East Sikkim Silk Route Tour.Need Help

#1 Jun 17th, 2015, 17:13
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  • Soundofriver is offline
#1
Last time I was in India Mike seeking some information about planning an itinerary for Sandakphu trekking. And the response i got was really really helpful.
Now again while i'm planning another tour,I desperately seek the expert opinion on this,obviously to make this one a success like the previous one.
Back in school days,once I went on a summer camp in North Sikkim.The place gave me such a wonderful experience that now so many years later I am planning to take my family there on a holiday.

First of all the information that i need to provide you all to get an opinion are here.
We are 3 adults and a kid below 3 yrs.I am heading for East Sikkim Silk Route in the month of November (1st week).It will be a budget tour and maximum time can be 7 days(may be less).
My route plan is-
Day 1- Start for NJP from Sealdah. Darjeeling Mail .
Day 2- Reach NJP. Take a cab froom NJP to Lingtam.Night stay.
Day 3- Visit Aritar Lake and local sightseeing and relax the day.Night stay.
Day 4- Start for zuluk.Nightstay.visit Lungthung.
Day 5- Start for Nathang Valley.Night stay.Sight seeing includes Tsomago lake via old and new baba mandir,bhulbhulaiya or the zigzag road,Thambi view point,Sorethang(the market with Chinese items).
Day 6- Start for Gangtok. Night stay. On the way to Gangtok visit Changu lake.
Day 7- Start for NJP. Board the train. Padatik Express.
Day 8- Reach home.

Though i planned this itinerary roughly based on Bhraman Patrika and other source readings,I am left with many doubts and queries that I'm unable to clarify myself.
Q.1 Is this route ok?Need i Stay any place else,like Sillery Gaon,Lungthung or Rangli?And whether to stay in Rishikhola instead of Lingtam? At this point I'm getting confused.Can anyone give me a right East Sikkim map,where I can see which comes after which.Saw many maps but in each map places are pointed differently.
Q.2 As we would not be able to travel prior November,will it be safe for a below 3 yrs kid?What are the medicines that i need to take for any kind of mountain sickness?
Q.3 The main problem is the car option.Some sites are mentioning that I need to book a Cab for the whole trip as cabs won't be available at each point.Is it true?If yeas how much can it cost?
Is it Possible to take a car from NJP to Lingtam. ThenThen again another from Lingtam to Zuluk? I have no idea of hiring cars in this region.
Q.4 What are the lodging options?Please share if you have any contact details or names to suggest.
Q.5 I hear there is only one place to stay at Lingtam. How much will it cost?Should I book this in advance or can go there and bargain and then do the booking?
Q.6 The permission for Jelep La pass can be done from Lingtam. Is.Is it possible to visit Nathula Pass on the way to reach Gangtok?

Will appreciate your help and any information you can share.
#2 Jun 17th, 2015, 18:12
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  • Ghosal is offline
#2
Q.1 Is this route ok?Need i Stay any place else,like Sillery Gaon,Lungthung or Rangli?And whether to stay in Rishikhola instead of Lingtam? At this point I'm getting confused.Can anyone give me a right East Sikkim map,where I can see which comes after which.Saw many maps but in each map places are pointed differently.

Ans. Not sure on Lingtham stay but Rishikhola is a better option. Sillery Gaon over than Lingtham and Lungthing over Zuluk should be better staying options.

Q.2 As we would not be able to travel prior November,will it be safe for a below 3 yrs kid?What are the medicines that i need to take for any kind of mountain sickness?

Ans. November would be cold. You may try with coca 30, taking 2 drops prior to start of your journey to places of 10000+ ft. altitude. Sickness is not that acute in that region but it depends on person to person. Incase of serious uncomfort, descend to lower altitude always helps. 3 years old kid won't of too much worry in connection to altitude sickness since the kid adopt faster than the adults but make sure that the kid remains quite and clam, any strainous activity may lead to problems.

Q.3 The main problem is the car option.Some sites are mentioning that I need to book a Cab for the whole trip as cabs won't be available at each point.Is it true?If yeas how much can it cost? Is it Possible to take a car from NJP to Lingtam. ThenThen again another from Lingtam to Zuluk? I have no idea of hiring cars in this region.

Ans. It's ture, approx cost Rs.3000/- per day all inclusive but you need to bergain hard.

Q.4 What are the lodging options?Please share if you have any contact details or names to suggest.

Ans. SILLERY GAON Dilip Tamang 9635005318, 933922859, 7602040018

Q.5 I hear there is only one place to stay at Lingtam. How much will it cost?Should I book this in advance or can go there and bargain and then do the booking?

Ans. No idea

Q.6 The permission for Jelep La pass can be done from Lingtam. Is.Is it possible to visit Nathula Pass on the way to reach Gangtok?

Ans. The whole silk route requires permission to be obtained and it can be done from Rongli. You will be able to view Jelep La from distance but its not like Nathu La where you meet the chinese soldiers. Nathu La permission could only be obtained from DC office, Gangtok and hence you wouldn't be able to visit on the way to Gangtok from Nathang. Having said that, I heard when I was last there in the month of March, issuance of Nathu La permit was suppose to start from Rongli though not sure it has started or not. Dilip Tamang would be able to guide you.
#3 Jun 19th, 2015, 13:02
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  • Soundofriver is offline
#3
Thank you so much Ghosal DA...The info you gave is very much helpful.I will contact Dilip Tamang.
#4 Jun 19th, 2015, 20:52
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  • ahan is offline
#4
I have visited the place in March. So I am trying to help you.

Q.1 Is this route ok?Need i Stay any place else,like Sillery Gaon,Lungthung or Rangli?And whether to stay in Rishikhola instead of Lingtam? At this point I'm getting confused.Can anyone give me a right East Sikkim map,where I can see which comes after which.Saw many maps but in each map places are pointed differently.

You cannot go to Lingtam from NJP directly. You need to get ILP from Rongli. And that depend on time.
Again after reaching Lingtam you cannot come back to Aritar. Because then you have to get permit again to go to Zuluk.

Do like
NJP - Aritar
Aritar - Zuluk
Zuluk - Gnathang
Gnathang - Gangtok

Q.2 As we would not be able to travel prior November,will it be safe for a below 3 yrs kid?What are the medicines that i need to take for any kind of mountain sickness?

You can take medicine said by Ghosal,

Q.3 The main problem is the car option.Some sites are mentioning that I need to book a Cab for the whole trip as cabs won't be available at each point.Is it true?If yeas how much can it cost?
You have to book a car for the total tour. No point to point service. Again the cause is ILP. You have to get ILP along with cab.

Is it Possible to take a car from NJP to Lingtam. ThenThen again another from Lingtam to Zuluk? I have no idea of hiring cars in this region.

Cars from Siliguri will not cater you. These cars are with special permit.

Q.4 What are the lodging options?Please share if you have any contact details or names to suggest.

You can find many TRs. I will suggest you to read TRs of Debasish da(dcyouth), Asishkaku etc.

As per their TR and my experience your cost of 3 people should be 8500 to 9000/- per person.
800 to 850 per day and 3500 more or less per car.

Q.5 I hear there is only one place to stay at Lingtam. How much will it cost?Should I book this in advance or can go there and bargain and then do the booking?

Lingtam in my opinion is not a very nice place to stay.

Q.6 The permission for Jelep La pass can be done from Lingtam. Is.Is it possible to visit Nathula Pass on the way to reach Gangtok?

You cannot go to Jelep la.

You can get permit of Nathula from Gangtok.
#5 Jun 19th, 2015, 23:06
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  • dcyouth is offline
#5
You Already get enough information from lovable IMers.

The first comment from my side :
1. Think about acclimatization as you have a kid. So don't night stay in higher altitude very early of the trip.
2. If you want to end your trip in Gangtok, 1 night stay at Zuluk/Padamchen is enough in that route.
3. As you confused about route map: Here is my 2 cents:

NJP--Kalimpong--Silarey Gaon/Aritar/Reshikhola--Rongli (permit only done here)--Lingtam/Padamchen--Zuluk--Gnathang--Tukla--Kupup--Nathula--Tsomgo Lake--Gangtok.

Now you can start to fix for your Night Stay location.

***Jelep La is no permit zone for Travelers.
#6 Jun 23rd, 2015, 17:49
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  • kushik1984 is offline
#6

Information about East Sikkim Tour

Hi All,

I need your help to plan a trip covering following points along with Silk Route in the 3rd week of November. We are 10 people in our group and preferred basic accommodation(Home stay) in all areas. The places we like to cover are as follows: Dzuluk, Nathang Valley, Mankhim; Lampokhari.

Our basic plan is to stay at least 2 nights each in Nathang Valley and Dzuluk and 1 Night Each in the rest 2 places (Although we are flexible for any other better tour plan)

Kindly provide us information such as Home stay Rent in AP basis, Car rate (NJP to NJP) sightseen and other places where we ca travel from the above 4 points and whether we can choose any other better option than above 4 points.
#7 Jul 8th, 2015, 16:31
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  • Soundofriver is offline
#7
Thank you dcyouth.....the info is helpful....
#8 Jul 8th, 2015, 16:33
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  • Soundofriver is offline
#8
Thanks a lot @ahan.....
#9 Jul 8th, 2015, 16:50
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#9
Here comes the bad News.
I talked to a travel agent n hotel personnel there and both of them said it's not a good idea to bring a below 3 yrs kid on the East Sikkim tour during the month of November.If i still go then i wont be able to nightstay at nathang valley or not even be able to complete the sightseeing.Bringing a below 3 year kid will be risky. And this alone is the reason enough to cancel the program.
But thank you so much for giving me all the details in such a short time.It was really really helpful.
As I'm strongly determined to visit Sikkim this November,I have made another plan. I have decided to visit West Sikkim instead. Can you all please go through it and suggest whether it will be okay or not. Just confirmed the tickets of Darjeeling mail on Oct 31st from Sdah to njp. So we are ultimately going.
My travel itinerary goes like this-
Day 1 : Reach NJP- take a cab-reach Pelling-nightstay
Day 2 : Visit Yuksom-return-pelling sightseeing-night stay @pelling
Day 3 : Reach Uttare as early as possible-sightseeing-night stay* @uttare
Day 4 : Reach Kaluk as early as possible and visit rinchenpong- night stay @kaluk
Day 5 : kaluk sightseeing- night stay @kaluk
Day 6: After lunch start for Njp- board the train and bye bye.

Now my queries are:
1.can Hille and Varsey be added anyhow in this plan?can't extend the days though.Is there any trekking involved in this route?
2.can you all give me any lodging/contact info about staying at these three places(Pelling,Uttare,Kaluk)?b udget hotels for 3 persons.Or any place else that I should stay?
3.is this plan OK to say that I have covered entire west Sikkim?Or am I skipping something?

Waiting for your suggestions.I have nt bought the Return tickets yet.plz confirm whether the days I have planned are enough or not..
Again,looking for the IMers' suggestions for a perfect travel plan..
#10 Jul 8th, 2015, 17:25
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  • arupratan ghosh is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundofriver View Post
Now my queries are:
1.can Hille and Varsey be added anyhow in this plan?can't extend the days though.Is there any trekking involved in this route?
2.can you all give me any lodging/contact info about staying at these three places(Pelling,Uttare,Kaluk)?b udget hotels for 3 persons.Or any place else that I should stay?
3.is this plan OK to say that I have covered entire west Sikkim?Or am I skipping something?

Answers :

1. It's not advisable to take a kid below 3 years to Barsey during November at a height of around 10000 Ft . Barsey'll be pretty cold specially during night. The Trekkers' Hut is very basic & it's inside Rhododendron Sanctuary, away from city / No mobile connection , No Electricity. It involves a trek of 4.5 Kms ( from Hiley to Barsey).

2. For hotel contacts Please check Post No # 50 of this Thread

3. Your plan sounds good . You are covering all the major points of West Sikkim District
#11 Jul 15th, 2015, 16:02
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  • debjyotidasgupta is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kushik1984 View Post Hi All,

I need your help to plan a trip covering following points along with Silk Route in the 3rd week of November. We are 10 people in our group and preferred basic accommodation(Home stay) in all areas. The places we like to cover are as follows: Dzuluk, Nathang Valley, Mankhim; Lampokhari.

Our basic plan is to stay at least 2 nights each in Nathang Valley and Dzuluk and 1 Night Each in the rest 2 places (Although we are flexible for any other better tour plan)

Kindly provide us information such as Home stay Rent in AP basis, Car rate (NJP to NJP) sightseen and other places where we ca travel from the above 4 points and whether we can choose any other better option than above 4 points.
Plenty of night stay options in that region and you can choose to stay any of that (either well known or little known). Please mention number of nights you choose to stay in Dzuluk and Gnathang to get some more suggestion.

If you do not have any problem taking service from any travel agency, you can try this out:

www.destinationoffbeat.com

But remember, the website is still under construction, but we are operational in the places listed in our "Destination" page.

Also, at the beginning phase (though we started from April), we are offering discounts. If you like to avail the service from us, just use the "Contact Us" page to drop a line to us. We can discuss about the rates there.

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