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How To Travel Around Sikkim in Shared Vehicles?

Shared Vehicles are the most commonly used public transport throughout Sikkim. As buses are not common there, for most budget travellers this is the key information they tend to look for. And believe me, I keep getting a lot of such questions, here on my blog, Trip Advisor Forums, emails etc. Though one can find such information scattered through my other related posts about Sikkim, but I thought of coming up with a dedicated post to help every budget travellers out there, by jotting down all the information of travelling in Shared Vehicles throughout Sikkim at a single place. Not only the Budget Travellers, but this can also be helpful for a family of 2 or 3 who can’t afford to hire a private vehicle and looking forward to travelling through shared vehicles. And it leaves no room for me to explain that travelling in Shared Vehicles is not only economical but also gives you a taste of the local way of travelling and get to experience their daily life.

NOTE : This article only covers information about Shared Vehicles throughout Sikkim. Please check My Experiences Throughout Sikkim for detailed explanations.

Anyway, so first things first, you must understand the below points first, before deciding to travel by Shared Vehicles

  • Travelling in Shared Vehicles is not as easy as hiring a point to point cab or having an exclusive vehicle at your disposal. You should be ready to take the pain by travelling in Shared Vehicles.
  • You must have a basic idea of the road map of Sikkim. I’m not asking you to memorize the whole map, that’s not even possible, but a basic idea of routes definitely helps. Refer to Google Maps too, to understand the routes.
  • Not all the time, you’d be lucky to find direct Shared Vehicles. In that case, the above point will help you decide where you need to break to find a connecting Shared Vehicles. This is very true throughout South &
    West Sikkim.
  • Most importantly, Shared Vehicles won’t stop en-route for Sightseeing. So if you are planning for Sightseeings en-route, you must hire a private vehicle.
  • For every destination, Shared Vehicles may not be available throughout the day, you need to plan the same accordingly.
  • In most of the cases, Shared Vehicles don’t have any fixed timings and only leaves when it gets full.
    So you must also take this time into account specially if you are in a hurry or when the sun is about to go down.
  • Do not hesitate to ask the locals when in doubt.

NOTE : Please note that Shared Vehicles throughout Sikkim, puts in 10 pax with the driver with seating arrangements like 2 Pax in Front (Beside Driver) + 4 Pax in Middle Row + 4 Pax in Back Row. You may book more than one seat if you wish to travel comfortably. Most Shared Cabs don’t have fix timings and only leaves once the cab gets full.

In case of regular availability of shared cabs, you might book a seat on next cab if you are unable to find your preferred seat. But do not try this where the cabs are not regular and less frequent in numbers.

Sikkim Road Map

Below are the entry points to Sikkim
Nearest Airport : Bagdogra (IXB)
Nearest Railway Station : New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
Nearest Town / City : Siliguri

I’ll try to cover most of the tourist routes here, but if I miss anything, please let me know in comments. I’ll definitely try to help you out!!

NOTE : I’ll try to mention the price wherever applicable. Prices are mostly fixed for Shared Vehicles and there’s not much scope for bargaining out there. But they sometimes goes up and down a bit depending on the rush and season. Also, all the prices mentioned are for per person, unless explicitly specified. The generic prices for Shared Vehicles are around Rs. 100/- – Rs. 300/- per head.

NOTE : Sightseeing in shared vehicles are not possible, so you must hire an exclusive vehicle for the same. Please refer to my other specific posts about the destination for the charges and points to see.

Darjeeling & Kalimpong :

Darjeeling Shared Vehicles

Yes I know, that Darjeeling & Kalimpong doesn’t comes under Sikkim, but most tourists tends to combine Darjeeling along with Sikkim and sometimes Kalimpong too. So I thought of putting this information here for sake of simplicity and ease of finding information.

NJP / Siliguri – Darjeeling : Shared Cabs to Darjeeling are readily available at frequent intervals from both NJP and Siliguri. Shared Cabs are readily available just outside the NJP Station near Prepaid Cab Stand for around Rs. 200/- per head and from Siliguri it costs around Rs. 150/- per head. In Siliguri, there are lots of places from where the Shared Cab leaves, the most famous being Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand and other frequent common areas includes Darjeeling More, Mahananda Bridge, Payel Cinema, Vishal Cinema etc. If you are unable to find a Shared Vehicles from NJP, you may transfer to Siliguri in an Auto for Rs. 40 – Rs. 100/- (depending on your bargaining power).

Bagdogra – Darjeeling : Local Shared Cabs are not available from Bagdogra. Wizzride runs luxury vehicles such as Innova / Xylo from Bagdogra to Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong and various other destinations on shared mode. You can book Shared Cabs from Bagdogra through their online portal. Alternatively, you can take a point-to-point vehicle to Siliguri for Rs. 300/- – Rs. 400/- and take Shared Vehicles to Darjeeling as stated above.

NJP / Siliguri – Kalimpong : Shared Cabs to Kalimpong are readily available at frequent intervals from both NJP and Siliguri. From NJP it costs around Rs. 150/- per pax and from Siliguri, it’s around Rs. 100/- per head. In Siliguri, there are lots of places from where the Shared Cab leaves, the most famous being Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand and other frequent common areas includes Darjeeling More, Mahananda Bridge, Vishal Cinema etc. If you are unable to find a Shared Vehicles from NJP, you may transfer to Siliguri in an Auto for Rs. 40 – Rs. 100/- (depending on your bargaining power).

Bagdogra – Kalimpong : Local Shared Cabs are not available from Bagdogra. Wizzride runs luxury vehicles such as Innova / Xylo from Bagdogra to Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong and various other destinations on shared mode. You can book Shared Cabs from Bagdogra through their online portal. Alternatively, you can take a point-to-point vehicle to Siliguri for Rs. 300/- – Rs. 400/- and take Shared Vehicles to Darjeeling as stated above.

Darjeeling – Kalimpong : Shared Cabs from Darjeeling to Kalimpong are highly frequent and costs around Rs. 150/- per head.

Gangtok & North Sikkim :

Gangtok North Sikkim Shared Vehicles

NJP / Siliguri – Gangtok : There is Bus Service from Siliguri – Gangtok at regular intervals, which leaves from SNT Bus Stand. So you might take an Auto from NJP which costs around Rs. 40/- – Rs. 100/- (depending on your bargaining power and season) to reach SNT Bus Stand if you are planning to take the Bus. Shared Cabs to Gangtok are readily available from Siliguri and NJP. From Siliguri it generally costs Rs. 200/- per head and from NJP it generally costs Rs. 250/- per head. Shared Cabs are readily available just outside the NJP Station near Prepaid Cab Stand and from Siliguri, there are lots of places from where the Shared Cab leaves, the most famous being Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand. Other frequent common areas include Mahananda Bridge, Payel Cinema, Vishal Cinema etc.

Bagdogra – Gangtok : Local Shared Cabs are not available from Bagdogra. Wizzride runs luxury vehicles such as Innova / Xylo from Bagdogra to Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong and various other destinations on shared mode. You can book Shared Cabs from Bagdogra through their online portal. Alternatively, you can take a point-to-point vehicle to Siliguri for Rs. 300/- – Rs. 400/- and take Shared Vehicles to Darjeeling as stated above.

NOTE : If you are travelling by WB Registered Vehicle, they will drop you at Deorali Taxi Stand. From there you need to hire a private cab or shared cab to your hotel. Private cabs will approach you as soon as you get down at Deorali Taxi Stand and costs around Rs. 200/- – Rs. 300/- depending on the distance to your hotel. This is the most convenient way if you are travelling with lots of luggage. Otherwise, just ignore them and come out of the Deorali Taxi Stand and opt for Shared Vehicles to common drop points for Rs. 10/- – Rs. 20/- per person.

Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass Tour : These being restricted areas, this tour needs to be booked from authorized Tour Operators in Gangtok. They would provide you a vehicle and arrange the permits too. You just need to submit the documents. Please refer Experience From My Trip To Gangtok and North Sikkim for details. Shared Vehicles for this tour costs Rs. 800/- per person. The price can go up a bit during peak season.

North Sikkim Tour (Lachen, Gurudongmar, Lachung, Yumthang, Zero Point) : These regions too being restricted zones you need to opt for packages from authorized Tour Operators in Gangtok. The Tour Operator would provide you a package with accommodation, meals, transport and permits. This costs Rs. 3000/- per head (including everything) for 2N/3D North Sikkim Tour and Rs. 1500/- per head (including everything) for 1N/2D North Sikkim Tour. Again, the price can go up a bit during peak season. Please refer Experience From My Trip To Gangtok and North Sikkim for details.

NOTE : The above-packaged tours can be booked after reaching Gangtok.

West & South Sikkim :

West and South Sikkim Shared Vehicles

Unfortunately, there are very less number of Shared Vehicles to destinations in West & South Sikkim and sometimes even they are only available at peak season. So in most of the cases, if you are planning to travel by Shared Vehicle to this region, you should be ready to do various break journeys. So you must memorize the name of important junctions, in order to travel through West & South Sikkim.

The most important place to get anywhere in South & West Sikkim is Jorethang. Jorethang has multi-level Taxi Stand from where various cabs leave to various destinations at regular intervals. The next most important points are Geyzing & Legship.

NJP / Siliguri – Jorethang : There are direct shared vehicles to Jorethang from NJP and Siliguri as well. From Siliguri, Shared Cabs are available from Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand and from Payel Cinema as well for around Rs. 120/- per head. If you aren’t able to find Shared Vehicles to Jorethang from NJP, transfer to Siliguri via an Auto which would cost you Rs. 40/- – Rs. 100/- (depending on your bargaining skills). Another way is to take a Shared Vehicles to Darjeeling as stated above. From Darjeeling, Shared Vehicles to Jorethang are readily available at Chowk Bazaar for Rs. 120/- per person.

Jorethang – Geyzing / Legship : You might not always find direct vehicles to your destination from Jorethang throughout the day, and in that case you need to break again at Geyzing / Legship.

NOTE : Give priority to Geyzing more than Legship wherever applicable as availability of Shared Vehicles at Geyzing is more frequent. Else you may need to transfer to Legship first and then to Geyzing if you can’t find direct shared vehicles from Geyzing which is highly unlikely.

NJP / Siliguri – Pelling : Direct Shared Vehicles from NJP and Siliguri as well, to Pelling are very rare and most of the time it’s not available. It’s great if you can find one, else hop into a cab to Jorethang. Shared Cabs to Jorethang are available from Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand and Payel Cinema as well. From Jorethang, you’ll find a direct Shared Vehicles to Pelling for Rs. 150/- per head. Generally, these vehicles comes to Jorethang in the morning and goes back to Pelling at around 11 AM – 1 PM. Otherwise, you have to go for a Shared Vehicles to Geyzing for around Rs. 120/- per person which are frequent in numbers and available throughout the day. There are regular Shared Vehicles for Pelling at frequent intervals throughout the day from Geyzing.

Gangtok – Pelling : From Gangtok, direct Shared Vehicles to Pelling are very less in numbers, but available a lot during Peak Season which costs around Rs. 300/- per pax. If you do not find one, you have two options. The first and easiest one is to find a Shared Vehicles for Ravangla which is very common. From Ravangla you’ll get shared vehicles to Pelling most of the time, else you may break at Legship and optionally to Geyzing to reach Pelling. Otherwise, you have to hop into a Shared Vehicles to Singtam and from there you can easily get direct shared vehicles to Pelling. But the issue is, if due to any reason, there’s no direct Shared Vehicle to Pelling from Singtam, you might need to break at Ravangla – Legship – Geyzing – Pelling or Jorethang – Geyzing – Pelling whichever applicable.

NJP / Siliguri – Ravangla : Shared Cabs to Ravangla are readily available from Jorethang and/or Legship throughout the day. Please follow the above routes to reach Jorethang and/or Legship accordingly.

Gangtok – Ravangla : Truely speaking Gangtok – Ravangla shared cabs are very frequent and always available. Still, if you are unlucky to find one, you need to break at Singtam.

NJP / Siliguri – Namchi : Direct Shared Cabs to Namchi are readily available from Siliguri. But if you are unable to find one break at Jorethang.

Gangtok – Namchi : Gangtok – Namchi direct shared vehicles are available but less in numbers. If not found, break at Singtam.

Yuksom : I must say, reaching Yuksom can be a bit complicated depending on your luck. Shared Cabs to Yuksom are available from Jorethang, Geyzing, Legship, Pelling, Tashiding and Gerethang. From Jorethang, if you are unable to find a direct vehicle be prepared to break at Geyzing and/or Legship and/or Tashiding. So wherever you are located, try to get to these points. From Pelling, Shared Vehicles to Tashiding and Gerethang is very common, so you can opt for that to reach Yuksom from Pelling. From Gangtok, I haven’t seen any shared vehicles to Yuksom, so you have to break at Singtam and then follow the same instructions as of Gangtok – Pelling and then to Yuksom wherever applicable.

Okhrey – Hilley – Barsey : Okhrey is the halt point for Barsey Rhododendron Trek. One needs to hire a private vehicle to drop you at Hilley, from where the trek starts and may collect the driver’s phone number to pick you up again from Hilley while returning. The car to Hilley can be arranged by the homestays at Okhrey. There are direct shared vehicles available for Okhrey from Jorethang at regular intervals. Please check the above to reach Jorethang. You may check out Trekking Through Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary to read about my experiences.

NOTE : Throughout my trip to Sikkim, I never noticed shared vehicles for Kaluk, Rinchenpong, Uttarey so you have to rely on private cabs if you are planning to visit this region. Although I have noticed shared cabs to Dentam a lot which you can use to reach Hee Bazaar, Bermiok and Dentam itself. But to reach Chaya Taal, you have to hire private vehicles, as that’s a diversion from Hee Bazaar and I have not noticed any shared vehicles plying on that route.

East Sikkim – Silk Route : Even though Gangtok and Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathulla Pass too comes under East Sikkim, but those being key destinations have already been covered above under separate header. Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to travel in Shared Vehicles throughout Silk Route, so please consider hiring an exclusive vehicle for throughout the tour. You may check out My Experiences of Travelling Through Silk Route

Silk Route Shared Vehicles

Hope this article covers most of the tourist destinations throughout Sikkim and might be helpful for anyone planning to travel by shared vehicles. Please let me know in comments if I have missed out any routes!!

Also, by now, you must have noticed that direct shared vehicles throughout destinations in South & West Sikkim are not very common always and you must break at multiple junctions accordingly depending on the situation. Do not forget to consider the time consumption regarding the same.

NOTE : This article only covers information about Shared Vehicles throughout Sikkim. Please check My Experiences Throughout Sikkim for detailed explanations.

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.

81 Comments

  • bharat shah
    May 17, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    perhaps sightseeing in and around Pelling with different options by Simvo Tours & Travels may be recent development, which was used by us in our recent tour. Rate for some 8 points was 350/- per seat.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 17, 2017 at 10:06 PM

      Hello Mr. Bharat, Well Shared Vehicles for Sightseeing are only available in peak season (due to the increasing demand) and are not consistent throughout the year.

      Reply
      • bharat shah
        May 18, 2017 at 10:01 PM

        i got your point. on that day also we had total 8 seats booked even 4 for two of us. thanks.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          May 18, 2017 at 10:07 PM

          Yeah Mr. Bharat!! I told you, that’s the trick to follow if you want comfortability while being economical 🙂

          Hahah!!

          Reply
  • Mohana
    October 24, 2017 at 9:13 AM

    This is a very helpful post. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 24, 2017 at 10:36 AM

      Thanks a lot Mohana 🙂 I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Reply
  • Sumit Tiwari
    October 27, 2017 at 4:53 AM

    A very informative blog Dada. I came to your blog via Tripadvisor. I will be attending the BMC course in November at HMi. Loved how detailed your blog is. Just one question: you’ve mentioned Bagdogra to Siliguri -?300/?400 That way more than even Siliguri to Darjeeling shared taxi. Is there a cheaper option to travel from Bagdogra airport to the Siliguri bus stand. Look forward to your reply.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      October 27, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      Hi Sumit, Thanks! And I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      That rate is of private vehicle, not of shared taxi. Shared cabs are not available from Bagdogra. You missed the point “Shared Cabs are not available from Bagdogra. So you need to take a point-to-point vehicle to Siliguri for Rs. 300/- – Rs. 400/- and take Shared Vehicles to Darjeeling as stated above. “

      So from bagdogra you either have to hire a private cab (Prepaid / Negotiate) Darjeeling or else you can take a private cab to Siliguri and opt for Shared Cab to Darjeeling.

      But recently Wizzride came into picture which provides shared cab to Gangtok from Bagdogra. But not sure if they provides services for Darjeeling too. You may check with them once.

      Reply
  • T Ghosh
    November 2, 2017 at 5:08 PM

    On 14th Dec we will reach Njp by Darjeeling mail, we want to go to pelling and then Ravangla 3 days trip, on 17th we have flight from Bagdogra, Kindly suggest the trip

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 3, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      Hi Mr. Ghosh, You may do it like…

      14th : NJP – Pelling
      15th : Pelling Sightseeing
      16th : Pelling – Ravangla – Namchi
      17th ; Namchi – IXB

      If you have early morning flight on 17th then stay at Namchi instead of Ravangla, as the distance is shorter. Else if it’s evening flight then on 16th after doing Namchi you can stay at Namchi itself or go back to Ravangla too.

      Reply
  • T Ghosh
    November 2, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    2 of us will be travelling, on 17th our flight is at 5 pm in the evening….kindly suggest

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 3, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      Ahh I see. Well then it’s your choice, if you want to stay at Namchi or Ravangla!! Personally I’d prefer Ravangla.

      Reply
  • amin
    December 21, 2017 at 6:19 PM

    glad to find a very informative post for my upcoming gangtok trip. I have some questions.. we are 2 person and reaching gangtok in 26 jan 18 and im thinking to book 1 day trip to nathula pass & baba mandir on 27 then after 28 jan i am planing to book lachung north sikkim trip. then coming back to gangtok and stay in gangtok and visit city on 29 jan. on 30 jan we’ll go darjeeling and stay there for 1 day and enjoy toy train and 1 day tour.
    we are budget traveler and want to book share vehicle every where in gangtok.

    please please guide me am i going right ? my plan is ok or i need to make change ?
    please eagerly awaiting for your reply

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 21, 2017 at 9:13 PM

      Hi Amin, Thanks & I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Yes your plan looks fine. You can cover the whole tour in shared vehicles.

      Reply
      • amin
        December 22, 2017 at 12:22 AM

        Little bit confused about lachung tour. Should i go for it or do something else in place of lachung ?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          December 22, 2017 at 10:02 AM

          Yes. But book on spot by previous night. As accessibility is not guaranteed during that period. If not accessible you can proceed to Pelling / Darjeeling.

          During Jan, high probability is Nathula and North Sikkim won’t be accessible. So book these tours on spot after enquiring about accessibility.

          Reply
  • Aakash
    January 10, 2018 at 5:57 PM

    Hello Krishnandu!

    Loved your blogs, almost went to all places with you upto Bhutan.. :p

    Me and my wife travelling to Sikkim in 1st week Feb. As we want to relax there after Trek in Arunachal, we are taking pelling as relaxing destination. But, we are budget travellers and dont want to spend much if possible.

    Plan is reaching NJP around 12:15 pm from Dibrugarh and then to Pelling. possibly with any shared cabs.

    As I found here, we can get shared cabs till 12-1 pm to Pelling from Siliguri, what if we miss or didnt get any?
    taking time of afternoon, what are other worst case options for shared cabs all the way to Pelling..

    And even all not possible, what will be current charges for small taxi for 2 pax. to Pelling?

    please advice or suggest with your expertise 🙂

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 11, 2018 at 10:21 AM

      Hi Akash, Thanks a lot & I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      If you want relaxing destination, I’d suggest Borong or Rinchenpong instead. Kaluk and Rinchenpong are very close, however Kaluk is expensive. Rinchenpong is perfect for budget travellers with more or less same beauty and view 🙂 But if you want to be close to market or within the town instead of somewhere secluded, then Pelling is a good choice considering it’s not a hustling bustling town like Gangtok, neither calm and quite like Borong / Rinchenpong as I’m suggesting.

      And if you are considering a town along with mixture of calm and quite place with view, consider Ravangla instead!!

      Siliguri – Pelling shared cabs are limited. If you can’t find one, opt for cabs to Jorethang and from there you can get cabs to Pelling / Kaluk / Rinchenpong as per your wish.

      As you’ll be travelling during 2nd half of the day, you might have issues with that too. In that case, simply board vehicles for Geyzing / Legship. From there you’ll get various options.

      Well an exclusive vehicle (4 seater) for Siliguri – Pelling would charge you around 2500/- – 3000/-

      Reply
      • aakash
        January 11, 2018 at 3:27 PM

        Thanks Krishnandu for super quick response!!

        I really like your suggested places.. Ravangla more as many options are available for my dates and seems enough transport would be available. Still figuring out between Pelling and Ravangla.

        What are the budget travel option from Siliguri after 12:30 pm (if we can avoid special taxi).

        For return from Ravangla to NJP in morning, I guess we can reach Geyzing and then can get shared cabs from there, right? our flight is at 6:30 evening from Bagdogra.

        Thanks in advance!! 🙂

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          January 15, 2018 at 8:38 PM

          Hi Aakash, Sorry for the delay. I left for a small weekend trip with limited connectivity.

          Well between Pelling and Ravangla I’d always choose Ravangla. It’s like a quaint town with marketplace, quiteness, views everything clubbed together.

          Yes. From Ravangla, you have to go to Geyzing / Legship and then to Siliguri. Or break at Jorethang again based on the availability.

          But travel options are more in Pelling compared to Ravangla

          Reply
  • Tanusree Deb
    March 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Hi,

    I along with my husband plan to visit Namchi next week end. We would like to avail share transport from Siliguri as we are taking bus service from Kolkata. From your above post understand share cab is readily available for Namchi from Siliguri. Cann you give us a detailed information as to where from we need to board the cars? Also guide us on accommodation in namchi.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 14, 2018 at 9:03 PM

      You can go to Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand, from there you’ll get the shared cabs.

      Reply
  • Mohit
    March 21, 2018 at 8:27 AM

    Hi,

    Thanks for writing this, it is really useful. I had a question regarding travel from Yuksom to NJP (Bagdogra Airport). What would be the quickest (best) way to get back to Bagdogra from Yuksom via taxi, eventually to fly out on the same day? It would really be great if you could advise me on that, I am planning a Goecha La trek accordingly.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 21, 2018 at 9:00 AM

      Hi Mohit, NJP is not Bagdogra Airport. It’s railway station New Jalpaiguri. IXB is the code of Bagdogra Airport. Anwyay, if you are planning to fly out same day, it’s better to opt for a private vehicle. It’d cost you around 5k. So if you are solo try getting clubbed with other tourists.

      Reply
  • rihan roy
    March 24, 2018 at 5:13 PM

    WOW!!! Lots of information. Glad to have all the details. Krishnendu Da Simply well explored the Sikkim..

    Actually will marry next year Feb 2019 and planning to visit north bengal including sikkim for 11/12 Days in 1st week of april 2019.
    I would like to cover places like : Gangtok (Local Sight Seeing, Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir, Yumthang Valley),
    Pelling (Local Sight Seeing), Darjeeling and Mirik.

    Will you please please guide me to have proper tour plan which help me explore as much as we can, and budget friendly transportation (i.e: shared / govt. buses).

    Expected your budget friendly solutions.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 24, 2018 at 9:17 PM

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

      Well you can do it like…

      Day 1 : NJP / IXB – Gangtok
      Day 2 : Gangtok – Lachung
      Day 3 : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Gangtok
      Day 4 : Gangtok Sightseeing
      Day 5 : Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass (Must be except Mon & Tue)
      Day 6 : Gangotk – Pelling via Ravangla
      Day 7 : Pelling Sightseeing
      Day 8 : Pelling – Darjeeling via Namchi
      Day 9 : Darjeeling Sightseeing
      Day 10 : Joy Ride. Day Trip To Mirik
      Day 11 : Darjeeling – NJP / IXB

      Well as you said North Bengal, I’d remind you that there are lots of hidden gems at North Bengal. Also during Feb, North Sikkim (Lachen – Gurudongmar – Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point) and Nathula have high chance of being inaccessible due to road block arising from snowfall. It’s not the best time to visit North Sikkim and Nathula. Thus I didn’t included Gurudongmar on the list and just kept Yumthang as the chance is still there for Yumthang but very less though.

      Reply
      • rihan roy
        March 24, 2018 at 9:43 PM

        Thanks a lot for your earlier response.

        Actually i would plan to go 1st week of April / Last Week of April.

        If you could guide me about the transportation in the same of your
        itinerary then it’ll be helpful for me also.

        Thanks in advance. 🙂

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          March 24, 2018 at 11:27 PM

          Day 1 : NJP / IXB – Gangtok (Shared Cab : Rs. 250/- per pax from NJP / Rs. 800/- from IXB)
          Day 2 : Gangtok – Lachung
          Day 3 : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Gangtok (1N/2D North Sikkim in Shared Cab Costs Rs. 1500/- per pax including fooding, lodging and permits)
          Day 4 : Gangtok Sightseeing (Cannot be done in shared cabs. Pvt. vehicle will charge around Rs. 1500/- – Rs. 2500/- depending on number of points)
          Day 5 : Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass (Must be except Mon & Tue) (Around Rs. 800/- per pax in shared cabs)
          Day 6 : Gangotk – Pelling via Ravangla (Around Rs. 300/- per pax, but shared cabs won’t stop in between for sightseeing)
          Day 7 : Pelling Sightseeing (Cannot be done in shared cabs. Pvt. vehicle will charge around Rs. 2500/- – Rs. 3500/-)
          Day 8 : Pelling – Darjeeling via Namchi (Around Rs. 300/-, but again shared cabs won’t stop in between for sightseeing)
          Day 9 : Darjeeling Sightseeing (Sunrise Sightseeing costs Rs. 150/- per pax in shared cabs. And around Rs. 200/- – Rs. 250/- per pax for 10 point. But shared cabs for sightseeing are only available during peak season)
          Day 10 : Joy Ride. Day Trip To Mirik (Shared Cabs Rs. 100/- one way. But they won’t stop enroute for sightseeing. A pvt. vehicle will charge around Rs. 2500/- for around trip)
          Day 11 : Darjeeling – NJP / IXB (Rs. 150/- to NJP / Rs. 800/- to IXB)

          The above price are indicative and fluctuates accordingly as per season.

          Reply
  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2018 at 7:39 AM
  • Indrani Banerjee
    May 29, 2018 at 8:27 PM

    I am planning to visit yuksom… From siliguri we want shared jeeps for travelling as we are a family of 3 and hiring a private vehicle is too much costly… So from which route shared jeeps to yuksom are available??? From jorethang?? Or from geyzing???
    If you help in providing some genuine info.. I will be grateful.. Then I will be able to decide whether to go to jorethang or to geyzing from siliguri…

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 30, 2018 at 11:32 PM

      Direct shared cabs to Yuksom are available from P.C.Mittal Bus Stand, T. N. Bus Stand and from Payel Cinema in Siliguri. However direct ones are very rare. So if you can’t find one you need to opt for cabs to Jorethang.

      From Jorethang, you may or may not get direct cabs to Jorethang. In that case you need to break at Geyzing and/or Gerethang accordingly as per availability.

      Reply
  • Suman b
    July 19, 2018 at 3:19 AM

    Dear Mr.Krishnandu, I have planned to visit LAVA from Gangtok on 17th Oct 2018 and from LAVA to Murti (Gorumara) on 19th Oct 2018 with my family (Total 3) How can I travel in shared vehicle for both the trips and what would be the cost per head?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 20, 2018 at 11:01 AM

      Hi Suman, Unfortunately travelling in shared vehicle in this region is a bit of an issue due to presence of syndicate at Lava who have strict rules to hire vehicle from them only.

      Gangtok to Lava do not have any direct shared vehicles, so you may opt for shared vehicles to Kalimpong and from there you can hire a vehicle to Lava. From Lava, due to presence of car syndicate, it’s not possible to travel by shared vehicle. So again, you have to hire a private vehicle only.

      [NOTE : This is what I have experienced a lot of times whenever I have visited that region. However if you can come across such situations, please do let me know. I’ll update my post for benifit of other travellers.]

      Reply
  • PALLAVI KISHORE
    August 18, 2018 at 1:15 PM

    Hello,
    Thank you for the informative post. Could you let me know a good travel operator in Gangtok who can arrange a tour of North Sikkim in December. I will arrive alone on 19 December and will prefer to do a shared/group tour to reduce costs. I spoke to one operator but he did not tell me any prices – neither for the individual tour nor for shared/group tour. He said that I can go in shared/group tour only if a group is going on the same dates as mine. I spoke to an acquaintance in Gangtok who said I can get the permit on my own at the Toursim Dept Office but then I will need a car to go to Yumthang Valley and Gurudongmar Lake since public transport from Gangtok goes up to Lachen and Lachung only. So I should just go in a group/shared package tour from Gangtok to North Sikkim to bring down costs. He also said that the weather in December will be fine and the roads in North Sikkim will not be blocked.
    Also, the train from Delhi arrives at NJP At 1310 and may be late so will I get transport for Sikkim? Or should I just spend the night in Siliguri?
    Could you give me some advice?
    Thanks
    Pallavi

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 18, 2018 at 6:52 PM

      Hello Pallavi, Well December is off season and dicey regarding North Sikkim, as no one can guarantee when it’d start snowing and North SIkkim would get blocked. But still, the period during XMas – New Year is peak season. But due to the dicey condition of North Sikkim, most people books the tour on spot after reaching there and I’d suggest you to do the same.

      There are lots of tour operator throughout Gangtok who does this tour. So you can hop through them and try to get the best prices. However I travelled with Lama Tour & Travels who offered me the best service and price. You can try calling / whatsapping her at 919832079292 / +919734983536.

      Well, frankly speaking, I don’t want to give you false hopes, neither want to encourage you, but the weather during end of December varies a lot. Like last year was boon for travellers, and people travelled North Sikkim till beginning of Feb without any issues. However records of previous year doesn’t says so.

      But yes, I’m hopeful about your case, considering you are reaching on 19th and might be travelling to North Sikkim by 25th!! So I’d suggest to go for on spot booking after reaching at Gangtok and exploring possible options.

      Well, if you are reaching NJP by 13:10 then you can easily move to Gangtok that night. You’d get shared cabs till 4 – 5 PM in the evening. Unless you are reaching very late in the evening there’s no reason to waste the night at Siliguri.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
      • PALLAVI KISHORE
        August 18, 2018 at 7:14 PM

        Thank you very much!

        Reply
  • PALLAVI KISHORE
    August 19, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Hello again,
    I had a few more questions
    1. I have already been to Sikkim before. This time, I intend to travel around Sikkim using public transport. But will public transport be available during Christmas and New Year? In Arunachal, for example, it was not available from 25/12 to 5/1 unless I book in the first week of December. If the same situation prevails in Sikkim, I may be stuck at one point for eg Namchi or Gangtok and may not be able to go to other places like Pelling etc because I will arrive on 19/12 and don’t have the phone numbers of the shared jeeps etc at present to be able to make the bookings in advance.
    2. Is public transport readily available b/w all towns for eg., if the North Sikkim tour does not work out then I would prefer to go to Lachen and Lachung on my own if public transport is available. I think it may not be available b/w Lachen and Lachung but b/w each of these towns and Gangtok and that too with difficulty. Of course, there is no public transport for Yumthang and Gurudongmar.
    3. Are the tourist sights within the towns or do I require public transport to access them. Again, in Arunachal, I was sometimes required to take private taxis because the sights were quite far out of town. I have already covered Gangtok in great detail but still some places are left like Lingdum Monastery. Then I want to cover South and West Sikkim especially all the sights like gompas etc in West Sikkim. But can I just walk to tehse sights if I take a hotel in Pelling, Yuksom, etc? I am wiling to stay a longer number of days because foot tourism requires longer time.
    4. Can you advise on cheap hotels in these above-mentioned areas? A lot of them ask for advance money but then the money is wasted if the room turns out to be bad. In fact, I saw loads of vacant hotels in peak season when I came to Gangtok last time so it was good that I had not paid any advance. Also, the payment of advance prevents the negotiation of the room price in order to bring it down.
    I look forward to your responses.
    Thank you and have lovely Sunday
    Pallavi

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 20, 2018 at 11:05 PM

      Hi Pallavi, Here are the answers to your questions…

      1. Yeah sure. The only time they are less available are during Bhai Duj which is an important festival amongst Nepalis and most of them go to home. So during XMas and New Year it’s not an issue at all. Well you can prebook shared cabs (except for North Sikkim and Nathula), it’s locals way of transport. It’s kind of on the go thing.

      2, Yes mostly. If direct shared cabs are not available then you’ll have to break. The number of times you need to break depends on your from and to destination. Yes shared cabs to Lachen and Lachung doesn’t works that way for tourists as it’s a restricted area. But I’m 99% sure, it’d be accessible during the period you are visiting. So don’t worry much. BTW for North Sikkim you’d need to book packaged tour from a tour operator. The package comes with accommodation and fooding along with vehicle. Yes you can book either exclusive or shared tour. In case of shared tour, it’d be shared cabs. This would be more convenient as arranging the permits on your own is simply too much hassle and involves lot of running here and there with no clarity due to obvious reasons. And in the end it might not be the cheapest way and would need 2-3 buffer days in Gangtok for that. So it’s not worth the hassle. Better book a tour from tour operator after reaching there on spot.

      3. No sightseeings cannot be done in shared cabs. You’d need to hire exclusive vehicle for that. And no, the points are not close or within the town always, specially at Gangtok & Pelling. If you want to do in budget, then you’d need to take a cab to the nearest point and walk to the point of interest. Again while returning back, you’d need to do the same. However this way you’ll loose out a lot of time and you’d need 2-3 days to cover all the points that way. Well if you can allocate that much number of days then I don’t see any issue there. However for Pelling, you might not find public transport to all the possible points. I mean it’s a town but not as much as connected like Gangtok.

      4. Try Pachu Residency, Hotel Window Park, Hotel Garuda etc. at Upper Pelling. Try out Hotel Tibet, Hotel Maa Yang, Hotel Silverline at Gangtok. Well during your period, I know it’s peak season, but not like Puja seasons, you’d be easily able to manage a homestay or budget hotel on spot. Don’t worry much. Budget travellers like us knows our way 🙂

      Reply
  • PALLAVI KISHORE
    August 21, 2018 at 12:08 PM

    Thank you so much. I generally read Lonely planet which I prefer over the Rough Guide. I also check on the internet.

    Regarding point number 2, none of the tours operators including Lama Travels has shown any interest despite repeated contact. So if no tour operator is interested in serving me for North Sikkim tour, I could perhaps ask them to just get me the permit for Lachung and Lachen if they are willing to do that. I read somewhere that sometimes I may find shared cabs from Gangtok to Lachen or Lachung. So if I have the permit at least I can do that on my own. I don’t think shared cabs may be available b/w Lachen and Lachung. As a rule, I avoid tour operators but one can’t do that in the border areas since permits are required and as you say we can’t get the permits readily for obvious reasons.
    The other thing that bothers me is being in a group since I prefer travelling alone but then the group price is cheaper.

    Regarding point number 3, I found out that 4-5 of sights from Pelling are accessible on foot, maybe 10-15 kms of walking per day which is fine. Which means I can easily spend a week there followed by Yuksom and maybe Tashiding.

    I have not done Tsongmo Lake/Nathu La and hopefully I should be able to do that in Dec-Jan? I did Bomdila, Tawang, and Bumla in December last year and since they are all part of the same Tibetan plateau geologically, I think it may be possible.

    Thanks again for taking out time to reply to my queries.
    Best 🙂

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 21, 2018 at 7:23 PM

      Hi Pallavi, Yes if you can manage the permit you can board the local shared cabs, however you need to inform the driver to stop at designated points to show the permits. Yes there are shared cabs between Lachen and Lachung however shared cabs scenario at North Sikkim is very low in terms of numbers.

      Well I don’t see any reasons for you to bother as much regarding the permits as of now. As I already suggested you to take care of it on spot, after reaching Gangtok. There are lots of tour operators throughout Gangtok and most hotels have their tie-ups / in-house travel business. So anyone can arrange the same easily if you submit the documents by previous night. So reach there and bargain and just get into it without much worries.

      Well yes, but 10-15KM in hills is not same as in plains. So if you are an seasoned traveller, it shouldn’t be an issue for you. And if you are spending a week there, it’s more than enough to cover the points along with Yuksom and Tashiding. Yes go for the hike to Tashiding monastery. It’s one of the key point of Buddist Circuit.

      Yes you may, depending on the weather. But again this you need to travel with a local tour operator mandatorily considering it’s Indo-China LOC. You can opt for shared cabs which costs Rs. 800/- per head.

      Reply
  • PALLAVI KISHORE
    August 21, 2018 at 9:34 PM

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
  • Stanley
    November 26, 2018 at 7:49 AM

    Thank you very much for such useful information. I am travelling from mid January for 15 days, may I know If your above information are all applicable for January too ? If not all, which are the sectors which are not applicable)for shared jeeps) ? I need to finalise my itinerary soon and make the room bookings.
    Your early reply is very much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 26, 2018 at 7:38 PM

      Hi Stanley, Yes the above mentioned information is applicable in Jan too. As it’s local’s mode of commute, it’s applicable throughout the year.

      Reply
      • Stanley
        November 27, 2018 at 5:17 PM

        Thank you very much Krishnandu,
        I have a number of questions and you can help:
        1)Is Wizzride’s reputation good ? I don’t understand why they put duration for Bagdogra airport to Melli and Gangtok both as 5 hours.
        2)I cannot find Pelling in your route map, is Geyzing just 9 km away ? Do you know how much it cost to get a cab for Geyzing to Pelling if shared jeep is not available ?
        3)I have 14 days in January booked by mistake as many places may not be reachable due to winter, using shared jeeps as much as possible to cut cost, can you recommend an itinerary or any website for it ? I hope to visit all the top sights and monasteries.
        4) How much will a local cab/car cost per trip, hour or half a day ? A rough guide will do.
        5)Is there a direct route from Namchi and Geyzing to Kaluk ?
        5)Is Siliguri a touristy place ? Are there any attraction ?

        Any available answer will be much appreciated.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          November 27, 2018 at 10:43 PM

          Hi Stanley,
          1. Yes Wizzride is good. They are the only one to offer shared cabs from Bagdogra Airport.

          2. Yes Geyzing is close around 30-40 mins journey. Shared cabs are easily available to Pelling from Geyzing, Ravangla, Gangtok, Jorethang. You can checkout the paragraph about Pelling above. If you are planning to hire a vehicle then why from Geyzing? You can hire it from your source point.

          3. Well yes in Jan, high chance is North Sikkin and Silk Route would get blocked, But still no one can guarantee. Keep your itinerary flexible and move as per the situation.

          You may do it like…

          Day 1 : NJP / IXB – Namchi
          Day 2 : Namchi – Kaluk
          Day 3 : Kaluk
          Day 4 : Kaluk – Pelling
          Day 5 : Pelling Sightseeing
          Day 6 : Pelling – Gangtok
          Day 7 : Gangtok Sightseeing
          Day 8 : Gangtok – Lachen
          Day 9 : Lachen – Gurudongmar – Lachung
          Day 10 : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Gangtok
          Day 11 : Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass – Gnathang
          Day 12 : Gnathang – Zuluk
          Day 12 : Zuluk – Mankhim
          Day 13 : Mankhim – Reshi Khola
          Day 14 : Reshi Khola – NJP / IXB

          This plan covers almost 90% of tourist places in Sikkim. Day 6 – Day 10 is dicey and depends on weather.

          4. Sightseeings costs around Rs. 1500/- – 2500/- depending on the number of points.

          5. Yes (1) via Jorethang and Soreng, (2) via RInchenpong. (1) is more preferable considering the availability of shared cabs.

          6. Not really. It’s a town but yes Siliguri do have few attractions. But I don’t think they won’t matter much after the plan I gave you above.

          Reply
          • Stanley
            December 4, 2018 at 7:02 PM

            Thank you again and sorry that I could not acknowledge earlier.
            May I know whether your suggested suggested itinerary’s point to point travelling can all be connected by wizzride and shared jeeps ?

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              December 6, 2018 at 10:35 AM

              Hi Stanley, Well shared jeeps are only for the transfers. They won’t stop in between for sightseeing. So where you have possible sightseeings in between transfers i.e. Day 2, Day 4 and Day 6, you’ll miss those in between points.

              Also Sightseeings cannot be done in shared cabs. So Day 3, Day 5, Day 7 you must hire exclusive vehicle.

              There’s no issue with Day 8 – Day 10, as the sahred cab itself will take you through all the points. Those are tourist specific shared cabs.

              Day 11 – Day 14 again cannot be done in shared cabs as tourists are not allowed to travel in shared cabs in East Sikkim.

              Reply
              • STANLEY
                December 6, 2018 at 3:27 PM

                Thank you again. Yes, I do know that shared jeeps are only for the transfers and no stops for sightseeings, we will engage local taxis for it. I am travelling now, will digest your tips and plan later.

                Reply
              • Stanley
                December 20, 2018 at 2:51 PM

                Thank you for your last reply. Sorry I cannot leave reply using your last reply because the follow and subscribe pages are blocking it(for over 2 days)
                After some more research and after reading some of your past reports, we have decided not to go Gnathang, Zuluk, Mankhim and Reshi Khola until we have a bigger party next time.
                We will give more days to Gangtok, and want to do Yuksom, Tashiding, Ralong or Borong too.
                Can you help me to revise the itinerary plan so that we can reach Gangtok or earlier, so that we stand better chance of being able to do North Sikkim first ? Being there early, we can even wait up to 3 or 4 days in Gangtok and also stand better chance and more time to hook up with other travellers or look for your operators.
                You mentioned that road blockage can happen any time and it can last for days. What happen if travellers cannot return to Gangtok for departure ? Is there other ways to leave Yumthang or Nathula Pass without returning to Gangtok ?
                Do you know whether if there are more accommodation options that are not available from the internet for room booking ? My reason for asking is in view of possible road blockage, we think of not booking room from websites but just wing along and look for room as we arrive. It also give more freedom to stay longer in any place we like. What are the day trip or short overnight trip that we can do while waiting in Gangtok ?
                I have checked winter images of the Tashiding day trek from Yuksom and see snow on the ground, will it be difficult or slippery to do it in late January ? Since Yuksom is nearer to Pelling and Tashiding is nearer to Geysing, which direction is easier to go(downhill) must I stay a night at the end of the trek or can I get a shared jeep to the next destination ?
                Do you know how many monastery are there in Borong ? I googled for its images but found 2 different photos, one small and one that is quite big. Websites also mentioned a Gerang Monastery but I can’t find it on Google map. Do you know any photo of Borong Monastery ?
                Thank you and looking forward to your advice again.

                Reply
                • Krishnandu Sarkar
                  December 24, 2018 at 10:20 AM

                  Hi Stanley, I’m not sure why it’s blocking the same, I’ll definitely check it once.

                  Well that would be a better idea. Go to Gangtok first and wait for 2-3 days and see if you can do North Sikkim. Regarding your queries, there’s no need to book hotel in North Sikkim in advance during that period, as there’s no sureity that you’d be able to make it there.

                  Infact only high end hotels in North Sikkim are available online, rest all are homestays which you have to book offline or through agents in Gangtok.

                  My suggestion would be not to book it in advance during the dicey period. The operators at Gangtok who would arrange the vehicle and permits would also give you homestays accordingly.

                  If there’ s snow on the ground, you might have difficulty trekking the same without proper shoes. But with proper equipped shoes it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

                  Well I’m not aware of Monastery in Borong. If you are talking about Ralong then it’s in Ravangla.

                  Here’s your modified itinerary…

                  Day 1 : NJP / IXB – Gangtok
                  Day 2 : Gangtok – Lachen(Highly Dicey)
                  Day 3 : Lachen – Gurudongmar – Lachung (Highly Dicey)
                  Day 4 : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Gangtok (Highly Dicey)
                  Day 5 : Gangtok Sightseeing
                  Day 6 : Day Trip To Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass (Dicey)
                  Day 7 : Gangtok – Kaluk
                  Day 8 : Kaluk
                  Day 9 : Kaluk – Pelling
                  Day 10 : Pelling Sightseeing
                  Day 11 : Pelling – Yuksom & Yukom Sightseeing
                  Day 12 : Yuksom – Tashiding Hike & Proceed to Ravangla / Borong
                  Day 12 : Ravangla & Borong Sightseeing
                  Day 13 : Ravangla / Borong – Namchi
                  Day 14 : Namchi – NJP / IXB

                  Reply
          • Stanley
            December 15, 2018 at 2:11 PM

            Krishnandu,

            With your suggested itinerary,
            Will I miss Yuksom, Tashiding and Ravangla ?
            Will there be enough time to do the Yuksom – Tashiding trek ?
            In day 1 & 11, do you mean we hire a private taxi or join a guided tour and stay stay where we ended, Namchi & Gnathang respectively ?
            You have written 2 part for Day 12, are they meant to be the same day ?
            For day 12 to 14, how will you recommend us to do it ? By private care or group tour ? How much will it cost ?
            When and where should we apply for the ILP ?
            In the event that if day 9 to 11 plan cannot be done due to road blockage, what will you suggest us to do or where else can we go ?
            In the event of a road blockage, usually how long will it be ? I mean if we are in Gangtok Day 1 and told that there is a road blockage, any chance that it may be cleared in day 2 or day 3 ?
            Thank you again.

            Reply
            • Krishnandu Sarkar
              December 18, 2018 at 10:58 AM

              Hi Stanley, Well with limited time in hand you can’t expect to cover whole Sikkim. There are lots of places in Sikkim and you are almost covering a lot of places. But if you want to cover the state in and out then you would need around 25 days except the treks.

              Ravangla you’ll cover on Day 6 : Pelling – Gangtok

              Yuksom and Tashiding is on different route, so you’d need another day or two for that.

              No, treks are seperate. Better plan it seperately. Come next time.

              Day 1 can be done in shared cabs. Day 11 to Day 14 shared cabs are not possible for tourists. That must be done in private vehicle. Else you have to locally find some couple or solo tourists with whom you can join in. There’s no group tour as such. If you want to tag along with a group you have to find that after going there. You may ask the tour operator to let you know of such couples / solo tourists.

              Sorry no, I mistaken the count.

              ILP You cannot do on your own. You have to contact a Tour Operator / Hotel and they will arrange the vehicle and ILP for you. You can try doing it on your own though, but it’s too much of an issue. Like you’ll loose half day or even more just to know the process and all. So it’s convenient going through some Hotel / Tour Operator as the charge is very nominal and you have some sureity.

              Okay that you have to know in advance if Day 9 – Day 11 can be done. If not then you can utilize those days in Tashiding and Yuksom and move to Gangtok later. Once you reach there you can check with the local drivers. They must be able to dial in their friends in Gangtok and North Sikkim and would be able to help you out providing correct information.

              Well frankly speaking that’s luck. generally in case of road block during monsoon they clear it within a day or two. However during winters it snowfalls throughout these months, so they don’t clean it before End of Feb – Beginning of March. They know this and stock the foods accordingly beforehand. This is something going on every year so it’s very common to them.

              People from above regions comes down to Lachen and Lachung. A lot of people from Lachen and Lachung even comes down to Gangtok or so. Or visit their relatives in other part of Sikkim.

              So if you ask me truely, then it’s very less chance that they would clear the route, but can happen, as this is a Army Zone, so in case they are blocked, they will definitely clear it out in case of any emergency / based on their needs. But then also you might not go there, as I don’t think any vehicle would agree to do that during that period.

              However don’t get disheartened, if the route is operatable you’ll be able to go. But once it starts getting block, no one would take the risk. As it’s too much of a risk at that time.

              Reply
  • Avik
    December 4, 2018 at 12:52 AM

    Hello Sir

    I was planning to visit Sikkim in 2nd week of January, 2019. I’m arriving at NJP on 9th January in the morning, and the return tickets are booked on 14th january in the evening. 2 people, Me and my brother are going there. It is our first trip to the Himalayas, and also we are hoping to see some snowfall during the trip, as we both have never seen snow.

    we have about 6days 5nights in this trip. We are planning for a budget trip, and mostly East and west sikkim.

    Please Sir guide us … Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 6, 2018 at 10:42 AM

      Hi Avik, Well let me be frank and inform you that spotting snow is a different thing and experiencing snowfall is a whole different matter of luck. The time you are visiting you’d definitely be able to spot snow (high probability), but experiencing snowfall is a matter of luck.

      Also where it may occur, you won’t be able to go to those places during that period because roads gets blocked due to snowfall.

      East and West Sikkim is a good idea, as North Sikkim gets blocked during that period of time. However 5N is too short to cover both of them, I’m providing you two itineraries below – one of West Sikkim with Gangtok and another one is Gangtok with East Sikkim. BTW Gangtok itself comes under East Sikkim.

      You may do it like

      Day 1 : NJP – Pelling
      Day 2 : Pelling Sightseeing
      Day 3 : Pelling – Gangtok via Ravangla and Namchi
      Day 4 : Gangtok Sightseeing
      Day 5 : Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass (if accessible) [You’ll be able to spot snow here]
      Day 6 : Gangtok – NJP

      Day 1 : NJP – Gangtok
      Day 2 : Gangtok Sightseeing
      Day 3 : Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass (if accessible) – Gnathang (if accessible) [You’ll be able to spot snow here]
      Day 4 : Gnathang – Zuluk [You’ll be able to spot snow here]
      Day 5 : Zuluk – Mankhim
      Day 6 : Mankhim – NJP

      Reply
  • Anirudh
    March 28, 2019 at 3:44 AM

    Hi krishnandu da,

    ? Amazing Blog, so helpful, tons of knowledge shared about Sikkim. I have read all the above comments, you have helped so many tourists. Thanks a lot, hope you can help me too.?

    I have planned to visit Sikkim from 4th Apr – 12th Apr with my wife.
    I am reaching NJP on 4th Apr 8.00 am and leaving on 12th Apr evening from NJP.

    After reading all your above comments I have few locations in mind which I want to Cover.

    1. Gangtok sightseeing, Tsomgo lake, Nathula pass.
    2. Lachen, Lachung, gurudongmar, yumthang, zero point.
    3. Pelling, yuksom.
    4. Ravangla, Borong, Namchi.

    Pls suggest me a itinerary.
    I have a budget of around 25k max for the entire trip, pls plan accordingly.

    I have few questions Dada pls help out as didn’t find them in any of the above comments.

    1. I have mentioned you the places of my interest, but want to know the famous tourist spots in those locations which I should not miss by any chance.
    For e.g I am in Pelling, which are the sightseeing spots I shouldn’t miss.

    2. Suggest Locations where I can plan my night stays during the entire trip and budgetary hotels.

    3. Necessary items I need to carry on this tour. I have heard few places have no medical shops, etc.

    4. Pls mention all the traveling and sightseeing charges wherever you can.

    Thanks for your help Dada, do you organise any trips ?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 28, 2019 at 7:50 PM

      Hi Anirudh! Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Ofcourse, definitely I’ll help you out with whatever I’m aware of.

      Okay, so first things first, considering the number of days you have and the places you want to visit, you may follow this itinerary
      1. Gangtok sightseeing, Tsomgo lake, Nathula pass.
      2. Lachen, Lachung, gurudongmar, yumthang, zero point.
      3. Pelling, yuksom.
      4. Ravangla, Borong, Namchi.

      4th : NJP – Gangtok & Gangtok Sightseeing
      5th : Tsomgo Lake – Baba Mandir – Nathula Pass
      6th : Gangtok – Lachen
      7th : Lachen – Gurudongmar – Lachung
      8th : Lachung – Yumthang – Zero Point – Gangtok
      9th : Gangtok – Pelling via Ravangla, Borong & Namchi
      10th : Pelling Sightseeing
      11th : Pelling – Yuksom
      12th : Yuksom – NJP

      However this is becoming too tight schedule. I’d recommend to leave out Yuksom and keep it slow.

      Regarding your questions..
      1. Please check Sikkim. You’ll get specific posts for the destinations you have planned. There you can find the sightseeing spots of that specific destinations

      2. I have already suggested an itinerary above

      3. Yes few are remote places. Carry some emergency medicines. Things to carry? Well, Clothes along with Winter Garments, Good Shoes with good grips, Torch, Candles, Some Medicines etc.

      4. Well all the details are already available. You have to take some time out and go through the cost section of the articles specific to the destination you are planning to visit

      Reply
  • Kamal
    May 5, 2019 at 12:50 PM

    Hi Krish,

    Nice to see such a wonderful blog post with so much useful details..I have some query

    1) Can i roam around Gangtok local sightseeing , via shared taxi or Auto?

    2) How can I book North Sikkim trip (Lachen, Lachung, Yumtang) for 2N, 3D ?

    3) Is it a full day trip to Tsogmo Lake & Baba Mandir ..Can we found snow around Tsogmo Lake??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 21, 2019 at 12:06 PM

      Hi Kamal! Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      1. Yes you can. Although it’d take a lot of time travelling all the points through shared cabs, but it can be done. However a warning would be, when you mention the exact name of the place to a taxi driver, he’d always try to get you into reserved mode, you being a tourist.

      2. You can book after reaching there (if not visiting during peak season, in that case book in advance). Almost all the hotels have their own travel wings, so you can check the cost there. Also in MGMarg and throughout Gangtok there are lots of tour operators, you can also check with them. You can book with any of them.

      3. No. The trip starts around 7/8AM in the morning and ends by 4PM (if Nathu La is included). Yes you can find snow at Tsomgo Lake, depending on when you are visiting.

      Reply
  • Giridhar
    July 14, 2019 at 1:22 AM

    Hi Krishna,

    I have planned to come to Gangtok from Phuentsholing via shared taxi. How will it take to come from their?
    Day 1 – Monday- Local sightseeing
    Day 2,3,4 or 5 – Tuesday – North Sikkim tour(Will we get 4 Days and 3 Nights Shared taxi tour, as I want to do longer trip to North Sikkim)
    Day 6 – Friday – Nathula
    Day 7- Back to IXB via shared taxi.

    Do you think West Sikkim is must Visit ?

    Time of Travel – Nov Second Week

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 15, 2019 at 7:21 PM

      Hi Giridhar,
      Shared Cabs to Gangtok are easily available nearby Bhutan Gate on Jaigaon side.

      North Sikkim 3N/4D cannot be done via Shared Cabs. If you want to stretch it longer than the usual (i.e. 1N/2D OR 2N/3D) you have to hire private vehicle for that.

      Local shared cabs doesn’t plies to Airport. Book Wizzride for Gangtok – IXB. Wizzride runs shared cabs to and from Airport.

      Reply
  • Debdip Dutta
    August 26, 2019 at 3:47 PM

    Hello,
    Mr. Sarkar
    Firt of all, I would like to Thank You for such an informative blog. I am following you from your North Sikkim Blog.
    I have a plan on Dec to Visit West Sikkim.
    My plan is as follow, Please check the plan and if you think to need a rectification please do it.
    Day-1 NJP to Yuksom
    Day-2 Yuksom sightseeing
    Day-3 Yuksom to Gangtok
    Day-4 Gangtok Sightseeing
    Day-5 Gangtok to NJP
    My main problem is to reach NJP to Yuksom. Is it possible to reach Yuksom via shared vehicle? If Yes, Plese share the details.
    And secondly, How to reach Yuksom to Gangtok via shared vehicle?
    and please tell Yuksom sightseen cost on a private taxi?

    Thank You in advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      August 26, 2019 at 8:07 PM

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

      Okay, I don’t see any issue with your plan, however I must ask, why are you planning to visit Yuksom? Is there any specific reason?

      I’m saying this, because Yuksom is the old capital of Sikkim and definitely is attached to lots of histories, however it’s a calm and quite town now with just being used as a base for treks to Dzongri Goechala.

      So if you are looking to get an essense of West Sikkim, I won’t quite recommend Yuksom. Instead you can look for destinations like Pelling / Kaluk for your stay and explore desitnations like Ravangla, Hee-Bermiok, Dentam, Uttarey on the way.

      Anyway, it’s obviously upto you to make a decission.

      As I said, regaring the plan, I don’t see any issue. It’s completely fine.

      From NJP, finding direct shared vehicles to Yuksom is a matter of luck. Instead try at SNT Bus Stand. Although direct shared vehicles to Yuksom are rare (only around 3-4 vehicles run a day) but available from SNT. Because of the journey time, most vehicles leaves by the afternoon. So if you happen to reach late, then you can’t find direct vehicles to Yuksom.

      So, if you can’t find direct shared vehicle, you have to do break journey’s. So first you have to go to Jorethang / Tashiding / Gerethang. From Jorethang, if you are unable to find a direct vehicle to Yuksom, you have to break again at Geyzing and/or Legship and/or Tashiding. Although that’s very less likely.

      Yuksom to Gangtok direct shared vehicles are available. But again, if you can’t find one, break at Pelling.

      And as always, if you don’t want to take all these headache, then private vehicle option is always there for a premium 🙂

      Reply
      • Debdip Dutta
        August 26, 2019 at 8:34 PM

        Dear,
        Krishnendu Da
        Thank you for your valuable suggestion and guidance.
        Honestly I choose Yuksom because Yuksom is less crowded. And I don’t want to go for various sightseeing, Just want to stay in one place and explore the locals. That’s why I am trying to convince my future mate to cancel Gangtok.
        Your honest opinion and valuable guidance for 4 days 3 Nights tour will be highly appreciated.
        Thanks again in advance.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          August 26, 2019 at 8:54 PM

          Hi Debdip, Well in that case stick to Yuksom. Go for the hike to the Dubdi Monastery. And comply with Yuksom’s culture, relax and sleep! Yuksom is a sleepy town 🙂

          Well along with that, club up Kaluk / Rinchenpong (as you are looking for relaxing and no sightseeing), instead of Gangtok.

          Reply
          • Debdip Dutta
            August 26, 2019 at 9:07 PM

            Thank You Krishnendu Da for your valuable information.

            Reply
  • Debdip Dutta
    August 26, 2019 at 3:52 PM

    Hello,
    Mr. Sarkar
    First of all, I would like to Thank You for such an informative blog. I am following you from your North Sikkim Blog.
    I have a plan on Dec to Visit West Sikkim.
    My plan is as follow, Please check the plan and if you think to need a rectification please do it.
    Day-1 NJP to Yuksom
    Day-2 Yuksom sightseeing
    Day-3 Yuksom to Gangtok
    Day-4 Gangtok Sightseeing
    Day-5 Gangtok to NJP
    My main problem is to reach NJP to Yuksom. Is it possible to reach Yuksom via shared vehicle? If Yes, Plese share the details.
    And secondly, How to reach Yuksom to Gangtok via shared vehicle?
    and please tell Yuksom sightseen cost on a private taxi?

    Thank You in advance.

    Reply
  • Rahul Nanda
    September 13, 2019 at 1:30 PM

    Hi,

    First of all your information has been gold. Using it to plan my trip to west Sikkim using shared cabs.

    I have 14 days from 1st Oct to 14th Oct. How is the shared cabs frequency then?

    This is my plan below. Please let me know if I will be able is to it using shared cabs.

    1st Bagdogra – Darjeeling

    2nd Darjeeling to Jorethang to Okhrey

    3rd Okhrey

    4th Okhrey to Jorethang to Ravangla

    5th Ravangla

    6th Ravangla to Gyalshing to Yuksom

    7th Yuksom

    8th Yuksom to Peling

    9th Peling

    10th Peling – Jorethang – Darjeeling

    11th Darjeeling

    12th Buffer

    13th Buffer

    14th Badogra

    Also should I include Kaluk to the plan as well as I have a couple of Buffer days? If yes, there where?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 14, 2019 at 11:23 AM

      Hi Rahul, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you find my blog helpful 🙂

      Yes shared cabs are local’s way of transport and thus available throughout the year.

      Local Shared cabs are not available from Bagdogra. There’s a company named Wizzride who runs luxury vehicles (mostly Innova) on shared mode from Bagdogra to various destinations. So for transports to & from Bagdogra, book though them online.

      Okay, so first things first. I don’t quite understand why you are going to Darjeeling on Day 1? Because you are just moving out on Day 2 without exploring Darjeling and this I don’t see any reason to be in Darjeeling. Also you are coming back to Darjeeling from Pelling again at the end of your trip.

      Yes as you have buffer days you can include Kaluk easily.

      So what you can do is like
      1st Bagdogra/Siliguri – Jorethang – Okhrey
      2nd Okhrey (Hilley Barsey Trek)
      3rd Okhrey -Kaluk
      4th Kaluk
      5th Kaluk – Ravangla
      6th Ravangla
      7th Ravangla – Tashiding – Gerethang – Yuksom
      8th Yuksom
      9th Yuksom – Pelling
      10th Pelling
      11th Pelling – Namchi
      12th Namchi – Darjeeling
      13th Darjeeling
      14th Darjeeling – Bagdogra

      Reply
      • Rahul Nanda
        September 17, 2019 at 7:19 PM

        Thank you for the changes. Actually the reason Darjeeling on Day 1 is that we will be travelling from Phuentsholing to Bagdogra to Darjeeling, and I didn’t mention that. Then I start our West Sikkim journey from Darjeeling.

        Also following your advice on the trip just as you changed the plan. Wanted to know if there are shared cabs from Okhrey to Kaluk?

        And then from Kaluk to Legship as well? Or will that have to be done in a private taxi.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          September 23, 2019 at 10:25 AM

          Yes you’ll get shared cabs frmm Okhrey to Kaluk. I don’t understand why you want to go to Legship?

          Reply
  • Rajsri
    September 18, 2019 at 2:40 PM

    HI

    I am planning to travel alone to sikkim next month and i will be reaching bagdogra airport on 19th oct morning and i wish to travel from there to pelling, stay overnight in pelling and next day sightseeing in pelling and start back on 20th oct afternoon back to gangtok
    I would like to travel with a reasonable budget and kindly help me with plan !!

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 23, 2019 at 10:31 AM

      Hi Rajsri,
      Well Pelling Sightseeing requires one full day. And Pelling to Gangtok is around 5-6 hours journey. So you can’t club both of them together on same day.

      So half-day pelling sightseeing will cover almost nothing!

      Can you please be more specific about Budget? I don’t understand regarding what? Accommodation? Vehile?

      Reply
  • Sayan Banerjee
    November 12, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Is there any way to reach njp to lachung within single day?
    i just want to visit lachen and lachung for 3days stay and visit gorudongmar lake, zero point in shared cab because i am travelling solo with short budget. Most of the place like chopta valley yumthang valley I wasnt to explore on foot.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 20, 2019 at 11:49 AM

      Hi Sayan,
      No there’s no way you can reach Lachung from NJP on a single day. It’s not practically possible. NJP – Gangtok is around 4 hours and further to Lachung is around 8-9 Hours. So we are talking about 12-14 hours of journey here.

      Yes you can do that trip on Shared Cab. Shared Cab packages with accommodation and meals are available through tour operators at Gangtok.

      Reply
  • Sanghamitra Nandi
    December 27, 2019 at 8:40 PM

    Hi Krishnandu, What an informative website. Thank you.
    I am planning to visit Chayatal & Rinchenpong (2 PAX) between 1st march 20 and 4th march 20 for 3 nights. Can you provide me some details of
    how to reach Chayatal & Rinchenpong from Peling by public transport.
    Many thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 27, 2019 at 8:58 PM

      Hi Sanghamitra, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you found the article to be helpful 🙂

      Well, From Pelling there are public transport (shared cabs) to Richenpong and Kaluk. For Chayaatal, I haven’t noticed much option last time I visited. So people used to get down at the junction and walk up to Chayaatal. As tourists, you might want to hire a taxi from Kaluk instead.

      Reply
      • Sanghamitra
        December 28, 2019 at 8:07 AM

        Thank you Krishnandu.

        Reply

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