Sunday, May 24, 2009

Discover Sikkim

Sikkim is nicely tucked into the Eastern Himalayas. A trip to Sikkim is not complete without breathing in the views of North Sikkim (Lachen and Lachung). A short trip to Pelling is also recommended which offers upclose and intimate conversations with Mount Kanchenenjunga, the world's third tallest peak. Gangtok is the access point for North Sikkim so you could spend 2 days exploring Tsongo lake, Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir and Rumtek monastery from there.

Gangtok siteseeing:
1) Rumtek monastery which is 1 hour drive from gangtok…
2) Tsongo lake (25 kms from gangtok), 
3) nathula pass/ baba mandir (50+ kms from gangtok, 25kms from tsongo lake)
4) within gangtok city --- MG marg (shopping center), 
5) 7 points in gangtok (you can skip this)…

Our driver was a nice person. Talk to him about siteseeing around gangtok.. 
Driver name: Karma – 9609851237

Gangtok is 140 km from Bagdogra Airport. You can take a vehicle from the airport to gangtok. No need of booking anything in advance.

Things to book in advance
- hotel in gangtok
- north sikkim tour

Pelling siteseeing:
Visit Pelling which is about 4-5 hrs from gangtok. You could stay at Mt Pandim (Elgin group hotel). The view of Mount Kanchenjunga from the hotel is just amazing.

Pelling is 150 km from Bagdogra Airport and 135 Km from Gangtok.

North Sikkim Trip
North sikkim can be done only thru tour operators. They charge for the complete package including travel from/to gangtok, hotel stay/food/permits in north sikkim.

I would suggest you keep a day in gangtok before heading to north sikkim cause you would need to acclimatize. You can do the local site seeing in gangtok on the first day.

Day 1 
Drive from Gangtok to Lachen village in North Sikkim. Lunch on the way. Sight seeing of waterfalls and places. (5 hrs. drive). Stay at Lachen.

Day 2
Drive to Gurudongmar lake at 17500 ft. Its about 2:30 hrs -3:00 hrs one way. Ideally leave early so that you reach Gurudongmar at around 10:00 AM. Remain there for 1 -1:30 hr and then return. You can see tibet along the way. Gurudongmar is accesible only to Indian citizens. You would find army bunkers along the way to the lake.

Lunch back at Lachen. Drive from Lachen to Lachung in about 2 hours.

Day 3 
After breakfast an excursion to Yumgthang valley and Shingbha Rhododendron sanctuary and Hot spring. Return to Lachung for Lunch. After Lunch drive from Lachung to Gangtok. Its a 4-4:30 hour drive. Sight seeing and lunch on the way. Tour ends with a drop to Gangtok.

You would require passport size photographs and photocopies of your Identity card/passports as the same is required for the permit.

We did not plan to cover Zero point. You coud ask the Tour operators about it. Zero point would have to be covered from Lachung as a base. i.e. on Day 3.

IMP NOTE: Our driver was a nice chap… talk to him first and see if he can organize your north sikkim trip. i.e. don’t go thru the tour operators but thru him since it will cost less. The tour operators anyway would ask someone like him to organize your trip.

Driver name: karma/denzing – 9474649411

Lachung (North Sikkim) is
116 Km from Gangtok
48 Km from Lachen
24 Km from Yumthang
38 Km from Donkiala (Zero point)
33 Km from Yumosomdong
26 Km from Katau
Lachen (North Sikkim) is
122 Km from Gangtok
48 Km from Lachung
28 Km from Thangu
60 Km from Gorudongmar
27 Km from Chungthang

Tour operators for North Sikkim: we went thru yak and yeti tours…
1) yak and yeti travels -,,, 

cost: Rs. 14,200- ( traveling in group of  two persons).  Inclusive or all meals, hotel stay, travelling, permits etc.
Satish Bardewa, Tel:+919434117418/+919933008822,

2) Prabir Sen travels.. Costs a bit less than yak and yeti but yak and yeti is better…
Prabir Sen --
e-mail address:

3) Marco Polo travels.

Hotel information:
1) The Nor-Khill, Gangtok
Telephone : 91-3592-205637, 200170, 200171, 220064
Fax : 91-3592-205639
email :
They are heritage hotels. 

2) Mayfair
 Phone  +91 359 2250009
   Fax  +91 359 2250009

3) Tashi Delek
M G Marg,
Gangtok 737 101,
Sikkim, India
Phone: (+91 3592) 202991, 202038, 204156 / 57 / 58
Fax: (+91 3592) 202362
e-mail :

4) Denzong Inn 
Denzong Cinema Chowk, Lall Bazaar Road,
Gangtok 737 101
Sikkim, India
Phone: (+91 3592) 202692
Fax: (+91 3592) 202362 
e-mail :

5) orange village resort
Direct Line : +91-3592-251442 / 251443. Mobile: +91-94342-35565. Fax: +91-3592-251518.

6) the royal plaza
The Royal Plaza, Upper Syari, Gangtok - 737102, Sikkim.
Tel : +91-3592-280032 /280232; Fax : 03592-281112; 
Email :

7) the royal demazong
The Royal Demazong(A Mountain Resort), GRBA Road, Chongay Tar,P.O. Raj Bhawan,
Gangtok-737103,East Sikkim. Phone: +91-3592-203043/44 Fax: 203045
Mobile:+91-94340 -24070 / 98320 - 87334  / 99330 - 07780(EPBX).,

8) hotel heruka
Hotel Heruka.
Near New Taxi Stand, 
31 A, National Highway, Deorali, Gangtok, Sikkim.
Ph: 03592-280793.
 Mobile: +91-9832544234. 

9) samrasa resort

1) Elgin Mt Pandim

2) norbughang
Norbu Ghang Resort
Pelling - 737113
West Sikkim
Ph: (03595) 250566, 258272, 258245
Fax :  (03592) 258271 

3) tashi gang
Hotel Tashigang,
Yuksom, West District
Ph. No. (03595) 241202 / 241203

1) The Elgin, Darjeeling
Telephone : 91-354-2254082/2257226/27
Fax : 91-354-2254267
email : 

2) Mayfair, Darjeeling
   Phone  +91 354 2256 376
   Fax  +91 354 2252 674

3) windamere

4) the viceroy
V I C E R O Y - Hotel.Restaurant
17, Gandhi Road
Darjeeling-734101, West Bengal, India
Near Clock Towers, The Mall, Darjeeling
+91-354- 22 56165,22 59556
+91-354-22 59556,

5) fortune park
Fortune Resort Central, Darjeeling

Robertson Road,
Darjeeling - 734101
Tel: 0354-2258721/22/23
Fax: 0354-2258720

6) sinclairs
Hotel Sinclairs Darjeeling 
181/1, Gandhi Road 
West Bengal 734 101 
Tel : (+91 0354) 2256431, 2256432, 2256948, 2256949 
Fax : (+91 0354) 2254355

7) cedar inn
Cedar Inn
Jalapahar Road, Darjeeling
West Bengal, India - 734101
Phone: +91-354-2254446/2253598
Fax: +91-354-2256764


Goli said...

Alice, you should also put some more of the great pictures that you had taken.

Vivek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivek said...

Was this your first visit to Sikkim?
Did you not do any trek?
If not, I would recommend you consider doing trek from Yoksum (or Yuksum) to Dzongri trek (about 2-3 days one way). Its part of a long trek from Yoksum To Goechala(I wish I do that some time). I have done the one from Yoksum to Dzongri and its just an amazing trek. Rhododendron in this season are beautiful to watch along the trek.
Isn't visiting Gurudongmar an amazing experience, with thin air and lack of oxygen, you can hardly walk fast.
Sikkim is truly a natural beauty.

Did you fly directly to Gangtok? or went via Siliguri?

Vaidehi Dongre said...

Yes Alice we want some more pics!! Your post certainly makes me wanna visit Sikkim!

Windamere said...

very well written about the place and information about windamere hotel,darjeeling, i would request to give an active reference to windamere hotel,it would help you to get more visitors.


moksha said...

Hi Alice,
very good post indeed.
i own a travel agency in Gangtok, do give us a try also...
Greetings to you,
iExplore Adventure & Tour is one of the best upcoming government approved travel agent in Gangtok, Sikkim and we are also the member of “Travel Agent’s Association Of Sikkim,” thus ensuring your safety.
In this hilly terrain of sikkim, our team of professionals conducts : Package Tour of North Sikkim ,Trekking, Sightseeing, River rafting& River Side Camping, Monastic tours, Jungle safari, Hotel Booking etc.

Packages can be customized according to the requirements.

Anonymous said...

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WriteUp Cafe said...

Hi Alice,

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Anonymous said...

Hi Alice,

I'm planning a 7N/8D trip to North Sikkim covering Gangtok-Lachen-Gurudongmar-Lachen-Lachung-Yumthungvaleey-Lachung-Pelling during Dec. last week. Instead of going through a package I'm preferring do all the bookings on my own. I have already booked the air-tickets. Hotels also I'll be able to manage. The only concern is the transportation from start to end. Karma/Denzing, the drivers which you have mentioned, do they know Hindi and are they reliable. I have few questions for you or rather suggestions from you

1) Would it be wise enough to do all the bookings on ur own or go through package.
2) What do you feel approx. how much the transportation may cost for an 7N/8D day trip. I know its a difficult question but roughly any idea.
3) My return flight from Bagdogra is at 10.40 AM on the last day. I have checked in internet that its 2.5 hrs distance from Gangtok or Pelling..But the package people are telling it takes 4-5 hrs..Any idea about this?

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