Till some time back it was presumed Sikkim is a restricted area, true but no longer. Now it is open to foreigners as well. As ineverywhere all foreigners have to register them with the Foreigner's Registration office, which is very simple. They mayalso visit all the restricted areas open to Indian ( Indians too have to obtain permit).
The people of Sikkim is very well tolarent towards all foreigner as they are very very peace loving. In entire Sikkim , the Police Stations hardly have any crime record like Murder, Rape, Burglery, Assult, even theft. It is said in SIKKIM, women are safest as the Sikkimese people respect women. We came across many foreigners who were there for more than six months for research ( See the lady from Sydney in picture with dog) or the team of Mountain Bikers from California.
Favorite thing: In entire Gangtok, you shall find very clean and very well maintained public toilets run by local municipality. They are much better maintained than that of cities like Calcutta, Delhi or Bombay. I have even found very clean toilets ( paid) on way to North Sikkim, erected just below the tea shop or restaurants on the road. The tourist and the local use it by paying Rs.2 to Rs5/- that's how the toilets are maintained and salaries paid.
Now the city of Gangtok and major Sikkim towns has modern banks with their ATM counters in almost all vantage points. They also change currency in case you require. All the Indian bank like State Bank of India, HDFC, AXIS BANK, etc have their branches and their ATM Counters, which will honour all National and International cards marked with VISA, CIRRUS, "e" etc.
You can have peace of mind and need not to carry much cash with you always.
Favorite thing: Rangpo is the gateway for the State of Sikkim, it is where The State of West Bengal ends and Sikkim starts. It is where all the vehicles entering in the state have to register at the office of Sikkim Government and all the vehicles will be chicked by Sikkim police for anything undesirable in this peaceful Himalayan State. Besides all the vehicles will washed with Anti Bird Flu medications. All the passengers have to get down and walk little bit to cross the Bailey Bridge at the border.
In Gangtok City you shall find Travel Agents in every nook and corner of the city, who will arrange tours for you to North Sikkim and Nathu La Pass, Tsomgo lake area. Please do a good bargain with the agent, since the price depends on season and no of tourists available. You may also get your seats/ tickets booked for the tour of your choice but they take hefty comission from the agents. It's better to approach them directly and bargain the tour.
The current rate for North Sikkim is Rs.2200/- to Rs.2600/- or USD 40 to 50 ( per head apx) for two night , three days tour all inclusive travel, hotel and food. For a full day tour to somgo Lake and Baba Mandir is Rs.250/- or USD 5 per head, with out food. In case Nathu La pass is added then the rate is Rs. 400/- or USD 8-10 per head with out food.
In all of Sikkim we found the dogs are very friendly to their non owners also. As many of my friends know, my daughter Munu loves dogs so are we, we found the stray dogs are every where adored, loved and fed by locals, not like our Calcutta city where they are caught and killed or may be sterilized. We found in almost all Sikkim villages every house has a dog besides stray dogs, they are very very human friendly, even to the tourists.
In the city of Gangtok, we found an Australian lady from Melbourne adopting a stray dog. She cleaned it, innoculated it and named him Ladoo. We talked for about half an hour with her, she was there to complete her research on Tibetology.
Visit MG marg,a excellent raod for visit and to enjoi ..
Next is Psongo Lake and the nearby place which is one of the worth seeing plcae in
A place fully covered by ice and snow..all over.
Visit Kanchenjunga mountain..
Fondest memory: The Paintings, Handicrafts,
Beautiful Climate ,
Great Sceneries,blooming rare flowers..(not able to see these flowers anyere else)