Gangtok Sikkim : Travel Discussion

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vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Dear Readers,
                     In order to address various queries those we are getting on our Sikkim blogs, I am creating this thread.

                     Please post all your queries regarding traveling to Sikkim under this thread. We will be very happy to help you and planning your itinerary.

Keep Traveling
Vishnu Kumar

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Hello Vishnu..Greetings from chennai..I have already taken tickets for Gangtok for the first week of October 2011. Now news of tremor is coming..is it still advisable to go there..Kindly advice if u have latest idea..

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Hi Reji..
There are still 10 days to go and i think its sufficient time for recovering back.. From the news i could also see that only northern sikkim was severely affected with the Earth quake.. Rest other parts in eastern Sikkim ( Nathula, Changu Lake)  will be soon connected with Gangtok.

Roads in Sikkim are maintained by Border Roads organization (BRO) and land sliding, black ice is common in the state. BRO had been dealing with natural calamities in past and successfully recovered the state and I hope in these 10 days Sikkim will again regain its pace..

My inputs are based on the assumption that there wont be any mishappening again.

Do not cancel your tickets there are plenty of other places near Siliguri in north bengal where you can travel..... infact Bhutan, Nepal is not that far from here... Hopefully Gangtok would be fine till the time you arrive there.

Regards
Vishnu

Snehal (not verified)
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Hi. We r a group of 14 mix of sr. Citizens, young and childrens. We hv planned travel to Gangtok, Darjeeling, luchang and pelling. We will arrive on 26th oct till 3rd nov. Pl. Suggest whether we should continue with our travel plan or reschedule/postpone after recent earthquake? What should be the itinery?

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Dear Snehal

 

I hope you mean Lachung and not Luchang. First thing first, dont cancel your trip. By 25th October things will be pretty normal (roads and traffic conditions).

Darjeeling to Pelling

I would suggest you to first visit Darjeeling. Darjeeling was least affected by earthquack and traffic to Darjeeling is normal right now.  From Darjeeling you can proceed to Pelling. Distance between Darjeeling and Pelling is around 75 Km and this can be covered in 3.30 to 4 hours (Road condition average to good). You can do sightseeing in Peling and nearby areas.

Pelling to Gangtok

After Pelling you can head to Gangtok. Distance between Pelling to Gangtok is around 115 Kms. it should take 4 to 5 hours by taxi. Road condition is good. 

In Gangtok

You should try to visit Changu Lake and Nathula Pass. Rumtek Monastery and Tibetian market while you are in Gangtok

Gangtok to Lachung

Gangtok to Lachung is 117 Kms and it takes 5 to 5.30 hours to reach Lachung from Gangtok. As road to Lachung passes through Mangan which was center of the earthquack,; road condition would be below normal in this area. Army and BRO are working very hard to restore roads and it is expected that most of the roads will be normal by 15th October.

Most important  thing is that the money you will spend during your travel in  these effected areas will go to poor people who are trying to restore normalcy in their life. And for most of the time in a year, only tourism is the main source of income for them. So do travel Sikkim and bring back good memories of Himalayas. Share your travel experience with us here on thinkingparticle.

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Snehal (not verified)
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Thanks Vijay. We r continuing with our trip. However, as per the itinerary given by tour operator has Gangtok first. The plan is as under:
26 oct: arrival at gangtok from njp
27 oct: excursion to tsomgo lake and baba Mandir. Nathula pass is not covered and kept optional.
28 oct: lachung via phodong, mangan, singik chungthang & naltim, stay at lachung
29 oct: yumthang valley, hot spring, back to Gangtok
30 oct: gangtok to pelling
31 oct: pemayangtse monastery, rimy falls and kanchenjunga fall, sing shore bridge, khecheopalri lake, darap village and changey falls
1 nov: pelling to Darjeeling
2 nov: tiger hills, ghoom monastery, batasia loop , seven points incl. Rope way, institute, zoological park etc.
3 nov: Darjeeling to njp; en route some lake

Hotels: gangtok- rigz residency, lachung- golden valley resort, pelling- hotel pemachen, Darjeeling- hotel shanti palace or crystal palace

Pl. Advice is this good enough or should have any change? Hotels are ok to stay with family? Are there any place closed due to earthquake? If yes, what options to choose?

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Snehal

 

Your itinerary seems fine to me. You can start your travel from Gangtok. there are few things you can try. Do try to include Nathula pass in your visit. If you want to see mountain snow and want to actually hold it in your hands you will have to go to Nathula Pass. I do not see any other place in your itinerary where it is possible . Only other possibility is to ask your travel agent if you guys can go upto "Zero Point" while you are visiting Yungthang valley. There is a glacier at Zero Point and its not very far from Yungthang Valley. 

Yungthang valley is famous for Rhododendron flowers. during peak season almost entire valley gets full of these flowers. 
Unfortunately October- November is not the blossom season for Rhododendron. So visiting Yungthang will not be as full experience as it can be during season time. 

I am not sure about the average health of your travel group. If you people have flare for adventure and can withstand harsh conditions (read extreme cold and very low oxygen level)  you can try visiting Gurudongmar Lake instead of going to Yungthang Valley. 

Let us know what is your final itinerary. If possible we can provide you some local contact number that can guide you in better way.

 

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Paul (not verified)
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Dear Vijay,
I am planning to travel to Gurudongmar Lake on october 15th with my wife. I can see in your article that thin air would be a problem at that altitude ?, As North sikkim was severely affected with recent earth quake, is it advisable to go north sikkim ?, In case we can not make to the lake, are there any other places near Thangu which you will recommend ?

I was also trying to find out some information about Green Lake but nothing concrete i could find, Will you please provide your expert inputs ?

Cheers
Paul

yogesh p (not verified)
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hi sir, its yogesh p from maharastra we are 35 people are planning to visit gangtok on 9nov11. sir please tell us we eguer to know how is the weather conditions of there after earthwake & siteseeing will possible as routine... thanks

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Hi Yogesh,
                    Welcome to Thinking Particle. Things are getting improved in Sikkim day by day..specially the north sikkim region which was severely affected due to earth quake is now getting connected with Gangtok.

                    I am hoping that by 9th of November, Sikkim will regain its pace and travelers will be able to reach northern sikkim such as Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang, Zero point, Cholamu lake etc.

                    Northern Sikkim will be cold in November and If lucky, you may also witness light snow fall while traveling to north sikkim. I am not sure for how long you are planning you are Sikkim trip so can not tell you exact weather condition of each sight you are planning to travel.

                    Most of the people generally travel to Nathula, Baba mandir, Changu in eastern sikkim and rest other sites mentioned above in northern Sikkim. Western Sikkim offers many treks with varying difficulty level in Kanchenjunga National park.

                    Be assured about the connectivity in all the popular sites. In November, You will be able to reach most of the tourist destinations of Sikkim.

                     let us know if you need some more information. We will be glad to help you.

Keep Traveling

Vishnu Kumar

yogesh p (not verified)
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thanks sir for ur helpppp....

Liyakath P A (not verified)
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Hi Vijay

We are three students from IIM Raipur (Chattisgarh) 2guys and one girl, planning to visit Gangtok and Darjeeling on 23 rd to 28th of october. Nothing planned till now. main targets are Nathula pass, Tiger hill and kalimpong. since we are students, planning for a low budget trip. Reaching New jelpaguri on 23rd morning. We have time till 29th morning as we got flight from bagdodara at 3pm. we are also concerned about the recent earth quake. Can u help us to plan a trip including the spots i mentioned where Nathula is the most important. Till now we didnt contact any travel or tour agents neither we booked any hotels for stay. As we got the diwali holidays, just booked all the train tickets in advance. it will be better if u can guide us in a sequential order ie where to start, how to proceed, how and when to get the permit to visit nathula pass, should we book hotels if so where to book that too at a cheaper rate, which all places we can visit. we will be very thankful if u can help us as we are so confused of opinions from different people. waiting for you valuable reply.......

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Dear Liyakath,

 

You have already done the hardest part - booking of railway tickets (it is like nightmare for us Indians) .  

this is a rough itinerary i want to propose, if you want to discuss it further you can reply here or you can give me a call @ 9936484251 .  

23rd - you are reaching NJP in morning - lets say around 9 AM - take a shared taxi to Darjeeling. Taxi charges should be around Rs 100 per person. It will take around 4 hours to reach Darjeeling , once you are in Darjeeling you can get variety of lodging options near Mall road. As it is festive season be mentally prepared for not getting a good cheap hotel in first shot. Check with 3 4  hotels and you will surely get a decent enough deal. Rs 400-500 should be cost for a single room.  you will have plenty of evening left with you to visit Mall Road and have a coffee at a restaurant near chaurasta  . Just after you book your hotel make sure to book tickets for next day's toy train. These trains are almost always overbooked but i have found that there is always some ways to get tickets (overpriced though) - ask your hotel to book tickets for you, if they cant do it go to railway station yourself and enquire about ticket availability for morning toy train . Toy train will take you up to Ghoom station (Second highest  railway station in world). Also try to get a shared taxi for tiger hill which your hotel should able to arrange ( there must be other tourists going to tiger hill)

 

24th-25th - visit tiger hill early morning - Take a ride on Toy Train - Go to Himalayan zoological park - Himalayan Montaineering Institute, Tea gardens,visit other places in Darjeelin like monasteries , Botanical garden etc , you can do shopping in mall road. 

26th - In morning  take a shared taxi to Gangtok .  It should take 4.30 to 5 hours to reach Gangtok. There is a 2 floored taxi stand where you will be dropped in Gangtok , take a local cab from taxi stand and ask him for a  hotel nearby MG road. just above MG road there are plenty of lodging options. Room should cost around 400-500. in evening have a walk in MG road and nearby areas.  While you are in MG road , try to contact travel agents there . there are number of travel agents in MG road and you should consult with atleast 3 to stike the best deal . Ask them for a shared taxi tour for Nathula Pass and Changu Lake. If you dont get shared taxi , you can opt for private taxi. Private taxi should not cost more than Rs 3500-4000.  You need to carry atleast 4 passport size colored photographs of each person and copy of identity proof. Travel agent need these to get you the required restricted area permits for nathula pass and changu lake. This has to be done a day before so dont forget to book this on 25th eve itself. 

27th - Changu lake and Nathula pass

28th - Local points nearby Gangtok .  

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Liyakath P A (not verified)
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Dear Vijay

Thanks a lot..........it was really helpful.........will definitely call u b4 we start..........!!!

Thanks
Liyakath

amit (not verified)
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Sir,

trying to call you last week but my call was not answered. I am planning gangtok on 9th Fab for two days and would like to visit Nathula Pass.

please advise good time to call you

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dear Amit,

let me know details of your travel plan (dates and exact time of arrival and departure) , we can plan a reasonable itinerary for Gangtok.

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Pradipta Addya (not verified)
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Hi,

I am planning to visit sikkim on 28th Feb 2012. Would I be able to visit Changu lake-Nathula pass and north Sikkim at that time? I am a bit confused as I heard that at that time roads will be blocked due to heavy snow fall.
Please help...

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Hi Pradipta,
Welcome to Thinking Particle. You may witness snowfall at the end of feb but its rare. I have generally seen snowfall till mid Feb but chances are always there till March. I have seen light snowfall in last week of Feb in Sikkim and Darjeeling couple of years back.

About traveling to Changu, Nathula and northern sikkim, be assured about the roads. Those roads are theoretically open through-out the year. You will see many tourists towards changu and nathula because you will witness snow on the road side and changu would be partially frozen. It lures a very large number of tourists.

Road towards lachen and Lachung will also be open and your chances to witness snowfall would be more. It will not be very heavy snowfall which can cause block but certainly appeasing to you.

Lachen and Lachung will be connected from Gangtok.

you can easily reach till Thangu but from there to Gurudongmar lake, it all depends on your luck. The condition of road is really bad specially due to black ice. If you are lucky, you may able to reach Gurudongmar lake by Taxi. Chances are really high at that time of the year.

let us know if you need some more information.

Keep Traveling
Vishnu

Pradipta Addya (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,

Thank you very much for your valuable reply. Could you please tell me about the availability of seats in helicopter service from bagdogra to gangtok and how to book it.
One more question, could you inform me about the rates of packages of North Sikkim for 1N/2D or 2N/3D for two persons. Actually we would be travelling from Kolkata. Do we have to book these packages from Kolkata or should we book it after reaching Gangtok.

Thanks and regards,
Pradipta Addya

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Hi Pradipta,

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Helicopter Service: The Bagdogra airport is connected to Gangtok by a helicopter service which takes approx. 30 minutes to reach Gangtok.
Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation(+91-3592-222634) operates this service daily at 11:00 AM from Gangtok to Bagdogra and at 2:00 PM from Bagdogra to Gangtok at a price of Rs.1500/- per person.

Bagdogra to Gangtok
Mr. Madan Pradhan (D.D.) Siliguri Tourist Information Center
98320-65617

BAGDOGRA
Mr. Nima 98323-63957
Mr. Gopal 98320-26699

BAGDOGRA OFFICE 0353-2698030
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tour package to Northern Sikkim: The cost of package does not vary much with inclusion of more members. It is the basically the taxi fare. So if happen to get more travelers who can club with you on the trip. Your total cost of the trip will be reduced a lot. In case you are 2, Chances of getting fellow travelers are high while being in Gangtok. I will not recommend you to book your northern Sikkim tour from Kolkata as you might not get negotiated price. First Come to Gangtok and then enquire at least on 4-5 tour operators [Negotiate the rate by 15-20 %] before confirming your booking.

Just for an experiment,I have created one thread which may be helpful catching a travel companion.

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/travel-companion-sikkim-trip

Regards
Vishnu

Pradipta Addya (not verified)
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Thank you Vishnu for your reply....it is really helpful...

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#Answer to Pavithra Balasubramania Query posted on Nathula Article#

Hi Pavithra,
Welcome to Thinking Particle. Sorry I am answering in forum as its difficult to manage it with Post. Please find response to your queries.

*Can you please tell me how to reach darjeeling from bagdogra?

Bagdogra is the airport of Siliguri town. You can get a taxi from Siliguri to Darjeeling. As the road condition is not very good so I will recommend you to hire a strong vehicle [4 wheel drive would be the best deal]. Another fascination but time consuming option would be to go by train.you can catch this train from Siliguri.

As you are saying that you will first go to Darjeeling so I do not think there is helicopter service to darjeeling from Bagdogra... Sikkim Tourism department is running a helicopter service to Gangtok. Booking procedure and other information is given below

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Helicopter Service: The Bagdogra airport is connected to Gangtok by a helicopter service which takes approx. 30 minutes to reach Gangtok.
Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation(+91-3592-222634) operates this service daily at 11:00 AM from Gangtok to Bagdogra and at 2:00 PM from Bagdogra to Gangtok at a price of Rs.1500/- per person.

Bagdogra to Gangtok
Mr. Madan Pradhan (D.D.) Siliguri Tourist Information Center
98320-65617

BAGDOGRA
Mr. Nima 98323-63957
Mr. Gopal 98320-26699

BAGDOGRA OFFICE 0353-2698030

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note : This Service is only from Bagdogra to Gangtok. NOT from Bagdogra to Darjeeling or Darjeeling to Gangtok.

Please find the suggested itinerary.

5th : by night you can reach Darjeeling
6th : padmaja naidu himalayan zoological park, himalayan mountaineering institute, happy valley tea estate, tenzing rock, gombu rock & tibetean refugee self- help centre
7th : rock garden & gangamaya lake and then start to Gangtok.
8th : Nathula pass, Changu lake, Baba mandir
9th : Rumtek monastery, nehru botanical garden, do-drul chorten, nam nang view point & flower show
10th : Gangtok-Chumthang-Lachen-Thangu : Night stay at Thangu
11th : Visit Gurudongmar lake[highly recommended] and return back to Lachung : Stay@Lachung
12th : In morning Visit Yumthang and then return back to Gangtok [stay@gangtok]
13th : Come back Bagdogra

I know i have done some changes in your plan and last couple of days would be very hectic... If you do not want to go to North Sikkim and then you should extend your stay at Darjeeling and visit Yumthang only. We will be glad to assist you further with your itinerary.

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Pavithra Balasubramanian (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu,

Thanks a lot for your reply. We have few more questions that is listed below :-

How to go to SILIGURI from Bagdogra?

How much time will it take by train from siliguri to darjeeling? Will there be toy train available in the evening

by 4:00 PM?

And how to reach hotel Pradhan (in Gandhi Niwas ) if we go by train ?

I dont see Tiger Hills mentioned in the Itinery. Can you tell if we can go on the 6th morning? How do we go to that

place?

We would like to experience the cable car also (Darjeeling-Rangit Valley Passenger Cable Car). When to add that to

the itinery?

I have heard the traditional dress of Darjeeling (NASIM) is available for the tourists. Where do we get to try that

dress? ( We do not want to buy. We just want to try them and get some snaps of it )

For all the places to be visited in Darjeeling what would be the mode of transport?

From which travel agency would we get the best deal for Nathula pass Permit?

We heard from the Sikkim tourism that Lachung is closed. What is the alternative for that?

Can we include pelling somewhere in the itinery?

Suggest some hotels in Thangu and Lachung (if its open) and Pelling.

Can we book hotels at these places after going there?

To visit all the places mentioned in the itinery in Gangtok, will we get shared jeeps? Where will we have to book

them from?

Can you suggest few travel agency?

When we called up for helicopter they said only 10kgs allowed and it would cost 2200 per person. Is it the correct rate?

Appreciate your response.

Thanks in advance

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Hi Pavithra,

- Train start early in the morning at around 9.00 AM. You can not catch the train at 4:00 PM.
- Darjeeling is a small town. You can catch a taxi from any place.
- Yes..You can visit Tiger hills early in the morning. That day will be hectic as you will also be shopping at Mall road at the same day.
- When you visit Mountaineering institute, enquire about cable car. You may get one.
- There are many emporium at Mall road where you can try NASIM.
- For all the places in and around Darjeeling, Hire a taxi. Get the same taxi to Gangtok. You may get the negotiated price.
- There are many tour operators lined up at Mall road. First plan your entire itinerary and then go for complete booking. Try to negotiate 15% on total cost. Before confirming your booking, get the quotations from at least 4-5 operators including your hotel one.
- There are hotels in Lachung but you can not book those in advance. Your package from Gangtok will include accommodation and food. At Thangu, there is no hotel,you will have to stay on home stays with local families.
- There are shared jeeps to Eastern sikkim [Changu and Nathula]. You can ask any tour operator to include you with any shared one.
- If there are other travelers to Lachung, Thangu, You can club with them and get a shared taxi. Its easy to get travel companion in Gangtok.

Including Peeling: The day you are traveling to Gangtok from Darjeeling. You can include Peeling.

Darjeeling to Pelling

I would suggest you to first visit Darjeeling. Darjeeling was least affected by earthquack and traffic to Darjeeling is normal right now. From Darjeeling you can proceed to Pelling. Distance between Darjeeling and Pelling is around 75 Km and this can be covered in 3.30 to 4 hours (Road condition average to good). You can do sightseeing in Peling and nearby areas.

Pelling to Gangtok

After Pelling you can head to Gangtok. Distance between Pelling to Gangtok is around 115 Kms. it should take 4 to 5 hours by taxi. Road condition is good.

I am hoping I could answer some of your queries.

Vishnu

Shubhangi (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu

We (i.e. family of 3) are reaching Gangtok on the 5th Nov. We are reaching NJP on 5th morning at 9.30 and hope to reach Gangtok at around 3.00. The plan is to visit Nathula and Tsomgo Lake on 6th morn thr' a travel agent. How much time does it take to get the necessary permits for Nathula? Any idea how much is the charge for hiring an exclusive vehicle for this trip?

Shubhangi

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Hi Shubhangi,
When you reach Gangtok in the evening of 5th November, You can go the Mall Road at Gangtok and book your travel to Nathula and Changu Lake. There are many tour operators lined up in that street. You should check at least with 3-4 shops before confirming your booking. There is one Sikkim tourism office at Mall road where you can inquire about the permit [If you want to do it independently].

Most probably you will go with a tour operator so you ask the tour operator to arrange the permit. I will recommend you to fix the permit issue as soon as you reach Gangtok on 5th November. Tour operators may hike up the permit cost if you reach little late but remember you should inquire at least 3-4 shops.

I remember they charge some 200 Rs each person for the shared jeep so You can multiply number of seats to 200 and calculate the price of exclusive taxi. You should try to get a discount of 10-15 % on the final figure.

Note: Only 4*4 wheel drive vehicles can go till Nathula so Number of seats would be around 10.

For Catching up with other fellow travelers to Sikkim, You can visit this thread.

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/travel-companion-sikkim-trip

Regards
Vishnu

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Shubhangi (not verified)
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Thank you so much Smile

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Welcome... A Message for you from Pavithra...Scroll down to view it...

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Pavithra Balasubramanian (not verified)
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Again Thanks for the information Provided.

Some more queries -

You have mentioned our trip to Lachung will include accommodation and food. But we are not travelling on a package tour from Bangalore. Does it mean we will have to have a package tour arranged from Gangtok to Lachung?

It would be great if you can suggest some travel agents in Gangtok who would help us in travelling around Gangtok and as well as arrange for Lachung and Thongu trip.

What would be the approximate cost for this trip to Lachung and thongu?

How much can we reduce from the original cost quoted by the travel agents?

As i said earlier our Gangtok hotels are already booked and we wouldnt be able to go to pelling from Darjeeling. If possible we are planning to accommodate that when we return from Gangtok. Gangtok - Pelling (sight seeing and stay) - Next day to Bagdogra (Return). Is it advisable?

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Hi Pavithra,
You need to book the tour to Lachung,Lachen and other sites in Northern Sikkim from Gangtok itself. You will get the best price if you will book from Gangtok after inquiring at 4-5 tour operators. There is a huge difference in the cost if you will book it from anywhere else or Internet. There is no advance booking needed so reach gangtok and customize your travel as per your need.

I do not remember any number from Gangtok which can really help you. All the tour operators are same. They all are on the Mall Road. Still you can give a call to vijay @ 9936484251. May be he has some local connections.

The cost to Thangu.. Lachung.. Yumthang was 8000 Rs for 3 people 2 years back. The major component was taxi fare so even for 2 people, they want deduce much.

Yaa..You can stay for one night at peeling while returning back to Bagdogra...I think its not very far from Bagdogra...All i suggested to include it while coming from Darjeeling because it was much convenient...

Good Luck with your trip and Have a stupendous time in Sikkim

Regards
Team Thinking Particle

Pavithra Balasubramanian (not verified)
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Hi Shubhangi,

Till when are planning to be in Gangtok? We are arriving there on 7th...

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@Pavithra and Shubhangi:

Recent feedback about the current travel scenario in Sikkim. Trupti recently returned from Sikkim.. It will be Important to you guys.

http://thinkingparticle.com/articles/nathula-pass#comment-4650

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Pavithra Balasubramanian (not verified)
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Thanks Vijay.. Just saw that... Its sad they are still not giving permits. I just hope we get them when we are travelling next week... What is the point going so far and not seeing the important places??? ... Just a wish and a hope that we would get permits....

Shubhangi,

DO let me know the dates of your travel. We can probably meet up in gangtok...

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For Manish

Hi Manish,
          Thanks for dropping at Thinking Particle.
          Seems like a nice plan you have, however I can see that you are only spending one day in Darjeeling but that's fine.
You can cover important sites at darjeeling on 23rd. If possible try to visit Tiger hills early in the morning to see splendid view of Kanchenjunga peak.

As per your plan, you will reach Gangtok on 24th evening.
24th: Stroll along Mall road and Confirm your booking, permit for nathula and changu lake. It can be done easily by any tour operator at Mall Road.
25th : Visit Nathula and Changu lake. Snow should not be a problem however, its a high altitude considering 1 year Infant. there will be less oxygen. Please consult a doctor whether you should go with your daughter or not. There are always chances of snowfall which can cause road block so you need to consider that aspect as well.
26th : Visit other nearby sites in Gangtok town and then Return back to Siliguri

Please let us know if we can help you further

Regards
Vijay

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manish jalan (not verified)
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thank you vijay
actually i have revised my program a bit because i found that on 25th the nathula pass is closed.therefore i have to change my entire program.
now i will be going to gangtok directly from NJP on 22nd morning.....and then on 23rd i.e wednesday i will move to sanghu lake and nathula pass..
on 24th i will move to darjeeling.
on 25th i will get the whole day for darjeeling and on 26th i have made the resrvation from darjeeling to kurseong by toy train.

please letme know is this itenary is betterthen before.
please feel free to contact me if you require any information about rajsathan specially about Jaipur.
thank you

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Hi Manish,
                    Seems like a perfect plan, All you interchanged between Gangtok and Darjeeling which is absolutely fine.
                   
                     I took a wide decision of not taking toy train all the way to Darjeeling. It would be time consuming.
 
 anyway, All the very best for your trip.. share your photographs and experience with us.

We will certainly like to get some information about Rajasthan. I am bit inquisitive about temples and Haweli's in Sekhawati regions.

Keep Traveling
Vijay

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Pavithra Balasubramanian (not verified)
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Hi Vijay and Vishnu,

Returned yday from Gangtok and darjeeling trip. Everything went as per plan. Got permit for Nathula Pass , North Sikkim. So visited every place possible. A very fortunate and a beautiful trip...

To all those who are travelling to Gangtok, pls do not worry. situation is very normal. Sikkim tourism provide permit only if the roads are clear. So nothing to bother at all. North sikkim was best place to travel except for the roads being bad...

Will give the entire details with the travel agency number in my next post.

Thanks Vijay and Vishnu for ur excellent help in our planning...

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Hi Pavithra,
                    Welcome back, and glad to see that you were through Nathula and north Sikkim without any problem. So sikkim is now back in track gracing us with its awe striking beauty... Congratulations...  and hopefully Sikkim will reside in your memories for a long time...

Regards
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Shubhangi (not verified)
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HI

Returned from Gangtok-Darjeeling. Beautiful landscapes from teak trees to tea gardens. Loved Teesta river flowing gracefully ..from NJP to Gangtok. We had snowfall while going to Nathula and it was the highlight of our trip. Snowflakes & Icicles. We had booked our travel through Yarlem tours & travels and we were not disappointed. We were lucky to have sunshine by the time we reached Darjeeling. We saw the mighty Kanjanjunga and yes she is beautiful.

Sorry Pavitra ...did'nt respond to our query. We were in Sikkim in the first week of Nov.

Thanks Vijay , Vishnu

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Congratulations for witnessing Sikkim at it's best... you are very lucky indeed... Very few get the chance to see all this in their maiden trip to Sikkim.... I can just imagine how stupendous it would have been....

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Pavithra (not verified)
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Hi Vijay,

It was indeed a stupendous trip. Its a life time experience and we shall never forget beautiful sikkim and darjeeling..

We had been to all places in Sikkim through Wisdom Travels. Their office is near SIkkim tourism and below Rasoi Restaurant. Really wonderful people.. They had arranged Trip to Nathula, 1 day sight seeing in Sikkim and Trip to North Sikkim as well.. I would recommend anyone who is travelling to sikkim to arrange trips tnrough these travels. ( Its not Marketing for the Travel Agent. Its just an extremely good experience we had with them ).

Guest (not verified)
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hi Pavithra,

Congratulation for completing a wonderful journey!!!!!
Two of us would be visiting Sikkim in Feb. I wanted to know the amount the agent charged for your North Sikkim and Nathula tours.

Thanks,
Pradipta

Swati (not verified)
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Hi Pavithra,

Can u plz share with us what is the cost incurred in all the trip which u booked through wisdom travels...so that we will get an idea of how much will be the cost..

for nathula pass..what is the cost for the permit for each person and the trip cost?
And cost for 1 day sight seeing in Sikkim and Trip to North Sikkim ..

thanks in advance..

Pavithra (not verified)
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Hey i am not too sure about february climate there. It might snow heavily and possibilities are there the roads are not clear. Its just my perception about the climate there. May be you can check with them.

We took exclusive Car for North Sikkim trip and 1day sight seeing, sharing for Nathula. I can say he charged much lesser than the other travels. It might depend on the season also. So you guys bargain. Thats my advise instead of taking the price he quoted to us.

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@Shubhangi & Pavithra: What about a posting a travel blog about your trip to Sikkim ? .. :)... definitely it would be an interesting read for us....

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Pavithra (not verified)
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I will be doing it soon... Smile

Ravi Maheshwari (not verified)
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Hi All,
We (Group of 3) planning to visit Darjeeling and Gangtok (Dec 11 - Dec13). This is the itenary as of now:
Day 1. December 10th: Pick up from Bagdogra airport (1:30 PM) and drive to Gangtok. Arrive Gangtok. Check in hotel. Evening self explore MG marg. Stay O/N.

Day 2. December 11th: An easy excursion to Tsomgo Lake situated at the Indo-Tibet border at an altitude of 12,400ft. (option to have an experience of Yak ride here). Enjoy the serene beauty of the lake. Also visit Nathula Pass. Return back to Gangtok. Stay O/N. ( full day).

Day 3. December 12th: A leisure day in Gangtok visiting places of tourist interest including famous Enchey Monastery, Tibetology, Institute of Cottage Industry, Dro-Drul Chorten, Rope way and world famous Rumtek Monastery. Return Back to Gangtok Evening walk at the Mall or shopping /leisure. (half day) - Start for Darjeeling…Reach Darjeeling Stay O/N
Day 4. December 13th: Take the toy train to Ghoom and Proceed for local sightseeing - Tea Gardens, Buddhist Monasteries, Himalayan Zoological Park and Snow Leopard Breeding Centre, Museum, Botanical Gardens, etc.
Day 5. December 14th: - Proceed to Tiger hill (View Point to be visited for Sunrise) in the morning and cover Batasia Loop. After breakfast drive to Bagdogra airport (3:25 PM )

Let me know your thoughts on the Itenary. Going by the posts here looks like it is wise to go to Gangtok and then book the Nathula Pass and Gangtok local trip.
However Getting the Natula Permit for Dec 11th Morning would be a challenge as we may reach late in the evening to Gangtok. Suggest any change to the itenary, if required. Also planning to stay at Mintokling Guest House in Gangtok.

Pavithra (not verified)
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Hi Ravi,

Drive from Bagdogra is a minimum of 4 - 4.5 hrs drive. Even if you reach by 6, travel agencies would be available. So it wouldnt be a problem as such.

The problem may be on Day 3. December 12th. The sight seeing may even take a whole day. There are whole lot of things to be seen. ( This part i think you need to decide whether to take up all sight seeing places or not )

In Darjeeling i heard toy train is extremely slow. So i do not know how much time would it take to reach Ghoom. And if it is possible to go for sight seeing after this ride if it takes longer time.

I would suggest you to go and book travel agencies in Gangtok. There are plenty of them on the MG Road. The same thing can be done in Darjeeling as well. We hired a cab standing in Gandhi Marg

Ravi Maheshwari (not verified)
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Thanks for the info..I see you were positive about Wisdom Travels, can you share the contact details / email id so that I can reach out for a tentative idea on teh transport cost as that would be the chunk of the expenses.

Vijay Raghavan (not verified)
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Hi Vijay and Vishnu ,

Returned from Darjeeling - Sikkim on saturday (26). It was a nice trip. We were able to cover Mirik Lake , Pashupati Nagar , Darjeeling - Local Site Seeing , South/west/East sikkim including Gangtok (E), Nathula pass (E) , changu lake (E), River Rafting (Teesta River)(Drunk , Pelling (W)and Namchi (Drunk. Thanks for your guidance and help in making my schedule.

Ravi Maheshwari (not verified)
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How many days was your trip....we are also planning a trip to Gangtok and Darjeeling - Dec 10 to Dec 14.
Can you give a brief of your itenary which would be helpful.

Also we are planning for River rafting...I will give you a brief our trip...let me know if it sounds good..

Day 1. December 10th: Pick up from Bagdogra airport (1:30 PM) and drive to Gangtok. Arrive Gangtok. Check in hotel. Evening self explore MG marg. Stay O/N.

Day 2. December 11th: An excursion to Tsomgo Lake, Baba Harbajan Temple and Nathula Pass. Return back to Gangtok. Stay O/N. ( full day).
Day 3. December 12th: Sightseeing Gangtok visiting places - Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Banjhakari Falls, Tashi View Point, Rumtek Monastery . Start for Darjeeling in the evening…Reach Melli and stay overnight for River rafting in Teesta

Day 4. December 13th: Teesta River Rafting (Moring 9AM/10AM)...start for Darjeeling around 12 AM and reach by 1:30/2 PM...Check in and then Proceed for local sightseeing - HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute), Zoological Gardens, and Dhirdham temple, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Tenzing, Gombu Rock, Peace Pagoda, Passenger Ropeway and Japanese temple

Day 5. December 14th: - Proceed to Tiger hill (View Point to be visited for Sunrise) in the morning and cover Batasia Loop..Take Toy Train post breakfast….. Start from Darjeeling at 11:30 drive to Bagdogra airport (3:25 PM )

Also if you can let me know the cost specifically: Transport Cost details for your trip (specifically for Nathula Pass visit) and River Rafting..is it feasable in the morning...

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