Sikkim advise

Dimitrz

Reclaim your life
Hi
has anyone travelled to Sikkim recently ,
I wanted to get some advise related to

a) Current travel requirements / conditions ( including any quarantine rules )
b) How to travel and is it possible to travel in Dec or Jan or Feb weather wise ( assuming Covid conditions improve much more by then)
c) Good & cozy places to stay
d) Good places to visit & see ( its going to be a leisure trip for 2 people - not a race across places ) - got approx. 2 weeks of vacation. I know from trekking point of view but , this is not a trekking trip more of a leisure trip
e) Any permit requirement for Indians

Hope you guys got the Jist
 

Anil_S

Member
Hi
has anyone travelled to Sikkim recently ,
I wanted to get some advise related to

a) Current travel requirements / conditions ( including any quarantine rules )
b) How to travel and is it possible to travel in Dec or Jan or Feb weather wise ( assuming Covid conditions improve much more by then)
c) Good & cozy places to stay
d) Good places to visit & see ( its going to be a leisure trip for 2 people - not a race across places ) - got approx. 2 weeks of vacation. I know from trekking point of view but , this is not a trekking trip more of a leisure trip
e) Any permit requirement for Indians

Hope you guys got the Jist
I travelled to Sikkim in 1st week of Oct'21, was there for 10 days.

a) There is no checking , but hotel will ask for two vaccination certificate/ RTPCR report at the time of check in.

b) Yes you can travel in Dec/ Jan to Sikkim & keep base at Gangtok. After reaching Gangtok plan your future travel in Sikkim based on weather / accessibility conditions. Bagdogra is airport, NJP is station. The road in WB part is not good, it may take appox 6 hrs to travel. Shared Cabs are available at NJP/ SNT bus stand. SNT buses are also good option. The cab fare from Bagdogra to Gangtok is appox 3500/- for a 4 seater (WagonR types0 & 4500/- for 7 seater(Xylo, creata types).
Share cabs at airport are not availble (But you can use wizzride Wizzride – Bagdogra Airport car rental services for Darjeeling, Jaigaon, Phuentsholing & Gangtok car rental in Bagdogra - Shared Taxi - Reserved Cabs | Best Bagdogra Car rental agency for Budget Cab hire) . Spicejet has flights to Pakyong (Gangtok) airport from Kolkata & Delhi, but these are irregular (I don't know the reason).

c) I prefer Zostel. Boarders at Zostel make their groups & book shared cabs, so it is very useful if you are a small group & you can combine with other people & share the cab coast.
Other wise large number of hotels as per your budget will be available. Don't book hotel for 2 days in continuation ( you will be required to stay at Lachung & Lachen : one night each)

d) (i) Nathula pass, Chanagu lake (same day back to Gangtok). (Moday & Tueday closed)
(ii) Gurudongmar Lake, Kalapathar (Previous night stay at Lachen) &
(iii)next day Zero point & Yumthang valley (Previous night stay at Lachung).
Please don't pre book any thing as the weather can be unpredictable & they don't refund if you can't travel. Book road travel from an agent from Gangtok/ Hotel only. Plan every thing after reaching Gangtok.

e) 3 Permits are required for (i) Nathula pass, Chanagu lake (ii) Gurudongmar Lake & Kalapathar (iii) Zero point & Yumthang valley. Your hotel/ cab agent will arrange it on the day of travel (these are not pre-issued). You need 2 photos & Voteid or passport copies for each permit. Addhar is not accepted as its is not a proof of your Indian citizenship.

Suggested plan

Day01- Travel from NJP/Bagdogra to Gangtok , Stay at Gangtok
Day02 - Nathula pass, Chanagu lake (same day back to Gangtok), Stay at Gangtok (not possible on Moday & Tuesday)
Day03 - Rest/ Unplanned
Day04- Travel to Lachen, Stay at Lachen
Day-05- Gurudongmar Lake, Kalapathar, Travel to Lachung after Lunch, Stay at Lachung
Day-06- Zero point & Yumthang valley, Travel back to Gangtok after lunch, Stay at Gangtok
Day -07- Rest/ Unplanned
Day -08 - Local/ Unplanned/ Buffer
Day -09 - Travel back to NJP/Bagdogra & back to your destination
 
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Dimitrz

Reclaim your life
I travelled to Sikkim in 1st week of Oct'21, was there for 10 days.
First of all , Thanks Anil for the quick response,
some clarifications

1) Travelling with a female friend , so Zostels are not prefered, any good hotels or home stays you can recommend ?
2) Rs 4500/- is cost for entire taxi or cost for just one seat ? from Bagdogra to Ganktok
3) We are also looking for a relaxed vacation , so Ideally we want to stay at some place from where we can
a) go on small 2-3 hour hikes or walks
b) sit on the balcony with a hot cup of coffee and look into beautiful valleys
So priority would be that instead of waking up early and dashing off to Natula or Gurudongmar if you get my point.

based on the above , how's Lachen , Lachung or Yumthang valley for such a stay ( away from crowd but couple of days with beautiful views ) or any such place in Gangtok?

4) Any idea on cost of solo Taxi to Yumthang valley , Gurudongmar etc ? dont want to share due to Covid reasons .

5) Can you suggest any reliable Taxi driver ?
6) Forgot to ask when does it start snowing in Sikkim , any idea - based on your conversation with locals when you were there ?
 

Anil_S

Member
1) Travelling with a female friend , so Zostels are not prefered, any good hotels or home stays you can recommend ?
I don't think there is any issue, They have very good rooms with good valley view . They have doms exclusively for females too.
2) Rs 4500/- is cost for entire taxi or cost for just one seat ? from Bagdogra to Ganktok
Complete cab airport to your hotel. You can use wizride, its a shared service cost appox 750/ head.
3) We are also looking for a relaxed vacation , so Ideally we want to stay at some place from where we can
a) go on small 2-3 hour hikes or walks
can't comment, I haven't explored
b) sit on the balcony with a hot cup of coffee and look into beautiful valleys
Depends on your place of stay, Zostel has a rooftop cafetria with valley views.
So priority would be that instead of waking up early and dashing off to Natula or Gurudongmar if you get my point.
You will have to find such a place, but there are many.
based on the above , how's Lachen , Lachung or Yumthang valley for such a stay ( away from crowd but couple of days with beautiful views ) or any such place in Gangtok?
Lachen , Lachung are good places away from crowds, but the food & hotels are cheap types not classy.
4) Any idea on cost of solo Taxi to Yumthang valley , Gurudongmar etc ? dont want to share due to Covid reasons .
The charges are on per day basis, we paid Rs 4500/day for Xylo.
5) Can you suggest any reliable Taxi driver ?
As I told you don't prebook any thing. Ask your hotel at Gangtok or google it, Tourism is their main business , all are reliable , polite & professionals.
Try, use & pay for 2 days and then plan further

6) Forgot to ask when does it start snowing in Sikkim , any idea - based on your conversation with locals when you were there

I don't know. There was some snow at peaks @Gurudongmar, Kalapathar & Zero points. It doesn't snow in Gangtok.
 
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