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Old 25th September 2018, 09:33   #16
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

This thread is very rarely used. But I think this would be ideal thread to build for all questions related Sikkim.

Was very-very happy to read that finally Sikkim's Pakyong airport is functioning. 35 km from Gangtok and 60 km from the Indo-China border.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakyong_Airport

Last edited by ampere : 25th September 2018 at 09:35.
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Old 25th September 2018, 10:29   #17
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Was very-very happy to read that finally Sikkim's Pakyong airport is functioning. 35 km from Gangtok and 60 km from the Indo-China border.
Yes, a wonderful feat if you consider the terrain and also strategic advantage. I was told about this in 2016 when I rode to Sikkim on my motorcycle by a local driver whom I befriended. I had put up at Reshi for a night and he pointed towards Pakyong and told about the new airport being coming up. Next day I rode to Gangtok via Pakyong from Reshi.

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Old 28th April 2019, 07:40   #18
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Originally Posted by anandtheleo View Post
Thanks for the information. I knew when I booked the Zoomcar to Sikkim that I would be not able to go to all the places.
Can you please help with the places you think are worth visiting with Zoomcar in Sikkim. I am currently in Darjeeling and will be driving to Gangtok on Monday.
I think you should not miss Yumthang/Valley of flowers even if it requires ditching your car for 2 days. If memory serves me right, this is the right time to visit there as the valley will be in full bloom now. It is a 2 day trip and 2000/head which included stay. You need to take the permit a day before.
Day1- Drive upto Lachung and overnight stay.
Day2: Start very early, visit Yumthang and zero point followed by return journey.

You might already have planned for Rumtek Monastery. In GMaps, you need to look for Rumtek Dharna Chakra center and not Rumtek Monastery. These 2 point to 2 different locations altogether.

I did the blunder of setting the destination as Rumtek Monastery instead of Rumtek Dharna Chakra center on my way from Gangtok-Pelling. When I realized my mistake, it was too late to turn around but the other route took me via one of the most scenic and dangerous roads that I've driven till date. (Gangtok - Kambal - Ravangla - Pelling). Unfortunately I do not have any pics of the road as the Mrs denied to take any. She was busy praying to god and she even gave a "goodbye-see you in next life" speech to me.

We did some local sightseeing around Pelling once there. I would say Pelling is a very small and laid back town.

Note that whatever you do keep ample time in hand to reach your next destination specially your return flight. We almost missed our return flight due to landslides while returning to Siliguri from Pelling.
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Old 28th April 2019, 07:48   #19
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Anand - I drove to Gangtok from Siliguri just yesterday. Unfortunately I'm also looking at this thread a bit late and I will end up keeping the car in my hotel for 2 days. I'm told that seeking permits is not possible if you're on a self drive rental. Any other place would be fine to visit. And NathuLa is currently closed as well. I didn't bother to check what places we can drive to and I actually finalised a local taxi for today and tomorrow. Well - it is what it is but am sure looking forward to the sights.
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Old 28th April 2019, 09:15   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusteinstein View Post

***SNIP***

You might already have planned for Rumtek Monastery. In GMaps, you need to look for Rumtek Dharna Chakra center and not Rumtek Monastery. These 2 point to 2 different locations altogether.

I did the blunder of setting the destination as Rumtek Monastery instead of Rumtek Dharna Chakra center on my way from Gangtok-Pelling. When I realized my mistake, it was too late to turn around but the other route took me via one of the most scenic and dangerous roads that I've driven till date. (Gangtok - Kambal - Ravangla - Pelling). Unfortunately I do not have any pics of the road as the Mrs denied to take any. She was busy praying to god and she even gave a "goodbye-see you in next life" speech to me.

Note that whatever you do keep ample time in hand to reach your next destination specially your return flight. We almost missed our return flight due to landslides while returning to Siliguri from Pelling.






Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Anand - I drove to Gangtok from Siliguri just yesterday. Unfortunately I'm also looking at this thread a bit late and I will end up keeping the car in my hotel for 2 days. I'm told that seeking permits is not possible if you're on a self drive rental. Any other place would be fine to visit. And NathuLa is currently closed as well. I didn't bother to check what places we can drive to and I actually finalised a local taxi for today and tomorrow. Well - it is what it is but am sure looking forward to the sights.
Thanks for the pointers and interesting waypoints. Will definitely help me. I too heard Nathula was closed on Monday and Tuesday. I will try and see if it opens on Wednesday, will be in Gangtok till Thursday.

The drive from Siliguri to Darjeeling was very nice, I am coming back after 20 years and the town still retains its charm.

Have a good and safe trip Jkrishnakj.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:49   #21
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

I am planning for a 10 day trip to Sikkim in the 1st week of October. The itinerary looks like this i.e.
Day 1
Pickup from Bagdogra. Overnight at Gangtok.
Day 2
Visit Nathula Pass, Tsongmo Lake and Baba Mandir.
Overnight at Gangtok.
Day 3
Cover Singhik Viewpoint, Teesta River Seven Sisters Waterfall along with the Naga Waterfall.
Overnight at Lachen.
Day 4
Cover Chopta Valley & Gurudongmar Lake.
Overnight at Lachen.
Day 5
Rest Day. Overnight at Lachung.
Day 6
Cover Yumthang Valley and Hot Springs.
Overnight at Gangtok.
Day 7
Sightseeing tour of Gangtok.
Depart for Pelling via Ravangala. Cover*Tathagata Tsal.
Overnight at Pelling.
Day 8
Cover Darap village, Rimbi water Falls, Khecheopalri Lake ,Khangchendzongha waterfalls,Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdantse Ruins, and New Helipad Ground.
Overnight at Pelling.
Day 9
Sightseeing tour of Darjeeling.
Overnight at Darjeeling.
Day 10
Depart for Bagdogra

A few questions i.e.
a) How to make a choice between stay at Yuksom or Pelling.
b) Will North Sikkim be rainy,windy and cold during October.
Is it better to be there for 2 days or 3 days?
c) Is 10 days on the higher side? Or 8-9 days should be enough?
d) Any other feedback regarding the itinerary?
Would really appreciate inputs regarding the same.

Last edited by dpkbehera : 7th June 2019 at 10:50. Reason: Language
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:16   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpkbehera View Post

A few questions i.e.
a) How to make a choice between stay at Yuksom or Pelling.
b) Will North Sikkim be rainy,windy and cold during October.
Is it better to be there for 2 days or 3 days?
c) Is 10 days on the higher side? Or 8-9 days should be enough?
d) Any other feedback regarding the itinerary?
Would really appreciate inputs regarding the same.
Great. Your plans seems too cover most of the places. Some days will be tiring since you have many things in the itinerary.

Answers as below :

a) Pelling. It has better hotel options.
b) Cold, yes. Windy, mostly at high altitudes. Rainy, less chances. Although weather is quite unpredictable up there. 2-3 days stay should not be a problem if you carry warm clothes.
c)It is okay since you are covering East, North, West Sikkim & Darjeeling.
d) Day 7, 8 & 9 are long days & will require early starts. Leave the hotel as early as possible.

All the best for your trip !!

Cheers,

Pawan

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
This thread is very rarely used. But I think this would be ideal thread to build for all questions related Sikkim.

Was very-very happy to read that finally Sikkim's Pakyong airport is functioning. 35 km from Gangtok and 60 km from the Indo-China border.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakyong_Airport
Unfortunate to say that the 'flight' of this airport was a very short lived one. Pakyong airport has reportedly been closed.

Source : TOI

Last edited by navin : 7th June 2019 at 11:21.
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:30   #23
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Great. Your plans seems too cover most of the places. Some days will be tiring since you have many things in the itinerary.
Thanks for the quick response. Really appreciate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
a) Pelling. It has better hotel options.
For Kids, i guess Darjeeling would be a better place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
b) Cold, yes. Windy, mostly at high altitudes. Rainy, less chances. Although weather is quite unpredictable up there. 2-3 days stay should not be a problem if you carry warm clothes.
Most of the itineraries seem to favour 2 days for North Sikkim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
d) Day 7, 8 & 9 are long days & will require early starts. Leave the hotel as early as possible.
Thanks for the inputs. For Day 7 and Day 9, i will try to limit the sightseeing to the nearby places only.Any advice on dropping some of the places in Day 8.
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Old 7th June 2019, 12:52   #24
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

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Originally Posted by dpkbehera View Post
For Kids, i guess Darjeeling would be a better place.
Oh. I thought you were asking options between Yuksom & Pelling. Take the kids to the Darjeeling Zoo. It's a good one.

Quote:
Thanks for the inputs. For Day 7 and Day 9, i will try to limit the sightseeing to the nearby places only.Any advice on dropping some of the places in Day 8.
No need to drop anything. If you start early all can be covered.


Cheers,

Pawan
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Old 14th June 2019, 06:42   #25
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

How is Sikkim during Dusshera holidays. I understand that it is the peak season and will be crowded. But i guess we are left with few options considering the school calendar and will have to moderate our expectations accordingly. Just wanted to check whether experience will be just fine or this destination should be totally avoided in this peak season?
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Old 14th June 2019, 16:25   #26
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

Got this picture while browsing which gives a broad view of what one can see in Sikkim.


Travel planning to Sikkim-sikkim-1-copy.jpg

Travel planning to Sikkim-sikkim.jpg
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Old 6th January 2020, 17:23   #27
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

Needed input for a trip planned for a week starting 18th Feb by my brother.

They are planning on visiting Gangtok and then heading to Lachung after couple of days.

From Lachung, they plan on visiting Yumthang and any surrounding areas for the day and returning to Lachung for the night.

- Considering that its Feb mid, I understand that it will be cold. However, will there be any limitation in visiting Yumthang during this time?
- Any pointers on reliable taxi operator either Gangtok or Lachung?
- Understand that Yumthang is roughly at same altitude of Leh. Are there any pass enroute / tourist destination which is of higher altitude, so as to be careful with respect to AMS?


Thanks.
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Old 6th January 2020, 17:46   #28
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Needed input for a trip planned for a week starting 18th Feb by my brother.

They are planning on visiting Gangtok and then heading to Lachung after couple of days.

From Lachung, they plan on visiting Yumthang and any surrounding areas for the day and returning to Lachung for the night.

- Considering that its Feb mid, I understand that it will be cold. However, will there be any limitation in visiting Yumthang during this time?
- Any pointers on reliable taxi operator either Gangtok or Lachung?
- Understand that Yumthang is roughly at same altitude of Leh. Are there any pass enroute / tourist destination which is of higher altitude, so as to be careful with respect to AMS?


Thanks.
Sikkim is divided into North, East, West & South. Lachung lies in North Sikkim. A full North Sikkim has two branches to cover. One is to Gurudongmar with Lachen as base & the other is Yumthang/Zero Point with lachung as base.

You need permits for visiting North Sikkim. The same are available at Gangtok & Mangan. The permit will be given if the roads are clear of snow and drivable. Feb is a snowy time but you can never be sure. There are no high passes but since you gain altitude fast, it is better to be equipped with AMS precautions. Gurudongmar happens to be at 17k ft.

No idea of any taxi service. Best to get in touch with a travel service at Gangtok.

Cheers,

Pawan
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Old 6th January 2020, 18:29   #29
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
A full North Sikkim has two branches to cover. One is to Gurudongmar with Lachen as base & the other is Yumthang/Zero Point with lachung as base.
Thanks Pawan.

The plan is to do only one branch, Lachung till Yumthang and back.

Since Gurudongmar is higher in altitude, its decided to skip that route.
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Old 29th February 2020, 18:34   #30
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Default Re: Travel planning to Sikkim

We are planning a trip to Sikkim in the 3rd week of March from 21st Saturday to 29th Sunday.

Our itinerary is as follows and we have booked hotels for this already.

March 21: Bangalore to Bagdogra and staying at Gangtok, our flight from Bangalore will rech around 9.00 AM. We plan to explore Gangtok a bit on that day.
March 22: Visit Nathula Pass and travel to Dzongu and stay at Dzongu
March 23: Stay at Dzongu
March 24: Travel to Lechen and Stay at Lechen
Day 25: Visit Gurudongmar Lake Stay and staying at Lechen
Day 26: Visit Zero Point, Yumthang Valley and staying at Lechen
Day 27: Staying at Lechen and may be visit Katao
Day 28: Travel to Siliguri and stay there for the night.
Day 29: Return flight to Bangalore at 9.00 AM

We are a group of 4 and our stay is already booked like based on the above itinerary but, we are still undecided on the transportation though. I heard that self drive rentals are not allowed in certain places in Sikkim, so not sure about booking one. Is this the case? We had gone to Assam and Meghalaya a year back and had a zoom car for the entire trip and did not face any issues.

After checking with a local operator for taxi for entire trip, he gave a quote of 48k for a xylo and it included permits as per him. Do you think if this is a good price or do you think I have better option?

We were actually thinking it might make sense to book taxi as and when needed, will it make sense?

Any input is highly appreciated.
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