If you’re coming to Sikkim, there are a few things you have to keep in mind that will help you have an enjoyable vacation with zero regrets. From clothing to local etiquette, these are the most common mistakes to avoid on your trip to Sikkim.
(1) Packing Light Clothing During Summer
Sure Sikkim has seasonal shifts with spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, and winter every year, but no matter which season you’re coming in, you will always encounter rain. Sikkim experiences unpredictable rainfall throughout the year, so it’s advisable to always carry a few extra layers of clothing and an umbrella.
post: Best time to visit Sikkim
(2) Not Carrying Motion Sickness Pills
If you’re coming to Sikkim, then altitude acclimatisation is very important. Some popular tourist spots are situated at high altitudes and the winding roads can get rough at times. Even if you don’t experience motion sickness in general, it’s helpful to carry some motion sickness pills just in case.
Blog post: The ever-enchanting Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim
Zero Point, North Sikkim at 15000 ft
(3) Staying Within Your Comfort Zone
The mountains have a way of awakening even the most cautionary soul. The state’s natural beauty is best observed not just from ‘view points’ but by hiking through its forests and dirt trails or from up above, like ziplining, cable car rides, paragliding, or helicopter rides. So make sure you add an exciting adventure activity to your tour or you will regret it.
(4) Not Exploring Beyond East and North Sikkim
Gangtok in East Sikkim is pretty much where the buzz is and north Sikkim has its own exotic charm with its flowering valleys, the presence of one of the highest lakes in the world, and snowfall during winters. But it’d be wrong to dismiss south and west Sikkim and skip it altogether from your itinerary. West Sikkim is of great historical importance, having served as the state’s capital once, and South Sikkim has the state’s only tea gardens and numerous lakes.
Temi Tea Gardens, South Sikkim
(5) Avoiding Speaking to the Locals
Sikkimese are friendly and down to earth, so don’t hesitate to ask for directions or recommendations of the best restaurants or cafes. They will be more than happy to help you out.
Blog post: Self-guided tour of Gangtok
(6) Eating Only Momos
There is so much more to explore food-wise than just momos. Sikkim’s cuisine is influenced by its 3 main tribes (Bhutias, Lepchas, and Nepalis) along with the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Nepal, China, and Tibet. Newari cuisine, thakali cuisine, thukpa, shyaphaley, and laphing are just some of the delicacies worth trying out. Don’t forget to try the local wines and drinks.
Blog post: Gangtok on a platter
(7) Carrying Only Casual Clothes
The capital city of Gangtok has stirred the nightlife pot with the opening of several cafes and nightclubs in a span of a few years. From live gigs to disco nights, this Himalayan city stays alive way past midnight. So along with your comfy sports shoes and trek pants, throw in a fancy top and shoes. Did you know Sikkim also has a land casino!
(8) Not Booking Through a Good Travel Agency
In a Himalayan state like Sikkim which shares international borders with Tibet and China, many high-altitude areas are restricted and need a special permit to enter. Permits are issued every morning for just that day so it can be a hassle, and permits too are numbered. Tour operators take care of applying for permits pretty easily and save you a lot of trouble. A good travel agency can make your trip a breeze by arranging for comfortable travel in clean cabs, upping your stays for free, and getting permits according to your itinerary. Making travel arrangements on your own is ok too but you might end up paying more for cabs and stays, and cover far fewer places.
Blog post: Travel agents in Sikkim who help you go nomad!
Do you have any additional tips you'd like to share? Leave it in the comments below.