Sikkim is a gorgeous, north-eastern state lying on the foothills of the Himalayas with China, Nepal and Bhutan as its neighbours. The state is famous for its greenery and splendid views from the snow covered mountains. There are several adventure sports that can be done here like trekking. Tourism is the primary occupation here. The average temperature is 20-30 degree Celsius.
Best time to visit in Sikkim:
March- May and October-December are the best months to visit Sikkim. There are full bloomed orchids and valleys in the spring, i.e., March to May and it’s a heaven for nature lovers. In the winter months you get to see snowfall and peaks of mountains covered in snow.
Ways to reach Sikkim:
• By air – The only airport in Sikkim is at Pakyong. There are regular flights from Delhi, Guwahati, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneshwar.
• By train- There is no train service in Sikkim. The main mode of transport here is bus and taxi. The closest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.
• By bus – Buses ply all throughout the day from neighbouring states. There are both ac and deluxe buses.
• By road- Private and shared taxis are readily available at all places in Sikkim.
Places to stay in Sikkim:
• GoHills Orchid Hostel
• Tagalong Backpackers, Gangtok
• Summit Denzong Hotel
• Udaan, Woodbberry Hostel
• Mayfair Spa Resort
• Summit Norling Spa and Resort
• Hotel Sonam Delek
• The Elgin Mount Pandim
Rooms are 1200-8000 per night depending on the type of rooms and the hotel.
Places to visit in Sikkim:
Some must see places are-
• Rumtek Monastery
• Nathu la Pass
• Dzongri trek
• DO Srul Chorten
• Yumthang Valley
• Lingdum Monastery
• Tsongmo Lake
Things to do in Sikkim:
• Mountain climbing
• Mountain Biking
• Yak Safari
Festivals in Sikkim:
Maniram Bhanjyang Tourism Festival - It is celebrated in the month of March to honour the state’s culture and traditions. The celebrations take place in the city of Maniram.
Cherry Tea Festival - It is celebrated to mark the bloom of cherry trees in the month of November.
Red Panda Winter Festival- It is celebrated sometime between December to January to celebrate the rich culture of the state. The night long carnival is a must attend the event.
Must eat foods in Sikkim:
• Momos- Momos are heavenly here and it’s a sin to go to Sikkim and not eat momos.
• Thukpa- It is a traditional noodle soup
• HIT beer- The local beer
• Thumba- It is a beer made of millets
• Phagshapa- It is the pork’s fat cooked with radishes
Shopping and local markets:
Some famous shopping areas are-
• MG Road- This is the most famous market where you can buy whatever you need all at one place. From alluring Buddha statues to Sikkim special cups and carpets, to wall hangings and lanterns, this place has got them all.
• Buy local tee from Sikkim. It is the best.
• Kanchenjunga Shopping complex- You can buy traditional Sikkim dresses, Thangkas, alpine cheese and hand weaved jackets here.
• Gangtok Market- This is yet another place with a wholesale market. The night life is lit here and you can purchase souvenirs from here. The traditional folding tables are a must buy.
- Negotiate well with taxi drivers. They charge a lot if they know that you are a tourist.
• Take several woollen clothes with you along with a raincoat. Rainfall is quite unpredictable here.
• Try the indigenous tea and beer for sure.
- Some people may not know Hindi or English so have some translating apps installed on your phone.