View from Chorten Fort in Rabdentse, Sikkim

Complete Itinerary for a Week-Long Vacation in Sikkim

Sikkim is a great place for a soothing vacation. It has a great combination of snow-clad mountains, valleys with beautiful rhododendrons, waterfalls, lakes, a tea estate and much more. Here, we have suggested a week-long itinerary, based on our own experience, which you can use for a perfect holiday in Sikkim.

First things, first!

This travel itinerary is 9-days long assuming your trip starts on a Saturday and ends on the next Sunday. As you will figure, you can easily tinker with it to suit your exact need. Also, while this itinerary holds good round the year, things become a bit complicated in off-season (October – March). In off-season, your expectations and your plans need to be slightly more flexible as is also detailed in our other post – What to expect of Sikkim in off-season – which is based on our trip to Sikkim in February 2015

Detailed Itinerary

For this suggested Itinerary, Gangtok will act as your starting base station. If it’s a group tour and your friends are coming from different cities, you’ll all assemble at Gangtok.

Day 1 – Arrival at Gangtok

If you’re arriving by flight, you’ll need 4-5 hours to reach from the Bagdogra Airport to Gangtok. Sikkim Tourism Help-desk at the airport can arrange a 6-seater like an Innova or Scorpio for INR 3000. If you prefer to take shared-taxis, you’ll be charged INR 250 / person and the vehicle will vary depending upon availability.

The 4-5 hour journey is likely to be a treat, with the first views of the mountains, Teesta river, and small towns on the way. Mid-way, you may stop at Rangpo which is famous for its Momos.

Bonus Tip: To make the most of your road journeys in Sikkim, travel during the day. While heading to Gangtok, consider sitting on the left side of your vehicle to enjoy the views.

Arrive at Gangtok and check-in to your hotel. The day is free for you to walk the streets, explore the city, and soak in the holiday mood. You may consider spending time at MG Marg and Lal Bazaar. Don’t indulge in a shopping spree as yet since it will be way too much to carry to your next few destinations. It’s best to just window-shop for the moment and buy later when you’re about to finally leave Gangtok.

In Gangtok, we stayed in Hotel Sai Kripa.

Hotel Sai Kripa – Great Host, Budget Hotel, Good Rooms, Water Heaters Available, Not-so-good food preparation. Located about 1.5 km from MG Road and Lal Bazaar, the tourist hotspots.

Day 2 – Towards Lachen

Have breakfast and leave for Lachen (from Gangtok – 109km / 3 hours 30mins), latest by 10 AM. Enjoy the scenic beauty on your way to Lachen. After reaching Lachen, check-in to your hotel. Explore the small town, and soak in the culture of these hills.

All taxis to Lachen and Lachung ply from this taxi stand in Gangtok

Important: For trips to places in North Sikkim , you’ll need to hire a local taxi on a packaged tour. There are options for shared taxis as well. Whatever your choice, you’ll need to make arrangements a day in advance and submit documents for necessary permits to avoid unnecessary delays.

While this place was in our original itinerary, we couldn’t cover this place and northwards due to poor weather conditions in the area. But that was in February, which is an off-season and doesn’t guarantee access to all the popular destinations. Alternatives for off-season vacation covered further in a separate post here.

Day 3 – Head Northwards towards Gurudongmar Lake and close the day at Lachung.

In the morning, after an early breakfast, drive to Thangu (13,500 ft, 31Kms from Lachen). Pass through Chopta Valley (13,200 ft). It is rich in alpine vegetation. After this, drive towards Gurudongmar Lake (17,000ft). Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest situated lakes in North Sikkim. Only Indian Nationals are allowed here. After visiting Gurudongmar Lake, head to Lachung for the night.

Bonus Tip : If you reach Lachung by evening, and are in mood for a lively evening and supper, make sure you visit Pema Shop. More details here.

In Lachung, we stayed at Tashi Yenkhel. Great Hosts, Good Food and a great view of the mountains.
Contact Details :  Ranjeet – +91-9475425813

Day 4 – Excursion to Yumthang Valley and return to Gangtok

Lachung is one of the most demanded tourist destination in Sikkim. In summers it has blooming rhododendrons covering the whole place. In the winter months there is snow all around the place and the snow clad mountains add to the beauty of the place.

Snow Covered Lachung – A lucky sight in off-season

After an early breakfast, head towards Yumthang valley, which is nearly 26 kilometers, an hour’s drive, from Lachung. It is situated at an elevation of 11800 feets. On the way from Yumthang valley, one may visit the famous hot spring which is known for its curative properties. Other noteworthy places include Katao and Yumesamdong (also known as Zero Point). Zero Point, is further northwards of Yumthang and requires an additional permit to be obtained from Gangtok.

On your way from Lachung to Gangtok, you can also stop at the Seven Sisters Fall for a while, as it falls about midway to Gangtok.

Seven Sisters Waterfall

Day 5 – Excursion to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir

After breakfast, drive up for a memorable excursion tour to Himalayas in the eastern part of Sikkim. Thanks to the news of road construction by China on the other side of the eastern border, Indian government has also paved wide roads on this route.

The wide roads paved by Indian government in East Sikkim

Bonus Tip: With an additional permit from Gangtok Tourism, you can also visit the Nathula Pass, just a few kilometers ahead of Tsomgo Lake.

Tsomgo Lake (12,400 ft./ 39 km from Gangtok) is one of the highest altitude Himalayan Lake. This beautiful, oval shape lake is almost 1 km long with an average depth of 50 ft. After this, drive up for Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial (13,000 ft / 15 km / 30 Mins) also known as Baba Mandir.

The only part of Tsomgo Lake that we found without an ice cover (February 2015)

Return to Gangtok by the evening. You may visit M.G Marg and Lal Bazaar – the popular Shopping area in Gangtok. This time you may shop to your heart’s content or till you can carry no more.

Day 6 – Cover Namchi and then head towards Ravangla

After an early breakfast, proceed towards Namchi. On your way to Namchi you will cross Temi Tea Garden which is Sikkim’s sole Tea estate. The tea is marked by its exotic odour and flavour. You may stop at one of the restaurants on the way, buy tea varieties, take a walk in the tea estate, as well as get photos clicked in local attire.

Temi Tea Estate, Sikkim

Next, head towards Char Dham in Namchi. The Char Dham is a tourist destination and has scaled replicas of the four most revered Dhams of the Hindus – i.e. Jagannath, Dwarika, Rameswaram, Badrinath – in the same fantastic complex. As you proceed towards Ravangla, you may also visit Tendong Hill which has a huge Buddhist Statue. In Ravangla, visit the Buddha Park in evening. Later check-in to your hotel.

Siddheshwar Dham, Namchi, Sikkim – The Fantastic complex has scaled replicas of the four Hindu Dhams

Day 7 – Pelling and beyond

Have an early breakfast, and head towards Pelling. Instead of checking-in at the hotel, cross Pelling, and visit the important sight-seeings in the area. You should give priority to Kanchenjunga Falls and Khecheopalri Lake. This lake is one of the sacred Buddhist lakes and it is believed that whatever is wished in front of the lake comes true. You may also stop at Rimbi Waterfalls and Rimbi Power Project on the way.

Khecheopalri Lake, Pelling, Sikkim

On your way back to Pelling, you may consider stopping and spending some time at the Darap Village and Sewaro Rock Garden. Back in Pelling, you can visit the New Helipad, and enjoy the view of the valleys. This point also gives a great view of the Kanchenjunga Mountain. Alternatively, you can cover this point early in the morning next day.

An amazing view of the Kanchenjunga from New Helipad in Pelling

In Pelling, we stayed at Hotel Sikkim Aurora. Great hosts, Good Ambience, Good Food and just a 100 metres from the new Helipad. Contact: +91-97322-58987 & +91-9609671839

Day 8 – Rabdentse and back to Siliguri / Bagdogra

The New Helipad at Pelling offers a great view of the Kanchenjunga at sunrise. A delight for the photographers in the house. Head back to hotel and leave after breakfast.

Pemayangtse Monastery, Pelling, Sikkim

Visit Pemayangtse Monastery. After spending some time there, head to Rabdentse Palace Ruins. Rabdentse was the ancient capital of Sikkim. The palace ruins also give an amazing view of the valley.

Rabdentse Palace Ruins, Pelling, Sikkim

Bonus Tip: Instead of going to the Rabdentse Palace Ruins by your vehicle, walk your way from the monastery to the palace via a small village. The light trek / walk is downhill and you’ll reach the Palace ruins in less than 30 mins (about 1.5-2 km). If you go to the Palace by your vehicle, you’ll have to walk 1 km uphill to reach the palace ruins and it takes almost the same time.

View from the Palace Ruins of Chorten Fort

After covering these points, head towards Siliguri / Bagdogra and check-in to your hotel for the night.

Day 9 – Back to Hometown

Time to head home with great memories. Don’t forget to share photos and your experience 🙂

Total Tour Cost

Since we visited Sikkim in off-season, we couldn’t visit each of the places in this itinerary. But, the tour costing is Sikkim pans out based on the total number of days spent. Our trip was 8-days long and for the 6 of us our total trip cost, excluding flight tickets, was approx INR 75000 i.e. approx INR 12500 per person (February 2015)

What apart from the Itinerary?

While the itinerary covers most of it, there’s a lot more that you won’t get to know by reading on forums, travel experiences or established travel websites like TripAdvisor. Based on our trip experience, we wished we knew some of these things before hand. For your benefit, we have compiled them in form of a simple list. This covers tackling the unpredictable weather conditions, what to pack and what not, setting realistic expectations and some more bonus tips. Read our tiny treasure here and do share if you wish to add more to this list.

What next?

Have you been to Sikkim as well? Share some pointers which we may have missed out. We’ll love to feature them as well

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Published by

Prakhar

A complete geek traveller, he makes the most of his gadgets even while on the move. Loves Driving, Photography, Blogging. Has lived in 10+ Indian cities and plans to continue the trend. Happy to respond to travel queries over whatsapp @ +91.887.997.2041 (Twitter - @genobz)

121 thoughts on “Complete Itinerary for a Week-Long Vacation in Sikkim”

  1. U know Prakhar, visiting Sikkim is on my mind since ages! You post made me feel that excitement once again. Very well written, all details covered and routes spoken about. I was only expecting more pictures 🙂 Keep writing! Good one this was!

      1. Hi Prakhar we are going to Sikkim nxt week fm 14th may to 23rd ne idea on the weather….. we r following almost the same itinerary as ur aside fm dropping lachen and adding kalimpong at the end….loved ur blog it’s increased our anticipation for this trip….😊

    1. Hi Prakhar

      A very well written blog and I have been referring it for planning my entire Sikkim-Gangtok trip. Will 1st week of April be a good time to visit Sikkim? Also, I was wondering if the following itinerary looks good:

      Day 1: Read Bagdogra, travel to Gangtok via shared Taxi
      Day 2: Visit Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir
      Day 3: Travel to Lachen
      Day 4: head towards Gurudongmar Lake, post lunch head towards Lachung
      Day 5: Visit Yumthang valley and then head back to Gangtok
      Day 6: Visit Pelling and stay over at Pelling
      Day 7: Head back to Bagdogra airport

      We are travelling all places by a Private cab except Bagdogra to Gangtok. Would you have any recommendations on places to visit at Lachen and good lunching options (non-veg) at all locations?

  2. Hi. Nice informative and very genuine article. We are visiting Sikkim in mid November 3 Adults and a kid who is 6. One of the adult is from spain. So permits and all will need to be well planned. Any tips more than this article then pls let me know.

    And I want to cover all parts of Sikkim in 10 days max. If possible. What are the places I should go to? Is kanchanchunga national park functional?

    My budget is max 15000 per adult and 7000 for kid. Also I would shop for essential warm clothing in Sikkim. Would hire snow attire n footwear wherever required on high altitudes. Regarding carrying oxygen portable cylinder for kid on high altitude, do you have any idea or suggestions?

    Guess all queries covered. Any info or contacts of cars n drivers or guides would be helpful. Thanks.

    1. Hi Smriti! Thanks for the appreciation! It works wonders at motivating us to continue doing what we are doing!

      For the added tips, I’m hoping you have already read our article ‘9 things to know before you leave for a vacation in SIkkim‘. Apart from this, I doubt any from our end. But since you’re travelling with a foreigner, I will suggest you check with the Sikkim Tourism dept in advance about any additional clearances you will require.

      November is a good time to visit the place and you should find a majority of places open. But since it’s winter time you should be prepared for inaccessibility to some parts of north sikkim. Otherwise 10 days is a good amount of time to spend there.

      Thanks for mentioning Kanchenjunga National Park. We didn’t have it on our radar when we took the trip but that definitely is in our bucket list now. You can check the wikipedia page where they have suggested April-May to be a suitable time. I guess you’ll have to skip it in this trip.

      As for costing, it depends on the number of days you spend outside Gangtok. Basically you’ll have to hire local tour operators from Gangtok, and the average cost is INR 3000/day for a private vehicle. So if you head on a trip to north sikkim which will take 3 days, the costing for food and lodging will be 9000 divided by 4 people in your case.

      We were foolish enough to hire a tour operator based out of Siliguri who was coordinating the trip for us. Mostly, we were the ones running around to get things in place since he was available only remotely. Our suggestion, contact your hotel manager for deals. He will have a good tie-up already and guide you accordingly. Prices are fairly standard so you needn’t hassle with much negotiation. We have shared some contact details of hotels already for reference.

      Do let us know how the trip goes and do share your experience 🙂

  3. Hi Prakhar,

    Awesome job with blog!! keep doing great stuff like this 🙂

    We (5 ladies) are planning a trip to Sikkim from 3rd October to 10th October.

    We would love to cover all the lovely places out there. However, we have a few concerns.

    1. we are on a budget trip, hence please suggest good hotels to stay there.

    2. Main concern is about the cabs, how do we go about it? do we have to book it in advance or can we do it from there?

    3. Also, the tour operators or guides, do we have to take them along additional to a cab?

    4. For permits, what do we do?

    hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Hey Aishwarya
      An all girls trip to Sikkim!! This is going to be a good one !! Please do share your your experiences once you are back. 😀
      As or your queries
      1) The hotels that we have mentioned here were mostly budget hotels, You could call them directly and book rooms or you could book something in Gangtok and from there on book places as and when you go

      2) Once you land on the bagdogra airport( I am assuming that is how you are getting to sikkim) You will get a taxi easily there for gangtok. You could either take a prepaid from inside the airport or get one from right outside, either ways, it will not be an issue.

      In Gangtok, there is a taxi stand from where you can get taxi’s for all the places that we have mentioned in our blogs. We suggest you book a guy the day you reach and keep switching taxi’s / Driver after every location since most of the places are atleast 5-6 hours from Gangtok and the drive is pretty taxing so one really shouldn’t take the chance of travelling with a tired driver.

      3) You will not need to take any guide/operator along with you. If need be(though there really wouldn’t be any) you could easily hire a guide at the place of interest. So there is more nature to observe here than history to learn and the people here are very helpful and the locals will tell you all you need to know.

      4) All the permits are made in the morning of the day when you want to travel. Either pre book your cabs for the next day and seek help of the driver for the permits or make sure you head to the taxi stand by 7-8ish and get the permits done by 9. The hotel staff will also be able to guide you in this regard.
      This is not a tough thing to do , but just remember to carry your identity proofs and pass port size pictures along.

      Feel free to post more queries if any.

      Happy Travelling 🙂

  4. Hello,

    Nice post and a good website! Cheers

    I had a query…am going to Sikkim this coming week on 9th Oct (till 19th), I would like to plan 11th to 14th in North Sikkim, rest of the days are figured out with a friend.

    But I would like your advice on what/how can I spend 11 to 14 in North Sikkim. More importantly, I am there with just another friend, so we are 2 of us..what is best option, take a tour with one of the companies or just book Taxi..and manage stay on our own.

    Any thoughts would be helpful. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

    1. Hi Shishir

      We havn’t visited North Sikkim in October so won’t be fair to through names of places which you should visit.

      As for travelling, just the two of you, avoid the bigger travel agents and holiday organisers. Unless you have a special pass, you’ll have to get a packaged tour to visit spots in North Sikkim anyway. Get these from small travel operators / Hotel Managers in Gangtok.

      If you want to save money, you can get shared taxis for these tours. Else hire a private cab.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  5. Hi Prakhar,
    Thanks a lot for all your efforts. This page has very useful information. i am also traveling in November end for 8 days along with my wife and had drawn the same exact itinerary for my trip. Trip cost is coming on higher end as we are going to opt for exclusive vehicles.
    Please inbox me some tour operator’s number for north Sikkim tour. Please let me know if any couple is looking to club with someone on Sikkim trip in November.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Varun. Instead of getting in touch with a big tour operator, we suggest discussing this with your hotel manager to get a better deal. Other option is to talk to the many small travel operators in Gangtok.

  6. Hi!

    We as a family are travelling to Sikkim in the 3 rd week of April,2016.We are there for 7 days.We would like the trip to be an easy one,instead of hectic.Is it possible to cover both North & East sikkim?We also want to know about the tour operators who can organize these trips?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Sanjiv. Great to hear that. April is a good time to visit since most of the places are accessible. It’s best to engage tour operators once you have reached there. They run packages for packages for North and east separately. Everything from pick up to drop back is covered. 7 days is good enough for you to explore north and east, while keeping it easy one. Keep the first half for North, then a day or two at Gangtok, followed by east.

      1. Hi, please can you suggest any good travel operators as we plan to visit sikkim this april 2016. many thanks

      2. Hi Mohan.

        We came in contact with two travel operators, both sub-standard. But it’s fairly easy to get hold of travel operators even once you have reached there. Just contact the reception of your hotel and they will arrange an agent who will be able to help you out. This also helps you secure a better rate.

        Happy Travelling to Sikkim! 🙂

  7. Hi Prakhar,

    After reading your very informative article on Sikkim I’m pretty much excited to embark the same journey….Can you please give me a detailed itinerary for 7 nights/8 days for sikkim.
    Im planning to travel in the last week of december with my husband and my 3 year old daughter.
    My interests would be lakes,mountains,monasteries shopping etc and whatever you think my 3 year old daughter can handle.
    Also will i be able to include pelling in this trip? I definately want to do Tsomgo lake.

    MANY THANKS
    Bijal !!

    1. Hi Bijal

      Here’s a summary on the kid friendly bit – http://travellersappetite.in/2015/sikkim-must-knows/#comment-153

      For the itinerary, just refer to the suggested plan in this post and cover the following – Gangtok, Namchi, Ravangla, Pelling, Rabdentse.

      You can try your luck with Tsongmo Lake, Nathula pass and Lachen, Lachung but I doubt those will be open due to snowfall et al. You’ll get to know the exact status only when you request for a permit on the day / or a day before the journey

      Hope that helps

  8. Hi Prakhar,

    I am planning to visit Sikkim in March end. Went through your iternanry. That is so usefull. It really helped me planning the trip well.

    Wanted to know about the different modes of transport in between different points.

  9. Prakhar, Can you provide some suggestions to make the itinerary kid friendly i.e
    1. We do not want to touch each and every tourist spot in Sikkim. Basically we want to be minimize too much travelling on road.
    2. Can you suggest some homestays ? Our son must not miss out on his proper food.

    We are a family of three – I , wife and 3 year old child.
    We have 7 days trip – 19th march to 26th march.

  10. hi prakhar,

    You are really doing yeoman service by penning down the finer nuances..your post on sikkim is easily the most informative I have seen on the internet.

    I am visiting in feb 2016 with my folks who are 65 years old .Expectedly they are not very comfortable with long journeys and I intend to cover few sights and not all of them

    We reach on thursday and plan to cover east sikkim on friday. Do you think nathu la pass would be open around mid feb? can we walk around tsogmo lake?

    Saturday: cover sights in and around gangtok.

    Sunday and monday, do you suggest covering few sights in west sikkim or north sikkim?
    secondly do hotels outside gangtok provide heaters at night if I am willing to shell out extra.

    Lastly we plan have to reach bagdogra by 11 am on tuesday either from gangtok (if we cover north) or a town in west sikkim to catch the return flight.

    Appreciate your inputs and thanks in advance

    Vishal

    1. Thanks Vishal. Feels good when people find value in our contribution.

      Considering the limitations, i suggest you explore only south and east Sikkim. North will be too cold and risky. West, a not so comfortable ride.

      Whether or not you will get to visit Nathula Pass, is something you will get to know that same day. We travelled in mid feb and we couldn’t. Tsongo Lake is accessible but is also quite cold. It’s likely to be snow clad. Special attention to footwear since you are traveling with seniors.

      South is likely to have pleasant climate with frequent options to take a short tea break. So you can pace the journey making it comfortable for them.

      Few hotels will be able to provide heaters. In North Sikkim, We were told that due to shortage of electricity, those were banned.

      Suggest you reach bagdogra / siliguri a night before from gangtok/pelling/namchi. That’s coz roads and cabs in the region are quite unpredictable. Plus it is going to take you at least 4-5 hrs from each of these places. Reaching a night before will help keep your folks more relaxed and relish the memories of vacation once they are back.

      Do let me know if there’s anything else we can help with. Happy Sikkim!

  11. Hi,I hope your visit to Sikkim was good. I am a Doctoral Research Scholar working on tourists’ experience in Sikkim. I need to gather some information based on your experience. Please email me in my id.

  12. We are planning a 9 day trip to sikkim darjeeling In june . We want to include the best places in sikkim without making it extremely hectic since a few of us have motion sickness. Can u suggest an itinerary which covers everything. ..including nathula pass.

  13. Hey, thanks for this great blog post. Me and my friend have referenced it thoroughly to plan our trip. We’re going this March from 19-26th!
    I wanted your suggestion on one thing – We’re leaving for Lachung early morning on 25th. Our flight back to Delhi is on 26th March at 1545 hrs. Should we stay in Lachung/Lachen on 25th night & go to bagdogra directly from there in the morning or should we return to Gangtok on 25th itself and next morning head to bagdogra?

    Thanks!

  14. Hey,
    Thanks for this great blogpost, it had helped us plan our upcoming trip. We’re traveling in Sikkim from 22-26th March. I wanted your suggestion for one thing – 25th early morning we leave for Lachung and our flight back to Delhi is at 3.45 pm from Bagdogra. Do you suggest we travel back to Gangtok on 25th night itself and leave from Bagdogra in the morning or spend the night at Lanchung and go to Bagdogra directly from there.
    Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you.

  15. Hey Prakhar,

    I’m planning on doing a 7 day trip to Sikkim in the last week of March- and I’ve got to say I found your tips super helpful! I wanted to check where you guys stayed, or any other hotel you’d recommend in Lachen since most places seem to be sold out. Much thanks in advance for your help 🙂

    1. Hi Uma

      Did you try Homestays? You may check TripAdvisor.in for options which are usually not listed on other sites. You may also check out AirBNB.

      Stay hungry for travel! 🙂

  16. Hi Prakhar,
    No doubt this is very very helpful for the person like me, who always want to travel but very poor in itinerary, but this time I want to explore Sikkim. I want to customize my trip as below please suggest how many days it will take to cover these places without much hectic and how much it will cost for two people.
    Namchi> pelling> Yuksom> Lachung/Lachen.
    We are planning to travel at the end of April and a week time.
    Please also advise if we should approach for travel agencies for advance booking in hotels or we can easily get the local help once we reach there. Also tell me how many days we should stay at each places.

    1. Hi Supriya

      A trip to different places in Sikkim requires a LOT of travelling in the hired car. Most places are 4-5 hrs away from your base station. Unless you are ok with that kind of travelling, do not plan trips to far off places from Gangtok. Also, the bulk of costs come from the hired cabs. If you are taking a shared jeep, it may cost 300/person per day. If you hire a private jeep/scorpio/innova, it’ll cost you about 3000/day. Since it’s the best season to visit Sikkim, expect a lot of rush and hence higher prices as compared to the other times of the year.

      Will advise a more relaxing 7-8 day trip with hotels pre-booked via MakeMyTrip etc. Will advise you to arrange for travel operators once you have reached there. This is a good time to checkout North Sikkim and East Sikkim, hence it’s best that you spend a majority of your vacation there. Keep 2 days for Pelling, Namchi etc combined.

      Happy Travelling to Sikkim! 🙂

  17. Hello, Prakhar. This is a wonderful article. Well written :D. I am planning to go Sikkim next month and this ‘permit’ issue is troubling me a little bit. I just want to know
    1) whether I should get this permit in advance or to get it when I reach Gangtok?
    2) is there any fee for these permits?
    3) should I get all the permits (for nathula pass, gurudongmar lake etc) all at once?
    4) how difficult is to get these permits?

      1. Hi Garima

        Glad that you liked our post. 🙂

        Hope you have a great trip and do subscribe for news on our upcoming trips and new destinations that we cover.

        Happy travelling 🙂

      2. Well Garima, if you like sharing your travel experiences with people, you should start writing and sharing soon. I’m sure Deep and others will acknowledge your efforts there as well 😛

  18. Dear Prakhar

    Thanks a lot for sharing your travel experience , i have planned trip to Darjeeling ( 2days) & sikkim ( 3 – 4 days) from July 8th – 14th , i am travelling with family & want to explore areas which have good roadways as my Mom is aged & having back problem don’t want to take much chance.

    Kindly suggest if 2-3 places where we can visit safely , as its rainy season i am bit worried about weather also.

    regards

    Rishi

    1. Hi Rishi

      I hope you trip was good. Can you tell me what kind of weather I should expect in juky begining…

      Regards
      Harish

      1. Hi Harish

        I havnt been there in July but you may expect it to be rainy and you can expect your itinerary to have some plan B

  19. Hi Prakhar, hope you are doing well. My wife & myself planning a road trip from Delhi to Sikkim in September’16(leaving Delhi on 17th morning & back on 25th Sep). Could you please suggest me a suitable route(from Siliguri-Sikkim-Siliguri) to cover within this period. I have kept four days for to&fro from Delhi to Siliguri. Rest you may suggest. I guess I can take my own car at most of the places.

    Look forward to your reply soon.
    Best Regards,

    Avijit Lahiri

  20. Hi Prakhar,

    Thank you for the most awesome write-up there is, for a trip to Sikkim.

    I just had a query regarding Lachen day 2.
    After reaching Lachen , did you have anything specific in your itinerary to cover ?
    I understand that you couldn’t do it due to weather.
    Places like chopta , thangu , yumthang , lake are covered post day 3.
    Does day 2 include only reaching Lachen hotel and relaxing ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Priyanka Agrawal

    1. Hi Priyanka!
      Thanks!
      Both Lachen and Lachung are like base camps before you head northward. Hence in a day you can just reach there and relax. If you thought of proceeding further, the next destination may be a little too far to reach on the same day

      Regards
      Prakhar

  21. Hi Prakhar,

    Very nicely written with every details and tips. I want to know, should we go for a tour operator or can we manage bookings at our own?.

    1. Hi Vishal! Thanks!

      I will suggest you to reach Gangtok and hire local travel operators via your hotel manager. Avoid hiring a tour operator in advance or based out of any other place other than Gangtok

  22. Hi Prakhar

    First and foremost, thanks for penning down such detailed posts on Sikkim, they have been quite helpful in planning my solo trip.

    I just wanted some clarity on a couple of things:

    1) Is it possible to obtain permits for Nathu La Pass/Tsomgo Lake/North Sikkim Tour on a Sunday? OR only weekdays work?

    2) I am on a shoestring budget, and would like to opt for shared taxi’s and the cheapest homestays, however I had a couple of confusions related to it:

    a) Do shared taxi’s mean sharing with locals and other tourists OR only other tourists?
    b) If I go for shared taxi’s do I still need to do a package tour (ex: Gangtok – Lachen – Gurudongmar – Lachung – Yumthang – Gangtok) Or just till the next point? And if it’s package tour does that mean I will not have a say in choosing accommodation and will be bound with what the operator picks?
    c) If I go for shared taxi option, and if I have the option of not going for packaged tour (I’m assuming packaged tour will be expensive and will bound me). Do shared taxi’s ply till Gurudongmar/Yumthang/Yume Samdong etc Or will I be stuck?

    Thanks a ton in advance :).

    1. Hi Swati

      Glad that you liked the post. 🙂
      1) Permit offices are govt. run and are operational only on weekdays. The documents need to be submitted a day in advance to get the permits the next day
      2) Shared taxi’s are easily available in the Gangtok taxi stand, but anywhere else you might encounter a little bit of struggle. Co passengers can be either tourists or locals depending on your luck.
      If you take a shared taxi you would not need a package tour but you might end up wasting a lot of time waiting or arranging for the next transport. The best thing to so would be to catch hold of some tourists at Bagdogra airport and plan your travel according to them and dutch in for the taxi together.

      If you’d like us to help you with your bookings or need any other assistance please let us know.

      Happy Travelling 🙂

  23. Hi ,

    I wanted to know if the North Sikkim has to be kind of packaged tour king of thing.
    i have booked hotels already in Lachen and Lachung.
    However I read recently that all tours to North Sikkim from Gangtok include full tour with accommodation and everything.
    is that true , should i cancel Lachen and Lachung bookings ?

    Thanks
    Priyanka

    1. Hi Priyanka

      Most local operators run a package tour in North east Including hotel / home stays and transport. However, if you have booked your hotels already I am sure you will be able to find operators who will provide only the Vehicle.
      In case you’d like , we could also go ahead and make the vehicle booking for you. Let us know your exact dates and Itinerary and we will be happy to provide any assistance you need in the booking.

      Happy Travelling 🙂

  24. Hi Prakhar,

    I and my children(14&10) from Singapore planning to visit sikkim this June holiday.

    Any advise for us?

    We plan ti engage a private jeep and drive to go with us for 9 days. Roughly how much it cost and any recommendations?

    Regards
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah

      June is a wonderful time to be in Sikkim. While most of your trip should move as per plan, you should always be prepared for surprises. Since you are travelling with kids will advise you to always have some dry food and water along with you.

      Cost is likely to be Rs. 3500/day for private cab. Hotels start from Rs. 1000/day and will cost as per the luxury you require from your stay.

      Have a wonderful trip!

  25. Dear Prakhar
    I am planning a 6 days sikkim trip with my wife. I want to complete the tour with Bike ride. Will it be okay a 2 day tour of north sikkim on Bike with wife. Please provide your suggestion on the basis of women safety an d road condition

    1. Hi Vikas
      That sounds like a good adventurous plan! Are you planning to hire a bike from Gangtok? I’m unaware of the rental options. But as for your queries:
      – found it quite safe for travel with women. But will recommend you to only travel during the day.
      – road conditions are good. But you’ll need help of locals to navigate whenever handling land Slides.
      – avoid going in winters (till feb end) as snow fall may ruin your plans of a bike trip

      1. Thank you so much for your valuable reply. I am planning my visit in may. Again so much thanks. Your reply has enhanced my confidence.

  26. Hi Prakhar,
    Greetings!!
    A very good , detailed article well written.

    I am planning to travel in mid april, and will be having my parents and a 4 yr kid. Just wanted to know if the above plan for 8 days , will it be fine and not very tiring for all of us or may be a little tiring for parents & kid. Just if you could share your views on same.

    Also what I understand is that we reach Gangtok, and then at Gangtok contact any local tour operators for setting up this 8 day tour. Am I correct in this understanding.
    What will be approx cost from local operators for 1 person to cover above mentioned tour in your post . Just some approx calculation if you can let me know.

    Thanks,
    Darryl

    1. Hi Daryl
      Your understanding is absolutely correct on linking up with Tour Operators. Alternatively, you can connect with your hotel manager before you reach.

      This itinerary will be a bit hectic for your kid and parents. Suggest you to do only half of it basis what you prefer more. North has a beautiful Valley with flowers and snow. East has a steep climb, a beautiful lake and possibility of snow. West and South will have no snow but others places as captured in above article.

      Cost of stay is approx 1500/person. Cab is 1000/person if you’re taking a private 6-seater (Innova). Food is around 500/person. All these are per day costs in rupees.

      1. Thanks Prakhar,
        Yes exactly was thinking the same on the hectic part of it for kid & parents,
        Definitely will plan to do only half , —- North Sikkim. Thanks for sharing your views , it really helps a lot.
        Also the approx calculations provided will help to plan better.

        Thanks,
        Darryl

  27. Hey Prakhar ,
    well covered travelouge, would like to add 2 things
    1. Tsomgo lake isnt oval in shape , if u take a birds eye view it looks like the map of India.
    2. Rumtek monastry …Guess you missed it!

  28. hello
    I really appreciate you for this wonderful blog
    I am planning a trip to Sikkim with parents during 3rd week of march
    my queries are
    1. shall we be able to get to all the points in north Sikkim during this time, including zero point
    2. my father is 63 year old, heart patient but maintaining good health now. will he be able to make it to gurudongmar lake safely without any trouble
    thanks

    1. Thanks Arun
      1. In most likely hood, yes. But exact confirmation will be available on the day of visit.
      2. Should be safe if he doesn’t have breathing trouble related to high altitude. Not sure if doctors or clinics are available on the route. You’ll have to check for the same using your travel Agent.

  29. Hi ,
    The Post was very informative. Loved each bit of it while Reading. While the Bonus tip were Cherry on the cake 😀
    I need to pendown the tentative plan for my parents for a 10-11 Days trip in May/June .
    I completed most of the travel plan by taking reference from here 🙂
    Still i am need information on few things
    1. Do i need to book all the hotels and Cab in advance or we can book/hire them on the spot.
    2. How are food availability. My parents are hardcore veg.
    3. Are the rates of taxis fixed as per union or do they vary from driver to driver

    It would be great if you can provide some taxi driver number for this whole Itinerary.

    Thanks a lot ,
    Vikram

  30. hi prakhar
    i am going sikkim on 7 th march 17 to 15 th march . was too worried till now as going with my wife only , and have no contact over there .
    after reading ur blog i am very happy , thanks thanks a lot.
    will disturb u if want to know more on whatsapp. 🙂
    but any ways it is great help to anybody who want to cover sikkim properly.

  31. Hi Prakhar,

    We are planning a honeymoon to Sikkim in the first week of June. This is our tentative itinerary based on past experience/suggestions of one of my friend.

    Day 1: Reach Bagdogra airport and leave for Gangtok( at around 3 in the afternoon) to reach hotel/resort by evening.

    Day 2: Planning for local sightseeing in Gangtok, including Rumtek monastery

    Day 3: Leave for Lachen, sight seeing on the way and reach by night.

    Day 4: Leave early morning for Gurudongmar lake and then leave for Lachung

    Day 5: Leave for Yumthang Flower valley and leave for Gangtok

    Day 6: Visit Temi tea garden and Buddha park, Ravangla and return at night

    Day 7: Leave for Bagdogra and return to Pune.

    Please let us know if this makes sense for a 6N 6D trip. 🙂

    Also, please let me know if you can add any specific mode of transport you can suggest for sightseeing and moving across cities.

    Thanks,
    Vivek

    1. Hi Vivek

      Your plan is too hectic for Day 4&5. Will suggest you to skip one location. Remem, travel happens between 10am to 7pm only with an avg speed of 20-25kmph.

      Will suggest you to hire a private cab with help of your travel Agent / hotel manager

  32. Hi Prakhar!! Amazing blog – really helpful. I’m planning a five day trip from Apr 10 – Apr 14. I’ll be landing 10th afternoon and will reach Gangtok by evening, so effectively just four days! What do you suggest so that I don’t crowd it out too much, and have a good experience – I could maybe push my truth by one day! Thanks in advance!

  33. Hello Prakhar,

    Really appreciate the time you’ve invested in writing this blog, its is sooo informative and as you rightly said it covers many things that we don’t find on popular sites such as tripadvisor 🙂

    We, 4 adults, are planning a 7D 6N trip to Sikkim in May 2017. We have planned the following itinerary:
    Day 1: fly in to Bagdogra, go to Gangtok. Check in to hotel. We are thinking about either Tashi Tagey or The Shire. Any suggestions on this? Walk around the bazaar area in the evening. Is there any good place to just chill while listening to some good music?
    Day 2: Should we do the Tsmogo Lake, Baba mandir, Nathula trip this day or are there many spots in Gangtok itself to be explored?
    Day 3: Leave for Ravangla. On the way may be we can do Namchi and or Damthang. Any suggestions on good hotels or homestays in Ravangla? We plan to undertake the Ravangla-Maenam trek early next morning.
    Day 4: Ravangla-Maenam trek. Might also try going to Bhaleydhunga. Any thoughts on this?
    Day 5: Leave for Pelling. And as suggested by you do khechopalri lake and Kanchenjunga Falls before reaching Darap where we are most probably going to stay.
    Day 6: Visit Rabdentse Ruins and the Singshore bridge. Any other suggestions on sight-seeing in Pelling.
    Day 7: Leave for Bagdogra.

    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Warm Regards,
    Darshan.

  34. Hello Prakhar,

    Your travel piece on Sikkim is totally fab and informative. Loved going through the tit by bit information that you have provided. I came by your blog while screening the web for details as I am planning an extended trip to Sikkim.

    I (aged 60) will be travelling with my wife (aged 53) and 2 children(aged 17 and 27) by road from Bhubaneswar, Odisha to Gangtok via Kolkata and Siligudi in our Honda City sedan. We plan to visit the following places – Darjeeling, Pelling, Gangtok, Tsomgo lake, Nathula pass, Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Lachung, Yumthang valley, Zero point.

    If you can please help with few of the queries below, then I can plan accordingly.

    1. Can I travel to Lachen, Gurudongmar lake, Lachung and zero point with my Honda City ? Are the roads good enough to drive the car there? If so, then what are the facilities to stay at lachen and lachung?

    2. Is travel permit required for any of the above places? If so where can we get the pass for us and for the vehicle?

    3. What is the road condition for all other places we plan to visit? Will it be possible to drive the sedan in all those roads?

    4. What would be the best time to travel? We are expecting snow fall, snow clad regions, indulging in adventure sports and not much tourist rush. So please advise a good time to visit.

    Regards,
    Bijay

  35. Hi Prakhar,

    me and my friends are planing to visit sikkim this may.I wanted to know wthr same can be done in two wheeler if yes any idea abt bike renters.

    Regards,
    Sherin S

  36. hiiii prakhar
    your itinerary for sikkim is fabulous and helpful…me and my wife(newly wedded) are planning to visit sikkim in may first week for 5 nights/6 days..The places which r in my plan r Gangtok, lachen, lachung, yumthang valley, tsmongo lake, Baba Mandir, nathula pass, pelling, namchi etc..
    May u please provide me any local travel agency contact number for the bookings???

  37. Hi prakhar,
    I have gone through your blog, it is really awesome..
    Can you please help me with an itinerary for 6 days & 5 nights.
    I will reach NJP on 30th May and I have board my train back on 6th early morning from NJP
    I am planning come with my family of 4 (2 kids)
    Thanks in advance

    Regards
    Ram

  38. Thanks for the detailed itinerary.can you please tell how to book cab/taxi for sightseeing.can we book that in advance or we have to book it from Gangtok??

  39. Hi Parkhar,

    i am visiting Gangtok, Kalimpong & Darjeeling in Next week. Though i have noted down the tips given by you,I hope this trip would be memorable.

    Also the package has been book from Make My trip. so really dont know how it would be? do you have any idea about MMT pacakges?

  40. Hi Prakhar,

    Great and well structured blog. I have a few questions.

    I am planning a 30 day budget trip (Rs 2500 per day per person/Rs 75000 for the whole trip) across India starting October 1 and wish to start with Sikkim. I’d be accompanied by a friend who is a US citizen.I have never explored the north east and wish to spend around 7-8 days in Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya. My first question is if Sikkim can be covered in this budget. Also, as my friend is a foreign national, we can’t get to a few places like Gurudongmar lake, Nathalu pass etc. right? Do you have some suggestions around that? And any other tips would also be useful considering my constraints.

    Thanks
    Sahil

  41. Hi prakhar,

    Beautiful description n very well curated article. Thanks.
    We are visiting sikkim in Sept. 7 nights n 6 days.
    We have an infant with us n thought if covering pelling n gangtok, 3 days each. Staying at royal demazong gangtok n baiguney club mahindra.

    Any suggestions from your end would be of great help.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Divya

      Glad that found our blog helpful 🙂
      Since you’re traveling with an infant it’s great that you have kept the itinerary relaxed.
      Do cover the attractions mentioned on the way to pelling and a quick stop at Namchi checking out the tea gardens is a must too.

      You could do the Pelling Darjeling route too if you’re willing to make the trip a little less relaxed, otherwise this sounds great.

      Do carry rain gear since it will be raining cats and dogs in the north east then.

      In case you have any queries do drop a comment.

      Hope you have a great trip.

      Happy traveling 🙂

  42. Hey Prakhar,
    Wonderful and well curated blog.we too are a group of six people and planning to visit sikkim and darjelling this december. i have few doubts in my mind, it would be of much help if you help me in clearing them
    1. you booked a private taxi or shared one and what about the price of it?
    2. please enlighten me about the money you spent on accommodation

    1. Hi Umang

      Glad that you liked our Blog.
      1) We had booked a private taxi, the cost will vary depending on season but should be somewhere around 35-40 k for the whole trip.
      2) We used a local travel agent to book all the hotels and cabs for us, so we wouldn’t know the split for hotels but you can get a decent room for INR 1000/- in most places in sikkim, Gangtok might be a little expensive.

      Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
      Happy Traveling 🙂

  43. Hi Prakhar,
    I am planning to visit Sikkim for honeymoon in Feb 2018 for 5N6D trip starting from 10th feb. Could you please suggest if it is good idea to visit sikkim during this period

    1. Hi Lokesh

      Congratulation on your wedding 🙂
      Sikkim will be cold in Feb, North Sikkim might experience snow fall and traveling to that part of Sikkim might take longer than usual.
      Also, in North sikkim Zero point and other places of sight seeing might not be operational due to snow.

      Having said that, it is a beautiful time to visit if cols does not scare you. Gangtok and peling can easily be done even if you decide to not do north sikkim or unable to do it on ground due to road blocks or anything.

      Hope you have a great trip.
      Happy Traveling 🙂

  44. Hello!

    Your blog is really helpful and very succinct. I am planning my honeymoon in Sikkim in from 4th to 12th May 2018. I wanted to know how would the weather be in May and whether it rains which would mean I might have to change my itinerary.

    I have gotten in touch with a local tour operator and after reading the blog I find his prices exorbitant! Thanks to your blog… I will now try to book everything myself… any chance you could suggest local cab service there.. because finding hotels from Mumbai is easier than finding reliable travel services which is crucial given the difficult terrain in Sikkim.

    Thanks!!

    Dee

    1. Hi Prakhar,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I was really in a doubt in planning my trip to Sikkim, however your post has really helped me in an organized way now. Thanks for that.
      I am planning my trip in April first week with another my family and I have two more questions after reading your post. Would appreciate if you can help.

      1. Is La Chung and Lachen is the same place. If not then can I travel both the places and Yumthang while coming back to Gangtok?

      2. Did you visit Kalimpong as well. Is it worth travelling there?

      Thanks again for your help.

      Kaush

  45. Dear Prakhar,
    First of all my heartfelt appreciation for your patience in replying to most of the comments and for sharing your experience.
    Thank you so much!
    Abundantly useful and I have planned my itenary based on your blog. We are visiting Sikkim this May and I have booked the hotels for most of the places. The place I am staying at Gangtok do not have any local tour operators. If anyone going through this comment can suggest me a tour operator, that would be great. We are a family of four, visiting for 10 days.
    Thank you and stay blessed 🙂

  46. Hi Prabakar,
    Thanks for sharing your experience .A well written blog with travel tips and suggestion.The itenary also has all the places I was looking for.I got a fair idea to plan the itenary. We are planning for a trip in the 2nd week of May for 8 days .We are a family of four. I was excited about North Sikkim .Pls suggest the clothing we need to carry as most places in North Sikkim are at a high altitude.

    Thanks
    Priya

  47. what are the places you should not miss in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Gangtok – love nature, quite, mountains, green etc.

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