Because our travel is also a way to share our good tips, here you have our « Practical Information » category. Enjoy !
Sikim is far away of being the most know state in India. Despite a constant growing tourism, we must admit that Sikkim is very small and stucked between Nepal, Bhoutan and Tibet. It is hard to access and tourists sometimes prefer going to places which are easier to access, a bit more under spotlight and finally closer the picture people have from India.
In 2017, to visit Sikkim, it is needed to get 15 or 30 days permit. The permit is free and delivered in a special office: FRO (Foreigner Registration Office). As written in all guides, the permit can be done in Delhi, at the borders or in Siliguri.
We decided to perform our permit in Siliguri just before the bus departure. We could have done it at the border but we were afraid to wait too long for it (it may happen sometimes). As we took the bus, we were afraid to see the local bus leaving without us. 🙂
So we went to the administrative office of Sikkim in Bengale state. It is also the bus station. Permit is delivered over there.
You should count 10 minutes per person. Everything is free. Pictures are normally needed but finally, the officer took picture of us and we did not use ours.
The document is very easy to get. And we recommend you to take a shared jeep instead of the bus.
A 15 days permit but what about if I exceed my time?
For this one, we also have an answer. We initially got 15 days permit. But as we did 10 days trek to Kanchendzonga and took a bit of rest in Peeling and Dentam with Smile Panda Tours, our stay quickly exceeded 15 days.
Offices to extend our permits were not on our way so we had to go to the office in Gangtok before leaving the state. We preferred to make our situation clear before reaching the border. Who knows?
In the office, they did not ask not too much questions. They were very nice and they added the extra days needed until our exit of the state. So no stress. At least in 2017.
We are Ela & David, 2 citizens of the world. In quest of a new way of living, more respectful from the environment and the Humans, we travel slowly to discover new cultures, to look for inspirations and with a wish of sharing. Want to know more?