Kissa Solotrip Ka: Sikkim

11th May 2019

Solotripping Sikkim

Photo of Kissa Solotrip Ka: Sikkim by Amit Kumar Sharma

Solo trip to Sikkim can be one hell of experience, you would be lost in mountains and chilling weather.

I planned my Sikkim trip with a friend in the month of May but he had to cancel because of medical reason. After seeing pictures of this beautiful place, I couldn't cancel it and decided to go alone.

Photo of Kissa Solotrip Ka: Sikkim 1/1 by Amit Kumar Sharma
On the way to Kala Patthar

Trip Itinerary for impatient readers.

Best Time to visit March to May.

Bangalore - Bagdogra(WB) : Flight (Rs 6.5 k)

Bagdogra airport - Siliguri cab stand : Shared Auto(Rs 150)

Siliguri - Gangtok(Sikkim) : Shared Cab(Rs 250- 500) , I payed Rs 400 for WagonR for comfortable journey.

Stayed at Tagalong Backpackers Hostel : Rs 800/night for bunk bed includes breakfast

Booked 3 days / 2 night package from Batman tours for North Sikkim (Lachen and Lachung) - Rs 2700 includes travel, food and stay. Photo and ID proof is required.

Booked a day trip to Tsomgo lake and Baba Mandir - Rs 500 shared cab

Gangtok - Siliguri : Shared Cab( Rs 250)

Story for chilled readers: Motivating enough to go for solo trip to this awesome place. Tiring journey to Gangtok

Day 1

I traveled from Bangalore so took flight to nearest airport Bagdogra (West Bengal). Highly motivated and perplexed me came out of Airport to see the options for traveling to Gangtok. Auto wala will ask anything depending upon how confused you look. Finally I took shared auto after walking 300 mts and he dropped me near shared cab stand costing me Rs 150.

It was already late around 5 pm so I was not getting many options. At last I got WagonR which I shared with a couple. It was quite comfortable for me sitting in front seat so I was fine for paying 400 bucks.

There was lots of traffic on the way having few bottlenecks. I would suggest to eat light food as its get tiring and monotonous. Music would be awesome companion so keep power bank with you.

I reached around 9:30 to MG marg in Gangtok and I need to go further 2km to Tagalong Backpackers hostel. Here comes the first cringe hit, driver denied going further unless I pay extra. I was fine with it but he asked for Rs 150 taking the perfect advantage of time. I end up paying being new to place as it was already late.

First Night @ Tagalong Backpackers Hostel

Hostel does not have big board so I called the host for actual location. She guided me to the tagalong cafe which is on ground floor and hostel in other two floors. I checked in and got hit by bouncer that no food is available, also every place was closed outside. Host was kind enough to offer me cornflakes and banana and surprisingly she refused to take money for it. All reviews about this hostel proving to be right and I started feeling great again, how a small gesture changes whole mindset is truly unpredictable. She showed me my bed and gave me the locker key. Best thing about hostel is you are never alone. I saw few people sharing their thoughts in the hall and chilling on the couch. Introduction happed and I found out the couple is going for trek in the morning, motivation starts pouring in me like ice cream. I met guy from UP and Kolkata with whom I was sharing the room. Kolkata guy seemed very talkative and I felt like maintaining some distance as I was too tired to talk. The hostel is clean and bunk is quite cozy having light weight quilt. Every other thing was telling me to sleep like there is no tomorrow, so freshened up went straight to bed. After sometime I heard shouting and I saw Kolkata guy was playing PUBG in the middle of night. Now I started having 2nd thoughts, did hostel was wrong choice to stay. As I was tired, it didn't bother me much so slept easily, hoping to have better experience tomorrow.

Photo of Tag Along Backpackers, The Travel Cafe, Development Area, Sungava, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Hostel Hall for chilling

Photo of Tag Along Backpackers, The Travel Cafe, Development Area, Sungava, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma
Day 2

Beautiful Cold Morning : Gangtok

It was cold night and obviously I woke up a bit late. Hostel had complimentary breakfast and Kolkata guy asked me to join him. He mentioned to check with host if anyone was also going to the places I wanted to go. We had good healthy breakfast which includes cornflakes, fruits, bread, butter, jam etc. Greeted few people in cafe with the feeling of better day. Good food always give positive vibes and would have never imagined better morning. Girl enquired about North Sikkim trip to the host and bingo I got the companion. We introduced ourself and I got along with her to roam around Gangtok on feet. She is high spirited Kerala girl with no drama, lucky me. We walked up and down hilly road to MG Marg which is around 2 km from hostel to book the tour package for North Sikkim from Batman tours, as someone gave her good review about it. It opens around 10 am, since we went together shared tour for 3 days and 2 night(Lachen and Lachung) cost us Rs 2700 which includes travel, food and stay kind of good deal. Basically we had a big car like Sumo having 10 person. The Batman informed us that Kaala pathar in Lachen and Zero point in Lachung will cost us extra depending upon number of people. We requested him not to add us to old people for the sake of smooth travel.

Now was the time let it free and walk in Gangtok, interesting isn't it. She already roamed around a day before so she was leading me. She insisted not to use google maps and try different stairs in between which could reduce the distance. We hunched and got successful at some.

Embrace Sikkim

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

First Stop : Enchey Monastery - A small yet beautiful place, not much crowded. Monk kids were playing football was delight to watch with beautiful colourful houses on the hills. I was surprised people were putting chocolate cakes as prasad, delicious. We chilled out for some time decided to move on.

Enchey Monastary: Find Happiness in every moments

Photo of Enchey Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Second Stop: Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park - Walk to this places most interesting one. We enquired locals how to reach there and he asked for shortcut and long way, we said definitely shortcut. He said follow that muddy path up the hill. We saw three girls climbing up the hill which assured us at least we were going somewhere. They leaded us to lovers point - a small plain place which has quite exhilarating view, after that they gave direction to the park. This path was even trickier and we had perfect trekking. We reached the park which had quite big and have different beautiful view points. After sometime it started raining so didn't see many animals but I got picture with Red Panda which was win win. You can normally see bear, panda, yak, leopard etc.

Entrance of Zoological Park

Photo of Zoological Park Gantok Sikkim, Gangtok-Chungthang Road, Chhateng, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Red Panda Spotted

Photo of Zoological Park Gantok Sikkim, Gangtok-Chungthang Road, Chhateng, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

It's not snow but just water droplets

Photo of Zoological Park Gantok Sikkim, Gangtok-Chungthang Road, Chhateng, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Third Stop: Ganesh Tok - The temple is next to park from where you can see Gangtok. Small shop is also there for souvenir.I was lucky enough to capture lightening from here.

Beautiful View of Sikkim from Ganesh Tok

Photo of Ganesh Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

On the way back from Ganesh Tok

Photo of Ganesh Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Back to hostel by cab and had momo for dinner ended the day with good sleep.

Day 3

Lachen & Lachung

We went to Taxi Stand and as per previous experience cab started late around 12 PM. Along with us we had family from MP and WB and we were praying that they do not mess up our travel. Batman assured us that we will get similar age people for travel and we got almost.

It is well said that we travel for journey not for destination. It was quite sunny day in the morning, we stopped at small waterfall but driver skipped the "Seven sister's waterfall" because we already started late. It was lavish green hills with few houses here and there. We stopped at one small house where our lunch arrangement was done. It had basic food with rice, dal, some fried veg and in non veg we had chicken. It already started raining heavily and till we reached Lachen, we experienced beautiful hill rains with fog all around and with increase in height we saw snow mountains peeking on sun-rays.

First Stop: Lachen - We reached our hotel around 7pm and temperature was chilled. Hotel was good and dinner was also alright. Place around is also good with few shops and pony. After dinner we walked and surprisingly we saw few restaurants having karaoke night. They have some kind of traditional wine also which seemed bit weird in the appearances.We decided to start our journey as early as 5 am so we slept early.

Morning View you die for: Lachen

Photo of Lachen, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma
Day 4

Morning what a view we had from our hotel, simply mesmerising. Since we are at high altitude, sun comes early. Mountains covered with snow and sun - rays on it, one cannot ask for better morning. We started our journey from hills to mountains around 6:15 . Air is so fresh and pious we were completely lost in it. Bumpy roads, beautiful landscape and Maggie just an amazing experience. Sikkim surprised again, with deserts in the mountains with snow on one end, just incredible.

Proud of Indian Army

Photo of Lachen, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Gurudongmar Lake: Heaven on earth can be seen here, I don't have enough words to explain the beauty it has which can only be experienced. This place could create nausea and uneasiness in breathing being on high altitude. It is recommended to take some medicine for the same. Lake is covered with snow and mountains are clearly visible bright and clear. It is advisable to not go inside lake. This place is worth a visit after surviving the bumpy roads.

Speechless Gurudongmar Lake: Panorama View

Photo of Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim by Amit Kumar Sharma

Kala Patthar: This place is in opposite direction from the lake and roads going up was even more miserable. Roads are narrow and there is quite good chance of not reaching to final place. We stopped a bit early before the final mountains because road was blocked with vehicles. We played with snow and clicked some awesome pictures as the view is just breathtaking. The cab driver charged us extra as this place being not part of the package, We paid 3k for 10 people.

Couldn't get better pic of Strangers

Photo of Kala Patthar, Sikkim, India, Unnamed Road, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

We reached our hotel back around 3:30 pm and had some basic lunch. It was heavily raining so we rested for sometime and took off for Lachung around 5:00.

Second Stop: Lachung - We reached here by 9:30 pm which was quite late and nothing was visible in the dark. The hotel was ok made of wood mostly.It was too cold even colder than Lachen and yes our teeth were grinding. We slept after dinner and took off around 6:30 am in the morning.

Day 5

Yumthang Valley: The journey to this beautiful flower valley passes through army camp and water flowing on the roads itself. I would say I enjoyed journey better than destination. River flowing on one ends with Yak all round give us immense pleasure to relive. It has lots of shops and restaurants, ideal for shopping and foods. Basically valley with enough area to roam around and enjoy the nature.

Get Snapped with this adorable Yak

Photo of Yumthang Valley Natural Reserve, Lake Cho Lhamu Road, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Flowers Valley

Photo of Yumthang Valley Natural Reserve, Lake Cho Lhamu Road, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

River in the valley

Photo of Yumthang Valley Natural Reserve, Lake Cho Lhamu Road, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Zero Point: Place is know for snow filled on roads and mountains as name suggest . It is around 7km from valley having stiff road which sometimes filled with flowers. Only two of us went there as others were either tired or sick because of travelling. It was also not part of package and we paid 2k to driver for it. When we reached there roads were blocked with vehicles and snow all around. Boots are recommended to walk around this place. You can enjoy momos, eggs, drinks etc here. We spend almost 40 mins here clicking pictures , playing with snow and having some food. It was bit crowded with people and thus snow became dirty.

Up the mountains in the snow

Photo of Zero Point Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

This concluded our 3 days 2 nights packages and we took off for Gangtok. We hit small setback as our cab tyre got punctured. One passing vehicle gave us the spare tyre which helped us in continuing our trip. We reached Gangtok around 6:00 pm all tired and bid adieu from each other.

Gangtok Again & Crazy Hostel: I had not confirmed with new hostel about my stay so they gave it to other. Now we both don't have place to stay. She already talked to owner of Tagalong and got couch to stay as all beds were booked. I also tried the same thing and the owner agreed to let me stay on another couch. I already made a friend over there(Remember Kolkata Guy) who was staying for 1 month. Hostel cafe had a vibrant environment at night. We had some delicious momos and chicken and get introduced to new people all around . We played games, danced and enjoyed freshly prepared cocktail by Nimisha(Appeared in Sacred Games). It was hell lot of experience with strangers and ended the night by sharing different stories, felt like family. Ron(Web Film guy) decided to sleep in the cafe and lucky me I got his bed.

Restaurant @ MG Marg, Sikkim

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amit Kumar Sharma
Day 6

Tsomgo lake and Baba Mandir: Next day I went alone as Ayana(my travel partner) left early for Bangalore. The place was too crowded, people were getting pictures clicked with Yak. If you have visited North Sikkim, you can avoid visiting to these places. I did not get pass for Nathula so didn't get chance to visit. Driver enquired me did you come alone and got perplexed when I said yes. Driver later invited me to special chicken lunch in restaurant where we stopped so finally boring trip ended on good note.

Delicious Lunch

Photo of Tsongmo Lake, Sikkim by Amit Kumar Sharma

Yak Ride @ Tsomgo Lake

Photo of Tsongmo Lake, Sikkim by Amit Kumar Sharma

After reaching Gangtok, Me and Akash(Hostel Friend) roamed around MG Marg and shared some good stories. It's so strange how two different people get along so easily.

Day 7

Back to Siliguri: Final day I had plan for paragliding but everyone at hostel said it's not worth so dropped the plan and hanged out in cafe with new strangers friends. I got company for going back to Siliguri - Rajat(Trekking guy) and Sharanya(Travel blogger). It was nice knowing different people doing things in diverse directions. All we want in our life is to be happy but happiness is always with you, we just don't need to look far for it. While leaving it felt like leaving a family and all because of such embracing Hostel owner Manisha. I will always have special place for Tagalong Backpackers Hostel in my life.

Strangers Outside Tagalong Cafe, From Left: Me, Sharanya, Manisha, Ankita, Ron and Rajat

Photo of Siliguri, West Bengal, India by Amit Kumar Sharma

Sharanya , Ankita and Ron made travel film on Sikkim. Do watch and embrace Sikkim, a must place to visit.

Link: Caravan Chronicles - Freeasiam

Batman Contact: On MG Marg, Sikkim

Photo of Kissa Solotrip Ka: Sikkim by Amit Kumar Sharma

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