North Sikkim - A Valley of Lakes and Snow
Updated: Jan 20
Sometimes this place becomes a fairyland of lakes while sometimes a valley of mountains and snow.
North Sikkim is just not a destination, it's an emotion. This is surrounded by different countries, like China, Bhutan, Tibet. We were enjoying because our Indian Army was there, protecting us.
A big salute to our army !!
Where to go ?
1. Lachen: Gurudongmar lake
I would say, Gurudongmar lake is THE dreamy lake. And the road to this lake is even more dreamier. This is a must visit place if going to north sikkim.
Head towards Lachen from Gangtok, take a stop there and leave early morning around 4 am for the lake as it takes around ~3-4 hr to reach.
2. Lachung: Yumthang valley, Zero Point, Mt Katao, Kala Patthar
Experience a valley of flowers covered with snow in Yumthang valley. You can experience this in the month of March-April.
Kala Patthar offers you an extended road surrounded by mountains, but Mt Katao provides you a spectacular view. Trek on the mountains and enjoy the view.
Note: Try to cover these places before 3-4 pm, after this tourists are not allowed.
Zero point is the last point where tourists are allowed because it's close to Indo-China border.
Lachen and Lachung are in 2 different directions. You can choose either of the packages, but I would recommend going to both of the places and you will get to experience everything.
How to go ?
Hire a private cab or shared cab:
You can book any traveller to explore this place. Shared cabs are also available, you can check with your organizer. Pre-book these for at least before 1 day of visiting to avoid any permission related hustle.
Take your own bike/car:
Travel card and other id proofs are required for getting permission for this place. You can check with the Gangtok RTO office or online.
Where to stay ?
I would suggest to pre-book your hotel as NS is an isolated area and you don’t want to roam around in the dark in search of hotels.
If taking a package including hotels, check with your traveler for the booked hotels. You can even book a hotel by yourself and let your traveler know.
Few options: Delight The Fortuna in Lachen
Best time to visit ?
Feb-April: As per the locals, this is the best time to visit because you will be able to see snow and due to spring season, you can see new colourful flowers, covered with snow. You can have this experience in Yumthang Valley, Lachung.
mid October to mid December: You will experience snow in North Sikkim and will catch rainy weather which makes Gangtok very beautiful.
I would suggest avoiding North Sikkim in December-January. Because of heavy snow most of the parts of North Sikkim remains closed.
I went in mid-October and was lucky to experience snow at Zero Point.
Carry Camphor (kapoor) with you when going at high altitude. This is the best natural method to improve oxygen levels temporarily. You might need this when visiting East and North sikkim.
You might not get a phone network at all for 1-2 days, so do inform your peeps before heading to north sikkim 😊
The trip includes a lot of traveling in remote areas with no network, so pre download your favorite songs 😁
If you are going in a peak season, always pre-book your traveller, and get a confirmation from them by making some payment in advance if needed. Because prices go quite high during peak times and bookings might not be available.
Do carry cash, there is no network for online payment
Medicines to carry:
Diamox tablet - 125mg (for High Altitude Sickness) North and East Sikkim are at the height of 10k+ ft. Most of the people start having high altitude sickness, i.e. headache, nausea, dizziness. You can take this medicine at least 3-4 hr before heading out.
Vomi stop if you have motion sickness problem like me
Paracetamol Do carry these medicines with you as most of Sikkim is very isolated, you might not find any nearby medicine store or hospitals if anything happens.
NOTE: Above are general medicines, but please consult a doctor if you are already taking any other medicine or have any doubt on if they are safe to consume.
Checkout what else can you do in Sikkim:
So that's all, enjoy your trip to this breathtaking destination... :)