Transport, taxi, porter and other tariffs
If you are coming to Gangtok by bus or taxi with and West Bengal Number plate from Siliguri/Darjeeling you will be dropped at the Deorali Taxi Stand about a kilometer and half before M.G. Marg. You will then have to hire a local taxi to reach your hotel.
Till the late ninety eighties, the transportation scene in Sikkim was not good. The roads were bad and circuitous routes had to be taken. For instance reaching Yoksum from Gangtok used to take a good seven hours – an odyssey. Now you can do it in about four hours. Every morning shared taxis converge to Gangtok and other towns of Sikkim from remote villages and then leave back in the late afternoon.
The approximate charges of a small cab that can carry three /four passengers for various routes is as follows:
Taxi jeeps that can accommodate about seven to eight people are also available at about one and a half times the fare of the small cabs.
Click the following links to see the latest Government approved taxi fares for all destinations within Sikkim and to Siliguri
At Gangtok, porters are abundantly available at the bus stands to carry your luggage to the hotel which are mostly all a walking distance away. Each porter charges between Rs 50/- to Rs 200/- depending on the distance. Taxis are also available at the bus stands and they charge approximately Rs 25/- per kilometre (taxis do not have meters).
The bus fare while travelling in the hills works out to approximately Rs 60/- for every 100 kilometres by ordinary bus. For Deluxe buses and taxis, the fare is one and a half times more than the ordinary bus.
For trekking, porters charge Rs 150/- per day to carry your luggage and provisions and can be hired at Yoksum. Yaks, for riding or carrying luggage can be hired at about Rs 150/- per day. Trekkers huts at Yoksum and other places on the Zongri route are without any beds and you have to sleep on the wooden floors, so bring along sleeping bags. Trekkers huts usually have two or three rooms with each room accommodating about 10 persons. Rs 50/- per person is charged per day for accommodation in the trekker hut for which the booking has to be done at the Travel Agents’ Association at Yoksum. Sleeping bags, jackets, ruckpack and tents can be taken on loan at a nominal charge from Tourist Information Centre, Gangtok. Travel agents also have a provision for these items. Similar rates apply for trekking in the Darjeeling area.
The airfare (Economy Class) one way from New Delhi to Bagdogra is about Rs 7,500/- and from Calcutta to Bagdogra about Rs 3,600/-.The Helicopter fare between Gangtok to Bagdogra is Rs 3000/-. A 20 minute sightseeing mountain flight around Gangtok costs Rs 1,500/- . If you want to charter the 5 seater helicopter, it will cost Rs 1500/- per minute. If you intend to hire the chopper to fly near Kanchendzonga it will cost you over Rs 100000/- and only 4 passengers will be permitted.
The Three Tier AC railfare from Delhi to NJP and Calcutta to NJP is about Rs 1,300/- and Rs 600/- respectively. Add another 10% to calculate the Second Class AC charges. The Second Class railfare is about Rs 350/- and Rs 190/- respectively for the two routes. The Rajdhani train fare is 20 % more on what is charged in an express train.
A basic non-vegetarian meal (rice, chicken, vegetable) in an ordinary restaurant would cost approximately Rs 40/-. A vegetarian meal would be slightly cheaper. Vegetarian Bhojanalayas (restaurants) offer eat-as-much-as-you-can meals for Rs 30/-. Most of the hotels have bars and in Sikkim liquor is cheap.
For tourists on a shoe- string budget, low cost hotels which offer rooms for Rs 100/- or a dormitory bed for Rs 30/- are also available.
During the off-season (July to Mid-Sept and Dec to Feb), many hotels offer as much as a 50% discount on lodging.