Few months back I was having a chat with one of my friends in which he mentioned that his dad recently went to sikkim for some work and the word got stuck in my head. When I got back home the two things that I could relate with Sikkim was Gangtok (its capital that we all learn when we were young) and cleanest state (read it somewhere) so the curiosity started increasing and with that increased my knowledge about the smallest state of india(in terms of population). Reading about the place I decided it to be my next destination and fortunately I had days off in the coming month and it was a good time to visit the place.
Sikkim the landlocked state is surrounded by Nepal,Bhutan,China and West Bengal is a wonderland for nature lovers as you can spot waterfalls and a wide variety of exotic plants everywhere.The people are very honest, hardworking & concerned about nature and that is the biggest reason behind it being the cleanest state, people don’t litter things on the road and they don’t even pee publicly. Moreover they don’t even let you do that and you might be scolded for doing that.
Few queries that everyone had due to lack of information about the north east were about
Tension with china & terrorism (it is very peaceful last war was in 1967 since then no such incidence unlike the indo-pak border)
Permits (you need them but not a big problem ill cover them in detail in my travel guide)
People (they are mostly Nepali and are open to everyone)
Few things that you should know before going
You need permits for going to north Sikkim and east Sikkim so carry min 4 passport size photos.
Nathula is closed on Monday & Tuesday plan accordingly.
It is a bit expensive for budget backpackers.
Carry with you a rainproof jacket coz it can rain anytime in gangtok.
Booking your trip from njp station might be the stupidest decision of your whole trip, the guys there will charge you double for what you will get in gangtok and won’t respond to your complaint calls.
Foreign nationals can’t go everywhere and they need to be at least two people accompanied by a guide if they want to trek. Your go to place is altitude travels near tourist reception centre mg marg, they specialise in arranging treks for foreigners, you can easily find someone to accompany you for the trek.
There are shared jeeps for most of the places that are shared by 10 people so book front two seats for you if you want to travel comfortably.
Internet is not smooth in most places except Gangtok so preplan your trip and have all the important info that you want saved on your mobile or laptop.
Lets talk about my trip, I booked my tickets 2 months back and got them for 7k roundtrip to delhi, this was my first time flying with vistara and it was really as they say “fly the new feeling” for me. The service was good and the big surprise for me was that I wasn’t expecting a single meal and I got a full meal plus a snack as my flight had a small halt at Guwahati airport. This new venture of Tata and Singapore airlines deserves a thumbsup and I would love to fly with vistara again.
I spent 10 days and covered north,east and west spending 25k (food, travel, accommodation).
I reached Bagdogra airport at about 14:30 and was already very happy with the service I got in my flight and took a shared innova to gangtok for ₹750. You can also go from bagdogra to siliguri and then take a shared jeep to gangtok it can save you ₹200 but I chose comfort over saving.
Reached Gangtok at around 19:30 and checked in to my already booked place in Mg Marg called Go Hills. It was a kind of hostel that had two 4 bed dorms and a private room. I booked the dorm bed for 700 but to my surprise I was alone, had a chat with my host and then left for dinner. I had already searched a lot of travel blogs for nice places and had Khan Uncle’s kitchen on my list it was close to my place but was full and I had to wait for half an hour for a table, so I chose to use their takeaway counter and ordered a chicken wrap and it was good. After having the wrap I went for a walk and came across a shop serving softy which are very famous on hill stations so I decided to have one and went back.