Just like the untouched beauty of Sikkim, Gangtok holds its own charm. With beautiful cradled mountains and surreal surroundings if the Himalayas, this little town is a true paradise for the nature lovers and adventure junkies. But before visiting this beautiful land tucked away from the hustle bustle of the city life, know what should do and what not to do as a traveler. Every place has its own cultures and beliefs, and being an outsider you will definitely don’t want to disrespect them. Thus here are some Gangtok travel tips which every traveler must abide by and enjoy a safe and enjoyable journey in the wilderness of nature.
8 Essential Gangtok Travel Tips
Here are some of the must things to remember before you go to Gangtok and enjoy a stress-free, safe and happening journey.
1. Know About All The Permits Required
There are many restricted areas located in Gangtok-Sikkim where the travelers will be required to show the ID proofs. One would need a Protected Area Permit (both Indian and foreigner) which will give access to these restricted places. There is the Restricted area permit (only for foreigners) which is issued for around 60 days. Though foreigners, NRI’s or OCI’s are not allowed to travel to the Gurudongmar lake and Nathula Pass which lies at the Indo-China border. Only Indians have issued a pass to enter this region through a tour operator of Sikkim Government.
Documents Required: ID proof (Passport/Voters card/Adhaar Card), INR 200/- per person Permit cost
2. Keep Yourself Warm
If you are looking for travel tips about Gangtok then you must know that the weather in Gangtok remains cold throughout the year, thus it is always recommended to carry proper woolens no matter when you plan. You might also need woolens to keep yourself warm even during summer while you go hiking or trekking at higher altitudes.
3. Respect The Culture
There are many monasteries situated in Gangtok and it is very necessary to adhere to the rules and respect the culture and traditions of the place. If you’re visiting Gangtok during any cultural festival, then make sure to not offend the customs of the locals and dress appropriately.
4. Stay Safe During Adventure Activities
Gangtok is a place which is a haven for the adventure junkies. From trekking, hiking to paragliding, there are a lot of adventure activities to experience. When you’re planning to try out these activities, make sure to always consider to book these activities with a licensed tour operator who will provide all the safety gears and equipment.
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5. Gangtok Has No Airport
If you’re planning to travel by flight, it is essential for you to know that there is no airport in Gangtok. People who are traveling from abroad or any other city, one has to de-board at the Bagdogra airport which is located at a distance of 126 kms from Gangtok. To reach Gangtok one has to take a taxi from the airport or one can also take shared taxis if on a budget. For the people who are traveling by train, the nearest railway station is new Jalpaiguri from where there is a road journey of 120 kms which can be covered by bus or taxi.
6. Avoid Rainy Season
It is better to avoid visiting Gangtok during monsoon as this region in Sikkim gets prone to landslides which makes it difficult to commute. People cannot visit the attractions during this time of the year, but for the budget backpackers, it is one of the best time to visit. The time between June-July is considered as an offseason which makes the accommodation cheap and budget friendly. Though there will be rains and muddy roads, the rainy season in Gangtok has its own charm.
7. Save Money By Sharing
One of the other travel tips for Gangtok that you must know is that taxis that run inside the Gangtok city are expensive and very frequently found around any corner of the city. But if you’re traveling on a tight budget, then do prefer taking a shared taxi as it will save money and also let you interact with the locals.
8. Adjust With Climate Change
Gangtok is a high altitude place and if you’re going to visit Nathula Pass, then make sure to first adjust with the climate change. People who suffer from Altitude sickness must take at least two days to adjust with the changing surroundings. Having headaches and breathing problems are some of the common problems which the travelers face during their journey to Nathula Pass.
So are you ready to beat the heat this summer and head to these cradled peaks of Kanchenjunga? If that adrenaline junkie inside you is bugging then, don’t wait and pack your bags to head out and enjoy a holiday at Sikkim and also keeps this tips guide to enjoy a safe vacation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Sikkim safe to travel in 2021?
A. Yes, Sikkim is one of the safest places to travel to. If you want some guidance then you can take help from the locals.
Q. How much does it cost to go to Gangtok?
A. As there is no airport in Gangtok, one can reach the place by train or bus. Train tickets from Delhi usually cost between INR 1,200 to INR 3,200. If you are planning to explore this place then you must keep Gangtok travel tips handy.
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