With a view to promote tourism in Sikkim, restrictions on the entry for foreigners into restricted areas of Sikkim have been relaxed. Foreigners can now visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong, Pemayangtse and the Yuksom -Zongri trekking route on the basis of restricted area permits which can be obtained from any one of the following offices:

  1. All Indian missions and posts abroad.
  2. F.F.R.O s Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and C.T.O. Madras.
  3. Immigrations officers at the airports at Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and New Delhi.
  4. Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok.
  5. Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok.
  6. Inspector General of Police, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok.
  7. Assistant Director (Tourism),Government of Sikkim, Siliguri.
  8. Deputy Director (Tourism), Government of Sikkim, New Delhi.
  9. Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim, New Sikkim House, 14 Panchseel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
  10. Asst. Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim, 4c, Poonam, 5, Russel Street, Calcutta.
  11. Deputy Commissioner, Darjeeling.
  12. Deputy Secretary, Home Department, Government of West Bengal, Calcutta.

After obtaining the restricted area permit, bonafide foreign tourists, individuals as well as groups, can visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong and Pemayangtse for a period of fifteen days. For visiting Pemayangtse, Zongri, Changu and Yumthang valley the rules are slightly tight. Organized foreign tourist groups consisting of not less than four persons, sponsored by recognized Indian travel agencies will be issued permits up to fifteen days for trekking in the Zongri area of West Sikkim. Permits for visiting Zongri will be issued only by the representatives of the Sikkim government in New Delhi.

The return journey can be performed by either of the above routes. The groups would be accompanied by a liaison officer provided by the government of Sikkim.

Similarly for visiting Changu lake and the Yumthang valley foreigners have to be in a group of four or more.

Areas other than those mentioned above can also be visited, for which a special permit, which is relatively difficult to get, has to be obtained from the ministry of home affairs, New Delhi, the travel agents can help.