🇮🇳 Sikkim, India: Ultimate Guide by an Indian Local
Everything you need to travel to this underrated destination in India! Trust me, this is India like you've never seen before. → This guide mainly covers East Sikkim. → This guide is ideal for the first time visitor. Includes: - About Sikkim - How to get there / get around - Places to visit - Major attractions & sights at each place - Where to stay at each place & what to expect sprinkled with some insider tips here and there from an Indian local (me).
30 Places • 4 Saves • ago
Free

About Sikkim

Sikkim is one of the smallest states of India, located in the northeastern part of the country, in the eastern Himalayas. It is a mostly mountainous region, home to the majestic  Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Ideal for adventure junkies, nature lovers, and road trippers.

💬 LANGUAGE

English, Hindi, Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha

💰 CURRENCY

Indian Rupee (INR)

How to get there

For anyone wanting to go to Sikkim, they must pass through Siliguri, West Bengal which is considered the gateway to Sikkim.

Siliguri
@travelwithmimi
City in the heart of West Bengal, IN. For anyone wanting to go to Sikkim, they must pass through Siliguri which is considered the gateway to Sikkim.
Add to
Details

Fly to Kolkata first, then reach Siliguri

Especially for travellers arriving from outside India, you need to first fly to Kolkata International airport.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
@travelwithmimi
International airport in Kolkata, West Bengal.
Add to
Details

From there, you can reach Siliguri by air, train, bus or car.

✈️ Flight (Recommended ✅) | 1 hr

 Take another flight or a connecting flight to Siliguri (Bagdogra airport)

Bagdogra International Airport
@travelwithmimi
International airport in Siliguri, West Bengal.
Add to
Details

🚄 Take a train (Cheapest 💵) | 8 - 12 hrs

It's much cheaper than flight, and you can take an overnight train so that you reach in the morning fresh and early.

Though I must warn those of you who are unfamiliar with Indian Railways - they are not always the cleanest or most comfortable mode of transport.

Siliguri Junction Station
@travelwithmimi
Major Railway station in Siliguri.
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Details

🚌  Bus | 12 - 13hrs

Take an overnight bus to Siliguri. Again, this may not be the most comfortable ride, but it is very cheap.

🚗 Car | 13 - 14 hrs

If you have no other option, you can reach Siliguri by road. But I don't recommend this, as this will be a long and tiring journey.

Permits

You will need Protected Area Permits to travel to several parts of Sikkim, also depending on whether you're an Indian national or a foreigner.

The simplest way to go about this is through a trusted travel agent or to ask your driver/hotel for information - or simply book a custom itinerary with me and I'll help you arrange everything.

How to get around

🔹 In Sikkim, it's essential to have a car - and it's recommended to pre-book one with a driver for the duration of your entire stay. Especially in peak season - you may not find any vehicles for hire if you don't book ahead.

🔹 Self drive is not recommended unless you have experience driving on mountainous terrain or Himalayan roads.

🔹 The driver will usually pick you up straight from Siliguri Train station or the Bagdogra airport.

If you haven't booked in advance, you can also find taxis (both private and shared) outside the station and airport that will take you to Gangtok and other lower altitude areas. Make sure you research about the rates beforehand, and bargain with them.

(Plug: If you book a custom itinerary for Sikkim with me, contacts for a trusted driver and car + arrangements for any permits will also be provided in the package👇)

Places to visit

Gangtok

The most popular destination in Sikkim is Gangtok, the capital. It's a populous bustling town that often gets very crowded with tourists during peak season. By road, it takes 4-5 hours from Siliguri and the route is scenic.

Gangtok
@travelwithmimi
The capital city, and the most popular destination in Sikkim. It's a populous bustling town that often gets very crowded with tourists during peak season. By road, it takes 4-5 hours from Siliguri and the route is scenic.
Add to
Details

Here are a few things you can do within Gangtok.

Gangtok Ropeway (Deorali Stn)
@travelwithmimi
Get a view of Gangtok on a roundtrip by cable car. Recommend getting the roundtrip ticket.
Add to
Details
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
@travelwithmimi
Gangtok's main pedestrian only road for shopping and eateries.
Add to
Details
Tsuglakhang Monastery & Temple
@travelwithmimi
A Buddhist palatial monastery located in the Royal Palace compound.
Add to
Details
Tashi View Point
@travelwithmimi
Great views of the imposing Himalayan mountains, specifically Mount Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu. Go during sunrise or sunset.
Add to
Details

Outside Gangtok

Tsongmo Lake
@travelwithmimi
A serene glacial lake enveloped by mountains on either side. The elevation of the lake rises from 5000 feet to 10,000 feet in a span of 15 km.
Add to
Details
Natu La
@travelwithmimi
A historical pass through which the ancient silk route used to operate until 1962. Right near the Indo China border.
Add to
Details
Zuluk
@travelwithmimi
One of the more offbeat destinations in Sikkim, Zuluk is located on the Old Silk Route and is home to breathtakingly beautiful sights.
Add to
Details
Rishi Khola
@travelwithmimi
Another off beat destination, on the border of Sikkim and West Bengal, it is a small valley situated on the bank of the river Reshi, great for riverside camping.
Add to
Details

Lachen

Climb higher and deeper into the mountains, and head north into Lachen. These areas are more remote, and you will find lesser amenities and comforts the higher you go - but the trade off is worth it, because it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Lachen
@travelwithmimi
Smaller, more remote town in Sikkim with scenic views of nature and mountains. On the way to Gurudongmar Lake.
Add to
Details

The drive itself is also very scenic, and you'll encounter a number of view points and waterfalls on the way, including 👇

The Seven Sisters Waterfall
@travelwithmimi
Seven different waterfalls harmoniously arranged sideways on a wide rugged cliff - located on the Gangtok-Lachung highway
Add to
Details

Where to stay

Our recommendation👇

Summit Panghen Metok
@travelwithmimi
One of the best places to stay in Lachen. It's very comfortable, and the staff will provide amenities like thick blankets, hot water, clean rooms and bathrooms, and hot delicious food.
Add to
Details

Other options👇

Summit Gangchen hotel
@travelwithmimi
A new hotel in Lachen by the Summit chain of hotels, which are well known for their hospitality in Sikkim
Add to
Details

Lachen itself is a quiet, sleepy town so there's not much to do. People usually make this a base for seeing other attractions further north, so that they can get gradually acclimatised to the high altitude.

What to see: outside Lachen

Gurudongmar Lake
@travelwithmimi
One of the highest lakes in the world and in India, at an elevation of 17,800 ft, located in the Great Himalayas. This is a must-see in Sikkim.
Add to
Details
Kala Patthar, Sikkim, India
@travelwithmimi
The name comes from a spot surrounded by mountains with snowy peaks and black rocks and cliffs. Your driver will usually charge you extra to stop here.
Add to
Details

Lachung

Another small picturesque mountain village, known for its waterfalls, pine forests and hot springs. A bit more bustling than Lachen, it is a paradise for nature lovers.

Lachung
@travelwithmimi
Smaller, quieter town in Sikkim away from the hustle and bustle of Gangtok. Beautiful views of the mountain, apple valley, a bubbling stream and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Add to
Details

Where to stay - Our recommendations

For backpackers/bikers:

Wonder Hill Inn
@travelwithmimi
Perfect for backpackers, bikers, adventure lovers, road trippers. It's a small but cosy dorm-style living with some private rooms also available. The owners are warm and friendly, and the food is good.
Add to
Details

For families/high end travellers:

Summit Khangri Karpo Retreat & Spa, Lachung
@travelwithmimi
Comfortable stay in Lachung guaranteed by the well-known Summit chain of hotels in Sikkim.
Add to
Details
Rufina Lachung Kunga
@travelwithmimi
4-star hotel with a garden, terrace, a restaurant and bar
Add to
Details
Jewel Kongchen Retreat & Spa
@travelwithmimi
Premium luxury hotel nestled amidst the majestic mountains. this lavish property features comfortable rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a full-service spa
Add to
Details
Yarlam Resort Lachung
@travelwithmimi
Beautiful 3-star property - one of the best in Lachung, with a reception, spa, library and bar.
Add to
Details
YASHSHREE LACHUNG
@travelwithmimi
4-star property with amazing view of the mountains and free private parking
Add to
Details

What to see: outside Lachung

Yumthang Valley
@travelwithmimi
A nature sanctuary with river, hot springs, yaks and grazing pasture on rolling meadows surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. Perfect for a peaceful picnic and photography.
Add to
Details
Zero Point
@travelwithmimi
At an altitude of 15,300 feet, this is the final civilian destination before China's border. The road ends here!
Add to
Details
Katao
@travelwithmimi
An offbeat destination in Sikkim, Mt Katao is often reckoned for being the paradise for adventure sport lovers
Add to
Details
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
@travelwithmimi
A nature park that has rich natural flora with forty species of rhododendron trees
Add to
Details

That's all for Sikkim - happy travels!

Don't be intimidated! If you need help planning a trip to Sikkim, I'm all ears! Book a custom itinerary with me and I'll take care of all the stress👇

Customised Services

Important Links

* * *
CURATED BY
I'm a 31 year old female travel planner, travelling all around the world for 10+ years. I specialise in Asia & a few parts of Europe like Turkey, Spain & Italy. My mission is to craft an unforgettable, amazing travel experience just for you! My itineraries are highly personalised, and cater to your specific travel style and needs. I understand the value of spending your hard-earned time and money on a trip - so I'll do everything I can so that you're happy with the final outcome. I'm especially good with crafting itineraries for mid-range travellers: the type who are neither extreme budget backpackers nor the high-end luxury travellers. I can help you optimise your budget so you end up spending only on the experiences that are worth it. Go ahead and browse my guides and services. Subscribe to my Thatch profile to keep up to date! Let's get started. Contact me at: 📩 hello@travelwithmimi.co 📷 IG: @travelwithmimi.co 🖥️ www.travelwithmimi.co
Send A Tip
Support 🧳 Travel With Mimi’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© 🧳 Travel With Mimi Privacy Terms
🇮🇳 Sikkim, India: Ultimate Guide by an Indian Local
Everything you need to travel to this underrated destination in India! Trust me, this is India like you've never seen before. → This guide mainly covers East Sikkim. → This guide is ideal for the first time visitor. Includes: - About Sikkim - How to get there / get around - Places to visit - Major attractions & sights at each place - Where to stay at each place & what to expect sprinkled with some insider tips here and there from an Indian local (me).
30 Places • 4 Saves • ago
Free

About Sikkim

Sikkim is one of the smallest states of India, located in the northeastern part of the country, in the eastern Himalayas. It is a mostly mountainous region, home to the majestic  Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Ideal for adventure junkies, nature lovers, and road trippers.

💬 LANGUAGE

English, Hindi, Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha

💰 CURRENCY

Indian Rupee (INR)

How to get there

For anyone wanting to go to Sikkim, they must pass through Siliguri, West Bengal which is considered the gateway to Sikkim.

Siliguri
@travelwithmimi
City in the heart of West Bengal, IN. For anyone wanting to go to Sikkim, they must pass through Siliguri which is considered the gateway to Sikkim.
Add to
Details

Fly to Kolkata first, then reach Siliguri

Especially for travellers arriving from outside India, you need to first fly to Kolkata International airport.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
@travelwithmimi
International airport in Kolkata, West Bengal.
Add to
Details

From there, you can reach Siliguri by air, train, bus or car.

✈️ Flight (Recommended ✅) | 1 hr

 Take another flight or a connecting flight to Siliguri (Bagdogra airport)

Bagdogra International Airport
@travelwithmimi
International airport in Siliguri, West Bengal.
Add to
Details

🚄 Take a train (Cheapest 💵) | 8 - 12 hrs

It's much cheaper than flight, and you can take an overnight train so that you reach in the morning fresh and early.

Though I must warn those of you who are unfamiliar with Indian Railways - they are not always the cleanest or most comfortable mode of transport.

Siliguri Junction Station
@travelwithmimi
Major Railway station in Siliguri.
Add to
Details

🚌  Bus | 12 - 13hrs

Take an overnight bus to Siliguri. Again, this may not be the most comfortable ride, but it is very cheap.

🚗 Car | 13 - 14 hrs

If you have no other option, you can reach Siliguri by road. But I don't recommend this, as this will be a long and tiring journey.

Permits

You will need Protected Area Permits to travel to several parts of Sikkim, also depending on whether you're an Indian national or a foreigner.

The simplest way to go about this is through a trusted travel agent or to ask your driver/hotel for information - or simply book a custom itinerary with me and I'll help you arrange everything.

How to get around

🔹 In Sikkim, it's essential to have a car - and it's recommended to pre-book one with a driver for the duration of your entire stay. Especially in peak season - you may not find any vehicles for hire if you don't book ahead.

🔹 Self drive is not recommended unless you have experience driving on mountainous terrain or Himalayan roads.

🔹 The driver will usually pick you up straight from Siliguri Train station or the Bagdogra airport.

If you haven't booked in advance, you can also find taxis (both private and shared) outside the station and airport that will take you to Gangtok and other lower altitude areas. Make sure you research about the rates beforehand, and bargain with them.

(Plug: If you book a custom itinerary for Sikkim with me, contacts for a trusted driver and car + arrangements for any permits will also be provided in the package👇)

Places to visit

Gangtok

The most popular destination in Sikkim is Gangtok, the capital. It's a populous bustling town that often gets very crowded with tourists during peak season. By road, it takes 4-5 hours from Siliguri and the route is scenic.

Gangtok
@travelwithmimi
The capital city, and the most popular destination in Sikkim. It's a populous bustling town that often gets very crowded with tourists during peak season. By road, it takes 4-5 hours from Siliguri and the route is scenic.
Add to
Details

Here are a few things you can do within Gangtok.

Gangtok Ropeway (Deorali Stn)
@travelwithmimi
Get a view of Gangtok on a roundtrip by cable car. Recommend getting the roundtrip ticket.
Add to
Details
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
@travelwithmimi
Gangtok's main pedestrian only road for shopping and eateries.
Add to
Details
Tsuglakhang Monastery & Temple
@travelwithmimi
A Buddhist palatial monastery located in the Royal Palace compound.
Add to
Details
Tashi View Point
@travelwithmimi
Great views of the imposing Himalayan mountains, specifically Mount Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu. Go during sunrise or sunset.
Add to
Details

Outside Gangtok

Tsongmo Lake
@travelwithmimi
A serene glacial lake enveloped by mountains on either side. The elevation of the lake rises from 5000 feet to 10,000 feet in a span of 15 km.
Add to
Details
Natu La
@travelwithmimi
A historical pass through which the ancient silk route used to operate until 1962. Right near the Indo China border.
Add to
Details
Zuluk
@travelwithmimi
One of the more offbeat destinations in Sikkim, Zuluk is located on the Old Silk Route and is home to breathtakingly beautiful sights.
Add to
Details
Rishi Khola
@travelwithmimi
Another off beat destination, on the border of Sikkim and West Bengal, it is a small valley situated on the bank of the river Reshi, great for riverside camping.
Add to
Details

Lachen

Climb higher and deeper into the mountains, and head north into Lachen. These areas are more remote, and you will find lesser amenities and comforts the higher you go - but the trade off is worth it, because it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Lachen
@travelwithmimi
Smaller, more remote town in Sikkim with scenic views of nature and mountains. On the way to Gurudongmar Lake.
Add to
Details

The drive itself is also very scenic, and you'll encounter a number of view points and waterfalls on the way, including 👇

The Seven Sisters Waterfall
@travelwithmimi
Seven different waterfalls harmoniously arranged sideways on a wide rugged cliff - located on the Gangtok-Lachung highway
Add to
Details

Where to stay

Our recommendation👇

Summit Panghen Metok
@travelwithmimi
One of the best places to stay in Lachen. It's very comfortable, and the staff will provide amenities like thick blankets, hot water, clean rooms and bathrooms, and hot delicious food.
Add to
Details

Other options👇

Summit Gangchen hotel
@travelwithmimi
A new hotel in Lachen by the Summit chain of hotels, which are well known for their hospitality in Sikkim
Add to
Details

Lachen itself is a quiet, sleepy town so there's not much to do. People usually make this a base for seeing other attractions further north, so that they can get gradually acclimatised to the high altitude.

What to see: outside Lachen

Gurudongmar Lake
@travelwithmimi
One of the highest lakes in the world and in India, at an elevation of 17,800 ft, located in the Great Himalayas. This is a must-see in Sikkim.
Add to
Details
Kala Patthar, Sikkim, India
@travelwithmimi
The name comes from a spot surrounded by mountains with snowy peaks and black rocks and cliffs. Your driver will usually charge you extra to stop here.
Add to
Details

Lachung

Another small picturesque mountain village, known for its waterfalls, pine forests and hot springs. A bit more bustling than Lachen, it is a paradise for nature lovers.

Lachung
@travelwithmimi
Smaller, quieter town in Sikkim away from the hustle and bustle of Gangtok. Beautiful views of the mountain, apple valley, a bubbling stream and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Add to
Details

Where to stay - Our recommendations

For backpackers/bikers:

Wonder Hill Inn
@travelwithmimi
Perfect for backpackers, bikers, adventure lovers, road trippers. It's a small but cosy dorm-style living with some private rooms also available. The owners are warm and friendly, and the food is good.
Add to
Details

For families/high end travellers:

Summit Khangri Karpo Retreat & Spa, Lachung
@travelwithmimi
Comfortable stay in Lachung guaranteed by the well-known Summit chain of hotels in Sikkim.
Add to
Details
Rufina Lachung Kunga
@travelwithmimi
4-star hotel with a garden, terrace, a restaurant and bar
Add to
Details
Jewel Kongchen Retreat & Spa
@travelwithmimi
Premium luxury hotel nestled amidst the majestic mountains. this lavish property features comfortable rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a full-service spa
Add to
Details
Yarlam Resort Lachung
@travelwithmimi
Beautiful 3-star property - one of the best in Lachung, with a reception, spa, library and bar.
Add to
Details
YASHSHREE LACHUNG
@travelwithmimi
4-star property with amazing view of the mountains and free private parking
Add to
Details

What to see: outside Lachung

Yumthang Valley
@travelwithmimi
A nature sanctuary with river, hot springs, yaks and grazing pasture on rolling meadows surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. Perfect for a peaceful picnic and photography.
Add to
Details
Zero Point
@travelwithmimi
At an altitude of 15,300 feet, this is the final civilian destination before China's border. The road ends here!
Add to
Details
Katao
@travelwithmimi
An offbeat destination in Sikkim, Mt Katao is often reckoned for being the paradise for adventure sport lovers
Add to
Details
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
@travelwithmimi
A nature park that has rich natural flora with forty species of rhododendron trees
Add to
Details

That's all for Sikkim - happy travels!

Don't be intimidated! If you need help planning a trip to Sikkim, I'm all ears! Book a custom itinerary with me and I'll take care of all the stress👇

Customised Services

Important Links

* * *
CURATED BY
I'm a 31 year old female travel planner, travelling all around the world for 10+ years. I specialise in Asia & a few parts of Europe like Turkey, Spain & Italy. My mission is to craft an unforgettable, amazing travel experience just for you! My itineraries are highly personalised, and cater to your specific travel style and needs. I understand the value of spending your hard-earned time and money on a trip - so I'll do everything I can so that you're happy with the final outcome. I'm especially good with crafting itineraries for mid-range travellers: the type who are neither extreme budget backpackers nor the high-end luxury travellers. I can help you optimise your budget so you end up spending only on the experiences that are worth it. Go ahead and browse my guides and services. Subscribe to my Thatch profile to keep up to date! Let's get started. Contact me at: 📩 hello@travelwithmimi.co 📷 IG: @travelwithmimi.co 🖥️ www.travelwithmimi.co
Send A Tip
Support 🧳 Travel With Mimi’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© 🧳 Travel With Mimi Privacy Terms