Planning travel to Sikkim

I am in between jobs for almost a month, in May, 2017. This allowed me to plan travelling at leisure. After looking into my options, I decided to explore well-trodden paths to Sikkim and Darjeeling over a period of around three weeks. Since, I had to book tickets well in advance, I decided to do everything via trains and AirBnb, so that  I will be able to recover most of my money in case there is unforeseeable cancellation. So, in the end. My itinerary involves taking all modes of transport except waterways, a total of 5 days journeying by train. 4 major and two minor destinations and lots of exploration via AirBnb, Oyo, Couchsurfing etc.

I checked out a lot of tour packages, starting from the government sponsored ones to some of the hugely popular and lonely planet recommended offbeat itineraries provided by some. A combination of reasons around cost, destinations, experiences etc. predominately being cost, made me decide not to go for those. i found the flexibility of planning my own trip and the underlying uncertainty of it all exciting and rather appealing.

I have ended up with  plan that involves 4 days at Darjeeling, 3 days at Pelling, 5 days at Gangtok and more than a day at Kolkata. Things that I hope to do, at a high level –

  1. Mountain biking at Darjeeling
  2. Try out most of the local cuisine and popular joints
  3. Visit important monuments and monasteries.
  4. Explore a lot of woods, coutryside
  5. Drink locally brewed beer.

My total budget for this entire trip is around 40k. Although, I have had set aside a total of 50k including contingencies.

My total expenses so far –

  1. Travel from Bangalore to Siliguri – 2195
  2. Stay the night at Siliguri – 1050
  3. Book Stay at Darjeeling – 4000
  4. Book Stay at Pelling – 3500
  5. Book Stay at Gangtok – 7500
  6. Another Night at Siliguri – 1050
  7. Travel from Siliguri to Kolkata – 2900
  8. Night at Kolkata – 1200
  9. Travel from Kolkata to Pune – 6000

Total – 29,395