West Sikkim, in the northern part of India, is an extraordinary place to explore: beautiful valleys in the north, many Buddhist monasteries and surprising nice urban areas in the east. As West Sikkim is home to the world’s third highest peak, Khangchendzonga (8.598 meter ASL), you are spoilt with one spectacular view after another. The impressive mountain can be seen from almost anywhere in this part of India.
It is surprising not many tourists have discovered this region yet, as Sikkim has much to offer. Together with our experienced Indian partner, we would like to take you on a unique mountain escape away from hectic Western life, to indulge you in a world of natural beauty, Buddhism lifestyle, Himalayan wildlife, and views beyond your imagination.
In this “Best of West Sikkim” tour, we take you to see the region’s highlights with the mighty Himalayas as a background. Don’t hesitate to join us on this incredible 6-day excursion!
Day 1: Bagdogra – Rinchenpong
- Upon arrival in Bagdogra, you meet our representative. After a short introduction to the staff and the tour, you drive to Rinchenpong. Rinchenpong is a village at an altitude of 1.675 meters and offers you one of the best views of Mount Khangchendzonga and its adjacent peaks.
- Overnight stay at Rinchenpong.
Day 2: hiking
- Today, you start your excursion with a 40-minute hike to the Resum monastery. This early morning walk promises magnificent sunrise views over the mountains. The yellowish-orange sky gives you a warm welcome as the sun slowly rises over mighty Khangchendzonga. The mountain always changes color when the sun climbs from behind. This magnificent view is something you will remember for the rest of your life.
- After spending some time at the monastery, you head back for a typical breakfast at the hotel.
- Next, you hike through a rich oak forest to the top from where you can admire the beautiful landscapes downhill and the mountain ranges straight ahead. This place, “Rami-dham”, is a traditional place for worship.
- Return hike is passing the villages to your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 3: Rinchenpong – Pelling
- The Tshom-Go Lake, on an altitude of 3.775 m in the alpine zone, is considered a sacred lake. There are many lakes in Sikkim, but Tshom-Go Lake is a special one. The oval shaped lake en route the national highway 10 to the Indo-Chinese border is something to cherish. A 2-hour return journey to Gangtok gives you the opportunity to admire the hills and valleys in the distance.
- After breakfast, you leave for a 2-hour drive to Pelling for a close-up view of Mount Khangchendzonga and other nearby peaks. You check in at the hotel and visit the old Pemayangtse monastery. From the monastery, a 1-hour walk takes you to the Rabdentse Palace ruins, a place of significant historical value.
- Return to Pelling for the overnight stay.
Day 4: Pelling – Yuksum
- In the morning, you drive to the holy and sacred Khechupalri Lake, located in the middle of a vibrant forest. The lake is a pilgrimage site for both Hindu and Buddhist people. After spending some time at the lake, you drive to Yuksum, where you check in at the hotel and spend the afternoon as you please.
Day 5: Sightseeing
- Yuksum used to be the capital of the Sikkim kingdom and is now an important hub for the adventure lovers. They see Yuksum as the perfect departure point for the Dzongri-Goechala trekking. You start your day with a 1-hour drive to the Tashiding monastery, famous for the Bumchu festival. At this festival, holy water in an ancient metal vase is distributed amongst a large number of pilgrims and devotees. On your way back, you stop at the beautiful Phamrong waterfall.
- After lunch, you drive to the oldest monastery in Sikkim, Dubdi, located high on top of a hill. On the way back to Yuksum you visit the Norbu-Ghang coronation throne, the place where the first king of Sikkim was coronated. The actual place where the coronation took place, is marked with the first stone throne and a footprint on a rock. The footprint is said to belong to one of the three first monks in Yuksum.
- You also visit Karthok Lake, a small but beautiful lake in Yuksum.
Day 6: Bagdogra
- Today you drive back to Bagdogra via Tashiding, Jorethang, Melli and Teesta. In Teesta, we say goodbye, as this is the end of an incredible trip.
- Accommodation on a twin or triple sharing basis
- Meal plan CP (bed and breakfast) or MAP (bed, breakfast, and dinner)
- No charges for children below the age of 5. Children between 5 and 10 years old get a 50% discount.
- Transport: our luxury vehicles (Innova, Xylo, Scorpio or similar) transport a maximum of 6 passengers.
- All sightseeing and excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
- Parking fees
- Professional English speaking guide
- All taxes and services
- Insurance: we firmly advise taking a travel insurance as nature can be unpredictable in this mountainous area.
- Airport tax and Porter
- Flight and train ticket
- Personal expenses such as laundry, tips, and phone calls
- Mineral water, soft and alcoholic drinks
- Additional adventurous activities such as rafting, rock climbing, and paragliding
- Additional sightseeing or extra usage of the vehicle, other than mentioned in the itinerary
- Entrance fees and camera charges
- Any additional costs due to natural calamities such as landslides, road blockage, political disturbances (strikes) etcetera (extra costs will be charged to the client and have to be paid on the spot).
- Charges for room heater
- Anything not specified in the inclusive list
What to bring
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this tour.
Visa and entry formalities
Apart from a visa for India, foreigners must also obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP – free permit) to visit Sikkim. This 30-day permit is issued on the spot when you provide photocopies of your passport and visa along with two passport photos. The permission can be extended for another 30 days. The ILP permit is issued at the border, and your guides will arrange it for you.
Best time to visit
Sikkim has two main seasons:
- From the end of February until the end of May
- From the end of September until the end of December
The rainy season is in June, July, August and halfway through September. It is better to avoid these months.
The best period for trekking is from November until May. If you want to see the beautiful flowers at the Yumthang Valley, also known as “the valley of flowers,” and the rhododendron sanctuary, you should visit between March and May.