9 Things to know before you head to Sikkim for a Vacation

So you have made up your mind to travel to Sikkim, you have done your research well, you have an itinerary in place, and your bookings are done. IfΒ you think you are all set, think again, has your travel agent or your reference website told you everything? Here are 9 things you better beΒ prepared for.

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genobz

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.

117 thoughts on “9 Things to know before you head to Sikkim for a Vacation”

  1. What is Baaku? Would love to see the pics of the same. Good useful tips, thanks for sharing. I am gearing up for the long overdue trip to Sikkim πŸ™‚

    1. Great to hear that Shilpi!

      Baaku is a traditional dress worn by people in Sikkim. Somehow, i didn’t click any photos of the same, while we did buy 5 of them. πŸ˜›
      Also, google search didn’t to justice to that. So will share a pic if i find it πŸ™‚

      Do let us know about your experience in Sikkim!

      1. Hello…
        we are a couple…visiting Gangtok and darjeeling for 5nights and 6 days….
        could u plz suggest..What to visit….In our package it havent include Lachung….
        out of both darjeeling and lachung which one is worth seeing…

      2. Hi Taru

        So we did not visit Darjeling but if you are going there for the tea gardens, you do get a glimpse of the same at Pelling. The route from Darjeeling to Peling is quite scenic.

        If you decide to do away with Darjeling , you could visit Lachung , Lachen and Gangtok. That way you will cover major attraction points of Sikkim.
        Otherwise you could also cover Darjeling , Gangtok and Peling, that will also be a good itinerary.

        Please do write to us if you need any other assistance.

        Hope you have a great trip
        Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

      3. do we expect snowfall in next week …we r visiting darjeeling and Gangtok oon 28th to 2nd nov…

      4. Too Early for a snow fall in Gangtok, but Changu lake will be semi frozen as always
        Even if there snow fall there, you will be able to rent appropriate woolens and shoes easily.

        Hope you have a great trip

        Happy travelling

      5. Hey Prakhar, I am planning my honeymoon trip to sikkim in feb end. Can you give some suggestions about off season trip? What would be weather and how should we plan this trip?

      6. Hi Anoop. Congratulations!
        I have covered most suggestions in this post and another post ‘Complete Itinerary’. Request you to share a more specific doubt which I can help you with.

      7. Thanks for your reply. I want to ask that in February end All tourist destination will be open or not? As it is winter season so there’s possibility that some places could be close during this season.

      8. Chances for destinations staying open are highest for West and south Sikkim. In East Sikkim, tsamgo lake will be open for sure and the rest is subject to weather condition on that day. North Sikkim can be unpredictable hence the likelihood will depend immensely on the weather conditions during that time.

      9. Hi Prabhakar,
        I’m planning to travel to Sikkim in mid april, but I’m not Opting for any tour package i.e. doing the trip on my own. I wanted to ask whether it is necessary to do the hotel bookings in advance or we could get the hotel rooms on the spot as we reach our destinations. Please do let me know. Thanks in advance.

      10. Hi,
        We are a group of 6 people and we will be travelling to gangtok in mid october. I wanted to know exactly what should i pack because of the temperature? And please suggest us what to do there including places and food. We haven’t decided anything. Can rafting be done in this season? We will be there for only 3 days and be back on the 4th day.

    2. I WANT TO KNOW THAT HOW CAN WE GET PERMISSION TO TAKE OUR VECHILE TO PEILING LACHUNG AND LACHEN. RECENTLY I WENT TO GANGTOK BY MY WEST BENGAL REGISTERED VECHILE. I WAS THINKING TO VISIT PEILING LACHUNG AND LACHEN WITH MY OWN VECHILE BUT HOTEL MANAGMENT WHERE I STAYED AT GANGTOK TOLD ME THAT ONLY SIKKIM REGISTERED VECHILE CAN ENTER TO THESE PLACES. SO YOU CAN NOT GO BY YOUR VECHILE AS IT IS WEST BENGAL REGISTERED VECHILE. SO PLEASE GUIDE ME THAT HOW I CAN GET PERMISSION FOR VECHILE WHEN I VISIT NEXT TIME TO SIKKIM.

    1. Nope. Too early for snow. That starts in december. But if you are visiting north sikkim, there are places which are covered with snow round the year

  2. how is the temperature around last two weeks of november? also can you suggest some tour operator for the transport to lachen lachung and in and around site seeing in gangtok??

    1. Haven’t been there at that time so won’t be able to share exact details but that is just the onset of winters there. Peak winter hits in mid january.

      As for travel operators, like i mentioned in my post, best to just reach Gangtok, check in to your hotel and ask the hotel reception for best deal. In most cases they have their own. Else there are ample in the city where you can choose one. I’m not mentioning any specific names coz i failed to find any differentiation

  3. Very useful yet precise itinerary..impressive.

    I am planning to visit sikkim in april 2016. any suggestions regarding weather etc.

    1. The weather is likely to be clear enough for you to reach most of the spots. Ziro Point might still be a challenge though. Who all are you going with?

      1. Hello Prakhar, Thanks for reply.
        I am planning to visit Sikkim with wife and 3 year old child. How kid friendly is sikkim in terms of distances to be travelled and availability of homestays ?

      2. Great Saurabh.

        To answer your first question,
        Avg speed of ur vehicle in sikkim is likely to be 20-25kmph. Avg distance between each of your target towns is likely to be 150-180 km. That makes it a whole lot of travelling in the car. If you want to avoid that, I’ll suggest you pick few spots and spend more time at each of them

        Homestays are available. We found the people to be very friendly and easy to get along. Didn’t stay in a proper homestay so can’t comment on the quality and kitchen availability

        Safety wise, i didn’t find any of the places to be unsafe. But yea, it gets quite cold at nights in most locations so better to stay indoors when traveling with a small kid

        Do share your experience with us! πŸ™‚

      3. Hey Prakhar, greetings. Firstly, your itinerary seems to be the most crisp thing I found about Sikkim amidst a plethora of packages that hardly highlight what to do and how to schedule the trip. I am travelling this April, first week to be precise. Can I expect snow and how would the schedule pan out? Will most spots be open at their b’ful best?

      4. Hi Shirshendu

        Thanks πŸ™‚
        Will suggest you to spend most of your time in North Sikkim during this time to make the most of your trip. Most spots should remain open.

        Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

      5. how is the weather in north sikkim at the last of may and what are the clothes& things we need to carry. is there any snow

  4. Hey Prakhar, thanks a lot for the detailed info. I will be traveling to Sikkim from 29th Feb to 6th March. It is a week long thing with family and I would like to explore North Sikkim also. As it will be March first week, I guess we can get the permits in advance. As it is a self-planned trip and no agents are involved, where can I get the formalities done?

    Plus, I’d like to know about the taxi and hotel rates (on an average). So if you can help, it’d be great for me to plan.

    1. Great to hear that Anand. Read up my other post for Sikkim which details the full itinerary. That also suggests some hotels. The easiest way to do it by yourself is to request the hotel guy to arrange a cab for u. Permits are allotted same day in morning.

  5. Hi. Iam travelling to Sikkim along with my husband and my 3 year old daughter on 11th of Feb and would return back on 30th… we are visiting Gangtok and Baiguney… and also Darjeeling… Read your posts and they are very useful and definitely handy…Can you please suggest the places we need to must visit during our stay as we want it to be a memorable one for sure…

    1. Hi Wills.

      My conversation with Saurabh above may answer some of your questions.

      Apart from that, you have already made a good choice of picking south and western Sikkim in ur itinerary. North is likely to be too cold to travel with your 3yr old daughter at this time. While at Gangtok, you may also consider taking a day out to go eastwards towards Nathula Pass and Tsongmo Lake.

      Do share your experience with us! πŸ™‚

  6. 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.

  7. visiting gangtok from 6th to 12th march. Will it be a good option to go to lachen lachung for scenic beauty ? i heard rhododendrons bloom in late march.

    1. Not sure if you will get the rhododendrons at that time. But lachen lachung are just villages. For real beauty you have to go beyond them

  8. Hi,
    thanks for sharing this information.
    I plan to travel end of April with a 9 month old. I believe i wont be able to make it to zero point and nathula pass as it wont be good for the baby.
    OCuld you suggest places to visit in south and west sikkim.

  9. Hi,

    Thanks for the information quite helpful.
    I am travelling with a 9 month old in April End.
    We wont be able to make it to nathula pass and zeropoint due to the baby.
    an you suggest some places around south,west sikkim.

    1. Hi Megs
      You may explore options of Peling , Namchi etc. There’s a particular note we have specially when travelling with kids. Check the above comments.

  10. Thanks for sharing the information..impressive.

    I am planning to visit sikkim in August 2016. any suggestions regarding weather.

    1. I’m unsure of August being a good time to visit. You might want to check regd the implications of monsoons in the area.

  11. Hey Prabhakar
    Lot if useful information. Thanks
    I plan to travel from June1 to June7, 6night/ 7 days, with my hubby and 4 year old
    Plzz guide what to expect of weather??
    Do we need woolens this time??
    Will skip zero point…
    We plan to stay 2 days each:
    Bagdodara, Gangtok, Spelling, Darjeeling

    Ritu M

    1. Hi Ritu
      It’s a great time to visit Sikkim. Since you plan to skip North and East Sikkim, light woolens will be enough to accommodate any sudden changes.
      Have a happy trip πŸ™‚

      1. Hi Prakhar

        Thanks for the info….
        We plan to visit one monastery in Gangtok…Rumtek or Ranka. Which one do you suggest??

        Is it a good idea to visit orchid flower show this season??

        Ritu M

      2. Hi Ritu

        Rumtek is the largest monastery in Sikkim, has a beautiful geographical setting, but is about 25 km from Gangtok. It is the preferred Monastery to visit for most people.

        Ranka on the other hand is more peaceful since less tourists visit this monastery. This is also a bit closer to Gangtok city. You may choose one of them based on your preferences

        It is a good time to visit the Orchid Flower Festival since the Festival runs from March to May.

        Do let us know how you trip was. πŸ™‚

  12. Hey prakhar,

    First take my full on appreciation on the wonderful blog, and guide written there.πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘

    Would u have anything to add for tourists with one year old kid? Travel tips, permits, exclusions, precautions etc.? I m planning for mid June 16.

    Atul kohli

  13. Hi Prakhar,
    I have to say that your post is the best treasure chest one can find on Sikkim travels here on the internet. Its crisp, to the point and substantial enough.
    I am a 21 year old and I am planning a 9 day solo trip to Sikkim. 19th June being my first day in Sikkim.
    As a solo traveller, are there any special tips/pointers that I should know about?
    Also I am NOT opting for tour packages and other things.
    Thanks in advance, and keep these posts coming.
    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

  14. Hey! So I am visiting Sikkim june end this year… Confused about the sort of clothes to carry … do i need light sweaters or heavy coats … ? where can I get to experience snow in sikkim?

  15. Hi Prakhar!
    My husband and I are ardent travellers. We are thinking of a trip to Sikkim in December (for Christmas). Is it advisable? We plan to take a private hired car with driver for 9 days… Please advise…

    Thanks,
    Preema.

  16. Hi Prakhar,
    your blog is really very helpful & informative.
    I have finalized the programme to visit Dareeling & Sikkim from 1st Sep. to 8th Sep. 2016.
    We will spend 2 nights each at Darjeeling,Kelimpong,Peiling & Gangtok.
    Please suggest suitable cloths & any other information required.
    Thanks

  17. Hi Prakhar,

    My husband and i are planning to go to Sikkim this October.
    I have gone through all blogs, travel guides, trip advisor etc. But i have so many more questions which are unanswered. I was wondering and really hoping if you could help us out a little.

    I am sorry in advance for the number of questions.

    Would october be a good season to go? We were planning end of october, would it be crowded around this time? I was told that this is peak season too.

    We hate traveling through a travel agency and prefer to organize everything ourselves. Would it be recommended to fix transport prior to the trip or go there and figure? What would be better and cheaper?

    We have never trekked before but wanted to try one out in sikkim, any recommendations?
    Would north sikkim be ok to visit in october?

    Also the travel agent told us to take a xylo/innova sort of a car, but the local taxis offer indicas and marutis too, which are cheaper. How bad are the roads?

    I am really hoping you can help us with these queries. would be of immense help.

    Thank you so much,

    Kinnari Gandhi-Dhinsa

    1. Hi Utsav

      Thanks for dropping in on Travellers’appetite.
      October will be slightly chilly in Sikkim, but there should be no snow so most of the attractions should be open for visit.
      However, since it’s not the spring season you will not be able to enjoy the view of valley of flowers.

      Hope you have a great trip !
      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

  18. Hi, We are looking at spending 7 days in Sikkim from December 19th to 26th. Family comprises of 5 adults and a child (5 adults – 2 old people aged 80, 70 years respectively, me, my wife, daughter and son 14 years and 10 years respectively). Would December be too cold or can we manage with a good set of woolens? Our plan is to check out Gangtok and the Pelling area. What could be a good itinerary to follow? How many days would you suggest that we spend each in these two locations? Should we first go to Gangtok and then Pelling (from Bagdogra) or the other way around?

    1. Hi

      So December will be cold, like any other hill station. But Gangtok and Pelling side will be manageable. Might be a little too cold for your parents though, especially at Harbhajan mandir and tsangpo lake. Carry good woolens, sweaters, jackets, caps , woollen socks and gloves.
      From Bagdogra , take a cab to Gangtok.
      Day 1 : Reach Gangtok, could check the market that day.
      Day 2 : Go to the Tsangpo lake and Harbhajan Mandir if the way is open.
      Day 3 : Leave for pelling, see the tea gardens and Namchi on the way.
      Day 4 : Spend some time a the fort, monastery, helipad and Khecheopalari lake. Over night at Pelling
      Day 5 : Leave from Pelling , visit Rabdenteste and Pemayangtse Monastery on the way to Gangtok. Over night at Gangtok
      Day 6 : Leave for Bagdogra airpiort

      Ofcourse there are other places in Sikkim but December might get a little uncomfortable in North Sikkim because of the cold.

      I hope this proves of help to you.
      Have a safe trip.

      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

  19. Hi, this is a great list! I am planning a Sikkim trip in the end of Nov this year. I had so many questions, but your articles have made things quite clear, especially about permits and transport. Great tips too! Thanks.

  20. Hello Prather,
    We three women are traveling to Bagdogra on 27th Nov. From there we want to go to Kalimpong the same day stay for a night and travel to Zuluk the next day. Stay overnight in zuluk and on 29th reach Gangtok stay the next day and return on 1st to Bagdogra. Is it advisable to take a cab from day one and continue till 1st Dec. Is it going to be a very good cold at that time of the zuluk year?

    1. HI Sanju

      So we have not covered west Bengal, only Sikkim, Arunachal , Assam and Meghalaya.
      Still, if you’d like some information for booing hotels or cabs we could get you in touch with some local people there.

      Do let us know.

      Have a safe trip.
      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

  21. Hi,
    We are family of 5 and a kid travelling to gangtok end of this month (October). Do we need to carry lots of woolens and thermals or just a sweater would do?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Riteish

      Only a sweater would do if you are going only to gangtok and Pelling but if you are headed North do carry thermals , caps , socks, gloves as well.

      Hope you have a great trip.
      Happy travelling πŸ™‚

  22. Hey prakhar πŸ™‚ we are a group of nine adults travelling to baiguney in the second week of March. Please advise about the choice of clothes and places to visit especially during that time of the year, if any. Thank you!

    1. Hi Aparna

      In our trip we did not cover Baiguney. Though if you’d like us to get you in touch with some local agents there who could help you with more information and booking, we’d be glad to do so.

      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

    2. Hi Aparna

      We did not cover this destination, Only Sikkim as covered in the post.
      Please do share your experiences once you are back from the trip.

      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

  23. Hi we are travelling to Gangtok-Darjeeling from 19th-24 Nov. Including Nathula Pass. We have a 2 year old kid with us. what kind of woolen should we carry (Light/Heavy)?

    1. Hi Shashi

      You will need heavy woollens at this time of the year. Carry a lot of socks , gloves and woollen cap as well.

      Happy travelling πŸ™‚

    2. Hi Shashi

      Heavy woollens definitely for the kid. Will need the same at the Lake and Nathula pass.

      Hope you have a great and safe trip.
      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

  24. Hi we are planning to visit gangtok second week of december ,so pls tell me can we see snow fall in gangtok 2nd week

  25. Hi I might planning to visit dajleing ndls sikkim with my 9 month kid in March 1st week.is it to safe to travel with 9 month kid

    1. Hi Mohit

      Lachung & Lachen Might be a little too cold for the kid. Will be better if you cover only Gangtok and Peling side of Sikkim instead of heading to the North region.
      Hope you have a great and safe trip. Do share your experiences once you are back.

      Happy Travelling πŸ™‚

  26. Hey, i am planning to travel alone. Is it safe for solo women travelers? Also will i get snow in Feb nd week?

  27. We are two guys, planning to give it a visit in mid January, thinking of covering some places on bike. Will most of the places be inaccessible? We are not worried about cold, we have our stock of rum. πŸ˜›

  28. Hey Prakhar,

    This sure is a very helpful post – well organised and easy to read. Love it. I am planning a trip in Jan 2017, and I cant wait for it start. Will be sure to follow your tips.

    -Vidya Bhat

  29. Hello
    We are planning to go to Gangtok and North Sikkim in April.
    Can you give any suggestions regarding weather. We need heavy winter cloth for zero point but
    do we need heavy winter cloth for Gangtok or the light jackets will do?
    Is it ok for a 2 and half year old child to go to zero point or nathula pass at that time?
    please suggest.

    1. Hi Riyanka
      April is a good time to go for you all. Majority will not require any woollens or at max a light protection. Only for North Sikkim you’ll require heavy winter clothing.

  30. Hey,
    We are a group of about 6-8 people and we r looking for a budget trip of 4-5 days in sikkim in the mid of june, like between 17-30th june. Is that a good time to visit Sikkim as I fear the monsoon might strike the hills at that time. Please Reply

  31. Hi Prabhakar,

    How easy to book taxi over there, we can book in advance. we need reserved cab for 7 days. do you have any contact number?

    1. Hi Rajendra
      It’s as easy as requesting the same via your hotel manager. Rates are fairly standard. Will advise you to talk to your hotel manager / travel Agent in advance.

  32. Hi, we r planning to visit in may month, is this good time to visit? We r planning to visit all nice places of sikkim.
    So please guide me ,from where to start and how we can plan for whole vacation for 5-6 days?

  33. Hi, we are new couple and we r planning for honeymoon to visit in may 1 st week, is this good time to visit? We r planning to visit all nice places of sikkim.
    So please guide me ,from where to start and how we can plan for whole vacation for 5-6 days? and what type of dress preparation should be required

  34. Hi Prakhar/Akanksha,

    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. πŸ™‚

    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

  35. Hi Prakhar,

    Great post and tips about Sikkim. I and my wife along with our 8 year old are visiting Sikkim mid April for 11 nights. We’d like to cover: Gangtok, Lachen, Lachung, Kalimpong, Pelling (and Darjeeling if it’s worth it). I need help planning my route map. Where to start from and where to move and which place to end with before heading back to Bagdgra. We’d reach Bagdogra at 3 PM just like Vivek above and his plan sounds good too. If you could assist with planning the other days, it’d be of immense help. Thanks. Raj

    1. Hi Raj. Refer the parallel post on Complete Itinerary which has exactly all that you need plus tips for travelling with kids in the comments

  36. Hello, though march is among the best season to visit, the forecast for next 10 days says showers in Sikkim, Darjeeling…Is the place enjoyable during mild showers?
    Is it worth going when the forecasts predicts rain??

    1. If your plan to sikkim is flexible (travelling by bus/car and yet to book hotels) you may delay your travel

      If it isn’t, I’m sure you’ll find a way to enjoy your time there. You won’t get everything that you may have imagined and you may have to skip couple of spots in cases of heavy showers but Sikkim will still find a way to charm you being the awesome place it is. Go travel without any hitch.

      1. I am planning to visit to North sikkim in 14th april 2017with my 2years old . any suggestions regarding weather etc.

  37. am planning to visit to North sikkim in 14th april 2017with my 2years old baby . any suggestions regarding weather etc.

  38. We, 2 women, are planning to make a trip to Sikkim dated 8th to 15th April. Do you advice a travel agent or can we manage the permits on our own?
    Also, which parts of Sikkim would you suggest we visit this time of the year?
    Thanks in advance! πŸ™‚

  39. Hi!! We 3 girls are planning to travel in October end. Is it a good time to travel?

  40. I will b visiting Gangtok, Darjeeling Lanchung nd Peeling will I get snowfall in d month of may.

      1. Hi Prakhar,

        We have planned our trip in the second week ogfAugust. As i read it would be probably be raining. What precautions and dresses should we carry.

  41. Hi Akansha

    Me and my wife are planning for july 1 to July 7 trip. I didn:t find anything about the weather at that time. Also we haven’t booked a tour guide. Should we consider less places to visit. Are there any adventute sports like rafting or para sailing…

    Help. Thanks

  42. Hi Akansha

    Me and my family are planning for june 1st week. Could you please let me know about the weather at that time. could we get snow…any luck at this time? Which parts of Sikkim would you suggest we visit. I am little bit tensed as my 2 yrs old daughter also travelling with us. Is it safe?

    Thanks in advance !

  43. Hi

    I am have already planned my visit to Sikkim in the first week of October. We are about 7 adults and 1 child. Looking at the Sikkim conditions, would it be safe to visit the place? Or should we cancel our trip?

  44. Hi
    Can anyone answer these questions.

    I’m planning to go Lachen, Sikkim and other places too. Would it be good to go to trek at the end of Sept?
    I heard its rainy season and I’m wondering how will be my experience at this time of year?
    Should I postpone it to Dec?

    Also I like to plan my own trips. Is it easy to find hotels or I’ve to pre-book?

    Thanks in advance 😊

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