1 to 3 Days
Best time to visit

About Lachen

Lachen, a serene and picturesque town in North Sikkim. Known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and as a gateway to some of the most exquisite high-altitude lakes and trekking routes, Lachen is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Best Time to Visit:

  • Lachen is best visited from October to June. The weather during these months is pleasant, with clear skies offering spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges.


  1. Gurudongmar Lake: One of the highest lakes in the world, it is revered as a sacred site and offers awe-inspiring views, especially at sunrise.
  2. Chopta Valley: Known for its vibrant flowers and varied fauna, the valley transforms into a snow-covered wonderland in winter.
  3. Lachen Monastery: This ancient Buddhist monastery is a peaceful retreat and provides insight into the spiritual life of the locals.
  4. Thangu Valley: A high altitude village, Thangu is a scenic spot with meandering rivers and rustic wooden homes.

Local Culture:

  • The inhabitants of Lachen are predominantly of Bhutia descent and practice Buddhism. Their culture is richly displayed in their festivals, dances, and traditional attire. The Lachenpas, as the locals are called, are known for their warm hospitality.


  • Lachen offers various accommodation options, ranging from homestays to guest houses. These provide a comfortable stay and a chance to experience local hospitality.


  • The local cuisine is a blend of Tibetan and Nepalese influences. Must-try dishes include Thukpa (noodle soup), Momos (dumplings), and other traditional Sikkimese fare. The food is generally hearty and flavored with local herbs and spices.


  • Trekking: Lachen serves as a base for treks to Tso Lhamo Lake, Chopta Valley, and Gurudongmar Lake.
  • Bird Watching: The region is a paradise for bird watchers with several rare species found here.
  • Village Walks: Explore the picturesque village, interact with locals, and learn about their way of life.

Tips for Travelers:

  • Obtain the necessary permits, as Lachen is in a restricted area.
  • Be mindful of high altitude and acclimatize properly.
  • Respect local customs and the environment.

FAQ's on Lachen

1. Do I need any special permits to visit Lachen?

Yes, since Lachen is in a protected area near the international border, all visitors need a Protected Area Permit (PAP). This can be arranged through a registered travel agency in Sikkim or at check posts.

2. What are the must-visit attractions in Lachen?

Key attractions include Gurudongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world, Chopta Valley, known for its flora and fauna, and Lachen Monastery, a serene Buddhist monastery.

3. Can I visit Gurudongmar Lake on my own?

Due to its high altitude and sensitive location, visiting Gurudongmar Lake requires a guided tour arranged through a recognized travel agency.

4. Are there any trekking opportunities in Lachen?

Yes, Lachen serves as a base for several treks, including those to Tso Lhamo Lake, Chopta Valley, and the trek to Gurudongmar Lake.

5. What kind of accommodation is available in Lachen?

Lachen offers various accommodation options including guesthouses, lodges, and homestays, providing a comfortable and authentic experience.

6. What should I pack for a trip to Lachen?

Pack warm clothing, as temperatures can be quite low. Essentials include a good jacket, gloves, caps, and comfortable trekking shoes. Also, carry basic medicines and altitude sickness remedies.

7. Are there any health precautions I should take?

Due to the high altitude, acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water and take it easy for the first few days to adjust to the elevation.
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