Sikkim receives thousands of tourists every year and this has helped bolster the economy. However, it also comes with a cost—disregard for cleanliness of public places and general misconduct.
Here’s a list of things tourists need to keep in mind while travelling Sikkim (or any new place for that matter):
(1) Do not smoke in public places
Although smoking is banned in public places, smoke zones are available. If you are in forest area, please dispose off the cigarette butts thoughtfully to prevent forest fires.
(2) Do not use or ask for plastic bags
Sikkim is amongst the first to ban its usage. Shopkeepers usually wrap things in newspapers.
Dumping of up to rubbish attracts fine up to Rs. 5000/- and imprisonment of 6 months.
(3) Do not photograph people without permission
Courtesy demands that you take permission before taking photographs of the locals.
(4) Do not spit in public spaces
Spitting is generally a disgusting habit that spreads diseases. There are plenty of dustbins, so use them.
(5) Do not pick flowers and uproot plants
Everywhere you look in Sikkim, you will spot plants and flowers. These have been carefully tended and the locals take great pride in them, so leave them as they are.
Avoid overtaking especially at road blocks; you will only add to confusion.
(6) Reduce litter
Carry back all rubbish to your hotel for proper disposal or use the many dustbins you find in front of shops or besides roads.
(7) Do not make noise, play loud music
Sikkim is a quiet, peaceful state so maintain and enjoy the serenity.
To all tourists: be friendly, responsible and eco-friendly. Why not plant a tree before you leave.
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