Sikkim trip on april end, need assistance.

#1 Jan 31st, 2018, 03:21
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  • SebzJo is offline
#1
Hi,
we are a group of 8 members planning for a sikkim trip on april 21st to 30.
Our interest are
- gangtok
- gurugongmar,lachen
- yumthang, zero point,nathula
- tsomgo lake, baba mandir
- lachung
- pelling if possible
- darjeeling if possible

We are looking for budget hotel. Can anyone suggest a suitable itinerary and is it possible to cover all the places. And avg cost. we are looking to limit budget below 15K per person. Feel free to mention any other places (instead of the places or extra I've mentioned).
#2 Jan 31st, 2018, 10:01
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#3 Jan 31st, 2018, 13:40
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  • aneek is offline
#3
Hello,

Welcome to the forum!!

Are you reaching NJP/Bagdogra on 21st?

Assuming that you are reaching NJP/Bagdogra on 21st, I would suggest the following (would be my plan)

21st April: If you are in NJP, to reach Gangtok you have 2 options:

1. Pocket friendly option: Reach SNT (Sikkim Nationalised Transport) via an auto (8 people can sit - big auto). Book either a full jeep or 8 seats in a jeep. The rates should not cross Rs.300 per seat (I forgot the rates we booked). Here you can find a detailed rate chart: http://www.sntd.in/viewpdf.aspx?data=162&evt=1

2. Costlier option: This depends on your bargain skills. If you are in Bagdogra or trying to get a jeep from NJP, then you need to book a full Jeep and the costs can go up to ~4K or more. Bargain hard.

One thing to remember, if you are going via NJP, once you reach the station, lots of agents will encircle you and will try to convince you to take their service. They will offer good rates in jeeps and hotels. You'd think you are the gainer but once you complete your trip you will get to know who was the gainer in the end. So, DO NOT FALL PRAY TO THEM.

However, it would take 4.5 to 6 hours depending your amount of halts to reach Gangtok. So start early and reach there by noon/early afternoon.

Hotels in Gangtok: Lots of hotels available. Either go to TripAdvisor or MMT to book. You'd get a deal now. If you preffer to stay near crowded place then book a hotel near M.G Marg or if you want to stay at a quite place then my recomendation would be some hotel near Secretariat Road. Yes those hotels/homestays are costly there.

22nd April: Spend one full day at Gangtok and do some sightseeing. You will find many places and suggestions with this search keyword 'things to do in Gangtok'.
To visit Nathula, North Sikkim, Katao etc. you need to book via a travel agent/ car operator. They'd arrange the permits. So contact them as early as possible. Link: http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webf...TATO_List.aspx

23rd April: Visit Nathula, Tsomgo lake, Baba mandir in one day. Start early. Note, ask your travel operator to book the permit for Nathula well advanced as there is a daily cap on the numbers of people to the actual top (India China border). No camera is allowed here. If you are seen taking pictures your camera will be taken and will be sent to either Delhi or Fort William, Kolkata (Don't know the facts but I have seen two army men took one person's camera the day we visited, and said the same. Better not to validate!)

24th April: In these two days all of you should be a bit acclimatized to the heights. Which is good. So go for a 2 night - 3 day trip to Yumthang, Zero point and Gurugongmar lake. On this day the operator would take you to Lachen. Night stay there.

25th April: Early morning, at around 3:00 AM you should start for Gurugongmar lake and return by 10:00 AM. The altitude is more than 17K ft. So there might be chances of AMS. Take precautions. Coca 30 is what we carry everytime in high altitude treks and trips (http://www.homeopathicmedicine.info/en/coca/). Easily available in India I believe (at least in Kolkata its easily available). Once you decend to Lachen, have lunch and start for Lachung. Reach Lachung by afternoon. Spend the rest of the day taking rest, walking down the river(whatever you like).

There are two options to visit from here: Yumthang valley, Zero Point and another one is Katao. When we visited, it was closed for civillians. So ask your tour operator if it's open or not. If open:
1. On 26th visit Yumthang and Zero Point. Night stay at Lachung.
2. On 27th visit Katao and return to Gangtok. (This means your 2N3D plan would become 3N4D)

26th / 27th April:
(if only Yumthang and Zero Point): Yumthang and Zero Point. Return to Gangtok.
(Katao included): Katao then return to Gangtok.

27th/ 28th April: Pelling. Start early morning from Gangtok. Night stay at Pelling.

28th/29th April: Pelling sight seeing. Night stay.

29th/30th April: Pelling to NJP.

If Katao is not in your plan then you can utilize the extra day in Darjeeling. Transfer from Pelling to Darjeeling. But you might have to book private cars. I don't have any idea on that route.

BTW: This link Comprehensive Information for a North Sikkim Trip!! has mostly every information about North Sikkim.

I hope this helps. It should, my fingers are hurting!!

Regards,
Aneek
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
#4 Feb 1st, 2018, 01:12
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  • SebzJo is offline
#4
Thank you very much for the detailed reply. It was very informative. Can you let me know about booking entire trip through a travel agent is a good option or not?
Will April end be a peak time in Sikkim.
#5 Feb 1st, 2018, 12:23
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  • aneek is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SebzJo View Post Thank you very much for the detailed reply. It was very informative. Can you let me know about booking entire trip through a travel agent is a good option or not?
Will April end be a peak time in Sikkim.
You might have to do that. Actually there is no way that you could visit the places on your own where permits are needed. Those have to be via a tour operator. So that makes most of the trip via a tour operator. Only Pelling and Gangtok sightseeing you can book on your own. Example, taking local transport from Gangtok to Pelling, arranging a car from Gangtok for local sightseeing etc.

April till June is Summer there and there will be rush. Mainly from West Bengal. All the board exams are completed by that time and many visits either Darjeeling or Sikkim.

Regards,
Aneek

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