Exploring Sikkim would be one of the best decisions you would ever make. It possesses some of the finest vistas in our country that would give any romanticized European country a run for its money. Embark on a journey with us to this heavenly state, and you will have a lifetime of scenic vistas to take back home. This Sikkim travel guide will help you plan the best 7 days in Sikkim.
How to Reach Sikkim?
We flew to Bagdogra from Bangalore. Bagdogra is the gateway for Sikkim and Darjeeling, which is 3 hours away from Gangtok. There is no commercial airport in Sikkim, and hence Bagdora is the point of arrival for Sikkim. A car was waiting for us to take us to our hotels in Gangtok.
Although we prefer planning the trip by ourselves, we sought the services of a package since post covid times are highly unpredictable.
The journey to Gangtok itself was highly eventful, and hence you need to plan accordingly. On the way, the vaccination certificate submission and permit to enter Sikkim took quite a bit of time. After some hair pulling, we continued our journey towards Gangtok after obtaining the permit.
On the way, you get the first glimpses of the Teesta River. Ask your driver to halt for a while to breathe in the cool air and play there for a time.
Next, you can have a good lunch at the famous Oasis Cafe on the way. Although pricey, it’s the last instance of tasty food you will be having since you would have booked breakfast and lunch in your hotels. Unless you have booked deluxe hotels, the food will be unpalatable.
If you are from the South, the first thing that would disarm you in Sikkim is the rapidity at which it gets dark. It will be pitch dark by 5:30 in the evening. Once you reach Gangtok, you can go for a stroll in the MG Marg lined with outlets.
Day 1 is only travelling, and you will find yourself craving bed by the end of the day.
Leave early for a visit to Baba Mandir. The journey is a visual treat. Take plenty of pics but don’t forget to enjoy with your eyes as well.
This temple was built to commemorate the legendary soldier Harbhajan Singh. Patriotic songs are blasted 24*7 here.
Natu La Pass
After Baba Mandir, it’s time for the much-anticipated Nathu La pass. Visiting Nathu La pass requires a special permit for each car to cost you 4k to 5k per vehicle.
Nathu La is the face-off point between the borders of India and China. You have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the part where you can view the point at which the Indian and the Chinese gates can be seen.
On the way to the top, a small café sells coffee and souvenirs.
You will not be allowed to take photos on the top; however, you can get some great pics at the entrance of the flight of stairs.
Tsongmo (Changu) lake
After relishing Nathu La pass, you can leave for Tsongmo (Changu) lake, where you can hug some adorable yaks.
On the way, you will come across small bridges across streams. You can stop at one of those for some good pics.
By now, it will be 4 in the evening, and the early hints of dusk would be apparent. You can leave for your hotel or go back to MG Marg and do some more sweater shopping for your neighbours.
Suggested Read : Uttarakhand Travel Guide
Gangtok to Lachen
Lachen is one of the pillars of Sikkim Travel. It is around 114km from Gangtok. We suggest you start early from Gangtok to reach Lachen before dark sets in.
On the way, check out Singhik waterfall.
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Lachen is a small village that leads to some important places to travel in Sikkim. We were blessed with one of the most beautiful views ever from our hotel. Checkout room price in Lachen here
You can check out your hotel. Your next primary destination in your Sikkim Travel for today must be Kalapathar in Thangu Valley and Gurdangmor Lake. On the way, you will come across an army camp where you need to obtain/submit papers. This place also has the highest dose camp. Stop here for some nice pics.
Kalapathar is not available on most itineraries. Insist the driver taking you there and agree to pay him a reasonable price (around 3k) because this place is
Oh, My Goodness!!!!!!!
It’s indescribable with words, and the images are not doing any justice to the brilliance of what lies ahead of your eyes.
After thoroughly drinking in the beauty, you can move on to Gurdongmor lake, one of the world’s highest freshwater lakes. It is one of the must visit places in Sikkim. The journey is equally rewarding with geographies like these.
And finally, we are there. But a word of caution. You might feel severely sickened due to a lack of sufficient Oxygen. So be very careful after getting out of your vehicle. Stand from a safe distance and enjoy the view.
Dotted with Army camps, the ‘world’s highest” dose camp and other high points, Gurdangmor lake is a collection of a beautiful water body and a myriad of geographies. Gorgeous Like you wouldn’t believe.
You can now head towards LACHUNG. There is no need to go back to Lachen.
You will find Teestha again on the way. So…pics time!
Your Sikkim Travel would be dotted with 1000s of waterfalls. A notable one among those is the SEVEN SISTERS WATERFALL.
You can reach your hotel and unwind for the rest of the day.
Suggested Read : Trip to Gudibande Fort from Bangalore
We stayed at Hotel Deezong in Lachung, check out the room prices here.
Yumthang Valley and Zero Point
Leave for Zero Point via Yumthang Valley. Again, the journey is more exhilarating than the destination.
At Yumthang Valley, you will stop at an Army base. All these are very exciting to witness and experience. You have washrooms here and can rejuvenate yourself with some spicy bajjis and piping hot tea. You can also take photos with our esteemed army jawans.
Continuing the journey further, we will reach Zero point. There’s nothing zero about “Zero point”. A Glacial Lake, rugged mountains, hot water springs and beautiful, fun-loving people make it a must-visit place. It is named so since there is no motorable road after this place and is connected to Tibet (which I was painfully made aware of that it is now an autonomous region of China and doesn’t pop up on Google maps)
We had a great time with the locals as well. They are a bunch of fun-loving people.
After exiting Yumthang valley, you may go to check out a natural hot spring. You should cross the bridge and hike a flight of stairs to a small housing where a little girl will lead you to the spring. Yes, it did seem like we were in a fantasy.
After the magic, it’s time to leave Lachen and Lachung and return to Gangtok.
On the way, you can have some excellent pork and curry made from shoots which is a speciality of Sikkim, without which your travel to Sikkim would be incomplete.
After having a sumptuous lunch, you can head back to Gangtok for the stay.
Suggested Read: A Bhutan Travel Guide
Gangtok to Pelling
We decided to check out the famed cable car in Gangtok. And goodness gracious, we did it. It was a fantastic experience.
After the cable car, we left for Pelling, which is the final leg of our travel to Sikkim. Pelling is around 130 km from Gangtok.
On the way, we stopped at Tathagata Tsal, Ravangla. and we suggest you do it too. The buddha statue here resembles the Buddha Dordenma in Bhutan.
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Guess who showed up to welcome us in the morning? It’s the mighty Kanchenjunga!!!!!
We greeted her and left for the mind-blowing skywalk near the Chenrezig statue. The skywalk was surreal; Again, the images are not doing any justice to the vistas.
Adjacent to this is the Sikkim’s oldest monastery, the Sang-Nang Choling monastery. It is not to be missed as well.This is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim.
After this, do visit the Rabdentse palace ruins. It would be best to hike a kilometre (it feels a lot more than that) to reach the ruins. Rabdantse was the Sikkimese capital left to ruin following the wake of the Nepalese invasions.
And here comes the end of your Sikkim trip. You may wish to keep a day more for Darjeeling.
If you are visiting Darjeeling, do not miss the sunrise at Tiger Hill. And if you are lucky, you can spot both Kanchenjunga and Everest!
You can come back to your hotel, freshen up and set out for a day tour around Darjeeling. You can shop for souvenirs on Mall road.
Finally, you can drive back to Bagdogra airport to return to Bangalore.
Have a fantastic trip!
Sikkim Travel Tips
- Ask specifically for an Innova, Xylo, or any other good SUV for transportation. Otherwise, the trip will be extremely tiresome.
- Keep a liberal 8-9 days to tour Sikkim fully.
- The geography of Sikkim is something that no one can anticipate. Make sure to adjust for any contingency, and don’t get frustrated if things don’t pan out as planned.
- Keep enough Hard cash. Not every place has access to wallet apps or even the internet.
- avail a proper travel agent to take care of all the necessary permits
- Be clear in your requirements and make sure multiple times that the driver has obtained proper permits so that you will have an obstacle-free trip.
- It cost us around 40k per head, which is inclusive of everything. Package, food, shopping, flights, extra charges for visiting Kala Pathar, Nathu La and Zero Point
Things to Remember
- Nathu La pass and Zero point require a special permit. Nathu La is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hence, plan accordingly. Speak to your package operator in clear terms beforehand about including these places.
- Carry a pair of thermals, gloves, hot water flasks to keep you warm in North Sikkim (Lachen and Lachung).
- Carry generic eye drops to keep your eyes hydrated from the harsh cold winds.
Places to halt
Here are the places you will need to arrange for accommodation if you follow our itinerary and Sikkim Travel guide. Check hotel prices for all the places below.:
Things to pack for Sikkim Trip
- Good quality hiking shoes, preferably with ankle support and good grip. Below are our recommendations.
Men’s Hiking Boots
Women’s Hiking Boots
- Breathable Socks to avoid blisters or irritations during the trip.
- Carry enough water and energy bars.
- Sunscreen with high SPF. This will help protect your skin from sunlight.
- Jackets to keep yourself warm once you reach the top. Especially during the winter months as it tends to be very cold and windy in the early hours.
- First aid kit including elastic bandages, waterproof band-aids, pain killers, Dettol, Antiseptic ointments, and Pain relief sprays.
- Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
- 10L hiking backpack to carry your things.
- A Good Camera to capture the memories.
GoPro Hero 9 for capturing the best quality videos.
Sony alpha for taking breathtaking shots.
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