Sikkim is fast emerging as a new destination for tourists who want to experience the thrills of gambling. Royal Plaza Hotel ((281570) at Syari Gangtok boasts of the first land-based Casino in India and offers Roulettes, Blackjack, and electronic slot machines. Casino Majong in Hotel Mayfair((250128) and Casino Deltin in Hotel Denzong Regency also offers similar gambling options.
Discos and Night Clubs
As of now, Gangtok does not have much nightlife, but there are a few Night Clubs where people can unwind. Live and Sound close to MG Marg can also be tried. Code Orange near Ranipul about 8 km from Gangtok is another popular joint.
The language used for communication in Sikkim is Nepali. However, everybody knows Hindi. In major towns, most people can communicate in English. Written official correspondences in Sikkim take place in English.
All Sikkim Government Offices and banks follow a six-day week. While the Government offices have 10 am to 4 pm working hours and a six-day week, banks are open from 10 am to 2 pm (on Saturdays 10 am to 12 noon). Both the banks and Sikkim Government Offices follow the Government of Sikkim Almanac which has many holidays.
The Central Government Offices like the Central Public Works Department have a five-day week (10 am to 5 pm). Restaurants open as early as 7 am but also close early: by 8 pm. The markets open by 7 am and close by 7 pm. The Tourism Department Information Counter (( 222064) is open from 8 am to 7 pm during the season (April to June & October to November)
Postal Service and Courier
The Post Offices in Sikkim follow a six-day week (10 am to 3 pm) with only four or five public holidays in a year. The Head Post Office (( 205442) at Gangtok is well equipped. There are many reputed couriers in Gangtok as well. They are Blue Dart (205790) DTDC (281985), Gati (281401) Overnight Express (203813)
Gangtok also has good mobile coverage provided by Jio, BSNL, Vodafone, and Airtel and more.
Banks and ATMs
Gangtok has all the major banks. Most banks have ATMs.
Western Union has an office in the General Post Office. Tourists can have their remittances from abroad collected here.
There are many internet cafes on the M.G. Marg which can be used for sending and receiving e-mail messages and browsing the internet.
Branches of the State Bank of India are to be found in all the major towns here and they readily convert foreign hard currency to local currency. However, these banks follow the local holiday calendar and they are sometimes closed for days together with frequent strikes: so carry sufficient local currency before coming here. Notes of Rs 500 denominations should be preferred as they can be carried easily. However when visiting places that are remote, carry a sufficient assortment of Rs 50, Rs 10, and Rs 5 notes as getting change for higher denomination notes can be a problem. Some of the big hotels are authorized to change money and many also accept credit cards.
In Gangtok, Jainco ( 203774), Citinews (225660), and Goodbooks on M.G. Marg, Pasupati Nath (208212) on the Lal Bazar Road are all well stocked with books and magazines. Rachna(204336,) near Community Hall is a quiet place just 10 minutes walk away from the hustle and bustle of MG Marg and stocks a wide range of books, especially on Sikkim. M/S D.K. Pandey( (207096) on Tibet road also stocks books.
The daily “Sikkim Express” is a good newspaper that is packed with information on what is happening locally. The weekly official bulletin of the Government, the Sikkim Herald also has a lot of local news. Both are available online too.
Hidden Forest (225197), Himalayan Flora (222223), and Wayside Gardens and Nurseries(250706) in and around Gangtok can be visited by those interested in plants. The Flower Show venue on Ridge Road also stocks plants for sale.
Medical facilities and Chemists
Chiranjilal Lalchand (203762), Life Line Medicos (222864), and Sree Krishna Medical Store (224807) all on M.G. Marg are well stocked with all types of medicines. Care Diagnostics ((203870, 204555) Opp. Private Bus Stands can be contacted for various pathological tests. The Government run STNM Hospital ((222944) and Central Referral Hospital((231137) are well-equipped to cater to all sorts of emergencies. Besides, there are many private doctors in town as well.
Places of Worship
The Thakurbari complex near the Tourist Information Centre has small temples of the main Gods and goddesses of the Hindus. Sia Baba (Putaparti) Mandir is located at Balwakhani near the Vajra Cinema. There is a Protestant Church (CNI) and a Catholic Church both near the main town. A mosque is located next to the Private Bus Stand.
There are many religious organizations in Sikkim that organize regular prayer meetings. Tourists affiliated to these organizations may like to visit them if time permits. Some of them are Brahma Kumaris, The Art of Living, Vipasana, Chinmaya Mission, Sahaj Marg.