Things you wanted to know before travelling to Sikkim

by May 4, 2017Destination Guides, Sikkim

Sikkim is one of the tiniest states of India with an area of about 7096 sq kms. This small state is full of wonder and beauty. You can see the snow capped peaks, green valleys, colourful rhododendrons, luscious waterfalls and sprawling tea garden all here. And you can also find your peace among the monasteries. The state is a wonderful place to travel. So based on our experience, we tell you here all that you need to know to visit and travel this state.

Sikkim can be broadly divided into four zones- east, west, north and south. The tourism here is also divided likewise. Gangtok is the main town and wherever you go, you can always start from Gangtok.

Monasteries of Sikkim

Phodong Monastery

East Sikkim:

Gangtok, the capital is situated on East Sikkim. For places of interest in Gangtok, visit our previous blog post on Gangtok.

The Silk route tour is also an option if you want to visit East Sikkim. Visit Aritar and Zuluk and get to know the ancient trade route between India and Tibet.

Sikkim Tourism

M G Marg, Gangtok

West Sikkim:

This part has one of the best views of the mountain ranges. Pelling is a picturesque hill station with grand views of Mt. Kanchenjungha ranges. From Pelling, you can take trip to Pemayangtse, Kechepari Lake, Legship and Yuksom.

Sikkim Travel guide

The view of mountain ranges from pelling

The ruins of Rabdentse, the ancient capital of Sikkim is near Pelling. The all-encompassing view from Rabdentse is simply breath taking.

Sikkim Tourism

Ruins of Rabdentse

Travel a little more to visit the somber towns of Ohkrey, Rinchenpong and Kaluk having magnificent views of the mountain ranges. And if you want to see the rhododendrons in bloom, visit the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. But to see the colorful blooming rhododendrons, you must visit Barsey in April.

Sikkim Travel Guide

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

North Sikkim:

The northern part of Sikkim is the largest area wise and is more remote. To visit Northern Sikkim, you need to get a permit. Visit the holy Gurudongmar Lake via Lachen, a small village. It is said the on visiting Gurudongmar, all your wishes will come true. This place is indeed like a picture postcard.

Sikkim Tourism

Gurudongmar lake

Next you can visit the Yumthang Valley. The valley is also called the Valley of flowers for the variety of rhododendrons and seasonal flowers that bloom here. During May-June, the whole place becomes a riot of colours.

Sikkim

Snow covered Yumthang Valley

These two places are not the only wonders of North Sikkim. The hidden gem is undoubtedly Dzongu. Dzongu is a Lepcha reserve and a picture perfect village. Just imagine a few small huts and fluttering white prayer flags in front of them! Dzongu is such a place with warm people and lovely views. To visit Dzongu, you need to get a permit from Mangan.

Sikkim travel

Dzongu, the Lepcha Village

South Sikkim:

Visit Namchi, Chardham and the mighty Samdruptse in South district. Get enchanted by the lovely Temi Tea gardens. Visit Ravangla, Ralong and Borong for a wonderful stay and watching rare Himalayan birds.

Sikkim Tourism

Ravangla

Apart from these well known places, there are a few small villages that are being helmed as eco-tourism spots. These small villages have homestays that welcome travellers throughout the year.

So if you are planning to visit this wonderful state, just give us a shout. Contact us for a perfect itinerary for your Sikkim trip.

A few facts about Sikkim:

Best time to Visit:

Monsoons should be preferably avoided. During monsoons, apart from bad weather, there are chances of landslides.

Mode of transport:

By public or private vehicles. For North Sikkim tour, you have to take the help of travel agent to get the required permits. Also to visit Nathula Pass, permit is required.

To know more about transport rates in Sikkim, click here.

How to reach:

Bagdogra is the nearest airport and NJP is the nearest railhead. You can get shared jeep from NJP or Siliguri to Gangtok. The major towns and villages are connected by shared vehicles, but the vehicles are fewer in number and you have to check the timings of the shared jeeps.

Smoking in public is banned in Sikkim. And so is plastic. They take cleanliness quite seriously. So while in Sikkim, do not throw the wrappers anywhere on road, you might just get penalized for it.

Gangtok

Rumtek monastery

Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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27 Comments

  1. Sikkim is a mystic surprise on every turn. The places are in competition with each other over their visual delights.

    Reply
    • Very true! Sikkim is a wonderful destination.

      Reply
  2. hi Agni

    Nice post. Need your advise on my itinerary for next year. I’m foreigner therefore need to join tour for East and North Sikkim. As for West and South Sikkim I would like to do it slowly by share taxi or jeep. Please guide me the best way to cover the like Pelling, Rinchenpong, Namchi, Ravangla, Jorethang and etc…

    26 April Gangtok
    27 April Gangtok
    28 April East
    29 April North
    30 April North
    1 May North
    2 – 6 May South
    7 May Bagdogra

    Reply
    • Hi! Can you please mail us your requirements at info@taleof2backpackers. We will be very happy to guide you. Thank you.

      Reply
  3. Hey Agni,

    Planning on a month long backpacking into Sikkim. Idea is to know the local culture, explore local and try everything local mostly people and yes mountains. Would you be kind enough to help me out.

    Reply
    • Hi Ninad. Thank you for stopping by. Sure, we will be glad to help. Let me know your queries.

      Reply
  4. Hi

    The Cute and Perfect Couple,

    It is such a nice article even romantic. You have given information about almost the whole of Sikkim in your links, I have checked all the links. I have been to almost all the places you have mentioned but rediscovered today in your post. I t really takes me to a journey to Sikkim in a different way. Keep up the good work guys.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Ranadeep. Your appreciation really encourages us to work harder. Keep reading and sharing your views.

      Reply
  5. This is great read right here.

    Reply
  6. Nice post. It is very useful for me also. Sikkim is one of the popular tourist destinations among the people. This place surrounded by hills and the places is more pleasant in summer and cold in winter. I am planning to visit Sikkim in December to celebrate my wedding Anniversary. I already discussed with Happy Holidays Tours and Travels for traveling there. I got more information about Sikkim after reading your text. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Dinesh. Congratulations on your Wedding Anniversary in advance. Hope you have a lovely time in Sikkim.

      Reply
  7. hii Agni,

    very nice clicks of Sikkim, beautiful photographs. Keep up the good work.

    regards
    Sudhanshu

    Reply
    • Thank you!

      Reply
  8. Great photos. I have always wanted to visit Sikkim. The article is very informative and I like how you have broken it up into North-South etc. I really want to do the Silk Route Tour. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Thank you Jane. Sikkim is a wonderful destination, If you ever visit this place, give us a shout. Will be happy to help.

      Reply
      • Hi Agni,

        Planning to visit Sikkim in December for 5 days. It would be helpful if you can provide some travel agent’s number whom you have met across there.

        Or help us with some info to cover following places.

        1. Pelling.
        2. Gangtok
        3. lachen.
        4. Gurudongmar
        5. Yumtang valley
        6. zero point

        Reply
        • Please check your mail.

          Reply
          • Hi Agni,

            Can you please share the travel agent’s number with me as well. Planning a small 5 day trip to the North of Sikkim.

            Thanks a lot for the good work of helping us out and keeping us updated.

  9. Nice pictures you guys! I’ve been thinking for a while now to visit India and still not sure which part to start first (soooo much to see) 😀 But for one thing I’m sure: I’d definitely combine a hiking-trip to the Himalayas with Nepal and Sikkim – Maybe in May? The idea about watching the rhododendrons bloom is great – and I’d love to take shots of the milkyway at the mountain-lake you posted a picture of (~April-Aug is best for this on the northern hemisphere…). Well, have to think about it & thanks for all the info provided 🙂

    Reply
  10. I love your pictures of the mountains, the air is so crips and it is just so clear. I looks like a very interesting state to visit – something different!

    Reply
  11. Learning about the spice road would be incredible! So much history there. The landscape is amazing. The mountains are breathtaking. I love that they take the trash very seriously. Imagine how the rest of the world would look if we were that serious about it.

    Reply
    • Thanks for liking our post and Sikkim. Sikkim is one of the few states of India that is particular about cleanliness!

      Reply
  12. I have not visited India yet. Sikkim looks different from other cities in India. It looks peaceful and pleasant. I like your photos of the North Sikkim a lot. It is a perfect place for nature-lovers.

    Reply
    • Thanks Iza. Whenever you want to visit India, feel free to give us a shout. We will be happy to help! ?

      Reply
  13. I have never even heard of the region os Sikkim! I would simply go for the mountain views and the town looks clean (and very European I must add). Great write up and adding this on my list of things to do in India! 😀

    Reply
    • Thanks Danik.. Sikkim is one of the tiniest state of India but extremely beautiful.. Just give us a shout when you are here.. ?

      Reply

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