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Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

11 posts
Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

We are a couple and planning our first ever trip to North East India from 9th June - 17th June (8nights/9days).

Following are the places that we are considering:

1. Assam

2. Meghalaya

3. North Sikkim

We have a rough itinerary that needs some help:

1. Banglore to Guwahati

2. Visit Majuli island + cruise on Brahmaputra (If this is not a good time for these places, we shall skip them)

3. Visit Meghalaya -> Shillong - Cherrapunji (Umiam Lake, Elephant Falls, Mawlynnong Village, Nonkalikai Falls, Mawsmai Caves, Khasi Monoliths, Living root bridge, Dawki, Bangladesh Border, Lewduh Bara Bazaar, Laitlum Canyons)

4. Visit Sikkim -> North Sikkim (Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass, Yuksom, Monasteries, Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley)

5. Baghdodra to Banglore

Questions:

1. Will we be able to cover these places in the time we have. A day wise itinerary would help us big time as we don’t know how much time it takes to travel from one place to another

2. Should we start from Guwahati or Baghdodra

3. How to travel inter city and intra city

4. Do we need special permits

5. Recommend local cabs drivers / homestays

P.S: Looking for people travelling at the same time to share cab expenses.

11 replies to this topic
Mumbai, India
Destination Expert
for India
Level Contributor
1,651 posts
183 reviews
1. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

Use google maps to find distances.

Shillong to Gangtok will be ~ 14 to 16 Hours, possibly to be done over 2 days.

I think start from Bagdogra - Gangtok - Guwahati - Shillong - Cherrapunjee - Other sites and return.

Guwahati - Majuli travel will eat 1 day

Muzaffarpur, India
Destination Expert
for Sikkim, Manali, New Delhi, Darjeeling, Bihar, Katra, Udaipur, Patna, India, Gangtok, Varanasi, Amritsar
Level Contributor
22,057 posts
395 reviews
2. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

Sikkim and Meghalaya-Assam are different area,better to do either one otherwise will be too hectic and you will be only travelling from one place to another.Only North Sikkim will take 2 Night 3 days from Gangtok,add 2 more days when you arrive and depart from Bagdogra/NJP means 5 days 4 nights are needed only to visit North Sikkim.

11 posts
3. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

There are trains from Guwahati to Silguri (overnight journey). I think that should be fine.

But is there any particular reason you recommend starting from Baghdogra ?

11 posts
4. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

Yes, I understand. But there are hardly any good places to visit in Assam as Kaziranga will be closed.

Our Current plan is set for Meghalaya (3nights/4days)

1. Guwahati to Shillong -- stay at Shillong

2. Shillong to Cherrapunji to Nongriat Village -- stay in village

3. Enjoy double decker and enroute to Mawlynnong -- stay in Mawlynnong village

4. Mawlynnong morning then Dawki river and Bangladesh Border -- return to Shillong and to Guwahati.

5. Reaching Guwahati on 4th night, we can take train in night to Silguri and can reach Sikkim by morning itself on the 5th day.

6. 5th, 6th and 7th day can be utilised to cover North Sikkim.

This is eating up our 6nights and 7days. Please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken.

Muzaffarpur, India
Destination Expert
for Sikkim, Manali, New Delhi, Darjeeling, Bihar, Katra, Udaipur, Patna, India, Gangtok, Varanasi, Amritsar
Level Contributor
22,057 posts
395 reviews
5. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

Cant say much about Assam Meghalay but for Sikkim phase if you are arriving NJP on 5th then

5th NJP to Gangtok

6th Gangtok to Lachen

7th Lachen to Gurudonar to Lachung

8th Lachung to Yumthang to Gangtok

9th Gangtok to NJP

11 posts
6. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

Ok ok..But I just checked online NJP to Gangtok is around 3-3:30hrs. Is there any reason you are considering full day from NJP to Gangtok and Gangtok to NJP.?

Muzaffarpur, India
Destination Expert
for Sikkim, Manali, New Delhi, Darjeeling, Bihar, Katra, Udaipur, Patna, India, Gangtok, Varanasi, Amritsar
Level Contributor
22,057 posts
395 reviews
7. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

I am not considering full day for NJP to Gangtok,i know its 4 hr journey.For North Sikkim in any case you have to start from Gangtok till 11-11:30 am,after that you may not be allowed to proceed,means in worst case you have to start from NJP maximum arround 7:7:30 and that too when you have booked the tour in advance.Also it wouuld be too tiring to do NJP to Lachen in a day which can easily take more than 10 hours in not so good (or simply say bad) roads of North Sikkim and that too after arriving after an overnight journey.

Similarly for return you will arrive Gangtok after evening from North Sikkim so you will have to start from Gangtok next day.Travelling in Sikkim is very different from most of the other tourist places due to various logistic issues and also permits.

11 posts
8. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

Got it. In that case, we can skip Majuli and spend 4days in Meghalaya and 5days in Sikkim.

I think this should be fine.

What all permits do we need ? And It would be great if you help us with local cab driver contact.

Muzaffarpur, India
Destination Expert
for Sikkim, Manali, New Delhi, Darjeeling, Bihar, Katra, Udaipur, Patna, India, Gangtok, Varanasi, Amritsar
Level Contributor
22,057 posts
395 reviews
9. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

North Sikkim and Nathula needs permit to visit.Again there are two type of North Sikkim tour,1N 2D which will include Lachung (Yumthang and Zero point) and 2N 3D which also includes Lachen (With gurudonar).Nathula,Tsongi lake is a day tour from Gangtok.You have to visit North Sikkim through package from any Gangtok based travel agent,package will include fooding,lodging,transport and permit.Similiarly the ageny who provides vehicle for Nathula will also procure permit for you.Rest for transfer to/from NJP you can hire cab on the spot,as you are planning mainly for North Sikkim so contacting driver is not much useful,better to contact travel agents,if you can arrive Gangtok till 11-12 AM then can book on the spot too for next day.

10. Re: Need help planning trip to NE India (Assam-Meghalaya-Sikkim)

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