In October 2006 we cycled around Sikkim (India) and Bhutan. This part of the website contains a detailed tour report on Sikkim.
We started at Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal and biked to Sikkim. The trip took two weeks and ended at Puentsholing at the Bhutanese border where we continued our trip into Bhutan.
Maps; getting around
The North Eastern India map by Nelles Maps (scale 1: 1.500.000) includes Bhutan. The Sikkim area is shown below and as you can see is of limited use for cyclists in this region.
As we couldn’t get any other maps we mostly relied on the detailed and very accurate descriptions we found on the website of Fred Ferchaux. Along the main roads exists some form of signposting. Milestones may show the next town and the distance to it. But don’t count on it.
We used the well-known Lonely Planet travel guide for general travel information.
Sikkim on the WWW
We searched the web for useful (bike) sites and found these. Links open in a new window.
- Fred Ferchaux’s pages on Sikkim and Nepal are a absolute must. Some information is available in French only. With his tour reports you don’t need a map any more
- Marco Polo commercial bike tour
General (travel) info
- Wikipedia on Sikkim
Roads and Traffic
The roads we followed were generally paved. The route in the Yuksom area was rather rough and difficult to negotiate without a mountain bike. Land slides are not uncommon in Sikkim.
Around and near major towns there is a steady flow of traffic, mostly Jeep style taxis. It was however never very busy. Even cycling in and out big city Siliguru was not a challenge.
Small streams may cross the road at numerous spots, specially after heavy rainfall. Watch out as the surface can be extremely slippery here.
Outside larger towns like Kalimpong and Siliguri not much is available to repair a broken bike. To get the essential part you may have to go a long way.
Food and drinks
There will always be a few small shops and hotels selling items like cold drinks , bananas and bottled drinking water. Hotels (almost) always have a restaurant.
Climate and weather
We visited Sikkim in October. Most of the days it was clear and sunny with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius. In higher areas e.g. Pelling and Yuksom it was much cooler. Nights were pleasantly cool. On a few days we had some rain.
Where to stay
Accommodation was easy to find. During holiday seasons many lowland Indians travel to the Sikkimese highlands and it can be more difficult to find a decent room.