Darjeeling Gangtok Itineraries - Page 12

Hello sir, I am travelling to Pelling after Gangtok tour and reaching Pelling on 22 May 2022 and will be leaving Pelling on 24 may 2022. Please help me where can I go after that as my train is on 26 morning at 6.30 a.m. 
Ritwika Mallik (May 2022) 
Hello, you can visit Namchi from Pelling... will take about 2 hours 20 minutes by car. Char Dham is the main attraction in Namchi. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
One of the best informative blog with such prompt answers-I admire your enthusiasm. We are family of 5 adults and want to travel end of Oct 2022. My concerns now after reading your blog is if this itinerary will pose a problem? If so what should I change 
1. Arrive 9pm Bagdogra airport>reach Darjeeling at night? Or should we stay overnight somewhere near airport and then travel to Gangtok first? 
2. Stay 3 nights in Darjeeling/swap with Gangtok first 
3. Travel to Gangtok and stay 2 nights in Gangtok/swap with Darjeeling. 
4. Depart from Bagdogra airport around 3pm-need to know if we can reach from Gangtok in time or should we swap the 2 places? 
Plan is to do one of the 3/5/7 points in Darjeeling. Which is must do one if we were to select one of them. We plan to just chill in the resort-perhaps Elgin or similar-Any suggestions here? 
Gangtok stay-is there, any other alternative place which may be worthwhile visiting instead? We are all relatively fit but do not enjoy too much packed in a day. 
Sadhana (May 2022) 
Hello, suggest you stay overnight near Bagdogra airport (there are several hotels nearby) and proceed the next morning. Visit Gangtok first and then Darjeeling. It's much easier to return to Bagdogra from Darjeeling than Gangtok... not only Gangtok is further away, there are sometimes heavy traffic snarls on that route which can derail your plans by a large margin. 
The local 3/5/7 point tours cover different aspects of Darjeeling... you need to select the one(s) that you want to see. The 7-point tour includes Ropeway (Cable Car) as well as several other nice attractions while the 3-point covers the sunrise view from Tiger Hill. While Elgin in Darjeeling is good, you can also look into Mayfair... it's a favourite of many and closer to the Mall, although none would give you a direct view of Mt. Kanchejunga from the rooms. 
From Gangtok, you can make a day trip to Tsomgo lake if you want. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
OK so we are considering one of these options: 
1. Option 1  
Day 1 Stay in Siliguri overnight 
Day 2 Travel to Pelling and stay overnight (approximately 4hrs drive)? Can we do either one of the Skywalk or the Pemayangste monastery on the same day? 
Day 3- do one of the above and travel to Ging tea house- 5.5 hrs? 
Day 4-6-stay 2 nights in Gingtea and then back to Bagdogra for 3pm flight 
Option 2 
Day 1 stay Siliguri 
Day 2-5 Ging tea house- 3.5 hrs 
day 5 to Gangtok and Tsomgo lake? doable same day 
day 6 depart from Gangtok 
Which would be preferable and easier? Don't want to spend too much time travelling 
Sadhana (May 2022) 
Let me give you the pros and cons of both options so that you can then take a call accordingly. 
Siliguri to Pelling will take around 5 hours (in normal traffic conditions). If you start by 8 am, you can do both Sky Walk and Pemayangste Monastery on the same day in the second half, both are close to Pelling. You can also do one of them the next day. This option will involve heavy travelling for the first two days and you can hardly see anything in Pelling... not sure why you want to go there. Otherwise, it's okay. 
In option-2, the Tsomgo half-day trip followed by local sightseeing of Gangtok can become hectic. It's doable if you start early and do good time management. Better only make a leisure visit to MG Marg in the afternoon and spend some time there. 
What do you exactly mean by "Departing from Gangtok"? Are you saying catching a flight out of Pakyong airport located near Gangtok for Delhi/Kolkata? Or taking a Helicopter ride to Bagdogra airport and then catching another flight from there back home? 
You may like to note that only a small Spicejet flight operates at Pakyong airport, and its service is not quite reliable. Although it has started using the RNP system these days for auto-guidance on landing and takeoff, if the weather is not good, the flight gets cancelled. And if there are not enough passengers (which is often the case with the Delhi route), the passengers get diverted to the Kolkata flight (subject to availability of seats) having to take a second flight from Kolkata to Delhi on a different airline... the passengers end up paying more than double the original fare and wasting more than half a day travelling. 
The helicopter service too is highly unreliable due to weather conditions as well as VIPs privately availing of it without giving advance notice. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
Greetings Mr Raj! Thanks for this forum. It is very informative and helpful. áWe, Family of 4, including 2 children aged 15+, are travelling from Mumbai- visiting Darjeeling and Gangtok. This is our first visit. áWe are reaching Darjeeling in afternoon on June 1 via Bagdogra and staying in Sterling. We áwill be checking out from Darjeeling on 5th June morning and proceed to Gangtok. Seeking your advice on following itinerary and recommendations: 
Day 1- in 2nd half planning to spend time on Mall Road, áObservatory Hill, Mahakal Temple. 
Day 2- We áhave booking for 4:10 p.m. Toy Train . So from early morning till 3 p.m. sightseeing, request suggestions on covering: Tiger Hill, Senchal Lake, Ghoom/Yiga Choeling Monstaery, HMI or if any more points can be covered in this time without being too hectic (before we reach Toy Train station in time) 
Day 3- Mirik, Simana, Jorpokhri, Tingling View Point, any other team estate on the way back? 
Day 4- Ropeway, Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda, Barbotey Rock Garden, Ganga Maya Park, Happy Valley Team Estate (( As per one of your posts on comparison between the Zoos, planning to skip Zoological Park in Darjeeling and would instead visit the Himalayan Zoo in Gangtok- kindly suggest if this is recommended choice.) 
Day 5 - Checkout and ástart early to proceed to Gangtok. 
Is it possible to cover rafting in Teesta River on the way? Kindly advice. 
Will create a separate posts for Gangtok itinerary. Thank you. 
Mukund K (May 2022) 
On Day-2, go for the sunrise view from Tiger Hill (Senchal Lake requires a sanctuary permit which you won't get that early in the morning). After breakfast, walk down to Yiga Choeling Monastery... it's practically next door to Sterling. Next, go for Ropeway. After that, if you have time then visit HMI. Darjeeling Zoo is in the same complex as HMI and the entry fee includes both plus Bengal Natural History Museum. 
On day-3, you can also see Gopaldhara Tea Estate on the way to Mirik. 
On day-4, you can not do so many things. So, get ropeway done on day-2. 
Gangtok Zoo will take a lot of time... Darjeeling zoo is more compact and you can see a lot of high altitude animals in a shorter time. However, you seem to have a time crunch in Darjeeling. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
Dear Mr Raj, 
I have already raised a post on my proposed travel to Darjeeling from June 1 to June 5. Creating separate post for my travel to Gangtok from June 5 to June 9. Seeking your advice on the itinerary. 
Day 1- June 5 Sunday: Reach Gangtok by late afternoon from Darjeeling (Would it be a good idea to do rafting at Teesta river on the way and also stop at Lamahatta for a while on the way?) After checking into hotel ( Summit Golden Resort) visit MG Road, Lal Bazar. Pls advice if any of the points can be covered on this day. 
Day 2- June 6 Monday- Ranka or Rumtek Monastery-- whichever is recommended by you, Banjhakri water fall, Saramsa Garden, Ropeway, Chorten Stupa. Institute of Tibetology, Flower exhibition Center 
Day 3- June 7 Tuesday- Tashi View point, Bakhtang Waterfall, Ganesh Tok, Himalayan Zoo Hanuman Tok ( Can Hanuman Tok be covered instead on return trip from Nathula/Tsomgo on Day 4?) 
( Kindly advice if we restrict the most recommended points for one day only instead of covering in 2 days and use the spare day fora day long trip to other areas say Lachung or Namchi and cover paragliding, etc) 
Day 4- June 8- Wednesday- Tsomgo Lake, Nathula, Baba Mandir, Hangu Lake, Kupup.. 
Day 5- June 9- Thursday- Check out and proceed to Bagdogra for return flight. 
Thanks and regards 
Mukund K (May 2022) 
On your way to Gangtok, you can stop at Lamahatta for a while. Rafting at Teesta depends on the tide and rapids (the dams restrict water flow at times), so you need to check at Teesta Bazaar or at Melli. 
If you visit Banjhakri waterfall, Ranka Monastery is very close by, and you can visit that. 
North Sikkim will require separate permits and you can not visit Lachung and come back on the same day... there is nothing much to see at Lachung itself unless you visit Yumthan Valley. 
You can make a day trip to Ravangla and on the way see the beautiful Temi Tea Garden, the only tea garden in Sikkim. At Ravangla you can see Buddha Park, New Ralang Monastery, etc. You should start early. If you do a day trip, then you can't do paragliding on the same day. 
Overall, your schedule is quite hectic... you seem to be squeezing in too many things in too short a time. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
Hello Raj! 
I am pleasantly surprised by your efforts into this amazing website! Thank you for this! 
I am from Bangladesh. Me (26F) and my husband (28M) are planning a trip to Darjeeling and its surroundings. We plan to visit this October, 7th to 18th to be exact. Our itinerary looks something like this- 
Oct 6: Dhaka to Kolkata (stay at Kolkata) 
Oct 7: Kolkata to Bagdogra (11.35am landing); Bagdogra to Gangtok (stay at Gangtok) 
Oct 8: Gangtok Full-day 10-point sight-seeing tour (stay at Gangtok) 
Oct 9: Tsomgo lake, Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass (stay at Gangtok) 
Oct 10: Gangtok to Kalimpong, half day tour/ Paragliding (stay at Kalimpong) 
Oct 11: Lava and Loleygaon daytrip (stay at Kalimpong) 
Oct 12: Kalimpong to Mirik (stay at Mirik) 
Oct 13: Mirik to Darjeeling, paragliding, white water rafting (stay at Darjeeling) 
Oct 14: 3-point tour (Tiger hill, Ghoom, Batasia loop), afternoon toy train joy ride (stay at Darjeeling) 
Oct 15: 7-point sight-seeing tour (stay at Darjeeling) 
Oct 16: Darjeeling to Manebhanjan; Manebhanjan to Tumling (stay at Tumling) 
Oct 17: Tumling to Sandakphu (stay at Sandakphu) 
Oct 18: Sandakphu to Phalut; Phalut to Darjeeling/ Bagdogra airport (haven?t booked air ticket yet) 
I have some specific queries: 
1. áááWhere do you think paragliding would be a better choice? Darjeeling or Kalimpong? 
2. áááHow long can it take to reach Mirik from Kalimpong? Would I miss the scenic road leading to Mirik if I go from Kalimpong, or is it the same road? 
3. áááIs it worth staying at Mirik? Or should we try and reach Darjeeling directly from Kalimpong, missing out on Mirik? 
4. áááWhich would be better, to arrange a tour operator for this whole 12-day, or to seek tour operator for the Darjeeling- Sandakphu part only, and manage the rest by ourselves? From your blogs I got the idea that no one tour operator specializes in all, therefore, would it be wise to take one tour operator for all the way? If yes, would you suggest one? 
Again, thanks so much in advance, you are doing great work! Much love! 
Kaniz Fatema (June 2022) 
You have a nice itinerary in place, however, there are a few glitches... 
Foreigners including Bangladesh nationals are not allowed to go beyond Tsomgo lake and can not visit Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass. 
From Kalimpong, you need to come up to Ghum and then proceed to Mirik, however, Darjeeling is only 9kms from Ghum and therefore if you visit Mirik first, you will need to come all the way back to Ghum and then get to Darjeeling... so, this will be a suboptimal plan. From Kalimpong, you should first visit Darjeeling. 
Paragliding in Darjeeling is currently suspended, you can do it in Kalimpong. From Darjeeling, visit Tumling/Sandakphu etc. Phalut to Bagdogra can take over 6 hours and you will need to change the vehicle at Manebhanjan (the same vehicle that operates on the Sandakphu route won't go there). So, it can take substantial time and may not be a good idea to catch a flight on the same day. Instead, this is when you can take a break at Mirik.... the route from Phalut/Sandakphu comes down to Manebhanjan and then meets the road to Mirik near Sukhiapokhri from where you can continue to Mirik... the scenic stretch comes between Sukhiapokhri and Mirik. Stay at Mirik for a day and then take your flight from Bagdogra the next day... 1 and half hours drive from Mirik. 
There are some logistics involved in the entire plan. For example, from Bagdogra, you need to get a Sikkim registered vehicle which can reach you all the way to your hotel in Gangtok, otherwise, the vehicle will drop you 2kms below Gangtok at Deorali, and then you need to take a local vehicle to get to your hotel. For the Sandakphu/Phalut tour, you will need to arrange for a vintage Land Rover vehicle at Manebhanjan which are the only ones authorised to ply on that route and only 15 of them are allowed in a day. 
A Darjeeling or Gangtok based tour operator can handle all logistics across all the places in the hills including Darjeeling and Sikkim. You can take quotes from 2 to 3 of them against a written and detailed itinerary, compare the prices and take a call. 
Alternatively, you can arrange the airport pick up, and Darjeeling-Sandakphu/Phalut trip with Mirik drop through an operator. The rest of the sightseeing tours and transfers can be arranged through the hotels. You are planning your tour during peak tourist season, so demands will be high and rates will soar... try to arrange all the logistics and bookings early. 
You can find here the list of credible operators of Darjeeling (most can arrange transports and tours in Sikkim as well)... you can take comparative quotes from operators like Ashmita and Clubside. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2022 
Hi Raj, 
Please guide me - I will be travelling with my Father (65years, 2 kids 7years and 10 years), whether the below mentioned is ok to travel with the mentioned age groups. 
1st October - reach Darjeeling via Mirik Lake- tea garden along the way 
2nd October - Tiger Hill, Ghum monastry, Batasia Loop and sight seeing in the afternoon 
3rd October - áTransfer to Gangtok via Lamhata eco park (what will be the travel time?) 
4th October - áTsongo lake, Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass 
5th October - Start for Lachung , stay at night 
6th October- áYumtham Valley and Zero point and return to Gangtok 
7th October - Return to NJP ( can we cover any place on the way back?) 
Look forward to your suggestions which will be helpful to me to finalise my plan. We have only booked the train tickets to and from Kolkata - NJP. I will book the hotels once the plan is finalized. 
Thank you in advance. 
Anne Biswas (July 2022) 
The itinerary is doable... however, try to get all permits in time. It takes about 4 hours to reach Gangtok via Lamahatta plus the time you will spend at Lamahatta. You can find information about the remaining places through my article Tourism information on Gangtok (go through the section 'Attractions &áLocal Tours'). 
There is no great tourist place to visit along the route from Gangtok to NJP unless you take long detours. If you do Gangtok first instead of Darjeeling, then on your way back from Darjeeling, you can come via Mirik. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2022 
Hey, there are some questions which I want to ask you. We are two people. Visiting in 2nd week of Oct. My tour plan is Gantok( local sightseeing) then East sikkim (all three point Nathula, Harbhajan mandir, and lake)-- trying to book shared cab because it is a one-day ride. Then I am thinking of visiting Char dham , Bhudda Park, áTemi Tea Estate and Pelling with local sightseeing in Pelling. Then we plan for Darjeeling. And after that NJP (railway station). 
Question -1 from Siliguri should I go to Gantok or Pelling or Darjeeling 
Question-2 áfor Darjeeling and Gantok, should I book through two different tours and travels or same? 
Please suggest best path to visit these places. 
Himanshu (August 2022) 
You can visit Gangtok first, then Pelling (on the way you can visit Buddha Park), and then come down to Temi/Namchi etc, and then to Darjeeling via Jorethang/Jamuney route. You can work out the entire tour through a single operator in Gangtok or Darjeeling, but there will be different vehicles used in Sikkim and Darjeeling for local sightseeing. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2022 
Hi Raj Sir, 
I love your work and I need some suggestions regarding my 7 day - 6 nights tour to Darjeeling and Gangtok. I want to add some calmness amongst the chaos that's I want to add one offbeat location in the mix. Here's what I planned: 
Day 1 - Reach Darjeeling 
Day 2 - Mix point + Rock garden 
Day 3 - Visit Lepchajagat via Ghum and Batasia Loop and stay there 
Day 4 - Off to Sikkim 
Day 5 - Local Sikkim Sightseeing 
Day 6 - Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake 
Day 7 - Off to NJP 
I want to add Mirik in this also but I can't find any space... Is this itinerary good? Please suggest any improvements. Can I get cheap transport from Lepchajagat to Sikkim or I have to come to Darjeeling? 
Zia Khurshid (November 2022) 
Hi, on day-3, start a little early, instead of checking into your homestay/lodge at Lepchajagat, continue on that road for Mirik... it will take another 1 hour and 25 minutes to reach Mirik. At Sukhia Pokhari, you can take a short uphill detour to visit Jorpokhri (another nice lake with views). 
On reaching Mirik, spend some time at Sumendu lake, have lunch, and get back to Lepchajagat. There is no taxi stand at Lepchajagat, the nearest one is at Sukhia Pokhari (4kms). So, while returning from Mirik, stop at Sukhia Pokhari and book a cab for Gangtok drop the next day... try not to give any advance. Alternatively, you can ask your homestay to provide a car for the drop... they will keep some margins. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2022 
Dear Raj, 
Thanks for wonderful e-book. I made following itinerary-please comment- 
Day1-Arrival Bagdogra Airport 3 PM- Pick up and drop to Gangtok with stop at Lamahatta, stay Gangtok 
Day2-Gangtok-Lachen/Thanggu. Stay in Lachen 
Day3-Thanggu-Gurudongmar ,Chopta valley and back to lachung, stay in Lachung 
Day4-Lachung-Yumthang Valley-Zero Point-Gangtok, Stay in Gangtok 
Day5- Gangtok-Tsomgp,baba mandir-nathula Pass, stay Gangtok 
Day6-Gangtok 10 point tour, stay Gangtok 
Day7--Gangtok to Darjeeling via Chardham and Tami garden, stay Darjeeling 
Day8-Tiger Hill, Toy Train Joy ride,7 point tour, Stay Darjeeling 
Day9-Darjeeling to bagdogra Airport via Mirik, Drop by 2 PM 
Also few queries- 
On Day2-we are planning to go to Lachen early morning, should we stay on Day 1 somewhere on the way to Lachen instead of Gangtok? Is it necessary to go to Gantok for permits etc? Suggest some Good mountain view Hotels in Darjeeling and Gangtok in 4-5 star category as Mayfair and Elgin don't have Good view rooms? Any changes in above plan and routing? 
Peeyush Agarwal (February 2023) 
Unless you get all your permits ready in advance through an agent, you will need to keep an additional day in Gangtok to get that organized... you will be reaching Gangtok fairly late in the evening and nothing can be done on that day. Lamahatta is not on the usual route to Gangtok, you will need to take a much longer route to get there. For north Sikkim permits, you can optionally stay at Mangan instead of Gangtok... you can directly go there from Bagdogra... will take about 5 and a half hours. Mangan is in North Sikkim and much closer to Lachen/Lachung than Gangtok. 
For getting to Darjeeling from Gangtok via Temi and Namchi (Char Dham), you need to start very early, otherwise, you won't have enough time for any sightseeing at the intermediate places. 
You can refer to this article link where I have discussed several view hotels in Darjeeling. 
In Gangtok, you can explore Denzong Regency. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2023 
Hi Raj ji! 
First of all thank you so much for this website.i have prepared my itinerary based your blog. Kindly suggest if this is ok for a solo female traveller. I am travelling from chennai. 
Oct 20th arrive in Gangtok from Bagdogra airport via Wizzride and check in 
day 1 Gangtok local sightseeing -shared option 10 point 
day 2,3,4 north Sikkim with a licensed tour operator shared option 
day 5 -Nathula one day trip 
day 6 Gangtok to Ravangla. I have my overnight stay in Ravangla... Buddha park, Ralong monastery. 
day 7 Ravangla to Pelling- kindly suggest sharing jeep travel option please! 
Reach Pelling and local sightseeing for half day/overnight stay 
day 8 then next day i have one full day in Pelling? Can Yuksom be done?what would you suggest? 
day 9 early morning cab from Pelling to Bagdogra. 
Since its peak season, I want to know if Gangtok to Ravangla shared option will be available? how to go around in Ravangla for a day? Ravangla to Pelling shared jeep. Pelling 1 1/2 day sight seeing shared option? 
It would be great if you give your inputs. Thanks in advance. 
Aeishwariya (September 2023) 
You can get a shared taxi from Gangtok to Ravangla. If you don't get one immediately, you can take a shared taxi to Singtam and then change to another one for Ravangla. 
You will get shared taxis from Ravangla to Legship or Geyzing, and from there you can get another one to Pelling. 
You won't get shared taxis for local sightseeing in Ravangla or Pelling, you will need to hire a reserved taxi. 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2023 
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