of them. So make your mind and choose either one of them. If you want my suggestion, I’d prefer Lachen – Gurudongmar Lake any day more than Lachung – Yumthang & Zero Point.

          But, I must say, as you’ll there in the end of March, Rhododendrons will be blossomed at full, as March – April is the season to visit Yumthang.

          As you have already mentioned, you’d have to leave out Pelling for next trip.

          Regarding the budget, it completely depends on how you plan to do the trip. If you go for shared vehicles with budget accomodations then you can plan it like below.

          NJP to Siliguri Gangtok Cab Stand : Rs 40/- by Auto or Rickshaw
          Siliguri to Deorali : Rs 200/- per head
          Deorali to M.G.Marg or Development Area : Rs 20/- per person or Rs 200 for full taxi
          Hotel : 1000/- per night for double bed room.
          1N/2D North Sikkim Trip by shared vehicle : 1500/- per person including fooding and lodging
          Exclusive vehicle for Gangtok Sightseeing : Rs 1500/- – 2000/-
          Shared vehicle for Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass : Rs 800/- per person
          Fooding : Again it depends on you. But safely you can calculate it as Rs 500/- per person per day if you do not plan to dine at high end restaurants.
          Gangtok to NJP : Rs 250/- per person.

          Hope that helps, let me know if you want to know anything else.

          Reply
          • Manas
            March 13, 2016 at 12:42 PM

            Hey Krishnandu,

            Amazing piece on the Bhutan trip! All the chapters πŸ™‚ And thank you so much for all the inputs on our Sikkim trip.

            Since the travel day is getting closer, a few last minute questions

            1. We would reach Gangtok on the afternoon of Sunday, 20th March. Will there be sufficient time to get our permits arranged for our North Sikkim trip the next day (Monday) followed by Nathula Pass two days after (Wednesday)? Contrary to your recommendation, we can’t help but take the Nathula Pass tour on the consecutive day considering we need to leave for our return journey around 4 PM on Thursday.

            2. Our return train is scheduled on 24th March from NJP at 9:30 PM. The tickets however stand at ‘waiting’. Will the hotel/travel agents at Gangtok be able to arrange for Tatkal train tickets?

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              March 13, 2016 at 1:48 PM

              Thank You for the appreciation πŸ™‚

              1. Yes. Permits are issued every Morning for the journeys commencing on the same date. So submit the documents to your tour agent the same evening you reach there and they will arrange necessary permissions the next morning before starting your journey.

              Well I have no issues if you are taking Nathulla the next day. I have just recommend that as you all might be tired. But as you have no options there’s no other way.

              2. First of all I’d like to know which train and the status of WL. If its reputed train like Darjeeling Mail / Padatik / Kachankanya then chances are it’ll be cofirmed.

              Still you’ll get cyber cafΓ©’s and ticket agents at Gangtok. You can approach them the previous morning for tatkal tickets.

              Reply
  • Somesh
    February 28, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    THANK YOU!!!
    A very helpful blog post for those planning a trip to Sikkim. We are planning our trip and thinking of doing it via a travel website but it seems DIY trip will be cheaper.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 28, 2016 at 3:49 PM

      Hi Somesh, Thank you and I’m glad that you liked it!! Yes, DIY is always cheaper than going with any travel agent.

      Reply
  • Paritosh Mukherjee
    March 3, 2016 at 4:18 PM

    Hi,
    You have provided maximum information in a simple way. Nice to follow. I am planning to visit Sikkim on 28th,2016. May with my wife and son of one and half year old. What may be the temperature at that time? Should I go to North Sikkim as my son will be with us? Please reply. If I can not go for North, how should I arrange the tour? Please help me out. I will go from Kolkata by train. And my tour for 9-10 days.

    Reply
    • Paritosh Mukherjee
      March 3, 2016 at 4:20 PM

      It is 28th May

      Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 3, 2016 at 4:49 PM

      Hi Paritosh, Thank you and I’m glad that you liked it.

      Yes, you guessed it right, I won’t suggest taking your kid to North Sikkim as of now. He might face breathing problems due to low oxygen at such high altitude. Even the rules are like, kids below 8 – 10 years are not allowed, but I have seen instances where a kid of around 5-8 years are allowed sometimes.

      Well, if you haven’t been to Darjeeling, I’d suggest you to plan it like…
      Day 1 : NJP to Gangtok.
      Day 2 : Gangtok SS.
      Day 3 : Visit Tsongmo Lake & Baba Mandir. (Skip Nathulla, as your one and a half year old kid will have breathing problem there)
      Day 4 : Gangtok – Ravangla – Pelling
      Day 5 : Pelling SS
      Day 6 : Pelling – Darjeeling
      Day 7 : Darjeeling SS
      Day 8 : Darjeeling to Kalimpong
      Day 9 : Kalimpong SS
      Day 10 : Kalimpong to NJP

      But if you have already been to Darjeeling & Kalimpong, then follow the below itenary

      Day 1 : NJP to Limtang
      Day 2 : Limtang to Zuluk
      Day 3 : Zuluk to Gangtok via Nathulla & Tsongmo Lake
      Day 4 : Gangtok SS
      Day 5 : Gangtok to Pelling
      Day 6 : Pelling SS
      Day 7 : Day Trip to Yuksom
      Day 8 : Pelling to Borong
      Day 9 : Borong to Ravangla
      Day 10 : Ravangla to NJP via Namchi

      Reply
      • Paritosh Mukherjee
        March 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM

        Thanks. Talked with the person of Maa Yang hotel. He said 1600 per day including AMP. For 10 points full 2000 including small car. For change, baba mandir, and nathula it is 800/head. From Gangtok to pelling through namchi ss it is 4500. How is it? I have not decided so far. What kind of room Maa Yang provides?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          March 4, 2016 at 3:43 PM

          Well the rate looks good to me considering I have traveled around 2 years back.

          I’d also suggest you to check with Lama Tour & Travels for their current rates for the 10 Points Tour, Nathulla Tour and Pelling via Namchi.

          Regarding the rooms, all I can say is, the rooms were clean, equipped with geyser, bed sheets and linens were clean and which they change on every 2 nights. It was a simple no frills budget hotel, so didn’t expected much.

          Reply
  • Preeti Singh
    March 4, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Hello Krishnandu,

    Your blog is a mater piece to all the sikkim travelers. Thanks for sharing such nice information. πŸ™‚
    I am planning to visit sikkim in the month July. Is it right time to travel as monsoons will be there.. Please Guide.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 4, 2016 at 2:59 PM

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

      Well, I’d not advise to visit North Sikkim in July, as it’s full blown monsoon at that time. And the road to North Sikkim being prone to land slide it’s dangerous.

      What I can suggest is, visit Gangtok and decide for North Sikkim based on the weather. Otherwise you can skip North Sikkim and move to Pelling though.

      Reply
  • Santanu Biswas
    March 4, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    Nice blog Sarkar Da !!! Awesome !! I can see North Sikkim trough your writing skill and thought.

    Please advise 1st week of June will be ok for North Sikkim ? Chances of rain ? Show will be there ? Or I should restrict my trip around Gangtok only .

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 4, 2016 at 5:59 PM

      Thanks a lot Santanu πŸ™‚ I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

      I’m sorry, but I won’t advise North Sikkim on June. As it’s full of monsoon at that time and roads to North Sikkim being prone to land slides it’s not advisable at all.

      I’d suggest Kaluk, Uttarey, Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi along with Gangtok instead.

      Reply
  • Dr Y N GOWTHAM
    March 7, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    Can we go to north Sikkim in our own vehicle creta?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 7, 2016 at 4:36 PM

      I’m not sure whether tourists are allowed to take their own vehicle to North Sikkim. But I don’t think that should be an issue if you get the required permits.

      I’m really sorry, and would suggest you to check with someone else or in Trip Advisor.

      Reply
  • Sandeep
    March 9, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    It was a very informative read! Thank you for that!

    I am a 25 year old male from Bangalore planning to do a solo backpacking trip to north Sikkim in the last week of April or the first week of May. And since this is my first solo travel, I plan to stick to the same itinerary as you have described here. However, I had some queries which I thought you could answer best:

    1. How advisable is it to do a solo travel in Sikkim both from a safety and expenses point of view?

    2. I plan to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra airport. What kind of transport would be advisable? Shared cab or exclusive cab or are there any public transport to Gangtok from Bagdogra airport?

    3. Should accommodation in Gangtok be booked beforehand or are they available after I arrive in Gangtok? (considering April-May is quite the season to be in Sikkim) Are there cheap but good homestays available in Gangtok? If yes, how can they be booked?

    4. Is north Sikkim accessible during this time (April-May)? If not, what other circuit would you reccommend?

    5. I intend to spend 2 days in Gangtok taking the 10 point tour or the mixed point tour and visiting the Nathula pass. Can all these be done in a single day? Will there be shared tours available for this?

    6. What documents are required to obtain a permit to Nathula pass?

    7. Since I will be travelling solo, how can I book a package to north Sikkim? Should I book it beforehand or after arriving in Gangtok? If I am booking a shared package tour, do I need to find the rest of the people or will the operator do it?

    8. Are there any permits/ documents/ medical requirements to do the north Sikkim tour?

    9. You described in your post that you requested your driver to visit
    the Zero point. Did the other people in your shared tour also agree to this? My reservation is that if I am a solo traveler wanting to cover some extra places and if not many of the people in the shared tour want to do this, will I miss out on those places?

    10. What kind of clothes would you advise to carry and wear in Sikkim? Should I carry any general medicines?

    11. Will there be vegetarian meals available at all these places ? (As I happen to be a vegetarian)

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 9, 2016 at 2:55 PM

      Hi Sandeep, Thanks a lot for your appreciation πŸ™‚

      1. How advisable is it to do a solo travel in Sikkim both from a safety and expenses point of view?
      A. There’s no issue to do a solo travel in Sikkim. It’s absolutely safe. Regarding expenses point of view, if you plan to travel by Shared Cabs it’ll be better. Otherwise you have to borne the whole cost for exclusive vehicles if you feel to hire one which I don’t think will be value for money, but will be comfortable than travelling in Shared Cabs.

      2. I plan to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra airport. What kind of transport would be advisable? Shared cab or exclusive cab or are there any public transport to Gangtok from Bagdogra airport?
      A. Well, I never traveled from Bagdogra. But I’m aware that exclusive vehicles are available till Gangtok. Not sure about shared vehicles.

      3. Should accommodation in Gangtok be booked beforehand or are they available after I arrive in Gangtok? (considering April-May is quite the season to be in Sikkim) Are there cheap but good homestays available in Gangtok? If yes, how can they be booked?
      A. I’m not much aware of homestay’s in Gangtok. The ones advertised in internet offers same cost to that of hotels and also a bit away from M.G.Marg. Well Gangtok have lots of hotel, so I don’t think it’s mandatory to pre-book hotels even in high season. But if you are keen on some specific hotel, I’d suggest you to pre-book. Else you’ll find lots of available hotels on spot.

      4. Is north Sikkim accessible during this time (April-May)? If not, what other circuit would you reccommend?
      A. Yes. It’s accessible in April.

      5. I intend to spend 2 days in Gangtok taking the 10 point tour or the mixed point tour and visiting the Nathula pass. Can all these be done in a single day? Will there be shared tours available for this?
      A. No, you can’t cover Nathulla Pass and 10 Point Full Day / Half Day sightseeing on a single day. As the tour to Nathulla Pass will need one full day. Also remember that, Nathulla Pass is closed on Monday’s and Tuesday’s.

      Shared Cabs are available for Nathulla Pass tour which also includes Tsongmo Lake and Baba Mandir. It costs around 800/- per head. But for sightseeing tour you have to hire exclusive vehicle which would cost around 1.5k – 2k.

      Though facts says that shared vehicles are available for 10 point tour too, but I couldn’t spot it. You might be able to get one if you can go to taxi stand yourself.

      6. What documents are required to obtain a permit to Nathula pass?
      A. Photocopy of Voter ID Card and Passport Size Photograph. Don’t worry, you don’t have to obtain the permits yourself. If you book exclusive vehicle or shared vehicle, your tour operator will arrange it. You just have to provide the documents.

      7. Since I will be travelling solo, how can I book a package to north Sikkim? Should I book it beforehand or after arriving in Gangtok? If I am booking a shared package tour, do I need to find the rest of the people or will the operator do it?
      A. You can book it beforehand. Though it’s not necessary. You’ll get thousands of Tour Operators in M.G.Marg at Gangtok for booking your trip to North Sikkim.

      No, you don’t need to find the rest of the people. Your tour operator will do it. I have taken it from Lama Tour & Travels run by a young lady Binita Lama. You can contact her @ +919832079292 / +919734983536.

      8. Are there any permits/ documents/ medical requirements to do the north Sikkim tour?
      A. Yes, it’s same as Nathulla. Photocopy of Voter ID Card and Passport Size Photo. Again, it’ll be arranged by your tour operator, you just have to provide the documents.

      Well for medical requirements, I’d say if you have altitude sickness, tendency of vomiting at high altitude or while travelling through rough terrains or such, you can keep some general medicine. Otherwise just get some popcorn and camphor from the Taxi Stand before starting your journey. It’ll help you to cope up with low oxygen at such high altitude.

      9. You described in your post that you requested your driver to visit
      the Zero point. Did the other people in your shared tour also agree to this? My reservation is that if I am a solo traveler wanting to cover some extra places and if not many of the people in the shared tour want to do this, will I miss out on those places?
      A. Well, see the situation is like, generally Zero Point is not included in North Sikkim tours. So if you ask for the same to your tour operator they will charge you 300/- – 500/- more for that.

      So, it’s wise to negotiate with the driver en-route, as chances are he’ll charge very less. But if all the members of your cab doesn’t agrees to go to Zero Point, I’m not sure what would he do.

      Generally in that case, drivers ask other tourists to wait at Yumthang and go ahead with the interested persons. But that also highly depends, I’d say. Because, it’d take around 2 hours to reach Zero Point and come back. So not interested tourists may create chaos and may not be interested to wait for 2 hours at Yumthang.

      But, yes, if you are the only person interested out of all, I don’t think driver will agree to take you forward.

      10. What kind of clothes would you advise to carry and wear in Sikkim? Should I carry any general medicines?
      A. Warm clothes ofcourse. But wear it in layers instead of wearing one single thick ones. Like you can wear one shirt / thermocot and a sweater and a windcheater or jacket. This kind of preparation you’ll need at North Sikkim only. In Gangtok, only thermocot with a sweater would be more than enough.

      11. Will there be vegetarian meals available at all these places ? (As I happen to be a vegetarian)
      A. Yes. Don’t worry. Infact they will be very happy to serve you specially at North Sikkim. As for meats and eggs, they have to carry it from the base only.

      Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything else.

      Reply
      • Sandeep
        March 9, 2016 at 6:46 PM

        Thanks a lot for the quick response πŸ™‚
        I am more determined to visit Sikkim now πŸ™‚

        I researched a bit more about the transportation from Bagdogra to Gangtok. You were right that there are no shared cabs from Bagdogra. However, one can take a cab to Siliguri and take a shared cab from there on to Gangtok. Also, there a few bus services available from Siliguri to Gangtok. These means are very economical compared to taking an exclusive cab from Bagdogra. Hope this info will help fellow travelers.

        I wanted to know what is the typical cost of a 3D/2N trip to North Sikkim from Gangtok. Also, it would be helpful if you could include contacts of some reliable tour operators (since you mentioned that Lama did not give you the required discount)

        Regarding the Zero Point visit, you said we could negotiate with the driver on road. Does the Zero point need a separate permit? Will we be allowed in Zero Point without taking permission beforehand?

        Thanks.

        Reply
        • Sandeep
          March 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

          Also, would you recommend sightseeing in Gangtok and visit to Nathula pass before or after North Sikkim tour?

          My itinerary would be to spend 2 days in Gangtok upon arrival, proceed to North Sikkim for 3 days, and head back to Gangtok and return.

          Reply
          • Krishnandu Sarkar
            March 9, 2016 at 9:13 PM

            Yes you can do that. No issues in that.

            Reply
            • Sandeep
              March 10, 2016 at 6:51 PM

              Thanks!

              This is just out of curiosity.. Can we in any way get a view of the Kanchenjunga in Gangtok and nearby places or in North Sikkim?

              Reply
              • Krishnandu Sarkar
                March 10, 2016 at 8:32 PM

                Yes, you’ll get Mt. K from various places in Gangtok. Specially from Tashi View Point, Hanuman Tok, Tibet Road (the one beside M.G.Marg).

                Reply
                • Sandeep
                  March 17, 2016 at 11:22 AM

                  How far from the NJP station do we get the shared cars to Gangtok?

                  Reply
                  • Krishnandu Sarkar
                    March 17, 2016 at 11:50 AM

                    Just outside the NJP Station you’ll notice a Prepaid Taxi booth. You’ll get Shared Cabs from there.

                    Reply
                    • Sandeep
                      March 23, 2016 at 12:26 PM

                      Thanks to you, I am planning to book the North Sikkim tour with Binita Lama in May πŸ™‚ Though it is a peak season, she offered a good rate.

                      I have a funny problem now though. What is the kind of accomodation in North Sikkim? I am perfectly fine with the modest food and stay experience there, but since I want to click a lot of pictures in North Sikkim, will I be able to charge my camera batteries sufficiently? πŸ˜› Since it will be a shared tour, will the situation be like many people fighting for a single plug point ?!

                    • Krishnandu Sarkar
                      March 23, 2016 at 1:06 PM

                      Great..!! Even when I visited of all the agents I found her offering cheaper price than others.

                      Well shared trips doesn’t means shared accommodation. Only the vehicle will be shared. You all will get separate double bed room with double or triple occupancy within your family only.

                      Though hotels and amenities are very basic at North Sikkim but electricity is not that an issue. Yes sometimes there is a chance of power cut, but you’ll surely manage to charge your cameras and phones.

  • Praveen
    March 11, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    Nice and detailed blog. Inspires me to visit Sikkim soon (I am in Kerala) thanks

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

      Hi Praveen, Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

      I’m glad that you liked it!!

      Reply
  • Tirtha Jana
    March 11, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Hello Sir… I want to travell gangtok alone.. I’m a teenager.. I’m 19.. I do part time jobs & save it for travelling in my free time.. How much would it take for me alone for 4/5 days.. I’m looking for a traveller’s experience not of a tourist’s.. Plz rply…

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 12, 2016 at 9:04 AM

      Hi Tirtha, First of all I’m not any sir so you can just call me Krishnandu or dada if you wish to!!

      Well, the cost would depend on how are you taking the tour and how nuh luxury you are looking for.

      I’m posting the budget details, If I go with budget way…
      NJP / Siliguri – Deorali – Shared cab 250/- (NJP) or 200/- (Siliguri)
      Deorali – M.G.Marg – 20/- shared cab.

      Or if you manage to get into sikkim registered cabs then it’ll directly go to M.G.Marg. Otherwise cabs will go upto Deorali and from there you have to hire taxi to M.G.Marg.

      Hotel – You’ll find clean and good budget hotels within 800/- per night at M.G.Marg. (For high season it may charge up to 1000/- per night)

      Food – Though it’s totally upto you but you can keep a minimum budget of 500/- per day. If you go for high end restaurants you’ll will need more.

      Sightseeing Tour – 500/-

      Nathulla, Baba Mandir, Tsogmo Lake – 800/- shared cab.

      I hope you can calculate the cost now.

      Reply
      • Tirtha Jana
        March 13, 2016 at 7:00 AM

        Thank you dada… That’ll be enough helpful to me.. πŸ™‚

        Reply
  • suresh kanjaria
    March 13, 2016 at 3:15 AM

    Dear Krishnandu,
    we are 6 family & 30 person plan to travelling to sikkim. 23rd may 16 reaching to NJP @ 14:00 Hrs. AND Return back on 31st may 16 evening train from NJP 18:00 Hrs. Requiested to suggest me how plan for this 9 days Tour for Darjeeling & Gangtok.
    Regards,
    suresh

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 13, 2016 at 10:08 AM

      Hi Suresh, Though 1400 hrs is a bad time to reach NJP if you have plan to go uphills, but still I believe you can get shared cabs from NJP. If you are traveling via exclusive vehicle then there’s no issue at all.

      Anyway, you may follow the below itenary.

      23rd : NJP to Darjeeling. Stroll around Mall in the evening. O/N at Darjeeling.

      24th : Early morning sightseeing trip to Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastery and back to Mall / Hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast go for half day sightseeing tour. O/N at Darjeeling.

      25th : Darjeeling to Gangtok. Stroll around M.G.Marg in the evening. O/N at Gangtok.

      26th : Full day trip to Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathulla Pass. O/N at Gangtok.

      Note : Nathulla Pass is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. So if you are changing the itenary make sure it doesn’t falls on Mon / Tue.

      27th : Full day Gangtok sightseeing trip. O/N at Gangtok.

      28th : Gangtok to Lachen. O/N at Lachen.

      29th : Day trip to Gurudongmar Lake. Post lunch move to Lachung. O/N at Lachung.

      30th : Day trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point. Post lunch move to Gangtok. O/N at Gangtok.

      Note : 28th – 30th is 2N/3D North Sikkim tour. Tor operator will take care of the whole thing.

      31st: Gangtok to NJP. Departure.

      Let me know if you need anything else.

      Reply
  • Moon
    March 14, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    Hi Krishnandu, Your post is wonderful. Beautiful pictures as well. Btw, I am planning a trip in early May 2016. While searching over the internet I stumbled upon your blog… it’s a rich source of information and I have found answers to most of my questions. Thanks for the post. It’s a great help. Carry on with your travel blogging. All the best. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 14, 2016 at 10:02 PM

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

      Reply
  • Apeksha
    March 15, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Hi Krishnandu Sarkar,
    I was planning to go there in May’s first week , but some how i canceled. now i am really feeling very bad that i am not going to visit this place, because you explain so well.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 15, 2016 at 1:51 PM

      Hi Apeksha, Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

      Well, I’m sorry that you couldn’t make it, but don’t be heartbroken, plan it sometime else.

      Reply
  • meghadatta basu
    March 17, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    Hi Krishnendu

    It is really a nice blog. please tell which year you visited north sikkim. because price will be varying

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 17, 2016 at 9:07 PM

      Thanks Meghadatta, I’m glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

      I visited on Oct / Nov 2014. Generally the prices of shared cab doesn’t vary but taxi prices or hotel tariff’s may be increased since then.

      Reply
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