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North Sikkim: Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang, Zero-Point

Yumthang Valley
After sufficient sightseeing in East Sikkim we were due exploring beautiful regions of North Sikkim. If you are in the state atleast for a week then North Sikkim is a must visit and major part of energy and time should be allocated for it. For this trip we opted for a 2-Nights/3-Days package trip conducted by Lama Tours and Travel(MG Marg, Gangtok). The total expenses for 6 people was around 16k INR inclusive of transportation, accommodation and food.

Highlights:
  • Panaromic view of Teestha Valley at Singhik
  • Experiencing snowfall at Thanggu
  • A relaxed evening on banks of river at Lachung
  • Breakfast at Pema's shop at Yumthang valley
  • Experiencing sub-zero temperature and 360 degree snow clad mountains at Zero-point(15000+ feet)

Day-1, we departed at around 11 am in a Mahindra Max jeep from dedicated North Sikkim taxi stand at Gangtok. For initial one hour our driver didn't even speak a word. We were speculating that whether he's a dumb person or doesn't know Hindi or a Kadus person. Our first site of the day was Seven-sisters waterfalls. To be frank, there was nothing impressive to mention about the waterfall, even dozens of roadside waterfalls were better than it. The so called seven tier falls can be skipped unless there's a genuine need for a pit-stop.

Singhik viewpoint near Mangan 
Moving ahead, we had a break at Phodong for lunch and entered into Mangan - district head-quaters of North Sikkim which claims itself to be 'Cardamom capital of the World'. A few kms beyond Mangan is Singhik view point which offers panoramic view of Teestha Valley. With our desperate search for a cup of tea at the viewpoint we landed into a terrace hotel(cafe) which offered us the best view of the valley. The combination of tea and the breathtaking landscape was a priceless experience.

We reached Lachen at around 7 pm for overnight stay. Our arrival was delayed due to flat tyre replacement, a usual headache for drivers in North Sikkim area due to rocky terrain. At Lachen, it was moderately drizzling and our caretaker at homestay said that it will be definitely snowing at higher altitude where we were supposed travel next day.

Snowfall at Thanggu - we had to discontinue our journey to Gurudongmar lake here
Day-2 morning at 4:30 am we departed towards Gurudongmar Lake. While traveling, I immediately went into napping mode after such a early morning wake-up. By the time I woke up i.e after an hour the first image on my retinas was dominated with the color white, obviously due to snow on either sides of the road. At 6:30 am, we stopped at Thanggu for breakfast and simultaneously experienced snowfall. Our excitement of experiencing snowfall(maiden snowfalll for some people in our group) was short-lived as we were informed that Gurudongmar plan was cancelled considering high probability of road blockage due to heavy snowfall. With loads of disappointment, we came back to Lachen and departed towards Lachung after lunch.

On the way to Lachung, we saw Teesta-Lanchung river confluence near Chungthang, where there's big hydel power station under construction. Next site on the way was BimNalla waterfalls which was relatively graceful than other roadside waterfalls. At Lachung, we witnessed daylight fading into dusk by relaxing on banks of  river below a cantilever bridge. It was nice to witness ribbon waterfalls on a big hill adjacent to the town.

Pema at her Tea shop in Yumthang Valley
Day-3, we departed at 5.30 am towards Yumthang Valley. On the way to the place we saw several boards with Rhododendrons. When I was reading it aloud, the local lady(her name was Pema) to whom our driver had offered the drop from Lachung, said that Rhododendron bloom can be witnessed only in the month of April.

After reaching Yumthang we had sufficiently long spell of photosession around Yumthang-zero kilometer stone. After the session we dropped into Pema’s Shop for breakfast. Her photogenic face was a treat our cameras. Not to mentioned the lady was very friendly and enthusiastic, a diametrically opposite personality in comparison to our driver.

Our gang at Zero Point
Normally, the package tour will have siteseeing till Yumthang valley. Beyond this one can go upto  Yumasongdeong famously known as zero-point by paying extra money directly to the driver. There we experienced sub-zero temperature at 15000+ feet amidst 360 degree snow clad mountains. The other major attraction around Yumthang is a hot spring which didn't live upto the hype. However, landscape around it was nice and good capturing in our cameras. We came back to Lachung for lunch and immediately started our return journey to Gangtok. While returning also we were unfortunate to experience hiccups of a flat tyre again and our driver had to borrow the replacement from some other jeep driver. When the tyre was being replaced all passerby drivers used to ask our driver - "Tyre Cho" .. our driver used to reply "Cho".

Finally, we were back in Gangtok at nighttime by concluding toughest part of Sikkim Trip. Next morning, we were off to South Sikkim via Rumtek.

65 comments :

  1. what was the cost of the package?

    ReplyDelete
  2. the cost 16000 rupees for 3 days and 2 night inclusive of food, accomodation, transportation.(for 6 ppl).

    For zero point we paid 1800 extra.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:42 AM

    At what time of the year did u visit north sikkim???????

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replies
    1. kanad sarkar12:09 AM

      can u give the contacts of "Lama Tours and Travel(MG Marg, Gangtok)"??? And where u stayed at Gangtok??

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    2. Contact Binita Lama 09734983536/09832079292

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    3. we stayed at Fujiya Hotel (managed by Mr. Neer) which is very close to MG Marg

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    4. can you please provide me the contact number of Fujiya hotel,Gangtok

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    5. hi aparna: I don't have the number handy

      Delete
  5. Chethan P12:30 PM

    Beautiful lady! :-)

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  6. Hey Sandeep, I see that you guys had Gurudongmar on your plan and it didn't happen due to the weather. If the weather holds up, is it possible to do Lachung, Yumthang and Gurudongmar in 3D/2N ? Also how did you find the accomodation, was it through the travels ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes .. you can cover all things in 3D, 2N. Accommodation was inclusive in the package of 16K

      Delete
  7. KIMMI4:56 PM

    I was also there last year. Awesome place to visit. perfect place for new couples...

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  8. Anonymous8:38 AM

    Hi Shande and Kimmi. I need suggestion from you. I am planning to go to Sikkim in Sep end this year. Is it better to book the tours before reaching there or go to Gangtok and than finalise? is it possible to hire car directly from taxi stand and manage the tour at our own instead of going through travel agents?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi .. It's better to book the tours at Gangtok itself. But booking taxi on the spot can be painful as you may lose your precious time in discussing/bargaining etc.

      Delete
  9. I am very reluctant to visit the Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Lachung, Yumthang Valley at coming October with my family, but my daughter will be just 2 years old then, will she fit for for this trip ??

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  10. Hi sandeep,
    Are these travel agents reliable if we book it over phone? how were the hotels and the food?were they edible?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Sandeep
    Are these travel agents reliable if we book it over phone? Hoe were the hotels and the fooding arrangements?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's recommended to book on the spot. Hotels and food arrangement were decent, don't expect luxury.

      Delete
    2. by any chance do you have any photos?

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    3. By Any chance do you have any photos of the room? or the hotels?

      Delete
  12. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Hey Sandeep...We are planning to visit sikkim in Dec end. Can we visit these places. We will be travelling with 2 year old kid. Will the travels be too hectic for him??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes .. he may have difficulty is getting adjusted to high altitude and sub-zero temparature.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous9:15 AM

    How about gangtok, pelling and any other places if u can suggest? We will be going for 5-6 days. (4 adults and 2 toddlers)

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  14. hey sandeep, we are travelling to north sikkim 2n/3d from sept 28-sept 30 2013, any idea about the weather at that time? we have pre-booked our tour with blue sky

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure. It should be manageable with light woolen clothes. Please confirm this with your tour operator.

      Delete
  15. People sometimes underestimate the impact that a friendly and experienced guide can have on the outcome of a journey. When someone is knowledgeable and loves what they are doing, they make the country around them come alive. I wish your guide had been more eager to have you enjoy your trip.

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  16. Great! Blog Post About North Sikkim: Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang, Zero-Point Awesome Place I Like All Sikkim sure has the potential, if it is already not, to be a role model of sustainable, eco-friendly tourism destination for other destinations in the country Sikkim World’s Number One Place To Visit In 2014.....Get the details from : http://blog.theotherhome.com/sikkim-worlds-number-one-place-to-visit-in-2014/

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  17. We want to go North Sikim at 1st February. Is this good time ? Please suggest

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ayan, It's a good time ... but not sure about accessibility .. roads may get blocked because of bad weather(snowfall etc.)

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  18. Hi Sandeep, How were the North Sikkim hotels provided in Lama's package. Do you remember any hotel name for reference..thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Preeti, the hotels were like homestays .. I am not able to recall the names

      Delete
  19. Hi Sandeep,

    I am planning to travel Sikkim in Mid June'14. It would be like initial 2N stay in gangtok, next 3N/4D Lachen-Lachung trip. The trip dates would be exactly 11th June'14 to 18th June'14. I would be doing online booking for Gangtok 2N stay. For 3N/4D trip to lachen-lachung, what would you suggest - should I pre-book it online or decide at the Gangtok only? How is the trip arranged by travel agents at Gangtok? If I book it at Gangtok, are the hotels nd food provided by them good enough?

    Also, is the time June'14 okay to travel Gangtok and north sikkim? I would be visiting the place with my wife.
    If I book it at Gangtok on the spot, how much would it cost for 3N/4D lachen-lachung trip?

    Also, the cab travel agent provides - that would not have other people boarded into it, right?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ravi,
      thanks for dropping by. Following are the answers to your queries

      1. For 3N/4D trip to lachen-lachung, what would you suggest - should I pre-book it online or decide at the Gangtok only? How is the trip arranged by travel agents at Gangtok? If I book it at Gangtok, are the hotels nd food provided by them good enough?
      [Sandeep] : Book it on the spot at Gangtok. Our trip was arranged by the agent but it was micro-managed by driver of our jeep. Accomodation quality varies on budget preferences but same cannot ensured for food.

      2. Also, is the time June'14 okay to travel Gangtok and north sikkim? I would be visiting the place with my wife.
      [Sandeep]: Time is okay, but you may not to able to experience snow .. even at higher altitudes at zero-point.

      3. If I book it at Gangtok on the spot, how much would it cost for 3N/4D lachen-lachung trip?
      [Sandeep]: It depends on the season, vehicle sharing mode etc. That's why it's highly recommended to book the package on-the-spot.

      4. Also, the cab travel agent provides - that would not have other people boarded into it, right?
      [Sandeep]: We had a dedicated vehicle for 6 of us. Smaller groups typically travel on a shared basis but I came across many couples traveling in a dedicated taxi.

      Let me know if you have any other queries.

      Delete
  20. Hey Sandeep,
    I am planning a 3 days 2 nights trip to Lachen - Gurudongmar - lachung - yumthang from Gangtok in the end of april. We are six people. Approximately how much it will cost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chirantan: in our case in 2010 it was around 17-18 k for 6 people (transport, food, accomodation). Current rates should be around 25-30K, but i will check with a person who had recently and confirm on this

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  21. Hi sandeep,
    we are 4 pax would be reaching gangtok on 21st may and will go for Lachen-Lachung from 24th to 26th which will cover gurudongmar lake, chopta valley and yumthang is recommended to book before reaching gangtok or shall i book the 2n/3d package for lachen lachung to avoid disappointment as it might be snow and we might not be able to see gurudongmar lake, chopta valley which is in lachen.

    Please provide ur thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. book on the spot at Gangtok based on weather conditions.

      Delete
  22. Hi Sandeep
    so have u visited Gurudongmar Lake , in sikkim , we r 10 people includng 6 Female Solo Riders visiting in Harley & Hyosung Superbikes to Gurudongmar lake on 11 April. 2014 do u know any hotel phone number of Lachen or Chungthang ..? do u know any place where we can stay in lachen or anywhere in between after mangan ? any monasteries which gives shelter
    waiting for ur reply
    Dr Akshay Kumar
    Director
    Gorkha Workforce Services Pvt Ltd
    Hyd
    akshaymay29@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey really nice blog..very informative sandeep..can u please tell me how is the overall way from Gangtok to lachung..I am going with my family and d only point of concern for dem is dat d way from Gangtok to lachung is it risky..��please add your comment will be waiting

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  24. hi sandeep we are planing to go on 11 july 2014 ..can we face any major problem on that time...?

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  25. hi sandip , we are planing to go on 11 july 2014 , would we face any major problem of weather on that time...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not sure tamojit . it's monsoon time .. a spell of heavy rains may change things drastically .. I suggest to have buffer days in your itinerary ..

      Delete
  26. Hi Sandeep, i m planning to visit North Sikkim with my wife and 5 yrs daughter.Can my child suffer insufficient Oxygen problem at Lac hung/ Yum than/Zero point ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ajay, it depends on her endurance levels .. please consult your family doctor. Actually Lachung is at comfortable altitude .. Yumthang, Zero Point may be tough because of 13000+ ft altitude.

      Delete
  27. Hi Sandeep,
    We are 3 member planning to visit north sikkim.Gangtok-Lachen-Gurudongmar Lake-lacung-Yumthang.
    Can you please suggest me the best way of trip and cost of the trip approx. How to book the package. we bit confuse for that. we palnning in month of september.

    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raju: I did this trip in 2010, the price would have change drastically. For latest details please contact Binita Lama from Lama Tours and Travels. Her number is 09734983536/09832079292.

      Delete
  28. Hi Sandeep,

    Can we go for Lachung in June??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes .. unless it's not raining very heavily !

      Delete
  29. Hi Sanddep,

    Can we visit Lachung in June-end??

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Hey what's the best time to visit Lachen/Lachung so that we can see snowfall as well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snowfall usually starts late October or Early November in Sikkim. But exact dates and frequency depends on weather conditions.

      Delete
  31. Hi Sandeep,

    I am planning to go for a honeymoon trip in July starting from the 12th. I did a check on the weather as well. I am just being too optimistic that heavy rains won't spoil my trip :)

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/in/gangtok/190542/july-weather/190542

    First, I was planning to visit Rishop (nearby Lava) for 1D/1N as I have heard that its really beautiful on a full moon night.
    Next, I have planned to travel to Lachen and be there for 3D/2N and cover GiaoGong and Gurudongmar (Want to cover the North Sikkim first as it would be rainy from 17th. Again, being optimistic!!).
    Then, will spend a 3D/2N in gangtok and do local sight seeing,shopping and relaxing at the resort. If I am not able to go to North Sikkim due to bad climate, I will be covering the Tsango Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir areas. I don't want to make it too hectic by travelling too many places. Hence, made some priorities based on my research.

    Wanted to cover Lachung as well. But, I am short of leaves.

    Can you please review my plan and let me know if you have any better options based on your experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hemant,
      thanks for dropping here. the plan looks decent and the strategy of covering North Sikkim first is good. but you're spending too much time in gangtok. I suggest you to spend one day extra in North Sikkim and cover Lachung, Yumthang & zero-point. I'm sure you wont regret ! :)

      Delete
    2. Sandeep,

      Thanks for your invaluable suggestions. Lachung will definitely be in the back of my mind. If the trip goes smooth and we are not too tired, we will definitively visit Lachung, Yumthang and zero point.
      Just wanted to check with you on any decent travel agent contact so that I can be sure whether the roads for North Sikkim are closed or not. And will have a check on the crowd rush during this period. Since it is an off season, I thought that I will get the hotels easily. But, nevertheless, its better to confirm that to assume.

      Can you please help me in this regard?

      Delete
    3. please contact Binita Lama from Lama Tours and Travels. Her number is 09734983536/09832079292.

      or for alternate opinion you can get in touch directly with Sikkim Tourism Office at Gangtok. We had a lot face to face interaction with them for various clarifications during our trip.

      Delete
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    tourist places in Pondicherry

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great Blog and commendable help to everyone, Sandeep. I am planning to visit Sikkim for 4 days. Two days in Gangtok and we have two more days either to spend in Lachung or Lachen. Where do you think we should stay, Lachen or Lachung? Also, which all places would you recommend to cover in Gangtok?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Hi Sandee i will be in Lachung and Yumthang on October 2nd till 4th. Will we able to see Snow at that time. We dont want to see snow falls, but just a snow point so that we can play with Snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes .. only at zero point

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    2. Anonymous3:33 PM

      Thanks a lot Sandeep.
      Can you please let me know which is Zero Point ?? is it Lachung or Yumthang ??

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    3. Zero-point is beyond Yumthang Valley. Yumthang is at the altitude 12K-13K feet whereas Zero-point is 15K+ feet.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:54 AM

      Okay Thanks, so you mean to say we have to go further after Yumthang right ?? in our package they have mentioned that they will take us till Yumthang, but will the cab driver go further to Zero Point.

      Delete
    5. yes .. for that you need to pay extra to the driver. the amount is not included in the package.

      Delete

 
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