Aslam Sikkim is one of the most beautiful places.
Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) Complex, Siliguri’s Sikkim Tourism Office is the easiest way to get a permit. Free permission is available. The tourism office is closed on Sundays. Bus tickets have to be bought from there, ticket prices range from Rs 150 to Rs 250. Shared jeeps are available outside, but their rent can range from Rs 250 to Rs 500 depending on the syndicate. So it is better to buy a bus ticket and go for permission, there are also AC buses. It takes about 5 hours to reach by bus or jeep. In the middle, you have to bring the seal on the passport at Rangpo Check Post. Free entry to Sikkim can also be obtained from here.
The jeep will drop off at Deorali Taxi Stand. The bus will land at the SNT complex in Gangtok. From both places you can take a taxi to M.G. At Marg. This is the heart of Gangtok. There are many hotels here. The rent is a bit higher than the other side. But the fun of being here is different. On the other hand, you can stay if you want. Hotels are good everywhere. We were at Hotel Bayul right on M. G. Marg. The room rent for four people was 1800 rupees. Maybe a little less in the off-season. The whole hotel is run by Bengali people. It is usually late afternoon to reach Gangtok. So it is better to take a rest with M. G. Marg on that day.
Four parts of Sikkim
1. East Sikkim- Gangtok, Tsogmo Lake (Changu Lake), Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass
2. West Sikkim- Pelling
3. North Sikkim- Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang Valley, Zero Point, Gurudongmar Lake, Thangu Valley
4. South Sikkim- Solophok Chardham, Namchi
Non-Indians cannot go near the border. So Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass, Gurudongmar Lake are excluded from this list for us.
Now, how much does it cost to go to these places-
There are so many places inside Gangtok that it takes a day to see these beautiful ones. If you take a car or taxi that can seat four people, the fare will be 2000 rupees. There are separate parking costs and ticket costs.
Baba Mandir, Nathula Pasa, Tsomgo Lake on the same road. We can only go to Tsomgo Lake. Non-Indians have to take a guide to get here. Rent for a car that can seat 7 people (including a guide) + guide cost + permission cost 5500-6500 rupees. It will take the whole morning-evening. There are cable cars above 12400 feet which cost Rs 325 per person. Yak rides can be done here.
Gurudongmar Lake We can’t go so Lachen didn’t go. After visiting Lachung, one has to visit Yumthang Valley overnight and return to Gangtok. Guides are needed here too.
Rent for a car that can seat 7 people (including a guide) + guide cost + permission cost + two lunches + one dinner + one breakfast costs Rs. 15000-18000. It takes 3000 rupees to go to Zero Point.
There were 4 meals per day. If people are less, some costs will decrease or increase.
Namchi no longer went to Pelling. Because it didn’t seem interesting enough to us.
A one-time meal at Gangtok will cost Rs 150-200. But it is up to you. If you want you can eat for 60 rupees, if you want you can eat for 2000 rupees.
* Gangtok is not allowed to smoke in public. A fine of Rs 5,000 for smoking.
* It is easy to get permission to travel inside Sikkim with a travel agency. The paper has to be submitted one day in advance. If you can do it yourself, one day it will be wasted before you go for a walk. (I don’t know if the non-Indians can do it themselves).
* We went to Tsomgo Lake by Toyota Innova and went to Lachung by Mahindra Xylo. Both cars are very good.
One might sit more if one takes Tata Sumo but this car is not comfortable. If the car is not good on the hilly road, the pressure on the body will be more. Taking Tata Sumo will reduce the cost by Rs 1000-1500 from car rental.
* We could not go to Yumthang Valley as there was more snow on the road. There is no need to risk one’s life. The day before we left, a car fell into a ditch. We saw that car lying. There is no point in telling the driver with more courage.
* The most beautiful weather in Sikkim is in April-May.
* Unnecessarily you will be asked to rent rubber shoes-gloves and jacket, you will be able to walk with normal waterproof shoes, gloves, jacket, you will be able to catch ice, you will be able to walk, you will be able to sleep.