RUSS'S TOP TIPS

Get the best out of tour and make sure you don't miss anything

VISA APPLICATION

Things to know

When you apply for a new visa online, you need to know the procedure which is not logical or straightforward. The visa website provided by the Indian government is clunky and is proned to crashing. The download page shows how to make this application specific for Sikkim and the best way to minimised any errors.

INNER LINE PERMIT

Setting up the permit online before you go

This is a step by step guide to obtaining the Inner Line Permit (ILP) which is challenging on a clunky website. This section will show the correct drop down menus to use to get the ILP which is not at first logical in it's design. Just go to the download page and follow the step by step process.

NORTH SIKKIM PERMIT

Getting the permit and knowing restrictions

There are two categories of tourist, domestic and foreign nationals. Domestic tourists are Indian nationals and foreign nationals are all other nationalities. Foreign nationals cannot go into North Sikkim on their own so they need to team up with another foreign national to make the group a minimum of two. Domestic and foreign nationals cannot be in the same group. I plan to offer a free service to invite foreign nationals to online diarise their scheduled dates in North Sikkim and share car and permit costs. Go to my downloads section for more information

GETTING CASH OUT FROM THE ATM

Security bars on your credit card are common in India

Credit cards with chip and pin can be security barred because the Indian ATM's work solely on a strip on the back of the credit card. You can go through two levels of security and pay hundreds of pounds to unbar your card by calling your bank in your home country. Find out more about the maximum you can withdraw daily, avoid high call charges when calling home and plan to take cash from the airport. Go to the blog page and print out my top tips.

BARKING DOGS

Avoid sleepness nights

Believe it or not, even in the five star hotels and away from the traffic on the top floor, you can easily be woken up at 3am in the morning by a single stray dog that starts all the other dogs in the area barking constantly. It's a real problem for foreign nationals as the locals and the domestic tourist have been weaned on it from birth and are use to it. Download my top tips page for more information 

STAYING WARM IN YOUR HOTEL

Not many hotels have air con and non have central heating

During the colder times of the year and in north Sikkim, ask the hotel for a fan heater which is usually free but you may have to pay 200-300 rupees per day for the electric on some of the smaller hotels. Some hotels do not offer them unless asked so you might want to make sure before booking that this facility is available. Even in the high end hotels, the lobby areas can be very cold and is not heated so expect this as the norm. One place in North Sikkim has power outage problems and does not allow fan heating.

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