A Short Tour Plan for North Sikkim

#1 Mar 24th, 2009, 15:46
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  • tamagna is offline
#1
Very recently I have visited North Sikkim with couple of my college friends and I would like to share my experience. Since we are working in different sectors it was hard to plan a long tour, so we came up with 5D/4N plan to visit both Gurudongmar Lake and Yumthang valley, the two most popular spots in North Sikkim. It was a bit hectic and is not recommended if you are planning to go there with your family, but it's a perfect plan for group of friends who can't afford a weeklong tour.

Day 1: Reach NJP Station around 8AM by Train from Kolkata. Move to Gangtok around 2PM (Hiring a car will cost Rs. 1200 or you can share with others for Rs. 140 each). After lunch you can go to MG Marg and book a 3D/2N North Sikkim package tour. You can book it from your hotel also (if they can). We booked the tour from a private tour operator just outside of the NJP station and it was Rs. 1700 per head (9 people in a MAX), fooding and lodging included.

Day 2: After breakfast reach the stand around 10AM, waited for our pass for 1 hour and started at 11. (You must have photo identity with you along with 2 passport size photos, otherwise you can't apply for the pass.) We had lunch at Managn and reach Lachen around 7.30PM. Lachen becomes very cold in night, so do keep warm clothes with you, local beers will be really helpful at night

Day 3: Start early morning, breakfast at thango, reach Gurudongmar Lake around 11.30AM, come back to Lachen around 3.30 PM, have lunch then move to Lachung via Chunthang, you'll reach Lachung around 8PM.

Day 4: Start around 6AM for Katao, its a place fully covered with snow, really enjoyable and a must see. Katao was outside our package, so we paid the driver Rs. 200 each (total 9 people in the car). Come back to Lachung, have breakfast then go to Yumthang Valley. Again come back to Lachen, have lunch and start journey back to Gangtok. Reach gangtok around 8PM, stay at hotel.

Day 5: Do some marketing in the morning, then move to NJP after lunch.

Lachen and Lachung are very remote villages, so don't expect to get ATM, good mobile network, restaurant or luxury hotels there. Lunch and Dinner will be purely veg. In spite of these, you'll be thrilled to visit this place and will not forget the experience in your whole life. Please do visit my Picasa album to get a taste of North Sikkim:

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/onlyta...ingNorthSikkim



#2 Mar 26th, 2009, 02:15
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#2
Thanks Tamagna. I feel Sikkimh watrants more time, but you got the most out of your five days.

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#3 Mar 26th, 2009, 02:54
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#3
excellent report thank you Tamagna.we are travelling to Sikkimh after arriving in darjeeling... we leave in a few weeks, your tips will be helpful :-)we have as much time as we require,
any other Sikkimh info/tips would be greatly appreciated from anyone who has visited Sikkimh, after sikkimh we are traveling to Nepal for a wedding via darjeeling again
Indian Girl
#4 Apr 9th, 2009, 22:41
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#4
Hey tamagna ... me and my coll frnds are also planning a trip to north sikkim ..cld u just let me knw how much this trip cost u ...tia


Mod Note: deviant - would you please write your posts using full English and not SMS text language. Many of our members from other countries do not understand SMS and English is the language of the Forum for this reason. Kindly spell your words in full in future posts.
Last edited by Aishah; Apr 9th, 2009 at 22:49.. Reason: deleting OP's post - not necessary here.
#5 Apr 10th, 2009, 11:39
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#5

trip cost

deviant, if you go to north Sikkim then you must have to stay 2 nights at Gangtok (the first and the last night of your tour)... hotel charges in Gangtok will be like any other cities in India... every types of hotels are available here. Now for the north Sikkim there can be 1N/2D or 2N/3D or 3N/4D package tour and it can be either a shared package (total 9/10 people will share a tata sumo or mahindra max) or you can hire the car. For 1N/2D package if you share the trip then it will cost you Rs 1000 per head, and for 2N/3D it will be around Rs 2000 per head. If you hire a car then for 1N/2D will cost you around Rs 12000 and 2N/3D will cost you more Rs 17000 to Rs 19000. Fooding and lodging will be included in all the packages. I'm not sure about the 3N/4D package. Also in the summer the cost may be a little hire as this is the main season for visiting north Sikkim. Don't forget to carry photocopy of identity card and 2 passport size photos with you.

Hope these information will help you. By the way, if you manage to reach Yumthang valley the please share the photos with us... we couldn't go there due to heavy snowfall.
#6 Apr 10th, 2009, 21:08
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#6
Thanks tamagna. I am visiting Sikkim in early May, so your trip report is very useful. Is there any reason you skipped Nathula Pass/Changu Lake?

I am a little confused myself if I should visit Gurudongmar instead of Nathula Pass/Changu lake, because like you, I have only 4 days to cover Sikkim (excluding travel from and to NJP).

Edit: Very nice photos
#7 Apr 11th, 2009, 00:02
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#7

@pixelshooter

There can be only one reason for skipping Nathula Pass/Changu Lake. I went there in Jan 2008 That time too I had a plan to visit north Sikkim.. but in January it was almost impossible to reach there... to be honest it's really hard to cover this beautiful place in less than a week... I'm looking forward for another trip in Sikkim near future.. this time west Sikkim.

If you are going to stay for 4 nights in Sikkim then you have only two options... Visit Nathula Pass/Changu Lake and spend rest of the time in Gangtok, Rumtak and other local spots... Or take the north Sikkim trip (in this case you'll miss local places).. my suggestion will be, if you are going with family and looking for a nice-relaxed-smooth type of trip then take option one... or if you're with your friends and looking for some adventures then just follow my plan... believe me... you'll not be disappointed.

** Many people visit nathula/changu and next day take a 2D/1N north Sikkim trip.. but in that case you'll not be able to visit Gurudongmar lake.
#8 Apr 11th, 2009, 07:48
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#8
Thanks for the info!

Here is the plan I put together with a travel operator:

May 4th - Leave Cal for NJP
May 5th - NJP - Gangtok. Spend the evening at Gangtok.
May 6th - Leave for Lachung and stay there.
May 7th - Visit Yumthang and get back to Gangtok. Night halt at Gangtok.
May 8th - Visit Nathula Pass/Changu
May 9th - Return to NJP and night train to Cal.

We are two of us traveling from Bangalore. We have arranged for a taxi exclusively for the Yumthang trip. This is because I am very keen on not missing any photo op on the way

As you said, this itinerary does not give us time for Gurudongmar lake, but my priority is to cover scenic places. I am ok with not visiting zoos and museums, so I guess I'll skip those in Gangtok. Hence I was wondering if I should extend my stay in North Sikkim and skip Nathula Pass/Changu.
#9 Apr 12th, 2009, 13:12
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#9

@pixelshooter

Your plan looks ok.. hiring a taxi exclusively is always a good idea when you are visiting North Sikkim... if you are looking for scenic beauty then you can skip zoos and museum.. no problem with that... but if your priority is to cover scenic places then Gurudonmar lake should get higher priority than chhangu/nathula (my personal opinion).. as a tourist spot chhangu/nathula is no doubt good.. but you'll not get much to see when your are traveling.. Gurudonmar lake is in a different class really.. there you'll get everything on the way.. the white mountains.. valleys.. green forests.. rivers.. falls.. and off course the lake itself.
#10 Apr 12th, 2009, 22:21
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#10
Thanks Tamagna
#11 Apr 12th, 2009, 22:46
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  • Sajish is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagna View Post Very recently I have visited North Sikkim with couple of my college friends and I would like to share my experience.


Thanks for the pictures Tamagna..When did you visit these places..time of year?

Rgds
Sajish GP
#12 Apr 12th, 2009, 23:15
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#12

@Sajish

We reach Gangtok on 11th March.. spent night at Lachen and Lachung on 12th and 13th.. then left Gangtok on 15th... to be honest after reaching North Sikkim we realized why March is not a preferable time to visit that place.. it was full of snow.. in fact we were lucky enough to visit Gurudongmar... but missed Yumthang as the roads were blocked
#13 Apr 15th, 2009, 00:53
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#13
Thanks for d info we r planing it by 1st week of oct
#14 Apr 15th, 2009, 02:13
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#14
hi everyone..
i also visited gurudongmar lake around the same time as tamagna and would like to share a few things that one must be careful about:

- gurudongmar lake is at a height of 17200 ft above sea level. even the fittest of people may feel symptoms of altitude sickness at this height.. its certainly not suitable for kids and even otherwise its advisable to carry appropriate medicines for headache, nausea etc..

- the road from lachen to gurudongmar is terrible, so be prepared and the winds at the lake are fast and proper clothing is necessary to protect u against it

- do make sure the permit you get is upto gurudongmar lake and not only upto lachen/thangu.. travel agents tend to send the people even if the permit is only till thangu/lachen bcz of bad road conditions, saying that you will be allowed to go till the lake if the road is opened by then.. the permits are checked by the army and they wont let u cross the check-post if u do not have the required permit even if the driving conditions are ok.. so incase u have a permit till lachen/thangu only, get it changed till gurudongmar from the police station at lachen

- u might get a cheaper deal if u catch some travel agents near the taxi stand at bhajra in gangtok.. this is the place from where all the taxis to nathula and north sikkim leave... we got an exclusive cab for 2N/3D for north sikkim (yumthang and gurudongmar)excluding hotel and food for Rs.6000, when the travel agents at MG road were quoting Rs.9000 for the same

@pixelshooter
i've been to both nathula/changu and gurudonmar and i totally second tamanga's view.. the natural beauty that u see on the way to gurudongmar is unparalleled anywhere else.. and the lake itself the single most beautiful sight i have ever come across.. even the best of the photos can never capture the true essence of the beauty of this place, u've to be there to experience it!!
#15 Apr 15th, 2009, 22:40
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  • histeve is offline
#15
Pls visit my micro blog
" Comprehensive Information for a North Sikkim Trip!!! link for futher info...Comprehensive Information for a North Sikkim Trip!!
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