* From New Jalpaiguri or Silliguri , you have to take a car or bus ride. If you are a large group of 8 or 10 or more, then getting a car is not a problem, because Rs 4000 per trip can be conveniently divided per head. But if you are just two or three, better take Sikkim Nationalized Transport Bus service from Silliguri. Don’t fall into agent’s trap of package sightseeing offers at NJP or Silliguri. They include ride from NJP to Gangtok at exceptionaly low price just to tempt you.
* If you have to go from NJP to Silliguri, take local autos , after leaving station area. Autos and rickshaws parked near rail station ask for exorbitant fares.
* SNT BUSES doesn’t give much halts during the 5 to 6 hours ride. So have your lunch and freshen up at SNT Canteen and Toilet before boarding bus.
* You have to get off car ( not bus ) outside Gangtok city proper and take a local taxi to reach your respective hotels.
* In Gangtok, wherever you want to go, you have to take the only transport available, a non metered taxi. No rate charts are on display. You give what driver asks. But normally Sikkimese are honest people.
* In Gangtok food is expensive. Price is more than even higher altitude places like Pelling, Gheshing, Jorthung.
* Most shops, restaurants etc down their shutters by 7.30 or 8 pm at night so if you have plans to eat out, rethink.
* From Gangtok, most tourists go for sightseeing, to Nathula Pass China border, Baba Mandir, Tsongmu or Chunge Lake. You have to get a military permit for going to these places for which you need to deposit two photos, Address & ID proof copies a day in advance with your car booking agent. Nathula Pass is CLOSED FOR TOURISTS ON MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS.
* Visit to Nathula Pass China border, Baba Mandir, Tsongmu or Chunge Lake are done in car, either booking the entire car or on share basis. If on share, your car booking agency gives you car number when receiving payment, on day of journey you need to take a taxi from hotel to car pick up point Deurali and from there begins your journey. Car will also drop you at the same place. Apart from Tata Sumo like big cars, taxis can also be booked at bit lesser amount but do enquire beforehand if small vehicles are being given clearance at that time of year.
* Chartered car will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at your hotel after sightseeing.
* Permit clearance usually costs around Rs 500.
* For shopping , visit M.G.Market. It remains closed on Saturdays. If you think M.G.Market is costly, move to the other end of the market till you find stairs going down on your rightside. Take the stairs to find another bustling market beneath. For local flavours, you can also visit Lallbazar Market.
* SMOKING, LITTERING, DEFECATING, SPITTING WHERE EVER ONE WISHES , IS BANNED IN GANGTOK.
* Make sure, your hotel provides geyser 24 hrs because some switch it off from outside after a stipulated period. In most hotels it is 2 to 3 hrs per day only.
Return from Gangtok to Silliguri can be done in chartered car or bus. SNT Bus service from Gangtok is regular and way cheaper than car. Just make sure to buy tickets as early as possible. Counter opens at 6am. SNT BUS SCHEDULE CHART FROM GANGTOK IS GIVEN BELOW :