Tours are available through any travel agencies in Gangtok where they will take care of everything including the permit. Price of the tour starts at 2500 Rupees and up. The cheapest way to visit Tsongmo Lake is to share the trip with other travellers.
The best place to look for travellers to share the trip (and the cost) with is in new Modern Lodge. They actually arrange the tours themselves.
When we were there, we were able to gather five more travellers (with the help of the hostel) and just paid 600 Rupees each. This cost only covered our transport back and forth and a tour guide. It didn’t include the 10 Rupee Tourism fee and food.
We left our hostel at around 10AM and drove almost three hours to the lake. The drive could have been faster if not because of the long in certain parts of the world where only a few vehicles could only pass at a time.
In the first half hour of the trip, we passed by various local villages. The scenic road made the bumpy ride forgiveable and hardly noticeable as I spent most of the time gazing at the window.
The road to Tsongmo Lake also almost drained all my fear of heights as we passed by a lot of scary (for me) cliffs.
Here are some pictures of our journey to Tsongmo Lake:
Tourists Center along the Way Where the Guides Will Present the Permit
Road to Tsongmo Lake
Pit Stop for Toilet Breaks (5 Minutes Away from the Lake)
Herd of Yaks for Rent: Tourists who don’t want to walk around the lake or hike up to Tsongmo Point can ride these colorful Yaks for a fee.
Tsongmo Lake: The lake is so beautiful especially on a clear day. If the weather condition is perfect, you could even see a clear reflection of the snow-capped mountains on the lake. Unfortunately for us, we went through rain and hale that day. But it still is one of the best day trip that I’ve been to since it was my first time to see snow. Yay!
Here’s a few tips that might come handy if you visit the lake:
1. If you’re travelling on a budget, share the trip and cost with a group of people.
2. There are jackets and boots for rent near Tsongmo Lake just in case yours isn’t enough to insulate your body from the cold winds.
3. Be careful when walking along the path towards Tsongmo Point. It may be a short walk but it”s very slippery because of the ice. I almost fell off.
4. Bring waterproof bags where you could store your camera or other electronics. Weather sometimes could be very unpredictable. The sun was shining real bright when we left Gangtok and we went through rain and hale a few minutes upon arrival in Tsongmo.
5. Don’t leave your trash behind. Tsongmo Lake is a fragile environment and it’s very sad to see trash being left behind by other tourists.