Yuksom is a small village in Sikkim. It is said that it was the first capital of Sikkim. It's calm and peaceful; a real get-away for those who want to avoid the tourist crowd.
Reach here in 5 hours from Gezing using shared or private 4x4s
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is about 150km from Yuksom. From NJP, one can book a taxi to Yuksom for ₹2,000 (March 2009). Be careful to leave NJP by 11:00 as it takes around 6-7 hours to reach Yuksom via Jorethang. The road to Yuksom is poorly lit and it is not advisable to travel at night.
The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, 12km west of Siliguri, about 170km from Yuksom.
It is a very small village so get around on foot.
Yuksom is the base camp for many treks in Sikkim. One can trek to Tashiding/Dzongri peak/Goecha La from here. You will get many tour guides as well as reliable agencies like Red Panda, Yak $ Yeti, www.pacadventures.com, www.trekthe himalayas,com etc
You can also trek to Kachupuri lake from Yuksom. It's a relatively tough, steep trek (10km) if you not a high altitude trekker. There are no shared 4x4s to/from Kachupuri lake, but it might be possible to join a tour 4x4 for this journey.
It is a very beautiful place. It is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks (some of them are covered with snow throughout the year).
If you are one of those backpackers that like to travel light, you can buy basic clothes for your travel. Nothing fancy or touristy can be found here. It's not a regular tourist destination.
Please be ready to have vegetarian food here. Although non-vegetarian food is available, since it is a remote place, meat supplies are rare.
There are a few restaurants: Yak Restaurant (Mr Ugen), Norling, and Gupta restaurant at the main junction, which serves Indian and Italian food.
The restaurants open at 05:30 in the morning and are closed by 22:00 at night. Although the quality of food is not so great (Try Yak restaurant) sometimes they have good food, especially the beef rice and morning alu parathas. But one may find decent pizzas and beer here.
You may also be lucky enough to encounter yak cheese momos. These are particularly fantastic after a long day's trek. They taste like they are filled with a very strong feta cheese.
Most of these restaurants also serve tongba (bamboo drink). Try this. It's a juice of the fermented millet served in a bamboo container, and you will also be given a small straw made of bamboo to sip the millet wine from the bamboo container.
There are two brands of bottled beer available: Hit and Dansberg. Dansberg is a wonderful mild beer brewed and bottled in Sikkim. Hit, on the other hand. is a strong beer.
The other option is to go for the local brew called "Bamboo". It consists of fermented Millet grains in a broad bamboo stem cut to be used as a tumbler. Warm water is added to the container, within a few minutes it acquires the flavour of port wine. It is drunk through a narrow straw also made of bamboo. More water is added to the tumbler when it runs out. With time the flavour of the Bamboo gets milder.
The potency of the drink is dependent on the ageing of the millet used. Millet fermented for ten to fifteen days result in a medium to mild drink. Up to three month old fermented drinks can result in a very strong brew.
A very beautiful government guest house with two dormitories with 6 beds cost ₹50 pppn in Aug 2007. Three private hostels are also present.
Hotel Yangri Gang and Hotel Tashi Gang are the two main hotels here.
There are several treks leading from this place. Also, the Khangchendzonga National Park is close by (which is a kind of heaven on earth). To get out of Yuksom, Jeeps are available but mostly they run in the morning, starting at 05:30. You need to book them one day in advance to be sure you get a seat. Goes to Pelling, Geyzing and Jorethang.