Sikkim in December..To go or not to go>...?

#1 Nov 1st, 2005, 19:33
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  • InsideTheOutdoors is offline
#1
Hi Im'ers,

Found a couple of posts on Indiamike and it seems to be the perfect source for first hand info to plan my trip to Sikkim this december..>!

Actually i am from Mumbai and plan to spend atleast 3 weeks in Sikkim just wandering about.... I tried to google the same info but all i got was a bunch of travel agents -( I avoid them..)- willing to organise a trip... The links on the forum also do not work anymore...

Honestly speaking, I havent got a clue what to do in Sikkim after reaching Gangtok..? Sounds bad but I heard there's a place (possibly Yumthang) which
has a kind of Valley of flowers...? Is this true? Are there any other places offering identical "flower-power"?

Also i want to get the closest possible view of Mt. Kanchenjunga (for photgraphic reasons), preferably after some moderate trekking . Which town/village would be suitable for the same?

I observed the constant appearance of the names: Pelling and Dzongri? What are these places known for?

I plan to reach Gangtok like this:-----

Mumbai-NJP-Sliguri-Darjeeling-Gangtok.

Is the above route plan fine? And if yes, I'm hopping that there would be some means to get around the cities such as Private buses/taxis/2x2"s... (correct me if I'm wrong..)
How much do u think these would cost.?

Also as an almost final question,
What would be the average cost of living for a day in Sikkim in the places mentioned? I am a totally budgeted backpacker, who's quitting his job soon to just wander alone... So remember, cheap staying is MY luxury ... Hahah..

hey also , what can i expect of the weather around 10-Dec time.? Would it be safe to travel alone..?

As always, expecting all your useful replies....

Rejoice... For our lands are free...!
"Live, Love, Shanti, Shiva
#2 Nov 1st, 2005, 21:11
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  • TREKorDIE is offline
#2

Talking

Lots of queries.............anyway, I'm trying to answer.

Quote:
Sounds bad but I heard there's a place (possibly Yumthang) which
has a kind of Valley of flowers...? Is this true? Are there any other places offering identical "flower-power"?
Yes, Yumthang(~12000ft) is known for flower............but in december, if you can reach there, you will see only snow..........no flower..........flower season is april-may.
The actual "Valley of Flowers" in Sikkim is Varsey...........but in the same season.

Quote:
Also i want to get the closest possible view of Mt. Kanchenjunga (for photgraphic reasons), preferably after some moderate trekking . Which town/village would be suitable for the same?
Pelling and Pemiyanshi offer best view of Kanchenjungha(~30-35 km bird fly distance) without trekking.
More closer view is available from Dzongri........after a moderate trek about 3 days....but I'm not sure about the feasibility of the trek in december.

Quote:
I observed the constant appearance of the names: Pelling and Dzongri? What are these places known for?
you've got the answer already


Quote:
I plan to reach Gangtok like this:-----

Mumbai-NJP-Sliguri-Darjeeling-Gangtok.

Is the above route plan fine? And if yes, I'm hopping that there would be some means to get around the cities such as Private buses/taxis/2x2"s... (correct me if I'm wrong..)
How much do u think these would cost.?
Mumbai-NJP:
If you want to avail flight: you have to do break journey.Nearest airport to Siliguri is Bagdogra.Jet Airways has Delhi- Bagdogra-Calcutta- Bagdogra-Delhi flight operating daily. So, you have to go either Delhi or Calcutta to go to Bagdogra.Indian Airlines also has Calcutta-Bagdogra flight............but probably not operating daily.
By train: Direct trains:
5645 Dadar-Guwahati Exp. departs from Dadar at 7.55am (only on wednesday and saturday) and will reach NJP at 2.20am on third day.
Sleeper class fare is Rs.521.
5647 Dadar-Guwahati Exp. departs from Dadar at 7.55am on friday and will reach NJP atsunday 5.30am. SleeperClass fare: Rs.529.
Sleeper class is the best for budgeted backpackers .
OR do break journey via Calcutta.
for details check this site.
NJP-Darjeeling:
Famous Toytrain is available.
shared or reserved Jeep or Taxi is available from NJP station.
Bus available from Siliguri.
Taxi/Jeep available from Bagdogra also.
Darjeeling-Gangtok:
Bus and jeep/taxis are available.

You can get taxi/jeep direct to Gangtok(without going Darjeeling) from NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra. Direct bus to Gangtok is available from Siliguri.
I'll recomend NOT to miss Darjeeling,"The Queen of Hills".
Can't tell the exact costs ..........but reasonable (most probably within ~Rs200/250max).

Quote:
Also as an almost final question,
What would be the average cost of living for a day in Sikkim in the places mentioned? I am a totally budgeted backpacker, who's quitting his job soon to just wander alone... So remember, cheap staying is MY luxury ... Hahah..
daily living cost will around Rs.500-600 as cheap staying is your luxury.
Gangtok is bit costlier anyway. You may expect an accomodation at ~300Rs....................or less, as december is off-season .

Quote:
hey also , what can i expect of the weather around 10-Dec time.? Would it be safe to travel alone..?
Weather will be very cold and clear .
Sikkim is very safe...........once I heard that the state has only one jail and only one inmate of that jail .
_____________________
after answering your questions, here is some suggestions:
Quote:
Honestly speaking, I havent got a clue what to do in Sikkim after reaching Gangtok..?
In december, it is better not to try for Yumthang/Yumsedong region ......there may be too much snow in North Sikkim. Go to Gangtok....Rumtek....Tsango Lake(if possible) and then go to west sikkim.........Pelling, Pemiyangshi, Uttore, Ravangla . Avoid travel agents on net............there are many agents at M.G.Road in Gangtok.....browse among them to get the best deal.........you may directly talk with the drivers of the Jeeps parked on that road.
reading this thread may help you further.

Happy Journey
TREKorDIE:
" BECAUSE IT IS THERE ! ! ! "
#3 Nov 2nd, 2005, 13:07
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  • InsideTheOutdoors is offline
#3

Thanks for all the Fish....

Thanks a Lot for all your help Trekordie.... really appreciate it.

Any others have any suggestions?

The basic thing I'm worried about is the weather conditions there in December. If the winter's gonna be freezing- as in - if it would be difficult to walk or eat or basically live peacefully,
then I really wouldn't be enthu about the journey. I also realise that it wouldn't be excatly like Manali in the summertime.. but then again would it be absolutely necessary to live beneath layes of clothing?

Sorry to sound so ignorant but i tried googling this info. but found conflicting answers...
#4 Nov 2nd, 2005, 13:26
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  • jyotirmoy is offline
#4
I agree totally with TREKorDie. Even Tsango lake will be out of reach.
Gangtok - Ravangla - Temi - Pelling looks possible.
Regarding safety etc. please dont drop your guard. We have been treking & travelling in the Himalayas for decades but for the first time one of our cameras was stollen while returning to Gangtok from Yumthang.
Good luck.
#5 Nov 2nd, 2005, 19:23
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  • TREKorDIE is offline
#5

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideTheOutdoors The basic thing I'm worried about is the weather conditions there in December. If the winter's gonna be freezing.....
Yes, weather is gonna be freezing..........you can expect zero to three degree..........occationaly even less...........but the good part of the story is it is easier to fight very cold weather (not mentioning those killing cold...mountaineers do face) than very hot weather.
Anyway, heavy woolen is a must.
#6 Dec 11th, 2005, 17:47
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  • davyd is offline
#6

sikkim in december

actually i visited sikkim 2 times and the first one was in the end of december 2003 (last 10 days). The weather was fine, warm, around plus 20 in the day with fine views, but ocasionally there was strong rainfall. Uphills after rains everything was covered by snow (all viewpoints in Gangtok) and Indian tourists were busy with eating it. You also may enjoy it.
#7 Dec 12th, 2005, 04:51
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  • torryquine is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideTheOutdoors
I observed the constant appearance of the names: Pelling and Dzongri? What are these places known for?
Pelling is also known for the lovely Pemayangtse monastry and the interesting Rabdentse ruins.
#8 Dec 13th, 2005, 20:36
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  • InsideTheOutdoors is offline
#8
Thanks a lot guys for constantly updatin me in all possible ways...!!! Really appreciate it so much.....
[applause][applause][applause]

But the thing is that I just quit my job some days ago and am already on a "no-time-bound" trip around India.... Sikkim is kinda outta my list ...for now atleast... (since i'm in Rajasthan and would be leaving form here tomorrow to get a white christmas..!!!!! ...)

Well, if Karma permits, I would deffo make it to Sikkim..don't know when..... maybe I could work in some hotels [or build roads with the BRO...hehehe ] and add up money, piece by piece, to spend the whole of next year just watching India Live, Breathe, Sleep, Rise and unfold in all its glory.... every day in its loudest towns and the remotest villages!!!! (Keeping fingers crossed..)

Thanks again to all you wonderful people....!!!

Adios and hope to see you all one day....
#9 Jul 12th, 2006, 17:15
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  • luniapankaj is offline
#9

Sikkim in December

Hi,

I am new to this group and am really happy to read loads of first hand information here on Sikkim. I have always felt that Sikkim is not one of those 3night-4days kind of place to visit. The more research I do the more I am convinced.

We plan to visit Sikkim during last week of this year and first week of January. I have prepared the following itinerary and wish to run it through Sikkim experts.

Day 1: Early morning Siliguri to Gangtok. 114 kms around 5hrs. Reach by afternoon. Half day Gangtok sight seeing, covering all/most local location. Overnight at Gangtok.
Places to visit: Govt. Institute of cottage industry, Sikkim Research institure of Tibetology, Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa), Deer Park, Flower Show hall & White Hall, Enchey Monastery, Ridge Park, Buterfly Park, Orchid Farm, Himalayan Zoological Park, Saramsa Garden, Nam-Nam view Point

Day 2: Full day trip to Rumtek Monastery and other nearby places like Water Garden, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary and places from previous day’s schedule if any. Overnight at Gangtok.

Day 3: Full day trip to from Gangtok to Menmecho Lake, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Tsongo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass. Overnight at Gangtok.

Day 4: Early morning leave for Lachung en-route visit Tashi View Point, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Himalayan zoological Park, Kabi Longtsok, Phodong Monastery, Labrang Monastery, Tumlong Palace ruins, Singhik, Naga waterfalls and Bhim nala waterfalls, Chumthang. Overnight at Lachung.

Day 5: Early morning start for Yumthang valley, en-route visit hot springs, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Move on to Thangu, Chopta, Gurudongmar, Yumeysamdong, Lachen. Overnight at Lachen.

Day 6 & 7: Move to Pelling. Visit Pelling, Pemanhtse Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, Yuksam, Barshay, Reshi Hot Springs, Tashiding monastery, Legship. Move on to South Sikkim reaching Rabangla. Overnight at Rabangla.

Day 8: Visit Rabangla, Temi Tea Garden, Tendog hill, Phur-cha-chu (hot springs), Maenam hill, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
Other places: Namchi, Samdruptse, Rock garden, cottage industry, Doling Gumpa, Namchi Monastery, Jorethang, Borong, Singchu-thang (45 km from Gangtok), Sikip, Naya bazar

Day 9: Early morning return to Siliguri. Afternoon train to Bangalore.

Hope I have mentioned all names correctly. Might seem like eating the entire pie in one go. But I wished to cover everything worth seeing. Need expert advise on how practical the schedule is and whether I can drop any of the places to make it a bit easier? I also have few (!!!) queries

1) How easy it is to get hotels during last week of the year and how advisable it is to visit Sikkim during that period.
2) Is it possible to get more comfortable vehicles compared to traditional 4 wheel drive jeeps we get on mountains? If so where.
3) I am visiting with my family of 4 with 2 kids and the younger one is 3.5 yrs. I remember reading that children below 5 yrs may not be allowed at Nathula pass. Is that correct?
4) Do we have a motorable road route from Lachen to Pelling without coming to Gangtok?
5) Are the rates generally fixed at the Hotels/taxi/elsewhere or do we need to bargain? What should be the car rentals per day (or per km) during that part of the year?
6) Anybody heard of Mintokling Guest House? Seems to be a family run guest house. I read some very good words about this at http://www.indianembassy.org/US_Medi...n%20Sikkim.htm
7) Since I plan to hire a taxi from Siliguri to Gangtok, is it advisable to cover Rumtek and other places en-route and reach Gangtok by night?
8) I heard Special Permit is required to visit areas like Nathu La pass and North Sikkim. Is it true for Indian nationals as well?

Phew…too long. But should be helpful to all those planning to visit Sikkim.

Thanks…Pankaj
#10 Jul 12th, 2006, 18:52
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  • bloodypeasant is offline
#10
Found the Superview Himachuli to be fine in Gangtok if you are going there - it certainly lives up to its name - the manager was keen for us to take a tour but when we said no left us alone
#11 Nov 16th, 2007, 18:07
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  • roamfree is offline
#11

Question Sikkim or Himachal in Dec?

Am planning to go on a week long holiday - Dec 24-Jan1 tentative. Criteria - good scenery, snow, serene places. I have been to Himachal before but that was in summer. Need help on places to cover (I'll be travelling from Bangalore - looking at flying one way, which airport to fly to?), accommodation (should be decent and preferably in a quite and scenic location). Should I look at covering Changu lake and Gurudongmar lake (how far are they?), or should it be a combination of Darjeeling+Gangtok for 2-3 days and nearby places (?) for the remaining 2-3 days?
#12 Nov 18th, 2007, 22:38
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  • ambar_81 is offline
#12
Hi Luniapankaj,
You Day 5 plan is simply impossible.Yumthang and Gurudongmar is not possible in a single day.You have to stay one night in Lachung to visit Yumthang next day.On the same day you can move to Lachen and visit Gurudongmar/Thangu the day after.But I'd recommend if you want to leave North Sikkim on the third day you should visit Girudongmar on day 2 and Yumthang on day 3.Means first move to Lachen from Gangtok-visit Gurudongmar next day-move to Lachung-Visit Yumthang next day and leave North Sikkim.
#13 Nov 23rd, 2007, 22:37
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  • gooroong is offline
#13
luniapankaj your itinerary is so packed up that i wonder if you really have time to see the places and enjoy ,having your own vehicle too wont be possible .
Day 8: Visit Rabangla, Temi Tea Garden, Tendog hill, Phur-cha-chu (hot springs), Maenam hill, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
Other places: Namchi, Samdruptse, Rock garden, cottage industry, Doling Gumpa, Namchi Monastery, Jorethang, Borong, Singchu-thang (45 km from Gangtok), Sikip, Naya bazar

thats impossible and another thing naya bazar and jorethang actually are the same just seperated by the river.you are going to jorethang and some where near to gangtok and again driving back to jorethang or nayabazar ....................

you are planning to only drive night and day it seems and see nothing in actual . east to west /north to south . waoh !!: good luck

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